Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 8 Recap With Spoilers: “The Unraveling Part 1”

We’ve made it to the first part of the Season 1 finale of Yellowstone, “The Unraveling Part 1” and things are not great for the Duttons. Last episode saw Rainwater and Jenkins work on their plans to take down John Dutton, John appeared to have medical issues, Monica isn’t recovering from her head injury as expected, and Rip had to kill a bear as well was watched two tourists die. With Season 1 coming to a close, those issues all seem to be getting just bit worse. Here’s what happens in the episode.

Fair warning: spoilers for Yellowstone beyond this point. Only read on if you really want to know!

What Happened in “The Unraveling Part 1”?

Flashback to 1997. A teen boy comes in and finds his little brother dead on the floor and watches as his father beats his mother. The boy, himself bloody, takes up a frying pan and beating the father over the head repeatedly. Later, Someone goes to get John Dutton to check on a boy found hiding in a building on a ranch. John realizes that the boy is the survivor of a horrible domestic dispute that was on the news and the boy admits he killed his father. The boy says his name is Rip and John gives him food and offers him a job if he can leave his past behind him and doesn’t fight or steal. John tells young Rip he will have to prove himself.

In the present, the two tourists who died last episode as well as that of the bear Rip shot are retrieved and John warns Rip that the authorities are going to think Rip killed the bear and also murdered the tourists. The sheriff does not belief Rip’s story. An agitated Rip points out that the bear was shot at close range, but the sheriff can’t do much because the Feds will likely see things as a felony.

Monica starts to recover and begins physical therapy. She asks if she can stay with her grandfather when she gets out of the hospital. Jamie does an interview for his campaign and Christina starts to find out about rumors of a coverup at the Yellowstone. Christina is suspicious of the woman she’s talking to and asks why she’s in town. Turns out, this is one of the women seen in a previous issue starting at John Dutton as they canoed and she ends up being a reporter working on a story because she believes John Dutton is corrupt. Kayce goes home after being at the hospital and discovers his house has been ransacked, as has his friend Sam’s. They think it’s treasure hunters and they appear to be right as Tate’s dinosaur skeleton was also taken.

Rip rides out with the Fish & Game officer, but the officer does not trust Rip so when a horsefly lands on her horse, she doesn’t let him deal with it. The fly bites the horse and causes it to run. The officer is thrown from the horse and she lands on a metal bar, injuring herself. The horse is tangled in wires. Rip asks for her gun to deal with the horse so it can’t run and kill her, but she refuses. Rip ends up detangling the horse and calling for a helicopter for help.

Rainwater and Jenkins continue to work on their agreement, with Rainwater reassuring Jenkins his interests will be safe because of the hotel. Jenkins doesn’t believe him and wants part of the land. Rainwater points out that if the tribe owns the land, there will be no taxes or zoning. Additionally, once the plans are announced, the property values in the area will double, including the Yellowstone which will get stuck with a massive property tax bill — that the Duttons won’t be able to pay. Rainwater continues to push until Jenkins agrees to sell him the land. Meanwhile, Beth discovers that Jenkins leveraged every cent he has including took out two mortgages on his house for the development and the river being moved ruined things for him. His company is trading very low per share and Beth declares she’ll be on his board by Monday.

Monica confronts Kayce about her brother and he tells her the truth. She says she sees him differently now because John is in their lives and that she is taking Tate and keeping him away from both John and Kayce. It sounds like she’s leaving Kayce. Jenkins comes home and finds Beth there and tells her that he’s going to ruin her and her family, but Beth threatens him back, telling him she’s buying up all of the shares of his company.

Kayce gets into an altercation at a gas station that is filmed on a cellphone. John looks at a subpoena from the tribe claiming he’s in violation of a law that says people can’t graze cattle on tribal land without permission. Jamie shows up and John yells at him, demanding that Jamie quit the political rase because he’s needed at the ranch and they get into a fight. John then reveals that the current Attorney General isn’t stepping down and that John is backing him. Jamie says he’s running anyway and John kicks him off the ranch. John then confesses he thinks he will lose the Yellowstone.

Jamie goes to his headquarters and Christina tells him that fathers who love their children don’t sabotage and hurt them, and Jamie admits he really wants to be Attorney General. They kiss. Back at the ranch, Jimmy is upset about his hat having been taken and it’s clear the others are responsible because they are. They give him a much nicer — and more expensive — new hat. Elsewhere, a pack of wolves eat the dead bear.

Yellowstone airs Sunday nights on CBS. The first four seasons of the series are also available to stream on Peacock.