‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Episode 1 Review

Paramount’s hit neo-Western drama about Montana rancher John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his dysfunctional family is more popular than ever thanks to streaming; and with the Duttons returning for their fifth exploit, fans cannot wait to thrust themselves into the chaos.

At long last, power has fallen into John’s hands. Now a newly elected Governor, the patriarch has exactly what he has wanted from the beginning: total control over his land – and the state of Montana as an added bonus. It’s often the case that nothing is more dangerous than a man in power, but John isn’t interested in the political drivel of his role. 

This is a man who holds his family’s interests at heart, especially when it comes to the sentimental value of their home. Although, John has never been a cause for concern, has he? Behind every great man is a greater woman and daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) is ultimately the one pulling all the strings behind this operation – much to black sheep son Jamie’s (Wes Bentley) dismay.

Reilly has been the driving force of Yellowstone from day one. Of course, her fellow co-stars, including the A-list Costner, are no strangers themselves to giving an exceptional performance in the series; but there’s simply no competing with the captivating energy Reilly repeatedly brings to the table. Beth is just as ruthless as we remember, stealing each and every scene she appears in. 

Credit: Viacom Press Team.

The dynamic shared by Reilly and Bentley is another high point of this premiere; following last season’s events, the air hangs heavy between Jamie and Beth with tension prepared to snap at the slightest change in pace. The pair are constantly at the other’s throat, but Reilly and Bentley have always perfected the balance between casual bickering and pure rivalry, and one particular back-and-forth encounter leaves laughter bubbling as John is caught in the middle.

However, season five opens with the promise that Jamie and Beth’s relentless conflict is the least of the family’s worries going forward. Trouble is looming. The stakes are raised with John’s newfound power. Whether this comes in the form of tribal chairman Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) or dastardly land developer Caroline Warner (Jackie Weaver) is yet to be seen; though neither are overly pleased, Caroline has already set her sights on exploiting the Duttons through their most vulnerable asset: Jamie.

Yellowstone’s fifth season premiere kicks off with a high that leaves John contemplating his next steps as the past is explored. Concluding the episode in a gut-wrenching cliffhanger, fans will struggle to pull their attention from the screen. But, like John is all too familiar with, once we’ve reached the top, the only other way is down; and the Duttons are in for one hell of a ride.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Yellowstone Season 5 premieres Sunday, November 13, at 8/7c on the Paramount Network.

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