‘Yellowstone’s Latest Feature Reminds Us How Powerful That Walker vs Lloyd Storyline Was in Season 4

by Lauren Boisvert
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There was a scene in “Yellowstone” season 4 that surprised us all down to our bones; when Lloyd attacked Walker in the bunkhouse. Laramie essentially was causing some problems, but I’m not quick to blame her. If she wants to jump from ranch hand to ranch hand, that’s her prerogative. Forrie J. Smith even said as much in a breakdown of the scene last November. But, the result of her changing her mind about who she wants to spend her time with eventually brought on the “no women in the bunkhouse” rule from John Dutton.

But, before that, the fight. First, Walker is sitting at the bunkhouse table, playing a song; Laramie is all over him. In the distance, Lloyd watches, enraged. In a fit of anger, he grabs Walker’s guitar and smashes it against one of the bunks. When Walker confronts him, a fistfight ensues. Lloyd takes out a pocket knife and quickly throws it at Walker, so fast we almost don’t catch his movement. The knife lodges itself in Walker’s chest, close to his heart. The bunkhouse boys spring into action, grabbing Lloyd and subduing him.

So, what does this fight represent? It’s jealousy, sure, and the beginning of a love triangle between Lloyd, Walker, and Laramie. But, at its core, it’s about lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy. Lloyd is losing out to the new, younger ranch hand, and he feels a part of his self-confidence is crumbling. Does he take it too far? Of course; knifing someone in the chest is definitely a step too far. Did he break a Yellowstone cardinal rule? You betcha: no fighting. He’s been there for years, and he knows the ins and outs, and yet Walker makes him lose his cool.

The ‘Yellowstone’ Redemption Scene That Said So Much With So Little

It’s the scene when Lloyd comes back to the bunkhouse that really says so much in the span of the episode. He buys Walker a new guitar. That alone is a decent apology in itself. But is it enough to reconcile the fact that he knifed Walker?

Walker takes the guitar out of the case and inspects it, claiming that it’s better than the one he was playing to begin with. This seems to lighten the tension just a bit, and then Walker begins to play. There is still some animosity between them, but Lloyd is sufficiently cowed. He looks deeply remorseful as he sits down to listen to Walker play, taking his hat off and pressing it to his chest. Walker seems to simultaneously forgive Lloyd and also lord his forgiveness over him.

Walker begins to play the guitar, singing a song that gets everyone in the bunkhouse misty-eyed. It’s the redemption of Lloyd in this moment; the bunkhouse boys seemingly bring him back into the fold, despite the obvious tension among them. But it’s Walker sitting down to play this guitar that Lloyd bought him that cements the fact that everything just might be okay after all. The song he sings is melancholy and a little sad, but it works for the moment; this deep forgiveness, this redemption that Lloyd seeks, and sort of finds, in Walker.

Essentially, this also cements Walker as a good guy, someone who can be trusted, someone who is generous with his feelings and forgiveness. Walker represents trust on “Yellowstone,” and the lack of it, how hard it is to keep. Here, he’s showing that he can be trusted not to hold a grudge, even though he got knifed in the chest.

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