Monica had one of the worst days of her life on Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 9.
Going from bad to worse is an understatement.
In true soap opera fashion, the $h!t hit the fan, but instead of scattering the characters in different directions, the traumatic events got them even closer together.
"Enemies by Monday" is practically an Afterschool Special in social messages.
Many people who suffered were victims of their own secrets.
Jimmy went to great lengths to protect himself in the eyes of the ranch during Yellowstone Season 2, and he cleaned up his act after a youth filled with criminality.
The police officer who notified Jimmy that his grandfather died noted he'd arrested him 15 times.
But Jimmy found something at the Yellowstone he was missing even with his Grandfather -- a family that supported him and taught him different ways to deal with his pent up energy.
Being at the Yellowstone has given a Jimmy something else to lose, too, and he's holding onto it as tightly as he can.
Rip: Jimmy! What the fuck is wrong with you?
Jimmy: It's mine! I won it! I fuckin' won it!
Rip: You gotta be kidding me, Jimmy. You risked your life for a fuckin' belt buckle?
For all that he got with his introduction to the ranch, brand and all, Jimmy still didn't trust Rip and Lloyd enough to tell them the truth about what he's been trying to accomplish since the meth heads returned.
Releasing his anger about his grandfather's death caught Rip's attention, and there was no way Rip was going to allow Jimmy to do something to get him into more trouble. That's not what they're about.
But forcing the plan of action into effect so quickly put Kayce's son in danger, and even if they are all standing together in their search for Tate now, when they calm down enough to realize what their lies and vengeance wrought, there could be hell to pay.
Kayce: Alone? You let him come down here alone?
John: No one's alone on this ranch. There's a dozen wranglers down here, or there's supposed to be. Where the hell have you been?
Kayce's wish to put off the terror detail until things calmed down a bit will haunt him, as will John's tough, grandfatherly love in wanting Tate to respect Lucky's life as one Tate needed to put before dessert.
Everything can change in the flash of an eye, and going into Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 10, everything has changed.
Monica has questioned the very nature of her existence since she moved to the ranch, feeling as though she's lost some of herself in the process.
The despicable situation she encountered at a local boutique only reminded her that she's not like the Duttons.
Monica is brown-skinned and gets no respect from the same Montana citizens who fall over themselves trying to please the Dutton family. She's unsure if she's exposing Tate to a wonderful life or keeping him from another one.
Monica: Stop! Doing it to her doesn't undo what she did to me. [to Veronica] I didn't steal from you, and you know it. You judge my skin. Just say it.
Veronica: I judged your skin. Sorry.
Beth: You're lucky she had a conscience. I was going to get you to fuck that mannequin. [laughs] I could have done this all fuckin' night. Oh well, I guess there's always tomorrow.
Beth was already as raw as a human can be after her encounter on Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 7, so when she received an invitation to stand up for the sister-in-law she's still getting to know, Beth answered the call with gusto.
Going to Monica's aid offered the two women a chance to bond, and it showed Monica to what lengths the Dutton family will go for those they care about.
Maybe seeing Beth in that light also offered Monica a better understanding of Kayce. He arrives at her bed battered and bruised on many occasions, and it's encounters protecting those he loves that gets him that way.
But like Kayce lies to Monica on too many occasions -- for her protection -- she lied to Kayce about her day to ensure his. If she let Kayce know what happened at that boutique, Kayce might have killed someone.
You know, Kayce isn't like you. His center isn't set. He has the potential to be just like my father. And you owe it to Kayce and your son to do everything in your power to prevent that from happening.Beth
Beth went to great lengths to prove her point with Veronica, but her sadism is more emotional than physical. Seeing Veronica squirm and leaving the woman with a memory of Monica and herself that would never disappear helped soothe her ravaged mind.
In discovering Tate's missing, Monica is going to get the full taste of the lengths people will go to get their hands on the Yellowstone or to inhibit their way of business. It's not just talk anymore.
Will it be as easy for her to turn the other cheek with the Beck brothers as it was for her to give Veronica a chance to save face after everything she put her through?
As was clear during that boutique debacle, Monica doesn't rely on her family to get her out of situations even if she did call Beth for help. She could have used the family name and threatened Veronica, but that's not her nature.
Beth: You know, I certainly understand why he fought so hard for you. You have a kind soul. The whole world can see it. And the whole world's gonna hate you for it. Today was probably about that more than anything. She looked at you, and she-- Younger. Prettier. Better. She fuckin' hated you for it. Wanted to hurt you for it. Well, she's the one hurting now, and you? You'll forget about her in a few weeks, but she'll never forget about you forgiving her. That's gonna haunt that bitch for the rest of her days.
Monica: Haunting her wasn't my goal.
Beth: Well, that's why it will.
She's a good person in love with a complicated man, and she's stretching the boundaries of her life to include him.
What's coming will be a defining moment for Monica. If Tate is returned, she can turn her back on the Yellowstone and never look back.
If he's found harmed in any way, she can also embrace the life of vigilanteism that drives the Yellowstone knowing that traditional justice will never be enough to ease Tate's pain.
She can also stick around in either case to eventually extricate the man she loves to keep him from becoming his father.
Best of all, Kelsey Asbille finally gets a story worthy of her talents instead of one-off side jobs that don't wholly relate enough to the rest of the narrative to the point she was getting scraps of airtime.
Storywise, the most significant development with Tate's abduction is the status of the Becks' plane.
John: How'd it go?
Kayce: You better not make up with them. There's no stoppin' it now.
John: There's no makin' up with them.
The Duttons have a meeting set with the Becks in Jackson Hole. Kayce set them up to be blown to smithereens in mid-air. Will his son be on the plane when his bomb detonates?
Surely, the finale will feature a mad scramble to remedy the wrongs Kayce put into play, but even if the Becks don't explode without revealing Tate's whereabouts and Tate isn't on board if it does, there will be significant damage to the Dutton family.
There's no coming back from the confluence of disastrous decisions that put everything into motion no matter how it ends.
But if the past two seasons are any indication, Tate will come out relatively unscathed. There will be hell to pay within the family (and elsewhere), but he'll be physically safe, whatever that means.
It could spell the end of the Yellowstone shenanigans, or it could send them to a level they've never even considered.
Another story of note suggests that Jamie might be joining Kayce in fatherhood and providing his father with another grandson. Hopefully, the implication of that is sheer coincidence.
One grandchild out while another enters is hardly the family-oriented plotline we expect from Yellowstone, but it's worth noting.
The stories couldn't be farther apart. Kayce fought like hell for Monica and his life with her, while Jamie ran crying all the way home when Christina slammed the door. She is forgettable.
Serve your father's family or serve your own. Like it or not, that choice is coming.Christina
Jamie would be a sucker to buy her pregnancy story at face value, but she has potentially damning accusations to toss his way should he balk. It's not exactly a Cinderella story, but it could put a wrench into the family plans for Yellowstone Season 3.
The truth about the Dutton finances was also brought to light when Dan begged John to buy him out of the casino deal making it crystal clear that Dan is like a kid playing with the adults.
He just wants other people to see pretty Montana (and to get richer, of course), but he got tangled up in all the wrong places because of his unfamiliarity with the nature of the West.
John: You're the devil I know, and I'm stuck with ya.
Dan: You can't stop me from selling, John.
John: Dan, you haven't learned a goddamned thing, have ya?
Dan: So? Enemies by Monday again, huh?
John: We're enemies now.
Dan: I suppose we are.
Dan's arc is one of the more satisfying of the miscellaneous characters on Yellowstone, so sticking around to be John's devil would be fine with me. John could use a friend -- even one as oddly connected as Dan.
Ryan's decision to join Rip and Kayce in destroying the meth heads was also welcome. Ian Bohen getting more airtime next season would be well worth Ryan taking the brand.
It was a rather disastrous penultimate episode for the characters, but damn fine for the rest of us. Rip literally embraced Jimmy in a way he hadn't before, and Beth and Monica grew closer, as well.
Three cheers for life's worst moments bringing together characters!
What on earth do you think is coming with the finale??
After you watch Yellowstone online, let's get a conversation started. I'm interested your theories about what's going to propel us into next season!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.