Josh Holloway Arrives In Town

Already a commercial and critical success, Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone doesn’t rest on its laurels in a satisfying third season. Led by the venerable Kevin Costner playing John Dutton, his family successfully fended off their beloved ranch from a casino takeover in season two. The stakes are raised even higher in season three when slick Wall Street titan Roarke (Josh Holloway) comes looking for their land to build a new airport and resort complex.

Lucrative land deals and bitter blood feuds are the theme of Yellowstone’s third season. Returning cast leads Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, and Kelly Reilly continue their gritty portrayals playing members of the powerful Dutton family. Their legacy is on the line as old secrets dredge up which threaten everything they’ve built. John Dutton attempts to pass leadership to his children, though their internal conflicts only grow.

Yellowstone remains one of television’s most absorbing dramas with a superb cast led by Kevin Costner

Newcomer to the show Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) doesn’t make quite the impact viewers expect. His character is clearly meant to be a foil and rival for Beth, the family’s tough-minded daughter. When not toying with Roarke, Beth settles into her new relationship with Rip. The reason behind her long-running feud with Jamie is finally revealed, a pivotal character development that neatly explains Beth’s anger. For my money, the rugged Rip as played by Cole Hauser is still Yellowstone’s best character.

Political machinations become a bigger aspect in the series with the arrival of Wall Street outsiders looking to take over the state. John Dutton has a relationship with the state’s governor, while he positions Jamie as state attorney general to protect his own interests. Casey is thrust into John’s old position as livestock commissioner, which brings its own problems on the family.

The Duttons have never been squeaky clean, dealing out harsh punishment when necessary to maintain their power and safeguard the land. Season three has the Duttons often taking the law severely into their own hands, often under the ruse of their “official” duties. It’s getting tougher and tougher to consider them the “good” guys.

Season three misses the taut tension of season two and its dramatic thrills. Roarke prefers screwing with the Duttons through corporate power, a far cry from the deadly life-or-death struggle seen last season. The plot spins its wheels for several episodes and incorporates more comedy into the serialized drama.

The Bunkhouse crew serves as the show’s glue and comedic relief. Ranch hand Jimmy attracts a couple of buckle bunnies that stick around as supporting characters, not to mention the curious new female ranch hand with an impenetrable Texas accent.  Polarizing with viewers and mostly used for levity, she is season three’s curveball.

The enduring, multi-layered Yellowstone marches on with a fine third season that isn’t perfect but continues the show’s crisp storytelling laced with vivid characterization. The new characters aren’t terrible additions but the show’s drama works best when it is centered on the Duttons and their closest allies. It’s hard reading into the season’s shock ending – who will return in season four is a mystery at this point.

Yellowstone remains one of television’s most absorbing dramas with a superb cast led by Kevin Costner and writer Taylor Sheridan’s creative vision.

Video

Something looks a little different about season three on Blu-ray, possibly better cameras used during production. Having watched all three seasons on broadcast cable and then on Blu-ray, the digital cinematography in season three is visibly sharper with more definition. The show’s clean cinematography was always pristine, bright and lit for beautiful outdoor scenery. Now the video gains even more depth and impressive clarity in season three.

Paramount has always treated Yellowstone well on BD. The season’s ten episodes are spread over three BD-50s, given ample AVC encodes. I wouldn’t call Yellowstone necessarily flawless picture quality, but season three’s clarity and detail really jump out in 1080P video. Exteriors exude immaculate definition and incredible detail. Colors are nicely saturated with proper flesh-tones and the neutral contrast holds up under duress.

At times stunning, this is fantastic Blu-ray video that lights up a home theater’s display.

Audio

5.1 Dolby TrueHD provides a sufficiently engaging surround mix for Yellowstone. Fairly plain by theatrical standards, the action offers decent dynamics with fine separation. Dialogue is cleanly delivered and plainly intelligible.

Surround channels add nice atmosphere and help expand the soundstage. Bass makes a presence without sounding bloated. The show’s excellent production values include stout and capable sound design. You can hear the cattle and livestock move in crystal-clear fidelity.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

Paramount loads up Yellowstone’s third season set with copious special features. Over four hours in total are included. Mini-featurettes called “Behind the Story” appear for all ten episodes. Behind-the-scene clips, interviews with lead cast and crew, not to mention fairly involved making-of featurettes comprise the most loaded television-on-BD set in ages.

The studio and talent are all proud of making Yellowstone, which comes through here loud and clear. It’s rare to see a featured star like Kevin Costner in bonus content these days but he contributes in several different interviews.

The three-disc set comes in a standard Blu-ray case with a slipcover, nicely matching releases for the first two seasons.

Behind The Story:

Each episode receives its own featurette with a different mix of relevant cast and crew discussing significant developments and important character moments. Both lead cast and supporting characters appear.

You’re the Indian Now (05:31 in HD)

Freight Trains and Monsters (08:44 in HD)

An Acceptable Surrender (07:52 in HD)

Going Back to Cali (09:37 in HD)

Cowboys and Dreamers (06:32 in HD)

All for Nothing (06:47 in HD)

The Beating (06:02 in HD)

I Killed a Man Today (05:32 in HD)

Meaner Than Evil (08:37 in HD)

The World Is Purple (08:17 in HD)

Meaner Than Evil: Making Yellowstone Season 3 (41:34 in HD) – An engaging look back at the season’s key moments and how each character fits into the greater narrative. The thorough piece covers vital character dynamics in a slick blend of behind-the-scenes footage and candid interview clips.

Working the Yellowstone: Director Stephen Kay (03:27 in HD) – Kay’s career on Yellowstone is covered in this brief piece.

Working the Yellowstone: SFX Supervisor Garry Elmendorf (04:07 in HD) – Special effects supervisor Garry Elmendorf talks about his team’s work on the show.

Inside Yellowstone: Season 3 (04:30 in HD) – Season three is briefly summarized with a focus on major changes seen during the season.

Yellowstone: Stories From The Bunkhouse –

Each episode receives these stimulating discussions from supporting actors Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, and Jefferson White, who all play Bunkhouse characters. Done in a loose, roundtable approach, these are lively and often humorous chats. Probably a must-watch for hardcore Yellowstone fans.

You’re the Indian Now (11:52 in HD)

Freight Trains and Monsters (10:27 in HD)

An Acceptable Surrender (11:32 in HD)

Going Back to Cali (11:22 in HD)

Cowboys and Dreamers (14:13 in HD)

All for Nothing (10:12 in HD)

The Beating (12:12 in HD)

I Killed a Man Today (12:44 in HD)

Meaner Than Evil (11:33 in HD)

The World Is Purple (11:17 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Yellowstone: Season Three
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  • Audio
  • Extras
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The Kevin Costner-led ranching drama/thriller on Paramount Network continues its critically-acclaimed writing and acting.

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