Yellowstone: Season 5: Part 1 - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Yellowstone: Season 5: Part 1

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :4stars:

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Yellowstone has been one heck of a ride. I honestly didn’t see a western (even though it is sort of a modern western) becoming the next Game of Thrones in a way. The era of the western was dead YEARS ago, but it looks like interest in the genre has resurfaced in the wake of Zombie, vampire, and fantasy fatigue due to over saturation of the market. Taylor Sheridan knows his way around a modern western, but I truly never expected the long legs that Yellowstone has enjoyed, let alone spawning 2 spin off standalone miniseries as well. The series started out strong with a solid first season, came back with an AMAZING 2nd season, and then plateaud out with a very soap opera esque 3rd season that nearly tanked the show. Season 4 came back as an in between season, but still much stronger than the weakness of the 3rd. Now, to finish off strong, Sheridan and Paramount decided to go all the way with a full 16 episodes for the final year, splitting it up on home video (and release on Paramount Plus) in two 8 episode chunks that are nearly as long as the previous full seasons. And I have to say, they are going out with a bang.

To recap. The last year had Patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) recovering from a near fatal attack, while Beth manages to escape an attack with just some scarring on her face (and of course FINALLY tied the not with her long time beau Rip). And of course the coming range war with Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver) in order to save the ranch from going under. In order to defeat her once and for all, John reluctantly agrees to run for the governorship as a way to head things off.

Season 5 picks up a short bit after the end of the 4th season, right on election night, as John wins his spot as Governor of the state. He makes short work of the entrenched staff, eradicating anyone and everyone he can, replacing them with close allies (such as Beth becoming his chief of staff) and introduces new bills to cancel some of the big budget wasters like the Paradise Valley Airport and the like. Beth has her own plans too, forcing a power play to take down Market Equity and Caroline Warner, declaring a defacto war on the firm from the state house.

The rest of the show evolves into more political machinations, with Caroline Warner bringing in her own secret weapon, alliances being made against the Duttons, and Jamie Dutton becoming the next target as the “weakest link”. Even the folks over on the Broken Rock Reservation are nervous with the Duttons in charge, as the Paradise Valley Airport was going to bring a ton of jobs to the reservation, and their allegiance to John and his kin become a little shakey.

Season 5 of Yellowstone isn’t a huge departure from the show’s intrigue and machinations, but takes a different approach to the characters. Instead of being just rough and tough cow hands who have their hands in all the pies, the Dutton clan rises to full on power in this season, giving them new challenges and new character arcs to pursue. We get to see a softer side of Beth this year (thank god, they were making her the defacto edge lord of the show) as she joins the family more and more, but the spitfire hard drinking back and forth banter between her and Rip (Cole Hauser) remains one of the highlights of the show.

It’s interesting to watch John Dutton as the Governor, as he’s, for once, completely out of his element. No matter what he did, no matter who he had to push, John was always a cowboy and Ranch owner at heart. He’s now completely out of his element and having to deal with actually HATING his job for once, even though he knows he has to do it in order to cement their legacy.

As I said, Yellowstone season 5 (part 1) is a solid entry that is NEARLY up to season 2 standards, but closer to the “good” season 1. Despite having a rocky 3rd season the show has managed to pull itself up by its own bootstraps, and is well on its way to finishing strong (please, oh please, don’t have a GOT Season 8 ending!).


Rated TV-MA by the MPAA

Video: :4.5stars:
As with the last 3 seasons, Season 5: Part 1 showcases a bright, shiny and VERY well detailed digital image that is just about perfect. The Montana wildnerness is amazing to behold, with wavy green grases, earthy wood houses, and amber fields that make the jaw drop. In town and in the office has a more earth tinged hue to that dropes over everything, but detail levels and skin tones remain just about perfect. There's some softness in the corners of office scenes, but nothing that would make you really get up in arms over. Banding still comes and goes here and there, but once again, nothing that's going to cause you to get up in arms. Blacks are still deep and inky, and shadow detaisl superb. Simply put, you're not going to be disappointed if you've become accustomed to the high qualty images from the previous 3 seasons (season 1 was nortorious for being slightly underwhelming).

Audio: :4stars:
Just like the video, the audio maintains the same solid, but never great, audio mixing in 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. As I’ve said in the past, the show doesn’t have a BAD audio mix, it’s just that there’s so much talking and quietness to the shows design that it never really gets a chance to truly stretch its legs. That being said, the dialog is always crisp and clean, located up in the center, and the twangy score fills out the rear end. This season is a lot more dialog hefty, with less action and more political intrigue, so we don't get many "shock and awe" moments that previous seasons have. Still, the audio is more than good enough and will deliver the goods.

Extras: :4stars:
• Undeniable Passion: Beth & Rip/Monica & Kayce
• Musical Crosscurrents with Composers Brian Tyler & Breton Vivian
• Giving Everything to This Land: YellowstoneReturns
• Inside Yellowstone: Season 5
• Inside the Real Yellowstone Ranch
• Yellowstone: Inside the Phenomenon
• Behind the Story for every episode
• Stories from the Bunkhouse for every episode

Final Score: :4stars:

Yeah, this is fun. I’m pleasantly surprised and really happy that the show is back on track for a successful finale. Part 1 of Season 5 is tense, changes things up just enough to keep interest levels high, and is aiming for a rather nasty confrontation for the series finale. The Blu-ray looks and sounds great as always, with a hefty array of extras on their own disc to make for quite the package. The series may not be AS amazing as we enjoyed the 1st two years, but Yellowstone is still one of Paramount's biggest hits that drives viewers to the screens week after week, and I'm still entertained. Fun Watch

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley
Created by: John Linson, Taylor Sheridan
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English
Studio: Paramount
Rated: TV-MA
Runtime: 459 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 9th, 2023

Recommendation: Good Watch



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Thanks for the review. Now that it is ending, I will have to start binge watching it. :)
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