Spoilers ahead: As Yellowstone rolls into its fourth season as the most popular cable drama, we break down where the Duttons and their extended family are in their journeys.
(Editor’s Note: We will be Live Tweeting the Season 4 premiere of Yellowstone starting at 8 pm ET/7pm CT Sunday on Paramount Network. Follow us on Twitter hashtag #ciYellowstone4.)
There are a few burning questions faithful viewers hope to see answered — very quickly — when Yellowstone, the top-rated Paramount Network drama about a powerful Montana family coping with threats outside and within its ranks, returns after an extended hiatus November 7.
Again, spoilers ahead: When we last saw the Duttons, paterfamilias John (Kevin Costner) had temporarily warded off — with unexpected help from frenemy Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) — underhanded efforts by the rapacious Market Equities firm to claim his property through eminent domain. But his victory may be short-lived: While aiding a mother and her young son stranded on a remote road, he was sprayed with automatic weapons fire by gunmen in a van. Ironically, he was shielded from one of the potentially fatal bullets by his cellphone. But his other wounds looked serious. And vultures already were gathering.
Meanwhile, John’s son Kayce (Luke Grimes), newly installed as Livestock Commissioner, was on the phone with his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) in his office when he got his own uninvited visit by gunmen. He remained under siege as he returned fire.
And across town, Kayce’s sister Beth (Kelly Reilly) was preparing to leave Schwartz & Meyer, having been ousted from her job there because of leverage employed by Market Equities exec Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman), when her assistant made the big mistake of opening a package addressed to Beth. Ka-Boom!
So where was Jamie (Wes Bentley), Beth’s other brother? Safe in his own office as Attorney General, brusquely brushing off an anxious call from ranch foreman Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), who cannot contact any other of the Duttons. Was Jamie’s mind so poisoned by Garrett Randall (Will Patton), his conniving biological father, that he ordered the hits? Or were the attempted assassinations plotted by Market Equities agent Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) at the behest of Willa Hayes?
And while we’re asking questions: What happens to ranch hand Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White), last seen sprawled and unconscious on the ground after being bucked off a rodeo horse?
Series co-creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan sounded unabashedly proud about his handiwork — but remained characteristically tight-lipped about any payoffs — when we asked him earlier this year about the mountain range of cliffhangers he unveiled during the Season 3 finale that aired August 23, 2020. “Well,” he teasingly replied, “you know what they say: You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”
So we’ll have to wait just a bit longer to see what he has cooked up.
Watch the first three seasons of Yellowstone on Peacock
From our November/December 2021 issue
Click here to purchase a collection of back issues featuring the Yellowstone cast and crew
Photography: (All images) Emerson Miller/courtesy Paramount Network