Despite only having three seasons at this point, Yellowstone has been a seriously tumultuous show that has taken the Dutton family from a place of uncertain safety and security to a place of certain danger that might see the patriarch of the clan, John Dutton, lying dead on the side of the road. Those that have been watching the show from season 1 onward have seen how Kayce Dutton integrates back into the Dutton clan after trying to get away from the constant trouble and the general headache that is his family. After the death of their mother, Kayce, Beth, Jamie, and their older brother Lee, who died in the first season, haven’t been quite as close. Throughout the last three seasons, it’s been clear that many people feel that the Dutton Ranch is simply too big and takes up too much space that might be better used for other purposes, a decision that John has been fighting ever since the show opened up. Be it for a casino, an airstrip, or something else, Dutton has managed to fight off more than one person eager to take his land.
But that might be at an end as the last season saw John go to war with a corporation that’s not afraid to pull out the stops when they don’t get what they want. Having fought against other enemies and made temporary alliances with a couple of them in order to keep both of their interests safe, John has managed to survive thus far, but between the worrisome finances of the ranch and the enemies trying to smash the door down to develop his land, season 4 might see everything come to a head. If you’re getting Godfather vibes then don’t worry too much about it, you’re not the only one. There’s been enough corruption throughout the last three seasons to make it clear that whoever wins this particular fight is going to be able to claim the title of dirtiest player in the game since there’s room for those that want to play fair or practice good manners. One side or the other is going to get burned.
To date, John Dutton and his family have suffered setbacks and attacks on their ranch, their family, and have endured through all of it. From John nearly dying due to a ruptured ulcer to his grandson Tate being kidnapped by white supremacists, to Beth showing a shop owner and supposed friend what she thought of the treatment she gave to her sister-in-law, who is an indigenous individual, things have never been entirely polite in this story, to begin with. But when season three concluded John was lying on the ground, on the highway, shot up and dying, Beth’s office had just exploded thanks to a bomb she hadn’t seen coming, and Kayce was involved in a shootout in his office. As far as Rip, Lloyd, and the others, it’s fair to say that there’s not a lot of information on where they are or what they’re going to be doing when season four hits, though there is a concern for Jimmy, who fell off his horse and wasn’t moving when the story pushed forward.
In short, things aren’t going well since Market Equities and their stooges, Willa and Roarke, are now aiming straight at the Dutton family, and there’s no doubt that others will do the same if they see an advantage in doing so. So far this show has been absolutely brutal when it comes to showing how badly people want this land and how much people are willing to focus on past hurts that linger thanks to the inability to let go. Saying that the Duttons are the protagonists of this story is still kind of tough since it would indicate that they’ve never done anything wrong, which is apparently not the case. John Dutton isn’t the devil, but he’s certainly not a saint as he’s a bitter old man that doesn’t want to give up what his family has been fighting for throughout the last several generations. Those that believe they have a right to the land aren’t willing to give up either, but if there are any protagonists in this story, then they’re few in number since almost every other person has personal demons they’re fighting, and many of them have allowed those past hurts to turn them into very difficult people.
But this is a big part of what makes Yellowstone such a fun show to watch since there aren’t any heroes, but there are plenty of villains, and then there are people who are simply trying to get by as well as they can while holding on to what they have. Season 4 will consist of ten episodes like seasons 2 and 3, and one can assume that if the Duttons do survive that they’ll be looking to gain every advantage they can get.