Dutton Ranch was dealt a severe blow at the end of Yellowstone season three. With the fates of John Dutton and his children left uncertain, some comments from the Paramount series’ showrunner Taylor Sheridan have teased a crushing beginning to the Western drama’s next outing.
Hollywood screenwriter Taylor Sheridan brought Yellowstone’s third season to a thundering conclusion this summer.
Thankfully, Paramount have renewed the popular modern Western for a fourth instalment, hoped to begin around this time next year.
However, as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to hang uncertainty over major TV productions, fans of the series may have longer to wait than usual.
Yellowstone’s lengthy hiatus may prove tougher than usual, after the latest cliffhanger left the life of ranch owner John Dutton (played by Kevin Costner) hanging in the balance.
Meanwhile, his daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) may have been killed by an explosive package, whilst Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) was last seen cowering from approaching gunmen.
Although John was just about able to escape with his life thanks to the convenient placement of his cell phone, showrunner Sheridan has hinted the Dutton patriarch’s fate may not be so clear cut.
As witnessed in the tense season finale, John was still caught in the fire from a mysterious would-be assassin and left bleeding out on the side of the road.
Moreover, Dutton Ranch still faces encroaching threats from Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) and other rivals, who may have had a hand in the as yet unexplained hit in the season finale.
With the family gearing up for its greatest challenges yet, Taylor Sheridan may have already sealed the fate of Yellowstone’s tenacious landowner.
Following the Duttons’ previous battle with the Beck Brothers (Neal McDonough & Terry Serpico) in season two, Sheridan teased John’s journey could be coming to its end.
Speaking to Deadline, he said: “If you think about it, we watched John Dutton fight a war against somebody who doesn’t break the rules. He just bends them.
“And he picked a fight with someone who makes the rules, which means he can unmake them, and he’s fighting for survival, and he doesn’t factor rules into those fights.”
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Throughout the first three seasons of Yellowstone, John has protected his coveted land from the protests of neighbouring Native Americans, as well as facing off against shrewd business rivals.
Events took a dark turn in season two and three when the likes of the Beck Brothers and Roarke Morris revealed they’re willing to go to violent lengths to get their hands on John’s prized cattle ranch.
Despite being able to maintain his grip on his private land, John’s stubbornness could prove to be his downfall when he continues to fight in season four.
Sheridan continued: “So, when he comes up against two brothers that have an identical approach, which is, we don’t follow the rules, we don’t have rules, then I think that he has met his match.”
“I don’t think that he knew initially that they were as dangerous as they ultimately proved to be. But once he realized it, then he confronted it.”
While Teal Beck no longer poses a threat after Kayce took him down in season two, there is still a chance Malcolm Beck could still be alive after John left him with just a few gunshot wounds.
If Malcolm survived his ordeal, he may be out there plotting his revenge; that is, if he isn’t unveiled as the mastermind behind the attacks in the finale for season three.
Yellowstone is available to watch on Paramount.