What is “Yellowstone”?

“Yellowstone” is a new Western drama series created by John Linson and Taylor Sheridan for Paramount Network. With a premiere date of 20th June 2018, the stars of the show are Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Gil Birmingham, Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser. The main storyline of the gripping show is the conflict that thrives in the shared borders of an Indian reservation, a vast cattle ranch, and land developers. The series has successfully aired season five in November 2022.

Just as many soap operas and drama series focus on one or more main families, the Duttons are the main family of the “Yellowstone” universe. Owners of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, which is the largest in Montana, their personal drama is just as interesting as their spats and quarrels with land developers.

Taylor Sheridan began working on the series in 2013, using his life experiences in Wyoming and Texas to write one of his first screenplays, after leaving the acting world behind. “Yellowstone” was initially pitched to HBO, who turned the idea down, but Taylor persevered until the show was picked up by Paramount Network as its first scripted series. Taylor was the show’s director, executive producer, and main writer; executive producers included David Glasser, John and Art Linson, and Harvey Weinstein, most of whom worked for The Weinstein Company and Linson Entertainment.

In the midst of the #metoo storm that shook Hollywood up, the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey became too much for Paramount, who announced in October 2017 that the disgraced producer’s name – and that of The Weinstein Company – would be removed from the show’s credits. Despite The Weinstein Company being heavily involved in the production of “Yellowstone”, the president of Paramount Network confirmed during a press tour in January 2018 that the company’s credits or logo would not appear in the series.

Most of the filming, which began in August 2017, took place at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Montana, and Park City, Utah. Utah Film Studios was crucial for the production of the show, as all three of its soundstages were used. Production lasted until December 2017, utilising over 20 locations in Utah and several more in Montana for filming. In August 2020, filming operations moved to Montana, where the production companies rented out an undisclosed location.

Main Cast

The sixth-generation Dutton patriarch is John Dutton III, who operates the family ranch and becomes the Governor of Montana in season five. He started a family with his wife, Evelyn Dutton, and they had a total of four children – Lee, Jamie, Beth, and Kayce. In March 1997, Evelyn’s horse was spooked and fell over while she was riding with two of her children; as a result, she suffered internal bleeding and a spinal injury which led to her death.

The tragedy didn’t stop there, as John’s eldest son, Lee, died while feuding with the Broken Rock Indian Reservation in an attempt to protect the family ranch. He was fatally shot and died after his brother, Kayce, arrived too late to help.

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John took in an orphan boy named Rip Wheeler a few months after Evelyn’s death. Rip had killed his father after the latter brutally murdered his mother and brother; as Rip was essentially alone in the world, John took him in and allowed him to work on the ranch. Eventually, Rip and Beth grew close, became engaged and then married, making him officially part of the Dutton family.

Later on, John’s daughter-in-law Monica was involved in a car accident while driving to the hospital to give birth. Although Monica gave birth to a son, who was named John after his grandfather, he died shortly afterwards due to the complications he suffered during the car accident. The incident haunted John for a long time, and it took him a while to come to terms with his grief.

In his 60s, John was diagnosed with colon cancer after a tumor was detected,  but which was successfully removed after an operation that involved removing two feet of John’s colon. The Dutton patriarch didn’t tell his family so as not to worry them, but he was forced to confirm the news when Governor Perry told his son Jamie.

If you’ve missed any of the Dutton drama, you can catch up on the first two seasons of Yellowstone on the Apple TV app https://apple.co/2XXywAd

Posted by Yellowstone on Saturday, June 13, 2020

John visited the hospital for a CT scan after the operation. Dr. Fielding saw a mass on the scan and wanted to book John an appointment for an endoscopy, but John left the hospital as he had no time. The he began coughing up blood, was hospitalised again, and underwent major surgery. Spooked by his failing health, John took Dr. Fielding’s advice, and began physical therapy.

Despite remaining loyal to Evelyn in his heart, John was lonely and tried to find love a second time. He had a brief but passionate relationship with his childhood acquaintance Lynelle Perry, the former Governor of Montana; the pair had grown up together and shared a lot in common, as she was also a widow. Although the relationship didn’t work out, John and Lynelle remained on amiable terms.

Previously, John was a Livestock Commissioner of the Montana Livestock Association. He became Governor of Montana when Lynelle announced that she was relocating to Washington and wanted Jamie to run for the position. John disagreed with Lynelle’s proposal and announced his own candidacy, eventually winning the election and being appointed as the new governor.

Kayce Dutton was born in April 1990, and was riding with his mother on the fateful day when she was thrown from her horse and died. While his sister Beth went to look for help, a young Kayce tried to stop Evelyn from dying, but his efforts were in vain. For Kayce, it was a traumatizing and unforgettable experience.

Later on, Kayce started his own family and married Monica Long, granddaughter of the Indian elder Felix Long. Coincidentally, her brother Robert was responsible for the death of Kayce’s brother Lee. Kayce and Monica lived in the Broken Rock Indian Reservation and had one son named Tate, who was in his adolescent years when Monica became pregnant again. Of course, the death of his and Monica’s second son was particularly distressing for Kayce, but even more so for Tate, who was in the car with his mother at the time.

Previously, Kayce served in the military as a US Navy SEAL. One of his missions took him to Pakistan, where he was forced to kill a man and his wife and daughter. The man was a highly valuable target who tried to protect himself by using his family members as human shields; although Kayce was forced to shoot him in self-defense, he left military service shortly afterwards.

After returning home, Kayce tried to earn a living as a horseman on the Broken Rock Reservation, taming and caring for wild horses. Later, John gave Kayce a chance to return to the ranch and live in the bunkhouse while working there. Kayce was later appointed as the ranch’s new foreman, a position previously held by his brother Lee and his brother-in-law Rip. Following in his father’s footsteps, Kayce later worked as a Livestock Agent for the Montana Livestock Association.

Kayce’s character has been involved in several near-death situations. While driving with his wife, they witnessed the explosion of a drug lab, and Kayce was forced to shoot a man who had suffered serious wounds, to put him out of his misery. On a separate occasion, he and his son Tate found an abandoned van which contained an abducted girl. Kayce killed the girl’s two abductors and was helped by the girl’s father to sweep the incident under the rug. The remains were later discovered, and Kayce was arrested by the Tribal Police, but explained what had happened and was let go.

Main Cast – Part 2

Next on the list is Beth Dutton, who was born in July 1984. Beth and her brother Jamie shared a close bond and she turned to him for help when she accidentally became pregnant and wanted an abortion. Trying to keep the surgery a secret, Jamie took Beth to the free clinic on the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. However, when he learned that Beth would be sterile after the operation, he chose not to tell her. She was understandably horrified when she learned the news, and their relationship never quite recovered.

Despite being manipulative and emotionally unstable, Beth took a liking to Rip when he moved onto the Dutton ranch. The pair went through various rough patches together but were always drawn to each other in the end and embarked on a relationship. Beth is bisexual and has alluded on multiple occasions to being attracted to Victoria Jenkins, Cassidy Reid, and other women; she also had a brief fling with her lawyer’s girlfriend in season four.

Beth took matters in her own hands and proposed to Rip when her father said it was unlikely that he would ever ask for her hand in marriage. After a bad day at work, Rip was understandably surprised that Beth proposed to him by saying: “The only thing I ask is you outlive me, so I never have to live another day without you.” Rip accepted and they tied the knot impulsively when Beth forced a Father of the Catholic Church to officiate the marriage, which took place at the ranch house. Rip’s best man was his cowboying tutor, Lloyd.

At first, Beth ran the Mergers and Acquisitions department at Schwartz & Meyer and had a good working relationship with the firm’s partners and her assistant. After Lee’s funeral, Beth began handling business activities and legal matters at the ranch when her father asked for help. She was later offered a job by Caroline Warner, CEO of Market Equities and one of her father’s many enemies, and accepted. Beth accepted the job to take revenge on her former boss, Bob Schwartz, and became the president of the company’s Montana division.

While going through a depressive episode, Beth put a gun to her head and almost killed herself as she felt guilty for letting her mother die when she was young. Luckily, she came to her senses and chose not to pull the trigger. In a separate incident, she was attacked by two masked men who were rivals of the Dutton family. Beth’s assistant at the time, Jason, was brutally murdered by the men, who came close to raping and killing Beth themselves. This time, Rip saved the day as Beth had gotten in touch with him and asked him for help just before being attacked.

Last but not least is Jamie Dutton, John and Evelyn’s adoptive son. He was born in Bozeman, Montana, and given the name James Michael Randall by his parents, Garrett and Phyllis. Just three months after Jamie’s birth, Garrett beat Phyllis to death and the newborn was adopted by the kind-hearted Duttons.

Jamie’s love life became messy and entangled when he embarked on an affair with his assistant, Christina. The relationship between them deteriorated when tensions in the workplace became too much for them to handle; after they broke up, Christina discovered that she was pregnant and gave Jamie an ultimatum: stay with the Duttons or start his own family with her.

Shockingly, Jamie stayed with the Duttons, whom he thought were his biological family at the time. The truth was later revealed to him, and he distanced himself from John and the rest of the clan to build a bond with his biological father. Christina learned about this and chose to reunite with Jamie and introduce him to his son, which she chose not to do previously because she loathed the Duttons.

Jamie graduated from Harvard Law School and began working as an attorney almost straight away. Eventually, he would help John out with the ranch’s legal matters. Governor Perry and Attorney General Stewart asked Jamie to run for the Attorney General elections; against John’s wishes, Jamie ran and even made John look bad to garner himself more votes.

Before the elections, he changed his mind and withdrew, unable to stand the pressure of the conflict with John. Jamie was appointed as the new Livestock Commissioner, but later Governor Perry pulled strings to make him Attorney General, also convincing John to let his son have the job he really wanted.

Despite being seemingly unoffensive, Jamie has a dark side and killed Sarah Nguyen, a reporter who interviewed him during the elections and published information that he didn’t want her to. After murdering the reporter in a fit of pique, Jamie made her death look like a kayaking accident, with help from his brother-in-law Rip.

Sarah’s death began weighing heavily on Jamie’s conscience, and he took one of John’s firearms and went into the fields to shoot himself. John noticed he was missing a gun and caught up with Jamie in time to stop him from committing suicide. It remains to be seen whether Sarah’s murder will catch up to Jamie and lead to his arrest and incarceration, but it’s unlikely, given that it occurred in season two of the show.

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