How That ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Premiere Death Completely Dooms John Dutton

by Jon D. B.
Yellowstone Season 5 Premiere. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

The prophecy of 1883 and Kayce’s vision in Yellowstone Season 4 are intrinsically tied, and that heartbreaking Season 5 premiere death proves they’re coming true. But first, beware of major spoilers for both shows ahead.

For Yellowstone‘s entire run, Tate Dutton (Brecken Merrill) has been the only grandchild of John Dutton by blood. This comes with an immense amount of pressure; something his parents, Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Monica (Kelsey Asbille), have tried their hardest to free him of. But Season 5 is set to change entirely as Kayce and Monica realize they must fully embrace their Dutton legacy if their family is to survive.

Sadly, this becomes clear as the anticipated Yellowstone Season 5 premiere ends on a heartbreaking note. After a car accident, Tate and his pregnant mother are in the hospital recovering as their Dutton family arrives.

Tate: I had a brother. For an hour, anyway.

John: A brother, huh?

Tate: John.

John: John?

Tate: They named him John.

Yellowstone Season 5 Premiere

The episode ends with the death of a baby boy we never meet. A baby boy named John Dutton.

This is everything that Yellowstone‘s patriarch, John (Kevin Costner) has ever wanted. His second biological grandchild would have been the succession to his name infamous name. A potential John Dutton IV to follow him. And it’s all gone in the same instant it became a reality.

Just as importantly, it shows Kayce and Monica’s willingness to finally (and fully) embrace their Dutton family legacy. Naming their son as the fourth John Dutton sent a clear message of unity with John; something their family sorely needed.

Now, the death of John Dutton IV a mere hour into his life is set to damn this family instead. But it is a damning that was foretold all the way back in 1883, and one Kayce saw for himself in the final throws of Yellowstone Season 4.

The Prophecy of ‘1883’ is Unfurling

In the events of prequel 1883, we watch as the death of Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) chooses the founding spot of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. This is only made possible by the guidance and granting of Spotted Eagle (Graham Greene), who tells her father, James Dutton (Tim McGraw), they may inhabit the area with his people’s blessing.

Pictured: Graham Greene as Spotted Eagle and Tim McGraw as James of the Paramount+ original series 1883. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2022 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Spotted Eagle offers the Duttons a piece of “paradise” in a nearby valley. A place where they can lay Elsa to rest and settle along side her. A place that will become Montana.

But this is only a temporary granting. No man should ever “own” land forever. As such, Spotted Eagle tells James that in seven generations, his Indigenous people will rise up to retake this land he is granting to the Duttons.

“In seven generations they can have it,” James says gratefully.

Kayce’s ‘Yellowstone’ Vision is Coming True: ‘I saw the end of us’

As Yellowstone Season 5 begins, we’re witnessing this prophecy unfold. Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and Rip (Cole Hauser) are unable to have children of their own. Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) has a son, but he is not of Dutton blood. He will also, surely, be a product of Jamie’s banishment from Dutton goodwill.

So after that tragic Season 5 premiere death of John Dutton IV, Tate is the only seventh generation Dutton, by blood, once more. And all signs point to Kayce’s vision in the Yellowstone Season 4 finale coming true.

Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

“I saw the end of us,” he told Monica after his Broken Rock vision quest. The end he saw is brought on by the end of the John Dutton legacy via his second son’s death, the complete turmoil of his family created by patriarch John Dutton, and the rising up of the Indigenous Broken Rock people to reclaim their ancestral land. Just as Spotted Eagle foretold.

As for how this will all play out, we have a whopping 14 episodes in Yellowstone Season 5 to watch. The Duttons will return next Sunday, Nov. 20 with Episode 3, exclusively on Paramount Network.