John Dutton Is Leaving the ‘Yellowstone’ Ranch in Season 5: Here’s Why

by Jon D. B.
Kevin Costner as John Dutton, Yellowstone key art. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

John Dutton has proven time and again that there’s nothing he won’t do to save the ranch,” Kevin Costner begins of his Yellowstone patriarch.

“He’s more than ready to make a decision that doesn’t land popularly,” Costner adds, his commentary peppered throughout the new ‘Inside Yellowstone Season 5′ featurette. Alongside, we hear his character growl: “You’re all fired. I’ll advise myself on policy” to the pre-existing gubernatorial cabinet of Yellowstone‘s Montana. If anything, the rancher’s first days as the new Governor of Montana are going about as we’d expect.

But there’s a lot we didn’t anticipate about this new life for John, too. Chief among them? His new residence and the consequence thereof: John Dutton is leaving The Yellowstone.

As is custom in our American reality, the majority of U.S. states have an official Governor’s Mansion, or governor’s residence. 45, in fact. And the majority of U.S. governors reside within the official residences. A few states don’t have mansions, however, and others do not require their governors to live on the premises, either. But Yellowstone‘s latest featurette tells us John is about to be gone from his home for the first time in his children’s lives, and it’s all because of his shiny new job.

“When’s he comin’ back?” Rip (Cole Hauser) asks his now-wife, Beth (Kelly Reilly) with a growl within.

“Mmm… Four years?” Beth smirks. All Rip can do is chuckle to himself while we put together the puzzle pieces.

Four years is how long a state governor’s term lasts. They can run for reelection after, but something tells us one term will be enough for John Dutton. Especially considering the position is about to turn him into the one thing he hates most (a politician) while taking him away from the one thing he loves most (his ranch).

With Governor John Dutton Gone, Beth & Rip Hold the Keys to the Kingdom

It’s all a cruel twist of fate – and fruitful twist – from Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan.

“Her father just wants to be a rancher. He certainly doesn’t want to be a politician,” Kelly Reilly adds of their Duttons. But as a result of his fate, the Beth Dutton actress says “We get to see a lot more of the political world in Montana, and what that means.”

“It’s sets us up for a very interesting year for Beth and I,” Hauser laughs of Rip’s on-screen relationship. His comments reveal an even more fruitful source of entertainment for audiences. With John Dutton off his ranch for four whole years, none other than Beth and Rip – newly-married residents of the main Dutton lodge – will hold the keys to the kingdom.

Come Yellowstone Season 5, we’re set to see these two explosive love birds take on the “largest ranch in the contiguous United States” without John for the first time. It’s a path that’s sure to push them both to their limits. And we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Rip, Beth, and John Dutton all return with Yellowstone Season 5 this November 13, exclusively on Paramount Network. For more from the cast, check out the full featurette above.