Caroline Warner may be coming for Beth and Jamie may betray his family again, but both will pale in comparison to the real threat come Yellowstone Season 5.
As we look back on Season 4, one thing becomes clear: there’s an immense amount of unfinished business ahead for the Duttons. Much was settled (see: the deaths of Roarke Morris and Garrett Randall), but so much remains untapped.
By Season 4’s finale, it looks as if Caroline Warner is poised to become the biggest threat to the Yellowstone. She’ll be a major player, to be sure, but mostly in the storyline of a single character: Beth Dutton. As Caroline told her, Beth “made it personal.”
This does, however, have larger implications for Beth’s family, as Caroline pledges to “pave over” her father’s entire ranch. But we’ve heard this threat uttered a dozen times before on Yellowstone. It can’t be the main threat of Season 5, because, well, Taylor Sheridan is thankfully a better storyteller than that.
There will be plenty of pushback from Jamie Dutton, too, to be sure. Now under the Dutton thumb once more, Jamie is poised to do what he does best: butt heads with Beth. But again, this is central to the Dutton daughter’s troubles.
Which leaves us with the true threat heading into Season 5 – one the show promised us all the way back in Season 4, Episode 3.
‘Yellowstone’ Season 5: Broken Rock vs Dutton Ranch
Many have come for the Duttons and their land, but their feud with Broken Rock Reservation remains the spine of the story. No matter how far the script strays, it always comes back to the struggle between the descendants of settlers (the Duttons) and the indigenous peoples of Broken Rock.
In the eyes of an early tyrannical American government, Indigenous land claimed by the Duttons belonged to them, period. But this went against everything the original inhabitants of this continent believed – and still does to this day.
Season 4 may have wrapped many things up, but it only hinted at the true battle for the Yellowstone – and it’s Broken Rock vs Dutton Ranch.
In Season 4, Episode 3, Thomas Rainwater and Mo deliver assassin “party planner” Checkers to John personally. Yet as they do, Rainwater makes it clear to John Dutton (in a very straightforward manner) that this is not a peace offering.
‘We still have chess to play, you and me…’
“We still have chess to play, you and me,” Rainwater tells John. The line is made all the more impactful by their mutual respect for one another. These two men stand on opposite sides of the chessboard in every sense but remain bonded. And this is precisely what makes Rainwater the perfect adversary for John.
In turn, t’s also impossible to paint Thomas Rainwater and his Broken Rock kin as villains. Rainwater is the opposite side of John’s coin: both fighting to preserve what they believe to be theirs; each willing to do anything fighting for it. And as Kayce Dutton shows through his own Season 4 arc with the people of Broken Rock, we all have far more in common than we do differences.
As Episode 3 promised, this conflict is sure to come to a point as the main threat in Yellowstone Season 5. So much is left unanswered, including the revelations of indigenous burials on Dutton land. Much of Season 4’s storyline would revolve around Broken Rock, in fact. Kayce, specifically, told is there is much more to come with his wife’s family. And we can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.