‘Yellowstone’ Creator Speaks on ‘Code’ the Duttons Live By

by Jennifer Shea
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On Yellowstone, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is by turns ruthless and kindhearted. And fans have sometimes struggled to square his cold-blooded killings with his acts of mercy. But it all makes sense to Dutton and, to some extent, to his children, who in one way or another are all trying to live by the same code.

Much of the dramatic tension on Yellowstone stems from the conflicts that inevitably arise when Dutton confronts the modern world, which does not recognize his code and frequently works to subvert it. Whether it’s Market Equities, the Beck brothers (Terry Serpico and Neal McDonough) or a transplant developer (Danny Huston), modern-day interlopers always seem to clash with the Duttons’ way of life. It’s a way of life that has been passed down through generations.

In a new interview on the official Yellowstone podcast, series co-creator Taylor Sheridan spoke out about that clash of codes. He said the Duttons have a moral code that guides their actions on the show, and their antagonists are people with different or nonexistent moral codes who often intrude on their way of life.

Yellowstone Creator Explains the Duttons’ Code

“In Yellowstone, you have a group that is attempting to hold onto a code that they have lived by for a long time as other people without a code come in,” Sheridan explained on the podcast. “Or at least, without their code.”

Codes also play a role in Sheridan’s new Yellowstone spinoff 1883. There’s “the incompatibility of well-meaning people with codes that they truly believe in and seek to honor. You can have good people, really trying their best to protect their families, and those can come into conflict with each other and be mutually exclusive, to a certain extent,” as podcast host and Jimmy actor Jefferson White put it.

“Yeah. Yeah,” Sheridan agreed.  

EP Says Show Is ‘Still Maturing’

With Sheridan saying he can see the show lasting for about six seasons, is Yellowstone starting to wind down? Not by a long shot, insiders say. David Glasser is an executive producer on Yellowstone. And in a recent interview with Variety, Glasser hinted that Sheridan has plenty of twists and turns still up his sleeve as Season 4 ends and production on Season 5 prepares to resume.

“It’s the prime of the show,” Glasser said. “I think the show is still maturing, and there’s still a lot of story to tell. I know with Taylor, he’s got a lot to say and a lot to write. He’s deep into Season 5 of Yellowstone now. He’s got some incredible ideas that he shared that I think audiences are going to be really excited about.”

At the end of Season 4, the Duttons are facing their most determined and deep-pocketed nemesis yet in the form of Market Equities. As Beth (Kelly Reilly) girds for battle with CEO Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver) and John tries to save Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) from the penal system, Kayce (Luke Grimes) confronts a crisis in his marriage and Jamie (Wes Bentley) puts himself under Beth’s thumb by killing his biological father (Will Patton) at her direction. There’s plenty of suspense to go around, so fans will be at the edge of their seats when Yellowstone’s next season premieres sometime next autumn.

Outsider.com