‘Yellowstone’ Fan Says Jimmy Hurdstrom is the Best Character on the Show, Internet Loses It

by Jon D. B.
Jefferson White as Jimmy Hurdstrom in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

Is Jimmy a triumphant underdog story? Or the undeniable weak link? If it’s wildly divisive characters you’re looking for, then Yellowstone‘s your show.

Beth. Jamie. Walker. Monica. Kayce. Even John Dutton himself. In the context of Yellowstone, each of these names sparks either adoration or hatred depending on who hears them. There’s rarely any in-between, either. But there’s one name that bests them all in this love/hate department, and that would be young Jimmy Hurdstrom.

“There are sharks and minnows in this world, Jimmy, and if you don’t know which one you are, then you ain’t a f*cking shark…”

Rip to Jimmy, Yellowstone Season 1

Rip’s infamous quote above sums up how some still feel about this unreliable methhead-turned-cowboy character. Others embrace his seasons-spanning character arc as the most successful example of personal growth on Yellowstone show, period. There are valid points on both sides, but the gloves don’t come off until a blanket, hot-take statement is made. Something along the lines of:

“Jimmy is the best character on the show. Fight me.”

So says the hilariously-named Chickens1 over on Reddit’s ever-active Yellowstone board. “His character arc is just phenomenal. Kayce is running second, but no one comes close to Jimmy,” he continues.

As with most internet statements, however, good ol’ Chickens1 doesn’t offer much of anything in the way of supporting his own argument. Instead, he fires off an opinion, then leaves the internet to explode.

“I’ll bite,” fellow Redditor researchercec replies. “Jimmy became a seasoned cowboy awfully quick… A little too quick if you ask me. And that miraculous recovery from his neck/spine injury also came about unbelievably fast. He also seems to fall in and out of love in the blink of an eye. Jimmy’s character is meh at best for me.”

Jefferson White as Jimmy in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

“I know, right?” Olegeezer adds. “What’s all the attention on his character? We did a re-watch of last season in prep for upcoming season…. Had totally forgot all the attention on [Jimmy]. Ugh already. I mean come on, the girls fight over him?”

This all may be “true” in the eyes of some fans, Chickens1 responds, but the Redditor sticks to his guns. Sort of. “He’s not even my favorite character,” he reveals, focusing instead on the fat that Jimmy’s “character arc is phenomenal” and “by far the best on Yellowstone.”

Does Jimmy Deserve all the Hate from ‘Yellowstone’ Fans? Not Really, No.

In the context of our favorite Neo-Western, Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White) absolutely does go through one of the most dramatic character arcs. But the same can also be said, in this Outsider’s opinion, of Jamie Dutton (West Bentley) and a handful of others.

In the case of Jimmy, Redditor sandpiper2319 “absolutely” agrees. “Some people really don’t pay attention to the particularities of the show and in this case it’s characters. He was a drug addict in the first episode and a cowboy that is respected by ranch owners in the last episodes. Even John was impressed with what he accomplished.”

All too true. If we’re judging a fictional character in-universe, then we’ve got to take all the fictional plot points into account. And by the end of Yellowstone Season 4, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is absolutely impressed with how far Jimmy has come; even going as far as to wipe all debt from his rodeo-caused medical bills clean.

In that season’s finale, Jimmy has returned from his hard work on the 6666, and he’s come home to repay his debts in full to the patriarchal Dutton. But after seeing and hearing how much Jimmy has grown, John replies:

“The only one you owe is yourself, Jim.”

(Photo Credit: Paramount Network Press, Yellowstone Season 4)

And it’s that one word – that one change in name – that had this Outsider rooting for Jimmy for the first time in a long time. We’ve spent a lot of time watching Jimmy make horrible decisions; too much by some fans’ account. But to see him keep his endearing nature while also maturing into a capable man simultaneously was a welcomed highlight of Season 4.

And this is also exactly what John Dutton pinpoints when he calls the young man “Jim” instead of “Jimmy.” This simple change in moniker by a respected elder carries heaps of plot in one word, and it was handled with the proper timing and care after a long, four-season arc. That’s a rarity in storytelling these days, and a payoff Taylor Sheridan made sure his character earned through literal years of “live and learn.”

Keep in mind, too, that Jimmy is set to headline spinoff 6666. The amount of screen time it took to set this up in Season 4 may have been egregious, but hopefully that show will be worth the sacrifice. And even if it wasn’t, fans who aren’t too fond of Jimmy may welcome his departure from the show proper.

Regardless, there’s no denying the talent of Jefferson White, who couldn’t be more different from his troubled character. It’s White’s tremendous work ethic and dedication, coupled with his own intelligence and talent, that has managed to make his troubled Jimmy one of the most engaging characters on television, and have the top creator in television today place so much faith in an up-and-coming actor.

Jefferson White will return as Jimmy Hurdstrom in Yellowstone Season 5. A two-hour premiere event kicks things off Sunday, November 13 at 8 PM ET, only on Paramount Network.