‘Yellowstone’: How Jimmy’s Growth Over Season 4 Sets Up Spinoff ‘6666’

by Jon D. B.
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It all leads to Texas: The Yellowstone franchise is gearing up a showcase for Jefferson White’s Jimmy via spinoff 6666, and Season 4 went a long way in setting up his ‘hero’s journey.’ Be warned of major spoilers for both Yellowstone and 6666 ahead.

If you’ve finished Yellowstone Season 4, then you know how much screen time was devoted to setting up Jimmy’s adventures in Texas. Jefferson White’s lovable criminal-turned-cowboy received more character development this past season than the Duttons proper; truly. This has been a point of contention for many Yellowstone fans. If 6666 blows us away, however, then it’ll all have been worth it.

‘6666’: Jimmy’s Future is ‘Big Business’

“We’re at a real, working ranch where they do this every day,” White explained to his co-stars in a recent Yellowstone: Behind the Story. “This is big business.”

Big business, indeed. And as Taylor Sheridan’s Travis Wheatley explained to Jimmy early in Yellowstone Season 4, if the 6666 ranch can’t make a cowboy out of the young man – then nowhere or no one can. And this is exactly how Season 4 set up spinoff 6666‘s main character.

“Roping has been one of those things we’ve watched these guys do for years,” White continued. “And it has been such a journey to try and catch up to the sort of bare minimum in order to participate.”

“These guys” are the lifelong cowboys cast on Yellowstone that have carried much of the show’s authenticity; Lloyd’s Forrie J. Smith, Jake Ream, and co-creator Taylor Sheridan himself, to name a few.

And as White says, he spent months learning how to cowboy far beyond anything he’s done in the previous three seasons of Yellowstone for his 6666 arc. It’s a good thing, too, as the show is to feature Jimmy as the connective tissue to Yellowstone proper. Ryan Bingham’s Walker will also head for 6666, as will Taylor Sheridan as horsemaster Travis. But if Season 4 showed us anything, it’s that Jimmy is who Paramount is banking on to pull the Yellowstone audience over.

‘Yellowstone’: The Ballad of Jimmy Hurdstrom

For four seasons, Jimmy has been a fixture of the #1 show on cable television. We first met young Hurdstrom in the pilot, and he’s been in nearly every episode since. And through it all, we’ve learned that Jimmy has a great heart, but his sense of responsibility – his manhood, if you will – needed serious work.

Jimmy was on the verge of life in jail, but John Dutton and Rip Wheeler gave him a second chance, thanks to a far more respected Hurdstrom grandfather. And after Rip branded him on the spot in his own trailer, it became clear from the start that it was the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch for Jimmy or nowhere.

In the years since, Jimmy has fallen in love twice, made the family he never had through true friends, and even discovered a talent for rodeo. Or so he thought.

All of the above would lead to Jimmy breaking his word to John Dutton after becoming indebted to the Yellowstone kingpin. But because of Jimmy’s family and his brand, John gives him another chance. One last chance down in Texas.

John Dutton Rebrands Jimmy as ‘Jim’

And thankfully, he comes through. After a few hard months in Texas, Jimmy returns to the Yellowstone with Travis. He’s home to repay his debts in full to John. He’ll work for the rest of his life to do so, he says. But after seeing and hearing how much Jimmy has grown, John replies:

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

With this one simple word, John declares Jimmy a man. And it’s about damn time. We’ve spent three seasons watching Jimmy make the worst decisions. To see him keep his endearing nature (courtesy of Jefferson White) while maturing into a capable man was truly a highlight of Yellowstone Season 4. And it’s exactly what gives us hope for 6666 as a series.

It may seem like Jimmy’s ‘hero’s journey’ was completed in Season 4. But as anyone who’s been through hell and back knows: there’s no such thing as endings—only new beginnings. And for Jimmy, that new beginning is 6666.

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