Yellowstone Season 4 brought us prime John Dutton, showcasing both the patriarch’s softer side and ruthless nature through Kevin Costner.
There’s never been any question that Kevin Costner’s a force to be reckoned with. Yellowstone, however, has cemented him as a true Western icon for entirely new generations. And Season 4 brought us peak patriarch with some of the best John Dutton scenes of Yellowstone‘s entire run. Let’s break them down.
‘Sooner or later this planet is going to shed us like dead skin. And it’ll be our fault‘: Summer Higgins Brings Out Peak John Dutton
When we first meet Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) mid-season, the protester is attempting to take down JD’s “toxic male fantasy,” but it doesn’t work. John delivers one of his most-quoted lines of the show’s history in response:
“Ever plough a field to plant the quinoa or sorghum or whatever the hell it is you eat? You kill everything on the ground and under it, you kill every snake every frog, mouse, mole, worm, you kill them all. So I guess the only real question is how cute does an animal have to be before you care if it dies to feed you?”John Dutton to Summer Higgins, Yellowstone Season 4
Initially, John moves to have Summer incarcerated, and to a holding cell she goes. In a shocking twist, however, he moves to clear his conscience and bails her out of jail. John pays her way out in full, asking only one thing in return: Summer is to accompany him to his ranch – another completely unexpected move.
The sequence that follows shows these two have far more in common than viewers ever imagined; especially in their views of humanity’s role on the planet.
“Sooner or later this planet’s going to shed us like dead skin. And it’ll be our fault,” John tells Summer.
This catches her off-guard. “I’m surprised you can see that from here,” she replies.
“You can see it from anywhere, Summer.”
John Dutton: Montana’s New Governor?
“When governors drop by unannounced, it’s either real good or real bad,” John Dutton growls as Governor Perry (Wendy Moniz) makes her Yellowstone return via Season 4. The two take a walk through the Dutton Ranch at Perry’s request, leading to Perry’s own big reveal: she’s running for senate.
But this means she wants Jamie Dutton to run for governor. Something John Dutton literally chokes on. “He’s the devil we know, John. I’ll take my chances,” Perry tells him.
To combat this, John delivers one of Season 4’s biggest bombshells: he is going to run for Governor himself. With Perry’s endorsement. And it’s all to make sure his adopted son doesn’t. “He will destroy everything we love,” he tells the governor. And John won’t have it.
Delivering his first speech to Montana as a gubernatorial candidate, John declares:
“There is a war being waged against our way of life. That is progress in today’s world. If it’s progress you want, then don’t vote for me. I am the opposite of progress. I am the wall it bashes against. And I will not be the one who breaks.”John Dutton, Yellowstone Season 4
Bold move, sir. Bold move.
John vs. Beth vs. Summer: Breakfast Fiasco
If there’s one scene Yellowstone fans will never forget, however, it’s this one. Viewers spent much of Season 4’s first half waiting for Summer and Beth (Kelly Reilly) to meet. And when they did, it did not disappoint:
Another day, another failed Dutton meal. In this season 4 highlight, John (Kevin Costner), Beth (Kelly Reilly), and Summer (Piper Perabo) can’t make it through the first meal of the day. Yellowstone airs Sundays at 8/7c on Paramount Network.Yellowstone
Absolute classic television, right there.
John Dutton Dubs Jimmy a Man, Calling Him ‘Jim’ for the First Time
After a raucous brawl between Jimmy’s two loves rocks the bunkhouse, Jimmy (Jefferson White) is forced to tell Mia (Eden Brolin) he took her at her word and moved on. His way of moving on, apparently, was to ask his new girlfriend of a week, Emily (Kathryn Kelly) to marry him.
John Dutton makes his way into the conversation as it ends, and greets Jimmy “back home.” The young criminal-turned-cowboy doesn’t waste any time in telling his boss he aims to pay off every single bit of his debt (for John paying off his immeasurable rodeo-accident medical bills), but John smiles and tells his ranch hand he doesn’t owe him a thing.
“Texas was good for you, Jim,” John replies. And with this one simple change from Jimmy to Jim, John Dutton declares Jim
my Hurdstrom a man.
‘I Will Put This Table Through the F***ing Wall!’
As Season 4 wraps up, John is finally finding out his daughter has been playing beyond dirty. She’s the reason Summer wound up arrested (again). But this time the protester (and love interest for John) is facing serious jail time – decades to life – all because Beth put her up to causing some serious trouble.
John tells his daughter to come to the dining room for a little chat. She attempts to act unfazed, but as Rip (Cole Hauser) tells her by turning her own line on her: “There’s always a bigger bear, darlin’.” And her father is absolutely the bigger bear.
Beth attempts to bicker her father down. “I fight standing,” she tells him. So John rises from the dining room table, telling his daughter if she wants a fight “I will put this table through the f*cking wall!” It’s a scene that blew anyone with an intimidating father right out the water (including this Outsider), creating another John Dutton moment via Yellowstone Season 4 fans will never forget.