‘Yellowstone’ Season 4: Major Character Dies in Season Premiere

by Jon D. B.

Well we didn’t see that coming! What a way to die. One major character just bit the dust in Yellowstone‘s Season 4 premiere. And it’s not who you think.


While fans have been debating over the death of Beth, John, and Kayce Dutton for over a year, Yellowstone did what it does best and threw us a whopping curveball. Or a rattlesnake, more aptly.

In a shock ending to the Episode 1 premiere, a peaceful scene turns deadly real quick. Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) is participating in his favorite hobby: fly fishing. It’s right here that Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) shows with a cooler.

“This yours?” he asks Roarke. The Market Equities bigwig does his best to deter Rip, but we know there’s no such thing in Yellowstone. In a shock reveal, Rip enters the creek, flings open the cooler into Roarke’s face, and out flies an angry diamondback. The snake latches onto Roarke’s face, delivering a fatal bite.

“Won’t be long now,” Rip whispers.

Like the coward he is, Roarke runs off into the forest. But Rip follows. Then, as soon as it began, it’s over. Roarke Morris, foaming at the mouth, breathes his last with Rip’s boot on his chest.

Shock Death Changes Everything for ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

With Roarke Morris gone, the Dutton’s have eliminated the man behind their initial attacks. Fans will recall Roarke was the one to send Wade Morrow and his son, Clint, after the Yellowstone ranchers. After mowing down Teeter and Colby, the ranch hands band together under Rip to hunt down Wade and Clint and end them cowboy style.

But Roarke was left alive. As Season 4 picks up right after the previous season, it makes sense that Rip and John would go after the man behind attacking their own so soon. And they did exactly that.

While many of us expected Roarke to be an orchestrator in Beth’s bombing or the shootings of her father and brother, we won’t be hearing it from his own lips. Josh Holloway has been a celebrated presence on the show, so to see him exit so abruptly is a true shock.

This does, however, allow Yellowstone the big shock they needed for their Season 4 premiere without losing any core Duttons. It’s a fascinating shock-reveal that comes with one of the most creative deaths on the show so far. And we can’t wait to see what comes next.

Yellowstone Season 4 continues every Sunday night on Paramount Network.