‘Yellowstone’ Season 4: Everything to Know

by Jon D. B.

From every surprise appearance to tiny details you might have missed, here’s everything you need to know now that Yellowstone Season 4 has wrapped up.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD: What You Need to Know About ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

The wait was a long one for Yellowstone fans, but Season 4 finally began airing on November 7 with a two-episode premiere. This long-overdue bombshell dropped with a surprise trailer back in August of 2021. And it was one hell of a ride from start to finish.

Yellowstone Season 4 picks up right where Season 3’s finale left off. From Monica and Tate getting caught up in the aftermath of Kayce’s shooting, to Rip Wheeler finding John Dutton left for dead in the middle of the road – the stakes couldn’t have been higher, as the original trailer shows. And below the trailer, you’ll find only confirmed information on Season 4 straight from Paramount Network and Outsider.

Streaming Season 4 Will Be Available on NBC’s Peacock, and Can Be Purchased on Amazon Prime

Unfortunately, Season 4 is not expected to air on Paramount+ for a long time. But Paramount Network has confirmed that Season 4 will be available on NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service in 2022. For more details, head to our When Will ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Be Available on Peacock?

Season 4 is already available for purchase on Amazon Prime where Seasons 1-3 are available. You will not be able to watch Season 4 episodes, however, until after they originally air on Paramount Network (a cable service channel).

Outside of this, the only way to stream Yellowstone Season 4 episodes live was with a cable subscription or internet TV service, such as YouTube TV.

Returning Players: Which Actors Rocked Season 4?

Will Patton as Garrett Randall. (Photo Credit: Yellowstone, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

The entire core Yellowstone cast returned for Season 4. Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, all gave the performances of their careers in a rollercoaster of emotions.

But there were a few surprises in store, too. For starters, Will Patton signed on as a Season 4 series regular and took on a major role as Season 4’s main antagonist. His villainous Garrett Randall, a.k.a Jamie Dutton’s biological father, turned out to be a true prison kingpin; pulling the strings behind the biggest threats to the Duttons outside of Market Equities.

In addition, Taylor Sheridan himself entered the fray in a big way as Travis Wheatley. His dealings with John Dutton set up series spinoff 6666, and took Jimmy Hurdstrom down to Texas to kick off that show. Jimmy leaves the Dutton Ranch – his home – in the Season 4 finale to begin a permanent Texas residency, which is likely where 6666 will pick up Yellowstone‘s story.

Character Deaths: Who Died in Season 4?

While all the Duttons (thankfully) survived Season 4, several episodes brought shocking deaths. Most notably, the premiere and finale were bookended by the violent exits of two primary villains.

In one of the best deaths in television history, Season 4, Episode 1’s end sees Rip approach Market Equities Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) while the Season 3 villain is fly-fishing. Roarke’s angling goes from peaceful to deadly real quick, however, as Rip flings a diamondback rattlesnake from his cooler out onto Roarke’s face. The viper latches on, flailing with Morris in the creek. In a matter of minutes, Roarke is lying dead in the forest; foaming from the mouth as Rip presses his boot into his chest.

For more on this, check out our Exclusive: Viper Expert Weighs in on Yellowstone Season 4 Snake Scene.

( Josh Holloway as Roarke Morris, Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom) (Raphael GAILLARDE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Then, in the final throws of the Season 4 finale, Garrett Randall (Will Patton) finally gets his, too. His biological son, Jamie, pulls up to his ranch and confronts the manipulative convict. Garrett tries one last time to mold his son to his liking. But Jamie does what he should’ve done from the start: Jamie shoots Randall in the head as the old-timer sits by the creek on their new ranch. And just like that, the villain is gone for good.

Season 4 also saw the death of a new character, Checkers, a man integral in orchestrating the assassination attempts on the Duttons. John Dutton himself took Checkers to the train station; instigating an old-fashioned Western shootout with the outlaw. Needless to say, John handily won.

Beforehand, Kayce, Rip, and Lloyd took out the remainder of Checker’s militia in a brutal Episode 2 montage.

New Blood: ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4’s Cast Additions

Yellowstone Season 4 delivered some riveting new characters, as well.

  • Jacki Weaver plays CEO of Market Equities Caroline Warner. As a recurring cast member, Weaver takes a big role in the company’s strategy with the Duttons and their land. Audiences have seen her in Silver Linings Playbook and Stoker, among many film and guest television appearances. An October teaser focusing on her also does an excellent job of showcasing her prime villain.
  • Finn Little also joins the cast as Carter, “a youth reminiscent of a young Rip (Cole Hauser) whom the Duttons gave a home. Here, Beth decides the ranch is the best place to teach the youth how to be a man,” per Deadline. As audiences expected, it does not go smoothly. Little’s addition takes away screen time from Brecken Merrill’s Tate Dutton, but makes for excellent character development between Rip, Beth, and John all the way through.
  • Piper Perabo joined the cast as Summer Higgins. Summer is a protestor from Portland, and is against the state-funded police force in place to protect industrial farming and animal slaughter. She is also a recurring cast member, and audiences will know her from her breakout role as Violet Sanford in Coyote Ugly. She does not appear in Yellowstone Season 4 until halfway through the season. Her relationship with John and Beth, however, proved pivotal.
  • Kathryn Kelly also joined as 6666 Ranch vet Emily. The Nashville actress’ character struck up a key relationship with Jimmy, becoming his fiance before the season’s end.

Cameos: Season 4’s Biggest Surprise Appearances

Yellowstone also brought some fantastic guest appearances in the form of cowboying legends and 1883 stars.

As Yellowstone would announce on their official Twitter the day of the episode, “That is THE Buster Welch!”

As the show itself would state, Buster Welch is “One of the three Gods of Texas.”

In kind, our first look at Tim McGraw’s ancestral Dutton, James Dutton, would come weeks before 1883‘s premiere. The country megastar made his debut as the great-grandfather to John Dutton (Kevin Costner) in Yellowstone Season 4 flashbacks.

McGraw would appear alongside his wife, Faith Hill, in the later flashbacks as matriarch Margaret Dutton. Within, she imparts wisdom on her two sons (John Sr. and Spencer) as a near-death James returns from a run-in with horse thieves.

But the biggest surprise appearances came in the form of long lost Yellowstone characters. Both the mother of Jamie Dutton’s child, Christina, and the child himself would appear.

Former Dutton ranch hand and Broken Rock Reservation resident Avery re-entered the fray, too. Season 4 would go a long way in surprising fans with the revelations above. Avery looks set to take on a bigger role in Kayce’s future as well, as she appears prominently in his vision quest at the end of Season 4.

Flashbacks: Time to Jump on the ‘1883’ Bandwagon

Photo Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2021 MTV Entertainment Studios.

As noted, prequel series 1883 arrived during Yellowstone Season 4. The series features country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill along with Sam Elliott, LaMonica Garrett, and Billy Bob Thornton.

Flashbacks to the 1883 Duttons also provided us with our first looks at two new Dutton ancestors, John and Spencer. These two boys are the younger siblings of Isabel May’s 1883 lead, Elsa Dutton.

The first episode aired directly after Yellowstone on Dec. 19. And by looking at the premiere TV ratings, the show was an absolute smash hit with audiences. While the first episode managed to draw in millions, the show is moving over completely to Paramount+ for Episode 2, and all others thereafter.

‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Premiere Switched to November 7, 2021 After Multiple Delays

It was a long wait for all of the above, too. While Paramount originally toted a familiar summertime release for Season 4, several factors led to its delay. For one, the COVID-19 Pandemic held up nearly every production on record, with Yellowstone being no exception. This, combined with Paramount’s restructuring with CBSViacom, led to the network adjusting to fall of 2021

As such, Yellowstone would return for Season 4 on November 7, 2021 on Paramount Network with a two-episode premiere. Fall is traditionally when most tentpole franchises make their return or debut. With this in mind – and with Yellowstone becoming cable television’s biggest drama – Paramount would milk Season 4 for all its worth to riveting results and record-breaking numbers.

Every ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Episode Recap & Title

For detailed recaps of every episode, Outsider has breakdowns of each Season 4 entry available:

Now the wait for Season 5 begins. For all the latest, head on over to Outsider’s ‘Yellowstone’ TV: When Is Season 5? next.