‘Yellowstone’ Season 4: Why Tim McGraw Flashback Scene Could Be a Game Changer

by Jon D. B.
(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

Yellowstone Season 4, Episode 2’s big reveal of Native American burials on sought-after Montana land is about to come back in a big way.

Yellowstone Season 4 may not be as action-packed as some were hoping, but it has no shortage of drama. The stakes have been raised considerably by Episode 7, “Keep the Wolves Close,” too. With John Dutton running for Governor of Montana (potentially against his adopted son and infamous black sheep, Jamie), and Beth learning the true extent of Market Equities plans for Park City from the inside, things are escalating seemingly out of control.

To combat this, Beth is putting on her best puppet master hat and pulling some serious strings. She forces her father’s hand into genuinely pursuing the gubernatorial race. And this comes right after doing the same to Summer Higgins’ protesting circle, pitting them directly against Market Equities big plans for Montana.

But neither of these game plans are a guarantee. In fact, they both feel destined to fail. And it’s all due to that oft-overlooked flashback in Season 4, Episode 2.

‘Yellowstone’ Has to Circle Back to that Immense Indigenous Reveal

Within, Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner and Thomas Rainwater are present on land planned for her Park City & airport empire right when a construction worker discovers a Native American burial site. It halts construction by state law.

Yet this holds even more significance due to the flashback scene to 1881 prior. Within, we see John Dutton’s ancestor, James Dutton (Tim McGraw of 1883) meeting the Indigenous tribesmen who will bury this very body. Or so we’re led to believe.

This has to be the case, however; otherwise, both scenes were either a complete waste or grave editorial mistakes. Neither of these explanations, though, are likely. It’s far more likely that Taylor Sheridan is, in fact, setting up deep connective tissue between prequel 1883 and present-day Yellowstone.

Will We See a Full Native American Burial Ground Discovered?

If this burial lines up with many others in Montana, then the discovery of several-to-many other Indigenous burials is coming. And when it does, it will be the pin pulled from the grenade that stops Market Equities from, as Caroline Warner says, “pave this place over.”

Yellowstone Season 4, Episode 2 saw a temporary construction halt in light of the first discovery, as is protocol. But if more Indigenous bodies surface, ME will have no choice but to seek land elsewhere altogether.

Let’s not forget that Rainwater has put a legal dispute into play over the environmental effect of this Park City/airport combo. It’s another vital effort, but one that reality shows us has far from a guaranteed chance of success. Big money not only talks for corporations but for the government as well.

To this end, the discovery of a Native American burial ground feels more pivotal than ever. Now that John Dutton is running for governor, it could affect the plot in a big way. His settler ancestry does keep him at constant odds with Broken Rock Reservation. But if anything will serve his “opposite of progress” agenda as Montana Governor, it’ll be this perfect plan of attack to preserve the local land.

We’ll find out as Yellowstone Season 4 continues exclusively on Paramount Network.