‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Features Dramatic Transformation for ‘1883’s Dawn Olivieri

by Jon D. B.
Dawn Olivieri in Yellowstone, 1883. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press, Paramount+)

After a phenomenal performance in prequel series 1883, Dawn Olivieri makes an incredible transformation for Yellowstone Season 5.

In 1883, Dawn Olivieri rocked audiences as the shrewd, deeply-scarred Dutton in-law, Claire. Sister to Faith Hill’s “dreamer,” Margaret, Claire served as the perfect foil and first antagonist of the widely-acclaimed series.

Olivieri’s raw talent certainly made an impression on Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan, too, as he’s brought her along for the next season of the core show. As a result, the actor joins the short list of 1883 talent who’ve appeared in both the prequel and flagship series.

James Jordan, Martin Sensmeier, and even Sheridan himself have all appeared in both the prequel and main show. Now, Dawn Olivier also holds that honor as one of Yellowstone Season 5’s most intriguing new characters.

Audiences finally met this new character during Nov. 13’s two-episode premiere event. In Season 5, Episode 2, “The Sting of Wisdom,” Olivieri unleashes Sarah Atwood, “a confident, corporate shark and a new arrival to Montana.”

Then, in Nov. 20’s Episode 3, “Tall Drink of Water,” we see her go all out on Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley). Playing him like a fiddle, Sarah uses all of her (ahem) assets to her advantage as she lays a dangerous trap for the adopted Dutton.

Dawn Olivieri in Yellowstone, 1883. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press, Paramount+)

So far, Sarah is a startling transformation for the actor. Or perhaps that honor belongs to 1883‘s Claire, as Sarah holds a much closer resemblance to the actor. Either way, Olivieri looks and sounds wildly different from her first character in the Yellowstone series, and it has viewers’ heads spinning. Especially after that Episode 3 performance.

Dawn Olivieri Ruled the Screen in ‘1883’ as Claire. Now, She’s Stepping into Present-Day as Sarah Atwood for ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5

Back in 1883‘s Episode 2, “Behind Us, A Cliff,” the Dutton “dream” of Westward Expansion becomes Claire’s living “nightmare” as a round of bandits invade their caravan. An unforgiving Claire takes it upon herself to challenge the outlaws head-on, and a full-out gunfight ensues. Tragically, Claire’s daughter, Mary Abel, dies in the crossfire.

Through it all, Olivieri proves a true force of nature with a highlight-performance of the show’s run. In just two episodes, she gave us everything we needed to know about Claire, and then some. And when it’s time for Claire to meet her own tragic end, her performance makes it all the more gut-wrenching.

It’s no surprise that Sheridan asked her to come on board for Yellowstone Season 5 as a result. But don’t expect Sarah to be revealed as a Dutton relative this time around. Instead, she’s set to take television’s #1 family head-on. And with Jamie proving the perfect target so far, there’s no telling how far she’ll go.

Will Sarah use Jamie as a pawn to destroy his Dutton family? It’s certainly looking that way. Yellowstone fans looking for the adopted son to finally catch a break may want to hold their breath.

Expect a whole lot more from Dawn Olivieri when she returns for Yellowstone Season 5’s Episode 3 this Sunday, November 20 at 8 PM ET, exclusively on Paramount Network.