‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Premiere Ends with a Shocking, Tragic Death

by Jon D. B.
Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

What a premiere. Yellowstone is back, and Season 5 wastes no time before plunging the Dutton family further into tragedy. Beware of major spoilers ahead.

There’s no Dutton who hasn’t had it hard. Despite their wealth and legacy, this family is one of immense tragedy. Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Monica (Kelsey Asbille), specifically, cannot seem to catch a break. And the Yellowstone Season 5 premiere ends with their biggest loss to come.

When we finally catch up with Monica in the premiere, she is very, very pregnant. Before long, she’s going into labor, and it’s three weeks early for such a thing, too. So Kayce sends his wife an ambulance south to meet her on the road.

Monica grabs their son, Tate (Brecken Merrill), and the family heads for the hospital. But Monica should not be driving. She’s having labor contractions, and begins to swerve wildly in the night. Tate offers to drive. He’s terrified for them both. And as his mother’s swerving worsens, a bison wanders into the road… And Monica crashes into an oncoming truck as they all slam head-on into the wild beast.

‘They named him John…’

It’s not long before Jamie (Wes Bentley) comes to find his father, John (Kevin Costner) to tell him what’s happened to Monica and Tate. They’ve had a terrible car crash. Everything else is put on hold as the rest of the Duttons head for the hospital in Billings, and fast.

It’s there that Monica is in critical care. She’s unconscious, but alive. So is Tate, thankfully, albeit with a broken arm and plenty of battle scars.

His grandfather arrives to find him stooped over by himself in the hallway. Kayce is asleep with Monica in her hospital bed, who’s injuries make Tate’s look minor. Of the entire family, Tate is the first to speak. And it isn’t good news.

“I had a brother,” John’s grandson reveals to him; emotionless and still. “For an hour, anyway.”

“A brother, huh?” John replies.



“They named him John…” Tate tells his grandfather.

‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Premiere’s Death Costs John Dutton His Legacy

A whirlwind of emotions flood John. This is everything he’s ever wanted. Kayce and Monica’s second son could’ve been the succession under his name; a potential John Dutton IV. And it’s all gone in the same instant it became a reality to the patriarch.

John enters the hospital room to see his son and daughter-in-law, but Kayce can’t take it. He breaks down in tears over Monica’s forehead. And the screen fades to black.

With Beth and Rip (Cole Hauser) unable to have children of their own and this tragic Season 5 premiere death, Tate is the only seventh generation Dutton, by blood, once more.

Episode 2 shows us more of how this all played out. For a full recap of these events, see our coverage right here.

And as for how this impacts television’s #1 family moving forward, we have 12 more episodes to watch as it unfurls. Yellowstone Season 5 will return next Sunday, Nov. 20 with Episode 3, exclusively on Paramount Network.