‘Yellowstone’ Star Kevin Costner Speaks on Character That Took ‘Big Risk’ in Premiere

by John Jamison

“Get back on the horse” applies to everyone but Jimmy Hurdstrom on Yellowstone. While his situation is somewhat small potatoes compared to the bigger picture in Season 4, Jimmy’s decision to ride again was a hell of a risk.

Jefferson White’s meth chef-turned-ranch hand-turned-rodeo star probably should have lost his life early in Season 3 after a ride on a mean bronco left him hospitalized. If his injuries weren’t enough to keep him away from competing, then his word to John Dutton should have been.

“Learn to rope” are the words the Dutton family patriarch left Jimmy with as he lay in that hospital bed. And boy, if he’d only heeded them. Kevin Costner’s John Dutton paid the medical bills on the condition that Jimmy never attempt to get back on a horse. At least, not for the sake of rodeo.

The Season 3 finale showed Jimmy breaking his word to John Dutton by attempting another ride. He paid an immediate price that fans thought could have been his death. Fortunately, Jefferson White’s character survived. But he may wish that he hadn’t.

Kevin Costner discussed his character’s mindset regarding Jimmy in a new Behind the Story for episode 2 of Yellowstone Season 4.

“He takes a big risk with it, going back and almost losing his life,” said Costner. “You take a chance when you rodeo that you could lose your job if you get hurt. And if you get hurt too much, you take too much time off; you’re not what you’d call a good employee. [John Dutton] elects to give Jimmy a last chance, and it’s to go away. Sometimes you gotta go away to learn something.”

Jimmy wears a brand. The brand is “about trust.” Jimmy broke that trust. He’s lucky he gets to keep his life.

Why Did John Dutton Spare Jimmy Hurdstram on ‘Yellowstone’?

Yellowstone fans know full well that much more experienced ranch hands have been sent to the “train station” for much less than what Jimmy did. Heck, Walker was about to take a tumble off the cliff for simply trying to move on from the Yellowstone.

Why? Well, the way Rip (Cole Hauser) sees it is that Walker is already on his second chance. As a criminal, Walker accepted the brand as the price of admission, and it’s a steep price. So let’s look at Jimmy. He’s also a criminal. He wears a brand the same as Walker, and breaking a straight promise to John Dutton is arguably worse than wanting to continue a life of drifting.

Jimmy is given yet another chance at life because John Dutton made a promise to Jimmy’s grandfather. He’s sending him off with Travis (Taylor Sheridan) because, unlike Jimmy, John Dutton is a man of his word.

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