‘Yellowstone’ TV: What Are Beth Dutton’s ‘Two Mistakes’ That Cost Her ‘Everything’?

by Jon D. B.

Few characters on modern television are as engaging as Yellowstone‘s one and only Beth Dutton – and it all comes down to her riveting story.

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In truth, it all comes down to two things. Beth’s story is one, absolutely, but no one would give a flying flip about it if not for the phenomenal performance of Kelly Reilly. To say Yellowstone brings the best performances out of Reilly would be an understatement.

It’s hard to imagine another actress standing toe-to-toe with Kevin Costner in their incredible father-daughter dynamic. These two are perfection together, and in many ways, their relationship creates the heartbeat of Yellowstone.

So when Beth Dutton says something as ear-catching as “I made two mistakes in my life and for that, I lost everything…” – fans will want to know 100% for certain – what are those two mistakes?

Reddit’s ever-active Yellowstone board is currently on this very task with this very question:

‘Beth says ‘I made two mistakes in my life and for that, I lost everything.’ What are Beth’s two mistakes?’

Such is the question posed. While sharp Yellowstone fans will know the answer to this, no one has reached this conclusion without context clues. Beth never states her “two mistakes” outright in the show. But thanks to solid writing and character building courtesy of showrunner/creator Taylor Sheridan, we’ve seen the impact of two major life events consistently haunt Beth Dutton to the point where little confusion remains over what these “two mistakes” could be.

Reddit fans immediately step up to the plate to offer, too, with each getting it right – though vaguely.

“Her mother’s death and the abortion/asking Jamie,” the first response reads, echoed by another Yellowstone Redditor’s “Her Mom and her abortion” in kind.

It’s a third response, however, that hits the nail on the head. Redditor Landis33 breaks Beth’s “two mistakes” down into two straightforward statements that, to us, define each perfectly through Beth’s eyes:

“Trusting Jamie and being scared (her fear of horses caused her mother’s death).”

There it is.

Once you realize that Beth’s definition of a mistake will always be personal – and not the same as a third party (see: audience) would perceive it – a simple break-down of each “mistake” could read as follows:

Beth Dutton’s ‘Two Mistakes’ on ‘Yellowstone’

(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

‘Causing’ Her Mother’s Death: While riding with her family on the ranch, Beth’s horse spooks in front of her mother’s horse. Evelyn’s horse then bucks, throwing them both to the ground. The horse rolls over Evelyn, crushing her body. She lies motionless in a field, slowly dying.

While we know Beth did not intentionally or truthfully cause her mother’s death, as a character and daughter she sees it as the cold truth. Her mother even made a point to tell her it was her fault before dying.

Trusting Jamie with her Abortion:  Beth became pregnant as a young teenager with Rip Wheeler. Horrified of what their father would think, she went to her older brother, Jamie, for help. Jamie decided to “preserve” his family’s name by not taking Beth to a proper abortion clinic and instead brought her to one that would only perform an abortion with a hysterectomy – rendering her unable to have children.

This Yellowstone bombshell still hurts to write about every time. The mistake of trusting a manipulative Jamie left a young Beth with no idea what the long-term consequences of this operation would be. Tragic doesn’t even begin to describe it, especially as Rip Wheeler would prove the love of her life.

What a character. What a show.

For more on both of Beth Dutton’s “two mistakes,” I highly recommend reading Outsider’s own Halle Ames ‘Yellowstone’ TV: Here’s Why Beth Dutton Is Even Better When Rewatching First 3 Seasons next.