‘Yellowstone’ TV: Did Season 3’s Opener Seal John Dutton’s Season 4 Death?

by Jon D. B.

A pivotal exchange between John Dutton and his grandson, Tate, seems to have foretold the patriarch’s death before Season 4 ends.

There’s no doubt in our minds after the Yellowstone Season 3 finale that the Duttons are in big trouble. The life or death kind. ***Yet before we go any further, please be warned that this article contains massive spoilers for Season 3 of Yellowstone.***

With so much focus placed on the explosive events of the Season 3 finale, the potential death of John Dutton has been a hot topic. Alongside his daughter, Beth, and son Kayce – the Duttons fell prey to lethal assassination attempts. Out of the three, though, it is John himself that we’re led to believe survives his encounter. If you’ve watched the episode, then you know this article’s cover photo shows the incredible moment:

John Dutton is shot by assassins while on the side of the road trying to help motorists in need. It is the “lucky” placement of his cell phone that stops what would’ve been a lethal bullet.

Yet this last scene is in no way the one that seems to have sealed his fate. In fact, we’ll have to travel all the way back to the Season 3 opener for the moment that foretold the death of John Dutton.

John Dutton: Fate Sealed in Dreams

Yellowstone Season 3 picks up for the Duttons right where it left off in Season 2. While the opener gives our favorite family a chance to breathe and relax for once, it is also full of foreshadowing for far darker days to come upon rewatching.

Indeed, going back to revisit the Season 3 opener reveals that much of what was to come was heavily foreshadowed: including the death of John Dutton. The foreshadowing isn’t vague, either. It’s a direct set of dialogue between John and grandson Tate that means everything after having seen the S3 finale.

In the first episode, John takes Tate along with him to set up a frontier camp at the request of his mother, Monica. Tate is still struggling deeply with nightmares from his abduction. After setting up camp with the crew, Tate opens up to his grandfather about his nightmares over the night’s bonfire. Their resulting conversation – now viewed in retrospect – is shocking – and full of ominous foreshadowing.

Many fans are re-watching Season 3 again in anticipation of 2021’s Season 4. As they do, they’re taking to Reddit’s Yellowstone board to discuss intense revelations like this one. One fan in particular, DonSolo, noticed the key foreshadowing right away.

“I noticed this today when I was watching an early season 3 episode when John is talking to Tate about dreams at the camp, he starts off. “After John tells Tate that he can make his dreams whatever he wants them to be.”

“Tate asks: ‘Have you ever had a nightmare?” the scene continues.

“John responds: ‘Yeah, I have this dream I stop to help someone on the side of the road, but they don’t want help and then…’ Tate asks: ‘Then what?’ Then John says: ‘Nevermind’…..”

So What Has Taylor Sheridan Dreamt Up for John’s Fate?

When watching this emotional Yellowstone exchange originally, we had no idea it was speaking directly to later events in the life of John Dutton – and to the death of him, too.

Now, however, we know John has survived this exact encounter – but for how long? His unwillingness to finish how his dream ends means he is not interested in sharing the dream’s end with Tate. That can only mean one thing, right? John has seen his own death – and he’s seen what causes it. Showrunner Taylor Sheridan has spelled it out, beat-by-beat, for both Dutton and his audience.

Moreover, DonSolo continues to think this over on Reddit, asking: “Is John having a premonition of what happens to him at the end of season 3? Is it possible that this could be a hint at his demise in season 4?”

Another sharp fan recalls of the scene that John “also said something along the lines of he’ll only have a phone on him when he has no service – he had a phone on him with no service and it saved his life.”

As such, are we in for a Hollywood style bait & switch? Were we made to think John Dutton is the one to survive this assassination attempt long-term, only to have him perish in Season 4 anyway?

If his dreams are to be believed – then that certainly seems the case.

Rewatch John & Tate Discussing Their Nightmares

While we wait for the highly-anticipated Yellowstone Season 4, relive the beginning of this pivotal scene between grandfather and grandson below, courtesy of Paramount:

Season 4 of Yellowstone, cable’s No. 1 drama, returns in 2021 on Paramount Network. For all the latest on our favorite show, stick with us here at Outsider.com.