‘Yellowstone’ TV: Fans Debate Whether Kevin Costner’s John Dutton Is Actually a Good or Bad Character

by Thad Mitchell

We are still a few months away from a brand new season of the Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” and fans couldn’t be more excited.

The fourth season will arrive later this year in the fall season, according to “Yellowstone” producers. The new season should be starting just as the leaves on the trees begin to change. In the meantime, fans have turned to the internet to get their fix of modern western goodness. “Yellowstone” watchers are flooding social media and various message board sites to discuss their favorite show. A recent thread on the forum site, Reddit, asks fans to provide their thoughts on the series’ central character John Dutton.

Hollywood leading man extraordinaire Kevin Costner portrays the grizzled and aging cowboy to perfection. John Dutton is a complex character and there are lots of thoughts on his motives inside the “Yellowstone” Universe. He is the patriarch of the Dutton family, a clan of cattle ranchers who wield significant political influence in the state of Montana. While he is the primary protagonist on “Yellowstone,” many questions revolve around his actions and motivations. Some have even given John Dutton the “anti-hero” label. That seems a bit strong but there is certainly a case to be made there.

The Reddit thread creator asks a pretty straightforward question that is likely to garner some rather complex answers.

“OK, John Dutton, strong patriarch or symbol of pure evil?” the poster asks.

Fans on ‘Yellowstone’ John Dutton

Numerous “Yellowstone” fans chime in on the topic with a wide range of varying answers. The consensus appears to be that John Dutton is a little bit of both.

“He is Neither,” a Reddit user states. “John Dutton is a man of shades of gray. He is a classic anti-hero. As a patriarch, he might be strong, but he’s also a horrendous father who has put his ranch and legacy over the well-being of his children. Pure evil? No, he clearly has a code, and boundaries, and a soft spot for certain people in his life.”

From our perspective, this answer is right on the money. As the owner of “Yellowstone” ranch, John Dutton is forced to strike a balance between family man and cold, hard tough guy.

“He is, as they say, complicated,” another Redditor writes. “Life is gray, and he is human. I also do not believe he is putting the ranch before his family. In his mind, the ranch is an extension of his family. It needs to be preserved as their lifeline to the future — their legacy rather than his own. I like John Dutton and would talk to him at a cocktail party. I would also not attempt to build an airport on his South pasture.”

Regardless of your personal thoughts on John Dutton, we think every “Yellowstone” fan can agree that we are ready to have him back.