For proof of Yellowstone‘s fantastic secondary characters, look no further than ranch hand Lloyd. The old-timer, played to perfection by real-life cowboy Forrie J. Smith, is one of the show’s best personalities, secondary or not. Which is good for both fans and Lloyd, as he’s in it for life as one of Yellowstone‘s brand holders.
But what, exactly, led to Lloyd getting the infamous ‘Y’ brand? We know the brand means that a Yellowstone ranch hand was given a “second lease on life” by becoming a part of John Dutton’s twisted family – but as for the story behind Lloyd’s indoctrination into this pseudo-cult – we truly have no idea. Or do we?
Forrie J. Smith is taking to social media to ask fans just that. “Who can answer this??” he starts off in an Instagram post. For his chosen photo, he posts a Facebook-generated graphic of his big question:
“Does anyone know what Lloyd did to get the brand?”
Well, do they? While we haven’t gotten any sort of exacting story on Yellowstone proper, several sharp followers of Smith’s are chiming in with their own theories.
The top comment comes from @just_another_sully, who says Lloyd clearly got his brand when he “Became the train station engineer/fireman/conductor.” As perfect as that sounds, it’s not a specific, nor hefty enough, answer.
Fellow Forrie follower @leigh5534 adds that they “thought he must of been someone John’s father got from the prison, like Rip got Walker.” This is a plausible, and possible piece of the puzzle, but it isn’t the entire puzzle.
Then, @mamajustice seemingly hits the nail on the head. “You have to get the brand if you come to the ranch from prison,” she declares. This would seem to imply, like other commenters have noted, that Lloyd must’ve come straight from prison to Yellowstone. But this isn’t the case with all who wear the brand, is it? Far from it, in fact.
Sharp fan @heywarddouglass responds, citing “I don’t think so…. neither Jake, Colby or Teeter came from prison!” All facts. We see this trio branded ourselves in Season 3 of the show, too. Outsider fans speculate that this crew’s branding is a way of sealing the deal, i.e ensuring that secrets are kept. Especially since the three of them are now accomplices to murder.
This latter point is, in all probability, what makes one take on the brand just as much as any “second chance?” After all, we know that Rip Wheeler bears the brand alongside Lloyd, and that he was brought onto Yellowstone by John Dutton before he could be sentenced to rot in prison as a teen. Moreover, John’s own son and former Navy SEAL, Kayce Dutton, also bears the brand.
Does Season 4 Hold The Story to Lloyd’s Branding?
Yellowstone Season 3 ended with one of the best episodes of television in history. Within, assassination attempts made on the Dutton clan had us on the edge of our seat – and still do. We can assume, then, that much of Yellowstone Season 4 will be dedicated to unraveling the Dutton assassination attempts, and weeding through the snakes in the grass to get to the true culprit (double agent Angela Blue Thunder is a top contender here).
No doubt, Lloyd will be at the center of any revenge on hand as a branded man. And since Season 4 is rumored to feature significant time jumps and flashbacks, could we finally be treated to some true backstory for Lloyd?
As evidence, production shake-ups, as well as hints at more clever storytelling from showrunner Tyler Sheridan, have us thinking there may be a big time jump come Season 4, too – instead of a straightforward dealing with the fallout from these events.
While we wait for Season 4 in 2021, stick with us here at Outsider.com for all the latest from Yellowstone.