‘Yellowstone’ TV: Is Jamie Dutton the ‘Most Tragic’ Character on the Series?

by Thad Mitchell

The wait is on for loyal Yellowstone fans as the fourth season premiere draws closer and closer each day.

Fans of the modern western drama can’t hide their excitement for new episodes and many have taken to online communities to discuss their favorite show. Message board sites, like Reddit, have entire forums solely dedicated to discussion on the Paramount Network series. On these boards, fans discuss everything from what a Rip and Beth wedding will look like to John Dutton’s stylish outerwear.

These forums are also a great place for new Yellowstone watchers to gather and share their thoughts. The show already has a huge fan base and it is growing by the day. Veteran Yellowstone watchers are more than happy to answer questions from the ranch newbies. Many of these first-time watchers simply want to express their thoughts and gather feedback.

A recent Reddit post sparked delightful conversation on just who is the show’s true “tragic” character. The thread was started by a first-time viewer who has just completed a binge of all three seasons. The poster claims Jamie Dutton to be Yellowstone’s most tragic character and many others agree with the notion.

“Lastly, poor Jamie. My heart breaks for him,” the Reddit user writes. “One of the most tragic characters I’ve ever seen portrayed in entertainment. Wonderfully acted by Wes Bentley.”

Indeed, Jamie has had a rough go of it through three seasons of Yellowstone. He begins the series as a high-ranking lawyer with lofty political aspirations. With his father, John Dutton, initially on his side, he plans to seek the position of Montana’s Attorney General.

After a fallout with his father, Jamie plots revenge by leaking sensitive information to a big-time journalist Sarah Nguyen. Even after realizing his mistake, it is too late and he kills her. Ranch hand Rip Wheeler helps him to discard the body and make the death look like a kayaking accident.

After the incident, Jamie sinks to a new low and contemplates suicide. He goes as far as bringing a loaded shotgun out into an isolated area with the intention of killing himself. John finds and stops him before he can go through with it. Returning to Yellowstone Ranch, Jamie takes up residence in the bunkhouse, determined to get back to his roots. He works on the ranch for a short period of time before returning to the political game as Montana’s Attorney General.

Jamie’s tragic state reaches new depths in season three when he discovers he was adopted by the Duttons as an infant. His adopted father, John, will not apologize for keeping his adoption a secret from him for many years. He presses forward and discovers where his biological father lives. Meeting his real father, Garrett Randall, for the first time does not go well. Randall tells Jamie that he murdered his drug-addict mother when he was just a few months old. Randall also suggests to Jamie that the only way to bring down an empire is to “kill the king.” While he never directly says as much, most fans speculate he means for Jamie to kill John to claim Yellowstone as his own.

On top of all this, Jamie’s own sister hates him and has suggested he kill himself more than once. Beth Dutton’s anger stems from an incident when they were younger that left Beth unable to bear children after having an abortion.

With these facts in mind, Jamie certainly has a case for most tragic Yellowstone character.