“Yellowstone” protagonist John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is a complex character. He makes a lot of questionable choices, including having people killed, and he doesn’t always do right by his children. But he’s ultimately a sympathetic figure, due in no small part to Costner’s portrayal and Taylor Sheridan’s writing.
Still, “Yellowstone” fans love to debate the characters Sheridan has drawn and the plot choices he has made. And so on Reddit, fans are now delving into some cryptic comments Dutton uttered at key moments in the previous seasons.
He spoke one of those lines during his ulcer scare early on in the show, when he thought he was dying of colon cancer. And later, after the vet performs emergency surgery and sends him to the hospital by helicopter. First Dutton essentially begs God not to take him yet because he has too much to do. Later, he says he has too much to undo.
‘Yellowstone’ Fans Parse Meaning of Dutton’s Words
One “Yellowstone” fan kicked off the thread with the observation that Dutton was trying to undo all the things he did when he thought there was no tomorrow.
“The major thing that John did while he thought he was dying involved Jamie. He hit him, fired him as ranch counsel, wrecked his campaign for attorney general. Told him he’s not welcome at the ranch. He had Beth take Jamie’s credit card, his vehicle and took him off the payroll. He recruited a new AG candidate who would be certain to beat Jamie,” the fan posted. “Will John try, going forward, to undo all that damage between himself and Jamie?”
As other fans pointed out, Dutton has never seemed to care much what Jamie (Wes Bentley) thinks or feels about him. He’s been more concerned with how he can use Jamie to serve the ranch.
“He’ll only undo all of that if he truly needs Jamie for something, some help or expertise that he can’t get from anyone else,” another fan chimed in. “Or, if Jamie does something stupendous and selfless that helps protect the ranch in perpetuity.”
Yet another “Yellowstone” fan seconded those doubts, noting all that has happened since Season 1. Given what Dutton has found out about Jamie, he’s not likely to initiate reconciliation in the near future.
“I don’t think that’s the path going forward,” the fan suggested. “There is no mending that relationship. Since he found out he wasn’t going to die he said that he didn’t love Jamie, suggested he should commit suicide, and also found out about Beth’s abortion… There is more of a chance John kills Jamie than makes any effort to mend damage.”
Does Dutton Love His Adopted Son?
But another fan jumped in with a gentle correction. After all, Dutton did gruffly insist on continuing to call Jamie “son,” even after Jamie learned the truth about his parentage. Do we really know whether Dutton loves Jamie or not?
“When did John say he didn’t love Jamie?” the fan asked. “Beth asked him and he didn’t answer, which is telling in itself of course, but I don’t recall him actually saying that. Unless of course, I missed it, totally possible! And when did he suggest Jamie should commit suicide? Wasn’t that Beth who suggested that?”
It will be interesting to see which path Jamie takes in Season 4: further away from the Duttons and toward his biological father, or, faced with the calamitous attacks of the Season 3 finale, back into the fold? We’ll find out soon. The Season 4 premiere drops Sunday, Nov. 7.