‘Yellowstone’ TV: Is Kayce Dutton’s ‘Savior Complex’ His Best Trait or Downfall?

by Halle Ames

Kayce Dutton is known on Yellowstone as the very ‘complex’ and misunderstood character, but why does our beloved cowboy come off this way?

It all boils down to Kayce Dutton’s savior complex. If you haven’t recognized it yet, you surely will now.

After rewatching all three seasons of Yellowstone, the youngest Dutton is plagued by his ability to try and help everyone. We will give you some examples.

Savior Complex Examples

Kayce let Walker go free. He saves horses and other animals. He was a SEAL in the military. Kayce has to stop and investigate the sketchy van on the side of the road. Furthermore, Kayce felt obligated to help the worried father burn and bury the bodies of the men that kidnapped his daughter.

In addition, Kayce Dutton also had to pull over to the house that exploded and shoot the man out of his misery. He aided in the search for the missing girl from the reservation. Even at a young age, Kayce sat next to his mother in the field as she died and bravely protected her against any predator.

Is that what stemmed his savior complex? Or is Kayce Dutton, just a caring person that gets wrapped up in bad situations?

While Kayce did go to the military after knocking up and marrying Monica, it was more his daddy issues with John that forced him to go.

John and Kayce Dutton have exhibited a strenuous relationship throughout the Yellowstone series. When Kayce met a girl at a bar and took her home, she found herself pregnant with his child later. He wasn’t going to abandon the two, and he fell in love with Monica and decided to marry her.

John didn’t love this scenario, and so to remind his youngest son of his home, and where he belongs. John branded his son’s chest with a large “Y”. Kayce seeks comfort in the military and excels as a Navy SEAL.

Kayce Dutton told Monica it was a good way to make a living while also proving himself to her. However, I assume he was running from his problems back in Montana.

Is Kayce Dutton ‘Emotionally Frozen?’

One Reddit user and diehard Yellowstone fan recalls an important quote from Governor Perry that may explain Kayce’s actions.

“I had to start with the most important one. The one that seemed to set Kayce on his path of saving and defending those who could not do it for themselves. As Governor Perry said to Beth, “…When a child suffers a tragedy, they stop maturing. They are emotionally frozen at the age they suffered the loss until they accept it”. In a lot of ways, I think Kayce has matured, but his need to protect others still drives him.”

The user continues, noting Kayce Dutton’s internal “turmoil” and his constant battle between what is morally right and ethically right.

“Kayce is a character torn between wanting to do right and wanting to do what others expect him to do. So much inner conflict and turmoil, such a tortured soul. I’ve come to the conclusion that Kayce believes it is his duty to save others, to rescue people and animals, from their less than perfect situations. As I started to go through the first three seasons again, taking notes about things said, done, and implied, I began to notice these “rescues” performed instinctively by Kayce. There’s no internal debating whether he should or shouldn’t do them. Empathy takes over, and he just does what needs to be done. He does the “right thing” even if others don’t see it that way or the legality is questioned.”

So we ask the question again? Is Kayce’s savior complex his downfall or his best trait?