‘Yellowstone’ TV: Why the Dutton Ranch May No Longer Exist by the End of the Series

by Jennifer Shea

The Dutton ranch faces a constant stream of threats on “Yellowstone.” From hedge funds to out-of-state developers to the leaders of the local reservation, there’s always someone encroaching on John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) land.

Will the Dutton ranch still exist when the series ends? In the Season 3 finale, the Duttons confronted the prospect of their land being carved up to make way for an airport. And that’s certainly one path the series could take.

Indeed, recent developments hint at the possibility that, one way or another, there may not be any Dutton ranch for the ranch hands to work on by the series finale.   

Taylor Sheridan Has ‘Yellowstone’ All Planned Out

Show co-creator Taylor Sheridan has said he already knows how the series is going to end. He said that they couldn’t extend “Yellowstone” indefinitely. And that means each show is building towards a preordained conclusion.

“I know how it ends,” Sheridan told Deadline last summer. “I know how the series ends, and you have to move in a straight line toward that end. You can’t walk in circles, waiting to get there, because the show will stagnate. So, you have to keep moving forward, and there have to be consequences in the world, and there has to be an evolution toward a conclusion.”

However, Sheridan said he wants the show to end “on an upswing as opposed to… a descent.” Could he end on an upswing if the Duttons lose their ranch?

New Spinoff ‘6666’ Hints at Possible Upheaval

Sheridan has two new “Yellowstone” spinoffs in the works, “Y:1883” and “6666.” In the latter show, Jefferson White and Ryan Bingham, who play “Yellowstone” ranch hands Jimmy and Walker, are set to reprise their roles from the original series.

That begs the question: Through what turn of events would Jimmy willingly leave and Walker be allowed to leave the Dutton ranch?

Granted, before he accepted Kayce’s (Luke Grimes) offer to get his old job back, Walker was constantly trying to leave the ranch. But Rip (Cole Hauser) made it clear that if Walker didn’t accept Kayce’s offer, they were going to have to kill him – or “take him to the train station,” in the parlance of the ranch.

And Jimmy has proven himself loyal to the ranch, spurning offers from his old drug addict buddies and seriously considering John Dutton’s request that he give up his rodeo hobby for the ranch.

Moreover, both ranch hands have taken on the Yellowstone brand, a complicated symbolic act which basically ties them to the ranch.

So does the “6666” spinoff portend a future in which the Yellowstone gang is broken up by circumstances beyond their control? Perhaps one in which there’s no Dutton ranch left to return to?

There’s only one way to find out. Season 4 begins later this year. And if the record-breaking viewership numbers for the Season 3 finale are any guide, by then “Yellowstone” will have more fans watching than ever before.