‘Yellowstone’: Will the Show Explore More About Kayce’s Past Branding?

by Leanne Stahulak

If “Yellowstone” fans will remember, way back in Season 1, John Dutton opened up to Kayce’s wife Monica about why he branded his son.

Monica witnessed a branding ceremony between the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch cowboys about halfway through the season. The next morning, she asked John why they do it. He explained that it’s a way for them to “prove they can be trusted” to carry out the ranch’s dirty deeds.

But when Monica asks about Kayce, John tells her, “He disobeyed me one too many times. … He told me he got some girl he barely knew pregnant and he was gonna marry her. I told him to take you to the clinic and not let you leave until you had an abortion, but he wouldn’t do it.”

This is clearly news to Monica, who had no idea that Kayce’s father pressured him to make Monica get an abortion. John also reveals that he branded Kayce himself, not letting the other cowboys do it.

But several “Yellowstone” fans want to know if John or Kayce will ever mention the branding again. Will we see a flashback sequence? Or understand from Kayce’s point of view how it happened?

One fan posted the question on a recent Reddit thread. “Was Kayce’s branding story told?” the original poster asked. “I am curious about it. The branded folk tend to be criminals and drifters who are indebted to AND have dirt on the ranch. Kayce is (purportedly) family and thus does not need the brand. Did he seek it? Was it forced upon him?”

Part of the “Yellowstone” fan’s question was answered by various fans who told the same story above. but other fans took a deep dive into the story of Kayce’s branding and brought up even more interesting theories.

‘Yellowstone’ Fans Dive in to the Story Behind Kayce’s Brand

While some fans hope we’ll hear a little more backstory about Kayce’s branding in “Yellowstone” Season 5, others are less optimistic.

“John told Monica why in S1. I’m pretty sure that’s as much discussion of it as we are going to get because there really is no way to spin this in John’s favor,” one person commented on the post. “So, the show more or less moved on from it, with Kayce saying he now ‘understood’ in S3 to further absolve John.”

Another fan followed up on this person’s train of thought with an interesting take. “I’ve often wondered if Kayce allowed John to brand him without any resistance. Could John have needed help? If so, who would be most likely to assist John? When Kayce returned to the ranch, it was obvious that he and Rip didn’t share any good feelings. Just thinking!”

It’s highly possible that Rip helped hold Kayce down while John branded him. Although Rip and Kayce might be on good terms as of Season 4, they clearly had a lot to work out in Season 2 when Kayce joined the ranch hands.

At the end of the day, we likely won’t see more about Kayce’s brand because the show doesn’t want John to be painted in a negative light as a father. He and Kayce have supposedly made up, and that’s likely the end of that.