Right from the incredible pilot episode, Daybreak, the Dutton’s helicopter was a big part of Yellowstone until Season 3. What happened?
Or, as one Yellowstone fan puts it: “Season 3: where’s the helicopter?”
Over on Reddit’s active board for the show, u/loganalbertuhh asks exactly this of fellow fans. “It seems like they were whipping it out constantly in S1 and a bit in 2, but it’s just gone now. (I just finished S3),” he continues.
It’s a question many asked throughout Season 3. With the Dutton’s ease of flight playing so heavily into the pilot, then seasons 1 & 2, it’s been a bit odd to have the helicopter physically absent in the time since. So what’s going on?
“They had to start driving those Ram trucks and get that advertising money,” Redditor rooster_b_goode snarks. Honestly, this is probably the realest of all fan replies.
AmericanGirl64, however, holds an in-story answer for Yellowstone. “I just don’t think they needed it as things settled on the ranch,” she offers. “They had the summer camp and there were no crisis to warrant it. Season 3 was a ‘slow burn’ for character development, especially for Rip and Beth.”
Or, as Quiet_Nectarine4185 suggests, the helicopter was “Probably too expensive to keep running, and they wanted to spend their money elsewhere.”
Both Redditors offer up the most plausible answers. This Outsider, however, leans towards AmericanGirl’s answer. For someone with as much land as John Dutton has, a helicopter is an invaluable tool. He doesn’t seem the type to scrap something over budgetary upkeep, either, given his stubbornness. If John Dutton thinks he’ll use that chopper at least once more in his lifetime, it’s still around.
Will the Infamous ‘Yellowstone’ Chopper Return in Season 4?
Yet these are all still rather reality-based answers. Yellowstone is fiction, after all, and things like helicopters appear and disappear according to the needs of the script.
To this end, Yellowstone fan 7Ruby18 believes that “After Rip finds John on the roadside, he may call for the chopper to meet up with him along the way to the hospital to get John there faster.”
This could potentially bring the helicopter back into play very early on in Season 4. The Redditor also believes the chopper will “come in handy during/after the attack on the ranch, use it to flush out any stragglers as they hightail it for cover once the bunkhouse boys start fighting back.”
There’s a relatively short wait to see if this comes to fruition, too. Yellowstone Season 4’s two-episode premiere hits November 7, and we’re personally hoping to see a bit more of Viggo, the helicopter’s pilot. Hopefully he has a few other contracts going or he was just out of work for a long time with the Duttons.
Regardless, we know Viggo completed two tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Military – so the Duttons should be calling on him for a hand come November 7. Whether they will or not, however, remains to be seen.