Every episode and season of “Yellowstone,” it feels like we get closer and closer to the characters. But one character died tragically early on, and now no one ever talks about him.
If “Yellowstone” fans think way back, they’ll remember that John’s oldest son and the heir to the ranch was actually Lee. He died at the very end of the first episode of the first season, instigating conflict between the Dutton Ranch and Broken Rock Reservation.
We had very little time to learn about Lee as a character before he died defending the ranch. The Duttons did have a funeral and momentarily grieve for him, but other than that, the characters have said very little about their older brother.
One “Yellowstone” fan on Reddit brought up Lee’s erasure from the show in a recent post. They said they think about this a lot and wanted to get other fans’ input.
“Is it possibly an oversight that no one mentions Lee? The first episode was years ago for viewers, but it wasn’t that long ago in the story,” the original poster wrote. “Does his family not think about him? It’s like he never existed. There may have been a mention or two when they were near the burial area or something, but otherwise, I can’t recall much. Did I just miss some?”
The question started a whole debate with fans ragging on the writer’s continuity and the Duttons’ inability to healthily process grief.
Here’s What ‘Yellowstone’ Fans Had to Say About Lee’s Death
One of the more prominent indicators that Lee’s being erased from the show is the fact that “He’s not in the family portraits from childhood,” as one Reddit user pointed out. We see tons of childhood flashbacks on “Yellowstone,” too. But none that feature Lee.
One eagle-eyed fan went back and pointed out the few moments on the show when they did reference Lee’s death.
“There have been a few mentions, but very few. In season 2, John gave Kayce Lee’s Live Stock Agent badge. Also in S2, John moved into Lee’s old house and did a little talking to him. And in S3, when John was losing his shit at Jamie, he mentioned that Lee didn’t want to marry or have children,” the “Yellowstone” fan commented on the original post.
All of these moments hit hard emotionally. So why didn’t we see more of them? Maybe grief had no place in these storylines, but it still could’ve added another dynamic to the show.
The original Reddit poster agreed. “Still seems thin for an eldest son and older brother in line to take over the ranch,” they commented on the above reply. “I would’ve liked to see more sentimental moments. He died trying to defend it. It’s never seemed to hit the family members that hard.”
Maybe it did and we just didn’t see their grief play out on screen. But why introduce a character only to kill him and never mention him again? We’ll have to see if Lee gets more moments to shine in later episodes or the show.