‘Yellowstone’: Is There a Big Loophole in the Ranch Branding System?

by Thad Mitchell
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Fans of the hit Paramount Network series “Yellowstone” know that once you receive a “Y” brand, there is only one way to leave: the “train station.” At least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe.

Over the course of four seasons, we’ve seen several ranch hands earn their “Y” brands. For example, at the end of season three, we see several ranch hands earn their brands by participating in the murder of Wade and Clint Morrow. Among this group are Colby and Teeter, who appear very proud to earn their brands. Also, fans will remember in season four when Teeter uses her brand to appeal to John Dutton about keeping her job. And because of the brand, John Dutton reverses his decision. Clearly showing that the brand has power behind it.

All the above being said, there remains a great deal of mystery surrounding the practice. In a recent Reddit discussion, fans share their thoughts on the practice of branding human beings. Some believe there is a way to leave the ranch despite bearing the brand.

“When Walker ended up back at the ranch Kayce even told him, ‘You’re gonna have to prove yourself, Walker. And once you do, the choice to stay or leave is up to you,'” a Reddit user points out.

‘Yellowstone’ Fans Point Out That Jimmy Was Allowed to Leave

It was first believed that receiving the “Y” brand meant a lifelong dedication to the “Yellowstone” Ranch. That is likely the case for many of the randed ranch hands, but we’ve seen some kinks in this theory.

After breaking his word (and his back), “Yellowstone” ranch hand Jimmy is sent packing. Despite proudly wearing the brand on his chest, John Dutton sends him away from the ranch.

He winds up in Texas at the Four Sixes Ranch where he learns to be a real cowboy. He later returns to “Yellowstone” Ranch, where his intentions are to work off his debt to John Dutton. But, after seeing that Jimmy has grown from his experience, John wipes Jimmy’s slate clean. This is the first example of a branded man being allowed to freely leave.

Perhaps wearing the brand does not mean you’re trapped at “Yellowstone” ranch forever. Perhaps it means you get some leniency from the powers that be.

Outsider.com