Yellowstone TV: Will Season 4 Feature a Jarring Time Jump?

by Jon D. B.
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After that incredibly shocking Yellowstone Season 3 finale, will Season 4 jump off right after that violent ending – or are we in store for an even more jarring time jump?

Few shows have ever managed to pull off such a devastating cliffhanger. Yellowstone, however, did just that as it brought it’s phenomenal 3rd season to a close.

On the whole, Season 3 featured immense shake-ups for the Dutton clan. But it was that explosive, life-or-death finale that left us all questioning how Season 4 will possibly pick up the pieces. Once we move into the next chapter for America’s current most beloved (and twisted) television family, how will things unfold? Be warned, from this point on, we’re getting into massive spoilers for the entirety of Yellowstone’s first 3 seasons.

Moreover, how will the COVID-19 Pandemic‘s huge disruptions for Yellowstone‘s production impact Season 4? From the show having to move production to entirely different locations, to certain former cast members being entirely radio-silent on the next season, will Yellowstone be able to carry on its linear story as if nothing ever happened? Or are we in store for a jarring time jump?

Are We Jumping Forward in Yellowstone Season 4?

Yellowstone Season 3 ended with one of the best episodes of television in history. Within, assassination attempts made on the Dutton clan had us on the edge of our seat – and still do. We can assume, then, that much of Yellowstone Season 4 will be dedicated to unraveling the Dutton assassination attempts, and weeding through the snakes in the grass to get to the true culprit (double agent Angela Blue Thunder is a top contender here). 

Thankfully, We know John Dutton survives the attempt on his life thanks to his cell phone. And we see Kayce take cover, leaning heavily into his Navy SEAL skills, leading us to believe he’ll make it. But did Beth survive that package bomb? And what on earth is Rip going to do once he finds all this out? Besides kill everyone, of course.

Production shake-ups, and hints at more clever storytelling from showrunner Tyler Sheridan, however, have us thinking there may be a a big time jump come Season 4 – instead of a straightforward dealing with the fallout from these events.

In fact, sharp fans are already taking to Reddit to pinpoint why they think we’re in for a jarring time jump.

Beth Dutton: The Key to Everything?

“I wonder if she [Beth] will be in a coma for at least part of S4,” one viewer writes on Reddit’s official Yellowstone board. She’ll have to be, right? No one could have survived that explosion outright. And if the show’s most popular character is in a coma, then it becomes far more likely the show will have to move far forward in time to make use of actress Kelly Reilly’s brilliance.

In addition, flashback scenes could then be used to show the aftermath of the assassination attempts, as well. All of this sounds far more intriguing, interesting, and yes – jarring – than just directly following up the Yellowstone Season 3 ending. And if we’ve learned anything of the show – it’s to expect the unexpected.

“S4 will take place after a short time jump and we get flashbacks to what happened,” another Redditor mulls over in agreeance with the theory.

Not everyone’s on board with this, however. Another sharp fan notes that “if [the production team] continue with how they have it’ll pick back up right where it left off.” Yellowstone has favored linear storytelling over time cuts for the majority of its plot. Flashbacks have become a huge part of the show’s revelations, though.

“I don’t see how they don’t show the reaction of Rip and the bunkhouse finding out about this,” another Redditor adds. An excellent point – and one that could easily be told present-day, or in intense flashbacks. Rip Wheeler will not, after all, stop until he knows who did this to the love of his life. “Someone just declared war and a war they will have. I’m excited to see it play out!”

Yellowstone’s Time Jump History

Perhaps the most intriguing of all possibilities brought up by Reddit fans, though, is the following:

“I (personally) would love to see it in flashes of like him [Rip] finding John and Monica finding Jimmy (since she’s there, it could happen) + what happens with Kayce,” the fan adds to the discussion. “Or S4 filmed in a Tarantino style flashback / the way Locke & Key was filmed.” How incredible would this be?

As we pointed out, this wouldn’t be far off from previous storytelling tools implemented in the show, either. The show has gone back in time several times over to great effect. Through flashbacks, we’ve learned of:

  • Evelyn Dutton herself, a character we never would’ve gotten to know otherwise
  • Beth’s childhood with Evelyn and how her relationship with her mother shaped her
  • Rip’s tragic, horrifying past and how he met John Dutton
  • The first time Rip & Beth met on the ranch
  • That answer to why Beth despises Jamie so much (and it’s beyond a worthy reason)

And this is just to name the most prominent examples. In turn, will Yellowstone Season 4 amp up the time jumps and give us the most complex narrative yet?

Ready for Season 4?

Indeed, Yellowstone Season 4 is nigh, and we have so many questions. Who tried to kill the Duttons? Is Beth alive? What in Sam Hill is going on with Jamie? Will Rip & a hopefully-still-breathing Kayce now kill everyone? And where… for the love of all that is Western… did Avery disappear to?

For far more coverage on these burning questions, head on over to our ‘Yellowstone’ TV: Everything We Don’t Know About Season 4, But Desperately Need To next.

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