Last night’s season finale of “Yellowstone” featured several surprises, including the reappearance of a character who died in the first episode of the show.
“Yellowstone” star Dave Annable reprised his role as Lee Dutton, the oldest of the Dutton siblings. We first met Lee in Season 1 Episode 1, as Kayce tried to reconnect with his siblings and introduce them to his son. Shortly after this introduction, Lee died in a conflict between the Dutton Ranch and Broken Rock Reseration.
We’ve only heard Lee mentioned sporadically since then. Although his death was used to propel the plot of “Yellowstone” forward. But last night, he made a huge appearance on the show as he appeared to his younger brother Kayce as a ghost.
During the finale, Kayce engaged in a Native American ceremony called “Hanbleceya,” or “cry for a vision.” He sat out in the cold for four days and four nights with no food or water. The physical pain was supposed to bring on a vision that will help him figure out his life.
But one night, Lee showed up outside the square of prayer ties Kayce slept in. He told Kayce that he could help him if Kayce would just let him into the square. Kayce told Lee over and over again that he can’t, tears streaming down his face as he looked at his brother.
Cue the jump scare. Lee leaned forward and screamed at Kayce, “Let me in, you f****** child, look at me!” Suddenly, blood poured out of his mouth, similar to the night Lee died. Kayce screamed and fell back, as Lee continued, “This is your vision! This is your destiny!”
Kayce kept screaming until he supposedly “woke up” from the dream. But instead, he just entered another nightmare featuring Avery.
What Did Lee’s Appearance as a Ghost Mean on ‘Yellowstone?’
This scene is important when fans think back to last week’s “Yellowstone” episode. As Mo prepared Kayce for the ceremony, he told him, “Use the sage to keep bad spirits off.” And earlier, he mentioned, “Your only safe place is inside your prayer ties.”
So, it looks like Lee’s appearance as a “ghost” was actually a bad spirit trying to trick Kayce into opening up his prayer ties. If he did that, then Kayce would be vulnerable to the spirit, and whatever other bad spiritual things lurked out there. Kayce’s insistence that he couldn’t let Lee into the square likely saved his life, in a spiritual sense.
It’s also important to note that out of all the dead people in Kayce’s life, the spirit chose Lee. Maybe to guilt Kayce into opening the prayer ties, because he felt Lee’s death was his fault? It’s a distinct possibility, and hopefully one Kayce contemplates as he reflects on his quest for a vision.