‘Yellowstone’ TV Favorites: John Dutton Tells Kayce to Be ‘Meaner Than Evil’

by Jennifer Shea

The “Yellowstone” Twitter account is reminding fans of roughly where the show left off with a quote from Episode 9 of Season 3.

In the newly tweeted video clip, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) tells his youngest Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) about what is necessary to beat back real evil.

John Dutton Tells Kayce About Evil

“You can’t reason with evil, son,” he says. “Evil wants what it wants and won’t stop until it’s won or you kill it. The only way to kill it is to be meaner than evil.”

That conversation came after a tough family dinner during which Kayce had tried to talk business. And John never allows any discussion of business at the dinner table.

After he shared with Kayce his philosophy on good and evil, John told Kayce his secret to life. Namely: being meaner than evil and still managing to love his family and enjoy a sunrise. 

Costner admitted to Indie Wire in 2019 that he doesn’t always understand why John Dutton does what he does, or what the motivation is that drives him to do it. 

And some of John’s attempts to be meaner than evil haven’t exactly sat well with Costner, he seemed to imply.

“When I see behavior that’s off, it bothers me,” Costner said. “I have to look at John and understand — outside the character — ‘Hey, you just crossed a line. There’s no going back from that. You sanctioned a killing.’ You can inform the storytellers, the creators, that, ‘Look, we’ve just done that, and now we have to make sure we deal with it honestly.’”

Much of John’s backstory remains a mystery to Costner, he said. That makes the role a greater challenge for him as an actor.

“I would like to, but I’m not always privy to it, no,” Costner said of John’s backstory. “Sometimes with [John’s] sons or wife or whatever, that’s been really kept in a creative ball. That’s a more vulnerable way to go through life as an actor.”

‘Yellowstone’ Season 4: More Father-Son Moments?

As for Grimes, he told Monsters & Critics last year that working with Costner has been “sort of a pinch-me moment.”

“One thing that I really enjoy to see in him is his passion for the work,” Grimes said of their scenes together. “It’s still very much there. He still wants to work and is still very curious and still wants to dissect the scenes and get everything out of the scene that he possibly can. You never know if someone of that stature if they are still going to love the work the way that they did when they first started, and he really seems to.” 

Grimes sees in Season 3 – and even, he hinted, in Season 4 – a pattern of Kayce and John mending their relationship, with Kayce “man[ning] up” and taking over John’s duties as livestock commissioner to help the family. And John seems to take real pride in his youngest son by the end of Season 3.

Fans will have to wait and see what Season 4 brings. But hopefully both Duttons will still be alive for more father-son moments like the one in the clip.