‘Yellowstone’ TV: Monica Dutton’s Most Pivotal Moments Ahead of Season 4

by Jon D. B.
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Relive Monica Dutton’s incredible journey through Yellowstone Season’s 1-3 in anticipation of Season 4’s Summer 2021 release.

Thank you, Taylor Sheridan, for Monica Dutton. The character brings some much-needed grace, wisdom, and softness to a hard-edged show.

Monica is, as fans know, a Native American born within the lands of the Dutton Ranch. Her indigenous ancestors lived within the valley’s northwestern plains for centuries, before ending up on the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. Monica herself, however, becomes party to not just her people’s community – but to those who took their land from them, too.

After marrying Kayce Dutton, Monica Long becomes a part of Yellowstone Ranch as Monica Dutton. A key part of Monica’s journey throughout the show centers around this conflict of loyalty. Is she of Broken Rock? Or the Duttons & Yellowstone Ranch? Or both? The struggle is poignant and fitting, as it is who she is.

And once she gave birth to their precious son, Tate, the entire fate of Yellowstone changed forever.

Monica Mends the Dutton Family

Through Monica, the Duttons receive some much-needed healing. Through her own strength and heart, she’s able to serve as an outside pair of eyes that can see the forest for the trees. She sees so many broken relationships within this family she’s become a part of. And through love and a level head, she’s able to help the Duttons move forward – together.

Much of this begins with Monica & Kayce’s son, Tate, who – at first – has no relationship with his own grandfather. Yet as time goes on, seeing Tate come and go begins to wear on John Dutton’s heart. He wants to know Tate. And it is through Monica’s heart and wisdom that this becomes a possibility.

“He’s so determined to have that relationship with his grandson,” says Monica actor Kelsey Asbille of John Dutton. “She’s never been a part of the Dutton family… and she’s very weary.”

As such, when Monica finally decides to commit herself to both sides of the family she’s created – a whole new world opens up for her – and for her son, Tate. But she doesn’t do this without caution. Monica is a strong woman, and confronts John Dutton directly on numerous occasions. In doing so, she continually gages whether she’s made the right decision or not.

“You don’t act like the man from the stories I’ve heard,” Monica tells John Dutton to his face on his ranch. From here, she uses the opportunity to not only help her son, but her husband, as well. She confronts John directly about his relationship with his own son, Kayce, and how much healing needs to be done between them.

Monica: “I’m making it my problem.”

In Season 3 – Episode 6, without spoiling anything directly, Monica Dutton (Kelsey Asbille) becomes deeply invested, and rightfully so, in the case of a local missing Native American girl. As fans who’ve finished S3 know, the case quickly escalates into something horribly monstrous. And Monica is through sitting on the sidelines.

“There are monsters everywhere in this world,” her husband Kayce tells her. “Ya just gotta kill ’em when ya find ’em.”

“You can’t make it your fault, baby,” Kayce reassures her.

“I’m not making it my fault, I’m making it my problem,” Monica answers sternly. It’s here that we see the tables finally turn for Monica. A victim of assault and abuse herself, she’s no longer willing to stand by and watch other Native American girls suffer the same.

Monica Dutton isn’t issuing empty words in this pivotal Yellowstone scene, either. Later in the episode, she confronts Chief Thomas Rainwater directly. When he tells her of the council’s plan to address the violence against women on Broken Rock, Monica steps up.

“I can lead that fight,” she says, steely-eyed. And lead it she does. And then some.

If you’ve watched S3’s incredible follow-up episode, “I Killed a Man Today”, then you know Monica becomes a “full Dutton” after her sacrifice – and the follow-through. 

Relive Monica’s Journey: From Monica Long to Monica Dutton

A look back at how Monica Long (Kelsey Asbille) has grown over the course of three seasons. Season 4 of Yellowstone, cable’s No. 1 drama, returns in 2021 on Paramount Network.

Paramount Network

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