Roarke Morris? Thomas Rainwater? Angela Blue Thunder? … Jamie Dutton? We’re all looking for “the one person” in Yellowstone who orchestrated the hits on the Dutton family. But what if there is no single culprit? What if the Dutton’s biggest enemies are all working together, much like the estranged Duttons themselves?
The more we analyze Season 3 and that devastating finale, the more likely this seems. As fans scramble to decode this mystery, evidence mounts that the big bads of Yellowstone are in cahoots to take down our favorite dysfunctional family.
Be warned, there are massive spoilers ahead for those who haven’t finished Season 3.
We know John Dutton survives the attempt on his life thanks to his cell phone, yes. And we see Kayce take cover, leaning heavily into his Navy SEAL skills, leading us to believe he’ll make it. But did Beth? We have no idea.
Just as pressing, however, is who is behind these attacks. It is easier to assume a single force is at play – but the writing is on the wall for not one culprit – but multiple.
Could Jamie Dutton‘s reunion with his biological father have set him on the path of patricide? Are Thomas Rainwater and Angela Blue Thunder willing to go as far as they’ve suggested and wipe out the Duttons – specifically Kayce Dutton? And did Beth Dutton piss off Market Equities to the point of them ordering a hit on her life, too?
Let’s take a look. But first – the writing on the wall:
Is Jamie Dutton Capable of Patricide?
Jamie’s reality came crashing down in season three’s episode seven, The Beating. Within, Jamie discovers his birth certificate – revealing that he is not, in fact, a Dutton.
In shock, Jamie confronts everything from his family keeping such a secret from him – to the revelations of his biological family. Once his wheels begin turning again, he finds out his real father is a dangerous man with a dangerous past: Garrett Randall. Jamie confronts his true father – and is hit with even an more difficult truth as Garret reveals he murdered Jamie’s real mother.
But the real bombshell comes from the heart of Jamie & Randall’s interaction:
Garrett: John Dutton may have raised you, but did he love you, son? Does he love you, now? He loves the goddamned ranch. That’s all he ever loved. You standin’ here in my yard tells me you already know that. I’m your family, son. I’m the only one you got.Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 10: “The World Is Purple”
Jamie: Everything that I worked for, everything that I thought I was, I’m going to lose. I was raised to run that ranch. I built it into what it is today.
Garrett: Then run it.
Jamie: It’s not mine. It’s not for sale, not that I could afford it.
Garrett: Hell, nobody can afford the Yellowstone. The Yellowstone ain’t a ranch, it’s am empire. Empires you take.
Jamie: I don’t know how to do that.
Garrett: It’s the simplest thing on earth. You kill [John Dutton].
Jamie: I’m not a killer.
Garrett: You never killed? Yeah, you’ve killed. Of course, you’ve killed. You’re a Randall, and killin’ is our only gift.
“Murder is a personal affair…”
As a result, it’s not Garrett Randall himself who is the threat to Yellowstone – but the seeds he’s now planted in his biological son’s head. Armed with Randall’s style of “justice” – will Jamie do whatever it takes to secure himself a piece of the family ranch? Is he truly capable of killing the man that raised him as a true father, John Dutton?
Everyone is out for John Dutton – but because Yellowstone is his. For Jamie, however – it’s beyond personal. And if history has shown us anything, murder is a personal affair.
Wanting Yellowstone is one thing. Wanting your father dead is an entirely different matter. As such, this may give Jamie the strongest motive to move toward “family instincts” and deal with his only roadblock to owning it all.
If Jamie is truly walking this line behind the scenes, then Season 4 will deal with the fallout.
Will Thomas Rainwater Claim Yellowstone Through Monica Dutton?
Longtime fans of Yellowstone will know how intertwined Monica Dutton has become with her heritage and the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. Through this, and much personal growth, she’s becomes close with it’s patriarch, Thomas Rainwater. Rainwater (played perfectly by Gil Birmingham) is keen on reclaiming the Dutton Ranch in the name of his Native American ancestors. The land would have, after all, been occupied by his people first and foremost.
Moreover, Rainwater has a secret weapon: Angela. Angela Blue Thunder (Q’orianka Kilcher) is notoriously secretive and may be willing to help betray the Duttons after revealing her true feelings in regards to her ancestors. Rainwater’s assistant, Mo (Mo Brings Plenty), is, too. And with everyone looking to Roarke Morris and the financial war during S3 – it could’ve been the perfect time to strike. But against who?
For Thomas and Angela to bring Monica – and through her, her son, Tate – onboard to overthrowing the Duttons, her husband, Kayce, would have to be out of the picture. And the quickest way to accomplish this is through his death. As such, this points to a second and separate set of culprits with their own strong motivations towards the assassination (attempt?) on the Dutton son.
Through supporting the Dutton’s mission to protect their ranch from development, the advocates of Broken Rock keep it clear of said development from the likes of Roarke Morris and others. Then, it can then be delivered back to their indigenous peoples – through Monica – or Tate. But Kayce would never let that happen.
With all this in mind, the leaders of Broken Rock’s revolution become the prime suspect for the hit on Kayce Dutton – which brings our total of assassins to not one, but two – with extremely personal motives.
Did Beth’s Market Equities Sabotage Seal Her Fate?
And then there’s Beth. Beth Dutton has made just as many enemies as her father. Yet, while some like Roarke Morris have a soul, the company he works for is but an entity. And entities can strike without a face.
Out of everyone Beth has shafted for Yellowstone, she hit Market Equities the hardest. For starters, Beth manipulated the stock market through purchases and bets on ME’s stock to de-value the company. ME then struck back by advising their shareholders to purchase enough shares of Schwartz & Meyer to give them a majority stake. This allowed them the power to fire Beth – and take control of the land she purchased around the Yellowstone Ranch.
Beth being Beth damn Dutton, however, meant she wasn’t to take anything lying down. The sharp and ruthless business woman then retaliated by feeding the media an anonymous tip about Market Equities’ CEO. This, in turn, removed her from being affected. Or so we thought.
Through this trade war, she destroyed fellow landowner Roarke Morris‘ claim to power through his company. But this doesn’t come without consequences. In reality, company-based empires are ruthless. In fiction – they’re even more deadly. Market Equities needs Beth out of the picture immediately – and in the world of Yellowstone, there’s no doubt they have the strongest motives to assassinate her. The show has, however, heavily hinted at a connection between Roarke and Beth – and it is unlikely he himself would pull the trigger on her. If anything, Season 4 seems poised to have ME responsible for her hit, and Roarke caught in the middle.
Only time will tell, however. Thankfully, that time is soon – this year, in fact.
When Will Yellowstone Season 4 Premiere?
To answer all of these questions – and far more – Yellowstone will return for Season 4 in 2021. When, exactly, still remains a mystery. Unconfirmed posts on social media have led to a June 2021 release being touted by some websites. This does align with Season 3’s release date by studio Paramount.
And for plenty more evidence leading up to the premiere, head to our other Yellowstone coverage next: