‘Yellowstone’: Was John Dutton the ‘Reason’ Behind Character’s Season 4 Death?

by Leanne Stahulak

The action finally picked up in recent “Yellowstone” episodes, and fans continue breaking down these explosive moments. One of the biggest scenes to date from this season involved the death of a longtime character (and friend of John Dutton).

WARNING: Yellowstone Season 4 spoilers below!

Sheriff Haskell died in a shootout with armed robbers at the local diner. John and Rip started the gunfight by sneaking into the diner and shooting the perps. No innocents got killed except the Sheriff, who also opened fire on the robbers.

After the event, local news called John a hero for his actions. But some “Yellowstone” fans wonder — did he actually do anything to help the people in the diner? Or did he just help Sheriff Haskell meet an untimely death?

One “Yellowstone” fan voiced their thoughts on the scene in a recent Reddit post. They referenced the very beginning of Episode 9 when Beth Dutton confronts her dad about walking into a diner of armed robbers. They called John’s response to her “hilarious.”

“Beth started lecturing John on why he engaged in a shootout in the diner. John responds with ‘What was I supposed to do?’ My first thought was .. uhh how about you let those crack heads rob the place and once they step outside you blow them away??? What the hell was the point of doing it inside and risk innocent casualties??” the Reddit user said. “John is the reason the sheriff died in vain.”

Now that is a hot take. But “Yellowstone” fans didn’t immediately jump to John’s defense in the comments. Instead, they presented other ideas for how the situation could’ve been handled better.

Could John and Rip Have Played the Shootout in the Diner Smarter on ‘Yellowstone?’

One “Yellowstone” fan thinks the cops should’ve become involved immediately. “Well they could have just called the cops and they would have been there in 10 seconds because the diner is in town and so is the police station,” one fan commented on the original post.

“Plus the livestock police would have shown up too,” they continued. “But it was the best scene in the whole season so I’m not gonna b**** too much.”

The commenter also mentioned how getting the police involved could’ve led to a hostage/ransom situation that threatened more lives. So maybe John and Rip going in stealthily and taking the robbers out did limit casualties that way.

A different fan thought that “They could have just let them leave and followed them…”

This is also a fair point, except we don’t know if all the robbers wanted was to take the diner patrons’ valuables and leave. Maybe they did want to escalate it into a hostage situation and then demand more money from the town.

Either way, while the sheriff’s death was clearly a huge loss, it seems like John and Rip did a decent job of limiting other civilian losses.