It will take weeks for Yellowstone fans to recover after last night’s gripping and devastating Season 3 finale. The future of the Yellowstone ranch is in serious peril after the attempted coup d’etat against the Dutton dynasty. But was it successful? Listen, it’s going to take more than a bomb and a couple of machine guns to take down this family; but needless to say, the Duttons will never be the same. The Dutton family pride themselves on doing whatever it takes to protect their people and their land – lest we forget what happened to Wade Morrow just an episode ago – but their new enemies are just as ruthless and determined.
While we don’t know who exactly is responsible for the attacks on Beth (Kelly Reilly), Kaycee (Luke Grimes) and John (Kevin Costner), there is no doubt that Market Equities is the prime suspect. CEO Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman), disgraced thanks to Beth’s “Jane Doe” accusation of workplace harassment, ordered her sharp-dressed lackey Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) to treat the situation “like an oil deal in Yemen” and “to play dirty,” so you do the math.
Another possibility? Jamie Dutton, née Randall, was spared the finale’s vicious attacks and remains a lurking menace. With Beth’s bombshell reveal of how Jamie wronged her in the past and Jamie’s discovery of his own secret adoption, John and Jamie’s relationship has never been more fraught. Jamie sought out his murderous birth father, Garrett Randall (Costner’s The Postman co-star Will Patton), so he could truly know himself. Reluctant at first to speak to his son, Garrett was soon dishing out “fatherly advice” about how to gain control of Yellowstone ranch: “Yellowstone ain’t a ranch. It’s an empire. Empires you take… You kill the king.” Pretty threatening, don’t you think?
On the other hand, the odds of Jamie attempting to wipe out his adopted family in a single afternoon seems unlikely, though he has killed before (RIP reporter Sarah Nguyen). Plus, Jamie’s schemes never work out. However, consider the fact that Jamie has enlisted John’s former lover, Governor Lynelle Petty (Wendy Moniz), to potentially wield her power to condemn the Dutton’s land, a pretty sneaky move. At the end of the episode, it’s clear that Jamie no longer considers himself a part of the Dutton family and is now looking to take what he believes is his.
The only tentative ally John appears to have left is Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) who intends to sue Market Equities to stop them from building an airport that is a potential environmental threat to Tribal land and Yellowstone National Park. He is aided by the fiercely intelligent and terrifying Angela Blue Thunder (Qorianka Kilche). Rainwater invites John to join their class action lawsuit despite Angela’s convincing argument that he should grab Yellowstone ranch when the Duttons are at their most vulnerable. Could Thomas be a dark horse is the race to take down the Duttons? Despite seeming sympathetic, maybe he has decided to take back the land that is his people’s birthright.
So like Rip at the end of the Yellowstone Season 3 finale, fans can’t ignore the many vultures circling overheard, and neither can the Duttons if they manage to survive these attacks. We don’t know anything yet about what the fourth season of Yellowstone has in store, but the skies are ominously cloudy and there are cataclysmic storms in the forecast.