Warning: Spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of Yellowstone are below.
Yellowstone is back and the Kevin Costner-led series delivered on all of the big drama this viewer was hoping it would. A few more scenes of Beth (Britannia’s Kelly Reilly) would have been nice. Otherwise, the Season 2 premiere had everything, including John Dutton’s quiet intensity and loads of power plays.
What Yellowstone viewers could not have seen coming was that last-minute shocker. Teased in the promos without necessary context, there was plenty of room for speculation. Now, the answers are here, and the surprising twist opened the door to a lot of possibilities.
What Happened To John Dutton
Kevin Costner’s John Dutton was on the Yellowstone ranch watching the latest action unravel when he walked away and keeled over. He was unconscious with blood in his mouth. Rip, Kayce, and others quickly gathered around to help him. The veterinarian, who was on hand, had Kayce (True Blood’s Luke Grimes) and Rip bring John into her mobile unit.
The vet quickly ruled out colon cancer as the cause of John Dutton’s illness. Instead, she diagnosed him with a ruptured stomach ulcer. What followed was a harrowing scene. John had to be opened up, and the ulcer cauterized…without anesthesia.
John somehow made it through, and the Yellowstone’s helicopter later arrived to transport him to the hospital. On their way there, Kayce told John that the bright side to the “mess” as John put it was that he did not have cancer. He is not dying yet, Kayce said. John replied, “Maybe not. But I’ve been living like it, and that might be worse.” Well, I disagree.
What John Dutton’s Survival Means For The Rest Of The Family
John Dutton not kicking the bucket means that the patriarch is not going anywhere, any time soon. John Dutton’s adult children have been approaching their relationship with him through that lens. Kayce now knows that John has a lot longer to live. Beth and Jamie have not learned the news yet.
John was preparing the Yellowstone ranch to be handed down to his family. He thought he would not be around to protect it much longer and was fretting about leaving it in the hands of his children. Now, he is around to fight for it.
Plus, he has a lot more time to train them too. Having their father around indefinitely is a game-changer for the Dutton family. What it means for them going forward could be huge.
What Could Happen Next For The Dutton Family
First off, Beth and Jamie are definitely going to be shaken. They were not present when John had his attack. Jamie (American Horror Story's Wes Bentley) recently left the family following a massive fight with John over his run for office. In the Season 2 premiere, Jamie seemed to already be struggling with this decision.
Could his father’s near-death experience make him reconsider his stance? Will Jamie return home? These kinds of events can bring a struggling family back together again. It could also cause John to reconsider how he handled things with his son. Yellowstone ranch needs Jamie’s legal skills.
As for Beth, she already loves her father and is more devoted to him than either of his other children. I would expect that Kayce helping John should help strengthen her bond with him. After thinking that she was getting things in order for her father in his last days, she can now start planning for the future. It does not hold what she thought it did.
As someone that had hoped that Yellowstone would resolve John Dutton’s health status sooner rather than later, I am so thrilled by this development. The scene of John getting treated was rough, but the result was worth it. It was fairly evident that the series would not be losing the star of the show. What other wishes could come true? Stay tuned.
Rip (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’ Cole Hauser) and Kayce were already at quiet odds in the Season 2 premiere. John clearly wants Kayce to take over the ranch. Having been John’s right-hand man for so long, it is something that is understandably tough for Rip. How will he handle things going forward?
Yellowstone’s Season 2 premiere has opened the door for an explosive season. There will be more fistfights and another season. Paramount Network has already renewed the series for Season 3 and added a Lost veteran to the cast. Not to mention, the show has yet to introduce Arrow actor Neal McDonough’s new character.
If that was not enough, it turns out that the determined land developer (played by Magic City's Danny Huston) is still alive. Did anyone else think Dan had gotten killed? Well, he did not. That was one return I did not expect given the way Season 1 ended.