Why Did That Huge Yellowstone Death Actually Have To Happen? Here's What The Actor Says

Yellowstone Jamie Dutton Wes Bentley Paramount Network

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

A game-changing death rocked Yellowstone, and if you are wondering why it had to happen, the actor has explained. In Episode 6 of Season 2, Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) did the unthinkable. He murdered the reporter he had given an interview to. Why did he do it? Bentley explained how the past played a role, saying:

That, in turn, plays itself out in the situations that are before him. Jamie's grown up around violence. He knows about the violence on the ranch. He's also, obviously, not in control of his emotions. Then there's this moment where Sarah's telling him that she's gonna run it. You made a mistake, your dad's a bad man, and you're gonna have to pay for that. And I think these are all a list of things that Jamie can't handle, and I think he panics, doesn't know what he's doing.

Wes Bentley provided the insight in Yellowstone’s Behind the Story, which lets the cast dive into the show’s major developments, like John’s decision regarding Rip, Kayce, and the ranch. Bentley is describing Jamie’s actions as a culmination of anger and not liking what he heard. As Jamie took in what Sarah had to say, he started to get angry.

This is a reaction along the same lines to what Yellowstone viewers have seen happen between Jamie and his sister, Beth. In this case, Sarah gave Jamie her back, and he rushed up behind her, knocking her against her rental car. She survived the hit, so why did Jamie murder her after that? Wes Bentley explained Jamie’s mindset in the moments leading up to the murder, saying:

I don't know if he's thinking he wants to just go hurt her or something, but it leads to knocking her out. He tried to think his way through it. He thinks that the only choice he has is to kill her. Playing out the moment of murdering Sarah, I was trying to think ahead of it, and decide, well, what's the drive? What's the final factor? It was nothing I could think of, which occurred to me that that's just a moment of panic. You know, and that was all really tricky to do.

Jamie’s decision to kill Sarah was a shock, even if there were signs that was what would happen. I expected it to be a terrible accident. Not something he perpetrated with malicious intent. Yellowstone did not have it go down that way.

If caught, Jamie should get brought up on murder charges. It is a huge change from his outlook a few episodes ago. Since returning to his family following a falling out in Season 1, Jamie seemed to be doing okay on Yellowstone. Then, that interview he gave re-surfaced.

As fans will recall, Jamie did the interview when he was still furious at his dad. John had told Jamie to drop out of his run for office. He felt it was distracting Jamie from his responsibilities to the ranch. Jamie refused. Still angry, Jamie did the interview, which he began by saying in part:

The only way to protect my father's legacy is to destroy the man.

Yellowstone viewers still have no idea what he specifically said. Obviously, murdering Sarah will not stop the interview from getting published. At the end of the episode, John Dutton came down and confronted his son after seeing news of the reporter’s death on the news.

Jamie told his dad that he had “no choice.” suggesting that there was no alternative to killing Sarah. His father told him there was always a choice. He then said that Jamie could have jumped into the river. Wes Bentley hints that John’s comment did not surprise Jamie. However, it may have altered his view of him. Bentley said:

I think, actually, in that scene, it was harder for Kevin [Costner] playing a dad who might say that than it was playing Jamie because what I found in that scene is it was kind of a moment where it's exactly what he expected his father to do. And maybe, for the first time in his life, he realized that maybe that's not okay, and maybe this all isn't okay. Maybe his father is not the heroic cowboy he once thought he was.

Jamie clearly exposed something that he is very desperate to take back. Will Yellowstone reveal what it was? The news story is not going away. Neither should the reveal of its contents. After being wrong about John making Jamie take the brand, it is tough for this viewer to know where this is all going.

Find out what is next for Jamie and the rest of the Duttons when new episodes of Yellowstone Season 2 air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network. The drama is part of summer’s television premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.