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Yellowstone Rip Wheeler Cole Hauser John Dutton Kevin Costner Kayce Dutton Luke Grimes Monica Long-Dutton Kelsey Asbille Paramount Network

Could Yellowstone’s explosive finale actually turn into something positive for the Duttons? A Season 4 fan theory suggests that it might. Yellowstone left off with John Dutton and his grown children at one of their most tumultuous spots yet. A triple assassination attempt left John shot, Beth in the near-vicinity of an explosion, and Kayce preparing to battle a gunman.

In John’s case, he was helping a mother stranded on the side of the road with her young son. A flat tire had kept them from reaching their destination, and as John’s nightmare predicted, something else followed. John was shot multiple times by a gunman perched inside a van. They also killed the boy’s mother, who attempted to run away from the assault. Cue the Yellowstone Season 4 fan theory.

One Reddit theory suggests that Rip and Beth might adopt the now-motherless boy. As Yellowstone fans know, Beth cannot have biological children as the result of a teenage abortion that Jamie coordinated despite knowing his sister would have to get sterilized too. Hence, the reason Beth hates Jamie. Beth has found happiness with Rip, though. Could Season 4 see them get married and adopt this boy?

First off, Beth has to survive last season’s finale, and one rumor has her doing just that. Beth could be pretty shaken up in Season 4 after surviving yet another gruesome attempt on her life. When Yellowstone returns, I could see the boy saving John via a cellphone call for help and John taking him back to Duttons’ ranch. I could also see Beth bonding with the boy.

He witnessed his mom get murdered, and as previously revealed on Yellowstone, Beth feels guilty for accidentally causing her mom’s death on horseback. They could both bond over that and the trauma of the events that defined the finale. Of course, from what I know of the real-life foster/adoption process, it is highly unlikely Beth and Rip could adopt the boy.

There are foster families already lined up to do that, and they have been vetted. Jamie does owe Beth, and if he feels any guilt for Beth’s sterilization, he could use his legal influence to make things happen for her. Plus, he does like Rip, so it would help him too. Oh, and John is familiar with having “adopted” kids on the down-low. Besides, TV doesn't have to follow the same rules as real life, right?

John took Rip in as a teen and raised him on Yellowstone’s eponymous ranch while destroying any legal trace of Rip’s existence. That is why Beth and Rip’s engagement and their potential wedding will not be legally binding, as Yellowstone revealed last season. That said, Jamie is coming off of learning he is adopted, so he may not be too into the idea.

There is yet another angle to this entire theory. Another fan theory had postulated that the boy’s mom was a part of the California biker gang that the Duttons had trouble with earlier in the season, potentially pointing at the gang being behind the assassination attempt on John. If that is true, the boy could be the son of a gang member, and they would want him back.

If that Yellowstone theory is false and he has no living father, the Duttons may find themselves able to heal by taking him in to be a part of the family. Jamie could also find some redemption with his sister. On another note, the boy is near to the age of Kayce and Monica’s son Tate, and they could be like brothers to one another.

It is a bit happier of an ending for Beth, Rip, and the Duttons than might seem possible after the intense Season 3 finale, but we will see. I want Beth and Rip to have a family as much as anyone else, and adoption would be a wonderful option for them to explore. Season 4 will premiere after this fall’s premieres in 2021 on the Paramount Network. Season 3 of Yellowstone begins streaming Sunday, November 22, on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

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