Yellowstone's Kevin Costner Won't Say Much About Season 4, But What He Can Say Has Me Worried About John Dutton

John dutton yellowstone season 3 finale

Everyone who tuned in for Yellowstone's Season 3 finale likely came away from the episode with a few choice expletives, considering how things ended for nearly the entire Dutton family. Kevin Costner's John Dutton was left in a particularly perilous situation, left for dead on the side of the road after a pre-meditated drive-by shooting, with his cell phone also a victim of the gunshots. Considering the actor's clout both on and off the show, the logical conclusion would seemingly be that John is going to quickly find medical help and will survive without issue. But Costner himself has me worried now.

While promoting his current thriller Let Him Go, in which he stars opposite Diane Lane, Kevin Costner said a measured few words about his Yellowstone fate to the Houston Fox affiliate, and now I'm way more worried about John Dutton than I was before. When asked if he would be returning in Yellowstone Season 4, Costner cagily replied with the following:

I can’t say. I mean, there’s an ending that you’re gonna see. Hopefully it’s a powerful one for you. But I can't [say anything]. Listen, I try to make things and be a part of things that have a dramatic arc to them. So I... Just try to enjoy it right up to the end, if you can.

In less than 30 seconds' time, Kevin Costner mentioned some form of the word "end" twice, which does not come across as exceedingly optimistic. Nobody talks about endings whenever they're wanting to hint at a long-lasting future. Nobody answers the question "How's work going?" with a reply like "Hopefully you like the ending."

Granted, I realize that Kevin Costner is purposefully being playful and is somewhat baiting fans with his wishy-washy response. After all, that's how the TV game is played when it comes to potentially deadly cliffhangers. Not that Yellowstone didn't have more than enough cliffhangers to go around that spoiling one would ruin the whole shebang, but I understand that Paramount and co-creator Taylor Sheridan would be notably peeved if Costner slipped up and revealed how John fared.

So while it could be that Kevin Costner mentioned a "dramatic arc" when speaking specifically about John's "will he/won't he" chances of dying, I can't help but feel like there's something more final to his sentiment, as terrible as that would be. I mean, it's no big secret that Yellowstone has been laying the groundwork for Kayce to take John's place on the ranch, with Beth inheriting John's vengeance. But it seems like there's still too much left for John to do for him to get killed off after only three seasons, especially with the fate of the ranch still up in the air.

Plus, Kevin Costner did talk earlier this year about Yellowstone making the trip to Montana for Season 4's production. Specifically, he talked about how filming with COVID safety restrictions was a bummer in that he wasn't able to fly back home from the set as he did in the first two seasons. So that basically confirmed that Costner was at least initially around for the fourth season's start, even though that technically could have just amounted to him filming a final scene or two, potentially including a funeral sequence.

Do you think John Dutton is set to join the choir invisible, or is his safety guaranteed? Let us know in the poll below!

Yellowstone's first three seasons are available to stream in full on Peacock now. While waiting to hear more information about when we'll get to see Season 4, check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV guide to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.