Former Yellowstone Star Talks 'Possibility' That His Villain Could Return, And He Sounds Pretty Convincing

Malcolm Beck in Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

With so much of the Yellowstone universe yet to be untapped via future seasons and spinoffs encompassing various eras, fans are eager to get out of this mini-drought to see where the Dutton family members’ stories are going next. The latest Season 5 update revealed some key casting additions and promotions, with Jacki Weaver’s Caroline Warner confirmed to return for what should be an explosive battle with Kelly Reilly and Kevin Costner’s Beth and John Dutton. But a former series antagonist has hinted that his work on the show might not be as dead as viewers have assumed his character was. 

Back in Season 2 of Yellowstone, John Dutton was dealing with the threat of brothers Malcolm and Teal Beck, as respectively portrayed by Neal McDonough and Terry Serpico. They were behind some truly heinous acts in their attempts to intimidate the Dutton family, with the most egregious one being Beth’s beating and attempted rape. (Not that either of her attackers lived to talk about it.) And though fans have long believed both brothers to be ex-threats in a mortal sense, McDonough has teased the possibility of Malcolm Beck’s return at some point in the future. Here’s how the actor put it in an interview with TV Insider when his character’s “death” was referenced:

Did I die? Did I? I’m not so sure about that. We have talked about the fact we didn’t actually see Malcolm Beck’s eyes close. There is always that possibility. My brother won’t be coming back for sure, but there is a possibility.

Given the fact that Neal McDonough is a very practical, intelligent and down-to-earth guy, and isn’t the kind of interviewee who is generally known for stoking fan excitement disingenuously, I can’t help but feel like there might actually be something to this. The actor has certainly been killed off a time or two across his career so far. Granted, this is the same actor who has portrayed Damien Darhk within The CW’s Arrowverse, where actors are 100% known for being coy about characters’ fates even after they’re very clearly dead. So maybe some of those interview instincts were rising to the surface in this case. 

And as fans might recall, while Kayce somewhat regretfully put a bullet-riddled end to Teal while the latter was on the toilet, Malcolm’s presumed demise wasn’t quite as concrete. In the emotional Season 2 finale, as Team Yellowstone ambushed the militia camp to try and find the kidnapped Tate, John put three shotgun blasts into Malcolm as he tried to flee. And though the criminal enforcer appeared to be settling in comfortably on death’s doorstep, John walked away with the intention of forcing his enemy to die alone, even though he said he’d call an ambulance for him.Given that Season 3 didn’t open on any dialogue implying that the corpse of Neal McDonough’s character was tossed over the Montana state line, there’s the relatively slight possibility that Malcolm survived that ordeal and somehow found his way to safety.

That said, one has to assume that someone on the authoritative side of things would have realized that Malcolm Beck wasn’t noted in the lineup of corpses rounded up on the property. Or, if everyone was aware that he was still alive, it’d be very strange if John, Kayce and others never mentioned the dude’s name again. Especially during the “Who can we blame the hardest?” phase after the Season 3 finale attacks

So while I don’t necessarily believe with all of my heart and soul that Neal McDonough will return to Yellowstone as Malcolm Beck, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to learn that Caroline Warner has been keeping him alive for the past couple of years in a Market Equities bacta tank, Darth Vader-style. Who doesn’t want to see McDonough swinging a lightsaber?

Yellowstone Season 5 is already set to debut on Sunday, November 13, but our 2022 TV premiere schedule will clue you in on all the new and returning shows that’ll be around long before the Duttons return. 

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.