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How Jamie Screwed Himself By Picking Beth’s Third Option In Yellowstone’s Season 4 Finale

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Yellowstone’s Season 4 finale, so be warned!

Of all the biggest and wildest moments that went down in the final installment of Yellowstone’s fourth season, one of the most hair-raising scenes was definitely Beth eking out Jamie’s confession that his biological father Garrett was responsible for setting up the Season 3 finale’s attacks through his former cellmate. Jamie didn’t even have to go hard on exposition in the moment, as his face told Beth everything she needed to know. Instead of cementing Jamie’s fate for him, however, Beth offered up a series of options for how things could go in the immediate future, and he chose the delayed third option, which seemed in the moment like the easiest way out. But was it really?

I dare say that while it wasn’t the worst outcome — hands down, Rip learning that Jamie was responsible for Beth’s sterilization will always be The Worst Outcome — Jamie might have been better off in the long run, whatever that may entail, by choosing Option 1. Why? Because under those circumstances, he’s legitimately innocent of most things, and mainly has to worry about the court system, as opposed to looking over his shoulder for both Beth and John. 

Let’s run through exactly what Beth told Jamie here:

Option 1: I tell my father. He will call the governor and he will have you both arrested. Your spineless, woman-murdering father will instantly say it was your idea. You know that, right? He will cut an immunity deal, and he will testify against you. You will be charged with attempted murder times three, and will spend the rest of your life in jail. Which, actually, it won’t be that long, because you’ll probably commit suicide after your first rape. [Long pause]

Okay, so I know we can’t completely rule out Beth stepping in again with a surprise tactic, given this is Yellowstone and that she totally already used a surprise attack by bringing up Option 3 in the first place. (As well as showing up to catch him in the end, although I’m confused about where she parked whatever vehicle she used.) But Jamie knows the legal system in and out, and is the Attorney General of Montana at this point. So why does he believe anything Beth is saying about how and why Garrett’s claims will hold more weight over his own truths in a courtroom?

I think we can all agree that Garrett was technically giving Jamie good advice prior to his death when he said not to let the Duttons deceive him. Because Beth has put Jamie on an entire guilt trip that he doesn’t have the ticket for, and he doesn’t seem to realize that he’s ostensibly free from certain points of blame. Even though the Duttons are deceiving-ass people, no doubt, why does Jamie think that Garrett’s word will be more believable than his own? Especially when, you know, he’s actually going to be telling the truth.

Will Patton rocks, so obviously his performance brings an earned sympathy to the role, but Garrett is a murderer who, soonishly after his release from prison, reconnected with his biological son and plotted the murders of Jamie’s adopted father and siblings, via communication with his former cellmate. And these are crimes that Jamie legitimately heard him confess to. So while the onus is certainly on the Attorney General to have brought these issues to light before more bodies dropped, I cannot imagine a world where any jury would believe Garrett’s word over Jamie’s.

Garrett standing on Jamie's porch on Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

I don’t want to go overboard here, but all signs already point directly to the biological father being duly responsible. Garrett is prime suspect number one, and it’s beyond weird that the actual cops haven’t arrived at that idea yet. But whatever, this is a very strange setting where the Duttons are concerned, it has been made abundantly clear. 

Record of Jamie’s visit with Terell Riggins is obviously on record, or else Beth wouldn’t have found it. And Jamie giving the dude immunity is obviously a strange detail to consider. But why would he have gone there at all on an official basis if he was responsible for setting up sneak attacks on his own family? Why would he only choose to set up a paper trail, so to speak, after the fact? 

It was Kayce who stepped in and made that happen, after all, and not some government body actually looking into the case. I can understand why Jamie is also hesitant to lose the faith and kinship of the only Dutton who still cares, but surely that relationship’s decline is worth not having Beth as the demon on Jamie’s shoulder presumably for the rest of his life. (Which probably won’t last until the end of the series, even if we’re being kind.)

So am I wrong about this, or would Jamie have been better off opting for Beth’s earliest option? I guess we have a long while to wait until Yellowstone returns to Paramount Network for Season 5 at some point later in 2022 or early 2023. While waiting, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other big shows will be starting up soon!

Nick Venable

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.