Television audiences all across the country are more than ready to relocate to Paradise Valley, Montana for at least one hour a week, with Yellowstone Season 5 set to deliver its super-sized premiere on November 13. Paramount Network has stayed on top of reminding viewers of everything that’s come before, thanks to marathon runs of the western drama leading into the new eps. But for those without Peacock subscriptions and/or the time to rewatch the entirety of Season 4, look no further.
Below is a rundown of Yellowstone’s biggest and best characters, noting where things left off for each of them when Season 4 wrapped up at the tail end of 2021. We probably shouldn’t expect Season 5’s premiere to pick up exactly where things left off for John, Beth, and the rest, but it’s still important to remember how things got to that point.
Jimmy & Emily
Yellowstone delivered one of its biggest shockers of the season by revealing in “Grass on the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops” that Jimmy’s Texas-borne relationship with Emily wasn’t actually put on hold, as viewers were led to believe, but had rather quickly advanced to the hallmark of “engagement.” This obviously isn’t great news for ol’ Mia, but that’s fine.
Though the finale didn’t directly set up the impending 6666 spinoff that fans already knew star Jefferson White was destined for, Jimmy’s Season 4 storyline did a solid job of introducing viewers to that location. I, for one, expected his story to transition to the new setting at that point, but White will be back for Season 5 along with co-star Kathryn Kelly, so we can expect the show to continue that development process as we wait for the follow-up to get a premiere date on Paramount Network.
Unlike some of Yellowstone’s other characters, Gil Birmingham’s Thomas Rainwater didn’t really tap into any extremes regarding his Season 4 narrative. He gained some favorable ground with John by hand-delivering the hick responsible for attacking them, along with additional info. The tribe leader, along with Mo, also helped Kayce after the latter requested to go on his vision quest, and witnessed how the experience altered the Dutton son’s headspace.
Generally speaking, Rainwater ended Season 4 with some generalized worries about John Dutton’s campaign to become Montana’s governor, as well as his sub-goal of building a lucrative casino in the area. And, something tells me John could owe him a million favors and Rainwater would still never get what he wanted.
Caroline Warner & Market Equity
Life is not great for Jacki Weaver's Caroline Warner and the various other higher-ups at Market Equity, at least where the Dutton family is concerned. Caroline was ideally meant to be the lion tamer that brought Beth and John into the company's way of thinking, not that viewers ever thought her attempts would work any better than those who came before. And, sure enough, her boneheaded move to hire Beth backfired, which led to Beth herself getting fired and verbally accosted by her former boss.
If her scathing thoughts in the Season 4 finale end up coming true, Caroline Warner is set to wipe the Duttons and their land off of the planet. But, as seen in the Season 5 trailer, the CEO is throwing drinks and screaming about things, so maybe don't pick the bingo card with "Caroline Warner winning" on it.
Kayce & Monica
Kayce and Monica's combined marital and parental strife throughout Season 4 led to what seemed like a reckoning of sorts, as Kayce took part in a somewhat harrowing vision quest with the help of Rainwater and Mo, among others within the Broken Rock tribe. When he came out of it, rather than seeming like he was convinced he was on the right path, Kayce seemed more confused than ever. Particularly when it came to salacious thoughts about another woman, although his horrific hallucination of his brother, Lee, wasn't exactly comforting.
The couple ended Season 4 on uneven ground, and it's unclear where things will stand in Season 5. They appear to still be together, although there will be a point when Monica gets a drastic haircut, so maybe that's a sign that she's making big changes in her life all around.
Whatever the direct opposite of "happy ending" is, Jamie Dutton resided in a home made out of that by the time Season 4 ended. Despite having finally connected with his biological father, and realizing that they were a lot closer in mindframes than Jamie was with John, the black sheep of the family was essentially forced into murdering his pops by Beth, who now has photographic evidence of the body being dumped to hang over Jamie's head. It was an option he technically chose, but only because the other two options somehow seemed worse.
Jamie also had his political ideals ripped away after John took over the campaign to be governor, so he'll presumably be starting off Season 5 completely under John and Beth's combined thumbs, and without much independent power of his own. Which is exactly how Beth would want it. With his father out of the picture now, it's unclear whether or not his baby mama will be back in his life going forward.
While Season 4 started with Rip feeling about as panicked as he could be after finding John bleeding and bullet-ridden, Cole Hauser's badass was essentially all smiles by the time the finale was over. One huge inspiration for that, of course, was his impromptu wedding with Beth, as officiated by a kidnapped priest. As well, he came to realize what officially being part of the family meant for his day-to-day life, as he'll now be living with Beth in the ranch's main house. He and Carter were on better ground by the end than they were during the early days, but it seems clear that they'll never truly fall into "father" or "son" roles in their relationship.
By and large, Rip is going into Season 5 without a whole lot of major troubles immediately parked outside of his metaphorical door. Granted, having John enter the political game means Rip will be more responsible for ranch-related things, and there's the ever-present threat of him learning about Jamie approving Beth's sterilization as a teen. So the potential for a blood shitshow is ever-present.
Yellowstone's Season 4 finale put Kelly Reilly's Beth through the full gamut of emotions and experiences, from sharing an animosity-squashing apology with John to marrying Rip to losing her Market Equities job to facing the brunt of Caroline Warner's verbal threats. It's no wonder she took such ample glee from setting Jamie's ultimatum in motion, since all the outcomes were a net positive in her eyes.
The actress has already confirmed that Beth starts off Season 5 in a pretty happy place, as she's got her man, her power over Jamie, and her father ready to take over the most powerful position in the state. It seems like it won't be outside stresses that bring Beth crashing back down to earth, but rather her inner struggles. She seems more regretful than ever over everything related to her being unable to bear children, and that info can only stay locked up for so long.
As noted above, John Dutton started Season 4's final episode in a bit of a rough patch with Beth, which isn't really a situation he'd ever dealt with before. Her intentional fuckery regarding Summer getting arrested (and sent off to prison) ran too far afoul in his book for her to get away with it completely, but they were in a steadier rhythm again by the time the wedding went down. While I do think it might be a fatal blow to their father-daughter relationship should she ever murder Jamie, I doubt anything else could cause similar-sized rifts going forward.
In the end, with a political campaign regrettably on his agenda, John had a bonding moment with Carter that will no doubt continue to pay off as Yellowstone continues, as the subject of family, lineage, and bloodlines continues to be explored. (And not only through this show, but also the upcoming franchise series, such as the 1923 prequel, the second season of 1883, and whatever other projects Taylor Sheridan is cooking up that we don't even know about yet.) Though John's romantic tryst with Summer is likely over for the long haul, as I don't see him as being the conjugal visit kind of guy, fans can probably expect to see him growing closer with the Senate bound Lynelle Perry as he takes office.
Beyond all the characters listed above, the finale was pretty light on big moments for recurring actors, such as those who make up the bunkhouse. But, suffice to say, Teeter and Colby are still together, Colby's mom is still off-limits for jokes (though Jimmy's isn't), Walker and Lloyd are friendly again after their last-man-standing brawl, and it's not entirely clear if Mia will be back after seeing Jimmy's rebounded happiness. But I dare say Walker and Laramie are still a thing as well, Lloyd's jealousy be damned.
Season 5 will make its grand and extended debut on Paramount Network on Sunday, November 13, at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the debut of Sylvester Stallone’s crime drama Tulsa King set to follow it. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other goodies will be popping up soon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.