Why Yellowstone's Luke Grimes Has Me Extra Worried For Kayce And Monica In Season 5

Kayce Dutton sad on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

One of the best things about Paramount Network's Yellowstone is that there are more than enough characters and plotlines for viewers to have their favorites, with plenty of others to still get invested in on smaller scales. So while Kevin Costner's John Dutton and his overarching struggles to hold onto the ranch may loom largest, there's no ignoring the potentially doomed relationship between Kayce and Monica. And star Luke Grimes' latest thoughts on the matter seem all the more ominous after his big vision quest at the end of Season 4, as he compared his and Monica's situation to that of the ill-fated literary couple Romeo and Juliet.

When the latest season came to a close, Kayce revealed to Monica that he saw "the end of us." While it wasn't fully addressed in the moment, the implication was clear that their relationship was heading for some kind of downfall, partially due to Kayce's loyalty to the Dutton ranch clashing with Monica's loyalty to her Broken Rock family.  In an interview with THR, Luke Grimes was asked about Kayce being split between two sides, and here's how he answered:

Yeah, I feel like that’s been Kayce’s storyline from day one. The great thing about this show is that every character has their arc going simultaneously, and Kayce is always in this rock and a hard place kind of story where he and Monica are star-crossed lovers that weren’t meant to be. There’s a Romeo and Juliet aspect to that, with houses divided. There’s the Reservation and Yellowstone, and how they’ve always clashed with each other. So yeah, ultimately, that’s where we all want to see this story go, but I have no idea where it’s going. Kayce’s vision quest at the end of Season 4 could possibly be a sign that things are going to have to change. He has the vision of the woman who tells him he needs to choose a path, and so you get the sense that maybe some kind of change is coming.

For a bit of optimistic clarification, Luke Grimes doesn't namecheck William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet within the specific context of how the romantic tragedy ends. Rather, he's noting the animosity between the Montague and Capulet families being an obstacle for the two teens, which is technically quite a bit more heightened than the professionally amicable relationship between John and Gil Birmingham's Thomas Rainwater. However, things are only going to heat up as time goes on, especially when one thinks about the casually delivered promise of threat that went down in 1883's finale, as it relates to how many generations have been spawned since the spinoff’s timeline. 

Plus, I think we’re at a point where there are enough well-known oppositional “Faction vs. Faction” examples that Luke Grimes could have used instead of Romeo & Juliet if the strife between families was the only relevant detail. Because if you invoke the two star-crossed lovers in any capacity, you’re alluding to a major and potentially avoidable tragedy coming. Nobody talks about balconies being “as gorgeous and accessible to side-pieces as the ones in Romeo & Juliet.” It’s always about lovers who each choose the void of death over the choice of living without the other. 

Of course, I can’t quite picture a situation where either Kayce or Monica would take themselves out of the equation regarding their own relationship. Especially considering Kayce was having some illicit thoughts about another woman, and that Monica voiced her big-picture hatred for Kayce early in the season. Plus, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have any children to worry about when making their fatal decisions, and Tate is clearly treasured by both of his parents. So if things do veer tragic, I’d expect it to occur in a way that doesn’t directly involve suicide.

Luke Grimes doesn’t even have a full grasp on where things are going with Kayce and Monica, since co-creator Taylor Sheridan keeps storylines close to the vest between seasons, but he does have some insight on how the vision quest changed things in Kayce’s mind, even if he can’t talk about any of it until Season 5 arrives

That wasn’t even the only Shakespeare reference laid out by Luke Grimes, and to be expected, his other one also wasn’t about any of the playwright’s comedies, but about the violence on display even then. Speaking to Kayce showing off more of his Navy SEAL skills in Yellowstone’s future, Grimes said:

Yeah, because of some things going on in the world, you never want to glorify that stuff, but it’s part of movies and stories. Even Shakespeare had sword fights. So it’s just part of drama, but hopefully, no one gets the wrong idea and thinks that we’re trying to glorify that in any way.

For now, I suppose it’s safer and saner to hold out hope that both Kayce and Monica will make it through Season 5 intact and without suffering any Shakespearean tragedies. But until someone starts using other less-deathy lovers for comparison, I’m keeping some of that worry in my front pocket. 

Yellowstone Seasons 1-4 are available to stream for anyone with a Peacock subscription, and Season 5 is set to go into production in May 2022, with a potential debut coming in late fall. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

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.