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Yellowstone Seemingly Revealed Who Set Up Attacks On The Duttons, But Is It Legit?

john sitting on front porch on Yellowstone Season 4
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Spoilers below for the fourth episode of Yellowstone Season 4, so be warned!

With the episode “Winning or Learning,” Yellowstone hit the next heightened step with several of its narratives. The shitstorm brewing between Lloyd and Walker boiled over, Jimmy found his new home at the 6666 Ranch in Texas, Carter is getting one more shot, Kayce is taking Monica to spend time with her family and friends at the Rez, and Beth is likely going to start working with the enemy, as it were, at Market Equities. It was quite a bonkers hour of television in most respects, and that’s even without Taylor Sheridan’s Travis trying to say mullets need to make a comeback. 

But arguably the most important moment came in the final minutes, as Wes Bentley’s Jamie read over what may be the proof that Beth and some viewers were looking for that he is connected to the attacks on the rest of his family, even if he wasn’t completely aware of it. Let’s take a look at what happened before questioning whether or not the evidence on display is exactly that, or if it’s just a distraction. 

Names of Riggins cellmates on Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

What Yellowstone Revealed About Jamie's Connection To The Attacks

Kevin Costner’s John and Luke Grimes’ Kayce were largely put at ease when Jamie agreed to take charge in questioning T. Riggins about his involvement in setting up the various attacks. And at this point, it does look like the show is fully showing Jamie to have his hands clean in that respect, in that he revealed to Kayce that the only reason everyone on the ranch was still walking free is because he smoothed everything over behind the scenes, necessarily keeping him from contacting others in the family. At least in his non-biological family. 

As many viewers may have suspected, Riggins was revealed to be a former cellmate of Jamie’s “real” father, Garrett, who had just proven himself to be a decent cook earlier in the episode. Looks like he’s just as good at cooking up potentially deadly revenge plots as he is at crafting meals. According to the paperwork that Jamie was looking over, Garrett and Riggins would have shared a cell for nearly five years, from 2014 to 2019, which is obviously more than enough time for a relationship to form between the two criminals that could eventually lead to a deal being made with the Duttons (minus Jamie) in someone’s crosshairs. 

Though Garrett hasn’t revealed himself to still be all murder-minded as a free man, he fits the bill for Prime Suspect #1. It would definitely explain why Jamie wasn’t being targeted along with everyone else, and why Beth was targeted in a more explosive manner than John, Kayce, and others on the ranch. But is that connection really the smoking gun in this scenario, or is there another twist on the way? 

garrett standing on jamie's ranch in yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

But Is Garrett Actually Guilty Of Setting The Duttons Up?

Since TV twists have basically made it impossible for me to take anything at face value these days, I do have to wonder if Yellowstone’s big reveal was just a red herring meant to spook Jamie as he takes part in investigating Riggins’ involvement. For one, it’s placement in the episode is rather suspect. A reveal like that should take precedence over any other footage as the final stinger at the end of the episode, right? Instead, though, the ep ends on Jimmy being left to fend for himself in unfamiliar territory. Which is absolutely a great final scene in all the ways, don’t get me wrong, but isn’t it a little weird for Jimmy’s arrival in Texas to trump Jamie’s discovery if the latter is indeed as important as we think?

The preview for Episode 5 adds another possible wrinkle, in that it shows Jamie asking Riggins about who he worked with, and then later shows Jamie and Garrett having a stressful conversation. Which would be one thing if this were a TV preview from 30 years ago, but the fact that no real specifics are laid out in the teaser makes me think that the creative team is getting viewers to look one way so that they can drop another big reveal in the periphery. It could just be a matter of not wanting to spoil things for viewers who catch the preview before watching Episode 4, but that’s not going to reverse my suspicions just yet. 

Perhaps this was all intentional, but Garrett doesn't seem to be very much of a violent dude these days. And he was cellmates with Riggins somewhat late into his time behind bars. So I guess it all comes down to how reformed Garrett actually was once he got out of prison, and how much of his deadly instincts were still around from his younger days. It seems like Jamie would have learned about some of that prior to now, though, if there were any incidents in prison. Plus, I'd expect him to have blown all sorts of gaskets after learning that none of the Duttons were killed after all that effort. 

Of course, there may be a twist on the way that doesn't involve proving Garrett to be innocent of setting up the attacks. Rather, it may involve a reveal that Jamie is going to try and pin the blame on someone else instead of his biological father, so that he can continue building up their relationship on his new ranch. Not that I see Jamie as being so sentimental to a man he doesn't know THAT well at this point. But as long as it doesn't involve being near Beth, I guess it's any port in a storm for Jamie at this point. 

Yellowstone airs Sunday nights on Paramount Network at 8:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to keep tuning in to keep its streak going as the biggest show on cable. And check out our 2021 Fall TV schedule to see what big premieres are still to come before the new year.  

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.