Here Are The Ways ‘Yellowstone’ Could End

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Paramount announced in early May that “Yellowstone” would be coming to a premature conclusion, and that it will wrap up with six more episodes for the second half of season five.

So, what could happen in the concluding chapter of this story? There are many theories over the way “Yellowstone” could end, most of them revolving around the death of its patriarch John Dutton (played by Kevin Costner). The entire storyline within the “Yellowstone” universe surrounds the protection of the Dutton-Yellowstone ranch in Montana, and killing off all those who try to claim it as their own.

The Dutton family is in the thick of one such battle, fought in large part by a former member of their kin, Jamie Dutton (played by Wes Bentley). A lot of people think Jamie needs to meet the same fate as so many others who have tried to take over the ranch, but my gut says there’s more of his story left to tell. This brings me to one of my main theories on the show’s conclusion: It won’t actually be a conclusion at all.

When Paramount quietly told Deadline the series was ending, they were quick to add that a “Yellowstone” spinoff series is already in the works, with Matthew McConaughey in talks to lead. What if the conclusion to this chapter of “Yellowstone” is simply the death of John Dutton, leaving the overarching fight for the land between his daughter, Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly); her husband, Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), and his other son, Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes); his wife, Monica, and son, Tate (Kelsey Absille and Brecken Merrill), and McConaughey’s character and Jamie?

Jamie is the perfect villain for any ongoing franchise, even if he is the most punchable little dweeb on the show. I also think so much of his behavior is indicative of an adolescent rebellion he never had. As co-creator Taylor Sheridan is a terrifyingly accurate writer when it comes to the human condition, what if he decides Jamie’s new battle is to rejoin his family (unlikely) in protecting the land? (RELATED: Could We See A Beth And Rip Spin-Off Amid Uncertainty About The Future Of ‘Yellowstone’?)

As I’ve said before, I hope the ranch returns to Kayce, Monica and Tate. Monica is Native American, making Tate half-Native American. Tate deserves to run the ranch in his adulthood, and his father is the perfect man to train him on how to do so.

But again, this doesn’t really fall in line with Sheridan’s style of writing. The ranch always seems to go to the sibling who wants it the least, so will Beth end up in control of her father’s estate? She’s repeatedly said she’d turn the entire place into a parking lot (or words to that effect), but I don’t think she’d have the stones to do it if her father’s dying wish is for her not to do so.

What my gut tells me is the ending of “Yellowstone” will actually be a dawn for the new series. It’ll likely conclude with a cliff-hanger that sets up the McConaughey-led spin off, and anything that happens between now and then is up for grabs. (RELATED: ‘Yellowstone’ Creator Reportedly ‘Furious’ With Kevin Costner)

If we can depend on Sheridan for anything, it’s sudden deaths, shock and heartbreak. Maybe Beth and Rip will die — who knows? Maybe most of the main cast will meet their fate, and McConaughey’s character will buy up the land and take it over as his own.

What if John Dutton dies and the entire McConaughey series is trying to find out who killed him, and why? This would be such a great set-up and would allow all other cast and crew members to keep their jobs, keep money flowing into Montana and continue the questions over who the ranch will eventually belong to.

Whatever happens, it’ll be fascinating. And I’m so glad we only have to wait until November to see what all comes down the line.