We’re going to keep the action pumping during Yellowstone Season 4 with a weekly round table digging in a little further to each episode.
Today, we’ve got the Yellowstone Season 4 premiere on tap, and I think you’re going to enjoy the discussion.
Join me and TV Fanatic senior staff writers Whitney Evans and Jack Ori for all of the fun below!
What are your thoughts on the carnage (or lack thereof) from the attack that started at the end of Yellowstone Season 3?
Whitney: I wasn’t expecting anyone to die, but the first few minutes were very tense, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. At this point, it’s probably safe to assume the Dutton’s will always be safe, and that’s fine, but it does lessen the tension once you’re aware of that.
Roarke’s death did catch me off-guard, though. Death by a snake is a terrible way to go.
Jack: I’m not a big fan of gunfights and tend to tune out during them. I know they’re part of a Western like Yellowstone, but I did wonder at first whether the reason the premiere was two hours was so that we could have an hour’s worth of people shooting at each other!
But then it jumped way too quickly to time having passed and the Duttons in recovery. I assumed John would live because where is the series without its patriarch?
In particular, I would have liked to have seen more of Beth’s recovery. Beth is my favorite because she is so strong-willed and determined, and I wanted to know how she climbed up from being seriously injured in the bombing to being more or less fine.
We did have that with John, but I felt like we missed out on something here.
Carissa: Agreeing with Whitney; at this point, we have to assume the Duttons are off the table until someone does something untoward or an actor wants to move on. That makes the show a little less exciting and more unrealistic, but thankfully, they’ve got enough sass to keep me watching.
Also agree with Jack, as I would have liked to see more from their recovery process, not only in terms of injuries but the mental anguish and inward meditation I’d expect as they fought through it.
Doesn’t anyone ever sit down and process these things in terms of anything other than vengeance? That leaves a lot off of the table, and since I’m a fan of psychological drama, it’s an untapped well that I’d love to see explored.
Now that we’ve got some more information, what are your theories on who is responsible for the mayhem?
Whitney: Whitney: I honestly have no idea. Though for some reason, I feel like maybe it could be Garrett? I would have a hard time explaining why I think that but perhaps he saw an opportunity to get closer to Jamie by wiping out his family, and that was enough.
He spent a long time in prison, and I’m sure he has connections that would allow him to coordinate that kind of attack. It may be far-fetched, but right now, that’s where I’m leaning.
Jack: I really have nothing concrete. Obviously, this all stemmed from the land dispute with the tribe on Yellowstone Season 3, but as to who is actually responsible, I don’t have much of a clue. I like Whitney’s idea. I hadn’t thought of Garrett specifically, but it makes sense.
Carissa: Watching the what’s ahead previews that suggest Beth will continue with her belief that Jamie is at the center of it, I can’t help but call forth Garrett because nothing would affect Jamie more than facing that reality. I can’t even stand to think about it.
We didn’t see Monica and Tate after their trauma at the house. Why do you think that is?
Whitney: I didn’t think much of it, to be honest. The way the episodes were framed was very much about setting the stage for the season, and perhaps Monica and Tate’s storylines just didn’t fit here.
However, I do think this will be another trying season for Monica and Kayce, as I believe their interests will continue to conflict with one another. Kayce is all in with John now and headed down a dangerous path that could drive him further away from his family.
Jack: I did wonder if Monica and Tate were stashed away somewhere safe while Kayce is doing what he feels he has to do. I agree that there’s going to be a ton of tension between Monica and Kayce again, assuming they cross paths later on this season.
Carissa: All I know is that with how Monica felt about coming to the Yellowstone, this will not do anything to increase her comfort level. I’m worried that Kayce’s little family will suffer a big blow.
How do you think Rip and Beth will handle the boy?
Whitney: I could see this story coming from a mile away, but it was sweet to see Beth develop a kinship with Carter. I knew Rip would be a harder sell, but I liked that he eventually came around with him. My only fear here is that Beth will get super attached, and then Rip will tell her that he can’t stay long-term.
Jack: It’s going to be hard for Rip and Beth to get on the same page when it comes to Carter.
I think they both see him as their own younger selves. Beth was lost after her mother’s death, and Rip was a troubled kid who would have had no future if it weren’t for the Duttons.
So they’re each treating Carter the way they “know” works, but that will put them at odds with each other. We already saw how Beth handled the introduction, with Rip continually throwing Carter out then changing his mind.
Carissa: I’m considering Carter as Jimmy’s replacement, but with a slightly different arc given his early age. Of course, it connects him more fully to Beth and Rip’s past, separate and together. And in their present, it could mean different things to both. I am excited to see it play out, though.
Jimmy is headed to Texas. What character do you want to pick up the slack that his storyline leaves open?
Whitney: My guess would be Walker because since they brought him back, he’s kind of been on the periphery, but now they can give him more to do since Jimmy’s storyline will no longer take up time.
There’s something brewing between him and Lloyd, so between that and what I assume will be continued issues with Rip, there are story possibilities.
Jack: Yeah, let’s get the tension between Walker and Lloyd more front and center. Part of me wants them to bring in a new character to pick up the slack, but there are enough characters to keep track of, so that’s probably not the greatest idea.
Carissa: There are so many good actors in that bunkhouse that I hope one or more of them gets the focus. I still can’t believe that Ian Bohen hasn’t had more to do. He’s so talented and so, well, attractive that I just want more.
As usual, Beth was brimming with memorable moments. What was your favorite?
Whitney: The whole hamburger helper versus tuna helper moment with Rip was funnier than it had any business being. And it leading into her telling Rip that she brought a whole kid into their home was so Beth.
I also loved the entire interaction with the woman at the bar. Never has the word ‘women’ sounded so menacing.
Jack: Oh my gosh, I was thrilled there was so much good Beth stuff! Only Beth would smoke a cigarette right next to the sign thanking people for not smoking. LOL.
I loved her initial scenes with Carter, both on the park bench, and how she stood up to that doctor in her characteristic way. I also liked her scenes with John. She and John have so often had an adversarial relationship, so there was something satisfying in her trying to take care of him during his recovery.
Carissa: She was so good in the premiere. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but it was so quintessential Beth for her to sit on the curb smoking a cigarette while her body was still smoldering. And shooting the wind chimes? Who in the hell hasn’t wanted to do that??
Was there anything you wish had happened during the premiere? Let’s hear it!
Whitney: While I ended up enjoying the time jump, after the initial rush of the first few minutes, I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get more of the immediate fallout from the bombing and the shootings.
It felt like there could have been a lot of great emotional beats there that would have helped us understand things more as we got into the aftermath a few months later.
Jack: I agree with Whitney. As I said above, I’d have liked to have had more of the fallout, especially Beth’s recovery. Also, maybe I missed it, but
I’m still not totally sure what the flashback scenes from 1883 had to do with anything. I’m guessing that was the genesis of the conflict between the Native Americans and the ranchers, but I would have liked more of a connection there.
Carissa: Once again, I agree all over the place. We didn’t even find out who died? They lost nobody that mattered? Or, specifically, who they might have wanted to honor in any way? That’s sad.
The 1883 scenes seemed to indicate things started well between the Duttons and the Native Americans. At least, that’s how I took it.
I wanted deeper, more meaningful discussions to come from an all-out attack on the family like that. Not getting it was very disappointing to me, and it cements the fact that Yellowstone will never rise above the fray from a critical perspective, which is too bad. It’s all within reach.
Share your favorite, the worst, the funniest, or the most surprising moments — whatever comes to mind.
Whitney: I have a love/hate relationship with Rip, but he was really killing me throughout the whole two hours. He had some memorable lines, and I actually find myself looking forward to seeing how his relationship with Carter grows.
Jack: Even though part of me expected it, I loved that Tate protected Monica. I’m hoping that part of this season’s arc includes Tate’s growth and deciding what kind of man he will ultimately become.
I was so mad at Rip when he left Carter on the side of the road. I was glad he changed his mind!
I also loved that tiny exchange between John and Carter when John got on his horse against the doctor’s orders. I’m curious about how their relationship will develop and how things will go between Rip and Carter.
Carissa: Since I already mentioned hot guys, Luke Grimes gets a shot out because he was the stuff of dreams in more than one scene. Who doesn’t love that??
It was also very realistic how John handled Jimmy’s situation. John made it clear that Jimmy was not to consider his dangerous sport again, and his first time out, he made himself worthless on the ranch when they needed the help the most.
Now, it’s your turn, Yellowstone Fanatics. Share your answers to the questions above in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.