“I am the opposite of progress. I’m the wall to break, and I’m not the one to fall,” Montana ranching titan John Dutton (Kevin Costner) swears on the campaign trail in his fourth season as governor of the state. Yellow stone-A statement of intent and a statement of intent, unfortunately, has come to embody the spirit of Taylor Sheridan’s wildly popular Paramount Network drama.
In the year When it returns on November 13, the series continues its usual retro-conservative worldview, all dressed up in modern Western clothing. Yet increasingly, resistance to moving forward is not only a cultural and political position, but also a narrative.
Yellow stone He built an empire for Sheridan, using his success to spawn two franchise spin-offs – Prequels. In 1883 And In 1923The latter will star Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford – with unrelated but equally eccentric characters. The mayor of Kingstown And Tulsa King.
Despite such expansion, Sheridan’s biggest success last year spun the wheels, churning out 10 episodes across five easily contained storylines, and taking only baby steps in a new direction. That mostly had to do with John, who decided he couldn’t let control of Montana fall into the hands of his scheming, semi-renegade adopted son, Jamie (Wes Bentley)—even though the witch-turned-politician killed his stepfather (Will Patton) in an attempt to destroy the Duttons; God’s father-style—and chose to run for the state’s highest office.
John’s nominal goal is to protect Montana from greedy coastal-elite enemies who want to build, build, build, and in the process rob the West of its natural beauty and glory. Those villains still exist, now led by Caroline Warner (Jackie Weaver), the CEO of Market Equity, whose plan is to build a massive airport, casino, and tourist trap town around it in collaboration with John’s local adversary, a Native American bigwig boss. Thomas Rainwater (Gill Birmingham).
even if, Yellow stone It is no secret that John’s main objective is to protect the vast empire he inherited from his family and rules with an iron fist. As he makes clear to Jamie and his creepy daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) in the season five opener, he only cares about his wealth and power. Rulership is about protecting what belongs to him: “The field comes first.”
John wears a cowboy hat but Gary Cooper is less of a Tony Soprano and in many ways a season premiere. Yellow stone He continues to cast him in symbolic modern-republican terms, with John promising an unrecognizable American first-class approach to governance that punishes outsiders and upholds the old ways, even in legally dubious ways. Sheridan’s series has always hinged on an us-them conflict. That turns heads not only on John’s assurances to the public, but also on the cattle agent Kayes (Luke Grimes) on the border with his Canadian law enforcement colleagues – who call him “sheep” for a reward and buy their necks. Freedom of the Wild West.
Kayce hasn’t had an original thing in at least two seasons, and that remains true here; After a run-in with some horn thieves (especially a sequence designed to feature majestic horses galloping across the fields), he once again asks his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbill) to run to the rescue.
Keyes isn’t the only one in the popular movement. Jamie craves the attention and smoke that he’s not the center of. Yellowstone’s ranch hands are a fun-loving, trouble-making bunch of women bickering, joking, and charming in scenes designed to free up the running time. And Beth is still a very smart, determined and lustful businesswoman who takes on her menacing ranch foreman husband Rip (Cole Hauser).
Like all the others, the series doesn’t have any new ideas for how to further develop Base—it’s a strong feeling that the premiere missed a return to Base and Rip’s early, controversial days as a youth. That flashback only proves that the two are no different than they were back then (except Dumber: young Rip is so country he doesn’t know what “finance” or a martini is), and Sheridan gives the mature Rip a chance to make an announcement. That Beth’s mind was matched only by her heart.
At least in the first part of the new season, Yellow stone It seems committed to staying the course rather than raising expectations, and while this is generally in keeping with its soap opera nature, it also creates a lot of stress.
Five years later, we’ve seen John, Jamie, Beth, Rip, and Casey behave this way so often that it’s hard not to get the feeling that Sheridan is resting on the spotlight. Never straying too far from their comfort zones, Beth shoots a few nasty jabs and slurs, Kayce acts like a gentleman with her stoic demeanor, and John does his best to “be a head with a crown.” Grumbling and grumbling that it costs a little time.
The only real change Yellow stoneFirst, Jimmy (Jefferson White) seems to have left the Duttons behind. It wouldn’t be a huge loss if the white goofball-turned-cowboy was the series’ corny character, but it’s hard to believe his rise will last.
Sheridan now highly rewards his growth in maturity, and John makes this clear in his meeting with Beth and Rip’s surrogate son Carter (Finn Little), who has been a teenager since he last saw John. The scene John says “Jesus Christ it’s been a while!” he shouted. John’s next question is that Carter stop being so big, “it’s annoying” because it’s another example of the newly elected governor being scared to death and getting old. Very often, however, it doubles as a statement Yellow stoneHis own lack of desire for growth.