Before Paramount Network’s hit series comes back for its sophomore season, we chat with stars Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, and Luke Grimes about how their characters help to fuel the western drama.
For the benefit of those who tuned in late: In the final Season 1 episode of Yellowstone, the epic Paramount Network series created and produced by Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water), family ties were by turn frayed and reinforced, and groundwork was set for more conflict and tumult during Season 2.
John Dutton (Kevin Costner), the proud owner of Yellowstone, a massive Montana cattle ranch described as “the size of Rhode Island,” continues to defend and preserve his legacy even as his health fails and his enemies — including land developer Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) and Native American businessman and activist Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) — strengthen.
Typically, John demands absolute loyalty from his family and employees and warns of dire consequences for anyone he views as potentially treacherous or, worse, deliberately disobedient. Atypically, Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley), John’s lawyer son, defied his father and launched a campaign for state attorney general — thereby ensuring not only banishment from his father’s inner circle but a vicious visit from Beth (Kelly Reilly), his mood-swinging, aggressively unstable sister. She arrives at campaign headquarters just to cut up his credit cards and sever all other ties to the Dutton clan.
Throughout Season 1, Beth also had close encounters of a different kind with Yellowstone ranch foreman Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), John’s longtime employee and frequent enforcer. Despite (or perhaps because of) his on-again, off-again sexual relationship with the manic Beth, Rip never wavers in his fealty to John. And he is very adept at keeping secrets: He knows where all the bodies are buried, quite possibly because he planted some of them — most of them? — himself.
In Season 2, it seems likely that body count might rise, with a little help from John’s other son, Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes), a former Navy SEAL who spent years bitterly estranged from John—but who, at the end of Season 1, returned to Yellowstone with Tate (Brecken Merrill), his own young son. By that point, viewers had already seen Kayce is slow to turn violent, but brutally efficient when inflicting mayhem. Will he spill blood again as a defender of Yellowstone?
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