Yellowstone has finally gotten the recognition its cast deserves, with its first SAG Awards nomination, for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and what better way to celebrate than to look at the moments from Season 4 that prove it deserves it?
After all, while the latest season (which aired its finale on January 2) may not have ended in as splashy and explosive way as the previous one — which saw attempts on the lives of John (Kevin Costner), Beth (Kelly Reilly), and Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) — it had some great moments and did a great job of focusing on the characters. From the Duttons to the ranch hands to their enemies, each member of the cast makes this drama as obsession-worthy and award-worthy as it is.
Relive the moments that stand out below.
The Aftermath of the Attempts on the Duttons’ Lives
The Season 4 premiere opened up with an intense sequence immediately picking up from when John was shot, Beth’s office exploded, and Kayce ducked behind his desk to avoid gunfire. Beth emerged from the building, burned, Kayce fought his way out and went after John’s shooters, Rip (Cole Hauser) got John medical help, and those on the ranch, including Kayce’s wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and their son Tate (Brecken Merrill) fought for their lives. And it was each person involved bringing their A-game that elevated the scene and kept us on the edge of the seat until it was over.
Beth vs. Jamie
It’s pretty much explosive whenever Beth and Jamie (Wes Bentley) are in a room together — when he took her for an abortion when she was younger, he didn’t tell her she’d be sterilized — and with him turning his back on the family that adopted him, she blamed him for the attacks. In the premiere, she made sure he knew it: “I’m going to tell you something, and it’s for me, it’s not for you. See, I want you to know it now so you can think about it and not sleep, worry and dread. I’m gonna kill you. But when I do it, I’m not gonna farm it out like you, you f**king coward. I’m going to do it myself. I’m going to kill you. I’m going to f**king kill you for what you did to my family.” It was far from the last time the two would come into conflict this season, but he stood up for himself a lot more in this scene than later on.
Monica vs. Kayce
While Kayce’s time in the military meant that the attack on his life was far from the first time he’s been in danger (or shot), for his family, it was a different story. In fact, while Monica was fighting for her life on the ranch, it fell on her son to shoot her attacker — and the experience changed them both. It led to a blow-up between the spouses in the third episode, one that included the words no one wants to hear in a marriage: “I hate you.” The scene hurts so much and comes across as so raw because of how good Grimes and Asbille are in it.
Such an Awkward Breakfast
Before we get into the specifics here, let us just say that Episode 6 could have very well been the reason for this nomination since it showcases the entire cast in key moments. First, there was Beth’s reaction to finding out protestor Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) spent the night with her father, then John could only sit back and watch as the two women exchanged barbs. It’s best to just watch the clip above because the reason the scene lands as it does it because of their performances.
The Question of Family
When Jamie found out that his biological father Garrett (Will Patton) was behind the attacks on the Duttons, the ensuing confrontation was probably the best work of either actor on the show so far. “John Dutton used you, just like he used all his children to scare and shame others so nobody takes back what he stole,” Garrett told him, arguing the others weren’t his family. “I have no agenda but giving you back the family that you never had and the legacy he robbed from you. Did I try to kill them? You’re goddamn right I did, and I’ll keep trying ’til I get it right, that’s how much I love you.” Jamie let him take the gun he had on him and they hugged as he cried.
The Levity & Tension of the Bunkhouse
We can’t help but enjoy everything in the bunkhouse. Everyone works so well together, and it’s (usually) a moment of levity amidst how dark the show can get. But as Season 4, and especially Episode 6, proved, those scenes are just as entertaining when they’re dark as well. Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) and Walker’s (Ryan Bingham) conflict was building and building until it turned physical (again), this time ending with the former stabbing the latter and everyone — including John and Rip — having to get involved.
Beth vs. John
In easily the most emotional scene of the season (and one of the most of the series), the penultimate episode saw Beth and John facing off over her actions regarding Summer. (She’d had the protestor escalate a fight with the police, one that could have meant serious jail time with previous charges.) “What you did was cruel,” he told her as the two went head-to-head. The yelling culminated in John suggesting she needed to leave, leading to Beth’s vulnerable “this is my home.” “Might be time to find another one,” he told her.