Taylor Sheridan’s flagship neo-western series is rumored to have experienced just as much drama off-screen as it has on-screen, culminating in the announcement that Yellowstone is set to end after Season 5.
But fret not – there’s still Part 2 of its final chapter to go, the Yellowstone world will live on through its various spin-offs, and fans can relive all of the best moments at the Dutton ranch thanks to a deal struck with CBS.
Yellowstone started airing from the very beginning last month, leaving fans new and old questioning the fate of Tate Dutton – the son of teacher Monica Long-Dutton and ranch hand Kayce Dutton. Warning: Yellowstone spoilers ahead!
Does Tate Dutton die in Yellowstone?
Tate Dutton, played by Brecken Merrill, hasn’t died in Yellowstone – but he’s had a number of brushes with danger over the seasons.
Tate is ranch owner and patriarch John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) only biological grandson, giving him a unique position within the family. He represents the future of the Dutton legacy, and since they are under constant threat from various external forces aiming to take their land, Tate is a target.
As the son of Monica, his maternal lineage is Native American, having been raised on the Broken Rock Reservation. A number of Yellowstone episodes depict his connection to this heritage, especially through interactions with his maternal grandparents.
But his connection to the Duttons has landed him in danger a number of times. In Season 2, Tate is kidnapped by a group of neo-nazis on behalf of the Beck brothers, Malcolm and Teal – both antagonists to the Dutton family.
Eventually, John leads a group to go and infiltrate the gang and save Tate. Kayce finds his son in a bathtub with a shaved head, and while he’s physically okay, the kidnapping has a lasting psychological impact on him.
In Season 4, Tate is traumatized once more when he and his mom are ambushed by a home intruder. Just as the assailant is about to kill Monica, Tate shows up with a rifle and shoots him, saving his mother’s life.
And that’s far from Tate’s only brush with death. In the Season 5 premiere, Monica is heavily pregnant with her and Kayce’s second child and Tate’s brother. With just a few weeks until her due date, she starts experiencing intense cramps.
While Kayce’s at work, she drives herself and a concerned Tate to the hospital. But since it’s night and she’s driving fast and in pain, she fails to see a buffalo in the middle of the road before it’s too late.
The pair crash, with the series cutting forward to the hospital. Although Monica and Tate survive, the unborn child – John Dutton IV – doesn’t make it, leaving the entire family devastated.
At the end of Season 5 Part 1, Tate is still alive. Although Beth Dutton star Kelly Reilly previously suggested that the Yellowstone ending “won’t be happy,” fans aren’t expecting Tate’s story to end in tragedy.
Luke Grimes isn’t getting too attached to what might or might not become of his character Kayce Dutton as Yellowstone approaches its series finale.
“Here’s the thing with Yellowstone and my character: Hope doesn’t happen,” the Happiness for Beginners actor, 39, exclusively told PEOPLE before the SAG-AFTRA strike began earlier this month.
“I just learned to take it as it comes, and that’s it,” Grimes explained.
And while Grimes previously told Entertainment Tonight that “love and family” — plus a lot of “really juicy drama” — will drive the show’s final episodes, fans may have to wait a bit longer to see how everything ties up.
“We have not [started filming the second half of season 5] because of the writers strike,” Grimes confirmed.
“I think we would be if it weren’t for that,” he added. “But that takes precedence over everything. They got to get that all sorted, and then we’ll be getting after it.”
But for now we can only speculate. Time will tell as to how Taylor Sheridan decides to close the Dutton ranch for good.