‘Yellowstone’: Luke Grimes Says Kayce’s ‘Dealing With His Demons’ at the End of Season 4

Luke Grimes as Kayce in Yellowstone
Paramount Network

Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) has left behind the Dutton Ranch, after seeing what living there was doing to his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and their son Tate (Brecken Merrill), but can he really stay away? Something’s gotta drag him back in Yellowstone Season 4, right?

“I’m just as interested as you to see how this all plays out and to kind of see what side of the line he ends up on when this thing is all said and done,” Grimes tells TV Insider.

Speaking of choosing sides, Jamie (Wes Bentley) is sort of the odd man out of his (adopted) family, especially considering that some (Kelly Reilly’s Beth) think he orchestrated the attacks on their lives at the end of Season 3. (In the latest episode, Jamie seemed to get confirmation his biological father, Will Patton‘s Garrett, was responsible.) Here, Grimes discusses where Kayce stands on everything and what’s still to come.

Monica and Tate are thriving being away from the ranch, but that is Kayce’s family, so how’s he feeling about not living there anymore? Torn? A bit relieved?

Luke Grimes: This has been his journey since day one. He loves his immediate family more than anything, but he also has loyalty to the Duttons and to that legacy as well. He’s just stuck between a rock and a hard place. Anytime we see him sort of have any moment of calm or healing, there’s immediately something else that happens that draws him back into the chaos that is his life. What he’s trying to do is just make one decision at a time, take it day by day. And I think he knew that if he didn’t get Monica and Tate off the ranch, he probably would lose them. And so that being the most important thing, that’s what he’s trying to do.

Monica and Kayce had that big blow out a couple of episodes back and hearing the word “hate” thrown around is never good. So how is Kayce feeling about their relationship now?

Like you said, that was a big moment for him and I think that’s when he realized he better patch some stuff up quick and figure out a solution because obviously it had never gotten that dark between those two before. I think he was surprised that she said, “I hate you,” but he was even more surprised at the way he was treating her in that moment. He’d never just flat out yelled at her before. Playing that in that moment, I felt maybe he felt like he was becoming more like the parts of his father [Kevin Costner‘s John] that he doesn’t like or he saw that he was falling in line with the attitude of that place, and I think it scared him. You can kind of see him scared in that moment and he decided, “I’m going to do whatever I have to do to try to save my marriage,” and whether that sticks, whether they stay or they do find home, I don’t know.

Luke Grimes as Kayce in Yellowstone

Paramount Network

We haven’t really seen him dealing with the fact that he was shot and he could have died. Is that something that’s going to be coming up or has he moved past it?

I think he’s moved past it. Having been a Navy SEAL and been at war, I think maybe that we’re supposed to just gather that he’s seen a lot of that stuff, he’s already been dealing with that kind of stuff and near death experiences and all that before. There’s a moment at the end of the season where I think we really see him dealing with his demons in a way that he hasn’t before. I don’t think I could say much more than that, but it was a really important moment for this character’s journey and for me to play him where you see that maybe there is a light at the end of this tunnel, at least emotionally for him.

Kayce seems to be the only Dutton on Jamie’s side even just a bit, so how does he feel about his brother, especially given his father and sister’s attitudes about him?

Kayce’s a benefit of the doubt kind of guy, especially when it comes to Jamie. Obviously he can see on the surface, there’s evil, there’s bad, there’s darkness within a lot of his family members and the world that he lives in, but he’s always trying to see the good and that’s something I really love about Kayce. He tries to operate out of love, and I think he has a lot of love for Jamie and it would take a whole lot for him to lose that or for him to treat him any other way.

Kevin Costner as John in Yellowstone

Paramount Network

If he had to pick, whose side would Kayce choose — John, Beth, or Jamie’s?

He knows that there’s probably a wisdom to his father that Jamie and Beth don’t possess and he ultimately would want to do right by his father, as long as that aligned with what’s in his heart.

Kayce and John don’t know what Jamie’s uncovered about who was behind the attacks. What can you tease about what’s next about that investigation?

It’s true Yellowstone form. You’ll be happy with how it all goes down.

There seems to be this common thread for both Kayce and Jamie, torn between two families. If it really came down to it, Kayce would choose Monica and Tate over the Duttons?

Yeah, absolutely. I think him and Monica are soulmates and in a way, he knew going in that he sort of was choosing them over his family. Obviously he’s tried everything he knows how to do to make it work, but I think he knew going in that was going to be problematic.

Brecken Merrill as Tate, Kelsey Asbille as Monica in Yellowstone

Paramount Network

Especially because he’s seen everything that’s happened to Tate the past couple seasons.

Yeah, it’s tough to watch, but obviously you can see he’s tried so hard since Season 1 to just have nothing to do with it, but there’s something in his heart that’s pulling him back there. I think that’s just some sort of loyalty that he doesn’t know how to get rid of, and he’s guided by his heart and in his heart, he still loves his family of origin too.

How do you think Kayce thinks Jamie would choose, between the Duttons and Garrett?

I don’t think Kayce has much of awareness about [Jamie’s] relationship with his real father. But because I expect Jamie to do the right thing, because I love him, I would say he would come on the right side of things.

John’s bringing Summer [Piper Perabo] back to the ranch, and so that should be quite interesting considering Kayce’s first interactions with her.

I really loved reading those scenes and that kind of story arc, because you have this history versus modernity. You have these political views and I think political views between two people who live very, very different lives and understand things very differently. Obviously there’s a lot of that that happens in our country and it’s easy for people with two completely different lifestyles that have no idea what it takes for the other person to thrive in their own lifestyle, just to think that everything should be done the way they do it, and they can’t see eye to eye. The great thing about this show is that it never kind of gives you an answer. It brings up political questions. It doesn’t give you any political answers. And that’s never been more apparent I think than these scenes between John and Summer. It’s pretty interesting watching those two express their ideas to each other.

Luke Grimes as Kayce in Yellowstone

Paramount Network

Are we going to see Kayce and Summer interacting going forward?

No, I think they had their interaction already. [Laughs]

What’s Kayce’s biggest challenge this season?

I think just healing with his family. You saw that a little in Season 3, and then the whole world gets upended once again. I think that the challenge since day one is just to try to find some peace – in his own soul, in his own life and with his family.

What was your favorite scene to film?

The shootout scene in Episode 1 was an adrenaline rush. There was a lot going on there. We got the big car crash and the weapons and everybody running around. I’d never been in a scene that hectic before, and it was actually a lot of fun to try to make happen.

What else is coming up for Kayce?

My favorite moment that I’ve had with the Kayce character comes at the end of Season 4 and it’s something I never saw coming. It’s very healing and spiritual, and it’s really going to surprise people. It’s basically a journey of him really trying to get to the core of the reason he can’t find any inner peace and him really for the first time trying to do some hard work to do something about that. That’s probably my favorite scene I’ve filmed.

Speaking of the end of the season, what can you say about the finale compared to Season 3’s?

With the show, you never know what’s next and it always surprises you. Anything you think is going to happen doesn’t, and obviously we did that big cliffhanger in Season 3. I wouldn’t expect Yellowstone to do the same thing twice. As you’ve seen, you’re never going to guess, it’s just impossible. Taylor’s too good. He’s going to be one step ahead of you the whole way.

So fewer lives hanging in the balance at the end of Season 4?

Yeah, I don’t think he would do that to everyone again, that would just be unfair. [Laughs]

Yellowstone, Sundays, 8/7c, Paramount Network