If Dan Jenkins Didn't Kill the Duttons' Cattle on 'Yellowstone,' Who Did? (POLL)

Meredith Jacobs
Paramount Network

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 5 of Yellowstone, "Touching Your Enemy."]

The Dutton family has a major problem in Yellowstone Season 2, but who's responsible for killing their cattle? According to Wednesday's episode, it's not the person they thought.

John (Kevin Costner) assumed it was Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston). After all, his cowboys did hang and nearly kill the other man in the Season 1 finale. Dan could have easily retaliated in this manner, and this would certainly have been one way to "crush" John's empire like he wants to do and even said he planned to do in "Touching Your Enemy."

However, Dan maintained that he couldn't have done it in Episode 5 because he doesn't know how to kill cattle. He even lamented that he wished he had since he saw the pain it was causing the family. But was he being honest? Not necessarily.

After all, would he really boast to the man who was armed, holding him over the railing of his balcony, and had already almost killed him in Season 1 if he had? No, he'd be more likely to lie about it to save his own skin.

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However, it's more likely that the Beck brothers are behind it — and did it with both John and Dan in mind.

It was too much of a coincidence that they showed up at the ranch to talk to John for the first time and try to initiate an alliance in the same episode the cattle were killed. What better way to possibly get the "yes" they wanted than to have him in a position where he needs help before they even talk?

Earlier in that episode, Malcolm (Neal McDonough) and Teal (Terry Serpico) spoke about finding "a less subtle means of expressing [their] displeasure" with Dan? "I think it's time we spring [that trap]," Malcolm said to his brother, and the next time we saw them, they were at the Dutton family's ranch. Coincidence?

(Paramount Network)

"We could be the perfect allies for each other, John," Malcolm tried to convince John. "Because there's no part of your business that benefits ours, and vice versa." Teal added, "And when we fight, it's a zero sum game. We will win, at any cost." Was that a promise or a threat? (Probably both.)

"Malcolm proposes a partnership with John Dutton, whom he respects," McDonough previously told TV Insider. "When he gets turned down, it's like, if you don't share my agenda, I will cut you out."

The move with the cattle could have been the beginning of the Becks doing just that to Dan. If John had agreed immediately to the alliance, it would have been great for the brothers. But either way, the Duttons may just be pawns on the Becks' chessboard.

Who do you think's responsible? Vote in the poll below.

Yellowstone, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Paramount Network