‘Yellowstone’: A Rundown of the Duttons’ Allies & Enemies

Lee Dutton and Dan Jenkins from Yellowstone
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If there’s one thing that Yellowstone‘s powerful rancher John Dutton (Kevin Costner) never wavers on, it’s loyalty. And when it comes to preserving his family’s Montana land and legacy, steadfast allegiance is required for anyone who wants to survive within the Duttons’ circle. After all, it’s no secret that the Western drama has a seriously high body count. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes the good guys do indeed perish.

While life can be dangerous for the friends of John, making an enemy of him is even more perilous business. You do not want to get on this man’s bad side. There is no line John won’t cross if someone threatens the well-being of the ranch or one of his loved ones. Confront or antagonize the Duttons and you will get a ride to the infamous “train station”—the family’s dumping ground—which is littered with the bodies of those who crossed them.

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Here, we recount the Dutton family members and other cherished pals and innocent bystanders who got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time over the drama’s harrowing four seasons, as well as some rivals of the Dutton family who have perished, starting with some of the bad guys.

TV Guide Magazine’s Yellowstone Special Collector’s Issue is available nationwide on newsstands now.

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Lee Dutton from Yellowstone
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The Good Guys: Lee Dutton

(Season 1, Episode 1)

Poor Lee (Dave Annable). The oldest Dutton sibling was poised to take over the ranch one day. Instead, in the series premiere, Robert Long (Jeremiah Bitsui)—brother to Monica (Kelsey Asbille), who married into the Duttons—shoots and kills Lee during a late-night clash over cattle. Under John’s supervision, his oldest was attempting to retrieve livestock stolen by members of the Broken Rock Reservation. Robert is on the opposing side, trying to stop Lee and his fellow ranch hands from moving the cattle back to their side of the fence. When John sees his youngest son, Kayce (Luke Grimes), is also there working with Robert, he tries to call off the operation. But it’s too late: Robert shoots Lee before the latter has the chance to ride off. Kayce avenges his brother on the spot, killing Robert.

Evelyn Dutton from Yellowstone
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Evelyn Dutton

(Season 1, Episode 3)

When the series begins, John’s wife, Evelyn (Gretchen Mol), has been dead for many years. She’s seen occasionally in flashbacks throughout the series, and there’s never a doubt that her passing is an enormous loss that still haunts the family. In the Season 1 episode “No Good Horses,” we learn how Evelyn died. As a mother, she puts a lot of pressure on her children, especially only daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly), whom she is determined to toughen up and “turn…into the man most men will never be.” While on a horseback ride with a young Beth and Kayce (Kylie Rogers and Rhys Alterman) in 1997, Evelyn’s horse is spooked during a moment when Beth hesitates. Evelyn gets bucked off and the horse falls on top of her, crushing her body. Kayce stays by his dying mother’s side, while Beth is told to seek help. “She did this. Let her undo it,” says a dying Evelyn. But Beth gets lost trying to find the salvation her mother needs. By the time help comes, it is too late.

Samantha Long in Yellowstone
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Samantha Long

(Season 1, Episode 3)

Without Robert, his wife, Samantha (Morningstar Angeline), is despondent in the face of poverty and being a single parent to their children. Samantha commits suicide in the episode “No Good Horses,” knowing her Seattle-dwelling parents, who would never take the children outright if she asked, will be forced to care for them if she’s gone. First Monica lost a brother, and then a dear friend.

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Rip’s Mother and Brother

(Season 1, Episode 8)

How did Rip (Cole Hauser) end up at the ranch? His mysterious background (and tumultuous childhood) is fleshed out late in Season 1. In a flashback to 1997 in “The Unravelling, Part 1,” we see a remorseless young Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) kill his father with a frying pan after his dad murdered Rip’s mother and brother. Later on, John meets Rip after some ranch hands alert him to a teenager hiding out in his hayloft. Rip is scared, covered in blood and ready to fight anyone who comes near him. John calms him down and takes him in.

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Jason

(Season 2, Episode 7)

Working for a pushy, no-nonsense boss like Beth presents enough challenges as it is. It can also get you killed. Jason (David Cleveland Brown), Beth’s assistant during her time at Schwartz & Meyer, loses his life in Season 2’s “Resurrection Day” when two masked men attack Jason and Beth at the office. While they torture Jason, Beth demands he look at her and not give them the satisfaction of seeing him scared. But these villains don’t care about Jason—they want to scare Beth. Jason is shot dead in front of her, and then they assault Beth, before Rip saves the day, killing both intruders.

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Dirk Hurdstrom

(Season 2, Episode 9)

Rip isn’t the only lost cause John takes under his wing. As a favor to a friend, John gives a job to the troubled Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White) early in Season 1. Before he became a fan favorite, Jimmy was addicted to drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. His kindly grandfather Dirk (Stanley Peternel), the only person who cared about him, initiates the favor that gets his grandson onto the ranch. Unfortunately, Jimmy owes a lot of money to old acquaintances Ray (Lane Garrison) and Blake (Ryan Dorsey), and it puts Dirk in danger. When he doesn’t pay up fast enough, they assault Dirk as a warning. After the debt is settled, Dirk dies due to a stroke and ruptured blood vessel suffered after another attack, leaving Jimmy enraged and out for revenge in “Enemies by Monday.”

Boyd Nelson from Yellowstone
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Boyd Nelson

(Season 3, Episode 5)

While the Duttons have their share of struggles, some have it much worse. One of those people is rancher Boyd Nelson (Brad Garfield). In the Season 3 episode “Cowboys and Dreamers,” Boyd, who’s about to lose everything, kills himself while holding tight to a foreclosure notice. Kayce, breaking the law and getting a glimpse of the unglamorous job of being the livestock commissioner, helps the man’s wife and children by selling their horses and giving them the money.

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Sila

(Season 3, Episode 6)

Violence against Native American women on reservations is touched on in “All for Nothing,” which tells the story of Sila Whitefeather, a Native American teenager. After her mother, Dana (Amelia Rico, abo), reports her missing, Sila’s body is found in a remote area. Monica, as part of the search party, is left feeling like she’s not doing enough to help those less fortunate than her and offers herself as bait to trap the murderer.

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The Other Assistant

(Season 3, Episode 10)

Choose your friends and enemies wisely…and do the same with your boss! First there was Jason, and then, well, her name is never actually revealed. In the Season 3 finale, “The World Is Purple,” almost the entire Dutton family is attacked in a series of incidents orchestrated by Jamie’s (Wes Bentley) biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton), who has a past with John. A bomb is delivered to Beth’s office with the express purpose of killing her. But it’s Beth’s assistant who opens the box and is quickly blown to pieces. After Jason and Assistant No. 2, how will Beth ever find someone willing to work for her? Talk about a job that deserves hazard pay!

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Sheriff Donnie Haskell

(Season 4, Episode 8)

Sheriff Donnie Haskell (Hugh Dillon) was something of a foe turned friend. At the beginning of the series, Donnie appears to be working for some of John’s enemies, and John told the sheriff to choose a side, making it clear that Donnie is better off with Team Dutton. The two men become allies and help each other out, until John and Rip’s heroics get Donnie killed. In Season 4’s “No Kindness for the Coward,” a group of men try to rob a diner. John and Rip intervene and save the day, but Donnie gets shot and dies during the rescue. It might be the case that Dillon, who costars in another drama from Yellowstone cocreator Taylor Sheridan, Mayor of Kingstown, was needed elsewhere.

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Kayce’s Navy SEAL Platoon

(Season 4, Episode 10)

A flashback in the Season 4 finale, “Grass on the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops,” sheds some light on what haunts Kayce at night. During his time serving overseas, Kayce and his fellow Navy SEALs engagethe enemy in a firefight. When it’s over, he appears to be the only survivor, and the experience traumatizes him.

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The Bad Guys: Robert Long

(Season 1, Episode 1)

John is always fighting for his ranch and desperately trying to keep what’s his. This is quickly established in the series premiere, “Daybreak.” Members of the Broken Rock Indian Reservation steal cattle belonging to the Dutton’s ranch. John (overseeing the operation from a helicopter) and his oldest son, Lee (Dave Annable), lead a nighttime effort to get their livestock back. On the other side is Robert Long (Jeremiah Bitsui), Monica’s (Kelsey Asbille) brother, who is part of a group trying to stop the Duttons from taking the cattle back. Just as John is calling things off once he spots his youngest son, Kayce (Luke Grimes), on the opposing side, Robert shoots Lee, killing him. Kayce immediately shoots and kills Robert in return, leaving two families devastated.

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Fred Myers

(Season 1, Episode 4)

There’s a lot of testosterone on the ranch, and that leads to some rowdy behavior (fighting is banned in the bunkhouse; if you want to fight someone, you fight Rip). Ranch hand Fred Myers (Luke Peckinpah) is a loudmouth who bullies Jimmy (Jefferson White) from the moment the new guy shows up. In Season 1’s “The Long Black Train,” when Jimmy can’t take the abuse anymore, he picks a fight with the much larger Fred, who puts quite a beating on Jimmy. This draws Rip’s ire, as he doesn’t like bullies (must remind him of his father). He and John decide that Fred needs to go, permanently, so Rip has Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) take Fred to the “train station,” where, you know, he won’t be found.

Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone
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Rip’s Father

(Season 1, Episode 8)

Violence has long been part of Rip’s life. There are allusions to him not having a pleasant childhood early in the first season, and “The Unravelling, Part 1” reveals what happened to his family when he was young. (It also reveals the first, but hardly the last, of Rip’s murders.) After Rip’s father kills his mother and brother, Rip grabs a frying pan and beats the older man to death with it. This horrible ordeal brings John into his life, as Rip is taken in by his surrogate father after he’s found hiding in a hayloft on the ranch.

Sarah Nguyen from Yellowstone
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Sarah Nguyen

(Season 2, Episode 6)

How far is Jamie (Wes Bentley) willing to go to protect his family? Beth is always needling her brother about this, and Season 2’s “Blood the Boy” shows just what he’s capable of. A bitter Jamie, upset about John not wanting him to run for public office, begins talking to journalist Sarah Nguyen (Michaela Conlin), mostly about his adoptive father. He reveals family secrets and learns that a story set for publication will severely damage the Duttons. He confides in Beth, who pushes him into doing whatever he has to do to stop the story from getting out. After begging Sarah not to publish doesn’t work, Jamie strangles her, and Rip (Cole Hauser) helps him make her death look like an accident. That’s how far Jamie is willing to go.

Ray and Blake from Yellowstone
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Ray and Blake

(Season 2, Episode 9)

When it was revealed that Jimmy’s grandfather Dirk (Stanley Peternel) had died as a result of the beating he received from Ray (Lane Garrison) and Blake (Ryan Dorsey) over Jimmy’s debt to them, it was obvious the two drug dealers weren’t long for this world. After Rip discovers what happened, he enlists Jimmy, Lloyd, Kayce and Ryan (Ian Bohen, as another ranch hand) in a plot to kill Ray and Blake. In Season 2’s “Enemies by Monday,” the men blow up the trailer home the drug dealers live in, taking their lives on behalf of the blameless elderly man. Jimmy is one of them now (he was branded in the first episode), and there’s nothing Rip and Lloyd wouldn’t do for him.

Dan Jenkins from Yellowstone
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Dan Jenkins

(Season 2, Episode 10)

Initially enemies, by “Sins of the Father,” John and Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) have paused their battle to focus on foes they have in common: Beck brothers Teal (Terry Serpico) and Malcolm (Neal McDonough). The businessmen are angry about the competition they face from Dan and Chief Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), and they also have plans that involve pushing John out of Yellowstone. The Becks have already attacked Beth (Kelly Reilly), and now Dan is their target. He manages to kill two attackers, but a third shoots and kills him. Dan was a formidable opponent, but if the Becks hadn’t done him in, John probably would have.

Torry from Yellowstone
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Torry

(Season 2, Episode 10)

Dan Jenkins continued to tussle with the Duttons, and Chief Rainwater, who was doing business with Dan, bluntly informed him that having an enemy like John makes private security a necessity. Dan hired Torry (Wolé Parks) to be his security guard, and when he also made enemies of the Beck brothers, who didn’t want him conducting business with Chief Rainwater, the brothers hired some men to off Dan. In the Season 2 finale, Torry was killed by the men while trying to defend Dan.

Teal Beck from Yellowstone
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Teal Beck

(Season 2 Episode 10)

The Becks have been ruthless in their efforts to rid themselves of their competition. They killed Dan Jenkins, attacked and nearly killed Beth (slaying her assistant Jason, played by David Cleveland Brown, in the process) and poisoned John’s cattle. As if that weren’t bad enough, they coordinated the kidnapping and imprisonment of Kayce and Monica’s son Tate (Brecken Merrill). In the violent episode, Kayce finds Teal Beck at home doing his, uh, business. Teal begs Kayce not to dispatch him while he’s going to the bathroom, but considering what happened to Tate, Kayce isn’t feeling merciful and kills the man on the toilet.

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Malcolm Beck

(Season 2 Episode 10)

The attack on the militia gives John the chance to exact revenge on Malcolm Beck, who is also there. John quickly gets the upper hand on Malcolm and tells him that although he deserves much worse than dying on the ground, he’ll get Malcolm to a hospital if he tells John where Tate is. Malcolm tells John where the boy is but refuses the offer of help, and as John leaves him alone to die, his last words are about wishing he’d never met the Duttons.

Tate's rescue in Yellowstone
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Carter Meads and Woman

(Season 2, Episode 10)

As Malcolm Beck lies dying, he informs John that Tate is being held at the home of Carter Meads, who’s part of the militia. When livestock agents bust in his door looking for Tate, Carter doesn’t go quietly, and he and a woman with him are killed by the agents. These are the final deaths in “Sins of the Father.” Thankfully, a gaunt, distraught Tate is rescued from the home.

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Militia Members

(Season 2 Episode 10)

Kayce discovers that a militia is responsible for kidnapping Tate, on behalf of the Becks. He, John, Rip and other ranch hands, with help from some of Sheriff Donnie Haskell’s (Hugh Dillon) men, covertly attack the militia’s compound late at night. They kill at least six of the members during the attempt to rescue the boy—but find out he isn’t there.

Monica running from a serial killer in Yellowtsone
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Serial Killer

(Season 3, Episode 8)

After Sila is killed, Monica asks to participate in the search for the culprit, who is murdering Native American women and leaving their bodies in remote areas. In “I Killed a Man Today,” she pretends to have car trouble near where Sila was discovered and is picked up by a man in a truck, who quickly attacks her after promising her help. She breaks free and the man gives chase, but Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) shoots dead the serial killer before he can harm Monica. It was all a coordinated setup on the reservation, and Chief Rainwater and other authorities swarm the scene.

Wade and Clint from Yellowstone
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Wade and Clint

(Season 3, Episode 9)

John and Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) go way back. Wade started out working for John, and is a branded man. Their ranches share a border, and they trade threats on occasion. Wade and his son Clint (Brent Walker) have been hired by Market Equities bigwig Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway)—who wants to build an airport on John’s land—to stir up trouble on the ranch, which they do with glee, attacking Teeter (Jen Landon) and Colby (Denim Richards). Apparently Wade and Clint have learned no lessons when it comes to John. When they trespass on Dutton land one too many times, they pay with their lives. In “Meaner Than Evil,” Clint, chased by Lloyd, falls off his horse and hits his head on a rock, which kills him. Teeter and the men of Yellowstone capture and hang Wade, but not before cutting off his brand.

Kevin Costner in Season 4 Episode 1 of Yellowstone
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Attackers/Assassins

(Season 4, Episode 1)

The Season 3 finale closes with strikes on the Duttons in different locations. John is shot on the roadside; a bomb is delivered to Beth’s office; Kayce is attacked in his office; men storm John’s home. Season 4’s “Half the Money” picks up right after those Season 3 cliffhangers. Kayce shoots and kills the two men who tried to murder him. He then pursues the four men who shot his father and, with some help from Sheriff Donnie Haskell and his men, kills them. At the ranch, Tate shoots dead a man trying to kill Monica. That poor kid is going to have some issues.

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Roarke Morris

(Season 4, Episode 1)

John warned Roarke that causing trouble for him was not going to end well for the man trying to build on Yellowstone land. Roarke should have listened. Instead, he poked the bear one too many times and learned a hard lesson about picking a fight with John. An avid fisherman, Roarke is casting his rod in a river one lovely day in “Half the Money” when Rip pays him a visit. Rip cuts to the chase, opens up a small cooler and throws a venomous snake at Roarke, killing him. At least he died doing what he loved.

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Chester “Checkers” Spears

(Season 4, Episode 3)

To settle an old grudge against John and hopefully set Jamie up for future success, Garrett Randall (Will Patton) initiated the Season 3 attacks on the Duttons. John spends significant effort trying to find out who’s behind them, and that leads him to Chester “Checkers” Spears (Brad Carter). Chester didn’t participate in the attacks, but he organized them. Chief Rainwater and Mo capture Chester after he says too much about the plan at a casino. They gift him to John, who shoots Chester in Season 4’s “All I See Is You,” making it seem like a fair fight when the outcome, really, is inevitable.

Garrett Randall in Yellowstone Season 4
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Garrett Randall

(Season 4, Episode 10)

After Jamie learns he was adopted and discovers the identity of his biological father, Garrett seizes the opportunity to try to get revenge on John, who had helped put him in prison decades earlier for murdering his wife. When Beth learns that Garrett was responsible for the attack on the Duttons, she gives Jamie a choice in “Grass on the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops”: She will ruin him and forever ostracize him from the family, or he can take care of the problem. Jamie chooses John and the Duttons, again, and kills Garrett, who knows what’s coming and isn’t sorry about anything he’s done. Unfortunately for Jamie, Beth has proof of the crime and intends to use it whenever she needs to. She now owns him.