Warning: Spoilers for Yellowstone seasons 1-4.
There are so many captivating characters on Yellowstone that sometimes it's hard to choose a favorite. For obvious reasons, fans of the popular Paramount Network TV series have loved watching Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and Rip Wheeler's (Cole Hauser) relationship develop over the past four seasons. Most likely due to the fact that Beth's tongue is as sharp as her wit and Rip definitely gets his hands dirty protecting the Dutton family ranch. You can't deny they are one of the most entertaining duos on TV. But Kayce and Monica shouldn't be overlooked. They have quite a different love story, but one that is just as passionate. Monica in particular has slowly developed into one of the most compelling characters on TV.
Kelsey Asbille has done an amazing job bringing this character to life. The Yellowstone star has managed to make Monica grounded, strong and the voice of reason amidst drama surrounding the richest family in Montana she happened to marry into. Need further proof she's a great actress? Just go watch creator Taylor Sheridan's film Wind River. Asbille is a pro at bringing a quiet strength to her characters which has helped define Monica Dutton for four seasons.
Here are 7 reasons why Monica is one of the most interesting characters on TV right now.
She gives the Duttons the benefit of the doubt
Let's just take a step back and remember everything Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) told his wife about his father before the series even started. In the pilot episode, Kayce, Monica and their son Tate are living on Broken Rock Native American Reservation with Monica's family, and Kayce has basically been estranged from his family for years. When he told John Dutton (Kevin Costner) that he fell for Monica and she was pregnant, John wanted her to get an abortion and proceeded to brand his son with the Yellowstone 'Y' when he refused. Kayce promptly joined the Marines and moved away. Wouldn't you?
So all that considered, the fact that she has been told for 6-7 years (we aren't sure exactly how old Tate is when the show starts) that John is the enemy, it's pretty remarkable she agrees to let him around her son. And she agrees to live on the ranch. I'd say she's definitely giving her in-laws the benefit of the doubt for Kayce's sake despite everything she's heard. I doubt Beth would be as accomodating.
She's a good mom
It doesn't really matter what comes her way, Monica always tries to put her son first. No one is perfect and sure, she's made a few mistakes along the way (ahem, the handsome physical therapist in season 2), but she tries. When she feels like being around the Yellowstone isn't safe, she moves into her own apartment with Tate and takes care of him alone while working at the nearby university. She does get back with Kayce but because she feels confident that it's okay for Tate...she never stopped loving her husband, she just wanted to keep her son safe.
It took a lot for her to live at the Yellowstone but she did it for Kayce
Monica seems to be the only one who realizes that they don't actually have to live at the Yellowstone. Everyone talks about how it's a dark place or how it's evil but she repeatedly tells Kayce she doesn't like it there. She still stays though for his sake and because Tate is bonding with his grandfather though. She even stays after Tate was literally kidnapped from the militia the Beck Brothers hired in season 2. He was absolutely traumatized and she still agrees to stay. For a while at least.
She actually has a moral compass
As viewers, we've kind of gotten used to the fact that the Dutton family just kills anyone who threatens their empire. Sure, it's entertaining watching the bunkhouse boys and Rip do their thing, but it wouldn't fly in real life. Monica is really the only voice of reason at times and the only one who knows when things are going too far.
Remember in season 2 when Beth came to her rescue at the boutique that was trying to claim she was a thief? When Beth proceeded to humiliate the store owner, it was Monica that finally told her sister-in-law to stop. Beth could have gone on all day smashing things and tormenting the woman, but Monica knew enough was enough. Even after everything she had just been through.
She's incredibly patient
If anyone on this show is patient, it's definitely Monica. Tate Dutton really went through it when he was not only kidnapped, but also later had to shoot a man to save his mom's life. He's only a kid. It took Tate some time to recover from both traumas (understandably) and Monica patiently was there for him as he improved. She encouraged him to go camping with John Dutton to get some fresh air after the kidnapping and finally gets Kayce to move from the ranch in Yellowstone season 4 for a fresh start after the shooting. I don't know about you, but I would have dragged my kid off that ranch much sooner so props to Monica for holding it together.
She tries to honor her people despite literally living with the enemy
Monica manages to maintain a good relationship with the Chief and everyone else at Broken Rock Reservation after she moves in with the Duttons. As a reminder, Chief Rainwater announced in season 1 that he is trying to get John Dutton's land which used to belong to his people...so she is living with the enemy. She also doesn't forget her roots. When she takes a job at the University of Montana after leaving her previous teaching job on the reservation, she makes sure to set the record straight. She teaches her students about the real American history her people endured and even takes them to various events at Broken Rock so they can see the culture in person.
She caught a serial killer
Part of Monica's storyline in Yellowstone season 3 is she gets tapped by Broken Rock Reservation's Chief Rainwater to help catch a serial killer who was killing women on their land. She went undercover posing as a damsel in distress, allowed herself to be picked up by the serial killer in his car, and risked her own life so that the Reservation police could take him out. She's a hero...how many other women would have volunteered for such a mission?
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