Kevin Costner as John Dutton surrounded by ranch hands on the set of 'Yellowstone'
Photo via Paramount Network

A Master Timeline of the Biggest 'Yellowstone' Moments By Season


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After four seasons of Yellowstone, it can be hard to remember some of the drama the Dutton family has faced on the popular Paramount Network series. John Dutton and his adult children have fought hard against every adversary who comes their way to protect the legacy of their massive empire, regardless of the cost. There have been numerous villains we have met along the way and while some flip flop to John's side like Chief Rainwater, others meet a nasty fate at the hands of Rip or Kayce. It's one of the best modern westerns to hit our TV screens maybe ever which is probably why it's developed such a passionate fan base.

Because every juicy detail is important to remember, we've compiled a timeline of all of the most worthwhile moments by season. Not everyone has time to rewatch four seasons of a TV show as a refresher, so this master list will make sure all fans out there feel fully prepared for the upcoming season 5. While certainly not every detail is captured in this list, it's a helpful overview of some of the most important things that happened season by season. Buckle up!

Season 1

Kevin Costner as John Dutton on 'Yellowstone'

Photo via Paramount Network

  • The new Chief of Broken Rock Reservation, Thomas Rainwater, makes it known that he is coming for John Dutton's land, which the Dutton family took from his people. It's established that the Duttons have the biggest ranch in the country, bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
  • Developer Dan Jenkins comes to town wanting to build a massive subdivision.
  • All four Dutton children return home and John Dutton makes it clear to Kayce that he wants to get to know his grandson.
  • A fight for stolen cattle turns deadly. The Duttons, with the help of livestock agents, attempt to reclaim their cattle that were stolen by Broken Rock in the dark of night. Eldest son Lee Dutton gets killed by Kayce's brother-in-law who Kayce immediately kills as well.
  • Beth Dutton and Rip Wheeler, head ranchhand at the Yellowstone, reconnect after years apart. They were teenage lovers and it seems like the time didn't change the way they felt about each other.
  • After years away in the military and living on the reservation with his family, Kayce starts to spend more time at the Yellowstone and Rip isn't a fan.
  • As a favor to a friend (Jimmy's grandfather), John Dutton brings the lovable criminal (who can't ride a horse) Jimmy Hurdstrom to work on the ranch under Rip. He gets branded with the Yellowstone 'Y' just like Rip, Lloyd and Kayce.
  • After having to take one of their ranch hands to the "train station" for fighting Jimmy (i.e. he was killed), Rip picks up a replacement at the nearest prison: Walker. Since Walker is a criminal, he also gets the Yellowstone brand, but immediately ignites frustration in Rip because he doesn't want to do some of the more colorful things requested of him to protect the ranch.
  • Jamie tries to run for attorney general but John has too much going on because he's got cancer so he makes him drop out of the race, causing an immediate rift in their relationship.
  • Beth is named beneficiary for the ranch's new trust and Jamie is taken off the payroll.
  • Monica gets seriously injured trying to break up a fight at her teaching job on the reservation. After passing out at home afterward, she ends up needing emergency surgery. She also decides that in order to best protect Tate, she needs to keep him away from Kayce and John Dutton.
  • A reporter shows up in town sniffing around the Dutton ranch, wanting to bring down the empire.
  • Rip, Lloyd, Kayce and Jimmy hang Dan Jenkins from a tree, getting him to admit he had tried to kill John Dutton in order to obtain his property for his development.

Watch a 10 min recap here.

Season 2

Wes Bentley as Jamie Dutton and Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton on 'Yellowstone'

Photo via Paramount Network

  • Apparently, John didn't have Dan Jenkins killed, but tried to scare him to leave town after hanging him from that tree at the end of the first season. Instead of running for the hills, Dan partners up with Chief Rainwater to try and build a casino right up against the Yellowstone land.
  • We meet the Beck Brothers, who don't want to see that casino built. They try getting John Dutton to work with them, but he declines.
  • Turns out John doesn't have colon cancer as he thought. He had an ulcer that ruptures while he was out on the ranch. He gets rushed to the hospital in a helicopter and ends up pulling through.
  • Kayce decides he wants to be a Dutton again to have something to leave his son. He also doesn't have many choices since Monica left him. John puts him in charge of the ranch (making Rip step down) and makes him a livestock agent.
  • Monica is going to physical therapy, living in an apartment with Tate on the university campus where she got a new teaching job.
  • Someone kills a large number of the Dutton cattle. Initially, they think it was Dan Jenkins, but it was actually the Beck Brothers, who are mad that John didn't join their fight against Jenkins and the Broken Rock casino.
  • Jamie gives an interview to the reporter trying to bring down his father's empire. He gives all the dirty details.
  • After confessing to the interview with Beth and John, Jamie kills the reporter in frustration, and Rip and Walker help him cover up the death by making it look like a kayaking death.
  • Walker wants to leave because he doesn't want to keep up with the criminal behavior required to maintain the Yellowstone so Rip wants to take him to the "train station." Kayce offers to take him instead and ends up letting him live, with the promise that he won't come back to the ranch or spill any of their secrets.
  • Jamie comes to work on the ranch for Kayce as a way back in with the family.
  • The Beck brothers send two hitmen to Beth's office. They kill her assistant and hurt her pretty bad before Rip shows up and saves her life. It's also his first official "I love you."
  • John writes Rip into his trust and gives him a house on the property.
  • John, Chief Rainwater and Dan Jenkins form a temporary partnership with the common enemy of the Beck brothers but Jenkins gets killed.
  • The Becks hire the local militia to kidnap Tate as a way to get at John, but the Yellowstone crew is able to rescue him and take out both Beck brothers in the process.

Watch a 10 min recap here.

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Season 3

Kevin Costner as John Dutton and Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton on 'Yellowstone'

Photo via Paramount Network

  • Tate is having trouble recovering from the trauma of his kidnapping so Monica asks John to take him along with the rest of the ranch hands on an overnight camping trip. It does the trick and Monica and Kayce seem like they are finally in a good place.
  • John has to resign as livestock commissioner after using his resources to eliminate the Beck brothers and rescue Tate. He prepares to name Jamie his successor.
  • A firm called Market Equities has purchased all of the land that Dan Jenkins had. Beth discovers the plan on turning the property into an airport.
  • The governor decides to name Jamie interim Attorney General of the state of Montana and Kayce the new Livestock Commissioner. Kayce immediately becomes a hit with the local ranchers helping them protect their property from thieves.
  • Willa Hayes of Market Equities offers Jamie $500 million for the Dutton property. He's interested.
  • Rip hires a new female ranch hand named Teeter, who immediately sets her sights on Colby.
  • Jimmy makes his rodeo debut and the Duttons and bunkhouse boys all go watch his first event. He also meets a new love interest, a barrel racer named Mia.
  • Jimmy ends up in the hospital and John Dutton tells him that he will pay for his recovery if he promises not to rodeo again. Mia threatens to leave him if he doesn't continue with the rodeo, so he gets back on a horse to try and ends up face down in the dirt, not moving.
  • John gives his blessing for Beth and Rip to tie the knot and they are officially engaged. Rip even signs on Lloyd to be his best man.
  • Rip and Lloyd discover Kayce didn't kill Walker and drag him back to the ranch.
  • We find out that Beth hates Jamie so much because when she became pregnant as a teen, he took her to a clinic on the reservation that required sterilization in order to complete an abortion. Beth tells John about it and it causes yet another rift between him and Jamie.
  • John reveals to Beth that the last promise he made his father was that he would never sell their land. He would rather lose it than break his promise by accepting the offer Market Equities made.
  • Monica goes undercover on the reservation to help catch a serial killer. She succeeds and the reservation police take him out just in time.
  • Jamie discovers he was adopted and connects with his birth father, Garrett Randall.
  • On behalf of Market Equities, Roarke Morris hires an old adversary of John's, Wade Morrow, to terrorize the ranch. Morrow even attacks Colby and Teeter. As a result, the bunkhouse takes him out and all accept the Yellowstone brand for their loyalty.
  • Jamie tries to sell the Yellowstone as the acting legal authority without realizing John changed it to be Beth.
  • A bomb is delivered to Beth's office, John is shot on the side of the highway and armed shooters attack Kayce in his office.

Watch a 17 min recap here.

Season 4

Kevin Costner as John Dutton and Piper Perabo as Summer Higgins on 'Yellowstone'

Photo via Paramount Network

  • Rip takes out Roarke Morris. Beth is angry about being fired after Market Equities took control of her company Schwartz & Meyer. She takes a job at Market Equities in exchange for controlling stakes in Schwartz & Meyer and promptly fires her old boss Bob who didn't stick up for her.
  • John is in a coma at the hospital after getting shot but pulls through and has a steady recovery process back home.
  • Jimmy is sent by John down to a ranch in Texas to "become a man." As a result, his relationship with Mia ends.
  • Beth brings a teenage orphan home named Carter. He reminds her of a young Rip and, in a way, becomes part of her and Rip's family -- even though he's technically a Yellowstone employee.
  • Jamie moves onto his own ranch and his birth father brings home his estranged girlfriend and former campaign manager Christina with whom he had a baby. She is ready to get back with him if he is really done with John Dutton.
  • We learn that a former prison inmate of Garrett Randall was behind the hit on the Duttons at the end of season 3. Randall wants to help Jamie run for governor so John decides to run against him.
  • A rift forms between Lloyd and Walker. Walker is back on the ranch and romantically involved with the barrel racer Laramie, who was with Lloyd in season 3. Lloyd picks multiple fights with him throughout the season and it almost gets him kicked off the ranch.
  • John meets an animal rights activist named Summer Higgins who protests outside the livestock commissioner's office. Without his knowledge, Beth recruits her to protest at the Market Equities airport construction site.
  • Beth and Rip get married after she visits the local prison to figure out who was behind the attacks on her family.
  • Summer Higgins gets arrested at the protest with a pretty horrible prison sentence. John calls in a favor with the judge on her behalf.
  • Jimmy meets a new girlfriend in Texas and brings her back up to the Yellowstone where she gets in a fight with Mia. New girlfriend Emily wins.
  • New Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner realizes Beth has been working against them behind the scenes and fires her.
  • Monica, Tate and Kayce move back to the reservation and Monica reveals she's pregnant. Kayce has a vision that reveals "the end" of him and Monica.
  • Beth blackmails Jamie into killing his birth father for plotting the hits on the Dutton family.

(currently waiting on a season 4 video recap from Yellowstone's YouTube page!)

READ MORE: 'Yellowstone': 8 Unforgettable Times Beth Dutton Was Truly Ruthless

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