Kelly Reilly and Kevin Costner in 'Yellowstone'
Paramount Network

3 'Yellowstone' Fan Theories That Predict Who Will – and Won't – Survive the End of Season 5

Who's coming out on top and who's going to the train station?

While all the real-life drama surrounding Yellowstone is enough to keep anyone busy (is Kevin Costner OK?), there are still a lot of loose ends involving America's favorite fictional ranching family. Specifically, they involve the delicate matter of who will make it out alive.

Things weren't looking good for anyone really when the final episode of Season 5, Part 1 aired way back in January. Once again, the triangular war between John Dutton (Costner), his adopted son Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley), and his biological daughter Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) took a violent turn, with Jamie considering putting a hit out on his sister. Seeing as how these final episodes will wrap the entire series and that we've made it a whopping seasons without losing a single Dutton — aside from Lee Dutton, of course — the odds are slim that everyone will ride off into the sunset.

Someone's gotta go, right?

Fans sure seem to think so. With the final episodes premiering this November (we hope), everyone is killing time by speculating on every possible fatal ending. While part of Yellowstone's charm is its unpredictability, these three fan theories are too good to ignore.

Theory No. 1: Summer Higgins Gets Mistaken for Beth

Piper Perabo as Summer Higgins in Yellowstone Season 5.

Paramount Network

As those who watched Season 5, Episode 8 will recall, Jamie and his secretly manipulative boo thang Sarah Atwood (Dawn Olivieri) were casually discussing hiring a hitman to get rid of Beth in a more "permanent" fashion. This, of course, sets the stage for a straightforward murder-for-hire plot line to go horribly wrong.

A fan picked up on this potential for disaster in a now-viral Reddit thread and predicted that John Dutton's hippie side-piece will be mistaken for Beth and take the bullet instead.

"Since Summer is living in the main house, I really think Jamie's hitman will mistakenly kill her instead of Beth," the Redditor posted. "That is the only reason I can see why she is in John's house other than she is a convenient piece for John's enjoyment now that the ex-Governor has moved on. I can't see Beth getting killed just yet."

Another Reddit user commented with the same theory, leading fans to speculate that if Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) goes down and Beth gets wind of Jamie's attempt, she'll stop at nothing to retaliate. And seeing as how John seems pretty taken with her, he might team up with Beth to get revenge on Jamie.

Theory No. 2: Jamie Dutton Visits the Train Station

Wes Bentley as Jamie Dutton in Yellowstone Season 5.

Paramount Network

Of course, Jamie isn't the only one in the family who's talking homicide. After she learns about the secret "train station" where her dad and husband have been dumping bodies for years, Beth tells her father that she'd like to add Jamie to the list.

Both John and Beth have made several threats against the adopted Dutton. But with both men being in the political spotlight, any violent move would have to be careful and calculated. Despite this, one Redditor seems to think that Jamie has gotten away with too much already and that his continuous pushing against his adoptive family will be the death of him.

"A follow-up possibility to my theory is that all hell will break loose and Jamie ultimately is to meet his end at the Train Station," the user writes — with a grim twist: "But Beth first lets him know his child's mom is dead and she has his child, and she and Rip will raise it."

With Jamie being responsible for her sterilization, Beth becoming a mother would be some form of poetic justice — even if the means are pretty dark.

Theory No. 3: John Dutton Dies in a Car Accident

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone.

Paramount Network

With all the mess between the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, and the show's lead, Costner, pretty much everyone is sure that Yellowstone's protagonist John Dutton will die. But how?

Fans on a Reddit thread dedicated to this precise question have thrown out every possibility, from his cancer returning to saving Beth from Jamie's hitman plot. But one user says we should look to the series beginning for a clue as to how things will end.

"Either his cancer will come back (there will be a time jump from last season — which is what it is at this stage) OR he'll die in a car wreck facilitated by one of Jamie/ME's assassins," the user writes, adding: "Remember, Sheridan said long ago if you watch the first five minuets of the pilot, you know how it ends. There, John survives a car accident. Maybe this time he doesn't."

Now, we'll be honest. We could not find that quote from Sheridan anywhere on the internet. But seeing as how the first five minutes of the series does show John Dutton miraculously surviving an intentional vehicle crash from a semi that was sent out by Paradise Valley, there's a chance this fan theory could hold some truth. And Sheridan has said that he's known the ending of Yellowstone for a while.

"I know how it ends," he said in a 2021 interview with The New York Times. "I'm writing to that ending. There's only so much hovering one can do before the story starts to lose its locomotion; you can't put it in neutral just because it's successful. It will go as many years as it takes for me to tell the story."

When Is Yellowstone Season 5, Part 2 Out?

According to Deadline, Season 5, Part 2 of Yellowstone is set to premiere on Paramount in November 2023. The exact date hasn't been announced yet, but with seasons of buildup, the final episodes are sure to be explosive.

READ MORE: TV Westerns Are Enjoying a Resurgence — Here Are 10 More Every 'Yellowstone' Fan Should Watch