The Paramount Network gave us one heck of a cliffhanger finale with Yellowstone season 3. There were multiple bombshells within the last few minutes of the episode that have been driving fans crazy for months, leading us to speculate if some of the show's main characters will even be coming back for the new season.
With season four set to premiere this Fall, fans have been taking to Reddit with some of their personal theories as to where the TV show will decide to take its characters in the coming seasons. Here are some of the wildest Yellowstone fan theories I've seen so far.
1. Theory: Monica was behind the explosions
Okay, let's jump back to the final moments of the season finale, shall we? A bomb goes off in Beth's office, Kayce's office gets attacked by armed gunmen, and John Dutton gets shot in a drive-by shooting while helping a mother and her son change a flat tire. All hell broke loose in a matter of minutes so it was easy to miss a couple of small details. But this Reddit fan caught something that most of us probably didn't.
"At 42:23, when Kaycee is on the phone with Monica and the Livestock office is attacked, the shot switches to Monica and an explosion is heard in the background where she is.
Looks like she's at the ranch and something possibly explodes there too? Anyone else notice that?"
Wow. So was Monica behind the explosions? One commenter makes an interesting point. "I can see it both ways, where it could have been an explosion at the ranch or just heard through the phone. To your point however, those guys in the van very well could have hit the ranch and [were] making their getaway when they just happen to come across John on the side of the road."
Another commenter points out that Monica actually turns in the direction of the boom, which would mean it wasn't actually coming from her phone. Was there another explosion at the Dutton Ranch we didn't see on camera?
This could all make sense if we're following along with this user's thoughts -- "Everyone is trying to figure out who killed who... but a theory of mine, if all the Duttons except Monica die, Monica gets the land... and could give it back to the natives... since she believes no one should own all that land."
2. Theory: The militia from season 2 was behind the hits
While it might be easy to just assume who was behind some of these hits like Jamie or Market Equities, this Reddit user thinks that it actually isn't that simple, theorizing that the hits were too messy to be a professional hired job. He also doesn't think that it came from Chief Rainwater, making the interesting point that such public spectacles would be very bad PR for him (similar to Market Equities). Instead, he thinks that they came from an old rival from the prior season.
"I think if it was done by one group or a person, it is probably the white supremacist militia from S2 that took Tate and then had a bunch get killed or jailed by the Duttons."
Other commenters theorized that the militia was at least behind the hit on Kayce Dutton, who, as we recall, killed quite a few of them when trying to find his kidnapped son. I personally think this one adds up. But considering Kayce's military past, I'm not too worried about him making it out alive.
3. Theory: Jamie's birth father Randall was behind John's hit
I've seen this mentioned on a few Reddit threads and to be honest, I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. Reddit user omaixa makes a great point commenting on this thread as to the believability of this theory.
"Randall would use prison contacts. Dirty van, idiots who stumble on their target, realize it after the fact, shoot him as a matter of opportunity with a bystander/witness and kill the bystander/witness, then haul ass without making sure he's terminated. Sloppy."
All very good points. As a reminder, Jamie Dutton discovers in season 3 that he isn't biologically a Dutton at all, but was adopted when he was just an infant. His birth father, Garrett Randall (played by Will Patton), was sent to prison for murdering his birth mother, an apparent drug user. When Jamie meets him in person they discuss him fighting for what is his -- essentially the Dutton family land he's worked so hard to protect over the years. Could Randall have been helping his son eliminate an obstacle by trying to take out John Dutton? Wouldn't be the strangest thing we've seen happen...
4. Theory: The motorcyclists who were kicked off the Dutton's property were behind one of the hits
What if the writers decided to get really wild and brought back the motorcyclists who were trespassing on the Dutton property? If you recall, they got into a fistfight with the bunkhouse group that ended with Rip having them dig their own graves before formally kicking them out in the middle of the night. This Reddit user thinks that maybe they came back for revenge.
"My speculation is that (2) different parties are responsible for the attacks on the Dutton's at ironically the same time. I'm thinking the attack on John Dutton was possibly carried out by the motorcycle group from California coming back for revenge. If I'm not mistaken, the license plate on the van driven by John's assassins has California tags. Just because they tucked tail and left like cowards last time we saw, does not mean they weren't planning for revenge immediately after being allowed to leave the ranch."
One commenter points out that they'd have a lot of guts to come back after what they went through. "Something about digging my own grave would make it very easy to never go there again..."
5. Theory: John will sell his land to Broken Rock Reservation while still keeping it in the family
The most important thing to John Dutton is making sure that he holds onto his family's legacy (which we'll soon learn more about in the Yellowstone prequel series) and he's able to pass things on to the next generation. One of the storylines since the very first episode has involved his ongoing feud with the Broken Rock Reservation wanting to reclaim his property, which they claim was originally theirs. This Reddit user thinks that there's actually a loophole involved with both parties getting what they want, considering John's grandson Tate grew up on the reservation and comes from both worlds.
6. Theory: Jamie and Beth's Power of Attorney struggle isn't as complicated as we thought
"Watching the episode where Jaimie's in his office and the assistant brings him some files regarding the POA.. He says she must have used Schwartz and Meyer attorneys and filed in Utah...she ask if it's invalid... Jaimie says 'no'...it just muddies the waters...so Beth can still fight for the ranch."
Well, that's a relief. Another commenter pointed out that this was most likely just drama from the writers and was actually a quick fix, legally speaking. "Beth doesn't need to do anything. A POA is actually not hard to revoke. All John has to do is legally file to have it revoked, and send Jamie a registered letter. That's all. It's so silly that the show acts as though Jamie, or Beth, having POA removes Johns's power. It doesn't."
7. Theory: John's sale of Yellowstone Ranch helps kick off creator Taylor Sheridan's Texas spinoff 6666
While we also can't forget about Jimmy's life being in danger as he gets thrown from a bull at the end of the episode, it's been confirmed that he will be making an appearance in some capacity on the new Yellowstone spinoff set in Texas, 6666. This Reddit user thinks that John's sale of the ranch would be a perfect setup for a segue into the new series and a way to crossover some of the Yellowstone characters.
"Okay, people are throwing out theories about Jimmy and Walker going to the new '6666' show and the fourth season of Yellowstone being it's last. What if Yellowstone transitions into 6666? By that I mean John Dutton, after a major discussion with whomever is left of the family, agrees to sell most, if not all, of the ranch. What will happen to the wranglers? Maybe some of them get hired by the 6666 and the new show is off and running."
8. Theory: Beth survived the explosion...but not for long
Fans have long been rooting for Beth Dutton and Rip Wheeler and it seemed like we got so close in season 3 with Beth's sweet proposal. We even saw Rip dig up his mother's body to retrieve her wedding ring to pass on to Beth. While fans were worried that Beth wouldn't come back at all, we know for a fact she will because she has a direct relationship with one of the new cast members that will be joining in season 4.
"I expect everyone will survive except Beth. She will survive long enough into season 4 for Rip to marry her from the hospital bed. But Rip is this show's tragic hero and its the only thing I can see happening for him."