Storylines In Yellowstone That Fans Are Getting Tired Of
Going on five seasons, "Yellowstone" has become an American sensation. While critics have been largely silent about the neo-Western crime drama, fans have showed up in droves to watch the Kevin Costner-led series year after year. As the show’s audience grows, so do the seasons. The fifth season has been confirmed to be an extended two-parter set to take the series into uncharted territory. Created by "Hell or High Water" and "Wind River" scribe Taylor Sheridan, "Yellowstone" tells the story of the Dutton family as they fight to maintain ownership of their "Rhode Island-sized" Montana ranch.
Although the series — which often feels like "The Sopranos" and "Dallas" had a baby which was then adopted and raised by "Sons of Anarchy" — is highly popular with audiences, there are a few tired plotlines that longtime fans of the show are getting sick of. Sure, "Yellowstone" is often one of the more exciting shows on television, but that’s at least partially because of the series’ violent (and vulgar) nature rather than anything exceptionally groundbreaking. In fact, for as many gunshot wounds, kidnappings, bombings, and car accidents as these characters go through, it’s a wonder that folks continue to take some of these plotlines seriously.
"Yellowstone" is a show that often has a lot going for it, but there are plenty of storylines that fans are ready to let go of. As one user on Reddit put it, "My suspension of disbelief only goes so far."
Beth Dutton’s entire arc
More than any other character on television right now, there might not a more simultaneously beloved and hated character than Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton. A stone-cold businesswoman with a truckload of attitude, Beth makes herself known in just about every scene she’s in, earning the "badass Beth" moniker she’s been given by fans and "Yellowstone" merchandise alike. But not everyone feels that Beth’s temper tantrums, erratic outbursts, and her inability to care for anyone else are attributes to be celebrated. In fact, many fans have outright condemned the character, going so far as to wish she’d get killed off.
In contrast to her "badass" label, U/Cjkgh pointed out on Reddit that "a grown woman who has meltdowns and violent temper tantrums at the drop of a dime [is not] a badass." This has become a recurring theme among "Yellowstone" fans, as @kristineberly11 on Twitter used very colorful language to offer an opinion that the character is actually weak and only pretends to be strong. "…the Beth character is just a bit over the top which pushes the episodes into the cartoon realm," echoed @BuddyWinston on Twitter. Not only is every "Beth emasculates a man" scene incredibly redundant, but the character hardly seems to learn from her own mistakes or care to even acknowledge them.
When comparing Beth to other characters on the series, it’s clear that she’s a bit of a wild card, but maybe this Dutton is a bit too wild for the world of "Yellowstone."
Tragedy follows Kayce and Monica everywhere they go
From the very first episode of the series, there has been tragedy in the lives of Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) and his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille). After Monica’s brother Robert kills Kayce’s brother Lee, Kayce kills Robert in return. From there, their son Tate gets kidnapped by his grandfather’s enemies the Beck brothers, which leads to more hardship for their family going into Season 3. Of course, there’s also the marital issues between Monica and Kayce, their struggle for independence from the Dutton clan, and the Season 5 plotline revolving around the loss of their second child.
Frustrated by their continued struggles in Season 5, one Reddit user wrote, "Subjecting these characters to more and more tragic situations, many times due to their own stupidity, and them dealing with the aftermath and the drama forthwith is NOT character development. It’s tiresome and just worn out at this point." Apparently, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment — most the comments under this post tend to agree, and with even more examples. U/ethottly pointed out that when "Yellowstone" started, Kayce is basically the main character, but he and his family have been pushed to the sidelines.
Just about every TV show puts their characters through hell and heartbreak, that’s part of what makes stories engaging, but not everyone goes through the same amount of tragedy as Kayce and Monica. Maybe it’s time to let them live "happily ever after?"
All the land-grabbing plots
When "Yellowstone" begins, it’s about defending the Dutton Ranch from outside interests. Be it land developers from California, the neighboring Native American tribe, or the federal government, John Dutton (Costner) and his family have been fighting to keep their land since day one. If the series prequel "1883" is about the origins of their stake on this land, then "Yellowstone" seems like it’s going to be about the end of it, at least if this plotline carries on without any real resolution.
Even fans have pointed out the ironic nature of the series, namely that "Yellowstone" is actually making it harder for Montanans to continue to live in Montana. The show’s plot is becoming a reality for lifelong Montana residents, who are increasingly unable to continue living in their home state (via CNBC). Of course, some on Twitter argue that the conservationist ideals expressed by "Yellowstone" aren’t actually about preserving the land so much as "protecting ranches." Nevertheless, nefarious conspiracies to take away John Dutton’s land have been getting a little played out. Either "Yellowstone" needs to wrap up or it needs to move on, because there’s no way all this build-up will pay off.
Though many initially watched "Yellowstone" for the intriguing concept of Kevin Costner defending his land, fans continued on because of their love for the show’s often messed-up and complex characters. But, as @mookie5 reminded us on Twitter, "other than someone wants their land, what’s the show [actually] about?"
The Beth/Jamie power struggle
Beginning in the first season, Beth Dutton belittles and bullies her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) like nobody’s business, and for years we thought that this is just because of Beth’s ruthlessness. That is, until we discovered the truth — Beth blames Jamie for her infertility due to circumstances surrounding an abortion she had years previously. Unable to have children of her own, Beth has sought to make Jamie’s life a living hell, and that’s only gotten worse and more destructive over the years. Although Beth’s anger and resentment isn’t totally unjustified, many fans are fed up with the Beth and Jamie feud after multiple seasons of the same old thing.
Reddit user U/Gamer0607 rightly mentioned that "Part of the reason why Jamie descended into who he is now, is the way the Duttons have treated him throughout all the show." No doubt, Jamie’s made some serious mistakes and done some incredibly shady and questionable things. Meanwhile, Beth’s continued belittlements and taunts are not only childish, but they’re also unnecessary. More recently, fans have been hoping that Jamie would retaliate against his hellraiser of a sister, and maybe even go so far as to kill her for her constant blackmail (via Whiskey Riff).
In light of "Yellowstone’s" fifth season, @hm_montes on Twitter said that she couldn’t "take Beth much more. I understand her pain but she has the emotional maturity of a 12 year old girl." At this point, we won’t disagree.
Why is Summer on the show?
Late into Season 4, we were introduced to Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo), an animal rights activist who goes from protesting the Dutton Ranch to doing the deed with John Dutton, all before a violent confrontation with Beth. After being given some information about Market Equities’ plans for Montana’s Paradise Valley, Summer leads a protest that results in her incarceration, and a long sentence at that. Now that John Dutton is Governor of Montana, we’re sure to be seeing a lot more of Summer again with the new strings he’s able to pull and her new job as an environmental advisor.
But some fans weren’t all too interested in the most recent addition to the "Yellowstone" cast, and even hosted polls on Reddit to determine whether folks were actually anticipating Summer’s return with any enthusiasm. "Her character and the plot line come across as so forced…" said @_BathwaterBaby on Twitter. "It feels awkward." Others such as @augustus_crae were frustrated with the inclusion of Summer as early as Season 4, especially given John Dutton’s previous romance with former Governor Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz) who has returned to aid John in Season 5. Is a love triangle afoot?
Aside from giving John something to do in the back half of Season 4, Summer’s arc hasn’t served much of a purpose to the overall plot of "Yellowstone" and hasn’t been much more than background noise in the latest season. But there’s still time for her to turn around.
Fans want Monica gone
Almost from the beginning of the series, fans have struggled to find Monica Dutton either likeable or interesting. Though she and Kayce have been through all the same hardships, Monica always seems to make things about herself. Of course, there have been times when she has branched out and made a name for herself, be it when she teaches at the local college or when she convinces Kayce to leave the Dutton Ranch behind, but as U/gardengirlbc pointed out, her arc has been all over the place.
Some have speculated that Monica’s life is in danger since her role has gotten shorter every season, but for other viewers her tenure on "Yellowstone" couldn’t end soon enough. Just one look on Twitter will show that there are plenty of fans out there who wish that Monica would be killed off the show, with many of them refusing to cite actress Kelsey Asbille — who is phenomenal, by the way — as the problem but rather the actively bad writing of her character. (Crummy writing aside, it’s also hard to read online audience critiques of the female characters on "Yellowstone" without instantly thinking of fan reactions to Skyler White from back in the day that have not aged great.)
Sadly, Monica isn’t the only poorly written female character on "Yellowstone" as this Reddit thread by U/Cera3HornIsMyQueen points out, but she’s probably the most underutilized of the bunch. Hopefully that’ll change soon, because if not, it seems like a reckoning may be coming. Sheridan needs to step it up if he wants fans continue to care about Monica Dutton going forward.