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Yellowstone Fans Blame The Writers For The Forgotten Dutton Sibling

There's no question that the inaugural episode of Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" set the tone for what would become one of the most successful cable shows of the past decade. Episode 1 famously opens on an injured John Dutton (Kevin Costner) in the aftermath of a devastating multi-car collision, one which he appears to be responsible for. The episode itself introduces us to the wide array of workers and Dutton family members who live on the eponymous Yellowstone Ranch, and sets up the family's ongoing land dispute with the Broken Rock Indian Reservation.

This particular feud ends up having dire consequences by the end of the episode when John's eldest son, Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), ventures into reservation territory in order to reclaim some stolen cattle. This leads to a direct confrontation between Lee and two employees of the Reservation: Robert Long (Jeremiah Bitsui) and Lee's estranged brother Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes). What follows is a bloody shootout that serves as the impetus for the entire rest of the series, as Robert guns down Lee shortly before perishing himself at the hands of his former ally, Kayce.

Because Lee Dutton's death is unquestionably one of the most important moments in the entire series (acting as a catalyst for the numerous bloody conflicts to follow), fans online are extremely confused about the fact that Lee himself appears to have been forgotten by most of his family and is hardly mentioned at all in later seasons.

Fans are confused about Lee Dutton's erasure from the series

Despite the immense impact that his death had on the story of "Yellowstone," it's no secret that Lee is the forgotten sibling amongst the murderous Dutton clan — and this massive oversight has plenty of fans on Reddit scratching their heads.

"Is it possibly an oversight that no one mentions Lee?" wrote u/neutrino_fire on a thread about the lost Dutton. "The first episode was years ago for viewers, but it wasn't that long ago in the story. Does his family not think about him? It's like he never existed." Commentor u/whosgettinggwhat pointed out another strange aspect of Lee's treatment on the show: "He's not in the family portraits from childhood either. Drives me nuts." Plenty of users blamed the series' writers for this massive oversight, with u/AmericanWanderlust claiming that Lee Dutton was simply a story device for the pilot, and u/tommychamberlain85 implying that Lee's disappearance should have been corrected by whoever's in charge of continuity or story on "Yellowstone."

Although it certainly seems like Lee Dutton has been slowly phased out of the story as we become further and further removed from his death in the pilot, it's worth mentioning that there have been several passing mentions of Lee in the seasons that followed. Most notable of these is an incredibly poignant moment in Season 2 when John briefly moves into Lee's old home and has a chat with his deceased son. That said, the fact that the Dutton clan as a whole seems to have moved on very quickly from Lee's death still feels extremely odd in the context of "Yellowstone" as a whole.