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Who fans really think is behind the Yellowstone season 3 finale moments

Contains spoilers for the season 3 finale of Yellowstone

The season finale of Yellowstone season 3 left fans dangling over quite the cliff while everybody weathers the hiatus. The Paramount Network's popular neo-Western dropped a good 'ol fashioned "whodunnit?" on viewers, with the fate of several fan-favorite characters hanging in the balance to boot.

Fans won't soon forget the explosive final minutes of the otherwise-quiet season 3 finale. After a fruitless and combative meeting at Governor Perry's (Wendy Moniz-Grillo) office to discuss the planned repossession of a large swathe of John Dutton's (Kevin Costner) land, the series' principals went their separate ways in a bit of a huff. Soon after, John was gunned down by a van of mysterious assassins on a lonely stretch of Montana highway, while daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) was getting blown sky-high by a mail bomb and son Kayce (Luke Grimes) had to flip over a desk in a desperate attempt to fend off an armed invasion.

The fates of all three characters looked pretty grim, though we wouldn't be surprised if the Yellowstone writers used a little TV magic to help all three of them pull through. The real question the finale left us with isn't one of survival, however, but culpability. Just who called in the hits? Did the same person try to kill all three Duttons? Or did they each coincidentally end up on the wrong side of three simultaneous hits? There are plenty of people who stand to benefit from the extermination of John, Beth, and Kayce. The episode gave us three explicit suspects, but some fans on Reddit have an alternate theory of the case, and it's pretty compelling.

Fans think a less obvious killer put the season 3 hit out on the Duttons

The Yellowstone writers clearly want the suspicion to land on three people in particular: the nefarious hedge fund manager Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway), spurned son Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley), and ally-of-convenience Chairman Rainwater (Gil Birmingham). While Roarke is the most obvious villain in season 3, the finale provided a moment of murderous contemplation for each of these characters, and the truth is any one of them would make a believable murderer.

In discussion of this point on a Yellowstone subreddit, u/aka_slick_willy proposed a fourth assailant from way back in season 2: "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."

That's right, some fans think the Roarke-Jamie-Rainwater business is all just a red herring. "First let's talk Jamie, I don't think it's him for several reasons, one of which is time, I don't think he had time to plan it out, and the other is it's messy and not really thought out ... I don't think it was Roarke or [Market Equities] either, I have no doubt that they'd kill all of the Dutton [sic], but it's too messy and disorganized, it they did it [sic], they'd get professionals to do it and make sure it was done right. A bombing in town, and a shoot out in a public official's office would be really bad PR and end up hurting them more than helping. It's all too public and messy ... I don't believe it was Rainwater either, for many of the same reasons, it's too messy and disorganized, not enough time after the conversation with Blue Thunder, plus IF he did it, he'd probably put Mo in charge, and he'd do it right."

While bringing back the white supremacists without any mention in season 3 seems a bit far fetched, this fan does bring up some interesting reasons why Roarke, Jamie, and Rainwater would likely not have called in one or more of the hits.

Is it possible that Yellowstone has us all looking in the wrong places? We won't know for sure until season 4 returns some time in 2021. Until then, try watching one of these shows you should enjoy if you love Yellowstone.