The Hidden Meaning Behind Beth's Flashbacks In Yellowstone

Thanks to the real historic Montana ranch that serves as the Dutton's home on Yellowstone, the hit Paramount Network show has an unparalleled sense of realism. And set designer Carla Curry loves leaning into that realism when it comes to teasing out the history of the Dutton family. In an official video about what goes into the show's set design, Curry revealed the hidden meaning of Beth's flashbacks in Yellowstone season 3, and how she uses the ranch as a safe space for all of the Duttons.

Let's face it, the Dutton family is an emotionally stunted bunch. John and his kids aren't great at expressing themselves, especially when it comes to showing vulnerability or anything that the outside world might perceive as a weakness. This has been especially tough on John's only daughter, Beth. In season 3, it was revealed that Beth's brother Jamie knowingly agreed to let a doctor perform a hysterectomy on her without her consent when she sought an abortion at a free clinic as a teen, and she's been processing that trauma ever since. 

As a result, Beth carries a heartbreaking amount of pain and anger around with her, as well as the constant fear that her father will never see her the same way he sees his sons. But in the midst of all the chaos of her life, she's always found a sense of peace in her first love Rip and in her room — the only real space she had away from all of the men in her life.

Beth's room is a space where she can be her truest self on Yellowstone

When it came time to dress the set for the season 3 flashback scenes, Curry was committed to having Beth's personality be reflected in every aspect of the room from the posters on the wall to the bedding. In the official YouTube video, she revealed how important it was to create a space that was a reflection of Beth's most authentic self. "The home has become almost its own character," she explained. "Beth's flashbacks, we wanted to be true to the period, and reflect her personality, because she's always had a little bit of a struggle figuring out where she fits into this family."

Viewers who want to get a better sense of who Beth is beneath all of the walls she puts up to guard her heart need to look no further than her childhood bedroom. Within that space, we glimpse an oasis for a character who has been pressured to be the toughest person in the room since the day she was born. That room with its posters of teen idols and soft colors is perhaps the most intimate glimpse of who Beth is internally — or at least who she was prior to her Jamie's actions and her mother's insistence on being harder on her than the rest of her children.

In a 2018 interview with TV Insider, actress Kelly Reilly discussed how the treatment Beth received from her mother came to define who she is as an adult. "[Her mother's death] is the defining moment in her life and having a mother who treated her tougher than her brothers," she explained. "And then Beth's held responsible for her mother's death. I think that's the moment where Beth's pain comes from. That [caused] a lot of damage and heartbreak and I think she became fiercer than all of [her brothers] because of it."

For the most part, viewers only really know Beth as she is now, but through the subtle touches of Curry, the show's flashbacks reveal a glimpse at who Beth was and the kind of person she may have become if not for all of the traumas she faced as a young adult.