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Why Yellowstone Fans Think Mia And John Are The Same

Contains spoilers for Yellowstone

Season 3 of Yellowstone introduces a bevy of new faces. Angela Blue Thunder (Q'orianka Kilcher) brings a militant perspective to the Broken Rock Reservation's battle with John Dutton (Kevin Costner), Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) and Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) prove to be formidable adversaries for Beth (Kelly Reilly), and Mia (Eden Brolin) rocks Jimmy's (Jefferson White) world.

The chatty barrel racer announces her crush on the hapless ranch hand early on in the season, and the two have an intensely flirty courtship. However, it isn't without issue. After Jimmy ends up in the hospital following a rodeo accident, he's visited by John, his employer who once branded him to mark his loyalty. John tells Jimmy that he'll pay for his medical treatment, so long as he doesn't risk his life by competing in another rodeo — as in, ever again. This leaves Jimmy devastated, as rodeo had become a great passion for him. 

In the season 3 finale, Jimmy has recovered from his injuries and is observing a rodeo with Mia. She asks him if he's ever going to literally get back in the saddle, and he replies that he isn't because of John's warning. She responds by chastising him for blindly following the instructions of the man that "stuck you with that hot iron." Mia then makes it clear that for their relationship to continue, Jimmy needs to reject John and commit to Mia and their potential future as rodeo stars.

Although it might seem easy to be on the side of the person who didn't brand Jimmy and demand eternal loyalty, not every Yellowstone fan sees it that way. To some, Mia and John are nothing more than two sides of the same coin.

Some fans think Mia's demands of Jimmy are no different than John's

In a Reddit thread about Jimmy being torn between John and Mia, user u/adalyncarbondale pointed out that in asking for Jimmy to devote himself to her, Mia really isn't much better than the man whose tyranny she claims to be freeing Jimmy from. They wrote, "She claims to him that it's terrible to be branded because that means you belong to Dutton, then she says 'you should belong to me.'"

For some, there's also the issue that Mia is offering Jimmy the promise of a life that she likely can't deliver on. She claims that they will "rodeo [their] way across this whole damn country," as user u/gg-black quoted, but that fan in particular doesn't buy it. They wrote on Reddit, "Why would he listen to Mia- it's not like she's living a great life?! Jimmy's got a sweet gig at the Dutton's and they paid his hospital bills. He owes them."

Similarly, Redditor u/Crazhy_Lie couldn't help but notice that while Mia urges Jimmy to break free of the Duttons, she happily takes advantage of their resources: "Dutton/Yellowstone was letting her live rent free, feeding her...boarding her horse?!? which is NOT inexpensive, etc., etc." They also pointed that her ultimatum is no different than John's, writing, "She's doing exactly the same thing to Jimmy that Dutton does; giving him something he needs and then manipulating him into thinking he can't live without it. She's gross."

Fans are divided about whether they think Mia is a bad person, or just a poorly written character

While some fans debated whether choosing Mia was an out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire situation for Jimmy, others were wondering exactly what was going on with the character in general. Many fans have noted that her motivations and actions feel suspicious. As Reddit user u/LindseyLCSW wrote in a thread they started about Mia's character, "So I haven't trusted Mia, since she showed up. Something was very fishy about her sudden attraction and aggressive behaviors towards Jimmy. I've thought she was 'working' for someone since the beginning."

Plenty of viewers have questioned whether Mia's behavior betrayed ulterior motives, but others have suspected something else is behind both her aggressive attraction to Jimmy and her suspiciously thin backstory: bad writing. In a thread titled "Deep dive into Mia's personality," user u/23claw made a list of what we know about her, which is simply "barrel racer...that's it." They went on to say, "Is it just me or does Jimmy's 'girlfriend' smell like trouble or just lazy writing?"

A few other fans commented in agreement. User u/anonymous1197 said Mia's barrel racing-centered personality "felt like a convenient way to skip character development." User u/that_personoverthere concurred, adding, "I think it's just lazy writing." They went on to say that it wasn't just with Mia that they noticed this flaw, admitting, "Especially since the second season, I feel like all the female characters have become very one note."

Let's all just pray that Jimmy survived his second horseback riding accident of the season so we can get to the bottom of what's really going on with Mia when Yellowstone returns for season 4.