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The Biggest Unanswered Questions From Yellowstone Season 3

The clock is slowly counting down to the Season 4 premiere of "Yellowstone," and the wait is almost over for fans to get eyes on new episodes of Paramount Network's breakout neo-Western hit, with the premiere date set for November 7, 2021. As far as waits go, this one has probably been a bit more excruciating than most for the "Yellowstone" faithful, because 1) it's coming months later than usual as the show has typically aired in the summer, and 2) that Season 3 finale was a legit shocker that ended with some beyond-major cliffhangers. 

If you've seen the Show's season 3 finale, you know why. If not, well, you should know major spoilers lay ahead, so consider yourself warned. Needless to say, even as the "Yellowstone" fandom is likely still trying to catch their breath in the wake of that fateful episode, they've also been tabulating a laundry list of questions they want to be answered in Season 4. These are the biggest.

Did the Duttons survive the Season 3 finale carnage?

As it was, the 3rd season finale of "Yellowstone" was positively brimming with twists and turns. But the most shocking moments of the episode came in its final minutes, which saw John Dutton (Kevin Costner), Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly), and Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) under attack from a band of unknown assailants. As the episode closed, the fates of the three were still very much uncertain, with John gut-shot on the side of the road, Beth lingering in the aftermath of a mail bomb explosion, and Kayce staring down a wall of gun-wielding hitmen.

Now, it's all but impossible to imagine the "Yellowstone" creative team taking all of those players off the board in one fail swoop, so we can rightfully assume not all of the Duttons are off to meet their maker in the new season. But it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility for one of those Duttons to have ridden their last rodeo as it were. And of the three, John would seem the most likely to succumb to his wounds. The only question is whether or not "Yellowstone" bosses would risk the show going on without their biggest star in Kevin Costner. Then again, given what we already know about the upcoming season, all three will likely come out of that final massacre more or less intact.

Who ordered the attacks on the Dutton clan?

We're still not certain about which, if any of the Duttons might've perished in the attacks, but the bigger question may be who ordered the hits, to begin with. This is not an easy question to answer, of course, as the list of "Yellowstone" characters who have beef with the Duttons is lengthy. There was, however, a pretty clear list of Season 3 suspects as the Duttons tangled with a handful of power players throughout. Chief among them was Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway), who showed up in Season 3 as an agent of Market Equities, a nefarious firm out to lay claim to the Dutton Ranch. While a full-on frontal assault hardly seems the Market Equities way, Morris did have a shady conversation with his boss Willa Hays (Karen Pittman) about treating the Dutton problem like they did "an oil deal in Yemen." And no, it doesn't sound like that deal went down over tea and biscuits.

Add to the list of suspects new Broken Rock Reservation badass Angela Blue Thunder (Q'orianka Kilcher), who came to town looking for a fight with the Duttons, and ended the season pushing Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and her people toward all-out war. And if you really want to get cute, there's a major fan theory out there teasing that one of the big bad Beck Brothers somehow survived their Season 2 thrashing, and is now out for revenge.

Where does Jamie go after the events of Season 3?

Yet another theory surrounding the "Yellowstone" Season 3 finale hits is that they were engineered by the wayward Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley). That's largely because he was the only Dutton not attacked in the waning moments of the episode. He'd also spent the bulk of Season 3 on the outs with much of his family as his bitter feud with Beth finally came into devastating focus, and John dropped the shocking news that Jamie was actually adopted. 

That second bit of news promptly put Jamie into contact with his biological father Garrett Randle (Will Patton), a skeezy ex-con convicted of killing Jamie's mother — and oh boy, is that story something else. Randle soon (and maybe a little too easily) convinces Jamie his best play in the Dutton game is to go rogue and use his name and legal skill to sell the coveted ranch out from under his adoptive family. He did just that, brokering a deal with Market Equities. Even as that act may well have been Jamie breaking from his family for good, it would be really, really difficult to imagine he'd go a step further and try to have them all killed, too. That's just not his way. But even if Jamie is not likely behind the attacks, the question remains why exactly he was spared. More importantly, where does Jamie Dutton go from here?

How will the Duttons keep control of their coveted land?

Hopefully, fans won't have to wait too long to learn the mortal fates of their "Yellowstone" favorites when Season 4 premieres, because dragging that out would be narrative torture for the sake of narrative torture. Once we know that Beth, Kayce, and (almost certainly) John have made it through the attacks with their lives, they're going to have to rally and figure out how to save their land. And make no mistake, Jamie made a major power play in the Season 3 finale, convincing the governor of Montana that he, and not his sister Beth, actually held the state-sanctioned power of attorney over the Duttons' lands. In true Jamie fashion, he indeed used that power to spitefully negotiate a deal to sell said land to Market Equities.

There are a lot of other moving parts to all of that land-grabbing insanity. And as bad as things currently look, the Duttons are not without options in quelling Jamie's big-baller move to sell the land to Market Equities. To that point, a Yahoo! article recently put forth a few fan theories regarding how they can do it, with many believing they might simply turn the land over to Thomas Rainwater and the Broken Rock faction rather than let it slip into the greedy hands of developers. Whatever they do, they'd better do it fast as Jamie is hot to get this deal done.

Is all-out war coming to Yellowstone?

If you've been watching "Yellowstone" from the very start, you know that a major conflict has been brewing every step of the way. While Season 2 delivered all manner of thrills and chills as the Duttons faced off against the dubious Beck Brothers (Neal McDonough and Terry Serpico), that bloody showdown may pale in comparison to what's ahead. After all, the Duttons are now beset on all fronts, with Jamie threatening to sell the farm out from under, and who knows who trying to simply take them out of the picture altogether?

Assuming John, Beth, and Kayce do survive to fight another day, they're not going to take all of these vicious attacks lying down. Neither will their fiercely loyal bunkhouse boys, led by the enigmatic Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser). And yes, Rip is likely to go full-on Terminator mode when he finds out somebody tried to blow up his sweetheart Beth and kill his beloved father figure, John. Quite frankly, we pity those who ordered the hits once Rip finds out who they are because he will likely be the reckoning for the Duttons' enemies in the new season of "Yellowstone." The only question is how long the Duttons will take to hit back, and whether or not things will finally escalate to an all-out war in Big Sky Country.