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This Is Who Died In The Yellowstone Season 4 Premiere

The shadow of death has loomed large over fans of the Paramount Network's smash-hit Western "Yellowstone" for the past fourteen months. Three of the show's chief protagonists ended the show's 3rd season in major jeopardy — John Dutton (Kevin Costner) was ambushed on the side of the road by gunmen and shot multiple times; Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) had an armed gang barrel into his office while spraying bullets; and Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) had a bomb delivered to her office and opened by her new assistant, continuing that position's legacy as the worst job since drumming for Spinal Tap.

Since August 2020, fans have waited to see the fallout from the triple attack and wondered how Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) would enact his revenge and which Duttons would die. On Sunday, November 7, they finally got answers to some of these questions.

The attack on the Duttons did not go as planned

In the end, the coordinated assault on the Dutton family proved to be a dud. John survives his injuries and the medical flight to the hospital, though there are ominous warnings dropped by doctors about blood clots before he leaves the hospital. Kayce fights off his attackers and hunts down John's, coming away only with a bullet to the shoulder. And Beth walks out of her office stunned but present enough to ask for a cigarette from a bystander. The attack was even bigger in scope than what was seen in the Season 3 finale, as more assailants attacked the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch itself, only to be fought off by Kayce's family and the ranch hands. If the episode had a scoreboard, the Duttons would have shut out their opponents. For now, at least, the family's plot armor has held strong.

The Dutton family members each seem to have their own opinions on who planned the attack, but the only real clue so far might be in the hands of Dutton rival Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and his enforcer Mo (Moses Brings Plenty). Notably, the latter interrogates a man who claims to have planned the attack. Elsewhere, Beth points the blame at prodigal son Jamie (Wes Bentley) and promises to kill him herself. But Rip is a man of action and takes no one's counsel when it comes to enacting his revenge for the wrongs suffered by the Duttons during Season 3. Indeed, the biggest death of the premiere episode comes at his hands, with the help of an unusual weapon.

A family rival met his end in the Yellowstone Season 4 premiere

It's unclear whether Rip believes that Roarke (Josh Holloway) — the Market Equities honcho who clashed with the Duttons throughout the 3rd season — ordered the attacks on the family. Nevertheless, he doesn't ask many questions when he finds Roarke fishing on his own in the backcountry and pretends to be returning a cooler to him. Although Roarke is rightly suspicious, he is unable to escape Rip's plan after the Yellowstone Dutton tough guy opens the cooler and reveals a rattlesnake waiting inside. Rip throws the snake at Roarke, and it bites him in the face; the venom does its work quickly on the money man, with Rip following to make sure the job is done.

Plenty of people have met their end at Rip's hands for far less than trying to kill off the Dutton bloodline, so it could be that his snake attack on Roarke was just payback for all the other trouble he was giving the clan and the ranch during Season 3. And judging by the second episode, which aired on the same night as the premiere, nobody else is treating Roarke's death as closing the case on the matter. Its biggest impact on the plot might have been the door it opened for a new Market Equities villain, CEO Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver), to enter the fray. The Duttons may have survived the simultaneous assassination attempt, but they aren't out of the woods yet.