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The Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 1 Storyline Fans Thought Made No Sense

Of the many revelations that the two-hour premiere of Season 4 of "Yellowstone" brought with it, one was not the identity of the mysterious figure or figures who ordered the Season 3 finale hit on the Duttons. While fans have come up with a number of theories, there's one character, at least, who thinks she knows exactly who's behind the attempted massacre. In the first episode of Season 4, Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) storms into the office of her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) and — after throwing a rat trap and baseball at him (yes, you read that correctly) — threatens to kill the Dutton black sheep. "I'm gonna kill you, Jamie," she says. "I'm gonna f****** kill you for what you did to my family." 

While Beth has always harbored a fierce distrust of and hatred for her brother, many fans found the notion that Jamie might be behind the hit just too far a leap in logic for Beth to make, despite her long-held grudge. Throughout the first three seasons of Tyler Sheridan's hit series, Beth has proven herself to be a cunning businesswoman and manipulator. She didn't get that way by not understanding her enemies' motivations, mindsets, and capabilities. In fact, one of the more predictable elements of her character (and there aren't many) is that at any given point, she's two to three steps ahead of the opposition. According to fans, nothing about the assumption of Jamie as being behind the attempted killing spree makes any sense whatsoever — either for their characters or for the narrative on the whole. 

Fans don't think Jamie would attempt to kill-off the Duttons

On the "Yellowstone" subreddit, user yahkiln asked others to chime in on this disconnect, saying, "Anyone else tired of the Jaime/Beth story line? Accusing him of setting it up seems like the dumbest thing." The user added  that although Jamie has been resentful in the past, "there is no way the way they have written his character so far that it should even been in the realm of possibility for her to think he was responsible." Several fans agreed, pointing to a conversation between Kayce and John Dutton (Luke Grimes and Kevin Costner, respectively) wherein Kayce explains that Jamie only leased the Dutton's land to the airport to save the ranch — an act he did for John Dutton — and that "killers don't seek their victims' approval." 

Even if Jamie had been pushed far enough over the edge to want to slaughter the only family he ever knew, there's still one element of that potential storyline that would make no sense. As one fan was quick to point out, if Jamie were behind it, "he would know to take out Rip first, and Rip wasn't even a target." User 7ruby18 added to this by reminding the thread that "Rip knows Jamie's dirty little secret." This is an important point. If Jamie were going to fly past the pale and hire a militia to take out his opposition, he'd certainly want to do away with the one man who could put him behind bars for life. Jamie is nothing if not pragmatic, and as user AmericanWanderlust pointed out, "In his short scenes in Episodes 1-2, he so far seems to be the only Dutton dealing in reality (again)."

Whatever deep-seated hatred Beth harbors for Jamie — and however much abuse Jamie has suffered at the hands of his family — this particular scene and storyline do seem to defy just about everything we know about these two characters, their place in the narrative, and their personalities and motivations.