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The Yellowstone Season 4 Detail That Has Fans Scratching Their Heads

Paramount Network's acclaimed series "Yellowstone," created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson and starring Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, and Luke Grimes as the members of the powerful Dutton ranching family, has become one of the most popular shows on television thanks to its mix of old-school Western imagery and primetime soapy drama. Viewers have grown accustomed to the show's unique narrative structure, which largely takes place in whatever year the series is airing, but with generous amounts of flashbacks to key pivotal moments of the Dutton family saga. The series has now begun its fourth season, picking up after a dramatic Season 3 finale and plunging viewers right back into the drama.

On Season 1 of "Yellowstone," there is one such flashback scene creating some confusion amongst eagle-eyed fans as they head into Season 4. As viewers go back to the show's initial episodes, one detail has gotten the wrong kind of attention, and it stems from one of the show's signature flashbacks, involving a particularly emotional sequence.

When does this Yellowstone flashback actually take place?

If you're a "Yellowstone" fan, you may recall the flashback scene in the opening of the Season 1 episode "No Good Horses" (via IMDb). The scene in question shows the death of a younger John Dutton's (played by Josh Lucas) wife, Evelyn (Gretchen Mol). Evelyn is out riding with her children and shows frustration with young Beth's (Kylie Rogers) inability to assert herself. That character flaw comes back to haunt Beth after a momentary hesitation during a horseback ride results in Evelyn being thrown off her horse and crushed to death.

With the action focused on Evelyn's tragic fate, most fans probably weren't paying attention to the scenery in the background of the flashback, particularly the trees. However, recently a number of viewers have keyed in on these details. One "Yellowstone" fan posting to MovieMistakes (and further quoted in U.K. outlet Express) points out a significant visual inconsistency in this Evelyn flashback: "The intro takes place in March. The trees in the background say otherwise. In the mountains in March, leaves are usually not fully developed on trees until April at the earliest. The scene was likely shot in the fall."

While most fans were probably swept away by the emotion of young Kayce (Rhys Alterman) and Beth losing their mother, more detail-oriented viewers can't help but be struck by this glaring discrepancy, particularly in a show that's so heavily oriented towards sweeping Montana landscapes and vistas lik "Yellowstone."

When is Yellowstone filmed?

Per the "Yellowstone" IMDb page, we know the fourth season of "Yellowstone" premiered on the Paramount Network in November 2021. But every previous season premiered in the summer, with production reportedly commencing after the season finale, usually sometime in August. Furthermore, we know this production precedent for the first three seasons of "Yellowstone" began when filming on Season 1 kicked off in August 2017 (via The Salt Lake Tribune), one year before the show's debut in June 2018.

This production timeline confirms the "No Good Horses" flashback in question was not shot in March, when the flashback sequence is meant to take place. Basically, the realities of TV production mean that not every Dutton flashback can be shot in the same time of year as it's supposed to be set, which is all well and good when you're shooting a bunch of scenes inside an office building or studio backlot, but it can become a problem when you're dealing with the great outdoors of "Yellowstone."