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The Yellowstone Character Fans Agree Has The Cringiest Scenes In Season 4

Now in its fourth season, Taylor Sheridan's contemporary Western TV series, "Yellowstone," has shown no signs of slowing down. Nearly 15 million viewers tuned in to watch the show's Season 4 premiere on November 7 on the Paramount Network (via Bloomberg), and fans continue to light up various social media platforms and Reddit threads with their reactions to some of the series' more shocking twists.

There's one particular turn that "Yellowstone" has taken, however, that has many fans disappointed. Indeed, according to some recent Reddit threads, a section of "Yellowstone" viewers feel like Kelly Reilly's fearsome, powerful, and versatile Beth Dutton has turned into a cringe-worthy caricature of her former self.

When she was introduced in the show, Beth made a mark as one of the most compelling and badass characters to show up in a modern-day Western in quite some time. That said, during the most recent season of "Yellowstone," the relatable vulnerability and internal strife that once served to ground (and, in some ways, enhance and justify) her motivations and tough-as-nails exterior seem to have been lost.

Unsurprisingly, the show's hollowing out of a formerly complex and beloved character has not gone unnoticed by viewers. 

Yellowstone fans are struggling with the new, one-dimensional Beth

"Anyone else think they are trying to make Beth too badass?" asked u/dogsheep69 on the "Yellowstone" subreddit, adding, "If every other word out of your mouth has to be some badass saying to seem badass, then ur not BA." To the user's credit, it's a valid criticism and one that effectively sums up some of the more obvious changes that have been made to Beth's character.

In Seasons 1, 2, and 3 of "Yellowstone," Beth was defined as much by her cool and calculating demeanor as she was by her fierce and terrifying confrontations. In Season 4, however, Beth's recent near-death experience appears to have whittled her down to her most base and obvious instincts. As one fan noted, "There's a Beth badass scene now shoehorned into every episode," despite the fact that "she's honestly the most ridiculous character in the show now, even her appearance with the huge scar, smeared makeup, constant drinking, etc."

To be fair, Beth has been through a lot in "Yellowstone," including nearly being blown up and having to undergo months of painful recovery. But that fact hasn't kept viewers from finding some of her scenes in Season 4 to be totally absurd. "It's getting cringey [sic]," wrote one Reddit user, while u/yellowhammer22 argued that the most cringe-worthy Beth-related "Yellowstone" moment came when she tried to talk to her dad about his sex life and snuck into his room, undeterred by the "anatomy lesson" she got while he was getting dressed.

In a different thread, u/jedsanders88 wrote that they "love Beth," but that the show's writers "don't have to have every scene" show her being an "over the top badass." Of course, despite the criticisms being leveled against her right now, Beth still has her fair share of supporters.

Is there still hope for Beth Dutton?

In response to some "Yellowstone" fans calling the new and more one-dimensional, anger-fueled Beth "annoying," u/Administrative_Use64 wrote that she's only "as annoying as the people that use the word cringe." Meanwhile, others pointed out that her motivations have changed, and as a result, so has her behavior. 

"She's not trying to be sneaky," u/treyviusmaximus3 wrote in reference to Beth's seemingly silly negotiation tactics with Market Equities, adding that "she is out for revenge and making it clear to the people who are out for her family. She doesn't need the money, she is doing it out of spite." Whether or not the loss of Beth's nuanced personality is, indeed, a temporary reaction to her most recent experiences, or a sign of the character's permanent "Yellowstone" future, remains unknown. Episode 5 of "Yellowstone" Season 4 did, however, hint at the possibility that Beth is as aware of her newfound tunnel vision as viewers are. 

In the episode's opening scene, Beth shares some lines from Gretel Ehrlich's "The Solace of Open Spaces" with her father. "To be tough is to be fragile," she says, before adding, "to be tender is to be truly fierce." It's a small moment, but one that could mean that the beloved character hasn't lost her trademark self-awareness and intellect — AKA the things that made her initial badassery something fans could root for and get behind.