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The Big Clue You Probably Missed Early On In Yellowstone Season 3

Over the first few seasons of the hit neo-Western series "Yellowstone," it's been pretty clear that life on the Dutton ranch isn't for everyone. It takes a certain kind of hardness to survive the cowboy life and all it throws at you. Heck, life as part of the Dutton family — living under patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) — might take even more gumption than the long days of riding, roping, and wrangling. Eldest son Lee (Dave Annable) certainly had what it takes on both accounts — though he looked at life through the eyes of a cowboy, as opposed to a rancher — but his death in the series premiere meant there was one fewer pair of capable hands around the ranch. Youngest son Kayce (Luke Grimes) seems to have the edge needed to survive, but he's still figuring out his place in both worlds and whether or not his heart is in either. The sole Dutton daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) is probably the fiercest of the bunch, with the claws of a mountain lion, the venom of a rattlesnake, and a mean streak wilder than any bucking horse.

It's no secret that John doesn't have a shelf full of Father of the Year awards lining his mantle and he'll tell you himself that a part of him died when his wife Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) was killed in a horseback riding accident. Still, he's clearly grown more gentle as a person in grandfatherhood, with Kayce's son Tate (Brecken Merrill) slowly warming the old man's heart. He's able to tell Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) that he's always looked at him as a son. Then there's Jamie Dutton, who, despite his ability to ride and willingness to live in the bunkhouse as a cowboy, just can't seem to win John's approval. Fans who've seen all of "Yellowstone" Season 3 know exactly why and how Jamie is different and here's the clue they probably missed early on.

Kayce's line from Episode 1 hinted at the secret of Jamie's parentage

As "Yellowstone" fans learn in Season 3, Jamie Dutton is adopted. This is news to him and likely everyone else other than Beth, who was already born by the time John and Evelyn took Jamie in and gave him the Dutton name. Jamie finds out when getting a copy of his birth certificate to submit his paperwork for taking the position of Montana's acting attorney general, also learning that his birth father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton) was sent to prison for killing his mother. Naturally, the news comes as quite a shock to Jamie and probably did to many viewers as well, but the show's writers planted a seed early on, in Season 3's very first episode.

In the Season 3 premiere, entitled "You're the Indian Now," John needs to name his successor as livestock commissioner, since he's stepping down in order to sweep a few things under the rug, like the deaths of the Beck brothers and the militia members holding Tate captive in Season 2. Much to Kayce's dismay, John says it's got to be him, a notion he rejects outright. Kayce points out that both his sister and brother are better candidates for the job and that he's not a politician. "You want a politician?" he asks, gesturing toward Beth. "You've got one standing right there." As for Jamie: "You got another one in the bunkhouse living like a f***ing orphan." 

As we find out in Episode 7, Jamie is exactly that, with his mother dead and his father doing time for her death. As his Garrett Randall explains when Jamie tracks him down, he came home one day to find his infant son, Michael, with a crack pipe in his hand while his mother was prostituting herself in the other room and figured he was doing everyone involved a favor by killing her.