“Yellowstone” stars, from left, are Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler, Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton, and Kevin Costner as John Dutton. Paramount Network photo

This is for those who forgot to set their alarm for the season 4 opening when it premiered.

When master writer/actor and director of “Yellowstone,” threw us off the Peacock bus last season, John Dutton was laying by the side of a deserted road, bleeding to death.

John (the indestructible Kevin Costner) must have taken eight or nine bullets to his body, and even as he was dying he managed to write the license and description of the death van that got him, with his bloody finger in the dirt on the side of the road.

The last time anybody died like that was Sean Connery in “The Untouchables,” which also starred Kevin Costner. But showrunner Taylor Sheridan knew that.

If you’re new to “Yellowstone,” I can tell you no more about that moment, except the team has stolen large moments from the “Godfather.” Stay tuned.

Now, in this bloody, explosive opening, a gang of killers has arrived in the Yellowstone, holding a contract on the entire Dutton family.


What happens in the next hour is also ripped from the script of Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpeice film. Behold the day of wrath hath arrived, I’ll leave it at that.

Beth, (Kelly Reilly) the cinema lovechild of Bonnie Parker and Satan, is delivered an explosive package. She’s burned and scarred but survives to spit hate on the sidewalk.
She stumbles into the smoky daylight and in true Beth style, bums a cigarette from a stunned bystander.

Meanwhile, Kayce (Luke Grimes) has an all stops out shootout in his office, as the killers burst in to take him out. NOBODY takes out a Dutton.

Wait. There’s more. Kayce’s wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and son Tate (Brecken Merrill) are home alone, and the bad guys are coming.

This is truly hold your breath movie making. What happens next…you’ll have to see for yourself.

I can tell you that this season of “Yellowstone” begins with a bang, eight or nine bangs, along with the torching of Rip’s (Cole Hauser) home.


You might brace yourself for the first assassination by rattlesnake I’ve ever seen performed.

I can tell you this. The following episode was a let down. What wouldn’t it be after that opening?

In this second episode, we are entertained by a lot of exposition in the form of talk, lots of talk.

I know Mr. Sheridan has memorized two “Godfathers” and knows that Coppola gives us talk, but in five- or six-minute sessions, and then moves on to the good parts. But it’s so well done here, I have to forgive Sheridan, who also appears in this segment as a millionaire super rodeo owner.

You’ll be happy to know that Jimmy, (Jefferson White) the poor wannabe rodeo star who was broken into small parts, is out of the hospital, but in no way ready to ride.

“Yellowstone” continues to give us the truth about modern day cowboys. Here at the Dutton ranch, almost no one speaks their lines like Rip, who only growls in machine gun bursts, short and bitter, followed by flying fists.


Rip is scary and cold as snow, but we need him, because he makes us feel safe.

Soul broken in pieces, but healing, is bad brother Jamie (Wes Bentley).

Revenge “is a dish best served cold” someone once said. The Duttons disagree.

“Yellowstone,” is clearly the best collection of actors/characters on television.


J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

filed under: