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a cowboy leans against a fence - Yellowstone





Emily Tsiao
Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Some land was never meant to be inhabited. At least, that’s what patriarch John Dutton believes.

As the owner of Montana’s Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States, John knows a thing or two about the woes of living off the land. Bordered by an Indian reservation, the famous Yellowstone National Park and greedy, corrupt land developers, John fights a continuous battle to keep their land private and their resources untouched.

But it hasn’t been easy.

John’s eldest son was shot to death over a land dispute. A hit was put out on the entire family in an attempt to claim their ranch. And the biological father of John’s adopted son Jamie (who went to prison after murdering Jamie’s mother) was at least partially responsible for the assassination attempts.

Loathe as he was to do it, John finally decided the best way to protect his ranch was to take a break from it by becoming governor of Montana. And he hopes to make some changes in the state over the next four years that will protect his family’s ranch for the next hundred.


Unfortunately, that probably won’t help as much as he hopes. Because while new policies may protect the ranch from those determined to destroy it, John’s time away from his family may cause them to destroy it themselves.

John’s daughter, Beth, struggled with substance abuse and using sex to manipulate men for a time. When she was younger, Beth was sterilized after Jamie “helped” her seek an abortion at a clinic. (Jamie agreed to this procedure without informing his sister, thinking it was in her best interest.) And though she’s happily married to a man who doesn’t mind that she can’t have kids, Beth has never forgiven Jamie.

Beth gets revenge against Jamie by forcing him to prove his loyalty to the Dutton family by killing his recently paroled biological father (whom he had been rebuilding a relationship with). She takes pictures of Jamie disposing of the body as blackmail to prevent him from ever straying from the family’s wishes again. (Jamie had been hoping to become governor himself and was willing to work with land developers if it meant more money.)

But none of this satiates Beth’s hatred for her adopted brother. Worse still, now Jamie hates Beth too.

And things aren’t rosy for second son, Kayce, either. While a family man through and through, Kayce has always struggled with his temper. He bends the law to execute his own form of justice (he helped John track down and kill those responsible for the family assassination attempts). And since he and his wife, Monica, have just experienced a tragic loss, there’s no telling what he might do.

So really, it’s a race to see what ruins the ranch (and the Dutton family) first.


Finding its home on the Paramount Network, Yellowstone is all drama, a little romance and a whole lotta violent disputes. With, of course, some big names: Kevin Costner is the main lead here, and he’s joined with other well-known actors like Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser and Kelsey Chow.

A great cast indeed. And although onscreen acting might draw you in to the unfolding drama , you won’t be able to escape the hard profanity, occasional substance abuse and one-night stands that frequent Yellowstone Ranch.

Episode Reviews

Nov. 13, 2022 – S5, Ep1: “One Hundred Years Is Nothing”

John is sworn into office as the governor of Montana. Kayce and Monica experience a tragic loss.

Women and teen girls wear revealing outfits. Several posters show scantily clad women. A teenage Beth makes out with a ranch hand to make another guy jealous. Then she gets into the back of a vehicle with the first guy presumably to do more. Beth makes several sexist comments. She also says she’d rather be the beneficiary of sexual objectification than the victim. There is some crass talk about manhood. Several people joke that a man wants to wear a dress and get him into trouble with his boss (who doesn’t know that it’s a joke).

A pregnant woman and her son get into a car accident. Both are injured but OK. Unfortunately, her baby dies an hour after birth. Beth has a cut on her face still healing from an assassination attempt. A woman throws a few glasses in anger. A cowboy gives his staff instructions about killing wild predators coming after their livestock. A man is lassoed off his horse after trying to escape law enforcers.

People drink throughout the episode (and some people get drunk). A teenage girl convinces a bartender to give her a drink by showing him her cleavage. We hear several jokes about drinking and getting drunk. A woman smokes.

In public, John swears to work for the good of all Montana. In private, he swears to measure what’s “good” for the state by what’s good for his ranch. Jamie uses his father’s newfound fame to put himself in the spotlight (and others seek to manipulate him). Siblings bicker. People gamble at a casino and during card games. Several men are arrested after getting caught trying to steal horses. A woman admits to embezzling campaign funds. A politician notes that a lavish breakfast buffet could have fed the poor instead. John says his wife must be disappointed looking down on their family from heaven.

We hear 18 uses of the f-word, as well as the s-word, “a–,” “b–ch,” “d–n,” “h—,” “pr–k” and “p—y.” Christ’s name is also abused twice.

A teen boy offers to walk home so a teen girl won’t be stranded. A man reassures his wife that he loves her and has forgiven her for the way she treated him in the past. A man is sworn into public office with his hand on the Bible. Someone says God isn’t making more land or filling rivers, so it’s up to the people to protect it.

Jun. 21, 2020 – S3, Ep1: “You’re the Indian Now”

The Dutton Family plan to buy as much land as possible around their ranch before outside sources take over and commercialize the private property. Patriarch John Dutton steps down from his position as the region’s livestock commissioner.

John Dutton receives backlash after rescuing his grandson from kidnappers and killing six people during the dispute (we only hear about this in conversation, but we also see it in a previous episode). Beth Dutton’s face is covered in cuts and bruises, presumably after a domestic beating. A woman asks Beth how to avoid domestic abuse and Beth tells her to get a strong boyfriend and to hit the abuser in the head with a heavy ashtray. During a drunken celebration, a few men get hurt from roughhousing.

Beth makes out with her lover. A husband kisses his wife on the head. A woman wears a cleavage-baring dress. A man makes a crude reference to oral sex. A teacher tells her students that large corporations are “raping” the world.

A young boy admits that he has terrifying nightmares. A rude cattle rancher makes a joke about “two fat chicks.” Men and women consume hard liquor and smoke cigarettes.

God’s name is misused once, paired with “d—mit.” The f-word is used nearly 20 times and the s-word is used three times. Other profanities include a few utterances each of “a–hole,” “b–ch” and “d–k.”

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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