5 pulse-quickening moments from the ‘Yellowstone’ season 5 trailer, including Governor John Dutton taking the reins

Yellowstone
Image via Paramount

John Dutton is swearing in as Governor of Montana in the phenomenal trailer for season 5 of Paramount‘s hit show, Yellowstone. In addition to our favorite cowboy taking on a more official role (some pun intended), there are significant changes on the horizon for the rest of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, too. 

When we last left the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, things were in a grey area. A cloud hung just to the right of the ranch, waiting to move just enough to cause a storm for the characters we know and love. There were life-altering moments, both good and bad, but something was unsettled. It was that Sunday morning feeling; you still have a day of the weekend, so there’s joy, but you anticipate Monday morning, so there’s a lingering/longing taking place.

The Duttons are powerful — they might just be the most powerful family in Montana, but they don’t exist in a realm of peace. They don’t share wholesome family dinners or relaxing evenings on the porch with sweet tea (or wine). Instead, they walk around knowing they’ve each got a target painted somewhere on their body; right in the place it’ll hurt them most if it’s hit. 

So when season 5 rolls around, and they reach an even higher level of power, there will be cause for celebration — sure, but there will also be a mourning period for what could have been. As John Dutton steps into a new role of power, everything will change.

So what else can fans expect from season 5? After carefully examining the trailer, we’ve got a pretty good idea. Let’s take a look. 

John Dutton swears into office

Against all enemies, foreign and domestic, John swears into office as the trailer for season 5 begins. He’s soon reminded by Lynelle Perry (Montana’s previous governor) that he’s got no one on his side in the entire building. So what is his first order of business? Firing everyone in the office; he’ll just start fresh.

Although, that won’t exactly be an easy feat for everyone’s beloved John Dutton, either. They’ve built up an army of enemies at this point, and it will take some work to get people on their side. Here’s the thing about that much power, you have to fight every second of your life to keep it — you can’t ever let your guard down. Of course, some people see that power and want it for themselves, so John’s next order of business is figuring out who will help them protect that power and who might try to snake it away.

He’ll have to have vulnerable conversations and show just a slight of his hand, so those they invite will understand that it’s life-or-death all the time. That’s the price you pay for being a Dutton or being involved with them.

Oh, and after all that thought — he makes his first new hire decision, and it’s a doozy.

Beth Dutton is heading back to work

Beth Dutton is John’s new chief of staff, and she’s taking a drink and heading to the office. A girl after our own hearts, she knows what John needs — often before he does — and she’s got the same drive to protect the family and their land that he does. Where John ebbs, she flows, and their relationship is certainly a layered one.

Beth and her mother had an incredibly complex relationship, and while she could never earn her approval (nor was it her job to), she feels a deep connection with her father. He’s the parent she has left, and she might be the only one John lets her guard down for, at least enough so that she can help protect him.

Enjoying newly-wedded bliss doesn’t seem to last long for Beth and Rip — depending on how much of a time jump we’ll experience — but it’s evident that she’s got mixed feelings about returning to work. We don’t blame her. Would you want to leave Rip Wheeler at home to go eat corporate sharks? We think not.

There’s a lot of love shared between Rip and Beth

Speaking of Beth and Rip, there’s a lot that fans can’t wait to see regarding their bond. In the finale of season 4, they finally became husband and wife, and while their nuptials were speedy, it was the perfect ceremony for the two of them.

They got married at the ranch, near the main home, and John walked his daughter toward her future husband, Rip. It was romantic, sweet, and some comedy was certainly involved. After all, Beth did kid-…er, adult-nap a priest to officiate their big day.

When we see them in the trailer for season 5, each scene they share looks as emotionally charged as we’ve grown to expect, but there’s something else there too. They look like two people who are so in love that the rest of the world doesn’t matter. They are a united front in every sense of the word, and they’re prepared to fight any battle that comes their way — together.

It also looks like there’s an extremely heart-wrenching moment in the kitchen where Beth begins to fall apart in Rip’s arms, and with Taylor Sheridan telling us to look at our characters like chess pieces and all but promising demise for some of them, we’re crossing our fingers that it’s work-related and not because of a loss.

Even the strongest woman in the room needs a moment to let her emotions out, right? Rip has become that safe place for Beth, the only safe space she knows.

Love might be lost between Kayce and Monica 

On the other hand, Kayce and Monica have struggled a lot within their relationship through the first four seasons. Monica isn’t as on-board with the Dutton family name or their practices as everyone else. She sees the battlefield as something else, and she’s unwilling to fight dirty.

Raising a son with Kayce Dutton is also something Monica has struggled with. She loves her husband with every beat of her heart, but she wants to feel safe and protected and knows the ‘target on your back feeling’ better than most. She’s seen it happen most painfully. Kayce and Monica’s son, Tate, was taken and held captive; he’s seen things that no child should see and had to do things no child should do. She’s not just worried about herself; she’s worried about her son, the other great love of her life.

In season 4, Kayce went on a vision quest and saw something that signaled the “end of us,” but there was no description of what exactly “us” meant. Was it the Dutton family name? Was it his family with Monica, or was it the ranch that they all fight like hell to protect?

There are no clues on what exactly that meant yet, but leaving it open to interpretation, for now, has led to some exciting and scary ideas. It’s possible that season 5 will finally lead to the breaking point for Kayce and Monica, and she sure had an ominous line in the trailer.

“When I said we give everything to the land, I do mean everything,” and the look on her face says it all. Monica has sacrificed so much for the Dutton family, and they all have, but she sees the other side of things more than any other character on the show. Being Native American, the rights to the land and the fight for it is all very different for her. It leads to a complex relationship with her in-laws, but she also knows the positives of being a Dutton, the strength and power that come with the name. So she rides the line as best as she can.

Chief Rainwater and John Dutton will have a big conversation

Chief Rainwater is someone else playing the Dutton game, and his evolution through the series is something special. When we first met him, he had a bone to pick with the Duttons, but after getting to know John, he quickly realized that being on his team was better than fighting against him — and the same went for John. He needed Rainwater on his side; they both found a way to benefit from being at war with everyone else instead of each other.

There’s a moment in the trailer when Rainwater says he must talk to John, and the tone of his voice and the way he stands there face-to-face with him — things are changing. We’re not quite sure if they will work together against Market Equities in a big way or if Rainwater will require more of John now that he’s governor. We’re hoping that he’ll try to ease some of John’s stress, but John will have to help him too. 

The main point in season 5 is that, for John, being Governor of Montana gives them more power than they’ve ever had and more enemies than they ever wanted.

The fight is on, the price to pay is high, and we’ll have to wait to see how it all unfolds. Here’s to the Dutton family, to power, and to more friends than enemies.

Yellowstone’s 5th season kicks off with a two-hour television event on Nov. 13, Yee-Haw!