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“Yellowstone” premieres Wednesday, June 20 on Paramount Network. Pictured (l to r): Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) and Monica Long (Kelsey Asbille).

At times, Paramount Network’s popular drama Yellowstone can be very random, as if there is no story in place. Yet if you think about things through all the excitement, some semblance of a long term strategy begins to make sense here.

John Dutton will protect the Ranch at all costs:

John Dutton owner of the Yellowstone ranch, is bitter and cranky carrying around a sort of secret cancer that he hasn’t really told too many people. And he’s telling people that it is gone when they find out. Yet we’ve seen that it is actively hurting him physically, now we know he is lying about that. Potentially forcing doctors to tell him that everything is OK. The show is based on his ranch activities, relationships with his often spoiled children, and his fights with the bears and the Native Americans. Based in Montana the family runs the ranch with an iron grip.

John seems to want his son Kayce back on the ranch. Kayce who has for all his life seemed to want to do things on his own without his father’s help or money. His father who has been pleading with him to come back, has just re-established a relationship with his grandson, and offered his wife Monica, a cushy job. All in an effort to woo him back. Which to me says, that John is looking to the future. He knows his time is limited and wants his son to run the ranch.

Why Monica is such a threat:

Speaking of Monica she has got to be one of the most interesting complex characters on the show, but she is a bit of a liability. She is a modern day Native American woman who has seen some shit go down on the ranch. She is the only person who seems to be aware of the Yellowstone branding. That would be a HUGE scandal if that were ever to come out. Leaving Yellowstone vulnerable to take-over by none other than those Natives. She just survived an incident at the school, which almost landed her into a permanent vegetative state. Did John Dutton set that up? There’s nothing to support it, but he wasn’t exactly thankful that she was OK, at the hospital either. So he’s still suspect. Episode’s seven title is after all, “A Monster is Among Us.”

Yet Monica survived the “incident,” and even though she could have a tough road of recovery, her character could easily be primed and ready to run the Yellowstone ranch a few years down the road. Fans of the show are already wondering about John’s fate and what would happen to the show without Kevin Costner. But it doesn’t even matter if John Dutton lives or dies, he will have increasing complications while Monica can only get better and better.  Monica could easily fill his boots with the right timing/training.

John J. Falco

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