'Yellowstone' Season 5 Starts With A Tragic Death

"Yellowstone" returned Sunday night with a bang.

The fifth season of the hit show with Kevin Costner has been shrouded in secrecy, but things got rolling in a huge way with the two-hour premiere on the Paramount Network.


Going into season five, there were many questions about what awaited the Duttons following the season four cliffhanger. Would John become governor? What did Kayce mean by his "the end of us" vision? Would Market Equities be able to steal John Dutton's land? How does Jamie factor into the future after killing his biological father.

Well, we've got some answers to all of those questions. Let's start with the most shocking and stunning moment.

Monica loses her baby after a terrible car crash.

There might not be any more shocking moment from the premiere than Monica crashing while attempting to rush to the hospital.

After announcing her pregnancy near the end of season four, the baby is dead following the crash and only surviving for an hour.

As Tate told his family, "I had a brother for an hour." While we didn't even get to meet this character, the death isn't any less shocking or jarring. Monica and Kayce seemed committed to starting their own way of life outside of the ranch.

Now, after the first hour of season five, the couple has been engulfed by chaos and Kayce and Monica's child is dead. What does this mean for the future? That remains to be seen, but you can bet the house problems are on the way.

Kayce, while a good man, is notoriously unpredictable and violent. He's left a trail of bodies behind him through the first four seasons. Will this be the spark that lights a new fire in his soul? It seems likely. I expect the loss of Monica and Kayce's baby to have consequences and repercussions felt throughout the rest of the season.

John is now the Governor of Montana.

John becoming the governor of Montana wasn't surprising. It was shown to us in the trailer for season five. So, we all knew this was going to happen.

However, we now know his plan to save his ranch and by extension, the state he calls home. He's going to drive the outsiders back to where they came from and build a wall with his policies around Montana that should survive long after he's gone.

Like Beth said when Jamie said he's setting the state back 30 years, the goal is to set it back 100 years. While building alliances with the people he needs, it seems John might have the authority and power to crush Market Equities and all other outsiders.

His grand plan for the ranch? Place it in a conservation easement. That means it can never be used for anything else ever again. It's bold, I'm not sure it'll work but it is his main play right now.

Jamie's status with the Duttons is in serious trouble, but he might have some leverage.

After killing his biological father to close out season four, Jamie is now deep in Beth Dutton's pocket. She controls him and John needs him. As attorney general, he can rubber stamp anything his father needs in order to save Montana.

However, we know Jamie is a schemer. We know he's a survivor. No matter what happens, Jamie manages to find a way to battle for himself.

With the blackmail Beth has on him, it seems like the Duttons have him dead to rights. Do we really think Jamie will accept that lying down? Seems doubtful.

If Jamie sees a lane for himself, he's going to take it. The Duttons need him as the rubber stamp and he knows it. Here's some food for thought. Beth has photos of him dumping Garrett's body. However, how useful is that really? If she exposes him, he could easily implicate her as well. How did Beth know he was going to do it? Why did she not intervene? Why did she cover up the murder? These are all questions that Jamie could use to try to regain some power and control. It seems like Beth holds all the cards, but we all know things are never as simple as they appear in "Yellowstone."

Rip and the bunkhouse have a major problem on their hands after smoking some wolves.

As any rancher can tell you, wolves are the bane of their existence. Wolves can absolutely decimate your animals, and the Duttons are dealing with it to start season five.

Rip's answer? Get Colby and Ryan on some long guns with thermal optics to kill them. There's just one problem. The wolves they shoot are wearing tracking collars thanks to the hippies who love nature maybe just a bit too much.

Rip's solution seems easy enough. Take the collars, attach them to pieces of wood and send them sailing down a river and far away from the ranch.

Seemed like a genius idea right up to the moment one of the collars got stuck. If there's no movement for 12 hours, people will come looking. That's now bound to happen. While John Dutton is busy fighting the people trying to take his land, Rip, Colby and Ryan might just have accidentally opened up another front in that war.

Sarah Atwood might be the nemesis finally capable of matching Beth Dutton.

Beth Dutton is used to steamrolling her opponents. We've seen it time and time again. However, Sarah Atwood (Dawn Olivieri) might finally be the one capable of matching her intensity and maliciousness.

The first time we meet Sarah, she essentially tells a young male assistant that he if wants to stare at her and just be honest about it, she'd have sex with him. That's the kind of person we're now dealing with.

Sarah's goal is to help Market Equities defeat the Dutton regime, and while I'm not sure she can do that, it's clear Taylor Sheridan has given us another awesome "Yellowstone" character.

Other observations from the "Yellowstone" premiere.

Overall, it was a hell of a way to bring in the start of season five. I give it a very solid 8.5/10 for the season five premiere of "Yellowstone." Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.