What the ‘1883’ Finale Told Us About ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 + Beyond
The most important moment from the finale of 1883 was easy to dismiss amid the bloodshed, amputation, tears and tragedy. It was a line of dialogue delivered by a veteran actor appearing on the show for the first time.
Graham Greene played Spotted Eagle, a Crow Elder who tries to heal Elsa Dutton's (Isabel May) wounds. If you watched Sunday's (Feb. 27) episode, you know how that worked out (no spoilers, promise!). Central to his exchange with the Dutton family is the conversation he has with James Dutton, as played by Tim McGraw.
The family patriarch makes it known he's urgently looking for a place to rest, and Spotted Eagle points him toward Paradise Valley, where Yellowstone fans know John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and company ultimately reside. The favor comes with a caveat, however.
"In seven generations my people will rise up and take it back from you," Spotted Eagle says. Dutton says that in seven generations he'll gladly give it back, but how far away are we from meeting the seventh generation, or have we met him/her?
The answer is sobering. Not only do we know who the seventh generation Dutton is, we've already started down a path that will lead to the land exchange. The video above explains it well — skip to about 4:30 if you need to — but a more complete visual illustration is found below. It all boils down to a very controversial topic among Yellowstone and 1883 fans: how are James Dutton and John Dutton related?
Fortunately, we have an answer. Creator Taylor Sheridan addressed the topic during The Road West behind-the-scenes episode that aired in January. According to Sheridan, James Dutton is John Dutton's great-great-great grandfather. Some people want to debate this — this seems like debating if Tony Soprano died with David Chase, but you do you — but we'll take his word for it. The source of this confusion is that there are two separate characters named John Dutton Sr — Audie Rick's character and Dabney Coleman's character are not the same person!
The following pictorial explanation reframes what Kayce Dutton saw during his Season 4-ending vision quest. The Dutton son said he saw "the end of us," and many thought that meant the end of him and Monica. It's now clear that he holds the answers to a larger question.