Behind the Story: 'Grass on the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops'
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On the face of things, Jamie Dutton (played by Wes Bentley) taking the ultimate step to shoot his own dad Garrett Randall (Will Patton) was as a result of his adoptive sister Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) blackmailing him. Throughout season four of Yellowstone, Paramount Network viewers watched as Jamie grew closer to his biological father whose hatred for John (Kevin Costner) and the rest of the Duttons came to the forefront – especially when it was revealed he was behind the season three attacks.
In the season four finale, upon discovering Jamie knew the truth behind the assassination attempts on her and the family, Beth gave her adoptive sibling an ultimatum.
She gave Jamie three options: she would report them both to the police, she would tell Rip (Cole Hauser) that Garrett tried to have her killed, or Jamie could kill Garrett himself.
Jamie begged Beth not to expose his secret and decided the best option was to kill Garrett and in emotionally-charged scenes, the two told each other they loved one another before Jamie whisked his dad’s body to the “train station”.
Once there, however, Beth was on hand to photograph Jamie in the act, giving John the ammo he’d need to have his adoptive son wrapped around his finger going into season five.
Now, there are two arguments as to why Jamie killed his own dad in the final which have emerged among the fandom.
One being Jamie is merely putting his own safety first and disregarding his loyalty to his biological father, and the other being he took the action to put the Duttons first.
However, speaking on Paramount’s Stories from the Bunkhouse following the finale, Jimmy star Jefferson White, Colby star Denim Richards and Ryan actor Ian Bohen toyed with an alternative reason for the murder.
Bohen kicked off the debate as he put to his castmates: “Jamie’s becoming pretty much an old hand at disposing of people that are inconvenient which lends to the theory that he truly has the best interests of the family at heart…
“Or is it the opposite? That he knows his a*s in trouble and he’s like a kid that is covering what he’s done.”
White weighed in: “He kills his own dad, right. Beth basically coerces him, blackmails him into killing his own father.”
Bohen argued: “He kills this like version of a sperm donor, but it’s not like patricide. It’s not his father, it’s this person that he met like a week ago.”
White delved further: “In his mind, it seems like he is excited by and sort of hoping for this new life, this new beginning – his own ranch, his own family.
“In that moment [Beth’s confrontation], all of that goes away. The way out from under John Dutton is presented to him and then Beth tears it away.”
“At some point, even for Beth Dutton it’s like at what point have you done enough to Jamie,” Richards added.
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Discussing Garrett’s final moments, Bohen then chipped in to argue Jamie could’ve selected a different option altogether.
“What if he’d just gone out and said ‘Hey, Pop, we gotta get out of town, things are weird’ and then split,” Bohen said as Richards concurred: “And do what Kayce (Luke Grimes) did to Walker (Ryan Bingham).”
White then suggested Jamie’s actions were “cowardly” as he replied: “Well, it’s interesting, is (killing him) the coward’s way out? It’s another way that he sort of escapes personal responsibility.”
However, Richards offered a possible other reason for Jamie’s actions, insisting it’s down to Jamie’s desire to feel part of a family rather than a regard for his own safety or to appease the Duttons’ interests.
“Again, he always leans into the victim. ‘Oh, well they made me do it’, like, okay, they can put the gun in your hand but they didn’t force you to pull the trigger,” Richards began.
“The reason why Beth can always get to him is because he still always wants to be included in the family.
“You know, all of his other kids, John went out of his way to be like, ‘I personally need you to be here for me’, and Jamie’s never got that so it’s almost like a child when you’re constantly rebelling hoping that at one point your father is going to come up and say, ‘No, son, I need you’.”
So could there be a deeper desire of belonging in Jamie which led to the killing of Garrett rather than Beth’s blackmail plot or the future of the Yellowstone Ranch?
Yellowstone season 4 is available to stream on the Paramount Network in the USA now. A UK release date is yet to be announced.
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