With widely reported behind-the-scenes drama, it’s hard to believe the Duttons will be serving up one last dose of drama in the last-ever episodes of Yellowstone.
It’s a miracle these episodes are being made when considering all the reports about Costner’s involvement in the series of late.
At one point, it wouldn’t have surprised me if Paramount Network nixed the final episodes of Yellowstone Season 5B to focus on the spinoffs.
Details are beginning to trickle out, with the cabler reaffirming its commitment to airing the rest of the series in November 2024.
It’s not good news for fans of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton.
According to a surprising new report, production on the final episodes of the sprawling western will get underway in the spring.
As of this time of writing, there are no plans for Costner to appear in the last-ever episodes.
Given the drama surrounding Costner’s long-term involvement in the series, we shouldn’t be too surprised.
We have to imagine there would be plenty of tension if he appeared on the set with franchise overlord Taylor Sheridan.
Various reports about their working relationship imploding in recent months have surfaced, and Costner even hinted at a lawsuit over the drama earlier this year.
He was always a toss-up to return, and maybe John Dutton being written out and witnessing the downfall of his family in the aftermath is the right way to go.
Even when he’s been off the screen, John has had this overarching presence on Yellowstone because his character’s actions drive the bulk of the storylines.
Yellowstone Season 5 has been more political than ever, with John being named Governor, so the writers are backed into a bit of a corner here.
Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 8 left us with multiple cliffhangers, most of which involved John, so there’s a good chance we’ll be getting a time jump.
The big question will be how his exit storyline is handled because it’s hard to believe John dying off-screen would be satisfying.
Yellowstone Season 5B: Everything We Know
Then again, it’s hard to believe that he ups and leaves Montana because he wouldn’t want to stay away from his land for too long.
Another possibility is that John is in prison when the series picks back up, and we’ll hear about him in passing as his family navigates these troubling times.
If you watch Yellowstone online, you know we’ve already had John in a coma, so it would be a bit repetitive to travel that route again.
There is also a chance that things could change and Costner could agree to return, but we have to imagine the scripts are being finalized at this stage.
The closest thing we could get is a scene filmed in secret that shows John in a new location.
Many possibilities exist, so we’ll need to tune in when the series returns in November 2024.
We know that the series finale is set to segue into 2024, a new series that will keep the Yellowstone universe alive.
There have been conflicting reports about which cast members will appear in the spinoff, but Matthew McConaughey has been tipped as the lead.
It’s Nearly Impossible For Yellowstone to End Well
We’d be surprised if we said goodbye to Beth, Jamie, Kayce, and Rip for good, but there’s no telling where they’ll be left during the planned final episodes of the main series.
What are your thoughts on the plans to leave Costner out of the last-ever episodes?
Do you think it’s a good decision?
Hit the comments below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.