Yellowstone Season 5 Without Kevin Costner Is Defying The Show’s Original Premise

Yellowstone Season 5 Without Kevin Costner Is Defying The Show’s Original Premise

Yellowstone season 5 will carry on without Kevin Costner’s involvement, and in doing so will fly in the face of the show’s original mission.

SUMMARY
– With Kevin Costner’s departure, Yellowstone has evolved beyond its original intent.
– The show’s success now relies on powerful Western drama, not just Costner’s star power.
– While John Dutton’s absence poses challenges for Season 5, Yellowstone’s spinoffs signal a bright future.

With Kevin Costner’s infamous exit from Yellowstone in the middle of season 5, the show has well and truly departed from its original intention. A number of behind-the-scenes problems and controversies around Yellowstone ultimately led to the second half of the already-in-progress season 5 carrying on without the Academy Award winner who has starred in the show since 2018. However, the nature of that ending will fly in the face of the show’s original intention.

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan has expressed his pleasure with how the show wraps up without Kevin Costner’s involvement, and it’s fair to wonder whether season 5 is better off without John Dutton. As it stands, season 5 will represent the end of the current iteration of Yellowstone, although there are multiple spinoffs on the way. No matter how the overarching narrative ends, without John Dutton at its center, the story would have strayed far off the path laid out in season 1.

Yellowstone Season 5’s Ending Is The Opposite Of Its Original Mission
The show was originally driven by Kevin Costner’s involvement.
As Costner himself noted in an interview with ABC News, he believed that the show’s continuation past its season 1 arc depended entirely on his involvement.

The show got put together and it was no longer going to be [only 10 episodes] and a lot of it had been put together because of me and agreeing that I would do it… I thought actually that if I had said, ‘Well, now I’m not doing it,’ maybe it might’ve crumbled before it got started.

Without a doubt, part of the original appeal of the show was Costner’s involvement. An actor of his caliber, with a Western pedigree to boot, made for an exciting prospect as far as prestige drama television is concerned. Season 1 proved that while the show had a stellar supporting cast, it was heavily anchored by Costner as John Dutton.

Costner’s star power got Yellowstone off to a great start, but the strength of the show was in its harrowing drama and potent Western themes. Where the show was originally driven by Costner’s involvement, it evolved into something far more powerful as it grew around the Hollywood legend. With Costner no longer involved with the show’s conclusion, it has finally departed from its original Costner-centric intention.

 

Kevin Costner’s Exit Proves Yellowstone Has Evolved Beyond John Dutton
From sequels to subplots, the Yellowstone franchise doesn’t need John Dutton to be good.
Yellowstone has evolved into something well beyond what it was originally intended to be, as evidenced by the various spinoffs that have already been released and are in development. It’s become clear based on critical reception, ratings and accolades that the central point of interest in Yellowstone is not Kevin Costner, but rather the well-written Western drama aspects. It’s fair to say that the show may have even revitalized the Western genre, as both Sheridan and Costner have multiple competing Westerns on the way across various platforms.

The prequels 1883 and 1923 still follow the Dutton family, but the stories are not connected to the central Yellowstone narrative at all outside of some Easter eggs in the story. Even Lawmen: Bass Reeves, which is not technically a Yellowstone spinoff, carries the same strong character work and well-written dramatic elements that are a benchmark of the show. It’s fairly obvious that Yellowstone has gone well beyond needing Costner’s involvement to be successful.

John Dutton’s Absence Is Still A Problem For Yellowstone Season 5’s Ending
The overarching narrative will still suffer with the off-screen death of John Dutton.
Yellowstone may have grown beyond Kevin Costner and John Dutton, but that still doesn’t heal the wounds left by Costner’s departure from the conclusion of the original series. With only half a season to wrap up a number of significant story lines while also leaving enough room to address John Dutton’s death or disappearance, it’s all but certain that some questions will be left unanswered. Minor characters like the ranchers may have their stories shortened or omitted to service the more important arcs, which will be unsatisfying to the show’s most hardcore fans.

”It will be extremely hard to have a satisfying ending to the long-delayed season 5 without John Dutton’s involvement.”

It seems like a foregone conclusion that John Dutton will be killed in an off-screen fashion, which will be an unfortunate way to end the arc of one of the most celebrated characters in drama of the last decade. That doesn’t necessarily mean the show can’t end on a strong note, especially if the rest of the Dutton children, Rip Wheeler, and the other ranchers are given satisfying endings. No matter how Yellowstone ends, it will be extremely hard to have a satisfying ending to the long-delayed season 5 without John Dutton’s involvement.

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