The Most Shocking Moments On ‘Yellowstone’ (So Far)


Yellowstone is the kind of show that really does keep us on our toes — and it definitely tries to do that at every turn. From starting the show with the death of one of John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) kids to a season of killings, twists, and more, the Taylor Sheridan series has continued to follow suit since then with some of the most chaotic moments to ever happen on television.

However, storylines like these are exactly why viewers keep coming back to the series. We wouldn’t be as invested if John Dutton wasn’t fighting with someone else over his land, or if his kids weren’t all trying to kill each other. It makes for a gripping show as a whole and one that really uses these moments to explore its characters and demonstrate exactly how they’d act when they were backed against the wall with no other way out.

What is truly fascinating about crafting a list of “shocking” moments for Yellowstone is that a lot of these are also huge arcs throughout the run of the show. They build up until you realize the severity of what you’re watching, and it truly is surprising to see what all those references were leading to, but that’s just the brilliance of Sheridan and his work. He knows how to keep audiences engaged — even if it gets wild. Let’s break down some of the craziest moments that have happened in Yellowstone so far. And there are… a lot.

Kayce Pulls the Trigger in Season 1

When it comes to family struggles, Yellowstone does it well and often. But nothing quite has reached the same level of “what?!” that happened in Season 1. Kayce (Luke Grimes) is living on the reservation with Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and their son Tate (Brecken Merrill) when the Dutton family loses Lee (Dave Annable). In the firefight that plays out, Kayce murders his own brother-in-law because of what happened to his brother, and it sets him up for a season of lying to his wife and pretending like he is someone worthy of forgiveness for it.

It certainly is a choice of introduction to the character, and then we proceed to spend seasons with him where Kayce ends up being the character that has the most reason within the entire Dutton family. So starting the show off with Kayce murdering his brother-in-law sets a tone that isn’t really addressed — and what’s really wild is that Monica just forgives him for it!

The “Train Station”

Honestly, if you wanted us to list all the times that the Dutton family murdered people — or someone tried to murder them without consequences — we’d be here all day. Because it happens a lot. That plot element would make sense if this was a normal Western, but the show is set in the modern day, so we just have to assume that there are no laws in Montana. Otherwise, everyone should be in jail for attempting to murder or actually murder someone else.

One of the most common themes of the show ties back to John and Rip’s (Cole Hauser) tradition of taking ranch hands — or anyone who crosses them, really — to the “train station,” which is really just a cliff out in the middle of nowhere so they can shoot and dump the bodies without a trail of evidence. The sheer amount of murder that happens in this series is wild, to say the least.

A Neighborly Shootout

In true Yellowstone tradition, a shootout is just something that you have to expect. In Season 2, Episode 4, Kayce tackles his first day as a Livestock Agent, and it somehow results in people dying. Granted, Kayce didn’t do it, but it is still very true to Yellowstone that someone was shot and killed in the line of…. tending to livestock.

This also ties into Kayce’s approach to a man with a cattle guard in Season 4. He gets so aggressive with the man that he locks him in the gate itself to send a message. The shocking part about this is that Kayce still has a job after all of this but then again, he’s a Dutton, and therefore seemingly immune from actual consequences.

Jamie Kills a Reporter

You thought it was all weird Wild Wild West rules and then BAM, Jamie kills a reporter and gets away with it. To be honest, Jamie does a lot of things that should actually have him disbarred (which Beth has tried to do) but he just keeps carrying on and being upset that he got adopted and wasn’t told about it. Jamie is, for lack of a better way of explaining it, a mess. But that doesn’t mean killing a reporter to keep his family safe is normal or right, so it is one of the more shocking aspects of the series as a whole.


In Season 2 Episode 6, Jamie kills Sarah Nguyen (Michaela Conlin) in order to prevent her from continuing to investigate around his family and then we hear nothing else about it, which is the Yellowstone way. But when you look at the high horse Jamie is on now in Season 5 and then think back to this moment, you really do have to take a pause and remember that his hands aren’t completely clean either.

Beth’s Abortion-Turned-Hysterectomy

When you think abortions, you don’t think of complete hysterectomies unless your name is Jamie Dutton — and that is, actually, what happened to Beth in the show. In Season 3, we learn a lot more about her and her past with Jamie and one of those moments comes when young Beth (played by Kylie Rogers) reveals that she is pregnant with younger Rip’s baby and Jamie takes her to get it taken care of. The doctor and Jamie both decide that a hysterectomy is the only way to go and just… don’t tell Beth about it.

Overall, the scene is making a larger commentary on the real issue of forced sterilizations, but it really does come out of nowhere for Jamie and Beth to have had this in their past. The reveal that that was the divide in their relationship as siblings really is shocking, and also colors the rest of their dynamic going forward.

Dutton Family Bombing and a Duel

Remember when the Dutton family was attacked at the end of Season 3? And it included bombs and a shooting that, eventually, John Dutton took care of in terms of retaliation? That kind of lawlessness was… well, shocking, to say the least. The Season 3 finale puts every Dutton (minus Jamie) in danger and leaves us wondering what’s going to happen the next time we see them. After a short while, John solves the issue by having a duel. It really does make it clear that the law of the land is what John Dutton says it is and establishes the chaos that often ensues in the world of Yellowstone — and we love every single second of it.

Beth and Jamie’s Knockdown Car Fight

In Season 5 Episode 4, Beth (Kelly Reilly) sees a baby seat in the back of Jamie’s (Wes Bentley) car. When she realizes what it means, she quite literally starts beating him up as he’s driving the car. Now, Beth resorting to violence isn’t rare on this show — but this fight, in particular, makes the list because she’s just… well, going to town on him while he’s driving the car.

Beth and Jamie’s entire dynamic could make up a list all its own (and quite a few moments of their journey are on this one), but there is really something about this scene that works incredibly well for these two characters in particular but also really just drives home the sheer outlandishness of their actions towards one another. Beth is so filled with rage that she doesn’t care about herself, Jamie, or the road and just starts whaling on her brother as he’s driving a car and that’s such an indication of the pain they put themselves through because of each other, and it really just helps to build up to where the two are now in the show.

Summer and Beth Brawl in the Backyard

We’ve talked in the past about how wild the brawl between Summer (Piper Perabo) and Beth was in Season 5, but it would still feel odd leaving it off a list given just how absolutely off the rails it is. The two have had a rough relationship from the start, especially considering Summer’s complicated relationship with John. It all comes to a head in Season 5, Episode 5, when Beth and Summer are both in attendance at a Dutton family dinner and end their squabbling by going out into the yard and just hitting each other.

It may have been a brutal standoff, with both women trading punches until Summer drops, but it works. The two call a ceasefire on their non-stop fighting and now only occasionally pick at each other — but when you really stop and think about it, the fact that this scene revolves around two women going out into the backyard and nearly killing each other while the entire Dutton family just sits idly by and lets it happen is… well, it’s what we tune in to Yellowstone for.

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