Warning: This article contains spoilers for season five of Yellowstone.
Yellowstone fans knew that the midseason finale of everyone’s favorite cowboy drama would be full of highs and lows, but we didn’t anticipate the tearful goodbye that took place between father and son; or father and daughter-in-law. With significant changes on the horizon in Montana, some of our favorite characters are gearing up for a change in scenery, and one of them is the patriarch himself.
John Dutton swore in as Governor of Montana in the premiere of season five, bringing several changes for the family and the ranch hands through the process. Of course, John himself wasn’t immune to all that was happening around him, and in addition to a change of job title, he’s had less time to spend at the ranch as of late.
As some of the best hands on the ranch prepare to head to Texas to relocate the cattle from the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, John finds Monica leaning against a gate as she watches them work. She looks over at him and, in perhaps their most genuine conversation to date, she thanks him for the kind words he offered after her son’s death.
After the ceremony honoring the short life of John Dutton IV, John shares a moment with Monica in which he tells her that all her baby ever knew was love; the darkness within the world never touched him, and he was blessed to only exist in love. He also told her that his parents lost a baby when John was a child, and similar words helped their family cope. John nods, soaking in the moment of growth between the pair. They’ve not always seen eye to eye, and her gratitude for their relationship comes at a critical time.
John is there to ask Monica a question, and it’s an important one.
John lets Monica know that if Tate is to inherit a ranch as he gets older, they have to ensure it’ll stay in working order, and that very idea is pulling him in two directions. So, for now, while he deals with business in Helena, he needs someone to take care of the ranch, and not just anyone — he needs Kayce and Monica.