Did John Dutton (Kevin Costner) Live or Die on Yellowstone’s Season 3 Finale?


Paramount Yellowstone

Tonight Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 10 aired, and the finale left fans with a lot of questions. Among the biggest of those questions is whether or not Kevin Costner is returning for Season 4. Did John Dutton live or die tonight?

This article has major spoilers for the Season 3 finale. 

There’s a Good Reason to Believe John Dutton Will Live

Things got really intense at the end of Yellowstone. John Dutton pulled over to help a mom and her son replace her tire. He offered to teach the young boy “life skills” so they wouldn’t be stranded the next time something went wrong with the car.

The whole time, I was nervous. I thought the mom and son might be a plant. They weren’t, but as it turns out, I had plenty of reason to be nervous.

John was making a connection with the young man, almost like he does with Tate. And just as they were finishing fixing the vehicle, a sketchy looking van pulls up. John waves the van on, telling them that they’re already taken care of. But the van pulls over anyway and asks if he’s John Dutton. Once John confirms his identity, the back doors of the van open and man shoots him right in the chest, multiple times.


Then just to be extra evil, the driver goes after the mom who is screaming and running away, and shoots and killers her too.


Then for the very last scene, we see John lying against the van, still alive.


But he’s not in great shape. He’s bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. And one of the bullets hit his phone, so he can’t use it to call for help. The good news is that the phone probably also saved him from being shot through the heart, and that might be the only reason he’s still alive. The bad news is that he can’t get help and is at risk of possibly bleeding out on the lonely highway.

But John has an ace up his sleeve, so to speak, that you might have forgotten about. The little boy that he helped had gone into the field right before the shooting began. He was not shot. So I’m going to bet that once the van leaves, the boy will show back up. Next season, we’ll probably see him getting his mom’s phone, coming to John, and calling for help.

So despite it being unlikely that Kevin Costner would leave the show (seeing as he’s the main draw), the plot itself has left us with the idea that John Dutton is going to survive this attack.

Season 1 Left Us Questioning John’s Fate Too

This isn’t the first time that Yellowstone has left us questioning John Dutton’s fate and whether Kevin Costner was leaving the show. When Season 1 ended, John Dutton’s fate was a big concern for fans.

A couple episodes before the finale, John Dutton was shown throwing up blood in a gut-wrenching scene that scared fans. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. After that, John acted like everything was OK and fans began to wonder just how serious things were for the character. In the finale, there was a scene with Rip where he asked John how much time he has left and John said not long. It’s not clear if they’re talking about his health, but other scenes certainly made it look like John didn’t have much longer to live.

In the finale for Season 1, John talked with Beth and asked her to put the ranch in a trust and to be the executor. “Don’t ever sell it,” he made her promise. That certainly sounded like John was planning for his death.

But then fans saw a trailer for the next season, and they knew John was coming back, but a clip from the trailer showed John with blood coming out of his mouth. Once again, fans wondered if John Dutton was living or dying.

As it turned out, John had cancer but it was removed. A post-surgery scan showed a mass, but it didn’t end up being the cancer returning. His post-surgery health issues were caused by an ulcer that ruptured.

So we’ve had a lot of scares with John Dutton over the last few seasons, but he always came out on top. So don’t be too worried. I’m willing to be that John is going to be fine again and Kevin Costner will be back for Season 4.

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