Yellowstone’s Most Shocking Deaths

By Rick Gonzales | Published

The Most Shocking Yellowstone Deaths

Yellowstone has been an American staple since it first premiered in 2018. Right from the very first episode, fans would come to realize that they shouldn’t get comfortable with any character on the show – quite a few wouldn’t last. But this unpredictability is what makes the Kevin Costner-led series so watchable.

Over the series’ four and a half seasons, creator Taylor Sheridan has shown the propensity of taking out fan-favorite good guys and fan-favorite bad guys without issue. With that in mind, here are some of the most shocking deaths Yellowstone has experienced.

7. Sarah Nguyen

Everyone knows that throughout his time on the show, adopted son Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) has been the Black Sheep, never quite fulfilling the role his father had in mind, and always at war with his sister Beth (the excellent Kelly Reilly).

Jamie has always had a dark side and this comes out in full force in Season 2 of Yellowstone. Sarah Nguyen (Michaela Conlin) is an investigative journalist who uses Jamie to get damning information about his father. When Jamie changes his mind, Sarah chooses not to listen to Jamie. The end result is a shocking conclusion as Jamie chokes Sarah to death.

6. Dan Jenkins

The way Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) made his presence felt during the first season of Yellowstone would lead one to believe he would be around for a long time. This was especially true when he found himself on the wrong end of a noose.

But the power-hungry Jenkins survived, only to eventually find himself allying with John Dutton and Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) in their battle against the Beck brothers. Unfortunately for Jenkins, he ended up on the wrong end of a hitman’s bullet in what was a shocking death.

5. Malcolm Beck

Speaking of the Beck brothers. Neal McDonough portrayed Yellowstone’s Malcolm Beck, the brains of the operation and one who skated the fine line between sane and crazy. Malcolm, along with his brother Teal, declared war on the Duttons in season 2, a war they would eventually lose. Although Malcolm’s death was never truly seen, it came at the hands of John Dutton, who put the bullet in Malcolm for kidnapping John’s grandson.

4. Garrett Randall

Twisted” is one way to describe Will Patton’s Garrett Randall. Garrett is the biological father of Jamie Dutton and uses his wily ways to turn Jamie against John and the rest of his adoptive family. Along with manipulating Jamie, Garrett is also responsible for the massive attack on all the Duttons in the season 3 finale. It is Beth who ultimately pushes Jamie to do the dirty deed and even though we can see it coming, it is nevertheless a shocking moment when the son kills his father.

3. Donnie Haskell

Hugh Dillon played Sheriff Donnie Haskell for four seasons on Yellowstone. He was a constant thorn that John Dutton had to deal with, but both men lived by their code and both eventually came to respect what the other brought to the table.

Although they often found themselves at opposite ends, John and Rip are on their way to help Donnie out as he is engaged in a diner robbery. As they arrive, Sheriff Donnie takes some crossfire that ends up being his demise. Totally unexpected, this shocking death was punctuated by Donnie’s death happening during his last phone call with his daughter.

2. John Dutton V 

As we said earlier, Taylor Sheridan has no issue with taking out any character, even ones who have not yet been born. This sad happenstance occurred during the Season 5 premiere episode. Monica Dutton (Kelsey Asbille), the wife of Kayce (Luke Grimes), is pregnant and goes into labor.

Kayce is unable to get to her in time, so she drives herself and her son Tate to the hospital. During the drive, a bison steps out in front of her vehicle, forcing Monica to veer off the road. When we saw her next in the hospital, we find out that she shockingly lost the baby and that the baby was going to be named John Dutton V.

1. Lee Dutton

The death of Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), which happened in the very first Yellowstone episode, just might be the most shocking, if not the one that resonates the most. Lee was John Dutton’s oldest son, the one Kayce looked up to, and the one that was being primed to take over the Yellowstone ranch.

But the cattle war between the Duttons and Chief Rainwater escalates, leading to a showdown between the Duttons and cow thieves. When gunfire erupts, a bullet hits Lee, leading to his tragic death in the arms of his brother, Kayce.