‘Yellowstone’: 3 Reasons Kayce Dutton Isn’t Dead

Yellowstone has sparked quite a few fan theories from the series’ devoted viewership. One idea that is circulating is that Kayce Dutton actually died in the shootout that occurred in the season 3 finale. Many fans have come to speculate that Kayce is actually a ghost or a figment of John Dutton‘s imagination. However, there are quite a few reasons this probably isn’t true.

Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in Yellowstone. Kayce sits at his desk wearing a cowboy hat.
Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in ‘Yellowstone’ | Paramount Network

Fans have a theory that Kayce Dutton died

Yellowstone Season 3 ended with Kayce and the rest of his family under attack. John was shot on the roadside and Beth Dutton was sent a bomb that blew up her office. Kayce was also under fire. Season 4 picked back up with Kayce firing back on his attackers and getting the best of them. He then pursued his father’s attackers. At one point, during the conflict, Kayce gets shot. Many fans believe that this is the moment he actually died.

The series jumps forward in time several months later. The rest of the Dutton family have recovered, but Kayce doesn’t get much screen time. The biggest clue that Kayce is dead is that John is the only one who has really interacted with Kayce in Yellowstone Season 4. Kayce’s wife and son have also been mysteriously absent from the new season.

If Kayce is dead, it makes sense that Monica and Tate might move back home to be with Monica’s family. Men’s Health points out that there has been an odd vibe around the ranch since the attack on the Duttons. It’s almost as if someone died.

Is Kayce Dutton really dead on ‘Yellowstone’?

The theory that Kayce Dutton died is an interesting one, but it doesn’t seem very likely to be true. Kayce is a beloved character, and the Dutton family has already lost one sibling and their mother so far. Fans have pointed out that it doesn’t make sense that John would create a ghost version of one of his sons (Kayce) but not the other (Lee) who previously died.

“What about the death of his other son in season one? I don’t think Kayce is dead. He’s diving trucks, talking to the horse guys,” said a fan on Reddit. “Everyone talks to him directly. Why would he care more about Kayce than his other son who died at the start of season 1?” another fan agreed.

Yellowstone Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton
Luke Grimes on ‘Yellowstone’ | Paramount

It also seems unlikely that if John is hallucinating Kayce, none of the other family members would have noticed John’s mental state. “Beth sees him when he comes out of his hide site, even if she’s just looking in that direction why wouldn’t she question John talking to himself?” said a fan on Reddit. Rip also responds to Kayce while the ranch hosted Travis, though some fans have theorized he might have just been talking to himself.

Finally, multiple fans have pointed out that turning Kayce into a ghost, or even a figment of John’s imagination, seems wildly out of character for the show. Yellowstone isn’t a supernatural series and hasn’t done anything like this before, so it would seem like a random addition to the show.

Will ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 address what happened to Kayce Dutton?

Whether Kayce is dead or not, it’s unlikely that Yellowstone Season 4 can avoid giving fans answers for the whole season. If Kayce has more direct interaction with people besides John, that will confirm that he is alive. However, if Kayce continues to exist in a bubble, that could further hint that he died in the shootout. Fans need an explanation of what happened to Kayce, and what’s next for Monica and Tate.

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