‘Yellowstone’: Monica Dutton’s Story Heading Into Season 5

Yellowstone’s Monica Dutton (Kelsey Asbille) will begin season 5 just weeks away from giving birth to her second baby. Viewers found out that she was pregnant at the end of season 4. But thanks to the time jump between seasons, Tate’s (Brecken Merrill) younger sibling will be arriving sooner rather than later. 

Before she and Kayce (Luke Grimes) expand their family in the upcoming season — and we hopefully find out what her husband’s line “I saw the end of us” means — let’s take a quick look back at Monica Dutton’s story so far.

Yellowstone star Kelsey Asbille as Monica Dutton with Gil Birmingham as Chief Thomas Rainwater
Kelsey Asbille with Gil Birmingham | Paramount Network

Monica is the granddaughter of an Indian elder in ‘Yellowstone’

Monica Long-Dutton grew up on the Broken Rock Indian Reservation, which is located near the famous Dutton Ranch — the largest ranch in the contiguous United States. She is the granddaughter of one of the reservation’s Indian elders, Felix Long (Rudy Ramos). And, when fans first met her in the Yellowstone pilot, she had a brother named Robert (Jeremiah Bitsui).

When she was a teenager, Monica got pregnant after a night out that included a one-night stand with Kayce Dutton. They proceeded to get to know each other and both quickly caught feelings. So, Kayce made things official with a proposal and they got married as teenagers. But, this didn’t go over well with his father John Dutton (Kevin Costner) — leading to Kayce’s brand. 

Kayce and Monica are the “Romeo and Juliet” of Taylor Sheridan’s western. With Monica being from the reservation and Kayce being the son of John Dutton, they are in a difficult position between two warring families.

She lost her brother and brother-in-law in the pilot episode

Yellowstone begins with Monica, Kayce, and their son Tate living on the reservation — as the feud between the Dutton Ranch and the reservation is revealed. This feud leads to Robert facing off against Kayce’s oldest brother Lee (Dave Annable), and Kayce sees it all go down. 

Robert shot Lee, and was about to deliver another when Kayce intervened. To protect himself and his brother, Kayce shot and killed Robert. But, Lee’s gunshot was also fatal. In just a few seconds, both Monica and Kayce lost their respective brothers and her brothers-in-law.

Monica and Kayce moved to the Dutton Ranch in ‘Yellowstone’ Season 1

Monica was initially kept in the dark about her brother’s death — until his widow committed suicide. When their children are sent to Seattle to live with their grandparents, Monica decides they should move off the reservation to spare Tate the sadness of missing his cousins.

To convince them to move to the ranch, John and Jamie (Wes Bentley) arrange a job offer for Monica. At the time, she was a teacher at the reservation’s Heartsong Middle School. The job offer was from nearby Montana State University, who gave Monica the opportunity to study for her doctorate, while expanding their liberal arts department as a Native American Studies adjunct professor.

However, because John Dutton was behind the job offer, Monica turned it down. She pointed out that there aren’t any new teachers waiting to replace her on the reservation.

She had a brain injury that required emergency surgery

While attempting to break up a brawl between two older students at school, Monica is accidentally punched by one of the boys. The punch knocked her unconscious and she hit her head on the pavement, resulting in a traumatic brain injury and emergency surgery. While in the hospital, she decided her son needed protection from the dangerous Dutton family.

After recovering from her injuries, she dropped the Dutton name and went back to using Long. She went back to Montana State hoping their offer was still available, but it wasn’t. Instead, she could get her foot in the door by teaching a single American history class. She continued teaching on the reservation and at the university, but insisted on teaching a revisionist version told from the Native American perspective. 

Monica had a brief fling with her physical therapist 

Monica and Kayce’s marriage was on shaky ground when she started teaching at the university, which caused a fling with her physical therapist. However, she quickly realized she loved her husband and didn’t want to ruin their relationship. The couple reunited and moved to the Dutton ranch with their son, as Kayce took on his role of being the ranch’s future owner and operator.

Her happiness was immediately cut short when she saw the damage done to Beth (Kelly Reilly) at the hands of the Dutton enemies. When Beth tells her that it’s all just part of the “family business,” Monica’s fears for her and her son’s safety reemerge.

She insisted they leave the Dutton Ranch at the beginning of ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

Monica’s fears about her and her son’s safety were validated when Tate was kidnapped by Dutton enemies in season 2. Then, at the beginning of season 4, Tate was forced to shoot and kill an intruder during a hit on the Duttons.

She ultimately forces Kayce to move them to a home of their own — away from the Dutton Ranch and the reservation. This move is a fresh new start for the couple, and they soon found out they were going to have another baby. But Kayce is still torn between his father and the family ranch, and his wife, son, and the Broken Rock Reservation.

Kayce’s final line of ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 could mean the end of his marriage

Kayce finally attempted to address the conflict in his life and relationship by going on a vision quest at the end of season 4. His hallucinations indicated he had to choose between two paths, which has been Kayce’s conflict for the entire series.


‘Yellowstone’ Star Forrie J. Smith Says Season 5 Will Have Fans Asking ‘What the Hell?’

No clear answers were given about what Kayce would choose — his wife and children or his family’s legacy and ranch. But, his final line of the season was telling Monica “I saw the end of us.” It’s not yet clear which “us” Kayce was referring to.

Yellowstone Season 5 premieres Sunday, November 13 on the Paramount Network.