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Yellowstone Season 5 will begin with a time jump that will skip John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) gubernatorial campaign. After announcing his candidacy at the end of season 4, the new season will start with the rancher already elected as Montana’s governor. And according to Gil Birmingham, John’s new role is going to create a “precarious and ambiguous” situation for his character, Chief Rainwater.

Mo Brings Plenty, Kevin Costner, and Gil Birmingham in an image from Yellowstone
Mo Brings Plenty, Kevin Costner, and Gil Birmingham | Paramount

Are John Dutton and Chief Rainwater allies or enemies in ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5?

Since the very beginning of Yellowstone, John Dutton and Chief Rainwater have had a working relationship that sometimes sees them as allies, and other times as enemies. Both parties work for their own self-interest, and sometimes “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But no matter what, Birmingham says there is always great respect between the two men.

“There’s still a great respect that Rainwater and John have for each other, because it’s the passion and the objective of keeping the land from being developed and just overrun by commercialization,” Birmingham told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

“But, you know, they have their own reasons for it. You know John wants it as a legacy for his family. Rainwater wants it for the service of his people. But they both understand the necessity of preserving that land. Because once it’s overrun, nobody’s going to win.”

Gil Birmingham claims that Montana’s new governor is going to create a ‘precarious and ambiguous situation’ for Chief Rainwater

The dynamics of John and Chief Rainwater’s relationship will change in season 5 now that the rancher is Montana’s new governor. So, we asked Birmingham what this will do to their relationship with all that’s going on in the fight for the land.

“It’s going to set up a really precarious and ambiguous situation. Rainwater is not sure how he’s going to be affected and how to respond to it,” Birmingham said.

“And that’s going to really circle around for all the players involved and clearly Market Equities. You know, the family dynamics within themselves and trying to understand how John’s going to maneuver through a political world that he doesn’t really want to be part of, but he feels it’s necessary to be able to leverage himself to protect the land.”

The actor also noted that everyone is operating from a “very self-interests point of view.” And that makes John’s new position a wildcard in terms of knowing what the ramifications will be.

Chief Rainwater gets closer to Kayce and Monica Dutton in ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 confirms Gil Birmingham

At the end of season 4, Chief Rainwater’s relationship with Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Monica (Kelsey Asbille) got closer. And Kayce ended up on a vision quest. In the new Yellowstone season, Birmingham says that the relationship will continue.


‘Yellowstone’ Star Gil Birmingham Calls These 2 Episodes the ‘More Profound’ in the Entire Series (Exclusive)

“We have some situations where Kayce comes back to the rez and, you know, Rainwater has great compassion for him. A man living in two different worlds, the colonial world of his upbringing, but also the introduction of another value, culture, or cultural value that is associated with his wife and making the decision about how he wants to pass that on to his boy,” Birmingham said.

Yellowstone Seasons 1 through 4 are now playing on Peacock. Season 5 begins with a special two-hour premiere that will air Sunday, Nov. 13 on the Paramount Network.