Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

Going into the premiere of ‘Yellowstone‘ season 4, fans were eagerly awaiting to determine whether the Duttons would make it out of the coordinated attacks on their lives. The fourth season premiere doesn’t waste much time in ascertaining the fates of the Duttons but does not address one particular mystery: the identity of the attackers.

Little clues about the same are provided in an otherwise spectacular, action-packed, and utterly off-the-rails episode. There’s plenty to unpack in ‘Yellowstone’ season 4 episode 1, and here’s everything you need to know about its ending! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 1 Recap

The fourth season premiere titled ‘Half the Money’ opens with John waking up on the side of the road after being shot. He writes a clue about the assailants’ car with his blood. Simultaneously, Kayce fends off his attackers at his office. Beth emerges out of the blast alive as well. Rip calls Kayce and informs him about John’s attackers and relays the clue. Another masked assailant attacks Monica and Tate shoots the man dead. A chopper airlifts John to the hospital while Kayce finds the attacker’s van. A shootout ensues, and Kayce is shot.

At the ranch, the ranch hands contend with the remaining attackers as Jimmy is found unconscious. In a flashback to 1893, we see the Duttons allowing the Natives to bury one of their fallen members on the land recently secured by the family of ranchers. In the present, John wakes up at the hospital and is greeted by Beth. As the doctors deal with John, Beth waits outside and bonds with a boy named Carter, whose drug-addict father has passed away.

At the casino, Chief Rainwater learns that a man named Jesse helped organize the attacks on the Dutton family. Rainwater has Jesse interrogated and tortured for information on his employer. John is discharged from the hospital but not before learning that Jimmy injured himself but survived. At this point, we learn that Kayce also survived and has been patrolling their land.

Beth goes to confront Jamie, believing that he had ordered the hit on their family. However, Jamie claims that he checked in on them, just not on Beth. Beth promises to kill Jamie if his hand is behind the attacks. Back at the ranch, John apologizes to his ranch crew. He thanks them for protecting his family. The episode ends with Rip taking matters into his own hands and negating at least one of the Dutton family’s foes.

Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 1 Ending: Is Roarke Dead?

In the closing moments of the episode, we see Rip approaching Roarke, the Market Equities employee who has been attempting to purchase the Dutton family’s land. Although Roarke hasn’t proved to be quite the thorn in the Duttons’ path, he is still a threat. Therefore, it seems like Rip has decided to deal with him. As Roarke fishes by the lake, Rip throws a rattlesnake at his face. Shortly after, Roarke succumbs to the snake bite, and Rip ensures he is dead.

The moment highlights Rip’s continued transformation into a true member of the Dutton family. The death by venom provides a slick contrast to the episode’s gun violence and therefore stands out as a particularly vengeful action. However, Rip killing Roarke might have ended the conflict with Market Equities for now, but his actions are bound to have repercussions in the future.

Who Attacked the Duttons?

The season 4 premiere fails to conclusively reveal the identity of the perpetrator of the attacks on the Duttons. Going into the episode, the three likely candidates were Rainwater, Roarke, and Jamie. From the episode’s events, we can at least rule out Rainwater being the chief perpetrator as he himself is looking for the culprit fearing that they might be after his land too. On the other hand, Jamie is under suspicion only because his biological father suggested killing his faux family and taking over the ranch. While Jamie could go down that path, so far, we have seen him being loyal to his adopted family.

The last option is Roarke, and Rip killing him seems to suggest that he had something to do with the attacks. However, Rip doesn’t question Roarke or try to get an admission of guilt. Therefore, we cannot be certain that Roarke is the one who attacked the Duttons. Even if he did, he was likely acting on behalf of his superiors at Market Equities. As of now, the identity of the attack’s mastermind remains a mystery.

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