The Dutton clan on neo-western drama Yellowstone is hardly the most functional family unit, but why does Beth hate her brother Jamie so much?
To say there’s no love lost between the Yellowstone siblings is an understatement, but why does Beth hate Jamie so much? Set on a sprawling Montana ranch, Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton – the patriarch of a billionaire ranching family whose land is under constant threat from developers, politicians, and rival ranchers. Swap the cows for oil and anyone could be forgiven for thinking the show was a modern-day Dallas or Dynasty rip-off.
But cheesy 1980s soap opera this is not. Yellowstone is the brainchild of actor-writer-director and all-round industry talent Taylor Sheridan – the man who penned the Oscar-nominated script for neo-western Hell Or High Water and later received critical acclaim for directing fellow genre favorite Wind River. As such, it’s a gritty and violent depiction of the contemporary Wild West that’s full of backstabbing, conflict, and complicated family relationships.
Case in point; the relationship – or rather, lack thereof – between sister and brother Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley). While plenty of siblings have a love-hate dynamic, Beth and Jamie’s seems especially vitriolic and Yellowstone’s first season offered a few clues as to why. In “No Good Horses” a flashback revealed the Dutton family matriarch Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) died in a riding accident years earlier when a teenaged Beth’s skittish horse caused her mother’s horse to fall on her, crushing her to death. Back in present-day, an argument between the siblings turned physical after Beth accused Jamie of being disloyal and only out for himself and he accused her of killing their mother.
If Jamie has blamed Beth for their mother’s accidental death all their lives, that’s reason enough for her to hate him. Then, of course, there was the not-so-small issue of Jamie colluding with a journalist who was writing an exposé on their father John which Beth was understandably angry about. However, the Yellowstone fandom thinks there may be something else at work that explains Beth’s hatred for Jamie – something so terrible it would spur her to tell him to commit suicide and threaten to destroy any future happiness he might have.
In Yellowstone season 2, a couple of interactions between Beth and Jamie’s young nephew Tate (Brecken Merrill) and Rip (Cole Hauser) – John’s ranch foreman and right-hand man who Beth is in an on-again, off-again relationship with – seemed to upset her quite a lot. Many fans of the neo-western series think this suggests Beth was once pregnant with Rip’s child and Jamie either did something to cause a miscarriage or persuaded her to get an abortion that possibly left her unable to have any more kids. Whether that’s the root of why Beth hates Jamie or just wild speculation remains to be seen, but hopefully Yellowstone’s third season will offer more clues as to the cause of the siblings’ volatile relationship.