The decision to split single seasons of shows into two parts has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and while it may help writers, VFX artists, and other creatives get the chance to flesh out a story more fully than a traditional single-season approach would, it can also leave actors and others hanging. Costner mentioned during the September proceedings that he will “probably go to court” over his exit from “Yellowstone,” so it’s not entirely surprising if Belloni is right and he decided to fully close the book on the series ahead of its ending.
Assuming John Dutton is absent from the show’s final episodes, that poses a major creative challenge for the show’s endgame. Given that so much of the series was about the power the family patriarch wields, it could lose some steam without the central on-screen force holding it together. “Succession” was able to incorporate a shocking major character death early on in its final season, but given that “Yellowstone” is often compared to “Succession” already, I imagine the show may want to differentiate itself from the HBO drama when it comes to dealing with the loss of a lead actor.
We’ll find out what happens to John Dutton in the final season of “Yellowstone” when the series returns in 2024.