Yellowstone's Most Confusing Moment: Why THAT Scene Doesn't Add Up

Yellowstone's Most Confusing Moment: Why THAT Scene Doesn't Add Up
Image credit: Paramount

How does building a casino help reclaim tribal land? (At this point, no one really knows)


  • Chief Rainwater’s priorities have taken a drastic turn, and things aren't adding up
  • The Chief's goal was to preserve his people's land, but not to build a casino on that same land.
  • His actions are not true to his character, leaving fans puzzled.

We're not the first to admit that even for a show as original and compelling as Yellowstone, it's not perfect. There have been a few moments that have seemed out of character, or plot lines that haven't quite been wrapped up, but these are minor compared to the action and drama taking place on the ranch.

However, there is one moment that did not make sense at first, nor did it make sense on second glance, and it has gotten to the point where there is no resolution and there seems to be no logic to it. Yellowstone fans are scratching their heads, and we're right there with them.

Chief Thomas Rainwater was introduced in Season 1 and has played a substantial role in the series thus far, with his vicious dispute with the Duttons making for a major storyline, along with his big end goal. Rainwater is on a mission to reclaim the land that was taken from his tribe, but he is willing to go about the process in a fair and legal way, reabsorbing the Dutton land back into the Broken Rock Reservation and giving it back to his people.

This is all a very noble cause, and while the process itself has been relatively slow, it has been consistent throughout. That is, until Rainwater decides to build a tribe-owned casino on the land. (Wait, what?)

Is a casino really the answer?

We have tried, but we simply cannot find any logical connection between building a massive casino and preserving natural, sacred land; the two are literally at odds, as he was so passionate about securing the continuation of his people's way of life.

The Native American casino mogul is certainly a smart businessman, and the building of his latest casino could easily be part of a more complex plot, but so far it has made little progress in resolving the land dispute, and has earned the chief some new enemies.

New casino equals new enemies

With Rainwater and John Dutton becoming allies of sorts in a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation, fans thought that Rainwater would be able to calm down and focus on his land reclaim mission, but the peace turned out to be short-lived.

Aside from the increasingly vocal protests driven by the younger generation and their desire to initiate change against casinos, Season 5 also introduces Angela Blue Thunder, a young Native American woman who seems intent on taking down Rainwater and his empire.

Rainwater's scheme, if we can even call it that, seems to be causing him more trouble than it is worth and distracting him from the cause he was so passionate about at the beginning of the series. Rainwater himself admitted that he didn't even want to build the casino, so what's the deal?

We'll just have to wait and hope that there's some grand plan yet to be revealed, or be willing to accept the confusing and pointless shift in Chief Rainwater's priorities.