Yellowstone Writers Under Fire Over the Show's Forgotten Dutton Sibling
Fans suspect that his only purpose was to jump-start the entire series.
An American neo-western drama television series, Yellowstone has introduced many characters over its five-season run.
However, it mostly follows the members of the Dutton family, owners of the titular Yellowstone Ranch, including John Dutton, portrayed by Kevin Costner, and his children.
But there was another family member who appeared in the premiere episode, only to be seemingly forgotten by other characters.
Lee Dutton, John's oldest son, ventures into the Broken Rock Indian Reservation to retrieve the stolen cattle at the end of the first episode of the first season.
When things do not go as planned, he is shot and killed by Robert Long, who is then killed by Lee's brother Kayce.
This event serves as a catalyst for many storylines, but what bothers fans the most is the fact that Lee seems almost neglected after that, forgotten by his family and almost never mentioned again in the show, except for his younger version in flashbacks and Kayce's vision after the ritual.
Some fans draw a comparison to Chuck, an older brother of Ritchie Cunningham from the TV series Happy Days. This character did not seem to fit into the show and was eventually just wiped out by the creators.
They feel like Lee got the same treatment, like after his funeral and John crying over his lost son, that seems to be it. Especially compared to how the family mourns the loss of Evelyn Dutton after more than twenty years.
Others say that his death was just a means to start the whole plot and that Lee had to die so that the show could live.
"[...] Lee's death was more of a plot device than anything else. It's taking away Johns oldest child that he spent years grooming to replace him, and now it's down to his last 3 children, all of whom have their own problems, to be the future of the ranch," Reddit user warnerbro1279 said.
Well, cowboy life, huh? You better not get left behind, apparently...
The second part of Yellowstone season 5 is expected to be released later this year.