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Yellowstone’s time jump forced Kelly Reilly to find her own answers

What happened to Beth Dutton during Yellowstone's big time jump? Kelly Reilly's made her own backstory for Beth Dutton to make sense of it.

Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone

At the end of Yellowstone season 3, it seemed like all the Duttons were going to die. John Dutton was peppered with bullets and left to slowly bleed out on the side of the road, while Beth was targeted with a bomb, and Kayce’s office was stormed by assailants.

For a brief moment, it looked as if Yellowstone was about to turn itself upside down and inside out and then back around again. In the end, though, the Dutton family tree refused to be pruned and each of the assassination attempts failed, with Yellowstone season 4 beginning with a time skip that saw John Dutton coming out of a long coma. What happened during that time is mostly a mystery, but one that Kelly Reilly herself has solved, at least for Beth Dutton.

“I have a full backstory in my head of what happened [during the time jump],” said the Yellowstone cast star, speaking with Elle. “I think that Beth had skin grafts, and she went and saw the best plastic surgeon to get her face fixed. She was probably wheeled from her room into her father’s room to make sure he was okay. As soon as she could get better, she was in there with him every single day.”

She concluded, “I think her recovery took at least two months. Maybe people wanted to see that, but, obviously, Taylor is the weaver of the story, and he just wanted to move it on.”

Reilly’s estimation of Beth’s journey over the time jump sounds spot on to us and helps to add some resolution to that mysterious period of the Yellowstone timeline after the attack on the Duttons. We’d be keen to add in one extra detail too: the scar that’s left lingering on Beth’s face is one that she intentionally kept as a token of her battles and as a warning to her enemies. That’s so Beth, right?

As for why Taylor Sheridan decided to gloss over the portion of the story, well, it’s pretty simple. John Dutton is the main Yellowstone character. We see this world (or, more specifically, Montana) through his eyes. Though it’s very much an ensemble piece, he’s the focal point.

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Taylor Sheridan clearly wanted to preserve that, allowing the audience instead to create their own backstories for what happened in between, as Reilly’s done. Sometimes, that ambiguity is a positive thing, too. We don’t need everything spelled out for us, and the more a writer places faith in the audience to follow along with a plot without showing every intricate detail, the better.

For more Yellowstone fun, check out why we already know the Yellowstone ending thanks to 1883. Or, see our picks for the best Taylor Sheridan TV series and movies, before seeing what’s going on with 1923 season 2, and Yellowstone season 5 part 2.