'Yellowstone' Kills Beloved Character and TV Western Legend in Latest Episode

Yellowstone has been nothing if not full of surprises this season, from heartbreaking accidents to epic bar brawls. Understandably, fans were quite shocked to see that the series killed a beloved character and TV Western legend in its latest episode. Please Note: Yellowstone Season 5 Spoilers Below.

During Sunday night's episode — titled "Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You" — elder Dutton Ranch hand Emmet joined John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and others for a cattle run. One night, Emmet spoke kindly to John about how important it was that a cattleman be governor of Montana, considering how important the business was to the state. The next morning, it was discovered that Emmet had died in his sleep. John noted that Emmet's passing was the type of death "every cowboy dreams of."

Emmet was played by longtime actor Buck Taylor, who is most well-known for playing Newly O'Brian in the iconic CBS Western series Gunsmoke. He would later go on to appear in films such as Gettysburg, Tombstone, and Gods and Generals. He also previously turned up in more sci-fi fare such as The Mist and Cowboys and Aliens.

Yellowstone is a Paramount Network series that stars Costner as the Dutton family patriarch, John Dutton, whose family controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Additional current and past cast members include Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Forrie J. Smith, Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, Finn Little, Ryan Bingham, Moses Brings Plenty, Wendy Moniz, Jennifer Landon, and Kathryn Kelly. Yellowstone was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson.

Ahead of the new episodes, executive producer David C. Glasser teased that the season premiere would "immediately surprise everybody." Speaking to TV Insider, Glasser said, "Episode 1 will immediately surprise everybody – where our story starts and what has happened." While he didn't offer too much in the way of specific details, Glasser did reveal that the show will have some previously unseen settings. "We visit some new and amazing Montana locations," he said.

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Series creator Taylor Sheridan also dropped some hints about Season 5, recently saying that they may be "taking chess pieces off the board" in Season 5, implying that some characters may be leaving the Dutton ranch. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Sherdian explained his approach to the new episodes by saying, "If you look at everyone as a chess piece in Season 5, it is impossible to keep playing the game without taking chess pieces off the board." He did not elaborate on whether or not that means characters will simply be exiting the show or if they'll be killed off.