‘Yellowstone': Actor John Emmet Tracy Has Us Re-Thinking the Dutton Family Attacks [Dutton Rules]
At the very end of a conversation with Yellowstone actor John Emmet Tracy, he says something that has us re-thinking everything we though we knew about who attacked the Dutton family to end Season 3.
Sure, it's old news, right? We won't spoil it here, but one man admitted to planning the attacks on John, Beth and Kayce Dutton. Still, fans never quite reconciled how this downtrodden warrior financed such a precision attack — one that required hiring local militia.
Tracy plays Ellis Steele, the cunning Market Equities lawyer now in his third season on Yellowstone. For a villain (technically he is, although we've never seen him break a law or harm anyone) that's remarkable, and to hear the stage and film veteran tell it, his survival is a by-product of his ability to adapt.
Tracy spoke with the Dutton Rules podcast as Season 5 was was just beginning, and the full interview is part of this new episode. After a preview of 1923, he opens up about his character's motivations and quiet manipulation of any scene he's in, working alongside the brilliant Jacki Weaver (Caroline Warner) and more.
Let's focus on the plot reset he dropped just before saying goodbye: For those new to the show or who've forgotten, as Season 3 wrapped there was a long list of suspects for the infamous attack on the Duttons, and Market Equities was near the top. Tracy recalls not knowing, but enjoying the speculation.
"If you watch Caroline's entrance," he says, referring the second episode of Season 4. "Ellis picks her up at the airport, there's a really interesting line ... where she goes, 'What is going on?' And I say, 'We had nothing to do with the violence against the Duttons.'"
"And she says, 'You really believe that?'"
"That kind of slipped by everybody," Tracy recalls.
He's 100 percent right, because soon after the audience (through John Dutton) began to whittle down to who actually attacked the family. Everyone seemed pretty satisfied with their answer by the time Season 4 wrapped, but what if ME is as capable of violence as the Duttons are?
"You could easily argue what she meant was ... everything is intertwined," Tracy says. "Or, who knows?"
Full disclosure: Tracy admits he doesn't have the answer to this proposition, as he's not privy to future scripts. In fact, quite the opposite is true: The entire cast has a need-to-know relationship with what's coming next.
Whether or not he returns for Season 5 is also a question — all the Batwoman and iZombie star would say is that his character isn't dead yet.