Yellowstone season 4 sees Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) going through a difficult ritual that results in visions of his past and clues about the future of the show. Considering the success of Yellowstone on Paramount+, it’s not surprising that Taylor Sheridan’s political neo-Western drama has been renewed for a fifth season, which is expected to come out in late 2022. As Kayce undergoes an Indigenous ritual to seek answers and be accepted as a full member of his wife Monica’s (Kelsey Asbille) tribe, audiences get a sneak peek into what’s in store for the Duttons in Yellowstone season 5.
The ritual that Kayce undergoes is called the Hanbleceya (han-bi-lech-ia), which, in reality, is one of the seven sacred ceremonies of the Lakota people. Also called “crying for a vision,” the Hanbleceya is a rite of passage for young Lakota warriors, and it involves crossing into the spirit world to seek one’s purpose. In Yellowstone season 4, episode 9 “No Such Thing as Fair,” Kayce tells Broken Rock chief Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and Mo (Moses Brings Plenty) about a wolf that’s been following him. The wolf appears when Kayce and Monica are about to make love, when Governor Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz) asks Kayce to become the livestock commissioner, and when Monica tells Kayce she’s pregnant. Mo explains that Kayce can find answers by undergoing the Hanbleceya, and that if he cries hard enough for a vision, the wolf, which is Kayce’s spirit animal, might just oblige. Mo and Thomas help Kayce prepare for the Hanbleceya, which involves spending four days and four nights alone in a secluded spot in the mountains, inside of a limited ritual space enclosed only by prayer ties, without any food or water.
In Yellowstone season 4, episode 10 “Grass on the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops” Kayce’s visions provide an in-depth look into what’s going on inside his head. Similar to the dreams and visions of Paul Atreides in Dune, Kayce’s visions reveal obscured details about the future. Here’s everything that Kayce saw during his vision quest – explained.
The Owl Foreshadows Death In Yellowstone Season 5
The first thing that Kayce sees is a flying owl. Most Indigenous American tribes regard the owl as a symbol of death. This spells trouble, as the conflict between Market Equities and the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch seems to be coming to a head in Yellowstone season 5. It could also mean that John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) cancer could rear its ugly head during John’s campaign for governor. For Kayce, the owl means that he is crossing over into the spirit world. As Mo told Kayce before the ritual, “You must stand on the cliff of death to understand your purpose in life. It’s the only place where you can see it.” The use of animals in Yellowstone echoes the symbolism in Tony’s dreams in The Sopranos, the groundbreaking series which laid the groundwork for Yellowstone and other modern antihero crime dramas.
Kayce’s Nightmarish Visions Of Lee And Avery Are Warnings Against Unfaithfulness
Kayce awakens to the familiar voice of his brother Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), who playfully teases Kayce that he’s supposed to be praying. Kayce’s last memory of Lee was when Lee died in his arms, and now, Lee is right there, telling Kayce to open the doors so he can help in Kayce’s vision quest. Although Kayce misses his brother, he insists that he has to keep the prayer ties closed. This prompts Lee to get mad, scream at Kayce, and spit blood from his mouth. As Kayce’s vision of his brother turns into a nightmare, Kayce is reminded that in the face of bad spirits, the only safe place is inside the prayer ties. The way Lee turns on Kayce foreshadows the culmination of the bitter sibling rivalry between Yellowstone‘s Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley).
After Kayce’s vision of Lee has passed, Kayce is comforted by a woman whom he thinks is his wife, but is then revealed to be Avery (Tanaya Beatty), the former Yellowstone Dutton Ranch hand that expressed interest in Kayce and made Monica jealous. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Kayce will be unfaithful to Monica in Yellowstone season 5. Unfaithfulness comes in many forms, especially for Kayce, who is torn between saving his family’s ranch and doing what’s best for his own wife and kids.
Kayce’s Military Flashbacks Are About The Weight Of The Past
Kayce sits in the sunlight and remembers a memory from his military days, during which he inadvertently leads his squad into an ambush. This is a painful reminder of why Kayce bears the iconic “Y” brand of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Although John branded Kayce as a form of punishment, the brand is typically given to former convicts and men looking for a second chance in life, which, because of his military experience, also describes Kayce. After the vision has passed, Kayce is awakened by the sound of coyotes howling. Before undergoing the ritual, Mo warned Kayce to beware the coyote, which is regarded as a clever trickster. In short, Kayce’s past actions are playing tricks with his mind, which means that Kayce still hasn’t come to terms with his dark past.
The Girl In White Represents The Wolf, Kayce’s Spirit Animal
The Yellowstone season 4 finale’s last vision for Kayce is of a girl in white, which represents the wolf that’s been following Kayce. The wolf finally speaks to Kayce through the girl, who leads him to a cliff where he sees two difficult paths, both of which are hidden from the camera. Similar to Kayce’s pioneering Dutton ancestors in Yellowstone spinoff 1883, Kayce faces trouble in whichever path he chooses. When Kayce gets home from the ritual he tells Monica that he “saw the end of us.” Although the camera never shows what Kayce sees in the two paths, this clearly means that it’s time for Kayce to choose between his two lives: being a Dutton and being a member of the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. In Yellowstone season 5, Kayce will have no choice but to either help save the Dutton Ranch (and lose Monica) or help Monica and Thomas take back their ancestral land (and lose his family’s ranch).