Western Series Wiki
Western Series Wiki

Daybreak is the first episode of the first season of Yellowstone. It first aired on June 20, 2018. 

Plot summary[]

The Dutton family, owners of the largest ranch in Montana, fight ruthlessly to keep their land from the neighboring Indian reservation and the new chief seeking to reclaim it. (Paramount Network)


Beware of 'spoilers' from here on down!


Ranch owner John Dutton ends up in a traffic accident as he crashes into a truck with his truck and horse trailer. It leaves him with a noticeable head wound, but his horse is in far worse shape so he puts it out of its misery. The truck driver has not survived the crash and as Dutton walks away from the scene he realizes that there's a lot he has to go through to keep his cattle fed.


As the family's lawyer, Dutton's son Jamie appears at a hearing. Bozeman, MT, has doubled in size in a decade, but 30 miles out population numbers seem to decrease. The Duttons do not like to sell any of their land and now they are accused of preventing the growth of the town that their family founded. However, since there's no evidence of public need for more land (only desire), there's nothing the court can do to help the determined housing developers to buy any Dutton land, so the case gets dismissed by Governor Perry.

Kayce Dutton was called in by some oil workers to get a bunch of wild horses out of their hair. He sends his horse downhill to cut the stallion out of the bunch so he can take him along in his trailer.

While in a phone conversation, Beth Dutton gets interrupted so she can take over her boss Bob Schwartz's negotiations with IL Energy. She gets her bank, Schwartz & Meyer, the upper hand by leaving the oil company without a proper way to turn down the deal they offer.

Kayce heads back to the reservation with the wild stallion in his trailer. As he gets home he finds his wife Monica and their son Tate waiting. Along with Tate, the neighboring kids gather around the horse trailer to see how the stallion is heading to the corral. When this is done, Robert Long, Kayce's brother-in-law, asks him to give him and his friend Sam Stands Alone a helping hand the following day.

Jamie is at the ranch, helping his father to get his head wound fixed while discussing the hearing. He thinks his father should consider selling some of the land, but there is no way of convincing him of the idea. John walks outside and is about to get in his helicopter to get to a meeting in Bozeman, as his son Lee comes up to him, surprised that his father isn't coming along to round up some strays. Lee is put in charge of the roundup and the father and his sons part ways.

There's a lot of activity in front of the Painted Horse Casino Hotel to celebrate the fact that Thomas Rainwater is the newly appointed chairman of the Broken Rock Reservation. The chairman is visited by Senator Huntington, who just had a tour on the reservation and they are about to discuss both her and Rainwater's experiences. He explains to her that he never knew about his heritage and had believed he was Mexican till he was 18. His adoption parents had foreseen discrimination problems for him as a Mexican but feared as an Indian he'd come to know a hatred that had to be endured to be fully understood; the nation's policy is for Indians to stop being Indians if they want a better life. Senator Huntington is prepared to make a change to this policy, but according to Rainwater it's up to the Indians themselves to get what they deserve and he lets her know they aim to buy back what was theirs and would like for her to help them spend their money.

Real estate developer Dan Jenkins is discussing his and Paradise Valley's progressive plans and its legalities with some potential bankers. He lets them know there's no need for a permit to dam the river to generate power that is needed for the houses they plan to build, leaving the bankers in awe of the way he thought things through.

In the bar beneath the meeting room Beth is having a drink. A guy named Ted hits on her but she lets him know she's not interested in her own overshadowing way. After doing so, she joins the bankers that just came in after their meeting with Jenkins.

The Dutton roundup doesn't go as planned. A lot of barbed wire got torn down and some of the cattle are grazing on reservation land. Some men of the reservation have come to keep these 'strayed' cattle from moving back to the Dutton ranch and, armed as they are, they're not about to invite the cowboys over. Emmett Walsh is not about to give in so he dismounts and walks over but he's harshly brought down to the ground by Robert Long. Men on both sides draw their weapons and Lee walks up to Long telling him he'd be the first to go down if something was to happen. Just then, John Dutton lands his helicopter nearby and the tension reduces.

Broken Rock police officer Ben Waters tries to explain Dutton has no authority on the side where the cattle are grazing, but Dutton walks right on over to Felix Long to talk things over. Long, an Indian elder, tells him he didn't come up with the idea to annoy the Duttons, but it seems like the new chief is hungry for a fight and thinks a lot like the white men. While talking, John sees his son Kayce herding some of the cattle. Because there's nothing that can be done at the moment he decides to have his people move out.

The Star-Spangled Banner sounds as the Greater Montana Livestock Auction is about to begin. John Dutton takes his seat, but not before passing by Jamie to let him know of the reservation problems. As John sits down Dirk Herstrom approaches him. He heard Dutton was hiring and likes for his grandson Jimmy to go and work for him. Despite the fact Dutton is reluctant because of Jimmy's criminal past, he will give his grandson a chance.

Governor Perry is the following one taking the seat next to John. She mentions Jamie did well at the hearing and reminds him of an offer she's made concerning Jamie and his opportunities in politics. Asked about the problems on the res, Dutton says it's just a new chief showing off. The governor leaves, suggesting to schedule a lunch.

Later on, at the home ranch, Beth shows her father the so-called 'Master Plan' of Paradise Valley, confirming John's suspicous of the building of a new city. He decides to go for a ride.


Kayce is busy taming the wild stallion he caught. His father walks up to the corral, not just to talk about what happened the day before, but mostly expressing his wish to see (more of) his grandson. Kayce, however, makes up an excuse to keep his father from seeing his son for the moment. It seems John and Kayce have grown too far apart to fix things right away, but John leaves his son thinking, advising him not to make a wrong decision when his son is gonna test him someday.

Rip Wheeler has been sent to invite Jimmy Herstrom to come and work for the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Wheeler has taken a branding iron along and as he's done trying to talk an uninterested and dozing Jimmy into accepting the job he has to offer, he sobers him up by letting the iron grow red-hot on the stove. He didn't only bring it to work on Jimmy's nerves, however, and puts the Yellowstone brand on his chest to welcome him to the club. He has to start Monday.

Kayce and Monica talk about their son's relationship with his grandpa John Dutton. Kayce likes for them to get to know each other better. Monica doesn't feel much for it, but realizes how her father-in-law must feel and doesn't argue.


While John and Lee Dutton are riding fence, they get to talking about the auction and how Lee never apporaches them as a businessman. Their talk is interupted as one of the cows is seen giving birth. They run over to help her out and as they've done this continue talking about their visions on the work they're doing. It turns out Lee has difficulty looking at it like a businessman and sees cowboying as a way of life.

Jamie wakes up later that morning, surprised that he has a visitor. Beth is smoking a cigarette to pass the time while she waits for him on his porch. He comes out and mentions the smoking. She tells him the women of the family do not much live after forty anyway, so she might as well enjoy her time.

John Dutton has ordered a freight of bison. When he has had these unloaded he sees Dan Jenkins playing golf somwhere nearby, so he decides to have a talk and rides over on horseback. First thing that comes to Jenkins's mind is the fact there's no rodeo in Bozeman, but Dutton's not interested and immediately gets to the point: he's not about to let Jenkins put subdivisions in his valley. When he's done talking he also reminds Jenkins that he owes him a horse, referring to the accident earlier that week.

Rip is looking for his boss at the ranch house but bumps into Beth. There's no one else in the house and she seduces his him into the bedroom.

Tate and his father Kayce have an ice cream in town. He asks him at one point what a transplant is when his father uses the word to describe one of the townspeople. When he's told that it's someone moving someplace to make it as the place he comes from, he doesn't really understand the concept. Neither does his father.

Kayce takes his son to the Dutton Ranch. John is thankful for the visit and so are the other Duttons. It's been a while since Beth, Jamie and Lee have seen Kayce, but they don't take much time to catch up. The men mount up to herd the newly arrived bison to some good grazing land and go on to fish in the river. Before long Tate and Jamie have reeled one in and soon they sit down to have a bite.

Jamie and Lee express their criticism on the way Kayce lets his son grow up on the reservation and Kayce just restates he's not welcome at his father's ranch. He also explains he isn't exactly jealous of the life Lee lives, working 100-hour weeks alongside his father. Lee can't let that remark pass without throwing some pebbles at his brother to express his disagreement and as Tate didn't understand his uncle's gesture, he comes to his father's defense and throws his fish at Lee. The brothers laugh it away, recognizing some serious fighting spirit in their nephew.

John and Rip have a look at the site of the planned subdivision. Ron Wright explains the situation. The people of Paradise Valley are about to dam the river right next to Dutton land, so John thinks it best to move the river.

The wifes of Kayce, Robert Long and Sam Stands Alone are making dinner. Robert mentions they're about to divvy up the cattle that wandered on to their reservation and before they get to far into an argument about this fact, Sam asks about the medals on the wall. It turns out Kayce was awarded a Navy cross. Just then, Thomas Rainwater comes to visit.

Rainwater is out to get to know John Dutton. He therefore asks Kayce to explain his father's way of thinking. Kayce tells him his father is reasonable till he is provoked and Rainwater seems satisfied with this information.


Rainwater and John Dutton are discussing the cattle situation while watching Felix Long hunt down one of Dutton's tame bison. Rainwater makes clear he's not going to play along with Dutton's ridiculous view on the Indian situation.

Felix Long brings his grandson-in-law a visit to explain the Nation's not about to give away their cattle and John Dutton will not let them keep it. There is a fight coming up and Felix advises Kayce to get on the other side while he can.


It's Jimmy's first day. Rip puts him on a horse and tells him to stay with Ron as the three ride off with a few boxes of dynamite. John, Lee and a lot of other ranch hands arm themselves and set out to take back the cattle by force. Jamie's not in favor, but there's no stopping them. Kayce is home on the reservation and watches the Broken Rock Police forces go by as they're about to take their position for defense.

At dusk, Rip, Ron and Jimmy put the dynamite into place alongside a stream up in the hills. Meanwhile, Paradise Valley is holding an event showing off their plans to a good number of invited guests. As he walks outside and has a talk with Doug, one of the bankers he spoke earlier, Dan Jenkins hears and sees several explosions up in the hills.

On the reservation, Lee and his men have taken their position. John Dutton took place in his helicopter and spots the cattle. Several Indians are awaiting the trouble and Robert Long is the most steadfast when the helicopter comes crossing over. John gives Lee the signal and the men set off to take back the cattle. There's someone on the res that's not about to let that happen and he tries to turn the cattle. When the helicopter pilot sheds a light it turns out to be Kayce.

Meanwhile, Robert Long starts shooting at the helicopter and John Dutton decides to pull back. The Broken Rock Police forces take advantage of the situation and pull their weapons, driving the retreating invaders off the reservation. Some of the cows have been driven back on to the Dutton Ranch, but Lee can't stand to keep the rest on reservation land. He turns around and challenges the Indians to take the cattle back, aiming his gun at one of the drovers and realizing it's his brother.

Lee, then, is shot by Robert Long, who comes walking up to him and is about to pull the trigger once again. Kayce is riding his horse and is just in time to keep his-brother in law from doing so, kicking him facedown into the ground. He tries to help his brother but Robert is not dealt with and is about to pull his gun. Kayce, however, turns out to be faster and fires a few bullets into the brother of his wife, killing him with the last one. As he walks back to Lee, it turns out the one bullet that hit him was fatal.


Jamie is dealing with the police that has arrived on the ranch and has asked them to look out for Lee, because his brother is missing. But then his father sees Kayce riding in with Lee over his saddle. He rides out to meet him and sends him over to Jamie to talk things over immediately. John takes Lee to sit with him for a while.

A saddled horse without a rider arrives at the Dutton-Long home. Monica hears it neighing and sends Tate to his room. Then the helicopter comes flying over to drop off Kayce and husband and wife reunite.

Dan Jenkins checks out what damage is done at his home development site. He soon sees the Dutton plan worked.

The news report of the incident is on television whle John and Jamie Dutton talk things over. Kayce didn't tell much about what happened and when it comes to the whole cattle situation it turns out things are going exactly the way Thomas Rainwater had wished for. Rainwater and Senator Huntington are watching the same news report in the Broken Rock Reservation office. Huntington lets him know he has the full weight of her office behind him.

The Funeral[]

It's the day of Lee's funeral. While Father Bob is holding his sermon, John is thinking of other family graves. He remembers Ned (born March 16, 1863) and Chance Dutton, two other family members that have passed away.

When the family walks back to the ranch house, John sees Kayce sitting by his horse and walks over to have a talk with him. They have a talk but do not say much and Kayce leaves, giving the horse to his father. As he puts the horse in the barn, John for the first time lets his emotions out.

At the Dutton-Long home, Monica asks Kayce about what happened, telling him she deserves to know, but Kayce is not able to tell her about the incident. The camera zeros in on Kayce's chest, he has the Dutton "Y" brand on his breast.

While talking after the funeral in front of the Ranch house, John expresses his need for the company of Beth and Jamie and asks them to stay for a while.


  • After previously having been recast on another tv show, Dave Annable's new adventure, playing the role of Lee Dutton, is again a short-lived one. However, this time he knew what was coming after reading the script. [1]


  • John Dutton: "Everyone's forgotten who runs this valley."
  • John Dutton: "When you say ‘no’ it must be the death of the question."
  • Thomas Rainwater: "Inequity must be witnessed to be changed."
  • John Dutton: "Leverage is knowing that if someone had all the money in the world, this is what they'd buy."
  • Kayce Dutton, to his father John Dutton: "The list of things I don’t want is endless. You telling me what to do is one of them..."
  • Thomas Rainwater, as a native American to John Dutton: "How can you stand on a ranch the size of Rhode Island and accuse me of theft?"
  • Jamie Dutton, to Beth, about his father John Dutton: "He’s never looked at me the way he looked at Lee."
  • John Dutton to Kayce: "Someday your son’s going to test you. He’s going to force you to make a decision that will determine his future. And your place in it. I want you to remember me standing here before you make that decision. Because this is the consequence of *choosing wrong."
  • Dan Jenkins: "Cities are the sunsets of civilization. Monuments to an exhausted landscape ... Man is migratory by nature and what you’re feeling is instinct. A hunger for new land that’s woven into your DNA. It’s the reason our species survived when countless others failed. That tingle is the sensation of touching your destiny."


Opening credits[]


Guest Starring[]



Closing credits[]

Guest Starring[]



Crew (and other credits)[]

Opening credits[]

Closing credits[]

  • Executive Producers: John Linson, Art Linson
  • Executive Producer: Taylor Sheridan
  • Executive Producer: Kevin Costner
  • Executive Producer: David C. Glasser
  • Co-Executive Producer: Michael Friedman
  • Producer: John Vohlers
  • Co-Producer: Ben Richardson
  • Associate Producer: Tim Pedegana
  • Unit Production Manager: Matias Alvarez
  • First Assistant Director: Nicolas Harvard
  • Second Assistant Director: Jason Altieri
  • Music Supervisor: Andrea von Foerster
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Greg Liegey Jr.
  • Costume Designer: Ruth Carter
  • Assistant Costume Designer: Sandra Sedlik
  • Costume Supervisor: Paul Simmons
  • Supervising Art Director: Cara Brower
  • Art Director: Caty Maxey
  • Set Decorator: Carla Curry
  • Property Master: Ian Roylance
  • Department Head Makeup: Greg Moon
  • Department Head Hairstylist: Tim Muir
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Spencer Taylor
  • Script Supervisor: Steven Gehrke
  • Sound Mixer: Tom Curley
  • Boom Operator: Lisa Gillespie
  • Stunt Coordinator: Wade Allen
  • "A" Camera Operator: Brian Sullivan
  • Post Production Coordinator: Quinn Kawata
  • Assistant Editors: Johnnie Martinez, David Reale, Kelly Soll
  • VFX Editor: Scott Anderson
  • Post Production Assistant: Amy Pedegana
  • Production Supervisor: Sergio Rodriguez
  • Production Coordinator: Montana Peterson
  • Travel Coordinator: Morgan Asdel
  • Production Accountant: Hala Gabriel
  • Assistant to Mr. Sheridan: Grace Morton
  • Executive Assistant to the Linsons: Brian Bennett
  • Assistant to Mr. Costner: Glenn Kleczkowski
  • Production Counsel: Reed Smith
  • Publicity Coordinator: Perri Eppie
  • Gaffer: Corrin Hodgson
  • Best Boy Electric: Garrett Williams
  • Key Grip: Craig Sullivan
  • Best Boy Grip: K.C. Olsen
  • Construction Coordinator: Sammy Hammett
  • Transportation Coordinator: Britani Alexander
  • Location Managers: Mark Jarrett, Logan Cooper, Rusty Tinder
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Alan Murray
  • Re-Recording Mixers: Tim LeBlanc, Dean Zupancic
  • Music Editors: Joe Lisanti, Kyle Clausen
  • ADR Casting by: Barbara Harris
  • Main Titles Designed by: Elastic
  • Executives in Charge for Paramount Network: Ted Gold, Lauren Ruggiero
  • Rights and Clearances by: Entertainment Clearances, Inc., Cassandra Barbour, Laura Sevier
  • iStock by Getty Images, Shutterstock, Sony Music Entertainment
  • Product Placement by: Stone Management, Inc.
  • Product Placement Coordinators: Cat Stone and Adam Stone, Megan Soliah
  • Promotional Consideration Provided by: Ram Trucks, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Priefert Manufacturing
  • Filmed/Taped in Utah Film Studios, Park City, Utah



Episode guide[]

Yellowstone - Season 1 episodes
01 - Daybreak 04 - The Long Black Train 07 - A Monster Is Among Us
02 - Kill the Messenger 05 - Coming Home 08 - The Unravelling: Part 1
03 - No Good Horses 06 - The Remembering 09 - The Unravelling: Part 2

External links[]


  1. Dave Annable on Viral "Failure" Post and His Shocking 'Yellowstone' Fate - HollywoodReporter.com