Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 1 Recap: What happened to John’s eldest son Lee? How did Lee Die? Explained!

The highly anticipated debut of Yellowstone Season 1 on CBS and the subsequent release of the season on Paramount Plus have generated much excitement among both devoted viewers and those who are new to the show. With its transfer to a big network, Taylor Sheridan’s neo-western drama is receiving even more acclaim in the television world. An in-depth comprehensive analysis will be given of the first episode, “Daybreak,” as (  well as the intriguing world of the Dutton family, their challenges, and the stunning Montana setting that serves as the series’ setting.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Yellowstone Season 1’s lengthy two-hour debut, “Daybreak,” begins with a suspenseful scenario that establishes the tone for the whole season. After a car accident, John Dutton (Kevin Costner), the Livestock Commissioner and a very powerful person in the valley, is seen caring for his seriously injured horse. The harsh and brutal nature of the Montana landscape, where both man and beast must struggle to exist, is clearly established at this point.

The major Dutton family players are presented to us as the show progresses. Wes Bentley’s Jamie Dutton fiercely protects his family’s ranch from a housing development that poses a threat to its land. In contrast to the opposing viewpoint that the Duttons’ sizable ranch restricts the state’s development, he contends that protecting the land and property rights is of utmost importance in Montana.

Luke Grimes‘ character Kayce Dutton is engaged in a different conflict. He exhibits a strong bond with the land and the creatures that live there by assisting a group of oilmen in relocating a herd of wild horses. It is clear that Kayce struggles to decide between living on the Broken Rock Reservation and remaining loyal to the Dutton family.

The character of Beth Dutton, played by Kelly Reilly, is a formidable force in business. She enforces her company’s expectations on enterprises by using her wit and tenacity. She had a passionate experience with Rip Wheeler, a muscular ranch hand, while covertly learning details about the Paradise Valley Development, which further reveals the complexity of her character.

The episode also introduces us to other significant characters, such as Dan Jenkins, the guy behind the contentious Paradise Valley Development, and Broken Rock tribal chairman Thomas Rainwater, who has grand intentions for the land owned by his people.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained!

The dramatic encounter involving the Dutton family, their livestock, and the Broken Rock reserve serves as the episode’s suspenseful finale. As ranchers and indigenous argue over who is the rightful owner of a herd of cattle, tensions rise. To stop any potential conflict, John Dutton steps in and works out a temporary solution to keep the cows from leaving the area.

Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), John’s oldest son, is fatally shot during the conflict, turning the situation tragically. In a frantic attempt to save his brother, Kayce kills Monica’s brother Robert in the tragically chaotic series of events that results in Lee’s death. The Dutton family is devastated by this incident, which also paves the way for other confrontations and consequences.

 What happened to John’s eldest son Lee? How did Lee Die? Explained!

The Dutton family is significantly affected by Lee Dutton’s passing in Yellowstone Season 1‘s opening episode. When Lee, played by Dave Annable, got engaged in an argument over the cattle on reservation territory, he was getting ready for a Livestock Commission operation.

Robert, Monica’s brother, started firing on a chopper carrying John and Lee as the battle heated up. Kayce rode in on a stallion to try and manage the livestock as chaos ensued. In the chaos, Robert tragically shot Lee in the back. Kayce replied by shooting Robert dead in an effort to defend his brother.

Lee Dutton’s passing is a tragic result of the rising hostilities between the Dutton family and the Broken Rock tribe as well as the more general conflict over control of Montana’s land and resources.


In conclusion, “Daybreak,” the first episode of Yellowstone Season 1 offers a compelling and intense introduction to the Dutton family’s world and the struggles they encounter in Montana’s gorgeous but harsh landscape. The series’ evocative opening scene, which emphasizes the brutal reality of life in this unforgiving frontier, establishes the tone for the whole episode.

We become engrossed in John, Jamie, Kayce, and Beth’s complicated relationships, individual goals, and the approaching threat of the Paradise Valley Development as we follow their lives. The dramatic death of Lee Dutton at the episode’s climactic finale leaves a deep impression and paves the way for the conflicts and drama that will play out in the subsequent episodes.

Fans of tense, character-driven dramas must watch Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 1 since it not only has an exciting story but also delves into issues of family, land, and power. This enthralling series is set to make waves in the television industry with its shift to CBS and availability on Paramount Plus. Don’t miss Yellowstone Season 1’s drama, mystery, and breathtaking scenery.

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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