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Yellowstone fans are understandably upset after the Season 3 finale put Kelly Reilly's Beth in danger, and one of the actress' Instagram posts from before Season 3’s ending has gained heightened awareness among the fanbase. In the cliffhanger-abundant season-ender, Beth was in her office when a nearby bomb exploded, and the ensuing blast was shown to have wreaked havoc on the streets while also possibly killing Beth. Now, fans are trying to further justify their fear that Reilly is leaving the show, but are they overthinking it?
If only there were an official way for us to investigate. The fate of Kelly Reilly’s feisty fan-favorite character is definitely in question as fans wait for Season 4 answer everyone’s biggest questions about not just Beth’s cliffhanger, but also the ones concerning her father John and brother Kayce. But are fans correct in assuming Reilly is actually leaving Yellowstone? Here is what the actress posted ahead of the Season 3 finale:
Before I get into my take on all of this, there is a pretty crucial secondary detail that is worth passing along. Kelly Reilly has allegedly not been spotted yet on the set of Yellowstone Season 4, according to the Express. While that might have been more distressful in seasons past, there's a possible explanation going into the new batch of episodes. Yellowstone’s co-creator Taylor Sheridan already revealed that filming would involve a lot of strict protocols, with the production essentially taking place at a single (closed-off) location. Hence, a Kelly Reilly spotting might be challenging to confirm if she's filming limited scenes in a single location, which would likely be the case if Beth is hospitalized after the explosion.
As for Reilly’s post, my first reaction when I saw it was that Reilly was generally referring to Season 3 as a “wild ride” for all of its wild twists, without assuming that she was speaking about her Yellowstone career in and of itself. Of course, now looking back at it, Reilly’s post could certainly have another meaning. After all, Reilly knew that the cliffhanger was coming. I doubt that she would actually allude to it so blatantly, though.
For reference, let’s head back to the post that Kelly Reilly made when she finished filming Season 3. Now that we all know Reilly shared that knowing that Beth would be involved in a life-or-death cliffhanger, does it feel more like she was hinting at something larger? In it, Reilly expressed her gratitude over reprising her role on Yellowstone, as a rainbow greeted her drive out of the ranch. People traditionally ride off into the sunset, but a rainbow works.
For another thing, Kelly Reilly referred to wrapping her final day on set as “completing my last scene,” which seemed innocent enough at first. But in the new context of Beth’s potential death on Yellowstone, it sounds a bit more ominous than it did initially. Still, it would be nearly unheard of for an actor to so blithely confirm they were getting killed off of a show before their demise aired.
Kevin Costner has already indicated that he will be back to film Yellowstone Season 4 despite John Dutton’s fate also being in question, so that would seem to settle that mystery. But it is hard for me to believe that Kelly Reilly has subconsciously (or purposefully) clued fans in on Beth dying on Yellowstone. My best guess is she was referring to her “last scene” and “wild ride” from Season 3 in a mostly innocuous way.
It is Game of Thrones’ “Is Jon Snow dead?” and The Walking Dead's Glenn-gate all over again! Yellowstone has not earned all of those Game of Thrones comparisons for nothing, and Kelly Reilly leaving Yellowstone would have the same inconceivable impact as Jon Snow dying. She is absolutely an integral part of the show, and it would not be the same without her.
I am also taking heart in Cole Hauser’s pre-Season 3 thoughts on how he sees Beth and Rip’s relationship potentially ending. Hauser hinted that he had hope for Rip and Beth ending up together. Of course, he said that before Season 3’s finale, so he obviously could not mention or give away Yellowstone’s big cliffhanger. Could he have meant together in the afterlife?