Though it’s already been a long and arduous(ish) span of time for Yellowstone fans waiting to see more from the ever-expanding Dutton family, the highly anticipated fifth season will finally arrive in November, and it won’t be long after that when the prequel 1923 drops on Paramount+. We now know many of the big names that will populate Paradise Valley and beyond for the spinoff, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren heading up a star-studded cast. But Taylor Sheridan & Co. aren’t done dropping awesome actor updates, as it was revealed that Terminator 2 icon and Sons of Anarchy vet Robert Patrick will be mixing it up with the Duttons in the early decades of the 20th century.
More specifically, Patrick will be portraying a character named William McDowell, who is not only a friend of the Dutton clan, but is also the local sheriff, according to Deadline. That connection immediately makes a lot of sense, given what we know about the way Kevin Costner’s John Dutton lives and handles himself in Montana. Which is to say, that fam has likely always made a point of having friendly faces in high places, going back a full century.
Granted, it doesn’t always work out for those friends, with Donnie Haskell parting ways with life in a pretty dramatic fashion in Season 4. And Robert Patrick is no stranger to playing characters who meet their timely and untimely demises, so I don’t think anyone should necessarily place any life-affecting bets on Sheriff McDowell making it to the next election cycle. While Yellowstone itself usually opts to kill off villains as opposed to protagonists, the first offshoot prequel 1883 shot an arrow right through that idea. And since Sheridan has spoken about the flagship series likely needing to kill off some of its darlings in Season 5, I’m not considering anyone to be truly safe.
It wasn’t clearly stated whether Patrick’s new role will be as a series regular or more of a recurring part. As the new western drama takes place roughly 40 years after James Dutton first settled the Montana land that would become the family’s claim to fame, it stands to reason that the area will still be in the midst of growing and expanding, so it’s possible the local sheriff may be a daily presence in the Duttons’ lives during that era.