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Yellowstone

The Real Reason Danny Huston Left Yellowstone

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At the end of “Yellowstone” Season 1, things were not looking good for Dan Jenkins. Danny Huston played the villainous land developer who was the primary antagonist for the Duttons. When Kayce (Luke Grimes) wasn’t committing murders on tribal land, or Jamie (Wes Bentley) wasn’t messing everything up for the family, Dan was the central conflict. He chafed against John (Kevin Costner) as he tried building a development up against their land, and it was only a matter of time before he got what was coming to him. In the finale, he finds himself in dire straits with a noose literally around his neck as Kayce tells him to back down.

“The noose is not only tightening around his neck, it’s also tightening around the story, and things are becoming tighter, like the skin of a drum,” Huston acknowledged to TV Insider. “And many things are starting to happen and some sinister ingredients are being introduced and that requires sometimes an alliance between enemies. But nothing is quite that simple in a Taylor Sheridan screenplay.” And in a Sheridan script, there are several plot twists. Dan doesn’t die after the hanging, but goes on to fight another day in Season 2. Sill, he was not long for this world. There was always a ticking clock on the character to make room for more insidious villains. Huston wasn’t written off the show for any internal drama, but because that was where the story was heading.

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Dan had to make room for new villains

Dan Jenkins’ friction with the Dutton family could only last for so long, and that dynamic ends in Season 2. Danny Huston did not acknowledge for certain during the TV Insider interview if he was aware of his character’s fate, but spoke of the incoming characters looking to cause trouble down the line.

“There are these brothers that will enter the scene, so to speak. They’re quite sinister,” Huston said. “I’m not sure if I’m allowed to mention their names, but they’re enough of a threat, as I said, to make enemies require an alliance to beat a bigger enemy.” This alliance ultimately results in Dan’s death. After partnering with Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) in a move to create a casino, John allies with these characters based on real-life brothers. Malcolm (Neal McDonough) and Teal Beck (Terry Serpico) are ready to get their hands dirty and shoot Dan. But as it often goes in these situations, they become a threat. After killing Dan, they hire a white supremacist to kidnap Kayce’s son, Tate (Brecken Merrill), to hurt the Dutton dynasty. Far more dangerous than Dan ever was, the second season of “Yellowstone” keeps ramping up the stakes.

Taylor Sheridan introduces many more villains as time goes on, sometimes even from within the Dutton family. Unfortunately for Dan, he isn’t around to see it.

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