Season 5 of Wes Bentley's "Yellowstone" premiered Sunday night. Photo courtesy of Paramount Network
NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Wes Bentley says his Yellowstone character, Jamie Dutton, is starting to accept his place in his adopted family, but that doesn't mean he likes it.
Season 5 of the contemporary western about wealthy cattle ranchers kicked off Sunday night on the Paramount Network with two new episodes.
Patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) was sworn in as Montana governor, a job Jamie had long been groomed for and promised.
Although he still is state attorney general, Jamie is powerless because his scheming sister, Beth (Kelly Reilly), John's chief of staff, is threatening to reveal a dark secret about Jamie if he doesn't do the family bidding.
"It's very challenging and it's different for Jamie now. His perspective and his feelings about his family have now changed," Bentley told UPI in a recent Zoom interview.
"Beth forcing him to kill his [birth] father is a breaking point in whatever love he had for her, whatever hope he had for reconciliation is broken in him now. He shares the hatred she has for him," the actor said.
"But he can't do anything about it. He's stuck under her thumb. He's blackmailed. He has to help them, because if he doesn't help them, the ranch could go, and that's still a focus of Jamie's."
John doesn't know what dirt Beth has on Jamie, but he does know his son is not willingly back in the fold, which makes him suspicious.
Meanwhile, Jamie is resentful because John elbowed him out of the way for the governorship.
"John's taken the one job Jamie wanted out of this whole arrangement, which was some political power that could set him apart, while still helping the family," Bentley said.
"In seeing his father do that -- and also do something hypocritical like be a politician, which he says he hates, and mess with a system that Jamie sort of believes in -- changes Jamie's perspective of John," the actor added. "Any heroic feeling he might have had for John as some role model is gone. "
The changes in his circumstances and relationships will take its toll on Jamie this season.
"He has anger and hatred, and that's boiling him inside because he has to go and be with them and help them, but yet he goes home and he stews in his self-hatred and hatred for them," he said. "It's a recipe for disaster."
Instead of sabotaging John, Jamie still tries to influence him to make the right decisions concerning state matters that will affect the Dutton ranch, which is always in danger of being lost due to dwindling resources, the ambitions of wealthy land developers and the overreach of government policies.
"He hope he can [sway him]. But he has always hoped that," Bentley said.
"It's been a lifetime of him thinking he is giving them advice and them not following it. I think he's used to it, but I think Jamie is also aware of the inflection point that's coming," he explained.
"This is the time to make big decisions, the right decisions. Because he has his own investment in the ranch and hopes and dreams of it, he does try to, despite knowing they are going to reject it, give them the advice he thinks is right."
Jamie's brother, Kayce (Luke Grimes), and his wife, Monica (Kelsey Asbille), have their own troubles in Season 5.
The first episode of the new season shows Monica sustaining serious injuries and losing her unborn child in a car crash.
"Part of what you see this season is that they really have to lean on family and, by that, I mean each other. There is a lot of quality time with themselves -- Kayce and [their older son] Tate," Grimes, sitting beside Asbille, told UPI in a separate Zoom interview.
"They really use the Dutton ranch to feel a part of something bigger, to help them heal through this really traumatic moment."
Their marriage, which has seen ups and downs over the years, is solid in the new episodes as the couple grieves together.
"They're flying high," Asbille laughed, referring to how just before the tragedy Monica and Kayce were setting up a new home and excited to be welcoming a new member of the family.
"They were really in a good spot. We have our little house and everything's going well, and then there you go," Grimes added.
Because of what they are dealing with as a family, Monica and Kayce are absent from John's inauguration and other big moments in his new political career.
"For Kayce and Monica, it's his absence from the ranch that will have a huge impact on them," Asbille said.
At the end of Season 4, Kayce had a vision in which he tells Monica, "I've seen the end of us."
Viewers will learn a bit more about what he saw in the upcoming episodes.
In the episodes that aired Sunday, Monica asks if Kayce knew she would be involved in an accident. He assures her he didn't.
"He says something very cryptic at the end of Season 4. What does that mean? It could be interpreted 100 different ways," Grimes said.
"He says he has this big choice to make and [follow] these paths that he saw and as the season progresses and as they start to heal a bit more from this loss that they've experienced. They are starting to figure out what might work for them."
Grimes said he thinks the show is as popular as it is because it offers something for everyone, combining compelling characters and relationships with beautiful scenery.
"We knew we were going to get that cowboy, sort of western audience. It's a show for them. It's really authentic in that way," he said. "But there's also this family and this crime drama element. It's just really, really well-written."