Monica, Kayce, and Tate Dutton suffered a terrible heartbreak in the Yellowstone season 5 premiere. After a car accident on the way to the hospital, Monica and Kayce’s second baby boy died shortly after birth. The loss left Monica and Kayce devastated.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Yellowstone star Kelsey Asbille about how Monica and Kayce will be moving forward from this tragedy. Kelsey revealed that a “real turning point” for Monica and John is ahead after Monica asks Kayce to bury their son at the ranch. Plus, she opened up about that beautifully poignant porch scene and her “unspoken trust” with Luke Grimes. Read our Q&A below:
Monica is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. She suffered that head injury, and now she’s lost her baby. It’s incredibly traumatic but in a different way from her head injury. Moving forward, how will she be dealing with all of her grief?
Kelsey Asbille: It’s such a tremendous loss. Monica’s someone who knows her identity. She stands strong in her identity as a mother, as a woman, as a part of her community. I think for the first time her beliefs have been shaken. You really probably see her at her worst. I think what’s really beautiful this season and one of my favorite moments in the season is actually Monica and John Dutton. It’s this really definitive moment where she chooses life and healing.
Speaking of John, Monica surprisingly asked Kayce if they could bury their son at the ranch. The relationship between Monica and the rest of the Duttons has been touch and go. What does this mean for her relationship with John and the family given this decision?
Kelsey Asbille: I think it’s a real turning point. I think Kayce has always been a bit of a reluctant heir. They’ve always tried to protect themselves from the ranch, and I think now they’re realizing that it’s actually a part of their legacy, and they have an important role to play.
Tate is also involved in the crash. That’s a lot for a young kid to handle at once, especially seeing his mother nearly lose her life. How will Monica handle how the accident has impacted Tate?
Kelsey Asbille: I mean, let me tell you, Tate needs to go to therapy. He has been through it on the show. He was kidnapped. My poor boy. What I love about the opening of episode 2 is that it’s really told through Tate’s eyes and experience and perspective. It’s really his scene and his moment. I was so, so proud of Brecken [Merrill]. Obviously, it’s such a devastating loss that the mother goes through, but also, I think what’s beautiful is you realize how much it affects Kayce and Tate.
The loss of their baby could have easily torn Kayce and Monica apart, but they’re closer than they’ve ever been. This didn’t break them, and I think that’s a testament to their love for each other and the strength of their relationship. Will it stay that way? Will she continue to let him all the way in?
Kelsey Asbille: I think it is really exciting because they do move forward together. It does change them as people and changes their relationship, but it is something that really brings them together in a way that you haven’t seen before. I’m really excited for what’s to come especially in this next volume of season 5.
During that talk between the two of them on the porch, Monica brings up Kayce’s vision about seeing the “end of us.” I think when you lose someone, you hang onto things that you wouldn’t normally hang onto, or you try to make sense of it. They talk about it a little bit, but will that continue to weigh on her?
Kelsey Asbille: I think that has been weighing heavily on her mind. I think that the prospect of having a new child and all the hopes and dreams that come with that baby was kind of her answer and her solution to it. So when this happens, it comes to the forefront of your mind. I think you get more clarity on it as well. He touches on it briefly in that scene, but I think you realize exactly what that means by the end of the season and how they’re going to respond to it.
Monica and Kayce have understandably not had the time to be involved with John becoming governor. But inevitably, I feel like they’re always impacted by whatever happens with the rest of the family. Will they feel the impact of his decisions and the threats coming at him from all directions?
Kelsey Asbille: Just like you said, I think it impacts them whether they like it or not. I think it’s more so his absence at the ranch that will impact them. They honestly look to the ranch and to the family as a way of healing as well, which is surprising but also makes for some really great dinner table scenes.
Tate asks Kayce about trying for another baby. This loss is definitely still fresh and probably not something that’s on Monica’s mind right now. But will that possibility come up again? Or do you think she’s going to need a lot of time to separate herself from what happened?
Kelsey Asbille: That line in the scene where she says “Tate really wanted a baby brother, and I really wanted him to have one” is so heartbreaking because I think in that way you do realize how much Monica was impacted but Kayce and Tate as well. But I think that is on the horizon. I think she does choose life and healing. I think they do want to try again.
I want to talk about that scene on the porch because I think it’s one of the most beautiful scenes in the show. Did you and Luke talk about that scene? You have such an equilibrium with each other and so much is said without any dialogue. It’s amazing to watch unfold.
Thank you so much. That was our first day back. We actually didn’t speak about it before, but I think there’s a bit of an unspoken trust and comfortability in our working relationship where I feel so supported by him. It’s funny because Taylor [Sheridan] actually, now that I’m here in Texas, he just showed me that scene. I hadn’t seen it before. But what I really love also is, because I obviously couldn’t see it, that last look on Kayce when she’s in his arms. It just totally broke my heart. I think Luke [Grimes] just absolutely nails it. I mean, it’s so devastating. I think we really care about Kayce and Monica. We really fight for them. We’re also the first to defend them. I think what’s great about that scene as well is just that it’s a really human moment.
I just thought about this just now. That scene parallels the scene at the end of the first episode when Kayce’s in Monica’s arms in the hospital bed. Kayce looks just completely broken. Even though she’s unconscious, Monica seems like the stronger person in that moment. That parallel is really stunning.
Kelsey Asbille: I loved shooting that moment even though it’s tragic. I think that was also one of our first scenes back this season. Everyone’s in it, and we’re rarely all together. You’ve even got Jamie and Beth and John Dutton. I think the fact that Kayce’s up on the bed with her is just devastating. I agree, I think Monica is usually the anchor of that household.