'Yellowstone' Season 5 Premiere Recap: Monica Suffers a Devastating Loss

The two-hour premiere of the Paramount Network saw John Dutton assuming his role as Montana governor.

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the first two episodes of Yellowstone season 5.

Yellowstone picked up right where it left off, kicking off season 5 on Sunday with John Dutton newly sworn in as governor of Montana. As he acclimated to his new position of power, cleaning house by surrounding himself with only those he trusts (a.k.a his loyal daughter, Beth) and those he can control (a.k.a Jamie, whose hands are literally and figuratively tied behind his back), another member of the Dutton family suffered a devastating loss in the two-hour premiere.

Near the end of the first hour, "One Hundred Years Is Nothing," a very pregnant Monica is starting to experience excruciating cramps late in the evening -- a worrisome red flag that she was going into early labor as she wasn't due until three weeks later. With Kayce tied up elsewhere dealing with a ranch-related problem, she tells him to meet her at the hospital in Billings after she decides to drive herself and her son, Tate, there. 

As Kayce races to get to the hospital in time, Monica gets behind the wheel with Tate on the passenger side. However, as she books it down a dark, deserted road toward the hospital, the searing pain grows increasingly worse, causing her to veer in and out of her lane. Approaching from the other side is a man in a pickup truck who's too busy trying to secure his snack over paying attention to the road. Adding to the bad confluence of events is a rogue buffalo unexpectedly stepping into the dark road.

Monica looks over at Tate in one of the rare moments she isn't in pain, telling him that the pain "just comes in waves." And seconds later without warning, Monica crashes straight into the buffalo as does the other truck.

The next morning, John -- sorry, Governor Dutton -- drops everything once he learns of the accident and visits Monica, who's cut up and resting in a hospital bed, Kayce glued by her side. It's revealed then that Monica lost the baby, a boy, in the aftermath of the crash.

"I had a brother... for an hour anyway," Tate tells John. The young Dutton shares that Monica and Kayce named the baby boy, John, after him.

The second episode, "The Sting of Wisdom," opens with the immediate moments of the devastating crash, with Tate the only one conscious and in the car. The accident happened at such high speeds that he discovers that the man from the truck is DOA after finding him stuck under the dead buffalo feet away from impact. Soon after taking in the horrific scene, he hears his mom screaming for him hundreds of feet away, telling him to call 9-1-1.

Some time passes after the accident as Monica is home recovering and Kayce is there to lend his emotional and physical support. But some aspects of life must go on.

"Is she going to be OK?" Tate asks, as Kayce gets ready to drive him to school.

"She's a strong woman, son," he replies.

"It's not what I asked," Tate says in response.

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"We're all going to be OK. It's just going to take time," Kayce assures him. "You lost a brother, I lost a son but she lost more. He was a part of her so she lost a part of herself, if that makes sense."

"Are you going to try again... for another one?" Tate asks after a beat.

"I don't know," Kayce answers honestly.

"I think you should. I liked having a brother," he replies.

Later, Monica and Kayce have a difficult conversation on the porch about what they have to do to honor their late son. 

"We need to have a funeral -- just us. I don't need 50 people to tell me how sorry they are," Monica tells her husband. 

Kayce, though, is feeling the guilt of not being there in the first place so the accident and their loss may have never happened. But Monica stops any of the "should've's" crossing through his mind. "I could 'should' myself to death, but I won't. And I won't let you do it either," she says, ending that conversation. "I'd like to bury him at the ranch, that way we can always visit him."

At the end of last season, Kayce told his wife that he had a vision of "the end of us." Monica, in an extremely vulnerable place, asks him about the ominous vision: "When you said you saw the end of us, is this what you saw?" 

"No, baby. I never saw this coming. This won't be the end of us," Kayce assures her.

But Monica must have a seed of doubt because she then asks, "What will?"

"I'd have to choose the end of us and I will never choose that," he answers, sharing with her Tate's wish for them to try again so he can one day have a brother. That revelation is a blow to Monica, who breaks down in Kayce's arms as she admits that was a wish she had for her son too. The question is: Will they try again?

Ahead of the new season, ET's Rachel Smith spoke with Luke Grimes and Kelsey Asbille, who play Kayce and Monica, about the challenges the couple may face.

"I think the end, the whole point is you don't know what it meant," Grimes said of Kayce's "end of us" premonition. "Was it about them breaking up? Was it about them dying? We don't know what 'the end of us' really meant. I think in season 5 there's a little more clarity on what that was all about."

Asbille also addressed Monica's drastic hair change as revealed in the season 5 trailer, which sees her character with short hair. Now that Monica has experienced the loss of her baby boy, there's clarity on why she makes that change, as a haircut in Native American culture usually signifies a major loss.

"What they go through changes them [in a] really immense way that I think will inform their place in the family and what's next for the Dutton Ranch," Asbille said.

Yellowstone airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Paramount Network.