‘Yellowstone’ TV: Could These Two Ranch Hands Be the Frontrunners to Take Over the Dutton Ranch?

by Thad Mitchell

An explosive ending to the third season of the hit television series “Yellowstone” has left the show’s fan base with more questions than answers.

The third and most recent season comes to a close with the Dutton family under ambush from unknown attackers. The fates of John, Kayce and Beth Dutton are up in the air and it is plausible, though unlikely, that all three perish from the attack. At the very least, the three Duttons are likely severely injured from the three separate attacks.

John and Kayce were on the wrong side of a gun while Beth is the recipient of a package bomb that detonates inside her office. The events of the season three finale have fans speculating on what is in store for the upcoming fourth season. Internet message boards, like Reddit, have become hotbeds for “Yellowstone” discussion and debate.

One of the biggest questions on fans’ minds is what becomes of Yellowstone Ranch if the Duttons are unable to run it. John Dutton says he wants the ranch to stay in the family, but what if his potential heirs are unable to continue? Tate Dutton would be next in line of succession as John’s only remaining blood relative if Kayce and Beth are no longer with us. While it could very well be Tate who inherits the Ranch, he is far too young to maintain it himself.

‘Yellowstone’ Actor Jefferson White Suggests New Theory

A new theory making the rounds suggests the Yellowstone ranch could be left to Rip and/or Lloyd. In a recent “Stories from the Bunkhouse” video, Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy, says John already looks at the two cowboys as family.

“A line that stuck with me in season two is when a reporter says this isn’t a kingdom, your dad’s not a king (to Jamie),” he says. “This also begs the question: what is family? Rip in season two, John Dutton says that Rip is his son. Yes, Tate is like the only blood descendant of this line of emperors. I think Lloyd would die to protect the ranch, doesn’t that mean he’s family?”

White goes on to say that both Rip and Lloyd have gone to great lengths to keep the Duttons and Yellowstone Ranch from harm.

“I think these guys have put their lives on the line time and time again to protect the ranch, doesn’t that make them family?” he says.

It is an interesting theory, to say the least. Rip has time and time again shown his immense loyalty to John Dutton and love of Yellowstone Ranch. Lloyd is the elder statesman of the bunkhouse boys and has proven his worth over and over.

Both men have a ton of experience on the ranch and in cowboy life. They could definitely keep Yellowstone Ranch up and running in the absence of the Dutton family. Rip and Lloyd could possibly hold down the first until young Tate is ready to assume a leadership position.

“Yellowston”e fans are hoping it doesn’t get to that point. Most are hoping the Duttons are alive and safe heading into the fourth season, but time will tell. The show is set to make its return this summer around the month of June.