Yellowstone’ Highlights ‘The Evolution of Carter’ With New Feature

by Lauren Boisvert

“Yellowstone” recently featured a new exploration into Carter’s character on YouTube, and we’re all crying into our beers over this kid. His story was terribly sad the first time, and reliving it, it’s still sad. But, watching it cut down to 20 minutes, it’s also interspersed with sweet moments with Beth, Rip, John, and the bunkhouse boys. Carter learns the rough rules of life on the ranch, slowly but surely. Everyone acts like they’re reluctant to guide him at first, but he quickly warms up to them and they easily consider him one of their own.

It all starts when his father dies and he meets Beth outside the hospital. They get to talking about Carter’s life, how he dropped out of school, why his dad is in the hospital. Then, Carter is called to his dad’s bedside, and Beth is roped into going with him. The way Carter says goodbye to his father impresses Beth and her deviant streak; “F–k you for leaving me in this place,” Carter tells his father’s lifeless body, “with nothing and nobody. If there’s a hell you’re in it. I’ll see you when I get there.” There’s a little smile on Beth’s face as he says this, and she tells him, “I like your style.”

On ‘Yellowstone,’ Carter Represents Beth’s Longing for Family, But Her Actions Represent Her Inability to Have One

This beginning with Carter on “Yellowstone” is kind of like Beth thinking she’s found someone just like her, someone bitter and closed off to the world. And, in a way, Carter is like that. But he also just wants to belong, he wants a family and someone to love him. Initially, Beth doesn’t want to give that. But as time progresses and Carter shows up on their doorstep in a police cruiser, she changes her mind about his role in her life. She tells Rip, “I think he might be our kid.” At the table, Rip brings attention to her, because she’s happy. With all of them sitting at the table eating Hamburger Helper, she’s truly happy.

Beth can’t have children of her own, and she feels guilty about that all the time. She hasn’t really healed from that ordeal emotionally. Having Carter around makes her realize that she still wants a family, yes, but that she doesn’t really know how to be a mother. Kids aren’t something she can control, and we know how Beth likes to control things. She roughs him up in the store and then doesn’t accept his apology. She’s definitely over-the-top there, and that woman is right, she doesn’t really know how to parent a child. She’s never had the opportunity before.

Carter grows exponentially in the time he’s at the ranch. Rip takes a shine to him, and so do the bunkhouse boys. Even John likes him, takes him out riding and instills wisdom, teaches him respect and valuable life lessons. Carter becomes a valued member of the ranch, and I expect he will continue to be as we move into season 5 (while fans are flabbergasted at how much actor Finn Little has grown up in the time between seasons).

What We Hope For Carter in Season 5

As we head into season 5, I’m hoping that he can have a better relationship with Beth, that they can work out what they mean to each other. I want to see Carter grow, and come into his own on the ranch, and be independent and strong. Maybe he and Beth and Rip reform their little family, Beth and Carter become friends again, and they live happily ever after. But, we know that’s not really possible for “Yellowstone.” Once something starts looking good, something bad has to happen. But, I’m still holding out hope that Carter can have his good life. After all, he definitely deserves it after what he’s been through.