Getting a severe mental beating from Beth Dutton will send puberty into overdrive, apparently. When we met Finn Little’s Carter in Season 4, he was a precocious little pre-teen stuck in the problems life kept throwing at him. Then came Season 5, and the young actor looks as if he’s been “eating the fertilizer.”
The vastly-matured actor had heads spinning in the Outsider office, and then some. A swarm of viewers thought Carter had been recast for the two-episode premiere, too. Little’s jarring, handsome growth spurt was so dramatic between seasons, in fact, that the Yellowstone Season 5 script (smartly) chose to deal with it head-on.
‘Jesus Christ, it’s been a while…’
“Jesus Christ, it’s been a while,” Kevin Costner‘s John Dutton remarks upon seeing Carter for the first time in eight
years months. “Quit eatin’ the fertilizer,” he tells the teen. “Quit growin’.
“Why?” Carter asks innocently.
“Because it freaks me out,” John points. “You’re a livin’ reminder of how much time I don’t have. If you grow a beard, you’re fired.”
“No beards. Got it,” the orphan replies, sparking a rare smile from John.
In Yellowstone canon, it has indeed been eight months, as Monica (Kelsey Asbille) gives birth to her second son three weeks early. Whereas when we last saw her in Season 4, she had just learned she was pregnant. But this is one hell of a growth spurt for any teen; even one thrust into the ways of the cowboy. Though, again, having Beth Dutton treat you like a stray dog is certainly one way to kick the ol’ aggression hormones into overdrive.
‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Will ‘Slow-Burn’ Carter’s Relationship with Rip & Beth
That’s all we see of Carter in Season 5, Episode 1, “One Hundred Years Is Nothing,” too. Then, Carter becomes much more involved in Episode 2, “The Sting of Wisdom” as he learns hard and fast how not to ride your boss’ horse, and that Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) simply isn’t nice all the time.
As Carter is getting John Dutton’s trusty horse ready to ride, Rip is as hard on the orphan as ever. It’s Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith), instead, who helps Carter saddle the horse as best he can. Indeed, Lloyd proves much more the guiding father figure throughout the two-episode premiere.
Before long, Carter makes a horrible mistake. As he rides John’s horse, the teen finds a hole while astride, and the horse hits it hard; shattering a front leg in the process. Here, finally, we do see Rip ease off a bit, as he knows the lad would never do such a thing on purpose. But it’s still a huge loss amidst other huge losses, something Rip is determined to prevent more of. Especially if it’s Carter causing them.
‘I think Taylor did a great job this year of kind of slowly walking-the-dog when it comes to that relationship’
When it comes to these two and their Yellowstone Season 5 journey, Cole Hauser himself is looking forward to the relationship evolving.
Hauser’s a staunch fan of the “layers” series mastermind Taylor Sheridan has given Rip, and the father-son bond between him and Carter is top of Hauser’s list for ways he wants Rip to grow.
“I would say probably with Carter,” Hauser told me in our interview ahead of Season 5. “Being a little bit more of a father figure, and somebody for him to look up to. I think Taylor did a great job this year of kind of slowly walking-the-dog when it comes to that relationship. So I’m excited for the audience to see that.”
As for how that happens, we’ll have to wait and see. Finn Little and Cole Hauser return in Yellowstone Season 5’s Episode 3 this Sunday, November 20 at 8 PM ET, exclusively on Paramount Network.