‘Yellowstone’ TV: A Closer Look at Why Rip Wheeler and Walker Despise One Another

by Kayla Zadel

Rip Wheeler and Walker have had a rocky relationship, to say the least. It seemed like there was much promise for these two Dutton ranch wranglers, but one wrong turn on Walker’s (Ryan Bingham) part, left Rip (Cole Hauser) enraged with his new hire.

Rip’s anger towards Walker can most certainly be felt by “Yellowstone” viewers. But some fans are questioning why the hate between the two cowboys. If you didn’t catch it the first time, here it is explained.

The Duttons are shorthanded at the ranch, so John Dutton (Kevin Costner) tells Rip to go get more help, but do it like Dutton’s dad used to do. Find someone at the prison. Rip, being the obedient right-hand man that he is, goes and finds Walker at the prison as he’s getting released.

The two have a quick little “interview,” if you will, and Walker accepts the job on the spot. After all, he really doesn’t have any other options that present themselves at the time.

The two get back to the ranch and Rip tells Walker that there’s some initiation he has to go through. That initiation is a painful and permanent one. It’s receiving the Yellowstone brand. The brand that represents loyalty. But to some, it’s just a sign of property.

Either way, Walker takes the brand but doesn’t quite realize the terms of the permanent contract. It’s not until the felon starts spending time at the ranch that he learns that there’s more than meets the eye.

Fans Explain Rip Wheeler and Walker’s Relationship

As season 4 of the western drama series approaches, fans are anxiously waiting by rewatching the series and coming up with different foreshadowing clues and assumptions. For example, will Rip’s hate get the best of him and he kills Walker?

Until then, fans are discussing why Rip Wheeler despises Walker.

This Reddit poster answers the question with this. “Walker came out of prison intending to ‘go straight’. Rip didn’t catch that,” they share. “This is a classic misunderstanding. Rip said (when giving Walker the brand) that it was about ‘trust”‘ Walker and Rip had different definitions of what ‘trust’ is.”

Another person traces the animosity back to Walker receiving the brand.

“Walker committed to wear the brand and then did all he could to get out of Yellowstone. Wearing the brand is seen as a mark of honor and that you are in the trusted inner circle,” they explain in their post. “In Rip’s eyes he’s a liability and not honoring the commitment. You may have noticed that Rip (while awesome) is a bit of a hot head and ill tempered when it comes to protecting Yellowstone.”

But could Rip’s anger also stem from his on-and-off again love interest’s little stint with Walker. Two of the commenters agree.

“You also all missed that Walker had a brief thing with Beth and we all know what Rip will do to protect Beth.”

“I think a huge amount of Rips issues with Walker is just straight up jealousy because Beth messed around with him.”

Until season 4 unfolds this June, read up on all things “Yellowstone” on Outsider.com. What’s more, check out if Walker ends up killing Rip in the new season. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Rip kills Walker.