‘Yellowstone’ TV: Could Rip Wheeler and Walker Set Aside Differences and Form an Alliance?

by Jennifer Shea

On “Yellowstone,” Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) and ranch hand Walker (Ryan Bingham) have repeatedly butted heads. They sparred over Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly). They clashed over Walker’s refusal to participate in some of Rip’s more risky ventures. And Rip almost killed Walker when the ranch hand proved too difficult to get along with.

But could Season 4 bring a rapprochement between the two antagonists? At the end of Season 3, Rip and Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) found Walker still alive and singing and a bar in town. And they promptly dragged him back to the ranch, where Kayce offered Walker his old job back. Then Walker acquired the Yellowstone brand and fully took part in the ranch hands’ revenge killing of Wade (Boots Southerland).

So Rip and Walker found themselves suddenly on the same side. And Express is now floating the theory that Rip and Walker could strike up an unlikely friendship in Season 4.

‘Yellowstone’ Star Cole Hauser Hints at a Thaw

In the Paramount Network’s behind-the-scenes featurette on the episode “Meaner Than Evil,” Hauser hinted at the possibility that Rip and Walker could develop a mutual grudging respect.

“That kind of brings Walker full circle which I think is great for his character and also for the future of him on the show,” Hauser said of the scene in which Walker leads the attack on Wade.

“Who knows?” he added. “Maybe in the end there is a mutual respect between the two of them.”

Kayce Dutton actor Luke Grimes also chimed in with his two cents. He said the events of Season 3 basically cement Walker’s role on the show.

“He’s starting to do some things where he doesn’t have any secrets against us, he’s a part of it now,” Grimes said of Walker. “He’s having to really prove himself and show his loyalty by doing some things he probably does not want to do.”

Ryan Bingham Strives for Authentic Performances

When musician and Walker actor Bingham joined the show, things at the Dutton ranch got shaken up a bit. Walker left Rip feeling threatened and disrespected, never a safe move for a new ranch hand. But as an actor, Bingham fit in pretty well among the “Yellowstone” cast.

“I come from a ranching family in New Mexico, and grew up riding horses and things like that,” Bingham explained in a Paramount Network artist spotlight. Once “Yellowstone” co-creator Taylor Sheridan found that out, he told Bingham they’d have to write him into the show in addition to using his music.

“Basically he said, ‘We’ll just kind of take it a little bit at a time, I’ll write you in as the show goes,’” Bingham said. “He goes, ‘If you do good, then we’ll keep you in there.’ And he goes, ‘If you suck, we’ll just kill you off.’”

Bingham said he’s found that acting is a lot like making music. When it comes to his performance onscreen, much like his music, it has to resonate with the audience.

“I always think of writing songs and performing, it’s like having a conversating with someone,” Bingham said. “And I don’t expect them to believe anything that I don’t believe myself.”