‘Yellowstone’ TV: Does Rip Wheeler Have a Soft Spot For Jamie Dutton?

by Katie Maloney

“Yellowstone” fans love to hate Jamie Dutton.

But not everyone is a Jamie hater. In fact, some people even feel sorry for him. After all, the only thing he truly wants is his father’s acceptance. And his antics and betrayal have mostly been attempts at revenge for the lack of love he receives from his father. Whether you’re a Jamie fan or not, there is one character on “Yellowstone” that seems to agree Jamie deserves a little compassion. And that character, shockingly, is Rip Wheeler.

Rip is known as the brutally tough henchman of the Dutton Ranch. No matter how dirty (and illegal) the deed, Rip will do it. He has no patience for violent, backstabbing enemies of the ranch. However, when it comes to Jamie, Rip does seem to empathize a little more than usual. Some “Yellowstone” fans have noticed this and taken to Reddit to discuss the topic.

One fan wrote about a moment between Rip and Jamie during the eighth episode of season one.

“There’s a scene where John and Jamie fight. John is angry that he couldn’t contact Jamie for two days while he was campaigning etc.,” wrote the fan. “Rip steps in and stops the fight, and is nice to Jamie. He says ‘Go get a hotel room and calm down’ etc. I’ve noticed throughout the series Rip tends to look out for Jamie. In fact, they seem to get along.” 

However, the fan wondered just how long this compassion will last.

“I also wonder if this will change once Rip finds out about Jamie taking Beth to the abortion clinic,” added the fan. “Or do we assume Rip already knows (by season 3).”

Perhaps there’s a part of Rip that sees himself in Jamie. We saw during a flashback episode of “Yellowstone” featuring a young Rip Wheeler that Rip did not come from a loving home. In fact, his upbringing was the complete opposite – filled with violence and instability. Rip joined the Dutton Ranch because he was taken in by John Dutton. And John acted as a sort of father figure for Rip. Certainly, there’s a part of Rip that longs for a father’s love and acceptance. Perhaps he sees the same void in Jamie. We certainly think that Rip has dealt with his experiences a bit more maturely. And again, perhaps that’s why Rip feels compassion towards Jamie. Maybe h understands what Jamie’s true motivations are and he feels sorry that Jamie is hurting.

What Do ‘Yellowstone’ Fans Really Think About Jamie?

Other “Yellowstone” fans weighed in on the topic. They didn’t discuss Rip’s feelings towards Jamie. But they did share their thoughts about how Jamie is villainized on the show.

“I’ve always felt that the extreme hate towards Jamie was unwarranted,” said one fan. “I’ve never seen him as that bad.”

We’ll just have to tune in to “Yellowstone” season four to find out how Rip and Jamie’s relationship will continue to unfold.