Yellowstone’ TV: The Case for Beth Dutton Running the Ranch After John Dutton

by Jon D. B.

When it comes to his own children, none has grown up more in his image than John Dutton‘s only daughter, Beth Dutton. But does this make her the best person to take over Yellowstone after his passing – or the worst?

As is always the case with Paramount’s Yellowstone, the answer isn’t that cut and dry. Instead, it lies in that gray area in between that the Dutton’s know so well. For our part, however, if we were to pick an inheritor for the ranch ourselves – it would absolutely be Beth Dutton.

This doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be cons to her ownership. Beth is, after all, blisteringly impulsive. She’s deeply flawed, as are all human beings. That being said, it is her strengths that make her the woman for the job.

Beth Dutton: Yellowstone Ranch’s Best Shot

From the outset, you are either in love with Beth alongside most of America, or asking yourself “why would anyone give Beth control of anything?” While both are, honestly, fair points – let’s hit those pros first before nailing down her cons – as she is truly the best-case scenario for Yellowstone Ranch.

Firstly, Beth is a businesswoman to her core. While her father knows business, he doesn’t live it. John Dutton lives the ranch. While in theory, this may seem the most obvious person to run said ranch – it’s also what’s gotten Yellowstone so deep into the numerous holes they’re currently in.

Now imagine if Beth had been pulling the big strings for the past ten years. She can be reckless, yes, but her business tactics are absolutely ruthless. She’s brutal, and more than willing to become the same kind of vicious beast Yellowstone’s many circling wolves are.

“I will be CEO of IL Energy by Monday. I will fire every f*cking employee. Then I will sell your leases and equipment to Chevron for 30 cents on the dollar, and you, buddy, you will have the unique distinction of being the only drilling company to go bankrupt in the largest oil boom of the last century.”

Beth Dutton, Season 1

In essence, this is exactly what Yellowstone needs to survive. And it’s the only way to keep Dutton land from becoming parking lots for casinos. John Dutton has tried – and failed – to keep it alive the old fashioned way. Beth’s ruthless financial tactics and brilliantly sharp mind are what’s needed to bring the ranch into the next decade – or forward at all.

Beth & Rip are the Perfect Pair to Run Yellowstone Ranch

Moreover, Beth’s love of Rip Wheeler places her with the perfect partner-in-crime (literally) to have Yellowstone thriving.

These two may have fought it all their lives, but they were meant for each other. And Yellowstone Ranch was meant for them. While John Dutton tends to treat Kayce as the “prodigal son in training”, he’s already proven to Rip Wheeler that he sees him this way to begin with.

After saving Beth’s life and literally taking bullets for her, John Dutton steps up and rewards Rip in the most fitting way possible: by gifting him his homestead and own slice of Yellowstone Ranch. Once Beth’s father shows her this reward through a hand-written letter that absolutely cements Rip as a “son” to John, she cannot wait to share this with the man she loves.

Through all this, we learn – alongside Rip – that John Dutton does fully consider him a part of the family. This is all Rip’s ever wanted. And considering Beth worships the ground her father walks on, the fact that she’s so willing to share his love with Rip just goes to show that these two were absolutely meant for one another – and to run Yellowstone Ranch.

Make no mistake, however, the ranch will still belong to Beth Dutton. She does, after all, wear the pants in their relationship… But with Rip staying on to run the lands and livestock he knows better than any other living person – it’s the perfect recipe for Yellowstone‘s survival. We are, after all, no better than the company we keep.

Is Beth too Reckless to Run Yellowstone?

And does she even want to? Fans of Beth Dutton know she’s not eager to take her father’s place. In fact, she’s spent most of her life ensuring she’s carved her own place in the world outside of Yellowstone.

“When I’m here, I understand me less.”

Beth Dutton on being “home” at Yellowstone Ranch

While this may seem like a deal-breaker of a con, Beth doesn’t have to live and breathe the ranch to save or operate it. That’s what Rip’s for. And her love for her father also outweighs everything else, to boot, as she’s proven time and time again that to her – loyalty to the family is paramount.

“I don’t believe you’re capable of swallowing your pride and contributing to this family. I don’t believe our father will ever trust you again, which is why I don’t believe you have a role here anymore.”

Beth to Jamie Dutton

All of this, however, can pale in comparison to Beth’s dangerous tendencies. If there is a con to focus on for fans – it is her undeniable recklessness. Beth has a habit of making enemies, not quelling them. She’s out to please or appease no one. She is an absolute steamroller, and will flatten anything – or anyone – in her path.

“Where’s the fun in wrecking a single man? When I break you, I want to know I’m breaking generations.”

Beth Dutton, Season 1

If Not Beth Dutton, Then Who?

While these cons can also be pros for Beth considering what the Duttons up against, fighting fire with fire eventually leaves everything in ashes. Instead, we’re hoping to see Beth lean into her family more, and pull on the strengths of her siblings as only she can. For example: if Beth can get Kayce and Monica to appease Yellowstone’s relationship with Broken Rock Indian Reservation, and leave this pivotal relationship to them (instead of adding fuel to the fire as she so expertly does) – then she can reserve her own flame for the other ruthless investors and moguls after her family’s land.

For all these (admittedly hopeful) reasons and more, Beth Dutton remains our top pick for the survival of Yellowstone Ranch.

If any other character holds the key to Yellowstone‘s salvation, however, it’s her nephew: Tate Dutton.

For our theory on why he’s the future of the ranch, head on over to Could Tate Dutton, Played by Brecken Merrill, Save the Ranch? next.