Although we only just met Carter this season on “Yellowstone,” it feels like he’s been a part of the show for ages. Not only because Finn Little fits in seamlessly with the rest of the cast. But also because Carter’s character makes sense at this point in the show.
Specifically, his character makes sense in terms of Beth and Rip’s future growth as characters. During ‘Yellowstone” Season 3, we watched Beth and Rip navigate their lives as a true couple, living together and coming home to one another every night. This progression was sweet to watch but also powerful. Both of these strong, independent types really opened up to one another in a way they never had wth anyone else before.
So we learned that Beth and Rip could be vulnerable with each other. But could they welcome someone else into that circle too?
Enter Carter. This 14-year-old not only needed a new home but needed a new role model to look up to as well. Rip likely never imagined himself as any sort of role model, given his past. But since Carter’s history is so similar, he made the perfect mentee for Rip to show the way of the world.
Rip resisted the urge to mentor Carter at first. We saw that early on in “Yellowstone” Season 4. Rip saw only the bad in Carter, from his petty theft to his back-talking attitude. But once he gave Carter a chance to be part of a real family, Rip could see his potential to become someone else. Someone better than those who raised Carter initially.
Rip and Carter’s Potential Father-Son Relationship on ‘Yellowstone’
By the end of “Yellowstone” Season 4, Rip’s attitude towards Carter has completely changed.
Over the course of the season, we really watched Carter try to prove himself to Rip and John Dutton. He tackled all the cowboy tasks handed out to him, from roping to riding to shoveling horse crap. He’s determined to prove himself and his worth on the ranch, and Rip recognizes that. After all, the cowboy was in that same spot himself not too long ago.
This, hopefully, will lead to a closer relationship between the two explored in Season 5. While Beth made it clear in the “Yellowstone” Season 4 finale that she can’t be Carter’s mother, maybe Rip can still step into that fatherly role. That’s what John was for him, and in this case, it seems like Carter needs more of a father figure in his life.
Watching Rip and Carter grow closer will only help Rip’s character grow even more. He’ll finally learn to open his heart to another person besides Beth. and maybe, by the end of Season 5, he’ll learn what it means to lose the people he loves too.