Several “Yellowstone” fans have felt conflicted this week after Rip Wheeler beat the daylights out of his friend and best man, Lloyd.
Rip started whaling on Lloyd after the old ranchhand started a fight with Walker in the bunkhouse during Season 4 Episode 4. Walker kept pushing his buttons, and finally, Lloyd couldn’t take it anymore. He decided that beating Walker’s face in was worth incurring Rip’s wrath.
But Rip didn’t go easy on Lloyd, who broke the Number 1 rule: No fighting. If you fight anyone, you gotta fight Rip. Lloyd knew that, and he had to pay the consequences for his actions.
And in the mind of Denim Richards, who plays Colby on “Yellowstone,” Rip had no choice but to dole out serious punishment to Lloyd.
“Rip showing up and only beating up Lloyd, I feel like… Lloyd, when Rip is gone, is supposed to be the anchor of the Bunkhouse,” Richards explained in Stories From the Bunkhouse. “Walker’s already been the wildcard. He’s already shown that he doesn’t listen. He’s not really even supposed to be there.”
Richards added, “If we all [the ranchhands] see that Lloyd can do that without any repercussions, then what’s gonna keep anybody else from just doing whatever they want? Lloyd just kind of had to be made an example of.”
The “Yellowstone” star raises a good point. Rip can’t afford to play favorites on the ranch or make exceptions, because that will only invite disobedience and rebellion from the other ranch hands. He runs a tight ship, which means he’s gotta be brutal when he has to. In this case, someone he cares about just happened to be on the other end of it.
The Other ‘Yellowstone’ Bunkhouse Boys Weigh in on Rip Beating Up Lloyd
Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy on the show, was shocked to read about Rip beating up Lloyd. “I read that in the script and I couldn’t believe it,” White said. “Like since Season 1, the one rule is no fighting. The tension between those two guys has been brimming so it finally sort of exploded.”
After Denim Richards talked about Lloyd being made an example of, White chimed in that it likely felt personal for Rip too.
“Rip also has the most loyalty to Lloyd, but that also means that Lloyd has the most responsibility,” White explained. “And the consequences of betraying that loyalty are that much higher.”
Although Ian Bohen, who plays Ryan on “Yellowstone,” also brought up a point about Walker pushing Lloyd’s buttons. “Walker could’ve been a little bit more gracious winner. So he does deserve a lot.”
Walker didn’t get any kind of beating from Rip, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come in future episodes. Stay tuned, Outsiders.