A strong theory resulting from the show’s Season 3 script may have Rip Wheeler pinpointed as the “big death” for “Yellowstone” Season 4.
Still in shock over that S3 finale? So are we. In what will go down in history as one of the most intense season enders for any show, the last chapter of “Yellowstone” brought the Dutton family crashing down to their knees. Be warned, however, that this article is full of spoilers.
Where we left off, the lives of not one, but three Duttons hang in the balance. John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, was gunned down by cowardly assassins whilst trying to help others. His son Kayce’s office was ravaged by assassins, as well. John’s phone blocked the would-be-lethal bullet, however. And Kayce – a former Navy SEAL – knows his way around gunfire.
As a result, it’s Beth Dutton we’re most concerned for. And her new fiancé & longtime love, Rip Wheeler.
Will Rip Wheeler Meet His End in S4?
According to a theoretical article by EXPRESS, not only is Beth in mortal danger but Rip is, as well. When we last saw Beth, played by Kelly Reilly, a bomb went off in her office – and we saw nothing of her afterward.
“Rip has grown to be an integral part of the show,” the site starts off. “Not only as a great support to John but the man capable of warming the heart of ice queen Beth.”
All true, but how does this lead into a possible Season 4 death for Cole Hauser’s Rip Wheeler?
“The pair are now engaged and, before the explosion, seemed happier than ever,” Express continues. True again. Now, however, we see where this is going.
Moreover, fans are noticing “that Beth’s relationship with Rip has led to less rows between herself and Jamie Dutton, played by Wes Bentley. But, it is never a good sign when a character is too happy in a drama – as it means there is a destructive storyline on the way.”
Now this, from a writing perspective, nearly always holds true. Especially in dramatic television. Setting up a character to be at their happiest provides for a “hat trick” scenario in which everything can be taken away from them. As a result, captivating drama ensues.
Yellowstone’s Writers Have It In for Rip
Furthermore, EXPRESS points to proof from said writers of “Yellowstone.”
“When they got engaged, Beth told Rip he needed to outlive her so she would never have to know a life without him,” they note. Classic foreshadowing?
In addition, “Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) previously commented on how Rip has managed to survive his past so far. Could this hint at the fact the end is neigh for Rip in Yellowstone?”
All of this holds firmly against Rip’s future from a scriptwriting standpoint. To make matters worse for Rip, he’s got a whole lot of enemies – both past and present. “Rip has continued to get more involved in protecting the Dutton’s land, with the war against rancher Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) getting fiercer in every episode,” the site notes.
A key enemy for Rip in S4, however, may be the unlikely resurgence of Walker (Ryan Bingham). Rip was adamant about having the young ranch hand killed to protect their murderous secrets. Kayce, though, spared Walker’s life.
“Walker knows that Jamie killed Sarah and so to protect him, the Dutton’s need Walker dead so could Rip step up to the plate?” EXPRESS ponders. “Few scenes have featured Walker since his return in season three but there must be a reason why the writers brought him back. Could Walker end up being behind the death of Rip as the latter tries to get rid of him for Jamie?”
If this is how Rip dies as a result, it would then lead to Beth & Jamie’s feud being reignited – and as such, more dramatic television.
We do know, at least, that Rip is in a healthy chunk of S4. Out of all the cast, he’s shared the most looks behind the scenes at filming in Montana.
Thankfully, we shouldn’t have long to wait until we find out the fates of Beth & Rip. “Yellowstone” Season 4 hits in 2021, which is just right around the corner. Keep your eyes peeled on Outsider.com for the announcement of the release date!