Paramount, the network that brought you “Yellowstone,” has released a “Life According to Rip Wheeler” video montage.
In it, we see Rip (Cole Hauser) cozying up to Beth (Kelly Reilly), carrying out John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) wishes, beating up on the bad guys, teaching Jimmy (Jefferson White) how to ride a horse, facing off with Kayce (Luke Grimes), visiting his mother’s grave and riding off into the sunset.
Rip on Cowboying
“You know how to ride a horse?” Rip asks Jimmy. “Pull the reins to stop, kick him in the belly to go.”
Rip and Jimmy’s relationship evolves over the course of “Yellowstone.” From their first meeting, when he terrifies Jimmy into taking a job at the ranch, to Season 3, when Rip takes a brief road trip with Jimmy and his girlfriend, Mia (Eden Brolin), Rip develops a sort of grudging affection for Jimmy as one of their own. He comes to wonder if Jimmy could be more than just a favor and could actually become a cowboy.
“These guys, they just work here, Jimmy,” he explains to the branded ranch hand. “But not us. This is your family. We’re your family.”
Rip on Romance
“I look at every day with you as a gift,” Rip tells Beth.
Rip and Beth have been through hell together. And despite Beth’s brief fliration with Walker (Ryan Bingham), they emerge from the crucible stronger than before.
It comes out eventually that when they were teenagers, Rip got Beth pregnant. She got an abortion, and in the process, her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) had her sterilized on the Indian reservation. He felt he couldn’t go to the Planned Parenthood in town and bring shame on the family.
By the end of Season 3, Rip and Beth are engaged. But with Beth’s fate hanging in the balance, it’s unclear if the couple will ever see their wedding day.
Rip on Loyalty
“These problems have to go away before I do,” John tells Rip.
“Well, how far away do you want them to go?” Rip asks.
As John’s enemies multiply and he tries to guard the secret of his cancer diagnosis, Rip is one of the few people he can turn to, his trusted right-hand man and enforcer.
When John has a problem, he eventually turns to Rip to make it go away. Which Rip does, often through methods Jamie – John’s legal whiz through the first half of “Yellowstone” – can’t stomach.
Rip has a code phrase, “the train station,” for where he sends people who have caused John enough trouble that they need to disappear.
“My job is to protect this family,” Rip reminds Kayce at one point.
Rip on Fun
“What are you dipsh-ts doing?” Rip demands, breaking up a game in which the ranch hands try to stay at a table with a bull running loose around them.
“It’s a Saturday!” Jimmy protests.
“I know what f-ckin’ day it is, Jimmy,” Rip replies.
There’s often some form of hijinks taking place in the bunkhouse, which is why Rip prefers not to live there. When John kicks him out of his house and gives his place to Kayce – a sign that Kayce is the new boss that employees should listen to – Rip is forced to share quarters with the rowdy ranch hands he supervises.
But as John tells Kayce, it’s difficult to be friends with men you’re supposed to lead. And Rip never really settles in at the bunkhouse. Beth finally persuades John to give Rip a house on the property where he and Beth can make a home.
By the end of Season 3, they’re beginning to carve out some happiness there. It remains to be seen if that can continue in Season 4 of “Yellowstone.” But in an interview with Esquire, Hauser said he’s optimistic that Beth and Rip’s fledgling life together can have a happy ending.
“That relationship, it could go many different ways, but I think it could go in the way of us being together,” Hauser said. “[Rip’s best case end] is with Beth, in a shack. I think they’re somewhere happy. It would be a real success story for both of them.”
Watch the video montage here: