‘Yellowstone’ TV: Is There a Deeper Meaning Behind Why Rip Wheeler Can’t Stand Walker?

by Thad Mitchell
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On the hit Paramount Network series “Yellowstone” there are several rivalries among characters that keep the drama at a high level.

There is certainly no shortage of dramatic rivalries in the modern western series. Pretty much every character on “Yellowstone” has beef with another character. Beth and Jamie Dutton have beef that dates all the back to when they were just kids. John Dutton has beef with anyone who thinks they are going to the property that he rightfully owns. It’s one of the facets that make the show a smash hit and draws millions of viewers for each episode.

One of the more underrated “Yellowstone” rivalries exists between Rip Wheeler and ranch hand Walker. The two men simply cannot see eye to eye on much of anything. Rip tries on more than one occasion to Kill Walker, including having Kayce Dutton take him to the “train station,” which is code for killing him and pushing him off a very high cliff. Walker has also tried to kill Rip, coming at him with a knife in an earlier season to no avail. The drama between the two men is as intense as it gets on “Yellowstone” and isn’t likely to ease up anytime soon.

But why do the two Yellowstone Ranch workers despise each other so much? It is Rip who offers Walker a job on the ranch as soon as the latter steps out of his prison sentence. For his part, Walker has proven to be a capable cowboy and valuable member of the bunkhouse crew. In a recent edition of “Stories from the Bunkhouse,” “Yellowstone” actor Jefferson White (Jimmy), Ian Bohen (Ryan) and Denim Richards (Colby) shed some light on the rivalry. White says the two men come from different walks of life and have different values that drive their characters.

‘Yellowstone’ Actor Discusses Rip and Walker

“Rip hates Walker because Walker is the antithesis is of Rip,” the “Yellowstone” star says. “Walker won’t commit himself to something he doesn’t necessarily believe in and Rip is so fully committed to it, it’s Rip’s way of life, so I think Walker exists as a sort of reminder to Rip, as a sort of constant thorn in Rip’s side as a nagging attack on the values that Rip has risked his life for and given his life to, which are the values of this ranch.”

It is a solid theory that White poses and one that many fans seem to agree with.

Many “Yellowstone” fans wonder what the future hold for Rip and Walker. It is very possible and even likely that their rivalry will continue into the new season. Is it possible they could reconcile long enough to team and do battle with the entity that attacked the Dutton family?

As we have learned through three seasons — anything is possible when it comes to “Yellowstone.”

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