If Yellowstone does anything as well as ranch action – it’s a good ol’ fashioned Western love story. But which couple takes the cake for best on the show?
Few conflicts stir audiences like that of a couple meant for one another. As any married folk will tell you, however, it’s not always easy. To this end, the magnificently complicated relationships of our favorite characters form the cornerstones of Yellowstone.
In addition to top-tier romance crafting, the highs and lows of Yellowstone’s love stories are sold through phenomenal performances by the actors. From Kelsey Asbille & Luke Grimes to Cole Hauser & Kelly Reilly – no one else does it better. Together, their undeniable chemistry makes for the most powerful couples on television’s most celebrated drama.
So which of Yellowstone’s rocky romances comes out on top? Let’s take a look at the most prominent love stories on the ranch to decide.
Rip Wheeler & Beth Dutton: Love on Fire
For Rip & Beth, their love story starts before they even know what love is. Fast forward a few decades on, and the – ahem – tension – between them escalates beyond control. From there, Rip issues an invitation to a music festival. Beth, however, is quick to let Rip know he “ruins everything”. Luckily for us fans – their relationship is uphill from here. Even if it is a very, very rocky hill.
For these two, their first “real date” revolves around getting drunk and watching wolves slaughter an elk. “I’ve done some morbid s–t on the first date, but this takes the cake, Rip,” Beth laughs. After faking Rip out of a kiss and running for the wolves, Beth has the ranch hand’s heart in her palms. All of this serves to the fiery, unstable, yet undeniably pure and passionate love these two have for one another.
Now, in the latest Season (3), the two become engaged as a result. This is, obviously, an incredible milestone for these two hard-edged characters. It’s almost unfair to us, though – because that riveting season finale left us not knowing if Beth is going to make it into S4 alive or not.
Through all the changes they and their relationship have been through, however, Cole Hauser sees it differently. While speaking to Decider, Rip actor Hauser says “I don’t look at it like they’re changing each season. It’s more that I’m getting to know them better, understanding how they both tick and how they both need each other. It’s almost like they have two different lives. Kelly and I have been very good about just communication and making sure that we’re comfortable with where the relationship is going.”
In addition, Hauser tells Esquire that, in his mind, this all leads to Beth & Rip being together forever.
“Absolutely,” he ensures of the two making the long haul. “I think that world is starting to open up. That’s absolutely something that could happen. You’re going to see how it shakes out at the end, but… we’ll see where Taylor takes us. I don’t sit with him and say, ‘Hey, by year seven, are we here or there?’ That relationship, it could go many different ways, but I think it could go in the way of us being together. [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. Not just for Rip, because they’ll have each other.”
Yet one quote from Rip Wheeler sums it all up perfectly for these two:
“The only reason I don’t bring up tomorrow with you Beth is because every f–king time I do, you run away,” he said. “I look at every day with you as a gift. My tomorrows are, well they’re all yours. There is no word I’d rather call you.”Rip Wheeler, Yellowstone
Jimmy & Mia: Young Love
Here, however, we have a far different dynamic. Ah, young love…
For Yellowstone’s Jimmy, Mia is clearly everything to him. The two could potentially be wonderful for one another. Both, though, seem hellbent on ruining their own lives – or the others, in Mia’s case.
Jimmy is caught in the middle of it all, as well. For him, he must decide between being a permanent part of the Yellowstone family (literally) or taking on another life with Mia.
Jimmy is sort of questioning his decision to take the brand. And he’s imagining this other life with Mia. And Mia is pushing him in that direction. She’s pushing him, I think it’s really beautiful actually. She’s not pushing him to do what she wants, she’s pushing him to do what he wants.Jefferson White
Mia shows some really damaging tendencies in her love of boyfriend Jimmy. She’s belittled his masculinity on several occasions when it comes to the ranch. She even bullies him to get back out into the rodeo after the accident that nearly killed him. Above, however, Jimmy actor Jefferson White points out how he sees it.
To him, Mia is the sort of lover pushes for what she wants, but what she thinks he wants. This, though, remains up for debate.
Through this, we’re left with another character’s life in the balance with the S3 finale. While it’s unlikely that Jimmy’s second rodeo fall kills him, it certainly looks that way as the screen fades away from his ‘lifeless’ body…
We’ve still got much more to learn about Mia & Jimmy as a couple. Whether they’ll stand the test of time remains to be seen.
Kayce & Monica Dutton: The Heart of Yellowstone
Kayce & Monica Dutton, however, instill far more confidence. While Kayce is deeply troubled, as well, Monica has recently broken out of her shell to join him in said trouble, as well. No matter what life throws at these two – they always seem to find their way back to one another. And if that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.
So much ties them together and tears them apart simultaneously. Monica is a Native American born within the lands of the Dutton Ranch. After marrying one of the Dutton boys, Kayce, she gave birth to John’s grandson, Tate.
A key part of Monica’s role in the show has been centered around her Native American heritage. As such, the duality of Monica’s development has been incredibly interesting to watch over the first three seasons. As she becomes increasingly torn between her Native American upbringing through Broken Rock and her love of the Duttons, Monica has to decide if she can love Kayce unconditionally through it all.
Yellowstone’s production team put together a touching-to-heartbreaking montage of Kayce & Monica Dutton’s relationship, much like the one for Rip & Beth above. Within, Kayce actor Luke Grimes clarifies what this love means to him.
“I think it is [Kayce’s] dream come true to have his woman by his side out in nature,” Grimes says. “Living this lifestyle that he loves and is part of his legacy. And to have her actually fall in love with it, too – I think he’s over the moon.”
In turn, Monica actress Kelsey Asbille, ends up feeling the same. “Monica’s always trying to get back to their beginning, in a way. Where it was just him and Tate and it’s simple,” Asbille adds.
“The campground allows for them to be in this dream world altogether – away from these incredible challenges they have to overcome… Luke and I really root for these characters. To see the scrips come in and to see them be happy [in this latest season] is such a relief.”
Audiences, as a result, absolutely agree. If there is a heart beneath the gruff exterior of Yellowstone Ranch, it is the fruit of Kayce & Monica Dutton’s love. And that absolutely includes Tate.
After all is said and done, which couple reigns as your favorite on the show?