Yellowstone: Jefferson White on Jimmy's possible return
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The fourth season of Yellowstone finally saw two of the show’s best-loved characters tie the knot in far from conventional circumstances as Rip Wheeler (played by Cole Hauser) and Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) wed thanks to a kidnapped priest. With John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and Lloyd (Forrie J Smith) by their sides, spirits were high among the Paramount series’ stalwarts as they solidified their status as one of the show’s power couples.
However, heading into a potential fifth season, a new theory suggests their happy-ever-after could come to an abrupt end.
And it all stems from Rip’s unwavering loyalty to Yellowstone Ranch leader, John.
As the wait for the next season continues, a number of the Yellowstone fandom have begun to question where Rip’s loyalties would lie if he were forced to choose between John and Beth.
Putting forward the question, Redditor DifferentManagement mused: “The Rip/Lloyd thread made me think – is there anyone Rip puts over John? He’s madly in love with Beth, but would never ask John for her hand because he didn’t want to put him in an uncomfortable position.
“He’s not a coward – he’s just putting John and his relationship with him / to the ranch first. Above Beth.
“Would he hurt her if it came down to it? Does Rip have any moral centre? Is anything too much?”
The query sparked some serious debate among the rest of the Yellowstone fandom, with many fans split on the scenario.
Fellow Redditor IhateRush argued: “Nope he wouldn’t. She’s the single thing more important to him than the ranch. But it would f**k him up to deny John anything.”
However, DifficultTeacher767 weighed in: “He told her he stays if she leaves the ranch. That’s a tough one. I think he could but it would kill him.”
While hammlyss_ added: “I mean, he did give her an ultimatum to make up with John when John called her out for being a bully. I don’t know (if) he’d go all ‘train station’ but he’d absolutely tear her apart.”
But jatmood countered: “I don’t think he would hurt her. I think he would be torn up and ultimately just walk away from both for making him try to choose between the two. It’s a lose-lose for him, either way, he goes he would hate the side he chooses for the rest of his life.” (sic)
While at the moment the situation is entirely hypothetical, there were plenty of clues from the fourth season which could suggest Rip will have to face the ultimatum soon.
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Arguably the biggest clue for a Beth and John conflict stems from John’s reaction to her setting Summer (Piper Perabo) up for time behind bars.
While if push came to shove John would unlikely side with Beth over Summer, in this particular instance he took serious issue with his daughter’s methods and remorselessness towards the activist.
So much so, John even delivered every child’s worst nightmare phrase as he told his daughter he was “disappointed” that Beth had dragged Summer into the Duttons’ feud with Market Equities.
Beth did her best to get back in John’s good books by blackmailing Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) and getting to the bottom of the season three assassination attempts, but she clearly felt John wasn’t appreciating what she was trying to do for the family by getting Summer involved.
Beth has been adamant she’s always put her father’s interests first but to have it thrown back in her face in this instance, could it spark a confrontation or two in the fifth run?
John’s also in the running for the governor’s role in Montana which could lead to a closer working relationship with his potential predecessor Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz) – another former flame Beth loathes.
With so many spinning plates that could fall and lead to a father-daughter war, will Rip indeed find himself having to choose?
It’s certainly a theory that has fans on tenterhooks and given the clues, it’s not exactly out of the realms of possibility.
Yellowstone seasons 1-4 are available to stream on the Paramount Network in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be announced.
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