Yellowstone Reveals a Bloody Secret From Rip’s Past

This deep into Paramount Network‘s Yellowstone, there’s pretty much no one in the world of the Dutton family who hasn’t done some questionable things — including fan-favorite character Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser). Rip has long been John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) right-hand man and enforcer and has done his fair share of dealing with enemies in the past, but the most recent episode of Yellowstone, “The Dream is Not Me”, revealed a secret from Rip’s past that was a little surprising for viewers.

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the latest episode of Yellowstone! Continue reading at your own risk…

The episode opened with young Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) and Rowdy (Kai Caster) out on the property when Rowdy makes a comment about Beth that doesn’t sit well with Rip. Rip tells Rowdy to never touch her, never mention her name, and never even talk to her. Things escalate into the two young men fighting, with Rowdy pulling a knife on Rip. In turn, Rip bashes Rowdy in the head with a rock. It soon becomes clear that Rowdy is seriously injured and Rip heads back to the ranch to get help from John (Josh Lucas) — though Rowdy tells rip to just blame the injuries on his horse. Rip is honest with John, however, and they go to aid Rowdy but, unfortunately, they find him dead.

The death is a turning point in Rip’s life. While it’s not the first time the young man has killed — as viewers may recall, young Rip killed his father after watching the man kill his mother and John took him in as a runaway after that — seeing him take Rowdy’s life was jarring. Also jarring? Rip’s reaction to the realization of what he’d done. The young man was devastated and shaken by his actions, but it also saw him fully commit to John Dutton. John tells him that he will handle the situation for him, but if he does so, Rip can never leave the ranch and he has to do whatever John says in the future, no matter what. Rip agrees.

Letting viewers see this part of Rip’s past is jarring, but it helps shed some additional light on why he’s so loyal to the Duttons. It also helps explain why Rip is so willing to go with the cattle that John is planning to move to another location due to a potential outbreak of brucellosis found in buffalo calves, a location change that will take Rip away from home for at least a year. Fortunately for Rip, Beth decides to go with him when she finds out — or, more accurately, plans to stay in a nearby Hyatt hotel to be close to him.


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