Why Yellowstone's Cole Hauser Agrees With Rip And Beth's 'Tough Love' For Carter

Spoilers below for the third episode of Yellowstone Season 4! 

One of Yellowstone’s darker character details is Beth’s inability to conceive children, in that the topic is rarely addressed without thorns attached. Such was the case in Episode 403, as Beth and Rip’s attempts at domesticism were thwarted by  Finn Little’s shit-stirring new recruit Carter. So far, Rip has treated Carter much like he’d treat the world’s most sentient dog after it soiled Rip’s slippers. (As if.) And while Beth provided the kid a reprieve from ranch work, Carter went beyond the very clear boundaries Beth had set for him, thus eliminating his placement within her inner chamber. So you know things aren’t going to get any better for this li'l dude if he doesn’t shape up. 

You know who doesn’t see anything wrong with how Rip has handled Carter thus far?  Yellowstone's tub-friendly star Cole Hauser, who talked to CinemaBlend about why his character was immediately so hard on the kid, and why that didn’t really let up even as Rip spent more time with him. In Hauser’s words:

I mean, you know, I think there's a little bit of a misunderstanding, I think the thing is, is that he sees this kid as a thief, and one thing he hates is people that are thieves. Because they're obviously, you know, they're not to be trusted. So I think his mentality is that he's such a trustworthy person, and he's so loyal, and to see a kid that he looks at as like a punk who doesn't have any respect for anybody or anything, it's kind of the initial 'Fuck this kid,' you know? And then I think what dawns on him through talking with Beth, obviously, is the realization that I can be influential in his life. And how can I do that, and what can I do to help him? The only way Rip knows, and John for that matter, is it's tough love, man.

Considering this episode also featured Kayce potentially ripping up his marriage and family life by showering that same kind of tough love on Tate, I don’t think anyone could convincingly argue against John Dutton’s influence on the ranch’s younger generation being ever-present. (I kinda love the thought of Kevin Costner’s stoic patriarch staring down a skeezy-looking teen and thinking, “Fuck this kid.”) And that initial attitude doesn’t really leave Rip’s periphery, even as he realizes his influence could be the thing that turns Carter from jailbound to something more respectable. Or, at the very least, someone who doesn’t joke about Beth resorting to oral sex to reach her financial status. 

Cole Hauser, who says Rip and John are closer than ever as Season 4 goes on, bemusedly shared his support for how Rip is handling Carter, with Yellowstone’s central setting factoring into the logic, on top of the actor’s own take-no-bullshit viewpoint.

I mean, this ain't for the faint of heart, man, this is the real deal. These guys ranch, you know, this is a tough world. And you either learn to pick up to slack quick, or you're not gonna make it. And so that's just his mentality, and I actually, I don't think it's wrong at all. I think it's a the best way to handle a kid like that, because, you know what? They either learn their shit and get their head right, or they're gone, and that's it.

Surely, it’d be great if this were a perfect world where every kid did what they were told and voluntarily refused to stray from The Path of Don’t Fuck This Up, reality doesn’t work like that in the slightest. And even if Rip isn’t the hero that Carter deserves by telling him to shovel up all that horse shit, he’s the Hero that Carter needs right now...by telling him to shovel up all that horse shit. It builds character, as Calvin & Hobbes' patriarch would put it. (Now have fun picturing him learning the ropes with Lloyd.)

Will Carter still choose to stick it out and win back Beth’s kindness? Will Rip grow to regret Beth’s dormant womb the way she so tragically believes he will? Will Jimmy have the worst time ever riding across the country with Taylor Sheridan’s cowboy bully Travis? Okay, that last one was outside the prior topic window, but find out all of these answers probably by tuning in to Paramount Network for new Yellowstone episodes every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.