Be Warned! Spoilers for Episode 9 of Yellowstone Season 3 are discussed below.
Walker made his surprising return to the world of Yellowstone in last week’s episode and this week’s installment saw the fallout. Episode 8 marked Walker’s first foray into Season 3. Thus, the episode left Cole Hauser and Luke Grimes with a lot to talk about, particularly after Rip and Kayce worked their way through the Walker reveal.
Walker had last been seen on Yellowstone getting taken by Kayce to “the train station," aka John Dutton’s code for taking passengers to the afterlife. Kayce did not obey the order, and Season 3 saw the Walker problem come back to roost. If you thought Rip felt betrayed by the reveal, Cole Hauser provided some insight on his character’s perspective, telling Yellowstone’s "Behind the Story":
Finding out that Kayce let him go. There's some disappointment there, as you can imagine. ... One of the things that Luke and I wanted to work on this year and certainly Taylor wrote it for the most part this way is that relationship. I think that relationship, to Luke and I was very important. ...You know, with the Walker scene, I think you finally get to see the respect between the two characters, which is really important, I think for the audience. Ultimately, in the end, if something did happen to John, this is what it is. It's Kayce and Rip.
So, Rip was disappointed without the sense of a lot of stinging betrayal there. That is good news for Rip’s relationship with Kayce moving forward. This Yellowstone viewer was a little concerned, considering how crucial Kayce’s decision was to the ranch and Rip. Cole Hauser has previously shared how much the characters are like brothers, and his thoughts on Season 3’s Walker reveal complimented that.
Walker’s status among the living catching up to Kayce was pretty seismic as Luke Grimes went on to explain Kayce’s thought process following the bombshell. Rip and Lloyd had actually kidnapped Walker at the bar they had discovered him at right after his set. Back at Yellowstone’s eponymous ranch, Rip confronted him with a still-living Walker. On the twist, Grimes also told "Behind the Story:"
Yeah, I think Kayce realizes it, and if anything goes wrong here that's on him. ... I think he's really worried in that moment, trying to get them to fix this. ... The only way to fix it is Walker taking his job back. But not only that, doing some things to prove that he's not gonna, you know, throw us under the bus.
Kayce wanted a solution that would keep Walker alive, and he found it. Walker ended up accompanying Rip and the bunkhouse as they exacted revenge on Wade Morrow. Rip had Walker do the grim work of “retrieving” Wade’s brand, which John Dutton considered stolen property. For now, Yellowstone has Walker back in action, and Kayce breathing a sigh of relief.
John’s youngest son’s solution should work for now. That is unless Walker is an informant at this point, which is a possibility that occurred to me. If so, Kayce, Rip, and everyone else is probably screwed. In fact, Yellowstone has yet to entirely explain what Walker has been up to, and why he did not work harder to stay out of Rip’s reach following Kayce’s stern warning last season. So it's not like something like this is outside the realm of possibility.
It is also unclear if Walker will be the death of Rip. Following Yellowstone’s penultimate episode of Season 3, the momentum seemed to move away from the shocking twist. That said, the pendulum can swing back with a vengeance on a show as twisty as Yellowstone. Of course, Cole Hauser said it best regarding Rip and Kayce’s integral value to the ranch. The duo would be the heirs apparent if something were to happen to John Dutton. That does not sound good for Jamie, who has gotten his hands murderously dirty for his father. As for Kayce, Luke Grimes previously reported he shared no scenes with Josh Holloway for Season 3. I guess Roarke’s threats to the ranch will stay between him, Beth, and John Dutton.
Find out what happens after that Walker reveal in the Season 3 finale of Yellowstone which is already coming up! Catch it this Sunday, August 23, at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. You can also refresh your memory on what Kayce previously decided regarding Walker by watching Yellowstone Season 2 on on NBCUniversal’s new streamer, Peacock.