Yellowstone Actor’s Comments Have Me Thinking Latest Death Will Play Into Rip Learning Beth And Jamie’s Secret

Spoilers below for the latest episode of Yellowstone, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!

For any and all Yellowstone fans who thought Young Rip might not suffer from the same hyper-violent rage that Cole Hauser’s bunkhouse bossman does as an adult, “The Dream Is Not Me” used a rock to beat such assumptions into a concussive state. The reveal-filled episode kicked off with a particularly dark flashback (both in tone and in light status), in which Rowdy made the extremely fatal decision to stoke Rip’s jealous and possessive tendencies with comments about Beth. In the end, John and Lloyd were called upon to help deal with Rowdy’s bloodied and beaten corpse, with Kyle Red Silverstein’s tearful ranch hand cementing his lifelong commitment to serving the Dutton patriarch.

As it’s gone with other flashbacks this season, the rest of Episode 507 didn’t directly address Rip murdering Rowdy or the aftermath, leaving it up to viewers to try and connect dots that we know about to ones that we don’t. Indeed, it’s what the episode didn’t show us that makes it seem like it could come back in the worst way possible for Rip in Season 5 — namely, as provocation of or a response to Beth confessing her and Jamie’s abortion-turned-sterilization secret — and Yellowstone’s Kai Caster seemed to enforce that line of speculation through comments about his character’s death. 

What Kai Caster Said About Rowdy's Death

As far as viewers know, no one else beyond Rip, John and Lloyd are aware of what happened to Rowdy, and Kai Caster shared with ET that he doesn't think Beth ever learned what happened to her one-time fling in all those years. In his words:

I don't think [Beth] knows, just because I think that present-time Rip is so stoic and he's not much of a sharer. I think that, unless Beth specifically asked him, [Rip wouldn't tell her]. It would have to be when they were adults, he would've told her. I don't think if she even asked him back then what had happened, I don't think he would've told her.

To be sure, it's hard to know if him saying "I don't think" is 100% tied to his own subjective thought process, or whether that's him coyly paraphrasing the notion that he knows it to be objectively true, whether through conversations with Taylor Sheridan or the script itself. But there's no reason to think he's not speaking to the truth of the narrative, considering Rowdy's fate likely would have been addressed the second Beth brought up that stage of their shared youths.

Caster, who shared his take that Rowdy did not have deadly intentions during that fight, addressed whether that disturbing flashback was backstory fodder or a foreboding omen that Rip will be dealing with that death again soon in some way. According to the actor:

It could be a bit of both.

In his mind, the actor thinks Rip came away from that experience with Rowdy as the inverse poster child of who to be while working on the Dutton's ranch, save for the dying character's selfless suggestion that Rip blame a horse for the injuries. So that'd be how it informs the headspace of Cole Hauser's character, but Kai Caster seemingly didn't directly speak to how Rowdy's death may come back to bite Rip in his denim-covered ass. 

How Rowdy's Death Could Play Into Beth And Jamie's Secret Coming Out

I can't deny the possibility that Rowdy's death could factor into Season 5 by way of his bones being discovered by authorities, leading to questions about who else the Duttons and their employees might be responsible for killing. (Easier to figure out who wasn't killed by them, probably.) But I have to think that flashback will have higher emotional relationship stakes for Rip than, say, any major prison-related stakes, even though I'll also allow for both to happen.

Rather, I think Beth has made it pretty clear that she's ready to come clean with her admission about how Jamie sabotaged her womb and ability to have kids. And now I think rather than solely framing it as a "Fuck Jamie" confession to sic Rip onto her (understandably) disloyal brother, she'll continue to be apologetic for having messed up their time together all those years ago, with the intention of leading into the abortion and sterilization bit. But maybe before that can even happen, Beth's sorrowful approach will have needled its way into his brain to the point where he snaps a little and explains his part in that situation. Presumably starting with, "Look here, darlin'..."

At that point, Beth could then use her own confession as ammunition to hurt Rip, rather than having it be something they could share remorse over. Or maybe it would still be something they'd reflect on with sadness, as opposed to rage. Regardless of how it happens, or what sparks it, that conversation is going to change both characters in big ways. And, with any luck, it'll inevitably come to Jamie taking a haymaker or two to the face, although it might be a strange time for Rip to lean into his violent impulses. Or "tough love," as he might call it. Honestly, if anyone would understand the need to beat the dogshit out of someone over a loved one, it would be Miss Big Bar Fight herself, Beth.

Yellowstone's midseason premiere is set to air on Paramount Network on Sunday, January 1, at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the recently premiered prequel 1923 debuting new episodes on Sundays for those with Paramount+ subscriptions. Head to our 2023 TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are cropping up in the near year.  

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.