Yellowstone's Cole Hauser Addresses 'Rip's Gonna Die' Theories With A Brief Warning

Rip in sunglasses and cowboy hat on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Yellowstone fans can often be a vocal group, particularly when it comes to speaking loudly about what characters should absolutely not be killed off. Hovering at the top of that list each season is Cole Hauser’s Rip Wheeler, whose non-Dutton bloodline has had him pegged as a potential victim since the very start. Not only has he survived through four seasons, but he’s now thriving more than ever now that he’s officially married to Kelly Reilly’s Beth. But to some, that just makes him more expendable, and while Hauser doesn’t hit up social media to doom-scroll through posts worrying about Rip, he is aware such worrisome theories exist.

Actually, fans might be warmed over to hear that the Yellowstone star has heard about these theories through his mom, who apparently stays on top of such things. And when talking on TODAY with Carson Daly and Savannah Guthrie, Hauser soothed fans’ worries by relaying what he told his mother about Rip’s fate, even though it comes across as a warning to everyone else on the show in the upcoming fifth season, save for Beth herself. In his words:

My mom’s told me a couple of them and I said, ‘Mom, I do the killing. Don’t worry about it.’ . . . I think we’re okay. For now.

Understandably, Cole Hauser can’t come out and guarantee that Rip will hold out and survive throughout the entirety of Yellowstone’s run, since co-creator Taylor Sheridan isn’t exactly known for his happy endings. But considering Season 5 has been filmed in its entirety, with all the cast and crew aware of everything that’ll play out, the actor is 100% aware of where his character will end up when the season finale comes to a close in 2023. And he wouldn’t lie to his mom, right? I guess it would be less ethically sticky to lie to the TODAY hosts about what he told his mom. But let’s just assume that he’s not lying to anyone. 

Now, Yellowstone viewers are already of the mindset that Rip is going to be responsible for the bulk of the vengeance that comes out of the ranch, so it’s no surprise that Hauser spoke to the idea of Rip doing “the killing,” as it were. But Season 5 is setting up a pathway to destruction for a certain someone who was responsible for his adopted sister’s sterilization

Indeed, the western drama seems ready to break those metaphorical skeletons out of the closet in the near future, and viewers shouldn’t be surprised to see Beth sharing her abortion story with Rip at some point, presumably while feeling remorse over not being able to bear her husband’s children. It's more a matter of whether or not the bearded badass will put Jamie to pasture over it. 

Cole Hauser, who noted that he witnessed quite a few Rip Wheeler Halloween costumes, did address in the interview that his character’s worries in Season 5 are aligned more with living up to the expectations that Kevin Costner’s John Dutton has for him now that he’s part of the family for reals, and is living within the ranch’s main abode. Rip’s main goal in life is to continue proving to John that he made the right decision by taking the young ruffian under his wing, and it probably will take someone killing him off to thwart that dedication. Let’s just hope that death happens in a “what happened next” text crawl ahead of the series finale’s closing credits.

With tons of upcoming Yellowstone content on the way, fans can first look forward to Season 5 debuting with an extended premiere on Paramount Network on Sunday, November 13, followed by the series premiere of Sylvester Stallone’s Tulsa King

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.