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Forrie J. Smith Says Lloyd Being Punished By Rip Made Some Fans Consider Quitting Yellowstone

In the world of "Yellowstone," likable characters can be hard to come by. The cattle ranching Dutton family doesn't find niceness to be a hot commodity. Instead, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his brood of backstabbing children traffic in underhanded plots and violence. While it can be entertaining to watch Beth (Kelly Reilly) go too far at any occasion, there has to be some characters to balance her out. 

"Yellowstone" has a modest ranking of likable characters, most commonly men that have received the infamous brand. These men often have criminal pasts and pledge undying loyalty to the ranch. Many employees, such as Rip (Cole Hauser) and Jimmy (Jefferson White), have no other option. 

Then there's Lloyd Pierce (Forrie J. Smith), the oldest ranch hand in the bunkhouse. Lloyd is a father-figure to many on the ranch, making him a valued and endearing character to fans. It seems incomprehensible that anyone would raise a hand to him. Unfortunately, fans were proven wrong when Rip laid down a violent punishment to the beloved character.

Lloyd's conflict with Walker had dire consequences

Passions burn hot in the bunkhouse, but no hotter than when romance is involved. Lloyd has a chance at a relationship when barrel racer Laramie (Hassie Harrisom) moves into the bunkhouse. This is short-lived after she turns her attention to Walker (Ryan Bingham). As their relationship develops, Lloyd's jealousy gets the better of him. 

He smashes Walker's guitar and almost kills his romantic rival, a clear violation of Rip's no-fighting rule. This culminates in a violent scene where Rip goes too far when punishing Lloyd. Even though Lloyd broke the rules in fighting a branded man, Forrie J. Smith noted that fans were disturbed by the turn of events.

"I had [fans] tell me they were fixing to quit watching the show," Smith told Cowboys & Indians Magazine. Some fans were even afraid that Lloyd would be going to the infamous train station — a mass dumping ground for Dutton murder victims. This outpour of emotion touched the actor. "I was really honored by it, people's reactions and how much love they showed me over the deal." 

Though certainly not the most shocking event to occur throughout five seasons, fan outrage just proved how beloved Lloyd is as a character. Rip enforcing his law against a mentor to him was heartbreaking to watch and showed just how much the ranch hand is willing to do in the name of John Dutton.