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The Yellowstone Fan Theory That Sees Rip Taking A Darker Turn

Rip Wheeler has no qualms about admitting that he's a dangerous man, but the Yellowstone ranch hand could go darker than ever before in season 4. After the season 3 finale left John, Kayce, and Beth Dutton's lives hanging in the balance following a coordinated Godfather-style attack on the family, fans on Reddit are worried Rip is about to embark on a quest for vengeance that could lead the character down a path from which he may not be able to return.

As first reported by Express, fans are convinced Angela Blue Thunder may be behind the attack on Beth and the rest of the Duttons. If she is, then Rip could potentially kill her in retaliation. However, Angela's murder would be hard for him to come back from, even if she does turn out to be the person who was trying to kill Beth and her family.

In a thread on Reddit, one fan, unphamiliarterritory, posted, "Can Rip kill a woman? Because I think he's going to have to kill Angela Blue Thunder (my theory)." Most fans agreed that Rip would kill anyone who hurt Beth, regardless of gender, but whether or not his actions would be justified is another question entirely. 

Early in season 3, Yellowstone made a point to illustrate how similar Beth and Angela truly are. In fact, the two women even worked together to fend off a common enemy. Ultimately, they understand each other, even though they're on different sides of the land debate. And that would make Rip killing Angela a hard pill to swallow — especially if Beth survives the blast.

If Rip kills Angela on Yellowstone it would be a point of no return for the character and his relationship with Beth

One of the most interesting things about Yellowstone is the way it refuses to frame the Duttons as the hero of the story. Sure, John sees his quest to maintain control of the land his ranch sits on as a righteous one, but the rights of indigenous people like Angela and Thomas Rainwater are undeniable.

Additionally, it would be hard to argue that Angela is a villain even if she is behind the attacks, especially since the Duttons have a long history of murdering their enemies and dumping them at "the train station." Actress Q'orianka Kilcher, who plays Angela, expressed the same sentiment in a November 2020 interview with Decider.

"Something that I've recognized over the years are often "evil" people believe they're doing bad things for the right reasons," she said. "With the Dutton family, they believe that they're doing the right thing for them even if others see their actions as evil."

Ultimately, Rip killing Angela wouldn't right a wrong, it would only make things worse for everyone involved, and it would say something alarming about who he is as a man. Season 4 is sure to test Rip and Beth (if she survives) more than any season before, and the ranch hand's willingness not to be controlled by a desire for revenge may end up determining whether or not he has any hope of being something more than the man who gets his hands dirty for the Dutton family.