“Heard a lot of rumors about you, Mr. Wheeler. Most of ’em bad.” Relive the best of Cole Hauser‘s Rip Wheeler from Yellowstone Seasons 1-4 with this rip-roaring highlight reel straight from Paramount.
Nobody does it like Rip. Cole Hauser’s indomitable presence has become a driving force for the show, both on-screen and for fans at home. There’s plenty more to come, too, as Season 5 will hit Paramount Network on November 13.
From his first day on the ranch as a beyond-troubled orphan, to his lifelong romance with Beth Dutton, take a look back at some of Rip’s most memorable moments below ahead of Yellowstone‘s return.
“What’s the rule about fighting, Fred, huh? You want to fight, you come fight me! I’ll fight you all godd**m day!” Few lines sum up Rip better. As ranch foreman, Rip rules with an iron fist. And it’s the last lesson ranch hand Fred (Luke Peckinpah) ever learns before his one-way trip to the Train Station.
Throughout Yellowstone, Rip is the first and last line of defense for all branded men like himself. But Rip is not a bully. The opposite, in fact, as he proves time and again. His protection of a young Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White) is the first time audiences get a true sense of this, yet it’s far from the last.
“You see this? You know what this means?” Rip shouts as he shows Jimmy’s brand to the other ranch hands. “This means ‘Don’t f***ing touch,’ Fred! Don’t f***ing touch.”
Branded Man: The Legacy of Rip Wheeler
After sending the riff-raff off as Fred lies beaten on the ground, Rip lays it out clear. “These other guys, they just work here, Jimmy. You’ll see a thousand of them come and go. But not us. We die here. This is your family. We’re your family. Alright?”
As he lays out Jimmy’s fate, Rip explains his own. They’re branded men, each brandishing the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch ‘Y’ burnt into their chest. “They come and go, Jimmy. But not us,” he says as Fred seals his own fate after refusing to clean stalls.
The brand is Yellowstone‘s most controversial in-canon element, and it defines characters like Rip Wheeler. In Season 1, he, Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith), and Jimmy are the only ranch hands who bear it – alongside the son of their boss, Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes).
The next clip shows why. A young John Dutton (Josh Lucas) discovers an orphaned Rip in a local barn. The teen had just murdered his father, a nasty drunk who’d beaten his little brother and mother to death. Through this (and Rip’s own branding of former meth-head Jimmy), we learn that the brand is reserved for criminals; ones whose only chance at life is now the Yellowstone.
Through four seasons, Rip lives up to the tainted legacy of the brand like no one else. As John Dutton (Kevin Costner) tells him in Season 4, Rip is the only one who never questions him when asked to do something.
“I never will,” Rip responds. And with Season 5 on the horizon, we’re about to see this unwavering loyalty put to the ultimate test as enemies close in from all sides. Catch Yellowstone and Rip Wheeler’s return exclusively on Paramount Network this November 13.