Taylor Sheridan’s growing Yellowstone Cinematic Universe is an ever-expanding place of exciting storytelling and compelling characters that work together to weave audiences through an emotional story of power struggles, love, and heartache. As these stories progress, we’re greeted with the idea that characters must die to keep weaving this tale.
Death changes everything, which impacts the bonds fans love and loathe in the series. The relationship dynamics in Yellowstone are one of the most exciting pieces of the Dutton family puzzle and undeniably a large part of why fans continue to tune in to Taylor Sheridan’s expanding universe. These characters exist in a moral grey area (and that’s putting it mildly), but they still choose to find conviction and honor amid intense ups and downs. They’re also quick to point out the shortcomings of anyone who sets out to wrong them, even when those people are their own family.
Rip Wheeler and Jamie aren’t related by blood, and if we’re being honest, there’s not much that connects them except for the Dutton name. One connection is that they both swore to John Dutton to protect the family and its reputation. Being a Dutton means holding power but also recognizing that a target is forever on your back because of it. The cost of prestige in the Yellowstone realm is often death, and you never know when it’ll strike.
Mixing death, oaths, and family promises set viewers up for a series based on passionate and tumultuous relationships. One is between Rip and Jamie, although you might not initially put those pieces together. Jamie is John Dutton’s (adopted) son, whom he never made a show of or told Jamie; it was John and Evelyn’s decision to give the boy a chance at a better life. Rip Wheeler could also be considered an adopted son of John, while no legal paperwork ever made it so; he brought the boy in under his wing and gave him a second chance too.
So, why are fans asking if Rip has killed Jamie in Yellowstone? What could cause these two to have come from such a similar place and evolved into something where murder might be on the table? Is there a possibility that Yellowstone could end with “friends” and family packed in around a Jamie-sized coffin, despite who kills him? You know the drill from here, grab your Yellowstone-loving bestie and let’s ride in.
Is Jamie still alive?
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For now, Jamie Dutton has escaped certain death, but we’re not sure how long he should expect that story to ring true. Jamie is a force, and regardless of our personal feelings towards the character, he has a dedicated fan base supporting his decision-making and owning up to his wrongs. The thing is, he continues to make decisions that aren’t just bad for the family but are ultimately putting himself at risk, and it’s hard to get behind him as he does it.
In season five, we see a new side of Jamie, one who acts carelessly and with more of his own interests in mind. In fact, the midseason finale changed even more for the Dutton family and friends in ways we’ve yet to see the full repercussions of. As he told Sarah Atwood in the midseason finale, Beth’s existence is no longer something he cares for, and Wes Bentley even joined the conversation, saying there’s only one way for Jamie to stay alive in the long run.
Jamie and Beth both decided that for life to continue, the other must perish, and that’s been the general idea in both of their hearts for some time now, but it’s not until the moment those words are said aloud that we grasp the hefty weight they feel on their shoulders. Jamie no longer wishes for a bond between himself and Beth, and Beth spoke directly to her father about the needlessness of Jamie’s existence — and for the first time, he didn’t speak up on Jamie’s behalf.
John knows what’s going on; he is aware that Jamie’s behavior has gone from vengeful to entirely without thought or reason. This could be the moment some of the fan base has been waiting for; this could be the end of the road for Jamie Dutton. We could see John asking his right-hand man to handle something this big because he’s the only one he could really trust to handle it.
Of course, another twist in the story could allow him to escape his fate, but you can’t outrun it forever. Eventually, life catches up with you, and be it Rip or someone else, Jamie has more enemies than friends. More opportunities for someone to turn on him than to have his back. Jamie Dutton lives to see another day for now, but we’re confident those days are numbered.
Does Rip kill Jamie in ‘Yellowstone?’
As we said above, Jamie is waging war on the Dutton family, so it would surprise no one if Rip were to be the one to end the madness. Rip is the muscle he often uses to take problems out, so why wouldn’t he call on someone he respects and trusts if Jamie’s life needs to end?
Of course, we weren’t sure that John would be the one to ever make that call, even with Jamie impeaching him; even with the ways Jamie has abandoned the Dutton family name, John cares for him. Even after the conversation with Beth, even after he failed to speak up for Jamie, it was written on his face that this place was the one he never wanted to be at. He never expected things to reach this point — the point of no return. The moment when John might have to make the most brutal call of his life might be upon us when Yellowstone
If we had to guess, we’d still say Beth would be the one to put the “hit” out on Jamie, and again, Rip would be the one to answer her. Rip is bright, and he knows what Jamie’s latest raid against the Dutton family means, especially with John in a place of power; he isn’t going to let an enemy of their family continue to grow in strength. While we have yet to see it take place, we know that after John, Rip was the next person Beth talked to, and for Rip, Beth hung the moon and stars — he’d do anything she asked, especially if her life were on the line.
Of course, it’s not just the latest move that would infuriate Rip enough to see a need for Jamie’s end. Beth and Rip were married at the end of season four, and both Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser have spoken out about their relationship this season and how they’ll need to go through things together to succeed. Beth has nightmares and heartbreaking flashbacks about their past, and it’s only a matter of time before she opens up about what she went through with Jamie to Rip.
If not for himself, because Rip isn’t one to act on selfish interests, we can see him taking Jamie out due to the pain he’s caused Beth alone. He altered her on a fundamental level, and Rip will want some resolution for it.
For now, the world continues for Rip and Jamie, but with another half of a final season on the horizon, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. Yellowstone ends with the conclusion of season five, and we’re more sure than ever that the Dutton family’s burial ground will grow in size throughout the remaining episodes.
Why would Rip want to kill Jamie?
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You might ask yourself why Rip would kill Jamie at all; what would the motivation be? These two share similar backgrounds, an outlook on life that can only come from a place of devastating loneliness and abandonment; shouldn’t they be forging a bond together instead of standing on opposite sides of a fence? The truth is, pieces of their story have brought them together in an unspeakable connection. Still, there’s something that can divide them with a vengeance stronger than anything they’ve experienced: Beth Dutton.
Beth, the love of Rip’s life and the bane of Jamie’s existence. She’s a layered character, strong and sassy, beautiful but haunted, brilliant and brave; she’s also tormented and still somehow clinging to hope that it’ll all have been for something one day. She’ll keep the ranch in their family name, fix the broken pieces of her father, and live out her days with her husband — finding some peace she’s never felt before.
So, why is Beth causing their great divide? Well, the answer is complex, but the story has been told from the beginning, in varying stages of flashbacks and emotional clarity. Jamie took something away from Beth that changed her life and future, involving Rip as well. When Beth was younger, she found out she was pregnant with Rip’s child. Fearing the consequences of revealing this to her father and the potential repercussions she might face, she turned to Jamie for help.
Jamie took her to find a clinic, but afraid people in town would recognize the Dutton name, he took her to a reservation to get the procedure. What Jamie was told next is where the life-altering moment happens. The woman at the front desk recognizes him as a Dutton and says he needs to get Beth somewhere else; the rule at their clinic is that abortions come with sterilization. That’s right, having the procedure at that moment meant Beth would never carry children again, and Jamie didn’t tell Beth about that when he told her to come inside.
This has led fans to wonder if Jamie is entirely to blame, and some even question why Beth holds so much resentment for Jamie. The truth is, she did reach out to him for help, but she didn’t ask him to take something away from her forever. Jamie knew what he was doing when he ushered Beth inside, and he didn’t give her a chance to have a say in that decision. He took away the future for Beth to bear a child of her own, which pains her every day.
The story becomes more tricky when fans realize that Beth has still never told Rip any of it; he doesn’t know that she was ever pregnant with his child, and she’s also never said to him that she can’t carry children anymore because of Jamie’s choice in taking her to the reservation. She’s scared that he won’t understand, that he’ll blame her for taking something away from him, and she’s scared of all the ways he’ll hurt, similar to how she does.
Rip hasn’t been made aware of that fateful day for those reasons, but it explains why fans wouldn’t be surprised if Rip takes Jamie’s life one day. As a man himself, Rip says that it’s never been important to him to bring children into the world, but he doesn’t know the other side of the coin, and Jamie should certainly fear the moment he finds out.