- Beth Dutton is the best choice to inherit the ranch due to her intelligence, business acumen, and proven ability to save the ranch from bankruptcy.
- With her financial skills and Rip’s expertise in the physical aspects of ranching, they make a strong team to carry on John Dutton’s legacy.
- Jamie has alienated himself from the family, while Kayce struggles to balance his family life with ranch business, making Beth the most deserving of the Yellowstone inheritance.
Kevin Costner might be exiting Yellowstone and the flagship series itself might be coming to an end, but fans of Taylor Sheridan‘s neo-Western can look forward to the sequel series starring Matthew McConaughey. For years, audiences have watched the Dutton family go to tremendous lengths to protect their family ranch from anyone who might cause it harm. From rival ranchers to politicians and greedy land developers, the Duttons have done some pretty unspeakable things and endured their fair share of hardship in order to keep what is theirs. For five years, the family has suffered countless trials and tribulations as they fend off foes while dealing with infighting and potential civil wars within the family. With strained relationships between the Dutton children and their father, there have always been two dimensions to the series as the characters’ personal dynamics become irreparably intertwined with the family’s gruesome business dealings and dirty work.
The question that has been in the back of everyone’s mind since the eldest Dutton son Lee (Dave Annable) died in the series premiere is: who will be the next leader of the Yellowstone? Managing the volatile estate is clearly no easy feat, and so far reigning patriarch John (Costner) shows no signs of giving up control. The issue has been slowly coming to a boil throughout the series as John narrowly escapes death on multiple occasions, and even he is forced to admit his time on the ranch is nearing its end. So, who deserves to inherit the Dutton empire, and why?
Beth Dutton Is the Most Deserving on ‘Yellowstone’
When you consider everything that has transpired so far, Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) is clearly the one who should be in charge of the ranch, provided it stays in the family at the end of the series. While Beth is probably not someone you would want to meet, there is no denying that her skills and experience make her the best option for protecting the Yellowstone after John dies. In fact, she has already been doing most of the heavy lifting this far, and if the prequels teach us anything, it’s that Dutton women are the real power behind the ranch. So why should Beth inherit the burden?
From her first appearance in which she bullies a CEO of an oil drilling company into merging with her business by threatening to destroy his company and leave him penniless, it is clear that Beth possesses a scary amount of intelligence and business acumen that she is able to wield like a sword to get what she wants. She has mastered the world of business and finance, and while some may not want to see the ranch in the hands of one of the cruelest characters on television, she is the best person for the job.
While her father understands business, John is still a cowboy at heart. He has proven time and again that he will put his ego and love of the land before the family or the ranch’s best interest. Beth has a shrewd understanding of money that has allowed her to save the ranch from bankruptcy on multiple occasions. Up until now, the fate of the ranch has depended on traditional values, with salt-of-the-earth ranchers focusing on defending the land, but there are new challenges brought by a modernizing world that require a different skill set to overcome. The future of the ranch will not be decided by buying hay and selling cattle; it will be determined by how the Duttons manage their finances, taxes and business dealings, all of which only Beth is truly prepared to do.
Rip Would Be a Huge Help Running the Yellowstone Ranch
Beth’s relationship with Rip (Cole Hauser) is another reason that she is most primed to carry on her father’s legacy. Paired with Beth’s financial skills, Rip could easily take on the management of the cowboy aspects of the ranch. After he was orphaned, John took Rip in as a teen, where he began an on-again, off-again relationship with Beth. Rip has spent the majority of his life on the ranch, learning from John and other cowboys, and he has more experience with the physical aspects of governing the ranch than any of the Dutton children.
While his relationship with Beth may not always have been on solid ground, they recently reached what appears to be a very stable place, and even finally married one another. While Beth and Rip cannot have children of their own, they have already carried on the tradition her father started, taking in desperate people and giving them a home, by adopting an orphaned teen and showing him the ropes of ranching. So even though the next generation of ranchers may not be Duttons by blood, they will share the experience and values that have been carried through the decades.
Jamie and Kayce Can’t Handle the Yellowstone Ranch
Another reason why Beth deserves the ranch? Her brothers’ relationships with the family business. It is clear that Jamie (Wes Bentley) will probably not end up at the helm, as he has alienated himself from everyone in his family and now seems to be on a mission to destroy them. Kayce (Luke Grimes), on the other hand, might seem a more logical choice for taking over the Yellowstone. Kayce takes after his father in his love for the land, and he also has a son that could carry on the legacy after him. However, Kayce has proven over the years that he cannot balance his family life with ranch business. While he likes to play cops and robbers, he doesn’t have the real grit that it takes to do what needs to be done to ensure that the land remains in the family. Countless times, the conflict surrounding the ranch has spilled over into his family, deeply traumatizing his wife and son. They’ve even moved off the ranch and into their own house, but Kayce’s struggles with Monica (Kelsey Asbille) will likely not be put to rest until he agrees to leave the Duttons’ lifestyle behind for the sake of his own family.
While some may not like her, Beth is the one who deserves to inherit the Yellowstone. She has endured violent attacks and childhood traumas that have left her with the cold, cruel demeanor that makes her so unlikable, yet she has still done everything in her power to protect her family. She has earned the right to succeed her father, and it certainly can’t be left in the hands of her brothers. Whatever happens in the final season of Yellowstone‘s current incarnation, it will certainly be thrilling to see Beth back on our screens once more — and maybe, once John departs, she’ll be left in the perfect position to run things herself.