Rip Wheeler and Walker got off to a great start. But it’s what happened when Walker got to the ranch that sent their relationship packing.
Let’s rewind and set the scene. The Duttons are shorthanded at the ranch, so John Dutton (Kevin Costner) tells Rip (Cole Hauser) to go get more help, but do it like Dutton’s dad used to do. Find someone at the prison. Rip, being the obedient right-hand man that he is, goes and finds Walker (Ryan Bingham) at the prison.
The two have a quick little “interview,” if you will, and Walker accepts the job on the spot. After all, he really doesn’t have any other options that present themselves at the time.
The two get back to the ranch and Rip tells Walker that there’s some initiation he has to go through. That initiation is a painful and permanent one. It’s receiving the Yellowstone brand. The brand that represents loyalty. But to some, it’s just a sign of property. Either way, Walker takes the brand but doesn’t quite realize the terms of the permanent contract. It’s not until the felon starts spending time at the ranch that he learns that there’s more than meets the eye.
Walker confronts Rip about the Dutton ranch’s doings, and Rip tells him he should’ve thought about that before he took the brand. From this moment on, Rip and Walker no longer see eye-to-eye and it’s all pushback from there.
Walker ends up getting taken to the train station by Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes). Rip believes that’s the last he’ll ever see of the criminal again. However, he’s unpleasantly surprised when he sees him playing at a local bar with fellow ranchhand, Llyod (Forrie J. Smith). Kayce didn’t end up completing the task at the train station, and the two drag Walker back to the ranch.
The musician and previous employee gets interrogated on how he’s back from the dead. What’s more, this drives a bigger wedge between Kayce and Rip.
Will Rip Kill Walker? Fans Speculate
Viewers can feel the hatred seething out of Rip for the new hire. But is that enough to kill Walker? The “Yellowstone” fanbase weighs in and they believe that Rip, with the help of Jaime or Kayce, could potentially kill Walker. After all, even though Walker was there for a short time, he did learn a lot about the ranch’s inner-workings and even helped cover up the murder Jamie commented.
One Yellowstone fan on Reddit said, “Unfortunate that Kayce decides to let THAT particular branded man walk, seeing what he knows. Tick, tick, tick….boom!”
“There’s no way I can see them just letting THAT thread go un-pulled, do you? I mean, I don’t think Walker’s ‘word’ is worth f***** s***, unless it serves him personally to keep it. If he gets arrested and is facing a decent amount of time, I can absolutely see him offering that s*** up to get out of it,” writes another heated “Yellowstone” diehard, according to Express.
Fans can speculate all they want about the dead man walking that is Walker. However, Luke Grimes hinted to CinemaBlend that Walker might live, “Yeah, I think Kayce realizes it, and if anything goes wrong here that’s on him. I think he’s really worried in that moment, trying to get them to fix this. The only way to fix it is Walker taking his job back. But not only that, doing some things to prove that he’s not gonna, you know, throw us under the bus.”
Walker does take his job back at the ranch and appears to prove his loyalty during the brutal murder of Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) in the third season. However, Walker is in a bit of a “killed or be killed” scenario.
Walker Fans Flames, Futhers Theories
As a matter of fact, Walker shares a photo of himself on the “Yellowstone” set in his signature white hat and flannel, only fueling the fans’ flames.
“#NotDeadYet 😜,” Bingham captions the pic. Some followers have their detective hats on and take the word “yet” as some sort of clue that his death is happening in the future.
To learn more about the man that plays the convicted felon, check out this post here on Outsider.com.