The Yellowstone season 3 finale has everyone on the edge of their seats as we anxiously wait for the fourth season to premiere in June. The Paramount network's hit TV show has become one of the most popular series currently on television, all thanks to creator Taylor Sheridan and his incredible cast. While good writing is key to making a show successful, it takes some talented actors to actually bring the vision to life.
Following the saga of the Dutton family defending the Yellowstone Ranch never gets old and the stunning views of Montana as the backdrop don't hurt either. The family is as ruthless as they need to be to keep their family intact while fighting the villains who appear season after season, intent on taking what is theirs. From battling the evil Beck brothers and Dan Jenkins to their current predicament with hedge fund manager Roarke and his associate Willa Hayes, it seems that the Dutton's have a knack for always coming out on top.
Here is our ranking of all of the major characters in the Yellowstone cast through season 3. (Spoilers below!)
11. Tate Dutton
As the youngest Dutton of the group, Kayce's son Tate comes in at number 11 on our list. Brecken Merrill has done a great job navigating tough plot points at such a young age, including not only surviving a kidnapping in season 2 and dealing with his parents' marital problems, but being dragged around from the reservation to an apartment to life on the Dutton ranch. We have a feeling there will be some interesting moments for Tate in the seasons ahead as he learns more and more by watching his father and Grandfathers example.
10. Jamie Dutton
You almost wonder if you put Jamie Dutton at the top or bottom of the list because he's so good at being the worst. Wes Bentley has truly done a masterful job bringing the character to life and making sure he comes across as complicated as possible. Just when you start feeling sympathetic for him, the show drops a big bombshell on you revealing an incredibly unappealing moment from Jamie's past and you go right back to hating him. The big question is, did he really have it in him to try to kill his family members in the season 3 finale?
9. Monica Dutton
As Kayce's Native American wife, Kelsey Asbille had a difficult job ahead of her portraying the character of Monica. She's constantly torn between her love for her husband and son as well as the preservation of her people's culture and history back on the reservation. Add on top of that the fact that Kayce killed her brother in the series premiere...she's got a lot going on. While there were some moments throughout the first couple of seasons where she could have been too hard on Kayce, we've really been enjoying seeing them come together as a family on the Dutton's ranch and enter a new chapter in their marriage. Also surprising, just when you think Monica doesn't have a lot going on, she volunteers to catch a rapist and murderer who killed one of her own on the reservation. The girl has guts, we'll give her that.
8. The Bunkhouse Gang
What would Yellowstone be without the dedicated ranch hands helping make sure the work gets done? Colby (Denim Richards), Teeter (Jennifer Landon), Ryan (Ian Bohen), Walker (Ryan Bingham), and everyone else who comes through the Bunkhouse door keeps things interesting and are the ones who volunteer for the dirty work to ensure that enemies of the Duttons pay. To mercilessly teasing Jimmy for being a terrible cowboy to watching an unexpected love connection form between Colby and Teeter, the ranch hands are full of fun and offer moments of comic relief on a show that can be seriously intense.
7. Jimmy Hurdstrom
Jimmy is definitely one of the most unique people at Yellowstone Ranch. The former criminal turned ranch hand was given a second chance and now proudly sports the Yellowstone brand on his chest...a dedicated servant for life. Jefferson White has done such a good job making Jimmy funny, heartfelt, and entertaining and we particularly enjoy his interactions with Rip. We're anxious to see what's in store for the character next season. Does he decide to disobey John Dutton's wishes and leave everything behind to pursue a rodeo career with his girlfriend Mia? We sure hope not...
6. Lloyd Pierce
Forrie J Smith is a real-life cowboy so that's probably why he's one of the coolest guys on the ranch. He looks right at home on a horse and not only has a special friendship with Jimmy and Rip but has been a loyal ranch hand at Yellowstone for years...meaning he'll do literally anything he's asked. No matter what. He also has no shame in hooking up with a younger girl in season 3 which we can definitely respect. Did anyone else cry when Rip asked him to be his best man? Just me...?
5. Chief Thomas Rainwater
Gil Birmingham has made Chief Rainwater one of the most interesting characters to watch on the show. Through all 3 seasons, Rainwater has had one clear objective in mind -- take the Yellowstone land back for his people since he believes it was stolen from them years before. He's made very calculated business decisions in order to get what he wants...from working with the villains from time to time to even knowing when to align himself with John Dutton. We have a feeling he has a few cards up his sleeve he has yet to play and we can't wait to see what's in store for the reservation, especially after the past season of discussing a new airport, tourism, and more coming to town.
4. Kayce Dutton
Luke Grimes just looks like he grew up on a ranch and plays the youngest Dutton sibling to near perfection. From his history serving with the military overseas to being his mother's favorite child, Kayce has a lot of weight on his shoulders. It's been interesting to watch him reconcile with his family after years living on the reservation with Monica and Tate and to now actually enjoy following in the path his father has always wanted for him. Despite avoiding it at all costs. Our only hope is that he doesn't get as dark as his father and mess things up with his family in the process...we're rooting for him and Monica!
3. Rip Wheeler
Is there anyone who doesn't love Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler? Absolutely not. There's just no way. Rip is easily one of the coolest characters on the show with the craziest background. We saw in flashbacks why he's so loyal to John Dutton after he quite literally saved his life and gave him the second chance he needed. Not to mention the love story he has going with Beth that we just can't seem to get enough of. Rip is the ultimate guy to have on your side because he'll be there no matter what, no questions asked. He does seem to have a strangely intense hatred toward the ranch hand Walker so we're interested to see how that plays out next season now that Walker is back on the ranch.
2. John Dutton
Kevin Costner is the ultimate patriarch and we honestly couldn't imagine the show without him. The actor is no stranger to the old west...after starring in countless westerns he even moved out to his own ranch in Colorado. So it makes sense that he looks right at home at Yellowstone and is maybe the only actor who could have really done John Dutton justice. All he wants to do is preserve his legacy for his children and pass along the ranch he's worked so hard to maintain. And because everyone on the show is complicated, he battles between his secret relationship with Governor Perry and his unwavering love for his late wife Evelyn. He also has a unique relationship with each of his children which makes the show even more interesting to watch.
1. Beth Dutton
To be honest, it's really hard to narrow down the characters of this show in a ranked list. But Beth Dutton has to come in as number one regardless because she's just that good. Kelly Reilly has turned Beth into a fan favorite over the past 3 seasons so effortlessly, it's hard to believe it's an actress playing a character. Beth is ruthless, conniving, loyal, impressive, and sometimes scary. But watching her balance out her business life with her softer side exclusively reserved for Rip has been an addicting journey to follow along with. She has so many demons she's facing between the guilt of losing her mother, the trauma of not being able to have children, her constant disgust with Jamie, and her unwavering dedication to her father. There's no way Beth isn't coming back next season...the show itself needs her as much as Rip does.