Kevin Costner won't be returning for the conclusion of Yellowstone, but that doesn't mean the show can't have a satisfying ending. The absence of Costner's character, John Dutton, provides an opportunity to shift the focus onto another character who has been driving the narrative from the beginning. With spinoffs of the show in development, it is crucial that the original series ends on a strong note.
While it is likely that John Dutton will be killed off-screen, this sets up the perfect opportunity for another character, Rip Wheeler, to take center stage. Rip has played a key role in almost every major storyline of Yellowstone. There is an argument to be made that Rip has been the true main character all along.
While John Dutton called the shots, it was Rip who executed his will. Rip's journey to the Yellowstone Ranch has made his place there feel more significant. He was taken in by John Dutton after he killed his father in self-defense, but it was on the ranch that Rip found purpose and redemption.
The key to making Rip the main character for the end of Yellowstone lies in his relationship with John Dutton. John has always seen Rip as one of his own sons and has shown him great respect. It is clear that the ranch means everything to Rip, and now he may be the one seeking vengeance for John and the ranch. Rip is the only character who cares about the Yellowstone Ranch as much as John Dutton.
With the focus on Rip and Beth, and their dedication to the ranch, the show can end on a strong note and pave the way for future spinoffs. In conclusion, while Kevin Costner's absence may hurt Yellowstone's ending, the show can still have a satisfying conclusion by shifting the focus onto Rip Wheeler.
Rip has been a central character from the beginning and has a strong connection to the ranch. With John Dutton out of the picture, Rip and Beth's relationship can take center stage, providing a compelling and emotional end to the series.