Of course, fans aren’t the only ones who are so fiercely loyal to the Duttons. Outcasts and ex-cons, including Rip, have all been marked by the Yellowstone cattle iron brand. That means they are indentured servants to a point that have sworn to protect the ranch by any means necessary. When Carter comes knocking, he’s another hopeless case that needs a little tough love. Or, a lot of tough love when it comes to Beth’s treatment of him.
For the actress that plays her, that harshness still stays true to the character, even if it’s hard to accept. Talking with Vanity Fair, Reilly justified Beth’s actions:
“It was absolutely the correct response for this character because let’s just be real for a second. He’s just come into their life. He’s been there for maybe two weeks. She can’t just suddenly go, ‘I’m going to be your mother.’ That wouldn’t be truthful. He’s lost everything.”
Because of her own sordid history, Beth just can’t flip a switch and become the perfect mom. That may be what Carter and, ultimately, Rip Wheeler wants from her in the end. But Reilly wants to remind fans that this is still an R-rated show and Beth isn’t going to be censored. Ever. “I think Beth has huge motherly instincts. Huge. It’s all over the show, actually,” she correctly points out. “But not in a way that women are supposed to be mothers, right? It’s not softly, softly. This is not Disney.”