Yellowstone fans divided over Beth’s meanest moment

Jessica Cullen
Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone

Beth Dutton has plenty of unlikable moments in Yellowstone, but fans are split over one particularly nasty scene.

Of all the Yellowstone characters, Beth Dutton is typically the one who receives the most backlash from fans for being relentless and mean-minded. One of her harshest moments, however, comes after she “adopts” Carter, a young man she encounters in a hospital, who loses his father and becomes an orphan on the same day.

She allows Carter to live on the Dutton Ranch, and the two are often caught in a game of cat-and-mouse when it comes to mutual respect and understanding. In one heartbreaking moment in Season 4, Carter calls Beth “Mama”, to which she replies: “You can’t call me that…because it’s not true.” It’s a gutting moment, and one that fans have since become divided on.

“When she brought him home to Rip and told him she thinks he’s their kid, I was so happy,” said a comment on the Yellowstone subreddit. “I thought, ‘Here’s something that can help Beth heal further.’ Not their biological child, but much like Rip wanted to be John’s, son Carter wants to be Beth’s.

“And when he called her Mama and her response was to tell him: ‘Your mom died. You don’t get another one,’ was cruel and unnecessary. That’s the role she’s basically filling. More or less, she adopted him. I’m not saying that Carter wasn’t a bit ungrateful but she is basically treating Carter how she treated Rip when they were younger.”

“Her treatment of Carter was really shitty,” another user agreed. A third added: “I guess it is supposed to be heartwarming and show a softer side of Beth but all I am seeing is two psycho sh*tbags abusing a kid.”

“She’s just so f**king nasty all the time. I will never understand how she’s a fan favorite,” said one comment.

However, others defended Beth’s coldness. The scene takes place during a time when Beth was preparing to kill the man that she believed tried to assassinate her father. Fans believe she wanted to avoid any attachment from Carter. What’s more, her inability to have children (as a result of an unknown sterilization when she was a teenager) is likely an emotional factor.

“The part where she tells him that is because she knows she’s going to do something that might ruin her life. She doesn’t want to break his heart again,” said one response.

“It hurt her and you could see that,” wrote another. “Beth did not have to take the kid in or care. But she brought him home and Rip didn’t want him and then saw himself in the boy.”

“She respected Rip’s decision,” said another. “It’s heartbreaking on so many levels, as you see how she wanted to give him a child. And then she needed to convince herself she will never be a mother to someone.”

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About The Author

Jessica Cullen is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's previously written for The Digital Fix, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and Slate. Aside from her Yellowstone obsession, she loves true crime, '90s action movies, and anything with a young Harrison Ford. You can email her here: