Beth and Rip’s long-awaited nuptials finally arrived in the fourth season’s finale, and it wasn’t just a surprise to fans. Not even Rip knew he’d be getting hitched when he woke up! But that’s life with Beth Dutton — unpredictable.
In fact, Beth had planned to pack up and leave the ranch, and Rip, that very same day. But Rip convinces her not to break her promise and run away from him again.
Instead, she decides to make peace with her father and puts into motion a plan for revenge against adopted brother Jamie and his biological father Garrett Randall (Will Patton). It was Garrett who had orchestrated the vicious attacks on the Duttons, and Jamie, Beth believes, knew about it and did nothing.
To confirm her suspicions, she visits one of the men responsible. In prison. In a slinky gold dress. Posing as a conjugal visitor. Typical day-of-the-wedding bridal behavior? No way. Something very much in character for Beth? You bet!
Then, after making a pit stop at a local church to kidnap a priest at gunpoint (call that something borrowed!), she heads back to the ranch for an impromptu ceremony — “a little business to take care of” before dinner.
Though John tries to convince her to wait for a proper wedding (“Sweetheart, that’s a priest. We aren’t f—ing Catholic!”), Beth doesn’t want to waste any more time. “I don’t give a s–t about the wedding, Dad. I just care about the marriage.”
Rip is happy to oblige Beth’s particular brand of crazy, fetching Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) — something old! — to be his best man. Despite his protests over her, shall we say, unconventional choice of wedding dress, John Dutton walks his daughter down the aisle.
Rip vows to cherish Beth “through everything, until I die, and then somehow longer, baby.” Beth, however, is too impatient for vows. She keeps things simple, declaring, “F— yes, I do.” With his mother’s ring, Rip and Beth fulfill a lifetime of promises they’ve made to one another, and seal a romance that began in childhood.
But unbeknownst to Rip, Beth has another childhood promise to keep. In lieu of a honeymoon, Beth — her affairs now in order — is free to finally take revenge on Jamie for his monstrous decision to allow her to be sterilized without consent during her teenage abortion.
In a dramatic confrontation with Jamie, Beth threatens to tell Rip the whole truth — that Jamie helped abort his child, and that the procedure ensured they could never have another. Rip, she says, will hunt Jamie down and kill him with his bare hands.
As Jamie begs for his life, Beth gives him another way out: He must kill Garrett. Jamie does so, only to find Beth there to snap a picture of him disposing of the body. To wrap the day in a neat bow, she reminds Jamie that with the photo, “You’re f—ing mine now.”
One day, a wedding. The next, murder and blackmail. Just as Rip’s and Beth’s lives are joined together, Jamie’s life now belongs to Beth. It’s a stark contrast between love and hate that’s all too familiar to the Duttons, a family capable of only so many happily ever afters.