Since part 5 of The Ranch debuted on Netflix last week, fans have been bingeing to finally learn what happens to Danny Masterson's character, Rooster Bennett, after Masterson was fired from the series in December following several sexual assault allegations.
Spoilers ahead for The Ranch part 5.
With the menacing nature concerning Rooster's exit, many fans are wondering: Did Rooster die? The last scene in the batch of episodes effectively answers that question while writing Masterson's character out of the series.
Throughout the second half of part 5, Rooster and his ex-girlfriend Mary (Megyn Price) are hooking up, despite Mary's ex-husband being of the extremely possessive, jealous, ex-convict variety.
While Mary's ex, Nick (Josh Burrow), isn't fully aware of the love affair, he knows Rooster and Mary have a past and has told Rooster in a very intimidating fashion that she needs to stop talking to her. But Rooster doesn't listen, and once Nick catches on that something is up when Mary comes home extra late one night, he shows up at Rooster's cabin at the beginning of the part 5 finale with a blunt threat: "I will f—ing kill you."
Luckily, Rooster's brother Colt (Ashton Kutcher) breaks up the situation — but Colt is nowhere to be found when Nick surprises Rooster after a chat with Mary at the bar at the end of the episode. Inside Rooster's cabin, Nick has with him a packed bag for Rooster and an ultimatum.
"You got two choices," Nick says. "Either take that bag and disappear, or you could just disappear."
After Rooster puts up a bit of a fight, Nick ultimately pulls a gun on him and forces him out of the house.
"Well then, I'll just say it again," Nick says. "Take that bag and disappear, or you disappear."
While a defeated Rooster makes his way out the door, Nick adds one more layer to his threat.
"Rooster, you tell anyone about this, and I'll start with your family."
So while Rooster's exit is pretty dark, it's clear that he doesn't die, and is instead assumed to be wandering the country making a new life for himself so that Nick doesn't come after him or his family. But to someone completely unaware of the allegations surrounding Masterson in real life, they might assume Rooster may return in a resolution to come later in part 6 — which may have been an intentional move by the writers and producers of The Ranch.
The show pretty regularly resolves season finale cliffhangers in the first episode of the next season, so it's totally fair to think that Rooster's fate could be explained away with an off-screen death or imprisonment during the first episode of part 6. But by leaving the exit completely open-ended, writers also have the option to bring him back in the future, even though Netflix's initial announcement of Masterson's firing sounded pretty final.
While the exit is somewhat a slap in the face for Masterson's accusers as well as viewers trying to appreciate the work of the cast and crew without worrying that they are supporting an alleged rapist, the open-ended exit may please some of The Ranch faithful who want their favorite TV show to proceed unaltered.0comments
So long as the pretty transparent backup plan Netflix is employing doesn't work out and Masterson remains disgraced, viewers may be in for an awkward transition as Dax Shepard joins the cast in part 6 of The Ranch as somewhat of a replacement for Masterson. Shepard's character will be a former soldier named Luke Matthews.
All episodes of The Ranch are streaming on Netflix now. Part 6 is currently in production and is expected to drop onto the streaming platform later in 2018.