Is Rooster Dead on 'The Ranch'?

Earlier this morning, Part 6 of The Ranch premiered on Netflix. The second half of Season 3 is similar in tone to past seasons, but there are a few notable changes that take place in the latest batch of episodes: Colt and Abby have a baby; Dax Shepard joins the cast; and Danny Masterson’s Rooster was written off the show.

Spoilers for Part 6 of The Ranch ahead.

In December of 2017, Netflix fired Masterson amid reports of multiple rape allegations against the actor. It was reported that Masterson would be written out of the series and not be appearing in the second half of Season 3 (Part 6). How did the series handle the character’s exit? Will Danny Masterson return to The Ranch? Is Rooster dead?

Here’s how The Ranch handled the disappearance of Rooster.

WHEN IS THE RANCH PART 6 RELEASE DATE?

Part 6 of The Ranch premiered earlier this morning (December 7) on Netflix.

WILL ROOSTER BE IN PART 6 OF THE RANCH?

No. Despite the first three episodes centering around his disappearance, Danny Masterson’s character does not appear in Part 6 of The Ranch.

IS ROOSTER DEAD ON THE RANCH? HOW DID THE RANCH HANDLE ROOSTER’S DISAPPEARANCE? DID ROOSTER DIE ON THE RANCH?

At the end of Part 5, Mary’s ex-husband Nick delivers a threatening ultimatum to Rooster, telling him to leave town or he’ll kill him and his family. Part 6 picks up right where Part 5 ended. Rooster is missing, and throughout the episode, Colt becomes increasingly worried about his brother. At the end of the first episode, Colt, who knows Nick previously threatened Rooster, confronts Nick about Rooster’s whereabouts. The argument turns physical, and the two are arrested as the episode ends.

In Episode 2, Nick admits to Mary that he told Rooster to leave town but swears he hasn’t seen him since. Later, Beau breaks some troubling news to Colt: The police found Rooster’s motorcycle at the bottom of Raton Mountain Pass. The police believe Rooster was carrying too much weight on his bike and went over the guardrail.

Colt believes Rooster faked his death in an effort to deceive Nick, so he attempts to track his brother down. Eventually, the police find Rooster’s wallet and some bloody clothing so they pivot from search and rescue to search and recovery. Beau and Maggie decide to have a funeral for Rooster, which they call a “celebration of life.” Colt, believing his brother is still alive, is not on board.

Colt on The Ranch
Photo: Netflix

Family and friends hold a funeral service for Rooster, and, eventually, Colt shows up to deliver a touching eulogy. Rooster is believed to be dead, but the fact that there’s no body means that there’s still technically a chance the character could return.

WHAT’S THE RANCH LIKE WITHOUT ROOSTER? WILL DANNY MASTERSON RETURN TO THE RANCH?

As of now, there are no reported plans to bring Rooster back for Season 4. Dax Shepard’s Luke Matthews made his Ranch debut in Episode 6, and from a storytelling perspective, his character is very similar to Masterson’s Rooster.

It seems as if Netflix and/or the production team behind The Ranch wanted to keep the door open for Danny Masterson/Rooster to return, but the character, for now at least, is believed to be dead.

Where to stream The Ranch