Even before 1923 premiered, previews for the Yellowstone prequel spinoff teased that war was coming for the Dutton family in the Paramount+ series and as the title of this week’s third episode suggests, that war has come home. This week’s episode saw the Dutton family experience a major and stunning loss that not only will change the course of the family going forward, but also threatens to set off an already explosive situation between the cattle ranchers and the sheep herders.
Warning: major spoilers for this week’s episode of 1923, “The War Has Come Home” beyond this point.
Last week, Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford) and his men discovered that Banner (Jerome Flynn) and his men had taken sheep up on Dutton’s property high on the ridge to graze and, when confronted, tried to shoot Jack Dutton (Darren Mann). It prompted Jacob to hang Banner and his men — or more specifically, put them in a situation where they would likely hang unless they could get themselves out of it which all of the men except Banner did. Jacob then sent off all the sheep to the nearby Native Americans.
This week, Banner is out for revenge. As the Duttons are headed back to the ranch after a trip into town, Banner’s men ambush them. Jack’s fiancée Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph) is struck in the abdomen and Jack is soon after shot in the shoulder. A full-on firefight breaks out and then banner himself shows up and fires upon Jacob, John Sr. (James Badge Dale), his wife Emma (Marley Shelton), and Cara (Helen Mirren) and while they manage to fend off Banner’s men and Banner ultimately gets away, the Duttons are not so lucky. Jacob is gravely injured, and John Sr. is dead. It’s the death of John Sr. — who Cara Dutton had in a sense raised like her own son — that prompts Cara to run after one of the sheep herders into the woods as we saw in the first episode, killing him.
By the time the episode ends, the Dutton family is in mourning and is in a precarious place. John Sr. is dead, but Jacob may not survive either. In fact, he even tells Cara that he may not be worth saving and tells her that Spencer (Brendan Sklenar), who is in Africa, must come home now. The episode ends with Cara writing Spencer a letter, telling him that his brother is dead, his uncle will likely be dead by the time he receives the letter and that the ranch and his own legacy is in peril, and he needs to come home to fight this war at home, For the series — and the Dutton family — this is a major turning point. Spencer, in Africa, has just become engaged to Alex (Julia Schlapfer) and after their own rather traumatic experience after being charged by an elephant in the bush, may be looking to make a change from their African adventures. Also, Elizabeth’s fate also remains up in the air as her injuries were also very serious — and her wedding to Jack was just days away.
What did you think of this week’s episode of 1923? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!