1923 (Season 1), Episode 4: With sweeping landscapes and a grand scale, every single episode of ‘1923’ looks absolutely mesmerizing. Even if the drama or the characters do not manage to move you as they are supposed to, the cinematography is enough to keep you hooked to the screen. Ben Richardson, who has directed most of these episodes, comes from the same domain. So, it does not come as a surprise that the show has been shot with a great eye. Let’s find out what happens in this stunningly shot episode.
1923 (Season 1) Episode 4 Recap “War and the Turquoise Tide”
The new episode begins with a bloodied room with stained clothes, which is a result of the bloodshed on the ranch. The Dutton family was heavily wounded, especially the family patriarch Jacob (Harrison Ford). He is brought back to his house and treated by the local medical professionals. However, a bigger issue looms for the Duttons, where they need to decide who takes the reigns of the ranch until he recovers. His wife, Cara (Helen Mirren), who gets devastated by the severe blood loss, screams out her anguish in solitude. Once she gets hold of her emotions, she returns to the house to carry out her responsibilities.
Zane Davis (Brian Geraghty) walks in and looks at her, engulfed in her chores. She gives him the letter that she wrote to be sent to Spencer (Brandon Sklenar). While he requests to send him a wire instead, she insists that there should be no open communication about such an attack on them. She even denies going to the sheriff to investigate for the same reason. After handing over duty to his son, Zane heads out to meet Emma (Marley Shelton), who is devastated by the loss of her husband. She later digs out a piece of land with a shovel so that he can be buried next to his ancestors.
Back home, Cara goes to meet her grand-nephew, Jack (Darren Mann), who is resting next to his wounded fiancée, Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph). While still feverish, she wakes up seeing Cara and asks whether her mother has been informed about this incident. Meanwhile, in Africa, Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer) wakes up on a serene beach to find her beau, Spencer (Brandon Sklenar), standing just next to the ocean. While she thinks being away from the jungle makes them safer, he opens her up to the omnipresent nature of the danger. While they passionately caress and swoon over each other, time flies by. She then playfully asks where they should live. While he is open to making any place his home, she mentions staying where they are.
While they are lost in the romantic dreamscapes, back in the US, Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) goes back to the sheepherders with a resolve for vengeance. But other herders note that they hardly have any people to fight, let alone an army. So, he goes to meet a local officer to inform him about Jacob’s death but refuses to disclose how he died. He notes that no one is running his ranch at the moment. But he is confident he and his kin will run it since no eligible Dutton is alive to run it, and he does not consider Cara, a woman, a viable option. The officer does not see a point in accepting a deal blindly from this assassin.
He understands clearly that Banner is looking for money to buy an army for himself, and without his help, he cannot own that ranch. He agrees to make a deal with him on the condition that he can mine wherever he wants and that the mountains are his ownership. He also threatens that a lack of compliance will be life-threatening for Banner and his family. Later at night, they steal all the cattle, whether it belongs to Yellowstone or others.
Later, Elizabeth’s mother comes to the ranch to meet her daughter and orders her to return to the city where she can get proper medical treatment, which won’t be possible in that small town. She also refuses to let her marry Jack due to this tragic incident, and he speaks back to her. She slaps him on the face, and Cara slaps her back since she considers it is only she who can discipline the kid. She then also makes it clear to the mother that in Yellowstone, she has no right to order anything from anyone against their decision.
Zane returns with his son with the news that their cattle have been stolen and wants to head out to bring them back. While Jack is furious and decides on impulse to rush, Cara stops them from thinking about it. She speaks with Jacob to ask whether they can afford to lose the cattle since she does not want more men to die. He wakes up and affirms her decision, which the cowboys abide by even if they disagree with it. While others keep their faith in destiny to do the deed for them, Duttons are the ones who work by themselves to determine what lies in their fate.
Meanwhile, in the boarding school, the native American girls are made to snatch fruits from shrubs, whereas Baapuxti (Leenah Robinson) takes slightly longer due to the thorns. The nuns try to justify the pain to that of Lord Jesus, and she replies that she is not Jesus to be subjected to it. The argument soon reaches a point where this sister attacks the girl, and upon seeing that, Teona (Aminah Nieves) retaliates just like before. She is again taken for punishment.
Because of getting tired of this ordeal of harassment by the nuns to not let them have even a voice of dissent, she accepts to be saved from the demon, which the religious fanatics think she is possessed by. The nuns then proceed with a horrifying ritual that makes her go through extreme discomfort. As a result, that night, she decides to pack her bags and leave the school with a bible. While on her way, she hurts the nun who hurt her repeatedly in the past and then goes on the choke her to death. She leaves with a sense of retribution against these dwellers who did not let her speak her mother tongue or be free despite being native to the land, unlike them.
Since there is no male leader of the ranch, Cara takes the reigns, as suggested by Jacob. She goes to the Town Hall, where Jacob is supposed to be present, and addresses the crowd. She speaks about the stolen cattle and accuses these thieves of also being the murderers of Bob Strafford (Elizabeth’s father). She wants their association to have the authority to issue warrants against such people who take the law into their hands. She adds a fake signature of Jacob on a document to affirm his agreement to this decision, after which it is accepted by a majority.
Before leaving, Banner accuses Cara of lying to the crowd about Jacob making such a decision. While she is certain of his involvement in unlawful activities, she knows that logical reasoning would not work for this man if it has not before. So, she just spits on his face and leaves.
1923 (Season 1) Episode 4 Ending Explained
Does Spencer decide to return to Yellowstone ranch?
Alex sees a bunch of letters Spencer has received but never opened. Since it mentions a woman’s name, she feels that it is someone he loves back at the ranch. He clarifies that Cara is his aunt and that he has a complicated relationship with the family, which makes him not want to have any communication with them. However, upon her ask, he agrees to let her open them and read them out loud. She starts from the beginning and tells stories of joy, sorrow, and grief, including the one about John Sr and Emma losing his second child before birth.
She finally arrives at a letter that mentions this brother’s death after an attack. It also mentions Jacob and Jack being heavily wounded. Because of this, Cara orders Spencer to return at the earliest to the ranch. He learns that the letter was sent about three months ago, and that’s when the episode ends. While it has not been clarified whether Spencer decides to return to Yellowstone ranch, it seems highly likely since he seems swayed by the emotions conveyed in the letter.