1923 (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: The Yellowstone prequel has finally reached the end of its first season. Since its first episode, it managed to build intrigue due to its cast and cinematography. With Jacob and Cara at the center of the Dutton family, it presented a narrative that depicts the challenges in the US at the beginning of the 20th century.
Throughout its first season, 1923 shed light on the themes of capitalistic development and drought from that time to reflect upon how the Dutton family was affected in the early years of the great depression. With its season finale, it shows how all of their challenges were just the beginning of what lies for them in the future. Be aware that there are spoilers ahead.
1923 (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8 Recap
Episode 8: Nothing Left to Lose
While Teonna (Aminah Nieves) has escaped her tyrannical boarding school, Father Renaud (Sebastian Roché) is persistent in his attempts to get hold of her. When an officer visits this school, he paints Teonna’s picture as a devilish student who murdered two nuns in a gruesome manner. This Father’s ego is so big that he even killed Baapuxti (Leenah Robinson) when she refused to cooperate with his constant bickering. He talks about similar deaths of native American students as if it is their own fault. Then, along with the officer, he goes to look for Teonna himself.
Meanwhile, Teonna is with the two men who saved her earlier from an attack. While bruised up, she is glad to see the old man (Michael Spears), who is her father. She sees ‘killer’ written on the chest of the white man who attacked her and Frank. Then, she gets on a horse to ride away with her father and the young guy named Pete (Cole Brings Plenty). Later at night, the old man notices their romantic interest in each other. He warns them that it won’t end well for them since the danger has not yet ended. Teonna is unfortunately used to omnipresent danger and is tired of not living her life with pleasure. So, she still wants to act on her urges, even if the old man does not think it to be the right choice for her.
Meanwhile, Jacob (Harrison Ford) arrives with the men from his family and other ranchers at the court for the hearing of Banner’s (Jerome Flynn) case. Inside the tribunal, he sees that Banner is joined by an attorney who works with Donald Whitfield (Timothy Dalton) and is surprised by their connection. While the prosecutor on the Duttons’ side makes a case against Banner, his persuasive attorney puts the blame back on their family about the four sheepherders they hanged before, including Banner.
When the prosecutor asks for proof, he notes the marks of rope on Banner’s neck. He then proceeds to use it as a cause for dismissal of a case against Banner by noting that Jacob should be just as much under scrutiny. The judge then declares loss of evidence besides hearsay as the reason for dismissing the charges against Banner. So, he leaves with a cheerful smile and smirks at the Duttons, which provokes Jacob’s young nephew.
When Jack (Darren Mann) approaches him angrily, Banner slaps him and continues insulting their family. The judge orders them to stop the commotion, or they all will be put behind bars. Jacob enters the argument and retorts to Banner’s insults, saying that his attempts at encroaching on their land will result in his death.
Back at his new place, Banner has a word with Whitfield. Banner believes that his present-day wealth can keep any risk at bay. Whitfield thinks otherwise. He believes that he must invest in something that can go down generations of his, and that’s when he has the power that wealth provides. After giving him this lecture, a prostitute comes down to take him to his room. This is one of those that Banner had brought home before getting caught.
Whitfield continues to gain sadistic pleasure in the act of them hurting each other. But he notices that the prostitute inflicting pain on the other one is gloomy. He then clarifies that he sees it not as pain but as a dominance she can have over her counterpart – which can provide her with joy. After hearing that, she starts hitting with this realization, and both she and Whitfield revel in that debauchery. Right after that, he makes them switch positions, enjoys his power over them, and continues to stay intoxicated with this perverted source of amusement.
Meanwhile, back in Italy, Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer) anxiously enters the ship with Spencer (Brandon Sklenar). Since it’s a journey spanning weeks, she fears bumping into her ex – Arthur, and his family and getting into an argument. Spencer assures her that it won’t happen even though he has no clue himself. The next morning, she refuses to get out of their room. But he makes her confident enough to face Arthur since she will have to do it at least once during their long journey.
Outside, Alex meets her friend, Jennifer (Jo Ellen Pellman), who is concerned about her safety. She cannot believe that Alex chose lust over love and thinks it is nothing but her brief infatuation. Still, Alex chooses not to be swayed by her words and returns to her love. Later that night, the couple goes to the gala dinner, where Arthur happens to notice her. He starts boiling with anger and sees her act as flaunting this new love of hers. His father warns him not to lose his dignity in the process. So, he decides to go on the dance floor with Jennifer, who is traveling with them.
Still, he purposefully bumps into Spencer and tries to get into an argument. While Alex apologizes on his behalf, Arthur keeps stretching the matter further and tries to ruin her romantic night. Spencer notices that and threatens Arthur to shut up, or it won’t be good for him. After this argument, Spencer asks Alex whether they should return to the room as she wanted. Alex now says she sees the matter as a woman, not a scared girl. So, despite the challenges, she tells him that they should stay there.
However, Arthur takes the earlier argument on his ego, gets excessively drunk, and goes up to Spencer to slap him. Spencer tells his father to control his son after making him aware that he is a killer by profession. Still, Arthur cannot digest his defeat and keeps abusing Spencer for his lack of gentlemanliness. He even calls his fiancée a whore. Spencer finds that beyond his limits and goes on to punch Arthur in the face. Still, Arthur’s father thinks that all of it is Alex’s fault, not his entitled son’s bloated ego.
This results in Spencer getting asked for a duel by Arthur, who is also the Earl of Sussex. Before Spencer gets into a swordfight, Alex warns him about Arthur’s expert swordsmanship. He still approaches the royal family member and beats him repeatedly on the ground. Still, even despite his father’s request, Arthur does not accept his failure. He approaches Spencer and gets thrown away into the water.
The ship captain arrives at the scene and calls the duel illegal. Alex pleads for her husband and says that Arthur pulled a pistol, which made him go to this length. But none of the ship members attests to her word. She then approaches Jennifer for help, who eventually supports her statement. But by then, Arthur’s father gets furious and uses his royal family position to influence the captain to take action against both of them. Alex and Spencer are then separated and taken to different places.
Meanwhile, Jacob goes to his banker in Montana to discuss a solution due to the recent financial woes. The man thinks that the best option for Jacob is to keep his place on a mortgage, which can be paid off in the next 30 years. Jacob does not want to leave his family in debt after his death. But the banker sees no other option better suited for him. This disturbs the peace of his mind because, despite owning a ranch, he has never taken out a loan. He still does not see debt as a good investment and calls out the ethics of the banker in making him choose it.
While until now, Zane Davis (Brian Geraghty) only appeared as a staunch supporter of the Duttons, we finally see his family. He has a beautiful wife of Asian descent. She is smarter than him in understanding technological advancements. The couple lives a content life with their two children. However, later at night, when the two are making love, a man sees them from the outside. This is the same man who kept observing Jacob from a distance when he was in the city. The next morning, some police officers arrive at Zane’s doorstep. They arrest his wife on the account of miscegenation. These white men do not stop at that. They even call their children obscenities and beat Zane to death.
Back at the Dutton’s house, Alex suffers severe stomach pains, which eventually result in bleeding. So, the family calls a doctor to help her through the pain. Though she is saved, she has a miscarriage due to excessive bleeding. So Jack approaches her and tries to calm her down. He speaks about his aunt Cara and uncle Jacob, who did not have children of their own but made all the others their life’s purpose. Jack thinks that it can be the purpose of their life as well. If she couldn’t be a mother, she could be for those who are in need of emotional support.
1923 (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8 Ending Explained:
Does Jacob manage to solve their family’s financial problems?
Jacob and Cara have a word about the recent time of hardship that has brought their financial stability under question. He is devastated to see that things took such a drastic turn for him and his family. That’s when Whitfield and his men arrive at their place and share his intention of owning it. With the recent surge of developments, people are migrating to the city more than ever. So, he sees the Duttons’ house as a place they will come to find recluses in their free days.
Whitfield makes Jacob aware of the changes from the ownership of wheeled vehicles to the automation that is bound to change the course of the country. He then comes back to the topic of Jacob’s house, for which Jacob has never taken any loan despite the drought and other issues. But he has not paid the taxes, which Whitfield considers need to be filled biannually, unlike Jacob’s understanding of yearly payments. Whitfield says that he has paid the amount for Jacob’s property and gives Jacob a warning to pay him back by the end of the year, or he will take over the possession of Yellowstone.
Meanwhile, Father Renaud rides a horse with a few other officers to stumble upon the sight of a murder by Teonna’s old man. While he wants to bury this man as per the rituals, the officer warns him to continue their search instead. They soon stumble upon another set of bodies, which Renaud is certain to be Teonna’s work. While the officer contemplates where she could have gone, Renaud thinks that she would be traveling to Canada. Another officer thinks of a different reservation camp. So, they decide to reach there by train. On the other hand, Teonna heads to Wyoming with Pete and her old man.
What lies in Alex and Spencer’s future? Do they manage to get away safely from her ex and his family?
Back on the waters, Spencer is taken back to the captain, who says that all the charges against him will be waved off, thanks to Jennifer’s testimony. But, he will need to go to the nearest port by a dinghy without Alex. The captain questions the validity of his marriage with her. The captain is also a royal family member and refuses to let her be with him. Jennifer rushes to Alex’s room to inform her about that. She says that Spencer will be required to leave immediately by a dinghy without her, which puts her in distress.
With Jennifer’s help, Alex gets out of her room and makes her best attempt to run away with Spencer. But it’s already too late since he is stopped from making any attempt to be with her. He still assures his beau that he will return for her. While the couple has drifted apart from each other, Cara is still hoping for her nephew’s return to save them from this unrest.