Jacob Dutton is back, baby, and that means good things for the future of 1923. While Harrison Ford's character seemed to be on death's door just a few episodes ago, following a run-in with Banner Creighton and a whole bunch of gunfire, in this week's episode Jacob was not just up and moving around, but even went out on the town seeking legal vengeance against his assailant.
That's a good thing for 1923, to be sure: The show has always had characters and storylines a-plenty, but the return of Jacob means that things at the Yellowstone ranch can be pushed forward in earnest. It can't be long, either, before we'll get to see Ford and Timothy Dalton's Donald Whitfield go head to head, and that should be spectacular. Not unlike two big bull moose during mating season, Dutton and Whitfield are trying to exert their dominance over all that the eye can see -- and only one is bound to come out on top. (It'll be Dutton, of course, but it's exciting to watch all the same.)
Jacob's return to vitality wasn't all that happened on this week's 1923, though. Here are five more things that are bound to push the show's storylines into new and deliciously dangerous territory.
Banner gets some and Donald gets gross
1923 wasn't shy about showing a little skin this week, with the episode lingering early on Banner as he strutted around his new kitchen selecting a cigar, some champagne, and three champagne glasses. As we quickly find out, he had just woken up from a long night with two lovely ladies of the night (sorry to his wife out in the sod house!) and he's looking to get frisky again. There's a little champagne play, and the ladies seem into it -- and each other, really -- but then Banner is called away. It's the cops, there to arrest him on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He looks a little shocked to see Jacob there, but mouths off a bit about finishing the job, with the round-up crew rightly stating that language like that seems tantamount to a confession.
When next we see Banner, he's clad in stripes and meeting with his brand new lawyer in the town jail. He doesn't think he'll get out on bail, but his lawyer tells him otherwise. It's clear this new character works for Whitfield, something we get confirmation on later when the lawyer joins Whitfield in his car. It's also clear that Whitfield is willing to do pretty much whatever it takes to dodge these charges and keep Banner in the clear, whether that means bribing or blackmailing judges or disappearing incriminating evidence.
In the car, the lawyer tells Whitfield that there are two gals partying over at Banner's house, and Whitfield says he'll deal with them himself. (Ew.) He slinks into the kitchen as the two scantily clad gals are enjoying some pie and flashes some cash. He overpays them for what they did with Banner, telling them "we're not done yet," which, again, ew. While it looks like he might just be into some light kink, it's quickly revealed that he's actually a horrible sadist. He forces one girl to beat the other with a belt while he watches, telling the blindfolded receiver not to scream or cry, because he derives no pleasure in that. We didn't really need even more of a reminder that Whitfield is a monster, but this is certainly a big one all the same.
Cara keeps a journal
Early in the season, we saw Cara dictating a letter to Spencer. While we learn that he got that latter months later, we find out in this episode that she actually writes to Spencer pretty much every day, even if she doesn't send the letters. It's her form of a diary or journal, if you will, and it's just a way of targeting her thoughts rather than sort of repeating to herself what she knows about the news of the day. Jack's wife Elizabeth seems pretty fascinated by the whole thing and Cara tells her she should get on board. We'll have to see if she does, because at least for the time being she seems more interested in (unsuccessfully) baking a cake than she does in putting pen to paper.
There's no talking politics at the Dutton table
After Jack and Jacob come home from their big day in town arresting Banner, the whole clan sits down for a meal. As Jack flips through the paper, musing over headlines about unemployment and whatever else, he comes across an article saying that Whitfield had been made head of a government mining commission in Washington D.C. He's taken aback, asking Jacob why they'd put the bosses of the mines in charge of making rules about mining, but Jacob seems nonplussed. That's just government and politics, he says, launching into a whole speech about how everyone's just out to get theirs no matter what.
When he finishes up, Cara jumps straight out of her chair, telling everyone still sitting that, "there's no speech about politics" at her dinner table. Jack remarks to Jacob that Cara sure seems mad, but Jacob corrects him: She's not mad. She's actually scared. Whether that means she's scared of progress, of losing their livelihood, or just scared of the depths of depravity some people will sink to is unclear, but they're all pretty terrifying so who can blame her, really?
More death finds Teonna
I feel like every time we see Teonna Rainwater it's in some sort of brutal situation. While life on Dutton ranch is certainly no picnic, Teonna's life is absolute hell, and unfortunately, there's no respite from the madness this week.
After Teonna's dad finds his mom dead in her little cabin, he goes in search of clues as to what went down. He finds tracks outside and just as he starts to think about what to do, Hank's son rolls up with a message from his dad. Teonna's back, he says, and something bad happened at the school. The law is looking for her, and they'll need his help. Teonna's father thanks him and tells him to take a different route back to where Teonna and Hank are camped, and to stay out of sight. He'll follow, but first he has to perform burial rites for his poor mother. She deserved better, to say the least.
Next thing we know, Hank's son has set up camp against some rocks. He's warming himself by the fire when he spots three figures on horseback. It's a group of priests, and they're instantly hostile to him. Why isn't he in school, they ask? How old is he? And where are these sheep he purports to be minding? After he throws a little sass back to match all their attitude, the priests attack him, taking him hostage and saying they're taking him to a boarding school. One of them ties him up and says he'll take him back, while the other two head off in search of Teonna. Teonna's dad comes across the whole scene later, and luckily he's a good enough tracker that he's able to follow their trail -- but we'll get to that.
Later that night, we see the priest and Hank's son camping. The priest is telling him that "salvation awaits in the light," and ruing the fact that "you people choose darkness." It's all horrible racist and selfish stuff, and after the son retorts that, since the priest has killed men, he must not really believe in his God after all, the priest sets on him, beating him up. He tells the boy he needs an exorcism, not a school, and it seems pretty clear that he's bound to kill him. Luckily, Teonna's dad shows up first, scalping the priest and cutting his throat. He gets the boy up and tells him that they'll have to ride after the other two priests in order to save Hank and Teonna. There's a little off-camera soul-eating, and then they're off.
And then things get even worse, somehow. The two priests manage to come across Teonna, though they assume she's a boy. As they get closer they realize she's not, and they set off after her to confirm their suspicions. They tear open her shirt, but she fights back, gouging one of the priest's eyes out. When he realizes he's blind, he starts to beat Teonna--only to end up shot in the back by Hank, who, frankly, probably should have come out of hiding before Teonna got assaulted. He scraps with the other man as well, shooting him a few times, then drops the gun to scoop Teonna up and carry her off down a creek bed. Unfortunately, it turns out that the first man he shot wasn't actually dead, though, because the priest pops up and shoots Hank in the back. Teonna falls, and as the priest tries to grab cartridges out of Hank's pocket to reload and kill her, she brains him with a big flat rock. Our last look at Teonna this episode is one that finds her screaming her head off. Will this torment ever end? And why is any of this happening to her?
Spencer and Alex eat arancini and get found out
I thought that Spencer and Alex were getting dropped in Marseilles by the British Navy, but as it turns out, they're getting dropped somewhere in Italy instead, where they'll book passage to London and/or the United States. As Spencer climbs onto land, rifle in hand, the sailors tell him that "Mussolini isn't a fan of men carrying guns." Nor are the mafia, they say, and when Spencer asks who they are, they tell him "stay here long enough and you'll find out." Given that Spencer and Alex end up booking passage on a ship leaving in four days, here's hoping he doesn't actually find out, but given the number of scrapes those two get into, who knows?
Speaking of scrapes: As the two lovebirds dine on a lovely terrace, Alex attempts to soothe Spencer's social anxiety with a little arancini and heavy petting, only to look up and realize that--gasp!--her whole safari party from Kenya just happens to have found her on the terrace, and they look both pissed and scandalized. They'll find out soon enough that she's gone and married Spencer, which I can't imagine will be well-received, but in the meantime, at least the lovers have each other.
READ MORE: A Second Season of 'Yellowstone' Prequel '1923' is On the Way
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