Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1923: Biggest Unanswered Questions From Season 1

The world of "Yellowstone" gets bigger in "1923." Set firmly in the titular year, the series follows Jacob (Harrison Ford) and Cara (Helen Mirren) Dutton, who run the Yellowstone ranch alongside their nephew John (James Badge Dale) and his son Jack (Darren Mann). Their lives are turned upside-down when a neighboring rancher allies with a wealthy tycoon to steal the land their family has spent three generations tending.

Season 1's finale leaves fans on the edge of their seats, as multiple crises escalate into its final moments. But while audiences may expect a few loose ends, few anticipate the cliffhanger that is "Nothing Left to Lose," which caps off the year with more than a few major question marks. From the fate of Teonna (Aminah Nieves), who remains on the run from the law, to Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), who's torn from his wife's arms, to a vengeful villain ready to gun the Duttons down, this ending is nothing but intense.

We may have to wait a while for Season 2, but that doesn't mean we can't start wondering what's going to happen next. So mount up and grab your shooting iron, because we're tackling the biggest unanswered questions Season 1 of "1923" leaves behind.

12. Will Alex and Spencer be reunited?

Throughout Season 1 of "1923," viewers are captivated by Spencer Dutton. He starts his journey in Africa, where he's established himself as a big game hunter with a wild reputation. When a young English woman named Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer) runs away from a betrothal to join his exploits, he finds himself in love, and eventually married. 

Approaching the Season 1 finale, Spencer and Alex have endured more than one harrowing adventure, from their battle with a pride of lions to an escape from a tugboat disaster. But their latest dilemma comes from Alex's former husband-to-be Arthur (Rafe Soule), who challenges Spencer to a duel. Spencer is forced to kill the young Englishman while aboard the RMS Majestic, tossing him overboard when his opponent pulls a gun. Spencer is ejected from the ocean liner, torn from his new wife, and nearly charged with murder.

The couple declares their undying love, and Alex swears to find him in Montana. But can Alex actually follow through on this promise? She could be a world (and months) apart from him by the start of Season 2. Will she be able to handle new challenges on her own, or will she get help from an unexpected place? Moreover, considering the show's penchant for tragic twists, Spencer might not even be alive if she does manage to find her way to Yellowstone. 

11. How long will it take Spencer to make it home?

At the midway point of Season 1, audiences receive a surprise: The Duttons' fight with Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) and Spencer's African adventures aren't happening simultaneously. In a twist that would make Christopher Nolan proud, viewers learn that the letter they see Cara Dutton write to Spencer was received long ago, but never opened. Another surprise is in store when it becomes clear that his journey home doesn't occur over the course of one, two, or even three episodes. In fact, as of the season finale, he still has a long journey ahead of him.

Consequently, it's anyone's guess how long the series will make us wait to see Spencer arrive home. We're not quite certain where RMS Majestic drops him off, but it's almost certainly somewhere along the European shoreline. This means he still has quite a trek left to make. Without Alex he may not be able to book passage by sea, nor by rail once he reaches the Americas. As much as fans may be hoping that Season 2 will begin with Spencer's return home, we may be in for a long wait. Perhaps we'll see him reunited with his family by the midpoint of Season 2 — or perhaps we'll have to wait longer. For now, all we can do is wonder.

10. Can Spencer really save the ranch?

"1923" Season 1 teases the prospect of Spencer Dutton coming home multiple times. We're given the impression that Spencer's presence alone could be enough to turn the tide in the family's war with Donald Whitfield (Timothy Dalton); his fierceness, cunning, and leadership could apparently stem their losses and strike fear into the heart of the Dutton's enemies.

But we have to ask: How is Spencer able to single-handedly change the family's fortunes? When the fight was merely between the Duttons and Banner Creighton's gang, Spencer could certainly have been a one-man difference-maker. For example, when Jacob was wounded and they needed a leader to gather an army to hold their ground, he would have been hugely useful. But with the courts involved and Donald Whitfield wielding legal might that could snag the ranch without ever firing a shot, we're not sure what Spencer can do.

Perhaps they believe Spencer's return will intimidate their enemies into backing down. But neither Whitfield nor Creighton seem like the easily frightened type. Likewise, should Spencer resort to violence, it might only put the Duttons in more hot water. After all, this isn't the Wild West anymore, and even the friendly sheriff doesn't seem to take kindly to violent vigilantism. 

9. Will Jack and Elizabeth start a family?

Moving forward 40 years from previous spin-off series "1883," a whole host of new Duttons arrive in "1923." This includes Jack Dutton, son of the first John Dutton and nephew of Spencer. He's a young, eager, hot-headed cowboy, and when we're introduced to him, he's due to be wed to the beautiful Elizabeth Strafford (Michelle Randolph), who lives on a neighboring ranch. It's soon revealed that Elizabeth is pregnant before their wedding day. This causes some initial concern, until Cara reveals such things are more common than folks would like to believe.

Jack and Elizabeth's lives are thrown into chaos, however, when the fight with the Creightons breaks out. Elizabeth finds herself on the wrong end of a bullet and is seriously wounded. As she slowly heals, she grows closer to Jack, and becomes more committed than ever to their new, precarious life together. But in the Season 1 finale, Elizabeth miscarries. It's revealed she may never be able to bear children.

Though distraught, Jack is insistent that his desire to be a father is secondary to his love of Elizabeth, and suggests they could start a family by adopting. Despite these vows, we wonder if more tragedy is in store. Either Jack or Elizabeth could still die, or a broken-hearted breakup may take place — perhaps because they can't have biological children.

8. Can Jacob keep his enemies at bay through the winter?

Winter sets in over the course of the last few episodes of Season 1. The finale makes it clear that the Duttons are in for a tough season: The ranch is running out of food for the livestock, they're unable to secure a loan for more, and the snow blocks the roads to the ranch. Can the Duttons hold off villains like Banner Creighton and Donald Whitfield when they may not even be able to stave off the bitter winter?

In "1883," the Native American man who recommends the valley to James Dutton warns him the winters can be especially harsh. They're so harsh, in fact, that James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret (Faith Hill) both fall victim to it. Now, the Duttons will need to get through with few resources, little money, and a deadly enemy at their doorstep. Any number of problems could befall them as they wait for Spencer's return — enough, perhaps, to end their legacy before he arrives. 

As the calendar rolls over, it might be tempting to assume nothing can go wrong, because we know the ranch survives into the 21st century. But we're not so sure of victory. It's possible that when the next season picks up, the ranch will be taken, the Duttons will be dead, and Spencer will be left to fight back alone. That's just how harsh the winter can be.

7. Can Teonna escape her pursuers?

Running alongside the tale of the Montana Duttons and Spencer's return is the story of a young Native American girl named Teonna Rainwater. She's an apparent ancestor of Thomas Rainwater, a major character in "Yellowstone." Teonna is brutalized at the Catholic boarding school she's been forced to attend. After fighting back, Teonna manages to escape. In the second half of the season, she goes on the run from the school's headmaster, and, eventually, law enforcement. In the Season 1 finale, Teonna is found by her father and the teenaged son of the man who initially rescues her during her flight from the school.

With a group of dedicated U.S. marshals now on Teonna's tail, things aren't looking good. Though she and her father believe they'll find freedom at a Comanche reservation in Wyoming, the marshals know exactly where they're headed. These lawmen are on their way, and are ready to nab them at first sight. If the law does find Teonna, it's unlikely she'll be treated very fairly, given what we've seen so far. Still, the show has thrown us enough curveballs to make us think Teonna might be able to get away safely. Can she pull this off? Only time will tell.

6. What will happen to Zane's family?

When it comes to curveballs, "1923" deals us a doozy when it introduces an entirely new storyline in the Season 1 finale. While riding into town, ranch leader Zane (Brian Geraghty) takes the opportunity to spend some time with his family, who live among a community of Chinese immigrants. It's only then that we learn that Zane is married to a Chinese woman, with whom he has two young children.

Just as we're getting to know Zane as more than a minor character, the series turns his life upside-down. Tipped off by traitorous cowboy Clyde (Brian Konowal), local police burst into Zane's home and arrest his wife for "miscegenation," aka violating laws that forbid marriage between different ethnic groups. When Zane protests her arrest, he's beaten by police, who hurl racist insults at both of them.

We're not sure where this storyline is headed, but it seems likely to take Zane — the Dutton's cowboy leader — off the playing field ahead of a major fight. Given the Duttons' respect for Zane and his family, however, we're betting it's not quite over yet for the stalwart foreman. There may be a new battle waged for the freedom of Zane and his family.

5. Will Banner take matters into his own hands?

From the start of "1923," the most dangerous and unpredictable villain on the show is rival rancher and sheepherder Banner Creighton. Creighton is a brash and temperamental man who feels the Duttons have hoarded their land and the region's resources to themselves. As many ranchers in the community suffer, Banner feels the Duttons should share what's theirs — but Jacob does not oblige.

Creighton's first act of defiance comes when he trespasses on the Yellowstone ranch by allowing his sheep to graze there. This leads to a violent encounter that leaves some of Creighton's men dead. Creighton retaliates with machine gun fire aimed at Jacob's family. By the end of the season, he's allied himself with mining magnate Donald Whitfield in an attempt to take the Dutton ranch.

But while Whitfield has told Creighton in no uncertain terms that there can be no more violence, Creighton is an unpredictable sort who seems likely to violate any truce and come gunning for the Duttons. He's already proved dismissive of his lawyer's advice by brawling in a courtroom, after all. Could he ready an army of attackers to assault the ranch before Spencer arrives?

4. Have we seen the last of Arthur's family?

When we meet Spencer Dutton in Africa, he's flirting with a charming woman named Alexandra, who's on the verge of her wedding. Just before she takes her vows, the young lady absconds with Spencer. She's terrified of a life with her fiancé Arthur, later revealed to be the Earl of Sussex. When we first meet him, Arthur is little more than a random, uptight Englishman. But when we see him again in the season finale, he shows a far more intimidating side of himself.

Arthur is so incensed by Alex's presence aboard the HMS Majestic that he challenges Spencer to a duel on the ship's deck. Though he tries to avoid it, Spencer eventually agrees. He's ultimately forced to throw Arthur overboard when the jilted lover aims his pistol at him. As a result, Arthur's father charges Spencer with murder, despite the mitigating circumstances. This gets Spencer thrown off the ship, separating him from Alex.

Given Alex's continued presence on the Majestic, is it possible there's more story to be told involving Arthur's father? After seeing his son's death, he might be viciously revenge-minded. He might also have mercy on Alex and help her find Spencer in America. Anything is possible when it comes to this noble family.

3. Will Teonna's story ever connect with the Duttons?

Teonna's story keeps audiences on the edge of their seats all season long. But they might also wonder when it'll become relevant to the series' larger story. Given the Duttons' gift of sheep to the Native Americans, it seems like Teonna's arc might play a role in the relationship between the two neighboring communities — but the details remain murky. Both of the other main stories in "1923" — that of the Dutton ranch and Spencer's journey from Africa — are intrinsically linked. As the season concludes, there aren't any obvious connections between them and Teonna's escape from Montana. Naturally, fans have begun to wonder how her story will link up with the Duttons — and precisely why.

When you consider the complicated relationship between Broken Rock and the Yellowstone ranch in later years, it stands to reason that the show will connect the two narratives. But Season 1's finale holds off on joining these storylines. Is it possible Teonna might find her way back to the reservation and get help from someone in the Dutton family? Or will both stories play themselves out without ever properly intermingling?

2. Will Yellowstone begin to acknowledge 1923's events?

Characters from "1883" actually make their first appearance on an episode of "Yellowstone." Since the former miniseries' conclusion, audiences have enjoyed fleeting references to it on the main show — recall the graves of James, Margaret, and Elsa briefly glimpsed on the ranch. While "1923" isn't heralded via flashback like "1883," it's illuminated a hidden part of the Dutton past that could influence "Yellowstone."

As "Yellowstone" enters the second half of Season 5, it might reference the exploits of John's ancestors Jacob, Cara, and Spencer. "Yellowstone" probably won't give anything away about how the cliffhangers of "1923" Season 1 get resolved, but there are plenty of ways it can make a callback. Family photos, more gravestones, or even a passing mention of an old war with the neighbors could do the trick. It's also possible that "Yellowstone" could explore its connection to "1923" via Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), who faces his own crisis. As he battles for the leadership of the Broken Rock Reservation in Season 5, he might reflect on Teonna's struggles for inspiration. However they play it, too much has been uncovered on "1923" for "Yellowstone" to simply ignore it.

1. Will the Dutton family tree ever make sense?

When "1883" was first announced, fans were excited to learn more about previous generations of Duttons. While that miniseries definitely expands the family tree, there are still many generations missing. Plenty of viewers hoped "1923" would fill in those blanks. Unfortunately, the new members of the Dutton clan raise more questions than answers.

Some users on Reddit believe that Jack Dutton may be John Dutton's father, who we meet briefly on "Yellowstone" as an elderly man. Others think there's a missing generation we haven't met yet. Of course, the Season 1 finale of "1923" throws a wrench into the works when Jack and Elizabeth suggest they might adopt their children. Is it possible that the Dutton line we know in "Yellowstone" descends from an adopted teenage son?

However the Dutton family tree eventually shakes out, we're starting to wonder if "1923" will ever give us the definitive answers we're looking for. It's possible we'll find out more in Season 2, but it's just as likely that the franchise will make us wait for other spin-offs set later down the line.