'1923' Finale Recap: A Branch Cut From the Dutton Family Tree

The future of the Yellowstone Ranch hangs in the balance in the final episode of 1923's first season.

Episode 8, "Nothing Left to Lose," saw the emergence of one couple and the brutal separation of another, while tragedy struck an expectant mother. Jacob Dutton and Donald Whitfield finally came face-to-face as the oil baron made his moves on their property. Teonna and her party headed to Wyoming for safety, but Father Renaud and the lawmen are in hot pursuit.

There's a lot to cover, so we'll split this recap into three separate storylines. Here's everything that happened:

Teonna Heads for the Comanche Tribe

The episode opens with the lawman who accidentally killed Teonna's grandmother investigating the crime scene at the boarding school. Father Renaud informs the sheriff, and the audience, that Teonna's friend Baapuxti also "passed." The last we saw of her, she was being beaten for standing up for herself, as Teonna did.

Sebastian Roché in 1923
Sebastian Roché plays Father Renaud in "1923." Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Aware that the other three priests, whom we know were killed, haven't returned, the sheriff asks Renaud to go along in the hunt for Teonna.

Luckily, the next person to find Teonna is her father, Runs His Horse. He's labeled the priests as child killers for the next person who finds them, using their own blood. Together, Teonna, Runs His Horse and Pete Plenty Clouds ride off to safety.

As they settle down for the night, Runs His Horse warns his daughter and Pete that they cannot fall in love now. Defiantly, Teonna grabs his hand and tells him she doesn't believe in waiting. Before they sleep, Teonna kisses Pete on the cheek as they cozy up by the fire. Teonna starts to weep as the emotions of the past few weeks start to come out of her.

Much later in the episode, we see that Renaud has discovered the bodies of the priests he sent to find Teonna. They deduce that Teonna and her accomplices are heading to the Comanche reservation in Wyoming and set out to get the train to overtake them.

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword

Back in the snowier parts of Montana, Jacob Dutton and his men are riding into town. They're aggrieved to find the hitch and rails have been replaced with parking spaces for cars outside of the court. They're there to see Banner Creighton get sent down, but inevitably Donald Whitfield's lawyer works his magic and gets him released without bail.

On his way out, Banner calls Jacob a coward for trying to settle their dispute in court. They seem to agree this will end in a field outside of the Yellowstone Ranch.

Helen Mirren, Harrison Ford 1923 finale
Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford will return as Cara and Jacob Dutton for Season 2 of "1923." Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Back in the luxurious house, Donald and Banner are plotting their next move. Banner wants the Duttons dead, but Donald tells him to aim for immortality in reputation instead. Donald intends to kill Jacob with a pen rather than a gun. The two prostitutes from the previous episode are still in the house, both sporting new injuries. Once again, Donald sits as the two women beat each other, informing them he gets off on the power dynamics.

Jacob heads into town to the bank with Jack and Zane. Zane heads off to see his family for the night, but the inside agent within the Livestock Agents spies Zane leaving Jacob unguarded.

We follow Zane to his house, but so does Whitfield's accomplice.

In the morning, Zane's wife is arrested for violating the Montana state law against miscegenation. In other words, "marrying a white man" and having "mongrel kids" together. Zane is beaten by the officers in front of their children as Alice is taken away.

When Jack returns to the ranch, he finds Elizabeth in the bath, complaining of pain in her belly. She looks down and sees the bathtub is filled with blood. The doctor is called and coldly informs the Duttons that while Elizabeth is stable, "she's flushed the baby."

Worried about her purpose in life, Jack tells her it's possible to have a purpose without giving birth, like his aunt Cara. Heartbroken by the change in their circumstances, Jack and Elizabeth work through it together.

Darren Mann, Michelle Randolph 1923
Darren Mann as Jack and Michelle Randolph as Elizabeth are in mourning for their baby in the finale of "1923." Christopher Saunders/Paramount+

Fans had speculated that the baby Elizabeth was carrying was to be John Dutton III's father. It opens up the possibility once again that Spencer and Alex may continue the lineage, or that Jack and Elizabeth may yet conceive at a later date.

Cara Dutton catches Jacob outside, where he comes clean that he's losing feeling in his body, a possible side effect of his injuries. Outside, Donald comes face-to-face with Jacob for the first time. Guns are drawn, but Cara calms everyone down.

During a villainous monologue, Donald informs the Duttons that tourism is coming to Montana and will have a profound effect on their family, a premonition that turns out to be true, considering the events of Season 5.

Knowing Jacob was behind on his payments, Donald informs him he paid them off. However, if Jacob doesn't pay him back by the end of the year, the deed is revoked and comes back to him.

Man Overboard

Spencer and Alex are preparing to leave Italy, hopping aboard the Majestic, which is set to stop off at London before going to America, a trip that will take three weeks. Alex sees her ex-fiancé, Arthur, boarding the same ship.

While they planned to hide out in their room, Alex's seasickness forces them up to the top deck. An old friend of Alex's tells her that Arthur is a destroyed man. In a tense faux-polite exchange, Alex informs Jennifer that she's happy. With a new sense of defiance, Alex decides she and Spencer will dine in the grand hall together.

"The audacity to bring him here," Arthur says, scowling, to his father as he sees Alex and Spencer enter. In an attempt to retain his dignity, Arthur dances with Jennifer. Trying to be intimidating, Arthur threatens Alex in a prim and proper way, but Spencer growls a harsh and serious warning.

Later, in a comical act of aggression, Arthur slaps Spencer with white gloves and attempts to challenge him to a duel. Spencer swiftly returns with a kick to the stomach. Spencer almost walks away but after Arthur calls Alex a "whore," Spencer returns to accept the duel on the top deck.

Arthur chooses swords as their weapon of choice, even though Spencer has never held one before. The fight is very one-sided. Arthur keeps coming and Spencer keeps brushing him off with increasing brute force. Eventually, Arthur tries to get the drop on Spencer and Alex from behind, but Spencer grabs him by the throat and throws him overboard. None of the other guests speak in Spencer's defense, which leads to Spencer being taken to the brig. Jennifer attempts to speak up, but she's ignored.

Brandon Sklenar, Julia Schlaepfer 1923 finale
Brandon Sklenar plays Spencer and Julia Schlaepfer is Alexandra in "1923." Emerson Miller/Paramount+

The next day, confined to her room and feeling awful, Alex sits alone. A shipmate arrives to get Spencer's belongings. In the captain's quarters, Jennifer is giving her testimony, backing up the claim that Spencer acted in self-defense. There, Spencer discovers for the first time that his wife is also known as the Countess of Sussex.

The ship's captain informs Spencer that he's leaving the ship without his wife. Jennifer rushes to break Alex out of the room so she can escape with Spencer, who's being removed in a dinghy. She misses her opportunity as the torn-apart lovers are forced to shout declarations of love to each other from their different vessels.

Spotting a letter from Cara, Alex screams that she will meet Spencer in Bozeman, Montana.

Back at the ranch, Cara has written a new letter to Spencer, asking him to hurry. "You must hurry, Spencer. Or there will be nothing left to fight for." But instead of sending it, Cara crumples it and throws it to the ground as she looks upon the land the Duttons may lose.

We'll have to wait until Season 2 to see if Spencer makes it to Montana and if Alex makes it to Spencer.