‘1923’ Returns With Massive Mystery Over Dutton Family Tree


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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“Yellowstone” prequel series “1923” returned Sunday after a mid-season break, and left viewers with more questions than answers over the Dutton Family tree.

As the credits closed on Taylor Sheridan’s second “Yellowstone” prequel on Sunday night, we watched as the tugboat piloted by Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) and his fiancée wife, Alex (Julia Schlaepfer), bobbled aimlessly, capsized in the open ocean, seemingly destroyed by a ghost vessel. With no sign of the Dutton duo alive, viewers were left wondering if the presumptive heir to the Yellowstone Ranch lost his life in his desperate, rushed attempt to return home.

Yellowstone” fans know the tradition of the wrong brother inheriting the ranch. John Dutton (Kevin Costner) lost his brother in a storyline yet to be explored. He lost his eldest son, Lee, who was supposed to run the ranch, turning the job over to Kayce.

Similarly, “1883,” set up Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) to be the natural heir to her father, James Dutton’s (Tim McGraw) land, only to see her die slowly over the course of the finale.

The one positive point in the “1923” mid-season return was the pregnancy announcement from Jack Dutton’s (Darren Mann) soon-to-be legal wife, Elizabeth Strafford (Michelle Randolph). With current ranch-owner Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford) refusing to let Jack reach his true cowboy potential to run the ranch, are we watching Sheridan’s twist unfold? My money is on the newborn baby being the grandfather of John Dutton, with Spencer and Alex lost to their adventure.

Aside from the Dutton family drama, Catholics will absolutely hate the inherently honest retelling of the treatment of Native American women by the viciously evil church members throughout far too many decades of the 20th century. Finally, Teonna Rainwater (Aminah Nieves) found an ally after fleeing the ungodly institution, though the satanic Father Renaud (Sebastian Roche) is hot on her tail. (RELATED: The Budget For ‘1923’ Will Make Your Brain Melt)

Next Sunday cannot come soon enough. I cannot wait to see how these storylines will play out. What an epic, scary, devastating and innately human saga Sheridan has cultivated.