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“Is Jacob Dutton dead?” was the question running through the minds of many 1923 fans when the wrath of the vengeful Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) and his gang fell upon the Duttons in episode 3 of the show’s first season.
Creighton’s brutal ambush didn’t just badly injure Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford)—it cost John Dutton Sr. (James Badge Dale) his life and hurt Jack (Darren Mann) and his sweet lover Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph).
By the episode’s end, fans were left wondering if that Jacob and any other Duttons besides John Dutton Sr would die.
So, did Taylor Sheridan, 1923’s creator, really remove Ford’s character from the equation after only three episodes? Let’s find out!
Does Jacob Dutton Die in 1923?
Jacob Dutton has not yet died in 1923 and survived being shot when he and his family were ambushed in episode 3.
While Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren) and Emma (Marley Shelton) walked away mostly unscathed, their husbands were out of luck.
Shortly after, Cara, and some of the ranchers, rushed Jacob and Elizabeth home to their kitchen to remove the bullets and stop the bleeding as they awaited professional medical help.
Even as he was heavily bleeding, Jacob still put his family first. He didn’t want the sheriff involved to prevent the world from knowing his people were in peril. (Cara respects his wishes in the series’ latest episode.)
One of the key takeaways from that sorrowful scene is that Jacob and Cara’s love is real and boundless, which is expected since they’ve been together for about four decades.
As Cara tends to his wounds, Jacob tells her, “It’s no use”. But she doesn’t stop, perhaps because she can’t imagine a life without him.
In episode four, we see her at his side, asking for advice on what to do. And fortunately, Jacob is conscious to give her some.
Will Jacob Dutton Die Later in 1923?
It’s still too early to predict whether Jacob will die later in the series. As of the end of the show’s episode four, he’s not entirely out of the woods, but he’s a lot better than he was in the previous episode.
Still, Yellowstone ranch is about to face multiple crises—Creighton is planning to steal the land, the drought is ravaging the farms, and the family cattle have already been stolen.
Even if the leader of the Duttons recovers, will he be physically, emotionally and financially strong enough to see his family through the upcoming nightmare? Only time will tell!
Why Banner Creighton Attacked the Duttons
The second episode of 1923 saw Jacob hang Creighton and several other shepherds as punishment for stealing his grazing land and shooting at Jack.
Unfortunately for the Duttons, Creighton survives to exact his revenge in the following episode.
Yes, we always knew Creighton would be among the Dutton family’s enemies right from the premiere episode.
Nonetheless, we had no idea how vicious the Scottish sheepman can get until in the third episode of the series when he pulled out his Tommy gun and opened fire on the Duttons.
The Ramifications of Creighton’s Attack
We’re yet to discover the real consequences of Creighton’s ambush and how they’ll impact Yellowstone ranch and the remaining shepherds. Still, one thing is certain—there will be more bloodshed.
In episode four, Creighton confirms that he’s not done with the Duttons yet. When a member of his gang advises him to leave the state, he declines.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Creighton responds.
This is when he starts devising a plan to borrow an army and grab Yellowstone ranch.
“In six months, I run it,” Creighton tells Donald Whitfield (Timothy Dalton), the man whose help he needs to fight the Duttons.
Unfortunately, for the Scot, he might never realise that dream because the Duttons know he’s coming. And they’re not just sitting back and waiting for him to attack again.
What Are the Duttons Planning?
In episode four, back at Yellowstone ranch, we see an angry Jack out for blood, especially after he learns their cattle have also been stolen.
“They attack us on the field, now they steal our cattle? Either we take this fight to them or it’s coming to us.” Jack screams at Cara.
Seemingly, the matriarch of the Dutton family needs time as she tells her nephew she must ponder the entire situation before they make a move. This could also explain why at the livestock conference, she declares the next meeting will be in a month instead of two weeks, giving Jacob time to get back on his feet and attend it.
Besides, the Duttons are waiting for Spencer, whose help will be handy in running and defending Yellowstone ranch.
Nevertheless, we’ll probably know what the Duttons have in store for Creighton in episode 5, which airs on Sunday.
Is Spencer Dutton Finally Coming Home?
As the latest episode of 1923 comes to a close, Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) enjoys quality time with his fiancée, Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer). She stumbles upon a batch of Cara’s letters to him, and they eventually start reading them.
At dawn, Alexandra finally reads Cara’s last letter to Spencer and wakes him up so he can read it, too, knowing the devastating news it bears. However, Spencer insists that she read it, upon which he finds out about the tragedy that hit his family.
By the end of the episode, Spencer doesn’t say he’s going home. But judging from how he sniffles as Alexandra reads each of Cara’s sentences and the great sadness that engulfs him, we’re pretty sure he’s planning a trip to Yellowstone ranch.
Besides, in 1923’s premiere, Elsa Dutton, the narrator, says, “My father had three children. Only one would live to see their own children grown.
Only one would carry the fate of this family through the depression and every other hell the 20th century hurled at them.”
Undoubtedly, Spencer is the one that carries on James’ legacy since he’s his sole surviving child at this point.
What Spencer’s Homecoming Means
Various things at Yellowstone ranch will undoubtedly change as soon as Spencer lands.
For starters, the Duttons will finally have an older, more confident and experienced family member in their corner, which translates into hope. And it’ll instil fear in their enemies, including the vicious Creighton.
In episode 4 of the series’ first season, when Creighton, the leader of the shepherds, approaches Whitfield for help to seize Yellowstone ranch, he misguidedly says that Jacob is dead. And since his nephew, John Sr., is also gone, the Duttons are now more vulnerable than ever, which works out in his favour.
So, when Whitfield asks Creighton who’s running the ranch, he says, “The women run it. Which is to say nobody runs it.”
This means he’s banking on Cara’s loss and the absence of a male Dutton operating the ranch to win. But what happens when Spencer, Jacob’s second nephew, comes home?
Well, we already have a clue.
Later, Creighton boldly confronts Cara to gloat and remind her that she lacks an army to fight him back.
Cara, unafraid, reveals she can’t wait for him to meet his nephew. However, the Scot knows Jack is too young, so he laughs it off until the matriarch of the Dutton family says, “Not that one.”