'1923' Reveals the Dutton Who Dies: How the Tragic Loss Changes the Game

The 'Yellowstone' prequel suffered a devastating loss for the Dutton family in Sunday's new episode.

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the newest episode of Paramount+'s 1923.

The Duttons are in mourning. The latest episode of 1923, which dropped Sunday on Paramount+, revealed the member of the Dutton family who dies in devastating and stunning fashion, the tragic loss -- hinted at in the Yellowstone prequel's series premiere -- officially changing the game as the clan fights a brewing war at home.

So which Dutton died? Unfortunately for John Dutton Sr. (James Badge Dale), he met his maker following a surprise attack by Scottish sheepman Banner Creigton (Jerome Flynn) and his gang.

Brother to the late Elsa (1883's Isabel May) and Spencer (Brendan Sklenar), father to young Jack Dutton (Darren Mann) and husband to his now-widow Emma (Marley Shelton), John Sr. died immediately after being shot multiple times by Banner, who fired at him and Jacob (Harrison Ford), who was also gravely wounded, from point-blank range as they, along with Cara (Helen Mirren), struggled to fend off Banner's men. Other members of the Dutton clan who were seriously injured included Jack and his fiancée, Elizabeth Strafford (Michelle Randolph), both suffering gunshot wounds.

The violent gunfight between Banner and the Duttons, which took place out in an open field as they were traveling with their significant others, was a dramatic culmination of the growing tensions between the two opposing sides.

Up until that point, Banner had continually violated other owners' land, including the Duttons' ranch, trespassing onto their property so his sheep could feed on fresh grass. In the previous episode, after venturing onto Jacob's land, the Dutton patriarch exacted revenge when he hung Banner and his men from a tree. Banner barely survived the ordeal, while the rest of his crew did not.

The deadly showdown in Sunday's episode was Banner's response to Jacob's revenge act, and it's only after the chaos subsided that it was revealed how serious Jacob's injuries were and that John Sr. did not survive. The emotional reveal of John Sr.'s death took place after Cara tearfully ran to a bloodied Jacob to check on his injuries, only to see John Sr.'s lifeless body just a few inches away. 

Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Even more heartbreaking was Emma's frantic cries for her husband amid gunfire as she ran to where he had fallen, Cara unsuccessfully trying to shield her away from seeing the true state of his body. Stunned at the horrific sight, Emma turned around and could only silently walk away.

With time against them, Cara rushed to save Jacob -- whose wounds were severe enough for her to question if he'd make it. Now faced with the very real possibility that he may not survive, Cara still promised her husband she was going to do everything in her power to see him through this. "I'll not quit!" she declared, as the doctor and nurses soon took over.

"Spencer must come home now," a weakened Jacob desperately told Cara as his gunshot wounds were tended to. She nodded, understanding the grave situation they were now in with John Sr. gone and Jacob's mortality in question.

As her husband was looked after, Cara pleaded with Spencer, who had been adventuring in Africa during this time and newly engaged to Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer), to return home to Montana as she sat outside on the patio to write him a new letter. In it, she expressed sorrow over John Sr.'s sudden death and implored Spencer to come back to the ranch to help defend their land and family.

"Your brother has been killed. By the time you receive this letter, I suppose your uncle has been killed as well," Cara forewarned. "Your nephew has been wounded."

"This ranch and your legacy are in peril. War has descended upon this place and your family. Whatever war you fight within yourself must wait. You must come home and fight this one," she begged.

Emerson Miller/Paramount+

This is a major turning point for 1923, as John Sr.'s death and the uncertainty surrounding Jacob's well-being in the immediate future likely brings Spencer back into the fold at Yellowstone. Many questions also loom regarding the impending union between Jake and Elizabeth, and what this means for Emma now that she's suffered an unbearable loss. When Spencer returns home for the first time in years, what does that family reunion look like? And how will he react to news of his brother's untimely death?

Though Badge Dale's time on 1923 turned out to be a short one, he told ET at the Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 2 that the Dutton story is filled with tragedy and risk.

"This story is so beautiful. This family, they're kind of like pirates. I think it's a lawless time. People trying to figure out who they are and what they represent, and [this] story lives in that gray area," the actor said.  "It's about men taking what other men have had and I think it's brave, risky material."


Latest News