1923 Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – what character was killed off? (shock twist!)

By Marc Miller
Published: January 1, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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Powerful and jaw-dropping, 1923 opens 2023 with a downright shocking episode that will change the Dutton clan forever.

We recap the Paramount+ series 1923 season 1 episode 3, “The War Has Come Home,” which contains spoilers.

“That’s a statement,” Alexandra quips. “It’s a demand,” replies Spencer.

Yes, things were heating up in 1923, and I can see Brandon Sklenar easily becoming television’s next sex symbol/heartthrob if Sheridan keeps feeding him lines like that. There is something delightful and consuming about their romance, Sklenar and Julia Schlaepfer’s Alexandra. A whirlwind romance that has an epic sweep and feel of cinematic, old-fashioned romances.

Unfortunately, that’s when an elephant charges them, rolls over their truck, and they have to fend off a deadly combination of lions and hyenas the rest of the night as they sit in a tall tree, hoping not to die a terrible death.

Hey, no one said love was easy.

Spencer didn’t know how tragic things back were about to become as well.

1923 Season 1 Episode 3 Recap


Spencer arrives at the site with Alexandra, and the following day, he receives his reports at Tanganyika. They have left a goat out for the hyena, but none have arrived. Nor has his guides, so Alexandra and Spencer visit a spit where you can see children’s foot imprints that have stayed because of the volcanic ground from centuries prior.

They arrive, and Alexandra hints that she wants to marry the man. He doesn’t hesitate to declare he wants to marry her. After an amusing round-robin of innuendo, Alexandra pointedly says how Spencer didn’t ask the question. “Marry me,” Spencer says. Alexandra laughs delightfully and says, “That’s a statement.” Spencer quips, “It’s a demand,” and you know he probably auditioned by saying that line a couple of hundred times to make the casting agents swoon.

That’s when they head back, and a giant elephant charges them and rolls their car, and Spencer kills the beast with one fantastic shot. His new fiance is shaken, but they manage to survive. Spencer says they have to climb that tree off in the distance, but what is the question? Because a giant elephant is about to become a buffet for all sorts of creatures. Later, as lions and hyenas come to the dead elephant and notice Alexandra screaming into the tree, they attempt to climb it. Spencer, effortlessly refilling his rifle, kills a half dozen of them defending his bride. Thankfully a search party comes and finds them.

Alexandra mentioned how their romance is looking death in the eye and wanted to know how alive that would make her feel. Now she comments how it just made her feel the horror and never wants to feel that way again.

However, Spencer, I was about to get a letter about the horrors happening back in Yellowstone.


Jacob and the boys return to the Dutton homestead, racing their horses to meet their blushing brides. Jack runs off first, completing the ravishing Elizabeth as she adorably stumbles and trips over herself to get him. See, even the boys of Yellowstone have their Bachelor/Bachelorette moment. Eat your heart out, Jesse Palmer. Jacob even gets in on the action and meets his wife, proving you are never too young to feel romantic.

The clan gets washed, gussied up, as they say, and heads to town to celebrate their homecoming. That includes Jacob and his lovely bride, Cara. Jack and Elizabeth. Also, John Dutton Sr (James Badge Dale, a reliable and underused talent so far) and Emma (Marley Shelton). In town, times are changing. Big city folk from back east are moving in and selling eclectic appliances out front. Excuse me, rent them, and as John puts it, if they buy them, the Duttons will start working for General Electric (not really, but you get my drift) and not themselves. There is one thing that Cara is worried about. She lets Jacob know later in the episode; she wonders if greed will kill them all.

They grab some rooms at the hotel and make a night of it. The younger Duttons find a speakeasy in the back of a local establishment, and the Duttons are generous with their patronage. There is dancing, smoking, and the drink flowing—all with modern names that are anything but “beer” or a “whiskey” neat. That’s when Jack gets lucky and sneaks away with his fiance, Elizabeth. He walks her to the room, and she promises it will be worth the wait, but as he walks away, she leaves the door just ajar enough for him to come hither.

The Duttons head back to their homestead. This includes Jacob, Cara, Jack, Elizabeth, John, Emma, and now Bob (Tim Dekay) at their side. They are ambushed by Banner Creighton and his evil gang of shepherds. Shockingly, Elizabeth has a bullet on the left side of her abdomen. Jack, trying to tend to his fiance, is shot in the shoulder. Bob is knocked off his horse by a bullet as they are under siege by a rain of gunfire coming from the trees. The buggy runs off with a wounded Elizabeth inside, and Jack goes after her. Jacob, Cara, John, and Emma have lost their cover and head for a downed tree. Jack jumps in the buggy, stops the horse, and carries Elizabeth behind a giant rock for shelter.

That’s when the shepherds make their move and charge out from the forest cover. While Jacob, Cara, and John defend themselves, picking off a dozen of their attacks, Zane (Brian Geraghty) hears shots in the distance. He swears at himself for not accompanying Jacob on his ride home. As he heads down the mountain with cowboys at his side, Banner pulls up in a car behind Jacob and his family. What does Banner have in his hands? A Thompson submachine gun, or “Tommy-gun”, for short. Before Banner sends off a couple of dozen bullets in the Dutton’s direction, Jacob tells Cara to run.

What character was killed off in 1923 Season 1 Episode 3?

In a 1923 SHOCKER, what character was killed off in Episode 3? John Dutton Sr lays dead with a bullet hole in his left eye. Jacob Dutton lays on the ground with a couple of bullets in his torso. He is bleeding out. That’s when Cara sees that shepherd in the opening scene of the series limp off into the woods as Zane and the boys take care of the Dutton attackers. We now know why Cara was so upset after she killed the man. Her husband has been shot and is dying.

Cara and the men bring Jacob and Elizabeth into the home. They lay Jacob on the kitchen table and Elizabeth on another. Jacob pulls Zane close after the younger man tells him he will go grab the sheriff. “No sheriff,” is Jake’s reply. Why? Because once word gets out, the liar and thieves will come for “this place,” and they cannot have that. Cara tells him she will not quit working on him because he is still breathing. What is Jacob’s reply?

“Spencer must come home now. You get him home now. Cara, get him home,” the old man says breathlessly.

Emma sits in the buggy with John and Bob lying dead. The doctor arrives. He sends the nurses to Elizabeth and tells Cara to get out of the room so he can tend to Jacob. Cara is now on the porch and writes to Spencer that his brother has been killed, his nephew is wounded, and by the time he receives her letter, she supposes his uncle may also be dead.

Spencer must return home because war has descended on the Duttons, and his legacy is in peril. Whatever war he is fighting within himself, he must forget and come home to fight this one.

What did you think of 1923 Season 1 Episode 3? Comment below.

Additional reading:

Paramount+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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