- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for episode four of "Yellowstone" prequel, "1923."
- The episode saw the Duttons plan their next move and Spencer learn of his family's peril via letter.
- There was a big clue that suggested that it is through Spencer that John Dutton III is descended.
While Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) and Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer) spend the majority of the episode enjoying a sort of pre-wedding honeymoon on the shores of Zanzibar, things take a turn when Alex finds a hefty stack of unopened letters from Cara (Helen Mirren).
"I credit not reading 'em for keeping me alive," Spencer tells her when she quizzes him about them. "Then the war's over and I got to years' worth of 'em. Then I just felt guilty. Now I don't know what I feel."
As the United States entered World War I in 1917, and it is now 1923, that means Spencer has six years' worth of unread letters in his possession.
Audiences probably don't realize until this moment just how long it had been since he had last had contact with his family, as the details — and length — of his estrangement have been murky up until now.
Following the ambush on the way back from Bozeman, Jack (Darren Mann) hasn't had much time to mourn his father, John (James Badge Dale), as he's been preoccupied with making sure that his fiancée Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph) doesn't die too.
After he finally does leave her bedside, he looks in on his great-uncle Jacob (Harrison Ford) to see how he is holding up, as he also sustained pretty serious injuries.
As the camera lingers on Jack's face watching Jacob from the doorway, we see his expression isn't one of sympathy or even awe at Jacob's resilience (he did survive multiple gunshot wounds). Instead, it's a mixture of resentment and regret.
Does Jack blame Jacob for bringing war to their doorstep? Had Jacob just hung Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) and the others that attacked them in episode two, they would've saved themselves a lot of pain, and John — as well as Elizabeth's father — would still be breathing.
However, as Jacob explained at the time to a skeptical Jack, he wanted to give Creighton a chance to live so that he could spread the word about how formidable the Duttons are. Now that very plan has backfired with devastating consequences, has Jack become disillusioned with Jacob's way of running the ranch?
For now, it seems that he wants to keep fighting for it, as he was more than keen to go steal back the cattle that Creighton took. But in the future could Jack and Elizabeth decide to defect from the ranch in favor of a quiet life?
There were more clues about the lineage of the modern-day Duttons in this episode.
When Spencer and Alex sit down to go through all of Spencer's unread letters from his family back in Montana, they decide to do so with some liquid courage.
The intricately designed whiskey tumblers and matching crystal decanter they are seen using appear to be the very same items viewers of "Yellowstone" have recently seen make an appearance.
In episode seven of the latest season, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) came close to smashing the decanter in a fit of rage when he walked back into the house after discovering that his herd had been infected with the deadly disease brucellosis.
"That is a hundred years old and belonged to your grandfather," Beth (Kelly Reilly) says, spying him from the couch. "Break something else."
While this comment from Beth didn't appear important at the time, it now appears to confirm something that viewers of "1923" have been speculating for a while now: it is from Spencer's line that John Dutton III is descended.
Unless Spencer later gifts the crystal decanter and glasses to his nephew Jack (Darren Mann), it looks like Alex is going to give birth to a son who is named John II, perhaps in honor of John I, who was killed in the bloody fight in last week's episode.
In one of Cara's letters, it is revealed that John and Emma had another child sometime during Spencer's absence, but that the child sadly died young.
"Alas, the baby did not survive. Emma was shattered, but John stayed by her side all day until she dared to face the sun again," Alex reads from the letter, which added that Emma was too old to try for another child after this.
"God wished her only one, but what a special one he is," the missive continued, referencing John and Emma's son, Jack.
Although the name of the infant is not named, it's possible that viewers have spied the name on the Dutton family gravestone in "Yellowstone."
Over the years, viewers have seen several gravestones marking names that have not yet been explained such as Michael Dutton, Patience Dutton, Chance Dutton, and Ned Dutton. It's possible we'll learn later in the show more about this tragedy and how it affected the family.
While Teonna — along with the other Native American characters in the "Yellowstone" universe — comes from the fictional Broken Rock tribe, just like in many real Indigenous tribes, hair is considered sacred and is tied to her cultural identity.
So, in the moment that the nuns who run the government-funded boarding school tie Teonna down to begin saving her from her "savage spirit," it is not surprising that they begin by shedding her of individuality, starting by cutting off her long, dark, plaited hair.
It's hard not to think of the moment in the latest season of "Yellowstone" when Monica (Kelsey Asbille) took a kitchen knife and cut off her own hair as a way to grieve the passing of her unborn son.
The cutting of hair — voluntarily or involuntarily — is shown to be a devastating act as Teonna cries out in anguish, just as Monica did.
However, for Teonna, as this has been done against her will, it's also her breaking point. Later that night, she decides to break out of the school once and for all, and with her hair gone decides to arm herself with another form of creative self-expression that connects her to her community: war paint.
With this drawn across her face, she gives herself the strength to exact revenge on Sister Mary (Jennifer Ehle) before taking off into the night.