They’re not going to kill off Spencer and Alex that easily, but 1923 Season 1 Episode 6 doesn’t let the two adventuring lovebugs off the hook just yet.
The good news is that things in Montana are picking up speed. The Duttons are no longer all alone in their fight for survival.
But by the end of “One Ocean Closer to Destiny,” the concern that Alex (now) Dutton makes it to the ranch is still quite valid.
NGL (as Elon Musk would say). I’m thrilled that Spencer and Alex were saved.
What’s worrisome is that Spencer could be carrying the same prophetic gene as his big sister Elsa.
Even knowing Spencer and Alex survived didn’t make their harrowing tugboat disaster any easier to watch.
We swim right now or we die!
All we knew for certain was that they made it out alive. Clinging to each other for support, they survived to be taken onboard a ship with a captain and crew right out of a romance novel.
Alex: Are we in danger? Broader danger than we were five minutes ago, I mean?
Spencer: I wouldn’t go swimming.
The couple met and fell in love fast and hard, promising to marry before they knew much of anything about each other. Every step of their journey together has been awash with peril, and it’s impossible to separate it from their love.
Would they have had the strength to endure without it?
After a bloody war, Spencer knows well the fragility of life. He sought to maintain the feeling as a way to survive, but even he can’t trust fate forever.
It ain’t our fate. You’re gonna need another reason to kiss me.
Flush with adrenaline and wanting to secure his future, wherever or whatever it might be, with the woman he loves, Spencer wasted no time setting things right.
A huge wedding was never in their future, but Spencer was right to consider that at the rate things were going, they were on a now-or-never path to the various steps of a relationship.
The captain was game for marrying the couple after a brief and weak admonishment about the illegalities of marrying for immigration purposes.
Anyone who looked at Spencer and Alex could see the love emanating from their very cores. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it. There has not been a love story as exciting and genuine as this one in a very long time.
Their story rivals that of Romeo and Juliet, the young lovers who allowed nothing, even death, to keep them apart. And like the Shakespearean couple, Spencer and Alex married in a quiet but beautiful ceremony only for each other.
Captain: Can’t make much of a ceremony here, but we can make something.
Spencer: Putting things off a day isn’t proving conducive to our current lifestyle. [Alex laughs]
Captain: No, I don’t suppose it is. Very well. I don’t suppose you have rings.
Spencer: No rings.
Captain: [opens a box] When sailors pass, and we have no address to send along to their widows, they accumulate here. See if you can find some that fit.
Alex: Rather morbid, getting wed with a dead sailor’s ring.
Captain: Yes, I would endeavor to replace at the first opportunity.
Spencer: I don’t know. Ocean almost took us. Now it gives us rings. I think I’ll keep mine.
I don’t think they could have asked for a better wedding night if they had been aboard the Royal Cruise Line with boundless amenities. They had everything they needed at their fingertips.
It was only when they were spent with love that Spencer revealed why he was so eager to claim Alex as his own.
Spencer views his love as a gift from heaven, but he’s not certain it’s meant for him.
He and Alex see their adventure quite differently. From Spencer’s viewpoint, all of the warning signs that have fallen before them — the elephant, the lions, the tugboat — have been warnings from God that it will not end well for them.
That’s another Shakespearean connection, as Shakespeare was a master of foretelling doom with ominous warnings. Spencer is right. How long can they push their luck before tragedy strikes?
Spencer: I’ll tell you one. I’ll tell you a dream. In my heart, I know it was wrong to take you. Everything that happened up to now was a sign, a warning. Elephant, the lions, the shipwreck. It was all the universe tellin’ me to put you back. I’m just too fuckin’ selfish to do it. My dream, my dream is that the universe was wrong, and you’re mine to keep.
Alex: The universe has absolutely no say whatsoever. I’m following you wherever you go, whether you like it or not. Here’s another dream. This one’s already come true.
Spencer: It’s far from coming true.
Alex: There is no putting me back. We are one now. When the sun hits your face, I’m your shadow. When it finds my back, you are mine. I go where you go, even if it’s the death of me.
Alex’s words rang out with piercing clarity. She will not survive this journey. It will be surprising if she makes it to Montana, but even if she does, a love that shines as bright as theirs can’t last. It burns out as fast as it ignited.
There isn’t enough air in the world to sustain a love as powerful as Spencer and Alex share, so something will torch it to the ground well before it’s due.
Nothing and no one can tear them asunder other than death, so death it will be. In their circumstance, till death do us part has a particularly cruel supposition. It’s as if the fates are saying you can only escape us for so long before getting our way.
I have no doubt that 1923 will drag it out as long as possible, putting them in danger’s path again and again. We’re going to be put through the wringer again and again, but if each near-calamitous circumstance rewards us with fiery and passionate scenes of love and survival, it will be an outstanding journey.
So, what lies ahead for them?
A home in Montana, of course. I doubt that the promised running water and electricity will arrive in the next eight weeks to make Alex’s arrival as comfortable as possible, but overall, things on the ranch are looking up.
Jacob’s stubborn nature aggravates Cara, but his determination has him steady on his feet already. At his age, trauma like he suffered would be difficult to overcome.
Well, it would be difficult for anyone not named Dutton. Our Duttons have fortitude. The world continually tries plucking them right off the face of the earth, but the strong survive.
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren delivered during this episode, as Cara and Jacob finally had words about what happened.
Part of Jacob’s determination was fueled by his belief that he suffered more than anyone else. Cara begged to differ. While he was asleep, she cared for him as if he were an infant, buried two family members, and said goodbye to friends.
You saved my life. I know it. I did not need to be told. It’s not vengeance. It’s preservation.
They’re perfectly matched in that they don’t always view things the same way, but they offer plenty for the other to chew on.
On Yellowstone in 2023, the Yellowstone is being surrounded by people scooping up land, hoping to squeeze them out. In 1923, nothing was any different.
We can surmise that the surrounding property has changed hands many times in the last century, but there is always someone behind the purchases hoping to free Montana from the Duttons.
Cara has been doing her best to secure the family and property. Hiring for the livestock agent positions is well underway, and when she meets Clyde (I like him already), we discover that things are bad all over. Not that we didn’t know that, but it’s nice to have a viewpoint of the harm this life offers from someone, not a Dutton or Banner.
Even better, and against Jacob’s wishes, Cara finally told the Sheriff about what happened.
His reaction, once he was face to face with Jacob, was less than favorable, but the result will be worthwhile.
As much as they want to hold their own before Spencer returns, they don’t have nearly enough men to protect themselves or others as Banner and Whitfield.
Of course, the other storyline that’s blowing in the wind is with Teonna, who suffers as much as anyone else without the moments of beauty in between.
My issue with her journey is that it’s written in a way that there is literally nothing I can say about it. It’s not nuanced. I can assume the same can be said for the Native American journey in general, but I’ve done enough reading to know that’s not exactly true throughout history.
While America didn’t make it easy for them, they’ve also got history and have made decisions that form their experience from past to present.
For now, the story only tells what was done to them, and it’s been brutal. I wish there was another side to the story, such as how Hank has lived, to counter what we’ve got with Teonna.
But what do you think?
I’ve told you what’s on my mind, so now I’d love to hear from you.
Hit the comments below and share your thoughts on all things 1923!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.