Does Spencer Make It to Yellowstone in Time? How Does He Save the Ranch?

Spencer Dutton Jacob Dutton and Donald Whitfield 1923 Finale 1

1923 became the most successful Yellowstone prequel, with Spencer Dutton’s (Brandon Sklenar) storyline resonating with a global fan base. Failing to read two years of Cara’s (Hellen Mirren) letters left Spencer behind on the news of the tragedy unfolding back home. Since the journey home proved more difficult than expected, many are wondering whether he will return to Montana in time to save Yellowstone in the second season of 1923.

Alexandra promised to meet Spencer in Bozeman, Montana, because she knew he would have to rush home and save the ranch and family rather than fight the English nobles. Despite being ejected from the RMS Majestic, Spencer is determined to return to America as quickly as possible. Whether he arrives before Donald Whitfield takes Yellowstone remains to be seen, but the fact remains the Duttons get to keep the land in the end.

Cara and Jacob seemed out of options when Donald Whitfield came with the receipt, having paid their land taxes, threatening to take the land by the year’s end. Cara wrote a letter to herself stating that Spencer was their last hope, just as Spencer was thinking about the same thing on the other side of the Atlantic. Therefore, the main test of the second season is whether Spencer beats Whitfield’s deadline, so what options does he have?

How long will it take for Spencer to reach Yellowstone?

Spencer in a Dinghy in 1923

It took about a week for liners to cross the Atlantic in the 1920s, but getting onto a ship might be a problem for Spencer because of his troubles with the Earl of Sussex. Most importantly, Spencer has to find his way to London first.

The ship he and Alexandra boarded was supposed to port in London in three weeks, but the Earl ordered him removed a few days into that trip. The port where the dinghy will drop Spencer wasn’t disclosed in the season finale, but it is definitely not the best place to catch a ship headed across the Atlantic.


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Depending on how lucky Spencer is at getting another London-bound ship, it might take another three weeks or so for him to get to London. Having been ordered off one royal ship, Spencer’s hopes of boarding another royal liner might be dashed now, leaving him at the mercy of well-wishing captains as was the case in Africa.

Therefore, it is impossible to attach an actual timeline to Spencer’s trip from Europe to the US because there are many bumps on his road now. He is still determined to get home, and once he boards a vessel headed across the Atlantic, he will be just two to three weeks away from reaching Yellowstone.

How long do the Duttons have before Whitfield claims Yellowstone?

Jacob Dutton and Donald Whitfield confrontation in 1923 season 1 episode 8 finale.jpg 1

Jacob Dutton has about a month or two before the year’s end, judging by the level of snow in the season finale, which falls around October and November in Montana. The taxes were overdue because Jacob Dutton was unable to secure a loan from the bank.

The bank manager gave Jacob the option of taking a mortgage on the land and getting the luxury of having more time to pay. Jacob was reluctant, though, because he didn’t relish the idea of his land being at the mercy of the bank.

Jacob Dutton won’t be able to sell his herds until the fall, but that would be too late because Donald Whitfield will have taken the land by then. It is, therefore, vital for him to find another source of funds to pay off the Whitfields and eliminate the threat to his land title.

Donald Whitfield only paid one-half of the biannual tax, which means the Duttons also have to pay the second half of the tax at the end of the year to avoid being placed in a similar position by Whitfield again.

Winter came at the worst time for the Duttons, and it is only bound to worsen because there is no obvious way for the ranch to make money when it is snowing. Jacob will have to take drastic measures and probably dispose of some of his animals at a throw-away price to get emergency funding.

Even if Spencer arrives before Donald Whitfield takes over the land, he might not be able to do anything about it because Spencer doesn’t have the kind of money the Duttons need to pay the taxes. Jacob and Cara, therefore, have to figure out a way to make money before the year ends.


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What is Jacob Dutton’s plan against Donald Whitfield?

Henry Ford as Jacob Dutton in 1923 1

Getting a law passed against the expansion of mining licenses in Montana is Jacob’s best hope of preventing Donald Whitfield from taking Yellowstone. Jacob doesn’t have influence with the state governor’s office as the Whitfields do, though, shifting the odds in Donald Whitfield’s favor.

Jacob told Jack in The Rule Of Five Hundred that they would have to create laws that protect them as the Whitfields did with the mining authorities in Washington. Jacob Dutton’s position in the livestock commission allows him to use the law in his favor.

The arrest of Zane’s wife for breaking miscegenation laws and the release of Banner Creighton proved that Donald Whitfield is fighting the Duttons on all fronts. It will be almost impossible for Jacob to win the war by only relying on the local livestock commission.

Judging from their reaction in the court scene, it is clear that Jcob has the support of the local authorities, including the district attorney. Their help will come in handy when the Whitfields get more Dutton men arrested.

Cara and McDowell also recruited more officers for the Livestock Commission, vetting each man to ensure their loyalty. The officers will help protect the Duttons from future brute force attacks by Banner and Donald Whitfield.

The ultimate safety plan will be for Jacob to kill Banner and Donald without landing into legal problems. Banner and Donald might therefore be the first people that the Duttons take to The Train Station in the second season of 1923.

How does Spencer save Yellowstone?

1923 season 1 finale episode 8 spencer alexandra separated 1

Spencer’s first job will be to raise money to pay off Donald Whitfield. If raising the money proves impossible, Spencer could simply use his skills as a hunter and army man to kill or scare Banner and Whitfield into keeping their hands off the ranch.

In her last letter to Spencer, Cara told Spencer that the war back home was more important than the one within himself. With Jacob unable to fight and John Dutton Sr dead, Spencer is the best fighter left to defeat Banner and the rest of Whitfield’s henchmen.


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Spencer will have to lead Jacob’s recruits at the Livestock commission just like John Dutton did with Kayce in Yellowstone. Although the show hasn’t released details about the plot direction for the second season, Cara’s words already point to Spencer leading the fight against the villains.

Legal options for dealing with Donald Whitfield and Banner are limited because he has lots of money. Spencer might be forced to exploit his moral weaknesses to infiltrate his organization and find a way to defeat him.

Whatever Spencer chooses to do, he will need Jacob and Cara’s help because they have more influence with local law enforcement. Jacob also understands the law better than Spencer, which he will need if he is to avoid ending up on the gallows for killing Banner and Whitfield.

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