1923 ended with Donald Whitfield revealing that he paid the property tax on the Dutton ranch to set up the conflict for the second season.
The Dutton family may have moved to Montana to start a new life in 1923, but their troubles did not disappear after this.
The season ends with Jacob Dutton not being able to get a loan and Donald Whitfield using this as a means to get the land from the Duttons if they cannot pay him back.
The first season of 1923
So far, the new Yellowstone spin-off, 1923, has not been very kind to the Dutton family. This season opened with the family finally settling in Montana to establish their family ranch, but their road ahead remained treacherous.
Throughout the course of the first season of the series, the Duttons in Montana had to fight for the ownership of their land.
They also had to protect the ranch from draught, locusts, and other extreme weather conditions, while trying to protect the family. Spencer, on the other hand, has been having an equally difficult time in Africa.
Why did 1923 end like that?
1923 has proven to be one of Taylor Sheridan’s most gripping shows to date. In fact, by the time that the 1923 season one finale episode, titled “Nothing Left to Lose” aired, many of the important plot points were still up in the air.
The episode starts with Alex and Spencer Dutton still on their long trek from Africa back to Montana. When a duel between Alex’s ex-fiancé and Spencer ends badly, Spencer is rowed away to the nearest port and he and Alex are torn apart.
Subsequently, they are forced to complete the rest of their journeys to Montana separately.
Fans also got to see Teonna reunite with her father as they make their way to Comanche reservation, with the marshals and Father Renaud hot on their trails.
Unfortunately, Zane ends this season of 1923 on a low point when his wife is arrested, while Banner Creighton ends the season on a high, as he is released without bail.
Back at the Dutton ranch, however, things have not quite settled down. Jack and Elizabeth lose their baby in this episode and Jacob cannot afford to take out a loan to pay the taxes and feed his cattle through the winter.
In light of this, the episode ends with Donald Whitfield paying a visit to the Dutton ranch to tell Jacob and Cara that he has paid the first property tax on the ranch.
This means that if they cannot pay him back by the end of the year, the deed for the ranch will be transferred to him. This end was likely set up in this way so that the Duttons’ main conflict for the second season could be introduced.
How did this finale set up the conflict for season 2?
It is evident from the season one finale episode that the second season of the show will most likely revolve around how Cara and Jacob are going to get enough money to repay Whitfield.
Though avid Yellowstone fans know that they will not end up losing the land in the second season, it should be interesting to see how exactly they manage to buy it back from Whitfield.
Criticism of the way the finale was set up
Fans of the Yellowstone franchise are usually happy to watch just about anything that Taylor Sheridan puts out, but this 1923 season finale has garnered some criticism from fans.
For the most part, fans of the series felt like this episode did not really conclude any of the storylines suitably and that the characters pretty much ended the season where they started, with Spencer still not back in Montana and Jacob still struggling to accept change.
What to expect for season two of 1923
Fortunately, 1923 has been renewed for a second season, but the official release date of this season has not been announced yet. This means that viewers will likely have to wait a while before they can find out what will happen next.
However, since the first season of the show left so many loose ends that still need to be tied up, it is not impossible to guess how the second season will likely pan out.
The Montana Duttons will probably continue to fight for their ranch and will have to think of some creative ways to come up with the money that they now owe Whitfield.
However, the hope is that Spencer and Alex will finally arrive in Montana in the next season and will be able to modernise the ranch just enough to keep it afloat.