1923 season 1 episode 1 recap & review: 1923

The first episode of ‘1923’ introduces the Dutton family and the problems that lay ahead of them in the year 1923. The episode is now streaming on Paramount+.


An old woman, Cara Dutton, chases a man with a gun. The man begs her not to kill him. He asks her to hand him over to the sheriff instead, but she still shoots him dead.

The narrator tells the story of her family, which has always been followed by violence, and when violence does not follow them, they follow it.

She tells the audience that her father had three children, but only one would live to see their own children grow old. When her father died, her mother wrote to his brother to come and save her family.

By the time he arrived with his family, her mother was already dead, and her brothers were starving. Her uncle raised the two boys as his own children and created an empire from her father’s dreams.

In the present day, women are seen demanding Prohibition for Montana outside a soda shop. 

In the town hall, sheepherders complain about not having any land for their sheep to graze while Jacob Dutton has the whole mountain range to himself. Jacob defends himself by saying he has what his family fought for and gained.

A sheepherder, Banner, corners him outside. When Jacob dismisses him, saying that everyone is suffering because locusts ate all the grass, Banner tries to attack him. Banner is warned not to touch Jacob again, as he is an agent of the state.

The Livestock Association discusses the problem of having no grass for the herds. The end of the war has only made things worse. Jacob has some land, but since it is on higher ground, he will have to take a group of cowboys to sit with the herds till the fall.

Jack, Jacob’s great-nephew, offers to postpone his wedding by a week to take the herds. Although his fiance, Elizabeth, is initially angry with him, she understands when Cara explains the life of a rancher to her. For a rancher, the cattle will always come first.

In a missionary school, a Native American girl gets beaten by a nun, Sister Mary, when she fails to answer her questions correctly. The girl retaliates and hits the nun, which lands them both in the office of the headmaster.

He hits Sister Mary first, the way she hit the girl, and then brutally whips the girl until she bleeds. After the corporeal punishment, the nun and the girl come to an understanding to stay clear of his office again.

The girl talks to her friend during bedtime in their language. She insists that they must escape as soon as possible because those who leave this place later do not survive.

The men take the herds to the higher ground, while the women anxiously wait for them at home.

In the cover of the night, Banner and other sheepherders take their sheep to Jacob’s land after cutting the fence. Jack finds the sheep on their ground, and a sheepherder takes a shot at him.

Cara writes a letter to Spencer, Jacob’s other nephew. He fought in the war and now hunts animals in Africa. She writes to him about the locusts and the drought. She understands that war changes men, but wonders why he would not come home.

Spencer is still haunted by the nightmares of the war. He goes to Nairobi to hunt a leopard that is causing trouble at a camp sight for the guests and chats about the animal with two of the guests.

At night, when he is waiting for the leopard to attack, he finds one feeding on a guest and shoots it. However, his companions yell out that there is one more leopard just when it attacks Spencer from behind.


  • The series starts off strong. It is able to generate interest in the plot from the very first episode.
  • The hunting of the animals and the ranch scenes appear very realistic. This episode will take you to the America and Africa of 1923.
  • The episode paid special attention to the tiny details. For instance, the viewers can spot racial segregation in Nairobi in this episode, even though it is not related to the plot.
1923 episode 1
1923 season 1 episode 1 recap & review: 1923 1

Director: Ben Richardson

Date Created: 2022-12-24 16:43

Editor's Rating:

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