Paramount+’s ‘1923’ is a prequel to ‘Yellowstone‘ and tells the story of the Dutton family’s struggle to protect their ancestral land. However, when their enemy, Banner Creighton, delivers a massive blow to the family, the Duttons are forced on the back foot. In the fifth episode, titled ‘Ghost of Zebrina,’ Spencer Dutton paves his way back to his hometown but faces the mighty challenge presented by the sea.
While Spencer scrambles to return home, the Dutton family faces another tragedy while Jack and Elizabeth deliver some good news. If you are wondering whether Spencer succeeds in returning to the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘1923’ episode 5! SPOILERS AHEAD!
1923 Episode 5 Recap
The fifth episode, titled ‘Ghost of Zebrina,’ opens with Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren) taking a cart ride to the town post office. She patiently awaits a response from her nephew, Spencer Dutton, after her family faces a series of tragedies. However, Cara learns that there is no letter from Spencer yet. After returning home, Cara tends to Jacob Dutton’s wounds. Jacob (Harrison Ford) is slowly recovering after Banner Creighton shot him. Meanwhile, Jack Dutton takes on the responsibility of the Yellowstone Ranch.
The Duttons have a family dinner, but Emma Dutton still feels depressed after the death of her husband, John Dutton. Cara tries to console Emma, but the latter takes her life at night. The Dutton family holds a small funeral for Emma. In Africa, Spencer and Alexandra take a boat to Nairobi, Kenya, as they seek passage to the United States. He tries to book a cabin on RMS Franconia but learns of its hostile environment. Since taking Alexandra with him on the ship is unsafe, Spencer decides to search for an alternative mode of transport.
At the Christain Boarding School for Native Americans, Father Renaud discovers the dead bodies of Sister Mary and Sister Alice. Moreover, Teonna Rainwater is missing, and Father Renaud suspects she is responsible for the deaths. After interrogating and beating Teonna’s cousin, Father Renaud sends his men to retrieve Teonna. Meanwhile, Teonna makes her way across the plains but runs into trouble when a wolf attacks her at night. Teonna survives the night by climbing a tall rock. In the morning, she is rescued by Hank, a Native American man who knows Teonna’s father.
In Africa, Spencer is introduced to Lucca, the Captain of a tug boat. Lucca is old and sick. As a result, he is looking for someone to work for him as a deckhand. He is heading to the Suez Canal. Since Spencer can easily find a safe passage to London from the Suez Canal, Spencer agrees to work as a deckhand for Lucca. However, he is concerned about Alexnadra and tries to leave her behind. However, Alexandra convinces Spencer to take her along. Meanwhile, Jack is forced to sell his cows at the Yellowstone Ranch to minimize his expenses.
Meanwhile, the doctors start Jacob’s rehabilitation, and he walks for the first time since he was shot. Elizabeth and jack argue about their future together. However, Jack reassures Elizabeth that he wants them to spend their lives together. Jack and Elizabeth exchange their vows and proclaim themselves married. Cara and Jacob talk about the latter’s recovery. Later, Jacob stops Jack from taking on Banner Creighton. In the kitchen, Elizabeth tells Cara she is pregnant, and they start planning a small wedding.
Spencer and Alexandra take the help of a ship’s radio to send a letter to Montana, informing Cara about their impending arrival. After sending the message, Spencer and Alexandra set sail with Lucca. However, their boat almost runs into a ghost ship whose crew has died. Lucca diverts his boat and prevents the collision. Later, Lucca tells the couple about the legend of the ghost ship “Zabrina.” Meanwhile, Cara runs into Donald Whitfield, who requests a meeting with Jacob Dutton. However, Cara’s refusal convinces Donald that Jacob is dead and the Yellowstone Ranch is ripe for the taking.
1923 Episode 5 Ending: How Will Spencer Return to Montana?
In the episode’s final moments, Lucca takes the night’s second watch and heads to the deck allowing Spencer and Alexandra to rest. However, when Spencer wakes up in the middle of the night, he realizes that the ship’s engines are turned off. Spencer checks the deck and finds Lucca has died from his illness. Moreover, the boat is on a collision course with a ghost ship. Spencer is forced to take the helm and tries to guide the boat away from the incoming ship’s path. However, he is an inexperienced sailor and needs help.
Spencer uses the radio and succeeds in contacting SS Cambridge. He receives assistance from the ship’s crew member, but Spencer runs out of time to steer the boat away. The tug boat crashes into the ghost ship. As Spencer and Alexnadra hold on to their lives, Cara receives Spencer’s message in Montana. However, when we return to the sea, Spencer and Alexandra’s boat is toppled, and they are nowhere to be seen, implying they are dead.
However, it is unlikely that Spencer and Alexandra are dead. Although their vessel is completely destroyed, the ghost ship is also not in the frame during the finale scene. Hence, it is possible that Spencer and Alexandra abandoned the boat and boarded the ghost ship. As a result, they could have survived. Spencer and Alexandra could use the ghost ship as a temporary vessel until they are bailed out from the difficult situation. Moreover, the ship might also provide them are direct passage to the United States, helping Spencer to return to his family and take the reins of the Yellowstone Ranch.
Read More: 1923 Episode 4 Recap and Ending, Explained