Is Emma Dutton Dead? Did Marley Shelton Leave 1923?

Image Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+

The third episode of Paramount+’s Western series ‘1923’ depicts a tragedy that befalls the Dutton family. Banner Creighton exacts his vengeance on Jacob Dutton by nearly killing him and taking the life of his nephew John Dutton Sr. John’s death affects his wife Emma Dutton the most. The cheerful and composed woman stoops to immense distress, alarming Cara Dutton in the fifth episode of the series. In the same episode, Emma takes the reins of fate on her hand upon making a significant decision concerning her life. The narrative development must have alarmed the viewers concerning Emma’s life and Marley Shelton’s commitment to the show. Well, here’s what we can share about the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Emma Dutton Dead?

Yes, Emma Dutton is dead. The death of John Dutton Sr. affects Emma severely. The once-composed woman’s actions start to alarm Cara and others, who try to emotionally support her. In the fourth episode of the series, she drives a carriage with her husband’s dead body and buries the same with the help of a group of men. After the burial, Emma stays away from everyone at the Dutton house, even from her son Jack Dutton. She believes that Jack is grown enough to take care of himself and he has Elizabeth “Liz” Strafford to look after him even if he doesn’t look after himself.

Image Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+

As far as Emma is concerned, Jack doesn’t need her, which leads her to a corner of the Dutton house. Although Cara tries to revive her, she makes it clear that she doesn’t need the former’s advice. On the same night, Emma kills herself. She must have felt that there isn’t anyone for her to live for since her husband John is dead and her son has grown enough to need his mother’s support. She may have even hated Jacob for trying to kill Creighton, which ultimately paves the way for her husband’s death. If that’s the case, Emma must have killed herself since she wouldn’t wish to live without her beloved in the care of a man she hates.

Emma’s death must have startled the viewers, especially making one worry whether the character’s death had opened a gateway for Marley Shelton to leave the Western drama. Since James Badge Dale, who plays John, had parted ways with the series, the last thing the viewers would need is the exit of another significant cast member. Did that already happen? Let’s see.

Did Marley Shelton Leave 1923?

Although neither Paramount+ nor Marley Shelton has announced the departure of the actress from ‘1923,’ Emma’s death indicates that Shelton most probably exited the Western drama. Emma’s death seemingly concludes the story arc of Shelton’s character. Even though the actress may not feature in the series again, the aftermath of Emma’s death can be a significant part of the narrative of the show’s upcoming episodes. Her death may turn out to be a blow for Spencer Dutton, who is trying to return to the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch upon knowing about the death of his brother John Dutton Sr.

Image Credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+

Spencer, believing that he most likely will survive the boat crash at the end of the fifth episode, is expected to set out to kill Creighton for killing his brother John and causing the actions that make his sister-in-law Emma kill herself. Jack may join the World War I veteran to avenge the deaths of his parents as well. Although Shelton might have already exited the Western drama, we may see her return in a guest capacity. Since the shows set in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe use flashbacks abundantly. Shelton’s Emma may feature in the same. Since Jack is expected to wed Elizabeth soon, he may remember his father and mother on the occasion as well.

Since the first season of the series is progressing to a likely showdown between Jacob Dutton and Donald Whitfield, with Spencer and Jack taking care of Creighton, there is limited scope for Emma in the upcoming episodes of the show. Considering these possibilities, we believe that Shelton’s character was killed off for the sake of the narrative of the series, seemingly paving the way for Shelton’s exit from the series.

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