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S01E06: One Ocean Closer to Destiny
Paramount+  ·  60 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: February 12, 2023

Directed by: Guy Ferland | Written by: Taylor Sheridan | Cinematography: Robert McLachlan | Editing: Christopher Gay | Costume Design: Janie Bryant | Production Design: Cary White | Music: Brian Tyler, Breton Vivian

Official synopsis: Spencer and Alex barely survive the capsizing and are later rescued by the S.S. Lambridge, which will take them to Marseille. The two have the captain marry them in international waters. Back in Montana, Cara and the sheriff begin the process of hiring livestock agents for a new agency. Jacob realizes the mining magnate’s true intentions to squeeze the Duttons out. The Marshals search for Teonna, while Hank gives Teonna male clothes and the name Joe.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Matt Cabral for Entertainment Weekly, February 12, 2023

Before returning to those rough waters half a world away, we head back to Montana, where Teonna’s (Aminah Nieves) still dealing with her own series of tragic events. Having escaped the boarding school and teamed with Hank the sheepherder (Michael Greyeyes,) she’s plotting her next move. Hank suggests she change her identity and hide her gender to avoid capture. Upon donning some clothing belonging to Hank’s son, she takes the name “Joe” and burns all her possessions from the school. Save for the bibles, which they instead bury for fear of angering the white man’s god. But it seems the burdened girl’s troubles are just beginning. Back at the reservation, her grandmother is visited by two lawmen wielding a warrant for Teonna’s arrest. They barge into the house, bully the old woman and, after a brief scuffle, push her to the ground. She suffers a blow to the head and promptly dies, leaving the pair to come up with a story to protect their hides and flee the scene.

With that stakes-raising, pre-credits scene out of the way, we’re finally taken back to that doomed tugboat. While there’s no hope for the sinking vessel, it seems it’ll take more than a collision with a ghost ship to keep Spencer down. The perpetually unlucky hunter breathlessly emerges from the deep blue sea and immediately begins searching for his love. He soon discovers Alex has survived as well, but is still trapped inside the boat. He dives back in, helps bring her to the surface, and the two take up a relatively “safe” spot atop the overturned craft. But while he’s back below scavenging for supplies, Alex attempts to secure a life preserver floating out of her reach. This leads to the pair nearly getting pulled away by the current and being lost to the sea forever. They manage to make it back atop the boat, where things aren’t much better. It seems the blazing sun and risk of dehydration pose a threat as dangerous as drowning. Their only hope is the Mayday call Spencer barely got out before the accident. Unaware of his nephew’s soggy situation, Jacob (Harrison Ford) is eagerly anticipating Spencer’s return. He’s still on the mend, getting around the ranch with the aid of a cane, but he’s also plotting his revenge on Banner (Jerome Flynn) and putting together a posse. Cara’s (Helen Mirren) preparing for that same fight, but doing so through the proper, legal channels. She and the sheriff (Robert Patrick) are in town interviewing livestock agent candidates. But pickings are slim and the process is tedious, with one prospect earning a whack from Jack (Darren Man) for disrespecting Cara and her position of authority. They need at least 20 agents, but hire only three, including a promising ex-lawman from Chicago.

Fearing her husband’s more vengeance-fueled justice will land him in jail or, worse, get him killed, Cara also enlists the sheriff to put the kibosh on Jacob’s vigilante plans. Unsurprisingly, the old-school Dutton patriarch doesn’t like being told to stand down. He takes his anger out on Cara, who promptly puts him in his place, reminding him she nursed him back to life, spoon-feeding him and wiping his butt like a baby. Jacob takes the day to ponder her response, later joining her on the porch – with a much cooler head – to deliver his counter-argument. Having earlier spied roads being built in the distance, but not far from his ranch, he reasons Banner’s only the tip of the spear. Men like him represent much bigger threats, soulless, progress-embracing forces that wish to replace their coveted land with concrete. Sounding a whole lot like his ranch-protecting descendant, Yellowstone’s John Dutton (Kevin Costner,) he says, “I do it for the land.” Jacob’s appreciative of Cara saving his life and sorry for getting angry with her, but he’s going to see Banner – and anyone else who threatens their way of life – suffer.

Back on the water, Spencer and Alex continue to push the limits of their luck. The sun has set, but the threat of being fried by its rays has been swapped by the danger of hungry sharks. As the predators circle and ram the vessel, threatening to hasten its consumption by the sea, Spencer peppers them with his double-barreled buddy. Thankfully, he doesn’t waste all his ammo, as later that evening Alex spots a ship in the distance. Spencer fires his weapon in the air, fruitlessly it seems, to attract its attention. With all hope just about lost, the ship spots them and sends two sailors in a dinghy to scoop them up. Given their previous misadventures, we half expect the crew to encounter the Kraken upon their short journey to the rescue ship. But the couple finally catch a break – they’re saved and welcomed by the vessel’s kind captain. While having some much-needed drinks with the seasoned mariner, the pair learn they still have a very long journey ahead. The ship is destined for Marseille and, given Spencer’s US citizenship, the trip will likely be further slowed by immigration issues. This leads Spencer to propose to Alex. He loves her, of course, but the citizenship is a nice benefit.

In an especially touching moment, the captain offers them the left-behind wedding bands of his sailors who died at sea. None of the rings fit Alex though, so in an even more touching moment, he offers her his own wife’s band, which he wears around his neck when away from home. The good vibes continue as the couple return to their quarters to enthusiastically consummate the union. In a scene that’s a far cry from where last week’s episode left us, the two then proceed to the ship’s upper deck. They make their way to the bow, engage in plenty of playful banter – including a fun exchange in which Alex learns of the ranch’s lacking amenities – and passionately kiss. Bathed in the moonlight’s soft, beautiful glow, they enjoy a romantic moment to rival Jack and Rose’s iconic scene on the bow of the Titanic, while fans get to finally relax and enjoy a rare happy ending for the two. At least until next week.

Cast: Helen Mirren (Cara Dutton), Harrison Ford (Jacob Dutton), Brandon Sklenar (Spencer Dutton), Julia Schlaepfer (Alexandra), Darren Mann (Jack Dutton), Brian Geraghty (Zane Davis), Aminah Nieves (Teonna Rainwater), Michelle Randolph (Elizabeth Strafford), Michael Greyeyes (Hank), Robert Patrick (Sheriff McDowell), Jamie McShane (Marshal Kent), Joseph Mawle (Captain Shipley), Amelia Rico (Issaxche), Caleb Martin (Dennis), Brian Konowal (Clive), Chuck Filipov (Spur), Ross Crain (Marshal Thomas), Craig Jackson (Merchant Marine), Luke Tyler (First Mate Lambridge), Dakota Ogden (Carl), Brian Brown (Jasper)