1923 season 1 episode 7 recap & review: The Rule of Five Hundred

The seventh episode of 1923 sees the Sheriff arresting Banner while Whitfield employs his resources to get Banner out of prison. The episode is now streaming on Paramount+.


As Jack and Jacob leave to get Banner arrested, Elizabeth and Cara wait for them anxiously. Cara writes a letter to Spencer to ease her worries, while Elizabeth decides to learn how to bake a cake from Cara.

Banner’s lifestyle has turned luxurious overnight. The Sheriff, along with Jacob and his men, reaches Banner’s new house to arrest him. Banner goes with them, but not without threatening the Duttons. 

Whitfield has started constructing new mines. When the news of Jacob being alive and Banner’s arrest reaches him, he states that getting Banner arrested, instead of killing him, was Dutton’s first mistake.

Whitfield hires a lawyer for Banner, and the lawyer assures Banner that bail will be set, even though Banner has been charged with murder. He also warns Banner not to talk to anyone while he is there.

The lawyer tells Whitfield the name of the judge who has been assigned to the case. Whitfield asks him to take care of the judge and then goes to Banner’s house to enjoy the services of the sex workers Banner had hired. 

Jake and Jacob return home unharmed, much to the women’s relief. They find out that a new commission has been formed in Washington to regulate mining. The CEO of Anaconda Copper Mines has been appointed as the chairman of the commission and the CEO of Westfield Silver Mining, Whitfield, will serve as the vice chairman.

Jacob tells Jack that the kind of people who would benefit and grow at their expense will use the government to do it. When Jack talks about right and wrong, Jacob tells him that they cannot think about it; they must do what’s necessary for their family and community.

Teonna’s father returns home to find his mother’s rotting body there. It does not take him long to realize that the government is responsible for her death. Hank’s son also pays a visit to tell him about Teonna.

Teonna’s father sends him ahead of him and stays back to bury his mother’s body. Even though Hank’s son follows his instructions and is careful, the men looking for Teonna come across him and question him about her.

As he looks young, they ask him about the school he went to, which leads to a fight. One of the three holy men decides to drag him to their school, while the other two continue their search for Teonna. 

An argument between Hank’s son and the priest infuriates the priest to the extent that he almost kills him while reciting a prayer. Teonna’s father arrives there in time and kills the priest. The two then make their way to Hank and Teonna.

However, the two priests who were looking for Teonna find them first. They recognize Teonna, and in the ensuing struggle, Teonna gauges a priest’s eye out. He then starts beating Teonna brutally, but Hanks shoots the two priests to save her.

Not knowing that one of them is still alive, he goes to help Teonna, leaving his gun behind. With Hank’s back turned to him, the priest shoots him. Before he could shoot Teonna also, she bashes him with a rock.

Spencer and Alexandra reach Italy, and Spencer books a passage to the US. In a restaurant, the man Alexandra was supposed to marry before she ran away with Spencer, along with his companions, sees Alexandra kissing Spencer. 


  • This is by far the goriest episode of 1923. However, the scenes are executed with finesse, preventing them from looking out of place or unnecessary. They fit in with the plot and the mood of the episode. 
  • The episode depicts Whitfield’s cruelty and ruthlessness in the way he treats the sex workers. It is almost prophetic and sends a message that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The full extent of Whitfield’s cruelty will be seen in his war with the Duttons.
  • This episode informs the viewers of the socio-political climate of the time, with references to unemployment rates, Mussolini, and rich men using their influence over the government. However, Jacob and Jack’s discussion has a timeless quality; it will make the viewers think about their own time.
  • The discussion also brings forth the issue of right and wrong. Once again, neither the heroes are right, nor the villains; the motivation behind their actions is the same. The war is not about morality or some other grand issue, it is a result of a conflict of interests.
  • Once again, the show’s representation of the injustices against the natives is jarring. The scene with the priest reciting a prayer while killing a young boy in God’s name leaves a long-lasting impact. The natives are deprived of basic human respect; Teonna’s grandmother’s body is left to rot. 
1923 season 1 episode 7
1923 season 1 episode 7 recap & review: The Rule of Five Hundred 1

Ben Richardson

Date Created:
2023-02-19 17:52

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