Tragedy continues to mark Teonna as 1923‘s fiercest warrior navigates the nightmarishly-oppressive America of her time. Spoilers ahead.
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As Season 1, Episode 6 begins, Teonna (Aminah Nieves) and Hank (Michael Greyeyes) continue their refuge in North Dakota. As Hank’s herd surrounds them, the shepherd outfits Teonna with his son’s old clothes, asking her to choose the name of a “white man’s” boy to avoid detection. So far, he’s proving the perfect savior for her as she continues to escape the unspeakable abuse of her Christian Boarding school.
*SPOILERS* Ahead for ‘1923’ Season 1
Previously, Hank gave Teonna the best advice anyone could: Don’t return home. “That is the first place they will look for you,” he told her in Episode 5. And he was right.
As lawmen pursue the “escaped Indian girl” Teonna Rainwater with a warrant, Episode 6 has two lawmen arrive to the Lodge Grass Indian Reservation in southern Montana. There, they burst into the home of Issaxche (Amelia Rico), the grandmother of Teonna we’ve slowly come to know over 1923‘s first season.
“She’s wanted for two murders, now step aside!” the lead officer barks as he slams Issaxche to the side with their warrant for Teonna’s arrest.
“My granddaughter? You make no sense! What are you doing?” Issaxche shouts. The encounter is a violent one from the get-go, and only gets worse.
“Harboring a fugitive is a felony!” The lawmen shout. As they ransack her home in search of Teonna, Issaxche lashes out in turn.
“Get out of my house!” Issaxche cries. But the lead officer violently retaliates, shoving the elderly woman into her wood-burning stove.
Issaxche hits the stove’s thick iron head-first and dies instantly. As her murderer’s second-in-command re-enters the house, he asks what happened.
“She attacked me. I pushed her back. She must’ve hit her head on the stove,” the officer replies. “Why are you asking? You were here. You saw everything.”
Teonna Rainwater’s Life Continues to be Marked by Death
The callous, wanton murder of Issaxche highlights the hypocrisy of American law at this time. As two lawmen search for their murderer, they kill an Indigenous woman themselves – a death that will not receive the same “justice” as the two nuns from Teonna’s killing spree as she escaped her abusers.
“I am in big trouble. I killed the nun who beat me. Then I killed the nun who raped me. Now they’re going to come and kill me,” Teonna told Hank in Episode 5. And even if they don’t kill her, the law that pursues her will show no mercy to any others that aid her.
1923 returns next Sunday, Feb. 19 for Season 1, Episode 7 exclusively on Paramount Plus.