'1883' Recap: The Duttons Make it to Montana But Nearly Lose Everything


Warning, spoilers ahead for season one of 1883. 

The finale of the first season of Yellowstone prequel 1883 was truly shocking. Where do I even begin? Just like the real Oregon Trail, "This Is Not Your Heaven" was ruthless, clearing out the majority of the cast in the process. Yes, the Dutton family finally makes it to Montana, but at what cost? Everyone's story seemed to be wrapped up perfectly, so how will creator Taylor Sheridan be adding to the 1883 story? As a reminder, Paramount announced that they would be ordering additional episodes (not labeled a season 2) but we have no idea what that would mean for our favorite characters who survived the trip to Montana. Luckily, executive producer David Glasser explained to the Hollywood Reporter that what they have planned should be really exciting for fans.

"Now the network is excited to bring you something really additional to 1883, which is super exciting. There was one way set with it -- there was one version -- and now there's going to be two versions.

Everything is well-thought-out with Taylor. So when you see what's coming, you'll see it's pretty exciting. I think 1883 was an incredible journey. We're excited the way fans embraced it and I'm excited for people to see all the other great stuff that we're doing around it now."


With that in mind, here are our 8 main takeaways from episode 10 of 1883.

Read More: 'Yellowstone' Creator Taylor Sheridan Has 8 New Shows In The Works

1. Elsa is deteriorating

Right as the group makes it to the fort, Elsa falls off her horse while she's talking to the two young men guarding the gates. It seems like she could go at any moment, but we're obviously still rooting for our favorite heroine...there's no way Taylor Sheridan would actually kill her off right?!

2. Turns out there isn't really a fort

Unfortunately for our group, the former Union Major who is the local surgeon lets James know that he actually can't help Elsa. He has no staff to speak of since the fort was essentially abandoned and is currently populated by the same group of people that murdered the Lakota women and children in episode 9. Because they know that killing all of those men will eventually catch up with them, Shea, James and Thomas know they need to move on. For their own safety as well as for Elsa. James tells his wife that wherever Elsa passes, that's where they will settle down so that they can be with her forever.


3. The group parts ways

The Duttons continue on their journey north, along with Shea and Thomas. Josef and his wife, though still suffering the aftermath of the snake attack, want to keep going with them as well. Noemi offers to drive their wagon for them since they can't, but the rest of the immigrants decide to stay back at the fort and continue on to Oregon without guidance. Colby and Wade head back to Texas after Shea decides to just leave the cattle behind. We later see that the group left behind didn't make it out of Wyoming...so is the way of the frontier.

4. Josef loses his leg

Thomas gives Josef the option to keep his leg and die or to have it removed to have his best chance at survival. He decides to let him take it. It takes the whole group working together with Margaret, Shea and James helping to hold him down while Thomas works the saw...Not going to lie, this scene got way more graphic than I was expecting. After Josef passes out, Shea stitches him up and it seems they got to him in time, because he pulls through.

5. The group is taken in by a friendly Crow tribe

After running into a Crow tribe, they offer to help heal Elsa, who is suffering from a fever. They clean her wounds in the cold creek and take her into a sweat tent, but it's too late. They explain that the Lakota make sure their arrows are deadly. The chief directs James to a place called Paradise Valley, which he says will be the perfect place for his family to settle down and put Elsa to rest. But he warns him that in seven generations his people will come back to claim that land and that his family will want to occasionally hunt there. James agrees to all of it. Foreshadowing?

6. James asks Shea for a favor

Elsa has limited time, but makes James promise her that she'll get to pick the place she is buried. The wagons won't be able to make the trip to the valley in time so James wants to take Elsa there himself without the rest of the group. He knows his wife will only hear the cruelty of not being able to go with them so he asks Shea to present the situation with logic. Margaret is upset but sees her husband crying over their sleeping daughter and knows that it's the only way.


7. James and Margaret say their goodbyes

Margaret tearfully has to say goodbye to her daughter at the camp before Elsa and James set out on their two-day journey to the valley. She lays against her father looking out at the beautiful valley and they share her last moments together. Although we technically saw Elsa get shot by the arrow in the very first episode I really didn't believe she would actually die until they were leaning against that tree. I'm wondering if James names the ranch Yellowstone after her? That way Lightning with the Yellow Hair can live on forever.

8. We see the survivors one year later

Thomas, Noemi, and her two boys finally make it to Oregon, where they find the perfect place to build their new lives together. Josef starts building his new house alone since his wife Risa died upon arrival. Shea sits on a beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling a promise to his wife before he takes his own life. We last see Elsa in her heaven, riding into the sunrise with her husband Sam. It's an emotional ending for everyone on the series, and we have no idea what the future holds for James and Margaret Dutton and their son John. Their family really paid the ultimate price to build the legacy that Kevin Costner's John Dutton is so determined to protect on Yellowstone.


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