‘1883’: How Can the Show Resolve Elsa Dutton’s Fate?

by Shelby Scott
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Based on the latest episode of “1883,” it’s pretty clear showrunners intend for Elsa Dutton to die when the season concludes on Sunday, February 28th. That said, we’re wondering how the show will actually resolve the young woman’s fate.

As we know, “1883” kicked off in December, already suggesting the grim reality of Elsa Dutton’s fate. The first few moments of the show capture the young woman, a pistol in hand and an arrow through the gut, unleashing her fury on a tribe of Lakota warriors. Tie this into the gutwrenching sequence of events we caught last week and it’s pretty clear Elsa will die.

However, on the slim chance we’ll see more of young Elsa’s development, “1883” is, after all, a fictional series. And with that, CarterMatt poses the question we’re all wondering thinking: “Does Elsa Dutton have to die?”

Elsa’s Death Plants the Seeds for the Dutton Ranch

Realistically, things don’t look good. While the wound caused the heroin little pain the night of her ordeal, she woke up the next morning feeling every ache and pain. In addition, she also began developing a fever. And as James Dutton reveals, that’s the thing that will seal her fate; a fever means that infection has set in.

While immensely disheartening, Elsa’s death seems to be the single factor to establish the iconic Dutton Ranch. Traveling the Oregon Trail with the immigrant caravan, the Duttons’ original destination, wherever that might have been, has become irrelevant. James and Margaret quickly decided in episode nine that wherever Elsa dies is where they will plant their home.

Further, the outlet points out, based on her injuries and lack of medical help, her demise is unavoidable. It would additionally speak to the cruel nature of the American West in the late 19th century. And, most importantly, the “1883” star’s melancholy narration throughout the series suggests little proof that she survives in the end.

Based on these significant details, there’s not much hope for Elsa within the future of “1883.”

How Can ‘1883’ Justify Elsa’s Survival?

Despite the overall likelihood that Elsa will die either in the upcoming episode of “1883” or when the show returns, CarterMatt also identified a couple of scenarios that would justify Elsa’s survival.

First off, the entirety of “1883” thus far has been explored through Elsa Dutton’s perspective. She’s managed not only to tie her narrations into the significant events that have taken place thus far but she’s physically referenced her sight and her view of the world on multiple occasions. Most recently, she noted the way colors and the landscape looked different knowing the reality of her situation.

Further, the outlet pointed out that it would be difficult to imagine how “1883” would look without Elsa. Her active experience of the West has informed the sequence of events up until this point. They also highlighted that seeing Elsa pull through this seemingly impossible situation would serve as a point of light in such a dark, depressing world.

Nevertheless, Outsiders remain in the dark regarding Elsa’s fate until the final episode airs this Sunday. Check back here for all the latest “1883” updates.