‘1883’: How That Episode Five Death Will Affect the Show Moving Forward

by Courtney Blackann
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If you weren’t sobbing by the end of “1883” last night then you have no heart. The tragic death of one character was a shocking twist that felt absolutely unfair. So how will Taylor Sheridan’s western series move forward? Well, pretty much like any of his other projects – he’s going to keep telling the story.

Before we go any further, there are going to be spoilers. So if you’re not caught up, we suggest you do that before you continue reading.

During “1883’s” latest installment, Elsa grows in numerous ways. While there’s a lot that happened in the episode, it was her character that really transformed. However, she learns the painful ways love can tear you apart. After some heavy moments with Ennis (Eric Nelsen), Elsa makes it known she wants to marry the cowboy. And his feelings are returned. But during a heist orchestrated by bandits, Ennis is shot and killed.

As Elsa races toward him, it takes her several silent seconds to register that he’s gone. The impactful moment takes her from a naive child into a scorned woman – and someone who now sees the world in a not-so-innocent light. She then lets out a wild scream before turning her gun on Ennis’ killer.

This is where “1883” episode five leaves us. And surely, there will be a lot to unpack in the next several parts. We know Ennis won’t be along for the journey anymore – but will Elsa remain with her family? Will she ever love again? And how will the wagon train continue to fend off future bandits?

Sheridan’s writing will eventually lead the Duttons to Montana where they’ll settle. But it seems there’s plenty to unravel before we all get there.

‘1883’ Taking Two Week Break

The next “1883” episode will not be available on Paramount+ for two weeks, sadly. That means we have a bit of time to regain our composure following the devastating events from last night.

And while we’re still working out how to feel moving forward, Taylor Sheridan knew when he came up with the premise for “1883” that he was writing something special. The creator says he knew what he was writing was the “best” he’s ever done – and he needed a team to trust him to press ahead.

 “It was impossible to have something air in seven months that wasn’t cast, with no locations, and no other scripts.”

Then, Sheridan adds:

“I said this first episode I’ve written is the best thing I’ve ever written. If I can’t have the time to make it right, I need everything else. I need the toys, I need the cast, I need the team. You will need to trust me, and it’s going to hurt. And I did not hear the word no, at all.”

Outsider.com