‘1883’: LaMonica Garrett Calls Thomas and Sam Elliott’s Shea an ‘1800s Odd Couple’

by Jonathan Howard

The dynamic between Thomas and Shea on 1883 has been fantastic and that relationship is only going to develop further.

With the tall task of making Thomas come to life on screen, LaMonica Garrett takes pride in his role. That has been clear through the first four episodes of the season. Together with his best friend and former Captain, Shea Brennan, the Pinkerton agent takes his job seriously. Protecting the caravan is the most important thing to him.

Garrett took time to talk about the relationship between Thomas and Shea. Along with Sam Elliott, the two characters are just so awesome to see on the show. Check out the video below from the official 1883 Twitter account.

“Thomas’ story is not unfamiliar to a lot of Black cowboys back then,” Garrett said. “He’s a former slave. He’s a kind person, an honest person, and he’s a very loyal person. When he met Shea, he joined the war, was a Buffalo Soldier. They see the world pretty similar so they bonded. Like a modern-day…or an 1800s Odd Couple.”

That relationship has been evident from the start. After Shea had put his family to rest, he had planned on ending his own life. However, Thomas was there to give him something to keep going. Their friendship is clearly built on trust and respect that can only be developed under life and death situations.

The thing that binds them together is their service in the war. Shea was a captain and Thomas was a Buffalo Soldier. We haven’t seen anything about it yet, but it is implied that they were used during reconstruction in the South as well. Something neither man agreed with doing after a while. 1883 is sure to explore those relationships further.

‘1883’ Has Leadership Problems

In the latest episode of 1883, it is clear that Shea has one big issue. Trust and authority. The immigrant caravan was supposed to have had a leader among them in Josef. However, he has not been able to establish himself. Now, Shea has had to make multiple attempts at gaining control of the situation.

One of the women who lost her husband to the same bandit attack that killed Mary Abel has been on her own. While the caravan is moving together, they are not all necessarily working together. Something that will have to change if they want to survive much longer.

After the “gypsy” woman gets her items stolen by others in the camp, Shea lays down the law. He breaks the wagon of the thieves so they can’t hitch horses up to it anymore. He effectively strands them there just outside the Brazos River. After the crossing, perhaps they are better off having been stranded. 1883 will pick up in the fallout of the river crossing this week.