‘1883’: How One Theory Explains the Duttons’ Relationship With Thomas Rainwater

by Courtney Blackann

You don’t have to watch “Yellowstone” in order to understand the characters of “1883.” Though fans who obsess over the Yellowstone universe have no shortage of theories about how everything connects. The two stories haven’t interlaced other than a couple of flashbacks in season four of “Yellowstone.” And it remains to be seen if we’ll ever get a full picture of how the 19th-century Duttons relate to John and his family. Yet there’s one new theory about Thomas Rainwater and his relationship with John Dutton.

In the newest episode of “1883,” Elsa Dutton has apparently moved on from Ennis (RIP). Like all the way on. Finding passionate love with Sam (Martin Sensmeier), who’s a Commanche warrior, Elsa lets herself completely embrace the relationship. Despite her mother’s warnings about falling too hard too fast, Elsa claims that she’s 18 and no longer a child. Without a ceremony, Elsa and Sam dub themselves husband and wife – and by the end of the episode, she’s rocking garb inspired by the native tribe – complete with face paint.

This is where the theory comes into play. According to TV Shows Ace, the connection between Elsa Dutton and Sam could lead to the Dutton family’s relationship eventually with Thomas Rainwater of the Broken Rock reservation. There are several holes in this theory – so don’t take it as a guarantee until Taylor Sheridan comments himself.

However, Elsa is embracing indigenous traditions and learning to speak a bit of the language. This could set up at least some type of relationship that carries throughout the generations.

1883‘s Elsa Dutton and Sam Could Be Key to Relationship Ties

But we also learn from the latest “1883” episode that Elsa will continue on with James and Margaret Dutton – leaving Sam behind in Colorado. She promises to be back once the journey is complete. And as the two part ways, they say a dramatic goodbye.

There are so many unknowns with only two episodes left. And Sheridan has made it clear we can’t trust any one plotline to carry through. We don’t even know who will make it to Montana at all. It’s also possible that Elsa and Sam’s story could be a spinoff – or at least a separate storyline of their life in Colorado.

Whatever the case, fans could be on to something with the relationship connection between John and Thomas Rainwater.

Thomas Rainwater Can’t ‘Outfight’ John Dutton, ‘Yellowstone’ Actor Says

And speaking of Rainwater, both he and John are constantly battling each other. Thomas is smart – but actor Gil Birmingham says he believes Thomas will never be able to outfight John.

And I think the way I see Thomas, he has this understanding that he’s not going to be able to outfight John Dutton even though he has these pending forces trying to take the land. But culturally speaking, I was just reading John Trudell, a great Native poet. And it’s about thinking clearly and coherently, using our intelligence.”

The “Yellowstone” actor continues:

“So I think Thomas is approaching it in terms of out-thinking the forces. You’re not going to have the resources to go up against what John Dutton has. But we can make alliances and we can go up against the people that are just really – that want to…monetize the land. And neither one of us want that.”