Elsa’s innocent and romantic perspective of the world in 1883 has remained strong throughout the storyline, but now, with the loss of an important character, that sparkle of wonder in her eye is replaced by a haunted stare.
Warning: Major 1883 Episode 5 spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
“Just once I’d love to see the world through your eyes. One day you’ll see it through mine, though. And it breaks my heart.”
These are the words that Margaret Dutton told her daughter after Elsa admitted she had no regrets after sleeping with Ennis. When Margaret found out about their physical relationship, she saw all the consequences that could result. Like any good mother, she worried for her daughter’s future. As a flourishing woman, she could be anything, do anything. But if she had a child on the way with no one to help her raise it, her options would wither, leaving her an unwedded mother with a bastard child, a tough start for a woman in 1883.
“It takes years to make something of your life,” the 1883 mother said. “One decision can change the course of it forever. And we don’t know if that decision is gonna be the one that sinks us until we make it. So you’d better be very, very careful what you choose. Freedom is anything but, Elsa. And every choice has fangs.”
When This Character Dies in ‘1883,’ He Takes a Piece of Elsa with Him
Elsa, on the other hand, only saw the beauty of her relationship with Ennis. She relished the fact that they had created a deeper connection with each other and shared such a passionate act of love. She saw a future with him and perhaps a baby somewhere along the way and believed they could weather whatever else comes their way.
But as we know, Elsa’s vision of the world quickly shifted for the worst. Once she lost Ennis, she lost her faith in the world. Now, she understands the ugly truth of freedom.
I’d known death since I was a child. It’s everywhere. But it had never touched me. It had never placed its rotten finger on my heart. Until today. Today, my eyes died. I see the world through my mother’s eyes now. Yes, freedom has fangs. And it sunk them in me. I chose to love him. He chose to love me back. Then chose to protect me.. Then a man we’ve never met chose to kill him… and made me color blind.Elsa Dutton, 1883 S1 E5
She brandished her pistol, and without hesitation fired three shots into the remaining bandit that was responsible for Ennis’ death.
Elsa then left us with this chilling thought:
“Maybe killing this man will get my eyes back. Maybe it won’t. But I chose to find out.”