‘1883’: Rita Wilson’s Ep. 6 Cameo Includes Faith Hill and a Whole Lotta Whiskey

by Jon D. B.

Rita Wilson brings ample levity – and whiskey – to 1883 Episode 6, “Boring the Devil,” with her welcomed cameo. Be warned of spoilers for the episode ahead.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill anchor 1883 as James and Margaret Dutton, and in real life they’re close friends with another married couple, (see: A-List actors) Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. Hanks’ 1883 Episode 2 cameo came out of left field, but his giving Civil War general was able to further the story of McGraw’s James Dutton by leaps and bounds. In Episode 6, however, both husbands’ better halves come out in full force for a raucous, Outsider-approved good time.

Much like Hanks, 1883 fans had no idea what to expect from Wilson other than her presence as “Carolyn.” In the episode, however, she’s called “Ms. Carol,” the proprietor of the only general store for a hundred miles. A fixture of Doan’s Crossing (a historic town on the border of Texas and Oklahoma), Wilson’s Carol provides goods for the weary travelers brave enough to wander through.

Isabel May’s Elsa Dutton is one such traveler. But she carries the immense burden of the death of her lover, Eric Nelsen’s Ennis, into town. And once the creepiest of blokes begins eyeing her up and down, the 18-yea-old doesn’t hesitate to draw her pistol. Her father intervenes before bullets fly, but the damage has already been done. Now every soul in Doan’s Crossing is on edge more-so than they already were. All except Ms. Carol. And Ms. Carol knows a woman who needs a drink immediately.

‘1883’s Rita Wilson & Faith Hill: A Whiskey Between Friends

Enter Margaret Dutton, Faith Hill’s increasingly weary matriarch. She’s been through hell and back on 1883 so far, and the journey has just begin. But seeing her daughter’s downward spiral is quickly becoming the final straw.

Pictured: Rita Wilson as Carolyn and Faith Hill as Margaret of the Paramount+ original series 1883. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2022 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Which is why it feels pitch-perfect to have Rita Wilson on hand as Carol(yn). After Margaret turns down a lemonade, Carol knows the remedy her patron needs: whiskey punch. Margaret asks if she’ll join. “Sister, I’ve been joinin’ you since noon,” Carol smiles. She then busts out all the stops, including a bucket of ice; a commodity Margaret hasn’t experienced since leaving her cozy home in Tennessee all those nights ago.

And before we know it, Carol and Margaret are eyeballs deep in said punch. Whiskey flows, laughter ensues, and much needed levity captures the second act of 1883‘s Episode 6 courtesy of Rita Wilson’s talent.

‘That’s Progress’

Through all of the above, Rita Wilson and Faith Hill channel their real-life friendship into 1883. Their Carol and Margaret bond over “progress” – the heart of this Western – and the blessing and curse it can be.

“For ten years there wasn’t nothin’! Not a soul in this country! And now there’s gon’ be a school,” Carol explains of her outpost, whiskey in hand. “That’s progress.”

“I’m not sure I know what that word means anymore,” an increasingly jaded Margaret replies.

Carol leans in close. “Nobody does!” she cackles.

Pictured: Rita Wilson as Carolyn and Faith Hill as Margaret of the Paramount+ original series 1883. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2022 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Hours of whiskey-fueled good times pass, and as James finally finds his other half in town, he gets more than he bargained for. “Can I trust you to stay here?” he asks his drunk as a skunk wife amidst raucous laughter from the ladies.

“Yep! This long,” Margaret replies as she holds up the remainder of the whiskey punch. “As long as this is.”

In all, it’s a damn good time. The chemistry of Hill and Wilson’s decades-long friendship is apparent throughout; her cameo providing another highlight for the rollercoaster that is 1883. And much like her husband’s role as Gen. George Meade (Tom Hanks), it’s to be a one-and-done deal. But here’s to many more fantastic cameos to come in Taylor Sheridan’s epic.

1883 Episode 6, “Boring the Devil” is streaming now exclusively on Paramount Plus.