Even though the caravan has already crossed the river, the 1883 travelers are still suffering the consequences of its force.
Warning: Major 1883 spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
In Episode 4, “The Crossing,” we saw just how detrimental it can be to move from one side of a wide river to the other. And while the current is certainly the most violent way in which travelers died, it wasn’t the only way.
Already, when the 1883 travelers reached the river, they were running low on rations. Because of some thievery and self individuals among the emigrants, the leader decided the best solution to avoid any unfairness was to keep all the food in one wagon. But as they soon found out, this mistake may very well be the death of some of them.
Sure enough, once the wagon reached the middle of the river, it collapsed and sank, likely because it was too heavy. In Episode 5, “The Fangs of Freedom,” we learned that Thomas and several other strong swimmers tried to save the remains, but the emigrants still lost much of their food to the water’s depth. And they haven’t even reached the hardest part of their journey, when water sources are few and far in between and the sun leaves them no relief from the heat.
From bandits to venomous snakes to ravenous, predatory animals, the 1883 travelers seemed to think that the deadliest dangers resided outside of their camp. And with how much these elements have already taken a toll on the caravan, this isn’t irrational. However, the even bigger and more brutal threat they need to fear is starvation.
‘1883’ Emigrant Leader Faces off Against Shea Brennan and Thomas
Understandably, the leader of the 1883 emigrants, Josef, who speaks both German and English, couldn’t bare to see the group suffer. He decided to take the issue to their guides, Shea Brennan and Thomas, but instead of asking for advice, he pointed the finger at them.
“We are forced to leave everything behind and still we’re dying,” Josef told the Pinkerton duo.
But as Thomas and Shea pointed out, the problem wasn’t with their leadership. The problem was that the group couldn’t properly plan for the trip because there was no trust.
“You fight amongst yourselves. Steal from each other. You don’t do what we say and you do what we tell you don’t do,” Thomas responded.
“We’re here to show you the way, to protect you,” Shea added. “We ain’t your people’s leader. That’s your job, you just ain’t doing it. But you better start because most of your food is in the bottom of that river because you decided to put it all in one f—ing wagon.”
Now, with the supplies and energy dwindling, Josef will have to muster the strength and the courage to keep the group together.