If you know Taylor Sheridan’s style, then you know he likes to work with actors he’s used in other projects. He’s done this with “Wind River,” “Sicario” and “Yellowstone.” So while we won’t be seeing anymore of Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) or Capt. Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) in new episodes of “1883,” it doesn’t mean the two actors won’t collaborate with Sheridan in the future. In fact, the writer says he’s love to work with both of them again.
Speaking in an interview with Deadline, Sheridan opened up about his Western drama and the two key actors. Their story may have concluded, But Sheridan was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them.
“Obviously, I would love that. She’s a remarkable actor, a generational talent, and I would love to find other things to do. Same with Sam. There’s an icon, someone I’ve admired my whole life, and to get a chance to work with him is a treat, just really special,” Sheridan says.
“1883’s” Final Act
In the final episode of “1883,” Elsa comes to terms with the fact that she will die. Having been struck through the liver with an arrow, the young woman develops a fatal infection. Despite attempts to find a surgeon who could save her, the Duttons learn they’re running out of time.
Making a promise to his wife Margaret (Faith Hill), James Dutton (Tim McGraw) says that wherever they lay Elsa to rest is where they’ll stay. This is where we get the foundational importance of keeping the Montana land in the Dutton family in “Yellowstone.”
Likewise, Shea promised his wife he’d bring her to the ocean. He fulfills his promise to also bring those who are left of the settlers north. He does this knowing the darkness inside never leaves him. So when he finally reaches the beach, he takes his own life – ultimately reuniting himself with his daughter and wife who died of smallpox in the first episode.
How Shea and Elsa Were Central to “1883” Plot
Despite the bittersweet conclusion, Elsa and Shea carried the story through their own experiences. Elsa, ever the dreamer, never abandons her optimistic perspective of the world. Shea on the other hand can’t see the good life still has to offer without his family by his side. He decides that living isn’t much of a thing when you don’t have love.
According to “1883” producer David Gasser, Sam Elliott really committed to his role, bringing Shea to life.
“Shea has gone on this journey, helping unselfishly all these people and doing something incredible. And I love all our characters,” he says, “but Sam really committed [to] this journey as an individual.”
The entire season of “1883” is available to stream on Paramount+. But be sure to grab the tissues. It’s a wild ride.