‘Yellowstone’ Flashback: Relive The Moment the Duttons Found Montana on ‘1883’

by Jon D. B.

Through 1883‘s masterful storytelling, a young Elsa Dutton’s legacy seals the fate of her family’s dynasty: The Yellowstone. Beware of major spoilers for both shows ahead.

“Not sure what Oregon looks like. But I bet it don’t look like this,” Elsa (Isabel May) smiles to her father, James (Tim McGraw). “Should’ve aimed for this place from the start.”

“I don’t know what Oregon looks like either, honey. But this is hard to beat,” James lauds of the landscape. Yet he’s unable to take it all in. His daughter is dying, though she hasn’t fully accepted it. Not yet. But her father has, and it is destroying him.

“You look at me like I’m dying,” Elsa tells him as they look out into the most beautiful landscape they’ve ever seen. Even with death looming tall, the Duttons are in awe of this land. It isn’t Oregon; the final destination of the Westward Expansion. It’s Montana; a place unlike anything or anywhere these Tennessee natives have seen. And it will become the home their beloved Yellowstone Dutton descendants will inhabit as Elsa’s fate is sealed.

“I look at you for what you are: the most important thing to me on this planet. That comes with a lot of worry. Cause I can’t replace you,” James tells his daughter.

In “This Is Not Your Heaven,” Elsa (Isabel May) and James (Tim McGraw) ride into Montana and reflect on its beauty. As it turns out, their new home is pretty hard to beat. Watch 1883 exclusively on Paramount+.


Elsa Dutton’s Death Chooses the Location of the ‘Yellowstone’ Legacy

The scene comes from 1883‘s heartbreaking finale, “This Is Not Your Heaven.” Within, the Indigenous leader of the lands the Duttons will claim their own, Spotted Eagle, is the one to tell James that his daughter will not survive her grievous wound much longer. She will die.

But he does, however, offer the Duttons a piece of “paradise” in the nearby valley their people inhabit. There, James can lay Elsa to rest. And their family can settle alongside her.

Yet in seven generations, Spotted Eagle warns James that his Indigenous people will rise up to retake this very land.

“In seven generations they can have it,” James nods.

As Elsa learns of and accepts her fate, she asks her father to make her a promise: “I can choose the spot.”

And choose she does. In a scene that perfectly mirrors Lee Dutton’s death in Yellowstone Season 1’s premiere, James holds his dying daughter as they lean up against the trunk of a tree; each painted with the golden beauty of fall. Just as John Dutton held his dying eldest son, James Dutton holds his eldest dying daughter, and the legacy of their family is sealed.