‘1883’: How Those ‘Yellowstone’ Flashbacks Factored Into the Spinoff

by Thad Mitchell
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Fans of the hit western series “Yellowstone” got a real treat in the most recent episode as a flashback took us more than a century into the past.

The entire time-space before the opening credits was dedicated to introducing “Yellowstone” fans to some “1883” characters. We meet James and Margaret Dutton, the ancestors of current “Yellowstone” Ranch owner and operator John Dutton. It was a real thrill for fans of the show and the flashbacks contained a ton of action and the gunfight fans have been clamoring for. We also get our first looks at a country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill playing James and Margaret Dutton. It is only a small taste of the “Yellowstone” prequel but so far — we like what we see. The “1883” casting of McGraw and Hill raised more than a few eyebrows when revealed, but they look fantastic in their respective roles. “Yellowstone” fans can’t wait to get even more of the spinoff series that is now available on Paramount Plus.

In an interview with entertainment site Looper, Tim McGraw shares some thoughts on his new gig. His character, James Dutton, looks like a total badass in the scenes we have seen him in. McGraw says these flashback scenes played a big part in establishing the spinoff.

“We had done a flashback scene or two for ‘Yellowstone’s’ last season, and that was how this whole idea came about of doing the prequel series.” the country music legend says. “And so, once we had done the flashback sequence, we were sort of married to each other, so to speak, as it were anyway.”

“Yellowstone” fans are glad McGraw and Hill come as a package deal and both look outstanding in their “1883” roles.

‘Yellowstone’ Flashbacks Set The Stage For ‘1883’

In Sunday’s “Yellowstone” episode flashback, we see James Dutton rounding up some cattle thieves. He is single-handedly able to take down a few of them by playing dead before rising to his feet and firing his gun. He wears a star on his lapel, signifying that he is associated with law enforcement.

At home waiting on his return is his loving wife, Margaret, and Hill portrays her perfectly. While eating dinner, she asks her son to pray for his father’s safe return. When the young boy makes a joke in his prayer, his mother quickly rebuffs and makes him start over.

James does return home but is not exactly safe and sound as his wife had hoped. He’s been shot and is bleeding profusely. He tries to calm his wife to no avail and collapses on the floor inside their home. Margaret screams in agony but James’ fate is left unclear for the time being.

With two more episodes remaining in “Yellowstone” season four, it isn’t entirely possible that we see even more flashback scenes. That would be just fine with fans of the show.

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