1883 season 1 episode 8 proved to be one of the biggest ones ever for Elsa Dutton, and that’s saying a lot given what she’s gone through.
Just a few episodes ago, the character was mourning the death of Ennis. Now, she is fully devoted to Sam, who calls her Lightning Yellow Hair and the two had a runaway romance like no other. We think some people are being overly critical of Elsa online for moving on so fast, but this is a world where you almost have to. Also, Elsa is young — she is the sort of character who will be quick to fall in love and think about her future with someone new.
Elsa clearly loves Sam, to the extent that she was willing to abandon the mission to Oregon in order to be with him. Yet, that didn’t end up happening. She’s agreed to see the journey through, but it is her intention to come back to him down the road. She received beads and traditional wear of the tribe, and the two characters had a very public declaration of love at the end of the episode. Sam referred to her as the “wife of a warrior,” and she was prepared to move forward steadfast and determined. This is not the character we saw at the start of the season, and that is precisely the point.
Through the entirety of this storyline, one of the primary things we are seeing is a real move by executive producer / writer Taylor Sheridan to subvert some common expectations of Westerns, including making cowboys and Native Americans rivals. While the history of bloodshed there is very much clear, there is more nuance and complications beyond what is clear on the surface. Elsa and Sam are proof of that. There’s no guarantee they will ever see each other again, but there’s an enormous amount of unconditional love on both sides.
What did you think about the events of 1883 season 1 episode 8 overall?
Are you rooting for Elsa and Sam moving forward? Be sure to share right now in the comments! Once you do that, stick around — there are more updates ahead and we don’t want you missing them. (Photo: Paramount+.)