Why is Isabel May leaving 1883 following the events of the season 1 finale — or, is Elsa Dutton really 100% gone at all? There’s a lot to talk about here after what we saw this weekend on Paramount+.
The first thing that we should note here is pretty simple: Elsa is dead. There’s no way that the show is going to undo that. We’ve already seen the character go to her own version of Heaven, where she met Sam and the two roamed the plains together. Her death scene was beautiful and it’s another reminder of the talent of series creator Taylor Sheridan.
Now, the question becomes simple: Why do this now? Why does May have to leave as a major part of the show? The simplest answer is that this was the plan from the start — we don’t imagine that there was ever a plan for Elsa to survive past season 1. Instead, the objective was to tell the story about how the Dutton family settled in Montana in the first place. That’s now happened. This was in a lot of ways a self-contained arc, even if we know more episodes are coming. This seems to be a creative decision more than anything proposed by May or anyone else in the cast. (Remember, Isabel was discovered for this show after attempting to land a role on Mayor of Kingstown.)
Elsa needed to die in order for the site of the ranch to be established; that feels clear. There was no other clear reason for James and Margaret to want to settle where they did. Her death is of course tied to the arrow she was shot with; it was clear to James that this was going to eventually happen, and it has.
Could Isabel May still narrate the show?
We suppose that’s possible in theory, given that she’s narrated to us from beyond the grave all season — we wouldn’t rule that out, at least for the time being. However, nothing is confirmed.
Are you going to miss Elsa Dutton as a major part of 1883?
Be sure to share right now in the attached comments, and also come back for some other updates! (Photo: Paramount+.)