Yee-haw, Yellowstone Fans! The premiere of Taylor Sheridan’s long-awaited prequel 1883 is finally here. Written and directed by himself, “1883” brings together all the players we will see this season, including James Dillard Dutton (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), whom Yellowstone Fans have already had the pleasure of meeting, albeit very briefly. The episode opens with a devastating preview of a Native American attack on a wagon accompanied by a dreamy voice-over monologue from Elsa Dutton (Isabel May). No other member of the Dutton family is in sight as Elsa rushes through the burning chariots, grabs a nearby weapon, and confronts a warrior on horseback. He reveals his plan to sell her, and Elsa shoots and kills him while shooting an arrow in his stomach. It’s no wonder Elsa describes the Great Plains as “hell.” welcome to 1883!
The episode then jumps back to an earlier time and focuses on Captain Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott), who is crying when he discovers that his wife and son have succumbed to smallpox. He burns their house with their bodies inside and goes to commit suicide, only to be stopped by his fellow Pinkerton agent, Thomas (LaMonica Garrett). As the two drive away, they witness John Dutton outwit and outmaneuver a gang of thieves while protecting his horses and chariot. He is on his way to Fort Worth to pick up his family at the train station: his wife, Margaret, his daughter, Elsa, his son, John (Audie Rick), his sister-in-law, Claire (Dawn Olivieri) and his niece Mary Abel ( Emma Malouff). While navigating the rogue city, Shea and Thomas return to their office where a large group of European immigrants wait to begin a journey west along the Oregon Trail. Only one man named Josef speaks English, and from what Shea can gather, these travelers are woefully ill-prepared for the journey ahead. Shea tries to recruit James and his family to join her group and help protect everyone, but James refuses.
After a train ride and a couple of slaps (courtesy of Aunt Claire), the Dutton family arrives in Fort Worth. While James and Margaret get a little romantic in the bathtub, Elsa longs for adventure. She gets it when a drunk man stumbles into her room and tries to rape her. James kills him and, realizing there is safety in numbers, catches up with Shea and agrees to join him and his ill-prepared carriage as they head north up the Trinity River.
Let’s take a look at the 5 most important moments from the 1883 premiere that will have repercussions for the rest of the season.
MEET JAMES DUTTON
James Dutton, a former Army officer, knows firearms well. In a dazzling sequence, we see Patriarch OG Dutton driving his chariot and team of horses with several thieves in pursuit, Shea and Thomas watch from above as he outstrips and kills his attackers with his rifle. When Shea and Thomas reveal themselves, he just says, “Thanks for the fucking help.” When he goes to take one of the thieves’ horses, Shea warms him up, saying that these thieves run in herds, and that if they see that horse, “you would be announcing the next shooting.”
Discouraged, James unsaddles the horse, freeing the animal. As he gets back into the car, he stops and throws up. From this scene, we learn that James is a man who can handle and inflict violence, but it still doesn’t suit him.
FORT WORTH IS DANGEROUS
When he tries to save his chariot and horses for the night, James discovers what gloomy city he is in. He’s forced to pay $ 32 (astronomical for 1883!) For a man to put his belongings in his barn and have someone protect them from thieves. When James asks the barn owner about a hotel for his family, he says, “You shouldn’t bring your family here. I should go to Dallas. ” The man adds: “If you draw your pistol in this city, sir, you better know how to use it.” Do not worry friend!
James ends up firing his gun twice in Fort Worth: once when a pickpocket tries to steal his wallet and again when a drunken man tries to rape his daughter, Elsa, after he stumbles upon her hotel room. That’s when you know you can’t protect your family alone.
After Shea and Thomas return to Pinkerton’s office, a group of immigrants awaits them. They’ve paid the men to take them down the Oregon Trail and keep them safe. Shea realizes how high the order is when she sets her eyes on people. Josef (Marc Rissmann) is the only one of them who speaks English, thus becoming their default leader. They have no horses, no food, no supplies, and no weapons, but they do have a lot of heavy furniture and bedding, and Shea is appalled at their poor preparation.
When Shea tells Josef that everyone will have to pay him more money for the trip, Josef is furious, says that the people at home think they are stupid and warns them about the men who would take advantage of them in America. Shea holds him against the wall and growls, “You have no horses, no weapons, you can’t ride, you’re a fucking fool for thinking you can travel 2,000 miles with no survival skills.” Josef and his companions are forced to pay Shea the money she needs to hire more men for her protection.
After Shea and Thomas sneak up on some jeans with little luck, they set their sights on James as he sits at the bar to dinner. Shea approaches him with a proposal: “We are taking a caravan north. I thought it might be going in the same direction. I could use some capable men and you seem to be that. ” James refuses, he didn’t want to join a big party. He tells Shea, “I will keep heading north until I find a land worth the trip.”
Shea notes that James has been lucky so far, but adds, “I hope you have enough luck for those who come with you.” Being a Dutton and stubborn, James accepts Shea’s proposal only after his daughter is almost raped and he better understands the dangers that threaten his family.
Little pox is rampant
Knowing the lethality of smallpox from personal experience, Shea has James and Claire screen all foreign travelers for signs of the infectious disease. As the group strips naked to be inspected, James finds a growing patch of smallpox on the back of an unfortunate man. The men quietly tell him to get dressed, find the man’s wife, take them outside, and tell them to leave.
The man is stunned, not fully understanding the seriousness of his discovery, and asks what he did wrong. Taking pity on him, Shea tenderly explains: “You didn’t do anything. You have smallpox and you are going to die. In 3 days, you will give it to everyone you meet. If you have a soul, you will leave this city, you will find a river, you will lie down next to it and you will die in peace ”. Then he adds more severely: “If I see you again, I will kill you myself.” As the townspeople of Fort Worth drive the man and his wife out of the city, Shea can only reflect on the chaos surrounding him and his children.