[Spoiler alert: 1883 episode 9 spoilers ahead.]
Taylor Sheridan’s 1883 episode 9 brought the entire story back to the beginning. Finally, viewers understand why Elsa Dutton was wearing a white dress — and what happened when she was shot with an arrow with her parents seemingly absent from the event. The ending of the episode also brings big questions to the table, like Elsa’s fate. So, is Elsa going to die in 1883? The end of the episode hints at her accepting her fate moving forward.
Elsa Dutton gets shot with an arrow after a misunderstanding
1883 episode 9, “Racing Clouds,” continues to showcase the deadly Great Plains. Decider notes the episode begins with a rattlesnake bite for Josef and only gets worse from there.
Shea, Thomas, and James Dutton come across a Lakota camp that’s been completely destroyed, and they see the dead bodies of women and children in the wreckage. But Shea realizes that, upon seeing the attack, the group is leaving tracks that may lead the Lakota people to think they’re the ones responsible for attacking. The group ultimately decides to leave and kill the real attackers.
Trouble comes quickly, though. Cookie gets caught at the scene, and he’s killed by the Lakota men who assume he attacked their people. Elsa — who put on a white dress as instructed by Margaret Dutton — sees Cookie’s death and goes to warn the others in her group. She veers off course in an attempt to spare some of the wagons, but she ends up getting bludgeoned off of her horse and shot with an arrow in the exchange seen in the first scene of the first episode.
Is Elsa going to die in ‘1883’? ‘1883’ episode 9 ending serves as a warning
So, is Elsa going to die in 1883? The events at the end of 1883 episode 9 certainly point to her demise.
After getting shot, Elsa speaks to the Lakota people and tells them her husband is Comanche, which ultimately saves her life. Her wound gets cauterized, and she doesn’t die immediately from it. This gives viewers hope that she’ll make it out alive — but the hope remains short-lived.
The arrow that shot Elsa through the liver is filthy, and both James and Margaret know this more than likely means death. “If we don’t accept it now, she’s gonna die in some fort with some doctor doping her up so badly she can’t see straight, and we will have robbed her,” James tells Margaret, Decider notes. “We will lie to her and tell her she’s fine. We’ll let her look at this world with those big dreamer eyes until she can’t see anymore.”
By the end of the episode, Elsa feels a fever coming on, and she develops pain at the site of the arrow wound. While her parents remain hopeful in front of her face, she knows the truth.
“I looked back at my father, and I studied his eyes,” Elsa says at the end of episode 9. “Looked deep into them. That’s when I knew I was going to die.”
‘1883’ episode 10 will likely show where James and Margaret Dutton choose to bury their daughter
With the events of 1883 episode 9 ending on thoughts of Elsa Dutton’s death, what will happen in 1883 episode 10? We expect James and Margaret Dutton will plan Elsa’s funeral. Elsa will likely get sicker in the days following her injury, as hinted at by James. “The next day’s a mystery,” he tells Elsa when she asks him about her wound pain.
James and Margaret also talked about Elsa’s burial in episode 9. “She’s going to be another cross on a trail that we don’t visit,” Margaret tearfully tells James. “Ten years from now, it’s just gone.”
“Our wagon drive is over,” James says. “Where we bury her is where we stay. That is our home.”
“Not here, not in this place,” Margaret says.
“No, not in this place,” James notes. “I will find the place. By God, I will find the place.”
Will James and Margaret make it all the way to Oregon with Elsa to potentially bury her there? The final episode of 1883 Season 1 will likely show how far the couple travels before settling.
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