Yellowstone's spinoff 1883 has come out of the gate swinging, and it's coming for blood. The brutal series has made it clear that it's not afraid to kill off characters, and episode five of the season made that abundantly clear. Shortly after Elsa (Isabel May), the oldest daughter of James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill) agreed to marry her sweetheart Ennis (Eric Nelson), the cowhand was killed in a gunfight with bandits threatening the wagon train.
Nelson spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his character's devastating end. He explained that the final death knell for Ennis was asking Elsa to marry him. "Some people said that and some people said, 'Oh, good. This is going to be the Dutton dynasty. Kids are coming!' In this story, tragedy is unavoidable, and this is just one example of that," he explained. "It's actually an amazing turning point for the series as a whole, which I'm excited for the fans to see unfold."
Nelson also addressed the fact that Ennis took Elsa's virginity right before he died, which could be setting up a frontier pregnancy for the eldest Dutton. "What happens in episode 5 impacts Elsa's journey completely," Nelson teased. "She was heading in one direction and now she's going to head in another. I mean, when she gets up and kills that guy for Ennis, that's a different Elsa. Elsa has taken a turn. It's a big shift in the dynamic of her character. Elsa, 2.0 is coming up! "
1883 stars McGraw and Hill as James and Margaret Dutton, the great-grandparents of Kevin Costner's Yellowstone character John Dutton. The series tracks the Dutton family's journey from Texas to Montana to establish the Yellowstone Ranch. Sam Elliott stars as Civil War veteran Shea Brennan. LaMonica Garrett, Marc Rissmann, Audie Rick, Eric Nelson, James Landrey Herbert, and Billy Bob Thornton also star. New episodes are released on Paramount+ Sundays.