'1883' Episode 2 Review: Guest appearances, reality checks mark an exciting watch
James and his family get a taste of one of the first but not last dangers that that will make their journey a precarious one
Spoilers for '1883' Episode 2 'Behind Us, A Cliff '
Lovers of 'Yellowstone' who have been patiently waiting for the prequel series were treated to a double episode premiere on Paramount+ with '1883' making a thrilling debut. The drama will have Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sam Eliott, and more portraying the ancestors of the Dutton family that we know and love in 'Yellowstone'.
'1883' will see a much older and wilder time as we will be taken to the 19th Century when the Duttons were just making their way to Montana from Texas in hopes of a better life rid of poverty. The journey North will be full of trials and tribulations as the family will learn that the task to get a new life comes with quite a lot of risks. The first episode was electrifying so read on to know what went down in the second episode and what we thought of it.
The second episode starts on a somber note as we see a raggedy, bearded James Dutton (Tim McGraw) wake up in a field of dead bodies after fighting a war. But the sad flashback scene had us confused for a second when a familiar-looking person appears as a Union Army General and guess what it's Tom Hanks! The beloved actor who was confirmed to make a brief appearance does so in the second episode itself making for an enjoyable scene that has you wanting more of the actor as those few moments don't suffice.
The episode also sees the beginning of troubles before the trip as the immigrants start vomiting after having unboiled river water with Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) realizing that the journey is going to be tougher than expected. But that's not all as soon after, in a horrid incident a group of unruly men provokes Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill) and the travelers leading to a fight which sees the men shot dead a few people. In order to get justice James and a few others go to the station wherein a fun twist, iconic actor Billy Bob Thorton makes an appearance as Marshal Jim Courtright. The actor was quite suave in this role as he mercilessly murders the culprits to deliver justice and walks away after spewing a cool line. But this spells trouble for the gang as the townspeople won't be forgiving, forcing the unprepared group to start their journey the next day itself.
Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) who had been quite optimistically poetic about the travels to come learns the hard way that things will be different from what she had imagined the trip to be. Lawlessness, cowboys, death, and illness threaten John's dream for a better tomorrow as everyone gets a taste of the hardships to follow. The second episode was a good balance of hope paired with a reality check as the group finally begin their travels. Looking back is not an option as danger lies behind with more ahead as well. Dotted with guest appearances and jeopardy we can't wait to see what the Duttons will face in the next episode.
'1883' is now streaming on Paramount+.