1883 – Season 1 Episode 6 “Boring The Devil” Recap & Review

Boring The Devil

Episode 6 of 1883 sees the caravan head toward Doan’s Crossing. This happens to be a border town of sorts, and somewhere the gang can catch their bearings and prepare for the next leg of their journey.

Elsa is consumed with grief but out of all the people who know what she’s going through, it’s Shea who shows with wise words of wisdom. After burning his house down and losing his wife, Shea admits he has his own reasons for living. Shea believes no one is left to love him but he’s bound for the ocean to fulfill his own promise and dream to his beloved. It’s a really beautiful and touching chat, one that perfectly exemplifies how Elsa is feeling. In fact, it’s so touching that Elsa returns to work, albeit still grieving.

When the gang make it to Doan’s Crossing, Margaret seizes the opportunity to take a ride with her daughter. They head into town but it’s not exactly a welcome reception. People stare, untrusting, as the two women pass. Given Elsa’s current mood, a man in the crowd challenges her. With the pair drawing guns, James arrives and manages to save the situation from blowing completely out of control, lamenting Elsa’s foolishness. The thing is, that blinding rage is bound to get them in trouble if it’s not control and James knows that. He orders Elsa to leave and return to the caravan.

Thomas works his magic in town to convince a cook to jump aboard and help the caravan in their upcoming travels. He has some pretty strict but fair rules, although it’ll cost $600 to get him aboard. Given the lack of resources and cooks from here to Wyoming, his rates are justifiably steep.

Another new addition to the roster is Colton, a young and charismatic cowboy hired to replace Ennis. As one may expect, this goes down as well as a lead balloon with Elsa. He apologizes for what happened to Ennis, admitting that he actually knew the man, “He was a good hand.” Colton says. Realizing she’s in mourning, he respectfully keeps his distance. At least for now.

Unfortunately there’s a bigger problem afoot here than grief. TherE’s a river blocking their path and the caravan are going to have to cross again. Shea bemoans that they’re losing time. “We should be in Kansas by now!”

The thing is, this is a tough crossing and after this, they’ve got the desert and then the mountain to tackle. Shea believes in tough love, determined to have the immigrants fend for themselves in order to survive. Thomas is far more understanding and level-headed than his partner, unsure whether this is actually a good place to teach them a lesson.

On top of hiring a cook, Thomas also buys a gift for Noemi. Specifically, that off a mirror. His reasoning comes from her beauty and wanting her to look at herself. The thing is, Thomas taking care of her and buying Noemi gifts are acts of love unto themselves and Noemi soon talks him around. Under the flickering lights of their campfire, Noemi strips off and kisses him.

In the morning, she holds Thomas’ hand and stops him from calling her “ma’am”, replaced with the much more intimate and informal “Noemi.”

In the morning, Elsa manages to come to terms with her grief, partly thanks to a chat with her father but mostly from Shea’s words. When he arrives to see her by the river crossing, Elsa kisses Shea’s cheek and crosses to the other side.

The Episode Review

1883 is hands down one of the best shows on TV right now. It’s beautifully written, with deep, interesting characters and some gorgeous scenery to boot. Not only that but the themes this show wrestles with, including grief, loss, belonging and love, all resonate deeply through the individual episodes.

There’s a great balance of tense, dramatic moments (like last episode’s shootout) which are then counteracted by quiet, reflective chapters like this one. But yet, the atmosphere and tone remains undeniably palpable and utterly enthralling.

This chapter focuses on Elsa’s grief and the chat near the start between her and Shea perfectly sums up this idea and how to live with it. The numerous references to the devil makes sense too, given these guys are about to cross into more dangerous territories, and I’d imagine we’ll see more deaths before this season is up too.

Either way though, the next episode looks set to take off into unknown territory, and that should prove to be quite the intriguing proposition.

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You can read our full season review of 1883 Season 1 here!

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1 thought on “1883 – Season 1 Episode 6 “Boring The Devil” Recap & Review”

  1. More geographic errors in 1883: First, the Oklahoma Territory (singular) did not exist until 1890. Prior to that it was the Indian Territory, and that’s what everyone called it. Second, the Red River at Doan’s Crossing was not the “boundary” between Texas and anything. North of the Red River at Doan’s Crossing was Greer County, Texas, organized in 1860. It remained Greer County, Texas, until it was taken by the Federal Government in 1896, at which time it became part of the newly created Oklahoma Territory.

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