1883 (2021) s01e05 Episode Script

The Fangs of Freedom

ELSA: I think cities have weakened us, as a species.
Mistakes have no consequences there.
Step into the road without looking and the carriage merely stops or swerves.
The only consequence, an angry driver.
But here, there can be no mistakes.
Because here doesn't care.
The river doesn't care if you can swim.
The snake doesn't care how much you love your children, and the wolf has no interest in your dreams.
If you fail to beat the current, you will drown.
If you get too close, you will be bitten.
If you are too weak, you will be eaten.
Let's push 'em back.
We crossed the main stem of the Brazos River, just north of the Clear Fork.
Though maps say we are still in Texas, the convergence of the main stem and the Clear Fork is where civilization ends.
The land of no consequence is behind us.
We are in the land of no mercy now.
I saw good pasture to the west.
We're gonna hide them in a canyon up north.
Hide 'em? Hide 'em from who? Bandits.
What kind of bandits? Every kind.
Sons of bitches out here'll steal your bed roll with you in it.
Don't go nowhere alone, okay? Hey.
I mean it.
I'm gonna hunt some high ground.
Have a look around.
Hold 'em here.
THOMAS: The wagon was their food wagon.
SHEA: The one that sunk? Me and the farmer saved what we could, but They got no food, Captain.
Need to resupply.
We'll cross at Doan's.
Resupply there.
Doan's is a week's ride.
Goodnight's ranch ain't crazy far.
Neither is Burke Burnett's.
That country's too rough.
And the wrong direction Missing 'em bad this morning, huh? I miss 'em bad every morning, Tom.
That ain't what's eating at me today.
What's eating you, then? We're making too many widows.
Too many orphans.
We ain't making nuthin'.
Their deaths ain't our fault.
They're our responsibility.
That makes 'em our fault.
How's this different than sending soldiers over a hill? You knew they was gonna die.
You never shed a tear for them.
The hell I didn't.
Breakfast is ready.
JOHN: I'm getting dressed.
Well, get dressed faster.
JOHN: I ain't got much practice of doing this by myself.
What the hell are those? They grow on the cactus.
How do you know they're not poisonous? 'Cause I ate one yesterday.
Try it.
I'm gonna make a jelly out of it.
I got dressed all by myself, Mama.
- I can see that.
Here you go, son.
Our daughter gonna join us for breakfast today? She's with the herd.
She's been with the herd for almost a week.
It's making a good cowboy out of her.
I didn't know that was the goal.
Where are you going? I don't recall the part of our vows that said I need to ask your permission to go somewhere.
We leaving today? It's only gonna get hotter.
If we sit around here like it's Sunday, those folks are gonna just cook up whatever food they got left.
We got to keep 'em moving.
We must speak.
All right.
We ride to one river and we don't cross then we ride a week to a worse river.
We are forced to leave everything behind and still we're dying.
You are the leader.
You fight amongst yourselves.
Steal from each other.
You don't do what we say and you do what we tell you don't do.
As far as river crossings go, that's as easy as it's gonna get.
When I say "don't stop in the middle" by God, you'd better not stop.
We're here to show you the way, to protect you.
We ain't your people's leader.
That's your job, you just ain't doing it.
But you better start because most of your food is in the bottom of that river because you decided to put it all in one fuckin' wagon.
We had no choice.
We Mein English We are not all friends.
We are not all family.
We came on the same ship and that is all.
Some take from others whatever they want.
Whatever they need.
We we put the food together.
To protect it.
Who's stealing? There's only 43 of you and you don't know? I know.
Show me.
Set it right there, son.
We should get moving.
We need to take care of something first.
Come with us.
John, you get in the wagon and you stay there.
Don't come out.
You hear me? [MUSIC.]
You must give it back.
Give what back? We lost our food in the river.
You must give back what you took.
Because you lose your food I must give you mine? Your food was our food before you took it.
From who did I take? Huh? From who did I take? From me.
We traded.
I push your wagon, and you give food.
You offered to help then you took the food.
What are you doing? [SPEAKING GERMAN & SLAVIC.]
Let them work it out together.
You don't go in mein wagon.
We have nothing because of you.
Gonna eat all that yourself, big boy? Heh? [GERMAN & SLAVIC CHATTER.]
There any more? That one.
I did nothing.
Take me to your wagon and prove it.
What is this? A refund.
Find your own way to Oregon.
You follow us and I'll kill you.
Same goes for you.
The only way you survive this is working together.
Leaning on each other.
This trip ain't even got hard yet, but hard's coming.
The river is what happens when you don't work together.
That is your leader.
You chose him.
Now follow him.
Or choose someone you will follow.
Break your camps and hitch your teams.
We're leaving in an hour.
I mean it.
To follow us will be the death of you.
You smell like a goat.
I was gonna bathe in the river but Ennis said this is bandit country and not to go anywhere alone.
Sounds like Ennis is hinting at a bath with you.
He didn't suggest a bath.
If he'd gotten this close to you he would've.
I kissed him, Mama.
You mad? I suppose I should be.
But I kissed a few boys when I was your age too, and the world didn't end.
Just don't let it go beyond kissing.
Why, what's beyond kissing? You've seen enough farm animals to know how babies are made, Elsa.
I know how they're made.
Haven't fully figured how it translates to people.
You spend enough time with that cowboy I'm pretty sure you're going to find out quick enough.
I recommend you don't though.
I recommend you save it for someone you love.
Maybe I love him.
I get butterflies when he looks at me.
I get butterflies when he don't.
That's not love, honey.
That's Dammit.
I guess we're gonna have to have that conversation, aren't we? Well, I say we kill two birds with one stone.
Come on.
I envy you.
Becoming a woman out here.
No rules or worries or whispers about what you should do.
There's no such thing as freedom, Elsa.
Don't let anyone tell you there is.
There's laws, there's rules there's customs, responsibilities everywhere.
The more people you cram together the more rules there'll be.
I don't know what life is like in Oregon, but there'll be rules there too.
This trail is as free as you'll ever be.
The only rules you need to follow are the ones in your heart.
We gonna talk about sex now? We just did.
I-I-I'm sorry, I was, uh We, I had to We, uh Put your tongue in your mouth, son.
It helps you speak better.
Ye-Yes, ma'am.
The, uh The wagons are moving.
I thought we were leaving tomorrow.
Leaving now, ma'am.
All right.
We'll get dressed.
Yes, ma'am.
Once you leave.
Yes ma'am.
I'm leaving.
I envy you, honey.
I really do.
Hup, hup.
You helping with the herd, Mrs.
Dutton? I should go check on my son.
If you see Thomas, could you send for him? Everything alright? Everything's fine, ma'am.
If you can spare your husband, would you send him as well? [MUSIC.]
I'll send them both.
We're gonna push these cattle right behind the wagons.
Keep 'em close.
Is this America? Where is this Where is this freedom? Where is this justice? You are sheep with no shepherd.
You follow the wolves.
You follow the wolves! I'm a man of my word.
If you ever see my face again, it'll be the last thing you see.
ELSA: In less than three weeks, we had shrunk by half.
Eight men, six women, and four children had died.
And now we leave at least that many behind If strength is in numbers, then we are growing weaker.
When we need our strength the most.
I make six of them.
No shoes.
We're a ways from the reservation.
Maybe just hunting.
Naw, they ain't travel this far to hunt.
They know we're going water to water.
Keep everything close tonight.
They look like they're starving already.
In this heat, walking this rough trail, it don't take long to starve.
It'll hit them kids first.
We should chip our rations in with theirs.
Already did.
How about you? That ain't part of our bargain.
You gonna watch them starve? There's fifty head of cattle right there.
Ain't nobody got to starve.
When we leave Kansas, there ain't no trading posts 'till Wyoming.
That's a month.
We need to save the cattle.
I won't risk my family for theirs.
You will chip in with us or you will go your own way.
My wagon wheels don't strip so easy, Captain.
You need a cook with his own wagon and the skill to drive it, otherwise you're going to end up in the same situation next week.
You want my rations, that's my price.
I'll hire the first one I see when we get to Doan's, you have my word.
I'm gonna hold you to it.
What's wrong? Somebody's following us.
Could be.
I want you to sleep with the wagons tonight.
Cattle and horses ain't the only thing they steal out here.
You understand me? Yessir.
Go right to camp.
ELSA: What an odd thing, attraction.
It consumes you.
Stronger than hunger or fear or anything I've ever felt.
I feel it everywhere.
My hands my stomach, my toes [PANTING.]
Hey hey You know what to do? You done this before? Sort of.
Sort of? Yeah.
Uh In Dodge City.
I paid a woman to show me, but It didn't work.
Didn't work how? I didn't like her, my body, it wouldn't She couldn't make me feel like this no matter what I paid her.
But I I know what to do If you want me to do it.
I want you to do it.
The whole world faded away.
No more stars or moon.
No sky at all.
No earth between my feet.
No rock against my back.
There was only us.
I said good morning.
You'd better be careful.
Careful with what? You're a woman now, ain't you? And woman to woman you'd better be careful.
It takes years to make something of your life.
One decision can change the course of it forever.
And we don't know if that decision is gonna be the one that sinks us until we make it.
So you'd better be very, very careful what you choose.
Freedom is anything but, Elsa.
And every choice has fangs.
Do you understand me? Yes, ma'am.
We're so past "ma'am".
If you have a child you'll raise it.
I will not do it for you.
Having a hard enough time raising my own, as you can clearly see.
And if you decide to do it again Do it outside of earshot of the damn camp.
Does Daddy know? Your father's watching the herd.
If I have a baby I'll raise it.
Will he raise it with you? I'll ask I suggest you do that.
I don't regret it, Mama.
It was beautiful.
And I don't regret it.
Just once I'd love to see the world through your eyes.
One day you'll see it through mine, though.
And it breaks my heart.
Freedom is accepting consequences.
Embracing them.
Wrapping them around you like a blanket.
I choose to love him.
I choose to let him love me.
If the consequence is a child, I'll choose to love that too.
If I have a baby are you man enough to help raise it? Well? You ain't like anyone I ever met.
Hell, yes, I'm man enough.
I doubt I'm that lucky though.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
I'm gonna go tell Daddy.
Tell Daddy what? That we're getting married.
Think you got women all figured out, don't you? I don't think there's any figuring that one out.
What you need to figure out is her father and quick.
'Cause that son of a bitch is gonna kill you.
You think he knows? The whole fuckin' camp knows.
What is that? What do you think that is? Same thing you think it is.
What do you want to do? Got no choice.
Six of them, you think? Six horses anyway.
We need more guns.
I'll take four good fighters over eight poor fighters any day.
You know how to use those things or are they just for show? I been riding this country fifteen years, what do you think? What about you? I I ain't never killed nobody but by God I know how.
Let's get to camp and figure this out.
You ain't going nowhere.
Daddy! I love him.
You don't know what that word means.
I chose it.
I went to him.
I know what that word means, and I love him.
I'll take your licks if you got more to give.
I'm a man and I'll take 'em.
I'll take her, too.
Will you? That's how you ask? I ain't asking nothing.
If she loves me I'm taking it.
If you won't give her to me, I'll goddam steal her, I swear it.
You got it all figured out, don't you? You say you love her but you won't ever love her like I do.
That's my heart you're running off with.
You'd better cradle it like an egg.
I will, sir.
I will.
A little warning.
That girl is gonna run you ragged.
It's already got that look to it, sir.
Mount up.
Let's get back to camp.
I love you.
I love you.
What if they come back around for us instead? They won't.
But what if they do, James? Then you fight like a damn panther until I get back to you.
Let's get her moving.
She'll be worth something.
Lots of feathers to pluck off that chicken.
We wait for dark? What for? It's just one wagon.
MAN: Smells good.
Where is your horse? I was hopin' you'd know.
Damn bugger bucked me off.
You out here alone? With my husband.
Don't see no husband.
He went for water.
Well, he's gonna be gone a while then.
Ain't much water around here.
Whatcha cookin'? Stew.
That a fact? Ah, come on.
You fucking bitch! [SCREAMS.]
Run! Run! Liza! Liza! [CRYING.]
What is this place? Where are you taking me? [SOBBING.]
Shoot 'em! Shoot 'em! [GUNFIRE.]
Keep shooting, keep firing! [DISTANT GUNFIRE.]
You got that pistol with you? In my saddle bags.
Get it out.
I loved her.
I don't doubt it, son.
No! No! No! [SOBBING.]
Please No! No, no, no.
I'd known death since I was a child.
It's everywhere.
But it had never touched me.
It had never placed its rotten finger on my heart.
Until today.
Today, my eyes died.
I see the world through my mother's eyes now.
Yes, freedom has fangs.
And it sunk them in me.
I chose to love him.
He chose to love me back.
Then chose to protect me.
Then a man we've never met chose to kill him and made me color blind.
Maybe killing this man will get my eyes back.
Maybe it won't.
But I chose to find out.

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