Reservation Dogs is back with another Season
Reservation Dogs’ second season premiere, we see Jackie and Elora on a cross-country road trip. They are both heading towards Los Angeles, as they planned.
They fill up their car but are inundated by stereotypical Native imagery. Outside the store, there is a cigar-store Indian who is wielding a tomahawk in his hand and making a salute for drivers to see. Behind him stands a plastic tepee
We live in a society that worships consumerism. Indigenous cultures are reduced to trinkets for consumption for profit.
The gas station was filled with stereotypical, and debasing representations of Indigenous people that the show satirized, and challenged the first season. Proving that the show deserved all of its recognition for all its efforts.
Reservation Dogs has won AFI Awards for Best Scripted Series and Independent Spirit Awards for Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series.
Modern shows, like Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls, will help to save American pop culture in the future. Critics like to call this “microgenre,” but that is so gross! Besides these new shows, Mohawk Girls and Dark Winds show Indian culture on screen.
Elora and Jackie smile as they exit the store. They have a look that conveys many emotions, including hope, tiredness in all of its forms, but also understanding for how it can always get better.
I loved the first season of Netflix’s Reservation Dogs so much, I wanted to keep thinking about it. To see them off to another strong start made me want to shout “SKODEN!”
What are all of the other characters up to this season?
The theme of this episode of Reservation Dogs is transformation, but not in a cool and positive way. Rather, it’s when the ground gives away from under your feet and our main characters are struggling to find a safe place to stand. Last season centred the group’s reactions to their friend Daniel’s suicide. This season, the hideout they created memorializing Daniel has been vandalized by unknown thieves and is being demolished so that a megachurch can be built there.
Bear is especially affected by these events, and spends the first episode in a dazed state, slowly falling out of touch with Willie Jack and Cheese.
Spirit reappears to remind him that he needs “to grow up” and start “working for the people,” but Bear doesn’t seem ready to process it just yet.
Bucky at first rejects due to his own fatigue, but he concedes when Willie Jack asks for his help. Bucky, who never had a child of his own, is touched by the girl’s raw grief and agrees to loan her some copper statues. He tries to give her words of hope for this new life she’s about to enter: “We only borrow stardust until we die, and then we return it so somebody else can have it from now on.”
The reservation dogs is going to change.
I found this part of the episode tense: after Jackie and Elora were stranded due to car trouble, they decide to hitchhike. They get picked up by a creepy white salesman. The tension increases when they entered the car, as they started talking I was holding my breath again.
A stranger car can be dangerous, but even more so for native women. They face higher murder rates than the national average and about 85% of two spirit indigenous suffer gender based violence.
The driver suddenly turns down the road and locks the car doors, which frightens Jackie and Elora. Indignant, they kick and stab him respectively.
A bus driver takes the travellers bags without any explanation and leaves. This could be just an event in their lives, or it could be the curse of Willie Jack’s.
Elora struggles with Jackie’s influence and does not have a true voice in their escalating relationship.
A truck of armed men chases our protagonists. It’s an allusion to the tragic shooting of a First Nations Canadian, Colten Boushie, who was shot to death trying to drive away from a location after his friends entered a property looking for help with their car. The killer ultimately went unpunished, which is a terrifying reminder of how Aboriginal people are often ignored by the justice system. This is significant because this experience is so relatable and authentic to Native viewers in ways that are familiar and reaffirming.
Reservation Dogs is a fictional show about reservation life and the lives of those living on it. I am so happy to be writing these recaps for the current season, and I’m thrilled to see where the show will go this season. Last year, Reservation Dogs sparked some important conversations, and I can’t wait to see where this season leads us.