Reservation Dogs’ first season’s creators Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo succeeded in creating a setting that accurately reflected the lives of Indigenous people in the U.S. Many of the individuals in front of and behind the cameras were of Indigenous descent in Reservation Dogs, which was beneficial. But more than that, they began to create a feeling of community that has characterized some of the best programs from the past 20 or so years. That is continued in Reservation Dogs Season 2, which picks off where Season 1 left off.
The summary: The Reservation Dogs have encountered issues since the tornado passed through the reservation in Oklahoma, which was largely stopped by Uncle Brownie’s (Gary Farmer) spiritual gyrations.
After Danny passed away, they had intended to all travel to California together, but instead, Elora (Devery Jacobs) and rival gang leader Jackie (Elva Guerra) left Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) behind.
Bear continues to communicate with William Knifeman (Dallas Goldtooth), but the ghost is less interested in Bear now that Brownie is a new client. Willie Jack is trying to have the curse she put on Jackie, which she did through a white man who claimed to be a wizard, lifted because it has come back to haunt her and the town. And Cheese (Lane Factor) is content to rearrange Brownie’s VHS collection in exchange for some Sonic and the chance to see the Big Trouble in Little China director’s cut.
Since the abandoned building they utilized as their hideout is being demolished, they already lack a place to hang out.
The car that Elora stole from her grandmother doesn’t take them very far before it breaks down. They get into a car with a strange man who drives them on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere as he talks about numerous absurd things. The girls attack him and get out of the car, only to learn that their whole belongings, including their money, are inside.
Brownie being elsewhere occupied, Willie Jack and Bear ask Bucky (Wes Studi), an additional elder, to assist them in breaking the curse. He says they only need something personal, not Jackie’s hair. At some point, calling the curse “kid shit,” Bear sends Willie Jack away on her own to try to solve this.
Reservation Dogs Season 2 – Watch it or Pass it?
While it might have seemed like a mistake for Waititi and showrunner Sterlin Harjo to split up the Dogs at the end of Season 1, it was ultimately a smart choice. Why? Because it foreshadows a season in which the Native American community on the reservation takes center stage while yet demonstrating how the tribe is still in shock at Danny’s death.
Yes, the first season began exploring the numerous quirky aspects of the community, particularly with tribal cop Big (Zahn McClarnon) and his fascination with conspiracies.
But it simply seems like this season’s lack of a central point for Bear, Cheese, and Willie Jack to gather around as well as their lack of a compelling reason to leave the reservation and move to California expands the storytelling possibilities.
Even though we know Jackie and Elora will eventually return to the reservation, we can’t help but be entertained by their adventurous road trip, which pretty much instantly gets out of hand. The two of them appear to be going to run with some interesting characters along the way, played by guest actors like Megan Mullally, who makes an appearance in the second episode as a recently divorced woman who houses the lost teens for a night.
Of course, there are some amusing parts, such as when Brownie and Bucky attempt to break the Jackie curse together and stumble along because they have no idea what they are doing. To finish their “ceremony,” they both look for an “old song” to sing, and the song they chose made us laugh aloud. But there are also plenty of dramatic and sad moments in Reservation Dogs Season 2, and we applaud them all.