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Reservation Dogs

TLO Rez Recaps: “I Still Believe” (Ep. 2.10)

It’s the second season of Reservation Dogs, the critically lauded series by Sterlin Harjo that shows it’s truly a good day to be Indigenous!

This year, I recapped and dissected each episode of the show for those who are and are not watching, giving the basics and not spoiling anything too much for anyone until they hit DVD, or you bum a friend’s password.

Skoden? Stoodis!


Episode 10: “I Still Believe”

The Plot: The season finale, this episode is a continuation from last week, as the Rez Dogs get Elora’s (Devery Jacobs) impounded car out of the lot and take a road trip to sunny California, all in the name of their late friend Daniel.

At a taqueria, not only is their car stolen, but all of the money is gone, too. As they try to make up a plan, they encounter White Jesus, who is exactly what you would imagine.

After a raid on a homeless community they're visiting, they trek to the beach. After a few inspiring words from Cheese (Lane Factor) – and the misheard lyrics of “Free Fallin’” by Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), the spirit of Daniel – the pain of their souls is finally free, like Daniel.

As they return home, White Jesus has a spiritual epilogue, and a cameo from Tim Cappello, the hard-bodied sax-man from The Lost Boys, gives them all a solid farewell.

The Review:  With the dramatic conclusion of season two of Reservation Dogs, it mends that torn fabric on the group dynamic, as well as the amendment of new friendships, especially from Jackie (Elva Guerra) and Kenny Boy (Kirk Fox). But, in the end, it has been about California all along, as they hit the road, with a few stops on the way.

But here, it takes a right turn: with no transportation and no money, they commiserate with the White Jesus (Incubus’s Brandon Boyd), go through the LAPD’s homeless raids, and by sheer luck, happen to be next to the coast.

There, each character has a moment of realization, with Cheese the spiritual leader, Willie Jack the wise elder, Elora the strong-willed tactician, and Bear (D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) the heartful warrior, coming together for the last time to give Daniel a proper send-off.

I am excited for season three and how Rez Dogs deals with a new storyline, but this season is the perfect set of bookends, giving a real sense of closure. If only other television programs followed that same playbook. But…

When I was in the hospital, sick, unable to move, and mostly thinking about dying, I knew I couldn’t do it because I knew there is so much to do. I never thought I would see the dawning of the true renaissance of the new Ingenuous culture, with Reservation Dogs at the forefront of the movement.


Best Line: “The world’s your Indian taco…” - Willie Jack

 Funniest Moving Moment: As much as I loved White Jesus, the scene of the Rez Dogs embracing the spirit of both Daniel and his life, is wonderful to witness.

Oklahoma Soundtrack Pick: The Call - “I Still Believe”


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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