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Reservation Dogs

TLO Rez Recaps: “Friday” (3.4)

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

In the last episode, the Deer Lady is back to provide respite to Bear who has been walking from Texas to small-town Oklahoma, trying to get back home.

But, as the Deer Lady remembers her childhood home as one of the lost children in Oklahoma’s abusive and murderous boarding schools, she settles one more score before hitting the road again.

With this final season, I recap each episode of the show for those who are (and are not) watching, giving the basics, and not spoiling anything too much for you.

Skoden? Stoodis!


Episode 4: “ Friday”

The Plot: As the Dogs (and, apparently, Jackie) do time at the Indian Clinic as punishment for running off to California – doing everything from sweeping trash to cleaning spray paint off the walls – they take various paths that seem indifferent but say more than they realize.

Highlights of the day include Cheese (Lane Factor) picking up his new IHS glasses, Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) learning a new trade, Bear (D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) and Jackie (Elva Guerra) trading goofy taunts, and Elora (Devery Jacobs) learning her white dad is named Rick. The best – and most surprising part – is the flirty repartee between Big (Zahn McClarnon) and Bev (Jana Schmieding) at the IHS service desk. Be sure to hang around for the end credits.

The Review:  Being a riff on the movie Friday—at least that is how I see it—all of the Res Dogs are stuck doing their community service. There's plenty going on, especially Rita’s concern of a Bear/Jackie romantic entanglement, and Big and Bev’s suggestive waiting room tango, but can we talk about the IHS eye-care facet for a moment?

For nearly 30 years, I have had bad eyesight, made worse through my subsequent and recent strokes. Through the Indigenous health service, my vision has been mostly corrected, along with my spirits (one of the doctors at the clinic told me what a “big fan” he was of my work, bragging about it in the next room).

Just as Cheese was more than delighted at this new world of vision, I have experienced firsthand how the IHS can impact one's life. So, to all the IHS workers that help keep the body and the spirit well, thank you!

Best Line: “Yeah, I got a number for you…B-have.” – Clinton, the Bingo Caller (Warren Queton)

Funniest Moment:  Big and Bev take a moment on the long-forgotten grooming of one’s pubic hair.

Oklahoma Soundtrack Pick: Jesse Ed Davis – “Washita Love Child”


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

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