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Reservation Dogs

TLO Rez Recaps: “House Made of Bongs” (3.5)

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 last week's episode, The Rez Dogs were back in Okern, Oklahoma, paying a price for running away to California. At the IHS office, there are assigned shit tasks like washing the walls or cleaning the bathrooms, but, with these assignments, they share glimmers of their future.

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 5: “House Made of Bongs”

The Plot: As Dwight Twilley’s “I’m On Fire” plays in the background, we find ourselves in Okern on the last day of school in 1976. Inside the refurbished school that Deer Lady attended, a teenage Maximus is attempting to A) buy LSD to impress Mabel and B) avoid Fixico and his “medicine” after an unresolved (and, for the most part, pretty tense) problem.

Afterward, as bright, blinding lights shine overhead, a massive UFO arrives on the outskirts of town. With everybody passed out, they try to make contact with Maximus. Is this part of an acid trip, an undiagnosed mental disorder, or run-of-the-mill aliens trying to contact him?

The Review:  A weird combination of Close Encounters of Third Kind and Dazed and Confused, this is a real trip of an episode, both spiritually and karmically. After being made fun of for daring to say he wants to be a filmmaker, Maximus hits a low point, resulting in a low-level semi-druggy war of words with Fixico.

But, after all of that, Maximus has an extremely close encounter with a UFO, one that seemingly fries his brain…or does it? Though the alien is very rubber-masky, the way the encounter happened and the way Maximus deals with it is honest, but also very ominous.

Not to talk about my late father—again—but a few months before he died, he was always talking about aerial phenomenon, and their connection to Indigenous people. One time, he told me that a comet was going to get all the people into dust—except Natives.

But, what really got me, is that the aliens told Maximus they are his relatives and they are here for him. Although my dad's story spooked me then and Maximus's revelation spooks me now, it results in a most fantastical storyline that I hope pays off in the very remaining episodes, for the most part.

(Also, just to be clear, a futuristic stick-ball movie sounds awesome.)

Best Line: “All right, everyone…when you get released for the summer, don’t be a bunch of shit-asses, all right? Know you’re gonna be out there partying around, drinking, whoring, fornicating, glistening, engorging, .. try and keep your heads on straight.” - Coach

Funniest Memorable Moment:  Is there anything better than 1970’s Sonic Drive-Ins?

Oklahoma Soundtrack Pick: The Dwight Twilley Band – “I’m On Fire”


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

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