This review contains spoilers for Reservation Dogs.
Reservation Dogs ended in a very sad way last season for the most part. A tornado hit the reservation, and Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) left the crew and took off with Jackie. And this all happened around the anniversary of Daniel’s death. Also, we have to remember Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) cursed Jackie (Elva Guerra). The entire season as a whole was incredibly fresh and fun. Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo created something that we all needed. A group of kids coming of age isn’t a new concept for storytelling, but the way the Reservation Dogs tells it is undoubtedly special. Through trials and tribulations, the Reservation Dogs are growing.
The Season 2 premiere starts right where we left off. Elora and Jackie are driving to California, while Bear (D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai), Jack, and Cheese (Lane Factor) are trying to figure out why they keep having bad luck. Jack remembers that she tried to curse Jackie, and goes to visit the White Wizard (Todd Jenkins). When he says he can’t help, she goes back to Auntie B (Kimberly Guerrero), but she can’t help her either. They realize how bad it is when construction workers tear down the hideout because a Mega Church will be built in that spot. They find all of Daniel’s stuff and move it.
The bad luck in this episode isn’t just reserved for the remaining members of the crew. Mose (Lil Mike) and Mekko (Funny Bone) have their bikes stolen, and everything is going bad for the Reservation. Jackie and Elora are having it bad as well. Their GPS messes up, they have to stop to buy maps, and the car breaks down. They get into a vehicle with a white guy that looks like he’s harmless. After he takes them down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere they kick and stab him to get away. The girls try to take a car from a house but end up getting chased by men with guns.
If it wasn’t already clear, the Reservation Dogs are having bad luck from all angles. Bear isn’t in a good head space. Jackie is trying to reverse the curse, Elora is getting chased, and, well, Cheese is Cheese. It’s a fun way to bring the show back with this opening episode, bringing back the dry humor, dramatic situations, and the chemistry that made the series special in its freshman season.
Erica Tremblay joins the filmmaking crew behind the scenes and directs the season’s premiere. She does a wonderful job as she brings over her experience with documentary work and injects it into Reservation Dogs. No, this isn’t a mockumentary, but it kind of feels like one in a way. That’s what makes this episode of Reservation Dogs so much fun.
Creator Sterlin Harjo, Dallas Goldtooth, and Ryan RedCorn contributed to this episode’s teleplay. They stayed consistent and true to the roots of the Reservation Dogs. We’ve never really had a show about Native Americans living in the modern-day States through the lens of a coming-of-age story. This aspect, among many others, is what makes Reservation Dogs such an interesting and unique show.
This first episode of the second season of Reservation Dogs has some pacing issues, but the good far outweighs the bad. This season seems like it will carry the torch of the first season, and just keep delivering fresh ideas. Most shows have fillers or recycle ideas constantly. In this new era of television, it’s rare though. Reservation Dogs is back with a vengeance, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 8/10
Reservation Dogs is now streaming on Hulu!