Reservation Dogs Season 2 Review – A funny and heartfelt intergenerational drama

Episode Guide

Sterlin Harjo’s ensemble comedy-drama Reservation Dogs makes a long-awaited return. It delivers a heartfelt, witty story for its second season in a much-anticipated reprise

Elora Danan, Bear (D’Pharoah Woon–A-Tai), Willie Jack(Paulina Alexis), Cheese (Lane Factor), are the Rez Dogs. However, they’re now a splintered bunch. Jackie (Elva Guerra) and Elora have gone to California. The three remaining members of the group are free to pursue their individual interests and discover their identities apart from their group identity.

Season 2 introduces us to The Rez Dogs as individuals and as a group. There are rich episodes that explore the compelling themes surrounding each teenager’s identity. Elora’s episode “Mabel”, co-written with Jacobs, is particularly heartbreaking. It explores Elora’s feelings of longing and loss as well as alienation and grief. Bear struggles with feelings of inadequacy, and the notion of manhood. Cheese, who deserved more screen time, still gets his moment of glory in the installment about finding a home when your blood family is not there. Willie Jack is the instigator of unity.

While Reservation Dogs was a challenging format to adapt, it is a great way to explore heavy themes for each character and for the entire community. A few episodes focus on Officer Big and the aunties who live on the reservation. These episodes are heartfelt and flesh out additional characters while also treating the reservation like a living, breathing entity.

This approach fits Harjo’s vision of the show. In an interview with GQ, he stated that he has always wanted to tell stories about communities. “Part of that is holding the mirror up and showing people what’s special about us. To me, that is community-driven living.”

Season 2 of Reservation Dogs sees Harjo and Waititi connecting generations within the reservation. These stories become more circular as we learn more about the adults living on the reservation. They have faced the same injustices, have been guided and supported by the same spirits, have remained strong by the support of the same community, and have asked the same questions about their identity, purpose, home, and place. Reservation dogs is a subtle drama that encourages you to rely on others and support them.


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