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!
Like last year, I will recap the show for those that don’t have FX or Hulu, giving the basics and not spoiling anything too much for anyone until they hit DVD, or you bum a friend’s password.
Episode 3: “Roofing”
The Plot: Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) decides to join the workforce as a roofer. When he gets to the site, he is partnered with Danny (Michael Spears) – the father of the recently deceased Daniel (Dalton Cramer).
Once a bad dude, Danny admits his shortcomings to Bear. Together, they talk about the past and try for the future while a transparent orbit in the sky gives them both some hope for healing.
Also, everyone’s favorite sidewalk surfer Nate Apodaca—Doggface if you’re nasty—plays the role of Uncle Charlie. While he portrays a fellow roofer here, Nate is better known as the guy on Tiktok who cruised on a skateboard to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” as he downed a large bottle of Ocean Spray. Man, that’s a cameo!
The Review: Shingling is the hardest job I ever worked. I absolutely hated it back in the day. Although I barely had the job for a week, my knees hurt even thinking about those tar-papered days. I feel for Bear and his first real job, right down to the thrashing of a new toolbelt.
While Bear takes a ribbing from the crew, in the space of about nine hours, they come to accept him as one of them. After a slight near-fall, Bear and Danny try to find solace from Daniel’s death and end up discovering so much more. Danny tells Bear that it’s not his fault, kind of absolving him, or the steps to them. It’s a perfect portrayal of trauma and the scars it leaves behind.
I also have to give a shout-out to William “Spirit” Knifeman (Dallas Goldtooth) as the deceased spirit. While he espouses circular wisdom to young Bear, he drops actual life advice, giving a bit of the mentor relationship. (By the way: it is set in a part-o-potty, for humor’s sake.)
Best Line: “That’s the way the Native way of teaching…they have a traditional pedagogy…get and learn out, fucker!”- William “Spirit” Knifeman
Funniest Moment: Goofing off, Uncle Charlie tries to make a video, showing off his sweet moves.
Oklahoma Soundtrack Pick: Samantha Crain – “Neptune Baby”