Episode 2 of Reservation Dogs Season 2 begins with Elora and Jackie running from the men driving after them, who seem to have no qualms with shooting a couple of Indigenous teenagers. They eventually give up and drive away, and the girls, exhausted, continue on their journey.
It’s (somewhat) smoother sailing from there. A woman named Anna invites them into her home. That night, Jackie spies Elora sobbing. Maybe she thinks Elora isn’t tough enough to make it, because she steals Anna’s keys and almost leaves without her. Something stops her, however.
Elora is dreaming about Daniel, who asks why she didn’t take him with her. She’s crying out in her dream, remembering how she discovered his body, when Jackie wakes her up by dangling Anna’s keys in front of her face.
“Do you feel bad?” Elora asks Jackie as they drive away. “I don’t feel bad about shit,” Jackie says. Unbeknownst to them, Anna watches from the window as they drive away.
Later, the teens make a quick stop at Jackie’s mom’s house. Jackie gets money from her mom, who doesn’t say much, except to instruct her to give the reservation a chance. She needs it.
Meanwhile, Willie Jack’s curse-breaking efforts continue, albeit without Bear. He’s out looking for a job, but stumbles upon the delivery truck driver he and friends once stole from. As it turns out, he knew what Bear did all along. Now, he has some advice to offer to the guilt-ridden teenager. “Build things, boy. Don’t tear ‘em down.”
Willie Jack implores Jackie’s gang for some items of Jackie’s. They agree that a curse has been hanging over them and readily fish over some of their friend’s belongings.
Uncle Brownie and Bucky take Willie Jack and Cheese to the river in the morning. The two men say a prayer, which serves more as a vehicle to air out their grievances with one another. They toss Jackie’s items into the river, sing a song, and voilà.
According to Brownie’s vision of a Native Spirit (the same that talks to Bear), the curse has been lifted. The effects will linger inside of them, however, until they deal with their own guilt.
The episode ends with Willie Jack talking to Daniel’s portrait. She says they should all try to do better now that the curse is lifted. “But to be honest,” she admits. “It just doesn’t feel like it’s over.”
The Episode Review
The Reservation Dogs writers do a service to the legacy of Daniel’s character. He’s not forgotten in the wake of a new season, but is allowed to morph to fill different roles according to each character’s perception of him. That drives home in this episode for Elora, especially.
Having once driven her to chase California, the memory of Daniel now twists her actions to feel selfish and wrong. It’s a heartbreaking arc for someone– who usually prides herself on having a good head on her shoulders –now feeling incredibly lost.
Reservation Dogs has always struck a good blend of comedy and drama, and its tone remains well-balanced despite sobering considerably in this new season.
While half of the gang seemed to benefit from a sense of closure at the end of season 1, there still remains this gaping hole in each of the Rez Dogs–motivated largely by Daniel–nudging them to “do better.” Whatever that may mean.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|