Reservation Dogs – Season 3 Episode 1 “BUSSIN'” Recap & Review


In Reservation Dogs Season 3 Episode 1, the Rez Dogs go looking for Bear’s dad in LA, only to find he’s skipped town to go on tour in Oakland and has left behind his family. Bear tells the woman to give his dad his microphone medallion. He attaches a note to it that reads, “For once I get to decide how you disappear. Have a good life dad. Bear.”

Deciding it’s time to go home, they call Teenie to come get them, and she arranges for a bus to take them back to Okern. In skipping work to help the kids, she worries she’ll likely lose her job. But maybe it’s time for a change. Teenie, Elora, Willie Jack and Cheese all board the bus with the belief that Bear is with them.

In actuality, he’s lost track of time in the bathroom while speaking to William “Spirit” Knifeman, who believes Bear should not get on the bus. He has a different path. Bear disagrees but misses the bus anyway. With a dead phone and no money, he’s not sure how he’s going to get back home. The spirit warrior encourages him to follow his heart, but Bear is fed up with him at this point.

Talking to Teenie on the bus, Elora learns that her dad is alive, and he’s White. Teenie offers to put them in touch with each other, but Elora isn’t sure what she wants. Everyone only realizes that Bear is missing once they get back to the reservation, where they greet an angry Rita.

The Episode Review

According to Steven Harjo, this is going to be the final season of Reservation Dogs. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I have a lot of faith in this series’ brilliant writers to give us a worthwhile and moving goodbye to the Rez Dogs.

The Rez Dogs now have a sense of peace about Daniel’s spirit resting, but that doesn’t mean their paths are suddenly clear. Actually, it seems their place in life and on the reservation feels more tumultuous than ever. Although, apart from dear Cheese’s fear of abandonment, most of their feelings remain unspoken.

It’s a testament to the acting of Paulina Alexis, K. Devery Jacobs, Lane Factor, and D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai that they’re able to convey those dual feelings of peace and confusion. And it’s a testament to the creators and writers that Reservation Dogs has never stopped providing us with a coming-of-age story.

The show understands that coming of age is never just about one thing. The uneasiness and uncertainty remain at every step of growing up; finding out who you are doesn’t magically happen with a life lesson in one’s pocket. While some trauma has begun to heal, the Rez Dogs are still growing up, still finding their place in the world.


Next Episode

You can look forward to a full season review when this show ends!

  • Episode Rating

1 thought on “Reservation Dogs – Season 3 Episode 1 “BUSSIN'” Recap & Review”

  1. Amazing series and insight into the struggles and joys of young people growing up on the ‘RES’. Love seeing this from the eyes of all Native writers who were able to give a glimpse into the living mysticism and rich culture of the people. One highlight for me was when all the people were out in nature singing a rhymetic and sonorous chant choir style. The richness of the culture and spiritual strength of the people still stands today. The horrible scenes of the boarding schools filled me with sadness and a deeper understanding. Hopefully
    the scenes will ignite compassion in the hearts of the ones who need to understand .

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