Reservation Dogs – Season 3 Episode 5 “House Made of Bongs” Recap & Review

House Made of Bongs

In Reservation Dogs Season 3 Episode 5, Maximus is back–but this time, as a young man who goes by Chebon. In this episode, we get a peek into the past of Okern through the eyes of Maximus during his high school years with Mabel (Elora’s grandmother), Irene (Cheese’s adoptive grandmother), Brownie (Elora’s uncle), and Bucky (town elder and artist).

It’s the end of Maximus’ junior year. With his parents gone, he plans to stay at the boarding school for the summer instead of going home like his friends. He refuses an offer from Bucky to stay with him. Although he also has the option to stay with his grandmother, he doesn’t want to be around his cousin Fixico ever since they had a falling out.

Maximus’ friends ask him to get acid for a party from Fixico, who has been learning medicine. But Maximus can’t bring himself to talk to his cousin. Everyone assumes they are still fighting over Mabel, who split up with Fixico and started dating Maximus–but Maximus swears this isn’t the reason. 

Later, he tells Mabel that Fixico said hurtful things he can’t take back. He also has everything Maximus doesn’t–like parents–but he never acknowledges that Maximus doesn’t have his advantages.

At the end-of-the-year party, Maximus and his friends all talk about what they want to do when they grow up. When he shares his dream of making movies, Brownie and Irene laugh at him, and he berates them for trying to tear people down when they have dreams bigger than theirs.

Maximus then takes acid for the first time. Before leaving the party with the rest of the gang, he blows up at Fixico when his cousin shows concern for him. He’s not a medicine man, but a poison man, as Maximus dubs him. The friends finally leave, with Maximus driving them back. But he stops the car when he sees a UFO and a Star Person. The Star Person claims to be his relative who wanted to see him.

When the others realize they’ve stopped, they get out of the car and ask Maximus what’s going on. He tells them about what he saw, but Bucky, Irene, and Brownie only tease him for being hit so hard by the drugs. Mabel tries to comfort him, but he pushes her away.

The Episode Review

I hope Maximus and Fixico get their resolution. This episode provides a beautiful but tragic illumination of where Maximus’ tendency toward isolation comes from. It’s a depressing path he takes, but we can’t help but have sympathy for him. There’s power in belief and support from your community. The belief, Maximus didn’t have. And the support didn’t look quite like what he wanted.

We’ve had three great episodes in a row, but none of them have focused on the Rez Dogs’ central story (two of them being about characters from the past and the last episode being fairly quiet). I’m really looking forward to getting back to the Rez Dogs’ central conflicts, and I think this episode helps frame what those will be. As the teens move forward, they’ll be seeking different directions in life. Will they choose to support each other or tear each other down for their differences?

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