The end is almost here, fellow Reservation Dogs fans. After three seasons, FX and Hulu’s critically acclaimed Indigenous coming-of-age dramedy is drawing to its conclusion. Devoted viewers are sure to be filled with a mixture of emotions, especially with only a handful of episodes left in its run. On that note, the creative team still has much to say about the show’s Oklahoma-based quartet of teens and those in their orbit. And as you can imagine, the cast and crew are planning to go out on a strong note. Those were the sentiments that were conveyed to me by two of the series’ editors, Varun Viswanath and Patrick Tuck. With that, Tuck managed to sum up the final installments with two words.
I’ve been watching this series – which was created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi – since its debut in 2021. So I was incredibly ecstatic to speak with two of the show’s key creatives during a Zoom interview on behalf of CinemaBlend. We discussed a number of topics but, of course, I couldn’t help but try to get some (non-spoilery) details about the final stretch of episodes. The two editors, as expected, were careful not to reveal any massive plot points. However, the sentiments Patrick Tuck, who’s also worked on FX’s Dave, shared about the ending were intriguing nonetheless:
Everything's connected. … That's probably as few words I could use, and it probably sums it up the best, honestly.
That’s a solid tease – and one that’s sure to keep fans thinking as the series finale approaches. Like his colleague, Varun Viswanath is no stranger to keeping secrets. In addition to Reservation Dogs, he’s also worked on notable shows like What We Do in the Shadows and Blindspotting. Viswanath gave his co-editor credit for such a smart tease and went on to give me his thoughts on those last few episodes:
Yeah, that's very hard to beat. I think we've kept this ‘everything's connected’ message coming through so often in the show, and it really starts making sense. And I think there's a good mix of venturing out of your comfort zone as well as coming home to the comfort that you already know.
The notion of everything being connected has actually been explicitly mentioned during this third and final season. During the premiere, which sees the Rez dogs returning home by bus following their trip to California, Chester “Cheese” Williams encounters an odd man named Olf. Cheese eventually explains his relationship with his fellow travelers, leading Olf to interrupt and recall the time he was held at gunpoint and later arrested for a crime unrelated to that matter. When Cheese asks how that relates to his comments, Olf ominously muses that everything is connected.
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While I’m still trying to figure out if (or how) Olf’s story might specifically figure into the series’ capper, I do think there’s a full-circle moment on the horizon. Reservation Dogs Season 3 has been revealing different tidbits about some of the older characters on the show. That includes Elora’s Uncle Brownie, local artist Bucky and Cheese’s adopted grandmother, Irene. When they were teens in the ‘70s, they were a tight-knight unit, though they’d lose a friend, Maximus, who claimed to have seen aliens or “star people” as a kid. (Said encounter was depicted in this season’s “House Made of Bongs” episode.)
Some may remember that Bear – one of the current Rez Dogs – also met an older (and isolated) Maximus during his walk-about earlier this season. Maximus was ultimately escorted to a mental health facility by authorities after talking more about “star people.” And later on, in “Frankfurter Sandwich,” Brownie and Bucky also broke down while recalling how they abandoned their childhood friend. I suspect that somehow, all of the remaining members of the ‘70s friend group are going to cross paths again. That’d be a sweet way to close out the show and will track with the “everything’s connected” mantra.
Interestingly enough, Patrick Tuck confirmed during our chat that the show had just locked on the finale, so the episode is officially cut. I’m both anxiously awaiting and dreading these final episodes due to just how much I’ll miss this series. However, the writers' sentiments and past work make me confident that fans can expect to see some truly satisfying episodes.
If you’d like to stream Reservation Dogs, know that it airs new episodes on Wednesdays as part of the 2023 TV schedule, so check them out with a Hulu subscription. There’s a lot to love about the show, and those with an Atlanta-shaped hole in their heart may really appreciate it.