Did September 27th mark the end of FX’s Reservation Dogs?
Or is there more to the coming-of-age drama?
Reservation Dogs was a palatable series broadcasted on the FX network since its inception with Season 1 in 2021. After a successful run of three seasons, and the third season’s finale broadcast on 27 September, what lies ahead of the coming-of-age series? Let’s get straight to the crux and say that Season 3 was unfortunately the end to this Herculean journey that ardent fans embarked upon since the series’ inception. Hence, Season 4 of Reservation Dogs was never renewed by FX.
According to Deadline reports, co-creator Sterlin Hajro took to Instagram in June to reveal the fate of the series and whether the audience can expect any further seasons. He revealed, ” “Here it is: the coming third season of Reservation Dogs will be the final season.” Continuing,
“That’s a difficult line to write and a more difficult decision to make. However, it’s the correct decision creatively for the show. I always knew what the end of this story would be, I just didn’t know when it would arrive. As we continued to break stories and write scripts this season, it became clear to the producers, Taika, and me that the season three finale was the perfect series finale. When we came up with the idea for Reservation Dogs, I didn’t think the show would ever get made, but thankfully it did.”
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So it had been abundantly clear by the creators of the series itself, that Season 3 would be the last of what we see. So, does that mean a renewal for Season 4 was never on the books?
Why Season 3 Is The Perfect Ending?
Created by Hajro and Taika Waititi, the stellar series reflects Native American culture in the veins of the storyline, whereby it follows the exploits of Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs), Bear Smallhill (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) and Cheese (Lane Factor), four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma. Commenting on the commendable dramedy, creator Hajro spoke about how in coming-of-age stories, the characters eventually come of age and thereafter, it is pointless to continue the story.
The basic premise behind this genre is to capture the present moments and struggles of coping teenagers who are attempting to find themselves in society, and it is on a whole another level for natives.
Speaking to Variety, Hajro states, “It’s a story that had an ending,” he continues, “It’s a story about people going through transition, and specifically kids going through a very transitional moment and grief. I just don’t think that lasts forever. I think that we’re meant to be with them during this transitional time. To me, the show’s too important to drag out.”
Since its inception, the story was about four friends Elora (Devery Jacobs), Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), and Cheese (Lane Factor), who came together to cope with their best friend Daniel. Daniel’s unfulfilled wish to travel to the California Coast was completed by his friends who felt his presence beside them. But the co-creator specified that he wanted the kids back to their roots in Oklahoma. Continuing on his talk with Variety, he said, “Back in Oklahoma is where we get to tell the story that we’re telling,” he says. “That’s where the magic happens. It’s also where this world is created. Being out in the rest of the world doesn’t feel like ‘Rez Dogs’ to me, so we needed to get them back.”
Bear’s character was going through a transition where he stayed behind, upset over the fleeing of his absentee dad again. “Bear is in a big transition,” Harjo says. “Bear is dealing with a lot of the things that he’s put aside for the first few seasons. Things with his dad, things about who he’s going to be, about his future. And it’s all kind of coming to a head… He decides, ‘I don’t need my dad anymore.’ That he doesn’t need anyone. And I think that’s part of Bear’s journey — him figuring out what he does need actually and who he needs.”
Season 3 witnesses the spirit of William Knifeman (Dallas Goldtooth), who says he died at the Battle of Little Big Horn, yet didn’t do any fighting, is here to replay the events for the audience and be Bear’s guide through tough times. “It was like, what’s the style of storytelling we haven’t used yet,” Harjo says. “Let’s break the fourth wall and have him talk directly to the camera and be our narrator. And what more of an unreliable narrator than William Knifeman? He lies about his own journey. It felt like a good way to kind of frame that first episode.”
Even though “Reservation Dogs” is ending, the series may pop up now and then through the lens of different universes according to Hajro. It won’t necessarily be “Reservation Dogs,” he says: “It’s not meant to evolve into some other story. I think that’s what we would have to do to keep the show going, it would have to be something else.”
“There’s something about being able to imagine where these characters go instead of me forcing it on people,” he says. “Being able to imagine what happens to these kids as they get older and go into life. And I’m not saying I would never revisit it. I’d love to. It’s just right now, this is the end of the show,” said Hajro as he said he was snooping around, picking up inspiration for a sequel to Reservation Dogs. The only thing that was stopping him was WGA. But now that that’s over, we can expect him to get back and revive Reservation Dogs, but in a different name and context, maybe a sequel where the kids we know have started going through the struggles of adulting.
As “Reservation Dogs” draws to a close, Harjo says he’s proud of what he and his team accomplished over three seasons. “The passion that people have for these characters and the stories are just so amazing, and so fulfilling, artistically,” he says. “The idea that I made something that people felt like they hadn’t seen before, not just Indigenous aspects of it, but just the way it’s told, that’s what we’re here to do. And I feel like I accomplished that. It was heartbreaking for me. I cried writing the last episode. Then, my producers and I read it back finessed it some, and read it together. All of us were in tears hugging each other. But we also knew that it needed to be the end.”
Reservation Dogs Season 3 Ending (Spoilers Ahead)
While the Reservation Dogs have finally sung its swan song yesterday with the heart-warming series finale Season 3 Episode 10 titled ‘Dig’, it was a bittersweet ending to the series.
In the final episode, the gang gathers together for Old Man Fixico’s funeral. The women of the res begin preparing for the funeral by cooking for after the proceedings, and we see something unfamiliar taking place on our screens, as seemingly every character from the Rez Dogs’ world arrives at the scene. There’s Maximus, Uncle Brownie and the rest of the old timers, Big, Mekko, and Mose, Aunt Teenie, Kennyboy and his crony, and Bear, Elora, Willie Jack and Cheese, along with all of their parents and aunties.
The scene that stuck the most with us was the emotional moment between Elora and Bear, where she told him that it is time for her to fly the coup given that her college application acceptance letter had come back to her and that she would be leaving res soon. Bear’s mother Rita was leaving the res on account of her big job acceptance in the city and started worrying about Bear but he assured her that nothing could break up the Rez Dogs and that he would be able to cope with the change. Thereafter Bear saw Spirit again and learnt a great life lesson from him about community harmony.
Their overnight dig for Fixico’s grave, followed by the burial that culminated in an ending where we see one last group hug from Bear, Elora, Willie Jack, and Cheese, but the series’ final moments are spent with the old timers, who say they did good by sending off their brother “in that good way.” They raise their glasses. “Till the next one,” they say while taking sips from their coffees.
You can catch all three seasons of Reservation Dogs on Hulu provided you have a subscription for the same. Tell us what you think of the finale of Reservation Dogs and if it was a desirable ending to the series in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.