Reservation Dogs Season 2. What We Know So Far About the Hit FX Show’s Return


Reservation Dogs is an Indigenous comedy-drama series created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi that premiered on FX on Hulu in August 2021. The show follows four Indigenous teenagers living on a reservation in rural Oklahoma who spend their days committing crimes in order to raise money to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California. However, their schemes usually just lead to mild mischief. Reservation Dogs offers an authentic and often hilarious look into Indigenous life, shining a spotlight on an underrepresented community in television. The show was universally praised by critics and audiences alike for its originality, humor, and heart. It was renewed for a second season in 2021 and a third and final season in 2022 (

Reservation Dogs Season 1 Overview

the four main characters smiling together
Reservation Dogs season 1 aired from August 9 to September 20, 2021 on FX on Hulu. The first season consisted of 8 episodes, each around 30 minutes long. The main characters are four Indigenous teenagers living in rural Oklahoma – Bear Smallhill (played by D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora Danan (played by Devery Jacobs), Willie Jack (played by Paulina Alexis), and Cheese (played by Lane Factor). They spend their days committing petty crimes to fund their dream of reaching the mysterious and faraway land of California [1].

Critical Reception for Season 1

Reservation Dogs received widespread critical acclaim when it premiered in August 2021. On the review site Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an impressive 96% critics rating and 83% audience score. Critics praised the show’s fresh perspective, relatable characters, cultural representation, humor, and heart.

Many critics highlighted the authentic portrayal of contemporary Indigenous lives. As noted in a review by Rotten Tomatoes, “Reservation Dogs upends expectations, intensely and lovingly depicting a specific Indigenous community from the inside out.”

The show was recognized with a Peabody Award in 2022. It also received nominations from the Critics Choice Television Awards for Best Comedy Series, Best New Series, and a acting nomination for Paulina Alexis.

Season 1 Plot Summary

bear standing at his friend's grave

Season 1 of Reservation Dogs follows four Indigenous teenagers – Bear Smallhill, Elora Danan, Willie Jack, and Cheese – living in rural Oklahoma as they commit crimes to try and earn enough money to escape to California. As noted by The Wrap in their recap article (, the main story arcs focus on the group dealing with the loss of their friend Daniel, who died prior to the start of Season 1.

Early on, the group steals a truck transporting chips, but their plans go awry when the truck crashes and destroys a sacred statue at a local Indigenous center. The group then works to try and raise money to replace the statue. Key events, as summarized by Wikipedia (, include Bear getting into trouble with a gang, Elora connecting with her Indigenous roots, and the group meeting an eccentric medicine man. By the end of the season, the four realize they need to process their grief over losing Daniel before they can move forward with their plan to leave for California.

Unresolved Plots After Season 1

Season 1 of Reservation Dogs ended with some major cliffhangers and unresolved storylines:

The biggest cliffhanger was Elora planning to leave Oklahoma for California after her friend Daniel’s death, going against the original plan she had made with Bear, Willie Jack and Cheese. As Variety notes, “The actual final shot leaves the Reservation Dogs to enjoy their last moments together before Elora goes off to college, and instead ends with a haunting overhead view of Daniel’s unmarked grave” (Variety). This creates uncertainty about the future of the friend group.

There are also unanswered questions around the details of Daniel’s death. As Looper mentions, “Viewers are left wondering who shot Daniel, whether it was an accident, and if this tragedy will make Elora reconsider her plan to leave Oklahoma” (Looper). This major story point remains a mystery.

Additionally, Willie Jack had revealed she wanted to stay in Oklahoma instead of joining the others in California. This leads to an argument between Bear and Elora, creating friction within the group (The Ringer). Their interpersonal conflicts are left unresolved.

In summary, the cliffhanger ending leaves many open questions about the future of the main characters and their relationships as they reach the end of high school and contemplate big life changes.

Renewal for Season 2

Reservation Dogs was renewed for a second season in September 2021, just a month after the premiere of season 1 ( The second season will have 10 episodes, the same number as the first season. Filming for season 2 began in January 2022 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

The creator of the show, Sterlin Harjo, expressed excitement about continuing the story, saying “We’re thrilled to add another chapter to the Reservation Dogs story with a new season that will build upon the lessons learned by Bear, Willie Jack, Elora Danan and Cheese in season one.”

Season 2 Release Date

Season 2 of Reservation Dogs premiered on August 3, 2022, with the first two episodes released on Hulu that day ( New episodes were released weekly on Wednesdays. The season consisted of 10 episodes, concluding on October 5, 2022.

The second season release came about a year after the premiere of Season 1, which debuted on August 9, 2021. Reservation Dogs was renewed for Season 2 in September 2021, shortly after the strong critical and viewer reception for the first season.

Hulu announced the Season 2 release date and debuted a trailer for the new episodes in June 2022, building anticipation for the return of Bear, Elora, Cheese, and Willie Jack. Fans were eager to see the next chapter in the lives of the young friends on the reservation after the emotional ending of Season 1.

Possible Season 2 Plot Points

Based on the ending of Season 1, fans speculate that Season 2 will likely focus on the main characters dealing with the fallout of their failed mission to California. Some possible plot points include:

elora looking upset and conflicted

Elora may struggle after losing her chance to move to California and having her hopes dashed. She could experience a crisis of purpose or identity as she tries to figure out her next steps in life (Elle).

Bear may have to take on more responsibility and grow up faster after his uncle dies. He could explore his Native identity and connections to his community more deeply (Collider).

The dynamics between the four friends could shift, with guilt, blame, and resentments coming to the surface. Their loyalty may be tested (Reddit).

The threat of gang recruiters and outside dangers preying on Native youth will likely still loom large. The kids may continue their efforts to find a constructive path forward.

New characters and subplots will likely emerge to move the story forward and expand the show’s representation of contemporary Indigenous experiences.

Will There Be a Season 3?

Reservation Dogs was renewed for a third and final season in June 2022, well ahead of the season 2 premiere in August 2022. Creators Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi announced that the story would come to a conclusion after season 3, which will premiere on August 2, 2023 (1).

the friends walking down a rural road

The early renewal likely came due to the critical acclaim and strong viewership for season 1 in 2021. Reservation Dogs garnered a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and an 81% audience score for its first season. The show was also nominated for a Peabody Award and won an AFI Award for TV Program of the Year in 2021 (2).

While the viewership numbers are not public since the show airs on FX on Hulu, the positive reception and awards recognition point to the show being a success for FX. The network seems invested in giving Harjo and Waititi the chance to complete their vision for the story and characters across three seasons.

So while many shows face uncertainty heading into their third seasons, fans can rest assured knowing Reservation Dogs will return to conclude the story on its own terms. The only question is where the journey of Bear, Elora, Cheese, and Willie Jack will take them next.


In summary, the FX comedy series Reservation Dogs quickly became a hit after premiering its first season in 2021. Created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, the show focuses on four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma and garnered strong reviews for its authentic portrayal of Native American communities. While the first season left some plotlines unresolved, it ended on an emotional note with the main characters heading their separate ways. The show was renewed for a second season set to premiere in 2022, which will likely address the cliffhangers from season one. With its fresh perspective, appealing cast of young actors, and cultural resonance, Reservation Dogs seems poised for an extended run if it continues to draw viewers. The road trip vibe of the first season finale provides many possibilities for new adventures and character growth in potential future seasons.

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