FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’ returns with its third and final season, wrapping up the story of four friends: Bear, Willie Jack, Cheese, and Elora. In the last season, the Rez Dogs went on a trip to LA after Willie Jack got Daniel’s letter, which he wrote for the time capsule. The group knew about Daniel’s dream of going to California and tried to do that for him in the first season. However, after the group went through some difficult times and had a wedge created between them, the desire to go to LA took a backseat until the letter came along.
In the premiere episode of Season 3, the Rez Dogs spent a day in California, saw the ocean, and made their peace. However, they are stuck because they don’t have a car to take back home, and they don’t have the money to do anything else. Help eventually arrives, but it also sets them on a new path. Here’s what happens in the first two episodes and what it means for the characters. SPOILERS AHEAD
Reservation Dogs Season 3 Episode 1 and 2 Recap
Bear, Elora, Cheese, and Willie Jack are stuck in LA, and they have no option but to go to Bear’s father for help. However, it turns out that Punkin has left his second family in the lurch, too, and has not contacted them for a week now. This disappoints Bear, but it’s not like all the times before when he still had something to hold on to. This time, he decides to let go completely by leaving a strongly worded message for Punkin, along with the microphone medallion he held so close.
Teenie comes to the rescue while the kids roam around with White Jesus (because who else was there). She tells them they’ll be taking the bus back to Okern, which means they’ll have to switch buses in between the journey. Everyone else gets on the bus during the switch, but Bear is left behind. He was busy talking to his spirit guide, who wanted him to stay back because there was a greater purpose in store for him.
After walking around for a long time, Bear is hungry and thirsty and sees the spirit of a Spanish conquistador. He worries that the situation is getting worse, and he needs help ASAP. When the Spirit tries to assure him that there is something in store for him, he lashes out and tells the Spirit to leave. Soon after, he is attacked by someone who noticed him talking to himself in the middle of the desert. A dart to the neck renders him unconscious, and when he wakes up, he is in a secluded place with a man named Maximus.
Reservation Dogs Season 3 Episode 2 Ending: What Happens to Maximus?
When the Spirit told Bear not to go back to Okern, he mentioned that his staying back was an important part of his journey. The second episode focuses on this journey that Bear takes with a man named Maximus. Hailing from Okern, Maximus has had a difficult life, and by this point, he is completely isolated from his friends and family. His parents died when he was young. He was brought up in a boarding school. He saw things like Bear sees the Spirit, but none of the people around him understood it. His friends didn’t understand it, so Maximus was institutionalized and received electroshock therapy.
Now, Maximus lives alone in the house that belonged to his mother. The only thing he is focused on is the sky, where, he claims, he has seen UFOs. He is preparing for the arrival of Star People, growing aubergines for them so that when they come, he has food for them. Maximus also talks about his friends, where we hear familiar names like Mabel, Bucky, and Brownie. Talking to Maximus about his friends and his younger days makes Bear realize how important his family and the connection to his roots are. It helps him understand Maximus and his isolation and connect with him on a deeper level.
The following morning, Maximus sees a group of Star People approaching his house. They are actually cops and social workers who take away Maximus while Bear hides inside the house. Bear tells Maximus that he believes him about his visions, the Star People, and everything else. This is the only support he can give the man, the kind of support he receives from his own friends who believe in him and are there for him. Maximus, however, doesn’t have that, and it looks like he is being taken to a care facility, which he probably ran away from.
His persistent visions could be why he was admitted into another institution or a nursing home. The Star People that visit him time and again are the cops and social workers who are all too familiar with his pattern by now of running away and coming back to his house, and they always come back to take him away.
Does Bear Get Home?
When Maximus is taken away, Bear packs up some stuff from the house for his long journey back home. He takes the tunnel that Maximus had told him leads to the highway, but it is not riddled with dead cats and spiders, as Bear thought. It remains to be seen where this journey will take him. Will he come across some other person who will show him a deeper meaning to his life and friendships? Or will his family and friends catch up with him now that they know he is missing?
Teenie and the three kids are already home, and it’s after they get off the bus that they realize Bear isn’t with them. With no idea where they left him, their first guess would be to return to Amarillo, so we expect they will find Bear walking along the highway and pick him up midway. His mother is already angry with him, and the Rez Dogs will face the consequences of going to California without telling anyone, but the greater question for Bear is whether he will see the Spirit again.
Read More: How Did Daniel Die in Reservation Dogs?