Reservation Dogs (Season 3) Episode 6: The third season of ‘Reservation Dogs’ has shown its characters trying to get past their awkward adolescence. Every one of the rez dogs has its own emotional struggle, and the writing astutely explores it. The previous episode gave a blast from the past that followed Young Maximus going camping with his friends – all of whom, we had seen as old people from Oklahoma. It served as an origin story for this alien-obsessed Native American boy, who grew apart from his childhood friends. Now the sixth episode shows Cheese going camping with old folks from the town. They teach him the ways of nature and simultaneously, get in touch with their emotions.
Reservation Dogs (Season 3) Episode 6 “Frankfurter Sandwich” Recap:
The sixth episode begins with Cheese (Lane Factor) in a zombie apocalypse situation. He looks around for zombies and attacks them like a pro. Turns out, it was just a VR game he was playing in his room at grandma’s place. She tells him that his friends are at the door, wanting to know what’s up with him. But Cheese asks her to lie to them – tell them he is sick or something like that. So, she does what he wants her to do – tell Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) Elora (Devery Jacobs) and Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) that Cheese isn’t doing well. They miss him but he refuses to leave his room no matter what. He just keeps playing his VR game day and night.
Cheese Goes Camping
Cheese’s grandma thinks he needs to get out of this virtual reality and go out in the real world. Worried, she calls his uncle Bucky (Wes Studi) to get him out of this rut. So, Bucky brings Cheese to join him, Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer) and Bog (Zahn McClarnon) to go camping. They all participate in operation ‘Nephew Rescue’ to get Cheese invested in things beyond his indoor game. Before leaving, Cheese invites them all to come fight zombies. ‘We fight real zombies – the ones you can’t see,’ Uncle Brownie says. Cheese asks whether these zombies are the ‘guilt in their hearts’! So, to summarise, his uncles list down society, racists, bad guys, mainstream science, and ‘The Man’.
Finally, the old men bring Cheese to the woods for a field trip to a ‘real’ history museum. They planned to teach him to catch a fish to provide for himself. That’s their definition of manhood. Cheese stays confused as always. He cannot understand this strange logic since it does not fit in the amount of knowledge, he has gained from reading and whatnot. Anyhow, the men walk ahead and decide how they are going to stay in the open field. Brownie refuses to stay in a tent. Bucky says he is going to stay in a hammock. These friends have an argument like a teenager. Meanwhile, Big tries to get the tent built without any instructions.
Big starts teaching Cheese how to catch fish. He shows how to hook some minnows to easily capture them. Suddenly, Brownie starts smoking and Big scolds him for doing it in front of the kid. Brownie chooses to call it a medicine even if slows his brain down. Meanwhile, Bucky engages in the old Muscogee way of fishing. He throws powdered, drunk roots in the water so that fish supposedly get drunk. That is a trick to get fish to float up on the surface and catch them easily. Cheese admires his trick but refuses to get his feet underwater. He fears E. coli bacteria will affect his health since there’s been rain in the area. Clearly, he shows his studious roots not in touch with these old men’s understanding of manhood.
Still, Cheese continues to practice fishing. He starts finding the act of waiting boring or pointless. Uncle Brownie makes him understand how his mind is colonised by fast thoughts. He suggests the kid listen to nature and be in tune with it. By that time, Big almost catches a fish but fails. Bucky shows his catch as a satisfying victory. While roasting it on the wood fire, he finally asks Cheese why he is not leaving his room often. Cheese opens up about how he feels he will be left behind since they are older than him and might not stay with him in the long haul. So, he was consciously trying to push them away to not get hurt in the future. ‘These are bonds you don’t want to break,’ Bucky explains to him.
After being open about his emotions, Cheese goes out for a walk with Big. He talks about Bigfoot and how he saw four of these hairy creatures when he was young. Despite his strong belief that they exist, Cheese does not believe that they do. Big still narrates his story. He first sensed their smell and then heard a rustle. The creatures kept looking at him for a bit and then just walked away. At the time, young Big also shed a tear since the Bigfoot intimidated him. While he cannot conclude his story with a moral, Cheese can. ‘Sometimes you need to cry even though we don’t know it’, Cheese says. Big agrees.
Reservation Dogs (Season 3) Episode 6 “Frankfurter Sandwich” Ending Explained:
Once Bucky is done cooking his fish, Cheese, Big, and Brownie join him to eat the meal. Suddenly, Big feels uncomfortable and starts vomiting. Looks like, he couldn’t digest something that Bucky put in there. These old men still have a laugh as if they are young friends. It sets an example for Cheese to realise that friendships will not always be lost as he believes they will. After the meal, Cheese decides to play a game that he learned at the boy’s home. The person who has the stick would talk and then pass it around for others to share their emotions.
Once Cheese is done speaking, he hands over the stick to Brownie. He calls himself a sex addict whereas Bucky says he is happy to be there. Cheese senses that none of them aren’t being honest about their feelings. Once asked directly, Big confesses that he has been bottling up a lot of pain over losing two of his friends. He kept avoiding thinking about their loss while being burdened with guilt. Eventually, he starts crying. Cheese tells him to let it all out. Then, Brownie speaks about losing Maximus, who had nobody (no parents or family so to speak). He believes Maximus never thought he could rely on them.
Whether it is Brownie, Big, or Bucky, they feel terrible that they did not make Maximus feel supported. Cheese reminded them of him, distancing himself over the fear of getting hurt. That’s why they wanted to make the kid feel heard and supported. In the end, the old men accept that none of them know everything even if they may pretend like they do. After hearing their concerns, Cheese announces that he will not turn out like Maximus – since he knows the old guys and his friends are with him. Finally, he calls his friends to join them over there. After the credits roll, we see Bigfoot peeing out in the open with a youngling – denoting how these creatures also rely on such strong bonds.