The Reservation Dogs are in a war with the NDN Mafia. But first, they need to learn how to fight. In “Uncle Brownie,” Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) seeks out her uncle’s help dealing with the NDN Mafia.
Last week, the NDN Mafia jumped Bear (D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai) in an alley. He ended up spending the day at the IHS clinic. The two groups got into another skirmish outside of the clinic, making it obvious that the war has begun.
This episode is directed by Blackhorse Lowe.
This episode starts off with a tragic accident. As an elderly couple drives down the highway, they spot a sign that says “Land Back.” The old man doesn’t get it and says some ignorant things. The old woman gets mad, saying she’s part Indian. The old man just doesn’t understand if the Indians want all of the stolen land back or some of it. After all, they have casinos and get $1000 a month. That of course is not true. The conversation distracts the old man and he hits a deer.
Bear, Elora Danan, and Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) find the deer and decide to take it for the meat. The trio are on their way to see Elora’s uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer). He’s legendary. He once knocked out 10 guys in under two minutes at a local bar. Elora thought maybe he could teach them how to fight. Willie is more interested in finding out if he can put a curse on the NDN Mafia. Her Auntie B (Kimberly Guerrero) cuts hair, including the NDN Mafia. She sold their hair to Willie Jack. Elora says her uncle is tradish, but he’s not a medicine man or a wizard or anything.
Brownie is actually Elora’s cousin, but he was raised by her grandma. He and Elora’s mom were very close. When they get to Brownie’s, there are a lot of animal hides and skulls in the yard. What really freaks everyone out is the wooden owl hanging on the porch. The kids avert their eyes as they walk by the owl. All of this makes Willie Jack think that Brownie is a shapeshifter. They find uncle Brownie in the backyard, yelling at them to leave. After he remembers who Elora is, he tells them to leave anyway.
Uncle Brownie is digging up his backyard, looking for a treasure he hid from himself. Fifteen years ago, he buried a jar of marijuana in the backyard. He’s ecstatic when he finds the jar. But times have changed and the kids tell him that he can just get a weed card from the dispensary. He takes them inside and asks what they want. Brownie lives by himself. He says he doesn’t go into town more, but the plethora of Sonic cups says otherwise. He says he’s not a shapeshifter, despite what Willie believes. Elora asks Brownie to show them how to fight, but he refuses. Bear is pretty sure he’s too old to fight. Brownie doesn’t like kids and tells them to leave.
As Elora gets up from the table, she spots a picture of Brownie and her mom Cookie. Cookie died when Elora Danan was three. She asks Brownie to tell her about her mom. Brownie says no. He says he will cry if he talks about her. The kids start to leave, but Brownie stops them. He says he will teach them a few moves, but they have to take him to town to sell his pot and he will only charge them $30. They agree and head for the car. Brownie sees the deer and freaks out. The deer is expanding. Bear wants to remove it but Brownie won’t let him leave it at his house.
According to Brownie, weed is the Creator’s medicine. And alcohol is the devil’s medicine. The kids are ready to start learning how to fight. Brownie is busy smoking and tells them the first lesson is patience. Brownie looks potential buyers, and as they walk around looking for buyers, Bear gets his first fighting lesson. Brownie tells him to always be ready. And to aim for the back of the head to knock them out.
No one is buying because everyone uses the dispensary. Brownie decides to give it a try and maybe sell his old stash. The dispensary clerk, Jumbo (Bobby Wilson) tries the old stuff and says he can’t sell it. Willie Jack suggests that the clerk let Brownie test the newer stuff. Brownie takes a hit and is instantly affected. The kids drive Brownie around town. He’s giggling and happy. Willie Jack asks if Brownie can do a curse. He knows some bad luck medicine, but he won’t do it. The medicine will turn back on you 10 fold.
The last stop is Sonic. Brownie is still pretty high and Elora wants to take him home. Bear still wants lessons on how to fight, but Brownie says all Indigenous people do is teach young people how to fight. You listen and you learn. A warrior has to take a beating sometimes, that’s how he gets stronger. It’s all about getting back up. Bear still doesn’t understand how Brownie can be a warrior if all he does is sit at home. Brownie swings and Bear deflects his arm. He was ready and that’s part of Brownie’s point. He’s still a legend.
Brownie gets an idea and asks Elora to take him to the bar that made him a legend. Once they get there, no one is happy to see him. Turns out the legend is true except instead of 20 people, he knocked out 30 people in two minutes! Everyone is scared of him. Brownie says he’s not proud of his actions that night. He admits he was on other drugs that night and could have knocked out more people. As an apology, he gives the jar of weed to the bar. Elora also offers up deer meat, making everyone happy.
The deer is pretty messed up. They decide to pull it out of the trunk, but pull the legs off of the carcass instead and blood splatters everywhere. Elora apologizes for pulling Brownie out of his house. He’s not mad though. Brownie was ashamed to show his face and Elora Danan helped him get over that. He starts talking about Cookie. He says even though Cookie isn’t really his sister, but she called him brother anyway. The same way Elora calls him uncle. That’s a real family.
The bartender walks out to make sure Brownie really has the deer meat. He says he does and starts gutting it. Meanwhile, one of the bar patrons asks about Willie Jack’s bag of hair. She says it’s the hair of her enemies and needs someone to put a curse on it. The man takes the bag and says he will see what he can do with it.
Watch the Reservation Dogs on FX on Hulu.
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