Things are getting greasy on Reservation Dogs. In “What About Your Dad,” Rita (Sarah Podemski) and Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) get concerned about Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) when his dad schedules a concert in town.

This episode is directed by Sydney Freeland.

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Rapper Punkin’ Lusty’s (Sten Joddi) latest song is quite catchy. He raps about the one thing that we Natives can’t resist … Frybread. Luckily he’s coming to town for the Anti-Diabetes Wellness Fair. Rita’s boss Clinton (Warren Queton) is so excited, he can’t stop singing the song with Leon (Jon Proudstar). Clinton wants to serve frybread as big as your face for dinner. Nothing like hip-hop and frybread.

Rita’s not very happy about it because, Punkin’ is Bear’s dad. On one hand, Rita wants to tell Clinton to find someone else. But on the other hand, she’ hasn’t been at her job long enough to go rugged on everyone. It’s best to just sit tight and let things play out. 

Punkin’ lives in LA. Rita calls him to remind him that he has a son to take care of. They haven’t seen him for two years! Rita is concerned that Punkin’ won’t even show up. Punkin’ tries to calm her down, but infuriates Rita more when he has to sleep on her couch, despite the room that IHS is paying for. The nerve … 

Elora Danan is worried about Bear's spending habits on Reservation Dogs.

RESERVATION DOGS “What About Your Dad” Episode 4 (Airs, Monday, August 23) Pictured: Devery Jacobs as Elora Danan CR: Shane Brown/FX

After Bear finds out his dad is coming, he decides to prepare for his dad to stay. He takes Elora Danan, Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) and Cheese (Lane Factor) to grocery to help him prepare. Elora Danan runs into Jackie (Elva Guerra) at the story. Jackie works there and has to help Elora find paper goods. She mentions that her fellow gang member Bone Thug Dog (Jude Barnett) mentioned Elora. He said she used to be pretty cool and Jackie wants to know why they don’t talk anymore. Elora says they grew apart after a summer. They were 10 at the time, and Bone Thug Dog was Jimmy back then. 

Jackie knows that Elora and her friends are saving up to move to California. She also knows that Elora is more serious about the move than the others. Jackie invites Elora to join her gang when she grows tired of the Reservation Dogs. Elora Danan laughs. Jackie just ganged up on Bear, so why would Elora Danan join her. Jackie seems pretty sure that it’s going to happen, telling Elora to think about it. 

They finish their shopping and pay from their California fund. Bear wants to give his dad a gift, but not just any gift. A beaded medallion … because he can’t get that in LA. Right? Willie Jack says Auntie B (Kimberly Guerrero) makes medallions, but everyone laughs and says no. But she’s the only person Willie knows who beads. 

Auntie B takes special beading orders on Reservation Dogs

“What About Your Dad” Episode (Airs, Monday, August 23) Pictured: (l-r) Kimberly Guererro as Auntie B, Lane Factor as Cheese, Devery Jacobs as Elora Danan, Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack, D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai as Bear. CR: Shane Brown/FX

They go to Auntie B’s place, but everyone is scared of her. B comes out with a knife before they even knock on her door. She happens to have an amazing piece available … a pickle. But Bear’s dad isn’t into pickles. Besides, Bear was thinking of a gun, or microphone, or something. Auntie B says she can do it, but it’s gonna cost more. Elora Danan says no, but Bear says yes. 

Elora Danan doesn’t like that they just spent their California money on food and a medallion. Bear has ideas of how to make the money back, so he’s not worried. Besides, they have other people to worry about. Mose (Lil Mike) and Mekko (Funny Bone) let the Reservation Dogs know that the NDN Mafia has been talking smack about Bear’s dad. Just in time for the Mafia to drive by to let Bear know that his dad is wack. (Anyone else think Mose and Mekko are instigating this fight?)

Later that night, Rita checks in on Bear. Punkin’ actually called Bear to let him know that he was coming to town. Rita is worried that Punkin’ wont’ show up, but Bear is sure he wouldn’t miss a gig.  Rita goes out, alone and meets a nice young man named David (Garrett Hedlund). It’s not long before that leave together.

Rita is looking for love on Reservation Dogs.

RESERVATION DOGS “What About Your Dad” Episode 4 (Airs, Monday, August 23) Pictured: Sarah Podemski as Rita. CR: Shane Brown/FX

Rita wakes up the next morning in a strange bed in a nice house. Like, a really nice house. She may have hit the jackpot this time. David is rich! She gets dressed and heads downstairs. David is a doctor, he has three grown kids and he hunts! This may be too good to be true.

It is. David has a confederate flag with feathers tattooed on his arm. He says he loves Indians. And his grandfather bought the land from a Creek man and built the house he lives in. Also, David’s best friend is Lakota. And he is most attracted to Native women. Rita starts hallucinating David as a plantation owner with Native servants. It’s time to go.

Auntie B finishes the medallion, but it looks like … something …  phallic. Bear pays Auntie B and moves on. The kids go back to Bear’s house and he shows them his new clothes that he bought to see his dad. That triggers Elora Danan. She’s mad that he didn’t ask before spending her … their money.  

Rita returns home and immediately gets a call from Punkin’. Punkin’ calls to ask how old Bear is. He wants to buy him a gift. Rita doesn’t answer, but instead tells Punkin’ not to disappoint Bear again. Elora Danan walks out of the house and asks if Punkin’ will show up. Rita says no. You can’t make people come through if they don’t want to. Rita reminds her that they are Indian women. They have to deal with reality when men go off and play. At the end of the day, they have to make it work. 

Bear and Rita prepare for a special guest on Reservation Dogs

RESERVATION DOGS “What About Your Dad” Episode 4 (Airs, Monday, August 23) Pictured: (l-r) D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai as Bear, Sarah Podemski as Rita. CR: Shane Brown/FX

Clinton is getting ready for the wellness fair when Bear and Rita arrive at the clinic. Punkin’ calls Bear and says his flight was cancelled. But in reality, he’s still at home. He lies and says he’s going to book another flight to see Bear. He tries to act like he’s at the airport and trying to find another flight. Bear says okay, but he’s clearly disappointed.

Rita tries to console Bear but she’s real about the situation. Punkin’ is not a father and he will never be. If Bear wants him in his life, it won’t be on Bear’s terms. It’s not Bear’s fault. She offers to cut communication with Punkin’ completely off if Bear doesn’t want to deal with him anymore. Bear tries not to cry and tells him mom that he loves her. They decide to go home for the day. 

Later that night, the Reservation Dogs sit at Bear’s house to watch a movie with Rita. Elora Danan looks at all of the stuff Bear bought for nothing and decides to leave. As she walks out the door, Jackie texts her. 

RELATED: Catch up on all of the Reservation Dogs action with our recaps. 

Watch the Reservation Dogs on FX on Hulu.

 

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Noetta Harjo
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