Changes are in the air on Reservation Dogs. In “Wahoo!,” Rita (Sarah Podemski) takes a good look at her life after getting an unexpected visit from an old friend. Directed by: Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs

Clinton (Warren Queton) informs Rita that she is being offered a promotion to her choice of two IHS facilities. One in Oklahoma City and the other in Albuquerque. He says the job offers a lot more money and more stability. He sings her a money 49 song as he walks away.

Rita tells Bev (Jana Schmieding) about the offer and Bev already has her cousin moving into Rita’s house. Rita is conflicted. On one hand, the money is good, but on the other, she’s never left Okern. Bev asks what’s keeping her in Okern. It’s Bear, but he’s grown enough for her to do something for herself. Bev says she would go anywhere … except Texas. (Me too gurl, me too!)

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SOMEBODY’S WATCHING

Rita heads home and gets there about the same time that Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) gets off work. He offers to cook dinner because he saw a recipe on TikTok that he wants to try. After dinner Rita lays in her bed, looking at the job on her phone. Cookie (JaNae Collins) appears next to her, scaring Rita out of her bed. Rita thinks she’s going crazy and runs away to Bear’s room. She’s so scared that she won’t even let Bear sleep in her room. He says she’s acting weird and she blames it on her anxiety and depression.

The next morning, Cookie is still there. She says she’s always been around, watching them all. Rita asks what she wants. Cookie just wants Rita to see her. And play Wahoo! Rita doesn’t stay, instead she goes to work, looking hungover. She stops by to say good morning to Old Man Fixico (Richard Ray Whitman) and Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis). Fixico gives Willie Jack an opportunity to give Rita some weird day medicine. Willie Jack hands her a bag of Flaming Flamers, saying they will cheer her up. She says thank you and walks inside.

HEY VIC … I MEAN RITA!

Rita seeks professional help on Reservation Dogs.

RESERVATION DOGS – “Wahoo!” – Season 3, Episode 6 (Airs Wednesday, September 6th) – Pictured: Sarah Podemski as Rita, Evan Adams as Larry. CR: Shane Brown/FX. Copyright 2023, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Once inside, Rita asks Bev if the clinic psychiatrist can see her. Bev puts on her work face and says Rita must have an appointment. Rita says she saw Cookie in her house last night, so Bev moves her to the front of the line. Larry (Evan Adams), the psychiatrist, is surprised to see Rita in his office. She tells him about the promotion and seeing her dead friend.

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Larry is confused and starts writing notes. He says she might be manifesting someone she wants to return. Then she’s trying to reconcile her trauma. For example, Larry thought he saw Lou Diamond Philips around town, but it was just some random guy. Larry says he had a traumatic response to La Bamba and starts yelling for Richie. He calms down and says she needs to work through her trauma. Rita doesn’t see how that relates to her situation. Larry says when she sees the dead, maybe it’s her that needs something. 

WAHOO! 

Rita goes home, reluctant to go inside. Once inside, she plays Wahoo! with Cookie. Cookie says Rita knows why she’s there and asks a lot of questions about Bear. She reveals the Bear can see spirits too. (We haven’t seen his spirit for a while though). Cookie also asks about Elora Danan (Jacobs), but Rita hasn’t seen her much. She should though because Rita is Elora’s auntie. Rita wants to know if Cookie has looked in on her. Cookie can see everyone. She sees Bev and Big (Zahn McClarnon) snagging and then imitates the noises that Big makes in bed. She says he finishes with a groan and says “like dat.”

Rita decides to Cookie wherever she wants to go and Cookie wants catfish. They go to Rob (Macon Blair) and Cleo (Darryl W. Handy) and Rita orders two baskets of fish and fries. Cleo mentions that Bear does that too. Rob and Cleo watch as Rita talks to someone who isn’t there. Cookie tells Rita she has to offer the food to her because it tastes better. Rob sits down in front of Rita, next to Cookie, because he’s worried about her.  He mentions that they used to date, but he just took her to their junior high dance. Rita says she’s fine and asks him to let it go.

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AUNTIES’ DUTIES

RESERVATION DOGS – “Wahoo!” – Season 3, Episode 6 (Airs Wednesday, September 6th) – Pictured: Sarah Podemski as Rita, JaNae Collins as Cookie. CR: Shane Brown/FX. Copyright 2023, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Cookie says she needs to go to her mom’s house and look at something. They go to Elora’s and the girl is home. Cookie looks around while Rita watches her. Elora says Rita is acting buggy so the sit down and chat. Rita mentions the promotion and says she would have to move. She quickly asks Elora not to tell Bear because she doesn’t know if she’s going to take the job yet.

Elora mentions that she’s going to college. She already applied but is unsure of what she wants to do. Rita is happy to hear that and says Cookie would be proud. Cookie watches them and is pleased with how Rita is engaging with her daughter. Rita tells Elora that she, Bev and Natalie are always there for her if she needs anything. Elora pauses and then says she feels like her mom is still around. She never got to know her mom, but she says it feels warm. Cookie is sitting next to her as she talks.

When they get to Rita’s car, Cookie is annoyed with Rita. She says Rita could have checked in on Elora this whole time. Rita gets defensive saying it’s hard being a mom, but Cookie doesn’t know what that’s like. She says Bear is grown now, Rita can do whatever she wants. She can go wherever she wants, snag whoever she wants and take that job in the city if she wants. Cookie tells her to do something with her life while she still can. 

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Cookie starts crying. She’s tried to appear to Elora. She yells and screams, but Elora never sees her. Cookie just wants to tell Elora that she loves her and will always be there for her. But she can’t because she’s not really here or there. Rita holds Cookie’s hand and listens. Cookie disappears on screen, but Rita can still see her. She nods her head and starts the car. 

LIKE DAT

Rita returns home and Bear is cooking again. She asks what he and his friends did for Daniel when they were in California. Then she goes to the hospital to get Bev. Bev doesn’t believe that she sees Cookie’s spirit or that Cookie watches all of them. To prove it, Rita imitates Big’s bed noises, embarrassing Bev. Bev leaves with Rita and they grab Natalie (Natalie Standingcloud) too.

Rita drives them to the bridge where Cookie died. She brought a mixed tape that Cookie made called Cookie’s Hot Mix. Rita gives each of them some tobacco. Bev speaks for them, saying the world isn’t the same without Cookie. She wasn’t perfect, but she was cool as hell. Bev appreciated her because no one had her back like Cookie; although, Rita and Natalie come pretty close. They toss the tobacco and the tape in the river. To make sure it works, Bev ends it saying “like dat.”

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They all feel pretty good about sending Cookie off. Rita smiles and says she’s going to take that job. As for Bear, he can go with her if he wants to or he can stay. He’s grown now. Bev and Natalie promise to look after him if he stays. Rita tells them to look in on Elora too. 

Watch the Reservation Dogs on FX on Hulu.

 

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