Reservation Dogs: Season 1/ Episode 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Reservation Dogs Season 1 Episode 3

Bear needs to learn how to fight, and Willie Jack needs to put a curse on their enemies. The solution: Finding Elora’s estranged Uncle Brownie.

Bear needs to learn how to fight, and Willie Jack needs to put a curse on their enemies. The solution: Finding Elora’s estranged Uncle Brownie.

Episode Title Uncle Brownie
Aired 8/16/2021
Network Hulu
Directed By Blackhorse Lowe
Written By Sterlin Harjo
Newly Noted Characters
Uncle Brownie Gary Farmer


The Adopted Uncle – Uncle Brownie, Willie Jack, Bear, Elora

With her grandmother’s car, Elora takes Bear and Willie Jack to see her Uncle Brownie to help Bear learn how to fight, so he can stop lying about getting licks in. Unfortunately, though, Uncle Brownie is a bit of a recluse and curmudgeon, at first. But after spending the day with the kids, he opens up a bit. He teaches Bear some moves, or at the very least that Bear needs to up his awareness, and while he doesn’t help Willie Jack learn how to do bad medicine, he does entertain her quite a bit.

But what he does for Elora perhaps is his biggest gift. You see, Uncle Brownie was adopted into the family by Cookie, one of Elora’s relatives, who Elora is curious about. It’s a sore subject, so Uncle Brownie doesn’t talk about her much, but he does get a bit emotional over how she would call him brother and truly integrated him into the family. I mean, even Elora, who doesn’t know him that well, refers to him as uncle despite no blood connection between them.

Thus showing chosen families are within multiple cultures and that love is necessary to keep people from hiding within themselves.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Cookie had to be Elora’s mom, right? I don’t think “your mom” or “mom” was said, all that I can remember, regarding specifics, is she died around the time Elora was three.

Review/ Commentary


A Day With Uncle Brownie

Elora and Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer) after a deer's insides exploded onto them
Elora and Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer)

Uncle Brownie is a trip and I can only hope he is the type who pops in every once and a while. You know, sort of like the rapping duo who have their comedic moment then move on. But with Uncle Brownie, I do hope he adds in stories of Cookie and helps us see a softer side to Elora as well. For in him being real with her, vulnerable even, we got to see not just another side to Elora, but another example of community.

Adopted families are all over, with many having cousins, uncles, aunts, and other titles which are honorary and earned rather than inherited by blood. Yet, it strangely isn’t a common thing to hear on television. At least I can’t recall notable introductions of a play cousin or what have you. But with Uncle Brownie talking about Cookie, noting the significance of feeling like he belongs, and this girl he hasn’t seen in years spending the day with him, despite his eccentricities, it really shows how powerful it is to give someone a sense of belonging—especially making them feel like they wouldn’t be forgotten or abandoned just because the person who introduced them to everyone is no longer alive.

On The Fence

The Weird White Couple

I get part of the reason for the old white couple was their argument about giving Native Americans their land back, what subsidies they get, and the ignorant statements people make. But it just came off so forced and awkward; like someone said, this needed to be in for the culture, but had no way to integrate this story in seamlessly. So they just put it at the start of the show to get it out of the way.

Listed Under Categories:

User Review
0 (0 votes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.