[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Reservation Dogs Season 3, Episode 6, “Frankfurter Sandwich.”]
Reservation Dogs‘ final season continues to impart some sage wisdom in the latest episode, “Frankfurter Sandwich,” as Cheese (Lane Factor) is whisked away by elders Big (Zahn McClarnon), Bucky (Wes Studi), and Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer) for an educational fishing trip.
As with past seasons, this Cheese-centric episode focuses on the youngest member of the titular friend group as he approaches a new challenge in his early life. The installment begins with Cheese fighting off zombies, which turns out to be a video game fantasy from his virtual reality headset. Denying visits from Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), and Elora (Devery Jacobs), Cheese’s “grandmother” Irene (Casey Camp-Horinek) calls on Big, Bucky, and Uncle Brownie to help get the teen out of the house.
During their fishing trip, the men show Cheese ways to pass the time in nature and try to do their best to be role models, but when the teen gets bored, he puts the men through an exercise of his own. Leading a talking circle, Cheese gets the men to open up about their lives, leading to an epic cry session and a healing moment for them all.
It turns out Cheese has been avoiding his friends because he feels like he’ll lose them eventually as Elora and Bear look ahead to futures beyond Okern and Willie Jack has her own path, even if close by. The reveal also leads Bucky and Brownie to open up about their friend Maximus (Graham Greene) as they explain Cheese reminds them of him.
They express regret for not believing Maximus and letting him disappear from their group. The bouts of honesty lead to big tears, which director Blackhorse Lowe enjoyed capturing onscreen. “It was a beautiful thing to make, especially with Wes, Gary, Zahn, and Lane in that whole crying circle,” he says. “It was very fun to explore those moments. But I think that’s the strength of the writing, is you can go from comedy to these emotional moments very quickly, and it all makes sense in terms of narrative and who the characters are.”
Lowe previously directed Factor in Cheese’s Season 1 episode, “Come and Get Your Love,” during which he shadows Big. “I’m very happy and fortunate to work with Lane early on when we did our Deer Lady episode,” Lowe tells us, referencing the series’ early installment. “It is a beautiful arc.”
After working on the show for the past three years, Lowe notes, “When it came to that scene specifically about directing those actors in terms of the emotional outpour, I actually get very culturally specific and speak about ceremonies in the context of what emotions that come out of it.” Within ceremonies, there is comedy and tragedy, and despite hailing from different tribes, Lowe says for his directing and the actors, “It came back to that core of spirituality.”
While the emotional moment of crying is played as comical, Lowe says he captured several versions on camera before settling on the one that viewers tuned into. “I also had very highly comedic ones, the over-the-top Lifetime movie crying moments, and then just very straightforward, dry, manly moments of just sucking it up.” The most important thing he says is “We really had to explore every emotional facet of it and flesh it out as much as possible.”
The most hilarious aspect of the episode relies on its biggest, but least surprising twist, and that’s the fact that Cheese ends up being the wisest in the group during the fishing trip. “Originally they were supposed to be helping him, and then he just ends up helping them instead,” Lowe laughs, referring to Cheese’s actions.
By the end of the episode, Cheese has decided to lift his self-imposed exile from his friends and calls them up. Sitting as a group with Big, Bucky, and Brownie, the Reservation Dogs appear to be looking ahead at a brighter future. “I think so, yeah,” Lowe says of potentially brighter days ahead for the teens. “Especially for this season. They at least will leave you with a smile at the end.”
As for the path this show paves for future projects, Lowe hopes it makes way for more “TV and feature films [of a similar] caliber.” He says, “It’s just nice for this story where it gets down to the core of what it is to be a human being. To love, to hate, to feel depression, to feel loneliness, to feel outside, to feel love. It’s so f**king human.” We’ll raise a cup of Sonic to that.
FX’s Reservation Dogs, Season 3, Wednesdays, Hulu
The post ‘Reservation Dogs’: Cheese & The Elders Share Lessons About Friendship appeared first on WorldNewsEra.