Image source: FX
“Reservation Dogs” is officially back season two — and misty-eyed owls, too. We first saw the owls in the third episode of the first season, when Elora (Cavennaher Devery Jacobs) visits Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer) in hopes that he will teach the Res Dogs how to fight so they can fend off their new rival gang. When Elora, Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Ty) and Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) arrive at Uncle Brownie’s house, there is a statue of an owl with misty eyes hanging outside. “Ah, hell! Hell, not an owl. Hey, that’s not a good sign,” Willie Jack exclaims as the group quickly covers their eyes and turns away from it.
During the two-episode second season premiere on August 3rd, we see the owls pop up numerous times, and as in previous appearances, their eyes are still clouded. Even though the series is packed pop culture references, the owl is actually a nod to indigenous culture. During the conversation with NPRjournalist and Rotten Tomatoes critic Vincent Schilling explained that the owl is known as a “harbinger of evil” in many indigenous cultures and that most people don’t know about it unless they’re part of an indigenous community, which explains why the group immediately goes crazy , when they see an owl.
Tank Dogs is the first TV show to feature an indigenous team of writers, directors and series regulars. In August 2021 interview with People, Jacobs praised Sterling Harjo and Taika Waititi for creating a show that brings attention to an often marginalized community. “It’s about damn time Indigenous peoples were represented on this scale,” she said. “Rarely have we had the opportunity to tell our own stories. It’s so perfect that it’s a comedy because our communities are actually so funny. And no one in Western culture really thinks that indigenous peoples are anything [except] this idea of the stoic Indian that was cast in the old western movies.’
New episodes of Reservation Dogs are released every Wednesday on Hulu.