Forrest Lonefight Writes
Reservation Dogs EP 07: "California Dreamin'" Review
Parallel Parking. Imagine taking your Driver's License Test at your local DMV and having that rite of passage not going according to plan. You failed the test three times before. You can't mess this up. This is your fourth time. "Four is the sacred number, right?"
Kawennahere Devery Jacobs as our main girl in the Rez Dogs, Elora Danan, says this and it rings true. She's got Grandma's Buick in tow. Coach Bobson (Bill Burr) is her driving instructor and old B-Ball coach. Crazy shit is gonna go down.
Firstly, the metaphor of Parallel Parking.
In the episode, the space between the two cars where Coach Bobson tells Elora she needs to park her grandma's Buick into is so fucking tiny and it's obviously not going to work. The chance to make her dreams come true is all dependent on parking that clunky Rez Car in between two already-parked vehicles on the corner of Main Street; then she gets that little white card that says you are "privileged" to make things happen. That is a genius metaphor for the lack of Native & Indigenous representation in media, and well, everywhere.
But wait, Coach Bobson needs to take care of some business of his own elsewhere after he gets an emergency message about his daughter's whereabouts. What? He's packing heat and bullets will fly!
With the metaphors out of the way, we join the ride with our two leads, and we get a hard hitting episode that shows what is really going on in these small towns all over the country.
This show acts as both balm and abrasive to the generational trauma that is a part of NDN Country. To that end, the mainstream audiences are finally seeing that NDN country actually exists and the problems are very real. I am proud of these brave writers and filmmakers for putting this out for the world to see.
There is an ominous warning before the episode that warns of "Sensitive" material. "California Dreamin'" finally shows what happened to Daniel and it's heartbreaking. But, generation-after-generation, these stories are a part of our experience as well as the humor. Having been in the same shoes as Daniel, these stories do help, and can make a difference in someone else's day, because day turns to year, turns to decade, turns to generation.
S'Powerful, man! -FL
If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or send a text message to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.