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Reservation Dogs Season 3 Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

When Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi set about creating "Reservation Dogs," they knew the series would be rooted in community, both in terms of storytelling and the production of the show itself. "The Native art community is close, and I know how talented they all are," Harjo told GQ. "The show has been a vehicle to bring that community together and give people opportunities." Indeed, "Reservation Dogs" has an almost entirely Indigenous cast and crew, making the series feel groundbreaking on an elemental level. Critics have taken notice, too: "Reservation Dogs" has earned a Peabody Award, two Independent Spirit Awards, and a Gotham Award, among other accolades.

Loosely inspired by Harjo's own upbringing in Oklahoma, "Reservation Dogs" premiered in 2021 and follows four Indigenous teenagers living in the Sooner State. Despite touching on heavy issues like incarceration and suicide, the show has a light touch and is frequently laugh-out-loud funny. It's no surprise, then, that "Reservation Dogs" was renewed for a third season. Here's everything we know about the acclaimed series' third — and final — slate of episodes.

When will Reservation Dogs Season 3 be released?

Fans didn't have to wait with bated breath to hear about the fate of "Reservation Dogs" : FX confirmed Season 3's renewal on September 22, while Season 2 was still airing. "Reservation Dogs" Season 3 debuted on August 2, 2023. 

Season 1 hit Hulu on August 9, 2021, and Season 2 followed suit on August 3, 2022. Clearly, a pattern of August debuts has been established. This is the result of careful planning and execution, which the cast and crew have down to a science. Per showrunner Sterlin Harjo, the "Reservation Dogs" writers had already begun brainstorming Season 3 in October 2022. "We've spent four days in the writers room," he told GQ. "We work pretty fast. We have a lot of episodes loosely put on the board." 

What is the plot of Reservation Dogs Season 3?

For Sterlin Harjo and his writing team, some episodes of "Reservation Dogs" come together at the last minute, and some ideas get scrapped completely. "I really wish I had a plan," he told Vulture. "It's very instinctual." That said, it helps knowing he has a hooked audience waiting in the wings. "People are invested," he added, "which gives us some leeway."

Season 3's official plot synopsis reads, "This season, the Rez Dogs find thesmelves stranded in Cali and have to figure out their way back home. After making it back to Okern, Elora considers the idea of college, Bear comes across a conspiracy theorist named 'Maximus,' Willie Jack grows more invested in healing her community, and Cheese, well, he still lives with his grandmother who's not his grandmother." Of course, that's just scratching the surface, with Hulu promising a season full of "road trips, bathroom wisdom, unexpected fathers, boarding schools, Bigfoot, rumors, revenge, and healing."

Speaking about her character, Devery Jacobs revealed a peek into Elora's future in conversation with Vanity Fair. "She's let go of this really heavy thing," the actor remarked. "And now she's looking towards what's next in her life. What's the next chapter? She's being a support system to a lot of the people around her, whereas I think she was the person who needed a lot of support in previous seasons but might not have known to reach out for it." 

Harjo has also offered some fascinating glimpses into Season 3. In an interview with Variety, the showrunner said, "We're not going to dilly-dally in California for too long. We have business to attend to back home. It's a similar approach to Season 3, which is, 'How do I make this feel like you're not predicting where this is going?' And honestly, I think that tonally, there's some darkness coming."

Who will star in Reservation Dogs Season 3?

The core foursome of Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Lane Factor, and Paulina Alexis all return for "Reservation Dogs" Season 3. After all, what's the show without these four leads? As Sterlin Harjo put it to GQ, "How do we keep expanding the storytelling, but also keep the show intact, and keep everything coming back to our four reservation dogs?"

As for who else is joining the main cast, Harjo spoke with Vulture and said, "I want to bring the Deer Lady (Kaniehtiio Horn) back. I want that supernatural stuff to remain in the show." Horn indeed comes back, alongside notable figures such as Zahn McClarnon as Big, Gary Farmer as Brownie, Wes Studi as Bucky, and Lily Gladstone as Bucky. Graham Greene of "Dances With Wolves" also appears in the season as a conspiracy theorist named Maximus, as do familiar faces like Sarah Podemski, Tamara Podemski, Jon Proudstar, Richard Ray Whitman, Kirk Fox, Jana Schmieding, Lil Mike, and FunnyBone.

Who is directing Reservation Dogs Season 3?

Episodes of "Reservation Dogs" are directed by a range of people, including Sydney Freeland, Tazbah Rose Chavez, and Blackhorse Lowe. Showrunner Sterlin Harjo is the most frequent director of the bunch; he's helmed 7 of the series' 18 episodes. Season 3 brings somebody new into this rarefied group: Devery Jacobs. While fans will immediately recognize her as the actor who portrays Elora, they might not realize she's already been working behind the scenes as a writer. When Jacobs signed onto the show, she made it clear that she was interested in working on the other side of the camera as well. In Season 2, Harjo brought her into the writers' room. Now, she's taking a turn in the director's chair. 

Jacobs directed Episode 7 of Season 3. While this is her debut as a TV director, she's not entirely new to the role. Jacobs has directed three short films: 2016's "Stolen," 2017's "Rae," and 2018's "Ara Marumaru." This multifaceted talent is sure to impress fans in her new role.

Who is the showrunner of Reservation Dogs Season 3?

Sterlin Harjo, who co-created "Reservation Dogs" with cinematic powerhouse Taika Waititi, serves as the series' showrunner. This was new territory for the longtime indie film director when he first signed on, and it came with some serious surprises. "I remember calling a showrunner friend of mine and asking, 'Am I supposed to be like holding meetings?,'" Harjo remarked to Variety. "There's no template. It's not laid out for you. Really, I was just going off instinct." Some of his expectations turned out to be off-base: He thought working as a TV showrunner would come with the sort of support indie directors scrabble for, when in fact, it's a fairly similar experience.

As fans can attest, he definitely got the hang of it. His experience in indie film actually makes him a tremendously effective showrunner: As Harjo remarked, "Being a showrunner is pretty much just like making micro budget indie films, because you kind of have your hand over everything." TV also gives him the room to stay true to his ideals and vision, especially when it comes to casting Native actors in leading roles. While Hollywood has told him such talents don't bring in the big bucks and are thus off-limits, TV has allowed him to cast such luminaries as Devery Jacobs and D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai.

Is there a trailer for Reservation Dogs Season 3?

The official trailer for "Reservation Dogs" Season 3 hit the internet on July 7. It's a potent example of everything that makes the show great, from its piercing wit to its tender exploration of teen melancholy. We find the Rez Dogs thinking about the future in this powerful trailer. Some are considering school, some are thinking about what positions they might occupy in their community, and some aren't sure what's coming next, only that it's coming fast. Bear seems to be in an especially complex space. When asked if he's a good man, he says, "I try to be." But what does that mean, exactly? Season 3 promises to tackle that very question with characteristic insight.

It's not all weighty questions of identity and life goals, however — we also get glimpses of the weirdness, humor, and tenderness that make "Reservation Dogs" so special. Cheese has fun with a VR headset in one especially endearing shot, and the phrase "probably cause" is coined, which must be one of the best made-up legal terms to ever hit the small screen. Another teaser, released on July 18, puts an even more lighthearted spin on the final season. William Knifeman, Bear's guiding spirit, is in fine form, mimicking explosions and promising the viewer big things in the coming episodes. People dance in optometry offices, the kids enjoy the sunshine, and comparisons to "The Empire Strikes Back" are made. We don't yet know how "Reservation Dogs" will end, but we can be sure getting there will be a joy.

When will Reservation Dogs end?

On June 29, "Reservation Dogs" fans learned that Season 3 of the celebrated series is its last. In an emotional Instagram post, Sterlin Harjo remarked, "It's the correct decision creatively for the show. I always knew what the end of this story would be, I just didn't know when it would arrive. As we continued to break stories and write scripts this season, it became clear to the producers, Taika and me that the season three finale is the perfect series finale." FX released a statement of their own (via Variety): " It's difficult to say goodbye to these indelible characters and to an award-winning series ... That said, we support Sterlin and Taika's decision to end the series in a way that will cement its legacy."

This is bittersweet news for "Reservation Dogs" devotees. On the one hand, saying goodbye is never easy — but when it involves something as truly special as this series, it's downright painful. It's not a stretch to say that there has never been a show like "Reservation Dogs" before, and there might not be another one made any time soon. But on the other hand, it seems as though this is a fairly organic, artistically-minded decision. It'll be sad to see the Rez Dogs go, but at least they're doing so on their own terms.

Where to watch previous seasons of Reservation Dogs

If you're looking to dive into "Reservation Dogs" for the first time, or to revisit its poignant, offbeat, and often hilarious world, you're in luck — it's incredibly simple to access. The series debuted on Hulu, under its FX on Hulu umbrella. Both seasons can be found on the streamer, and further seasons are certain to premiere there as well. 

"Reservation Dogs" has such a secure place on Hulu, in fact, that it isn't available to watch anywhere else. Even the FX website directs interested viewers to watch it on Hulu. International viewers have a bit more of a choice, however: They can watch it on the Disney+ Star platform. If you're open to watching it the old-fashioned way — on an everyday TV, according to a channel's set schedule — you're also in luck. Staring June 26, "Reservation Dogs" will air two episodes every Monday night at 10 p.m. EST, on FX.

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