Aunties just wanna have fun Reservation dogs. In “Wide Net”, Rita (Sarah Podemski) attends the annual IHS conference with her best friends, including Teenie (Tamara Podemski).
You know Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) and his friends, but what do you really know about his mother Rita. Well, we know she had Bear at a young age. She grew up with Cookie, the mother of Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs). And she’s looking for love.
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Rita, Cookie, Teenie, Bev (Jana Schmieding) and Natalie (Natalie Standingcloud) were the closest friends growing up. When they were young, they even created a dance routine for Brandy’s Sitting in my room. Things changed drastically when Cookie died. Teenie left town, joined the army, graduated from college and now lives in town. Natalie, Bev and Rita stayed in Okern.
Rita, Bev and Natalie are still friends and all work for Indian Health Services (IHS). Bev tries to convince Rita to attend the IHS conference, but Rita wants to stay close to Bear. He’s been struggling lately, especially with Elora Danan. Bev reminds him that he is a teenager and will always struggle. They need to have fun. White people go to Cancun, they go to the IHS conference. This is the NDN method.
While Rita is packing for the conference, she gives Bear instructions on what to do in an emergency. He says he will be fine. He intends to relax since he is working now. Besides, she deserves a weekend. Rita says it’s a conference so it always works.
Rita settles into a beautiful hotel room. She joins her colleagues at the opening session and sits down with Dr. Kang (Bobby Lee), Bev, and Natalie. They watch the speaker, Sam (Tatanka Means). He says a lot of good things, but they focus on his looks. Teenie introduces herself and agrees with their assessment of the speaker. Natalie notices that Sam isn’t wearing a ring and has no hickeys. Teenie suggests he might have a white wife, but Bev says that doesn’t count.
Dr. Kang listens carefully to the ladies talking about a hitch and asks what it is. They all look at it in disbelief and explain that it is snags. (non-committal sex with someone you plan to see again). Bev wears her snag’s name badges like medals. They give him some pointers on how to get his own hiccup, including a list of tribes to research. The most important thing is to wear socks because the drugs pass through the feet.
They contacted vendors at the conference and collected samples of medicinal herbs for women’s parties. The ladies can’t help but stare at all the handsome men at the conference. The only time they look away is when a Seminole man walks up to say hello. Teenie says a Seminole man can imprint on you with one look. Natalie sees her ex Ray Ray (Migizi Pensoneau) again. He’s seated next to Jumbo (Bobby Wilson), who she and Bev both hooked up with. They are there on behalf of a dispensary. Teenie decides to buy edibles.
Later at the pool, Teenie greets Sam and encourages Rita to talk to him. They strike up a conversation, mostly small talk. Sam is from Arizona. He has no children and is currently reading Man Moon. Later, they share an elevator and plan to meet at the bar that night.
One of the samples the ladies got is a bag of herbs. Herbs are used to steam their female parts. Rita goes first and thinks about what she wants in case something goes wrong. Afterwards, she says she feels powerful.
Rita checks on Bear. He says he is fine. He had a pizza and will probably go to sleep after eating. As the camera rolls, we see Bear throwing a party. Rita has no idea. She says she had a long day and will probably go to bed just as early. But really, she’s going to meet Sam at the bar.
Dr. Kang hangs out with IHS Director Clinton (Warren Quenton). He says they closed the party last year. Flashback to last year, Clinton and Dr. Kang are in the parking lot singing 49 songs alone. Clinton decides to give Dr. Kang an NDN name. Cebo. Clinton says it means cousin, but it’s actually Mvskoke for ass. A waitress arrives to take their order. Dr. Kang introduces himself as Cebo and asks her which tribe she is from. She’s none of the tribes the ladies gave him, but he likes her. And he wears socks.
Teenie hands out the edibles. Rita hesitates because she doesn’t want to get too dirty. Teenie says there are only 10 grams of HTC in the candy. After Rita eats her candy, Bev reveals that there are 25 grams in a single candy. It doesn’t take long for the effects to kick in. Just in time too, because the DJ is playing Sitting in my room. The ladies go to the dance floor.
In their minds, they’re dressed in matching green outfits and dance like them in a music video. The crowd loves it. It’s the same routine they did when they were kids. Eventually, everyone joins them on the dance floor. In reality, the ladies are barely moving to the music and laughing. After which, they go out to smoke a cigarette and reminisce about their youth. Natalie and Rita want to be young again so that they no longer have responsibilities. They complain that their youth ended too soon and no one asked them to be adults. It just happened.
Teenie says they need nights like this and let go. Rita thinks it’s easier for Teenie because she doesn’t have kids. Neither does Bev, but Bev takes care of Jackie (Elva Guerra) now. She must be responsible now. Rita says Teenie can pick and choose what she wants to be a part of. She doesn’t have to deal with the same things they do. The conversation heats up when Rita says that Teenie abandoned them when Cookie died. Teenie tries to defend her choice, but leaves instead.
Sam arrives at the bar and Rita walks towards him. She sees a young woman approach him and put her hand on Sam’s hand. Rita stops and turns around. She heads for the bathroom and doesn’t see Sam take the girl’s hand away to dismiss her. In the bathroom, Rita discovers that she has just had her period. Fortunately, Teenie is there to give him a tampon.
Rita and Teenie make up. They both express that they wish they had each other’s lives to change. Rita thinks she should have an accident that put her in the hospital to get any kind of vacation. Teenie wishes things were simpler like when they were younger. At the bar, Sam does not see Rita and decides to withdraw.
The night ends and the ladies choose their snags. Bev takes the Seminole man. Natalie can’t choose between Jumbo and Ray Ray so she takes them both. Clinton and a small group finish in the parking lot singing 49 songs. And Rita ends up watching TV and eating snacks with Teenie.
The next morning, Dr. Kang runs into the hotel lobby in his underwear, name badge, and socks. He has hickeys all over his neck and chest. He tries to open several doors but everything is locked. He runs for the elevator. When the doors open, Rita, Natalie, Bev, and Teenie are there, hungover. Dr. Kang comes in and Rita asks if he’s okay. He says he finally hooked up.
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