Rutherford Falls Season 2: Release Date, Cast, And More

2021 saw the arrival of two ground-breaking TV shows led by Indigenous Americans on both sides of the camera. The best of the pair, "Reservation Dogs," is an off-beat mix of mythicism, comedy, and pathos about four Indigenous teenagers coming of age in a small, primarily Indigenous American town in Oklahoma. The other, "Rutherford Falls," is a flawed yet enjoyable sitcom centered on an Indigenous American woman and a white guy whose lifelong friendship is put to the test when the mayor of the titular town plots to move a historical statue of the latter's ancestor (which cars keep crashing into due to its placement).

When I say "flawed," what I really mean is "Rutherford Falls" is great, save for one major factor. The show does a fine job of exploring issues faced by modern Indigenous Americans with humor and heart, and its Indigenous American actors are pretty dang charming across the board. Problem is, most of season 1 focuses on the series' white lead, Nathan Rutherford, who's earnest but infuriatingly disinclined to check his privilege or open his mind to the idea that maybe, just maybe, his ancestors were not the exceptions to the rule when it comes to white people's historic treatment of Indigenous Americans.

To be fair, that's exactly the point the show is making. In its first season, "Rutherford Falls" was as much a series about white liberals who need to let go of the idea they're "a special kind of white guy" (to quote Bo Burnham) as anything else. But that also means one of the few shows made about and by Indigenous Americans has, so far, been largely about a white character at its core. Going into season 2, the hope is the series' creatives will continue to chart Nathan's growth as a person while also shifting the focus away from him and more onto those in his vicinity, like his pal Reagan Wells (who, in her own way, is just as much a hot mess as Nathan).

Rutherford Falls season 2 release date and where you can watch it

"Rutherford Falls" season 1 premiered April 22, 2021, on Peacock, dropping all 10 of its episodes in one go, Netflix-style. All eight episodes of season 2 will similarly become available for streaming on the service starting June 16, 2022. For those who prefer to plan their TV viewing schedules out well in advance (this is the era of Too Much Content™, after all), that makes season 2 one of two major small screen releases that week. The other is "The Old Man," the Jeff Bridges-led thriller series slated to debut on FX on June 17, 2022.

Co-creator Sierra Teller Ornelas announced the show's return with the following statement:

"'Rutherford Falls' is back! Get ready to laugh, cry, and swoon. Do people still swoon? Well, they will now! Ed Helms, Mike Schur and I had an absolute blast making a show that's heartfelt, laugh-out-loud funny, and depicts Native Americans in ways you never see on television. Also, a lot of people get punched/kicked in the face. We hope you enjoy Season 2!"

What is Rutherford Falls season 2 about?

Along with releasing the first-look images and details for "Rutherford Falls" season 2, Peacock has unveiled an official logline, reading:

In Season 2, Nathan and Reagan help each other tackle work, romance, and major changes to their small town and the Native American reservation it borders, initiated by Tribal Casino CEO Terry Thomas (Michael Greyeyes).

If that synopsis seems vague, it's because the show's season 1 finale spent more time tying off its plot threads than setting up season 2. That includes having Nathan finally admit to Reagan he's had his head up his butt his whole life (my words, not his), and reconciling with her after their falling out over Reagan telling Nathan the truth about his heritage (among other reasons). The season 1 finale also showed Nathan being less-than-enthused upon learning what Josh Carter — the journalist who had been investigating the titular town's real history and, for a while, dating Reagan — had to say about him on his podcast, so that, too, will have an impact on what's to come in season 2.

Rutherford Falls season 2 producers, crew, and more

Most, if not all, of the Indigenous American staff writers who worked on "Rutherford Falls" season 1 are expected to be back for season 2, including co-creator Sierra Teller Ornelas, Jana Schmieding (who also plays Reagan Wells), Tai Leclaire, Tazbah Chavez, Dash Turner, and Azie Dungey. Ed Helms (who also plays Nathan Rutherford and co-created the show) will continue to serve as an executive producer in season 2, as will Ornelas and co-creator Michael Schur.

Schur, for those who don't know the name right off the bat, previously co-created "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." He was also the sole creator and showrunner on the beloved philosophical fantasy-comedy series "The Good Place," which is why all three of those shows have a lot in common with "Rutherford Falls," when it comes to their comedic styles and progressive outlooks. If all goes well, the latter will start to feel more like a series that's truly about and made with Indigenous Americans in mind in season 2, more so than it did in its first 10 episodes.

Rutherford Falls season 2 cast

Back for more in "Rutherford Falls" season 2 are Ed Helms (Nathan Rutherford) and Jana Schmieding (Reagan Wells), with Michael Greyeyes (Terry Thomas) once again getting a chance to flex his comedy muscles here after killing it with his work in films like the 2021 indie drama "Wild Indian." Also back in season 2 is Jesse Leigh as Nathan's sassy, highly-driven, teenage assistant, Bobbie Yang.

New additions in season 2 include the Indigenous American actors Dallas Goldtooth — who plays Bear's bumbling spirit guide, aka William Knifeman, in "Reservation Dogs" — and Kaniehtiio Horn ("Ghost BFF," "Letterkenny"). Details about their roles on the show are under lock and key for the time being, but the addition of more Indigenous talent is certainly welcome. It also suggests the series' creatives are doubling their efforts to deliver better representation in season 2 by featuring a wider range of Indigenous American characters, so far as their personalities and backgrounds are concerned.