Glass and Hawk are walking through a river with other men from their hunting party as they stalk elk. They are camped by a river in rural Missouri with other fur-trappers. They are led by their captain, Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). A naked missing man from their party walks into the settlement and collapses forward with an arrow in his back. Another man is shot in the neck with an arrow and falls into the campfire. The hunting party is attacked by a tribe of local natives who are Arikara Indians, also known as ‘Ree’. The men fire back with their rifles. Glass is attacked and nearly choked to death, but one of his men rescues him. A few men gather their furs and materials toward a boat to make their escape. The Arikaras themselves are looking for the chief’s daughter, Powaqa, stolen by unknown white men.
The men abandon their boat and start to hike overland to Fort Kiowa. Hawk is antagonized by John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) for his race (Hawk is half-Indian on his mother’s side), but Glass quickly defends his son and tells him not to retaliate against Fitzgerald.
While hunting in the woods, Glass comes across a grizzly bear and her cubs, and he is quickly attacked by the larger bear. The bear claws and bites Glass, throwing him around as Glass tries to defend himself. He manages to shoot the bear, but it doesn’t kill her. She attacks again and Glass gets his knife, stabbing it several times as they both tumble down a hill. Glass lands in a gully and the dead bear lands on top of him. The men later find Glass and try to tend to his deep wounds.
Meanwhile, the Arikara warriors continue their search for Powaqa. They come across French fur traders and trade the riverside furs for five horses.
The men in the hunting party carry Glass on a makeshift stretcher, but he only slows them down. They attempt to carry him up a hill, only for him to slide and bring the other men down. Fitzgerald suggests they need to just kill Glass and put him out of his misery. Henry covers Glass’ eyes and almost shoots him in the head, but he cannot bring himself to do it. Henry offers payment of $75 to anyone who will stay behind with Glass. Hawk and Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) volunteer, though Fitzgerald points out that they and Glass will be likely to die. Henry raises the payment offer to $100 so that even Fitzgerald decides to stay with them until Glass expires.