I think that, despite Philbert's naïveté and dreamerlike qualities, he is more solid in terms of knowing who he is as Cheyenne. He takes pride in his heritage and background, and uses the road to further find ways of connecting with who he and his people are. He is unlike Buddy, in that he is slightly aware of Cheyenne (or American Indians in general) struggles and wounds of the past, like Wounded Knee, in which Buddy was involved. He is an optimist and like a breeze of fresh air compared to Buddy. I think the road trip was more beneficial to Buddy. The flashback to when he and Philbert were children was vivid, and showed the differences in their characters, in that Buddy remembers being mean to Philbert, but Philbert doesnt remember the bad. As he spends more time with Philbert, his cold demeanor starts to thaw, and he starts to embrace more of his Cheyenne heritage, like when they go to the Powwow in the gymnasium. He is against participating in what he sees as useless, but gives in and dances, and actually seems to enjoy himself. By the end of the movie, he comes to realize that Philbert means more to him and his personal identity than he knew. They set out on the road to help Buddy's sister, but the road ended up helping Buddy.