Big Sky Season 3 Episode 8 took on a classic murder mystery formula as Jenny and Beau—and later Cassie—took to Sunny Day Excursions to solve the murder of Mary, which was then followed by Luke’s untimely demise.
One murder in the woods may be a coincidence, but two murders at a glamping sight, along with the disappearance of Paige and the former death of missing backpacker, Mark, meant that something sinister was at play.
But what was it? Jenny and Beau put their heads together to try to work through every possible scenario and find every and any motive.
Tonya and Donno’s presence didn’t make much sense at first, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Jenny knew that they had to be involved in some way. When Avery ended up telling the detectives about the $15 million in crypto that Luke mentioned to him, they figured that Tonya and Donno were simply working a job… and they weren’t wrong. But Tonya and Donno are in hot water of their own since they haven’t found the money, nor do they have a hold on Paige and Luke. This is one job that they should’ve never agreed to.
There are so many factors at play that make this one of the most twisted yet intriguing seasons of Big Sky.
It’s not exactly clear why Avery mentioned the money to Beau and Jenny, especially since he had an interest in getting it for himself. All season long, we’ve been wondering what Avery’s play was, and, it turns out, he’s in some deep financial trouble as the SEC is investigating him for fraud and misleading investors. If he had kept quiet about the money, it may have thrown the cops off for a bit, but when he brought it up, he immediately became a suspect as it presented a motive.
The truth is, a lot of people are involved in the case, but it’s not entirely clear cut. Avery is definitely after the money, which explains why he was so interested in Paige and Luke, but he didn’t kill them.
As we know, Paige is actually alive, and through sheer manipulation of Walter’s feelings, she managed to escape the cabin before Jenny, Beau, and Cassie reached it. Walter’s affection for Paige meant that he turned himself in without much pushback in order to buy her some time.
Walter’s creepy recluse who lives in the woods vibe makes him the ideal suspect, but he’s not responsible for all of the murders as Jenny, Beau and Cassie want to believe. The only person that he may have killed, and I say may have because we never actually saw him shoot the bow and arrow, is Luke.
The rest of the blood is on Sunny and Buck’s hands as she was the one who allowed the missing backpacker to bleed out and die in hopes of protecting her son, Walter’s only crime that day was being strange and scaring the poor man so much that he fell off of a cliff. As for Buck, well, he killed Mary without hesitation to protect his wife.
There’s a reason their camp is at the center of the investigation—as Taylor Swift would say, it’s them, hi, they’re the problem, it’s them.
Cormac seems to have figured out that his parents have been lying to him, and the fact that they kept gaslighting him at every turn when all he wanted was clarity only added to his suspicions. Sunny has an excuse for everything, including the truck title and the photo of her holding baby Walter, but Cormac isn’t buying it anymore. Since it’s obvious that they are hiding something, he decided to do the right thing and help Cassie. If his parents trusted him and told him the truth from the get-go, there’s a possibility that he would have helped them out and steered the investigation in a different direction. I know Sunny thinks she’s doing the right thing by both of her boys, but even she admitted that lying is a stone’s throw away from all types of sins. She should know.
Walt was always going to end up in custody, however. Cassie was determined to find him since day one, and when Luke turned up dead, Buck saw an opportunity to lead the cops to the boy he never liked and find a way out of this mess for himself and his wife. He immediately knew that he could try to pin everything on Walter and didn’t feel much guilt because he already thinks Walter killed Paige and Luke. What’s one more name on the list?
I’m sticking by my theory that Buck is the bleeding heart killer, and by interviewing Walter about the murders, they will somehow piece it all together.
There was a definite rift between Buck and Sunny, who, up until this point, have had each other’s back. Sunny likely won’t forgive Buck for selling out Walter, and she’s a loose cannon, so it’s unclear what she’ll do to protect herself now that it’s all closing in on her and her business. She’s a survivor (Reba pun intended!)!
As for Tonya and Donno, they were able to get ahold of Paige and Luke’s journal with the seed phrase, but unfortunately, Avery got to it first and ripped out the pages. It’s not ideal for any of them as Possum and his lackey are hiding out in the woods ready to pounce to get the money back. And they have no problem shooting anyone, including a cop, just so you understand the absolute danger of the situation.
They are determined to get their money, and if it’s not going to be from Paige, it’ll be from Avery who just put himself in the line of fire unknowingly.
Other Stray Thoughts
- Can Cassie and Cormac find love after she takes down his parents? His whole world is about to be turned upside down as he finds out so much of his life was a lie, and I don’t know if he can bounce back from this.
- Carla was fuming after learning about Avery’s SEC investigation, and I think it was mostly anger from being lied to and deceived. She thought she knew the man she married, but it turns out, he’s been harboring this huge secret because he didn’t think he could trust her. Will this push her back into Beau’s arms?
- I’m still rooting for Beau and Jenny to make their professional relationship a bit more personal. Sorry, Carla.
- Donno doesn’t try to be the comedic relief, but he 100% is, including his comment about Sunny possibly being a “witch.” Also, he’s so in love with Tonya, I hope she stops breaking his heart.
What did you think of the episode? How will it all resolve? The series is taking a break for the holidays and will be back with the “deadly trails” action on Nov. 30!
Big Sky Review – Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire (309)
Big Sky is amping up the drama as the series barrels toward the winter finale.
On Big Sky Season 3 Episode 9, Cassie made huge strides in the cas as finally found the key piece of evidence to make sense of everything.
Cassie was always onto something when she thought Sunny and Buck Barnes were involved, but she didn’t have all the clues until Emily suggested combing through everything for something sentimental. I love that it was Emily with the save as she’s also been very invested in everything since day one and knew something was off despite multiple people telling her to just let it go. Isn’t that always what someone says when you’re too close to figuring out what they’re hiding?
Emily got more than she bargained for when it came to finding the perfect mystery for her podcast. Plus, she’d definitely be an asset to Dewell and Hoyt’s detective agency. She asks questions just like her mom, Carla, and pursues the truth just like her dad, Beau. Of all the newcomers, Emily has been the best addition to the series, and I hope when it’s all over, she sticks around Helena with her father.
Unfortunately, for now, Emily is still in a world of danger as the man looking for the $15 million that Paige and Luke stole is now threatening Avery and his family. I wasn’t entirely clear on Avery’s connection to this whole operation. Was he always involved? Is that why he came to Sunny Day Camp to try to find Paige and Luke? Was he hired just like Tonya and Donno? Or did someone get to him after they realized that he stole the drive with the money on it? The man in the suit called Avery an “old friend” and they seemed to have an established relationship when they met up at the bar, so my guess is that Avery’s been a lot sketchier than we ever thought possible this whole time. Beau was definitely right about him being a shady character. And he’s likely in a lot more “business trouble,” too.
I truly hope nothing bad happens to Carla and Emily because of him. He managed to unlock the seed phrases and gain access to the money, but from the promos for the upcoming episode, he still has a huge target on his back. Avery kind of strikes me as the guy who would try to steal the $15 million despite knowing how dangerous it is, so I won’t be surprised in the slightest if he ends up dead by the end of the season.
But back to Cassie, who was trying to find a connection between Toby (Walter) and backpacker Mark. When Jenny and Beau interrogated Toby, they didn’t get very far, but Cassie took a friendlier approach as someone that Toby could trust. They accused him of killing Luke and Mary, but he also confessed to Paige’s murder, which was odd since there was no body to corroborate his story. Of course, we know that he lied to protect Paige. Cassie found it strange that he made the little wooden doll for Mark, but not for his other victims, especially since he said the figurines were for “protection.”
Based on this, she figured that Toby was lying, but until they knew more about him, she couldn’t find a motive. However, once she found documents under his floorboards that revealed his true identity as Walter, the man who killed his family in a fire, and Sunny’s son, well, it changed everything.
Cassie always had a gut feeling about Sunny, and this revelation points the finger right back at her. Walter may be strange and a recluse, but I don’t think anyone believes he killed those campers.
Once they use his mom as leverage, who has always been there for him no matter what, I have a feeling he might crack in order to protect her.
We also made some headway about the Bleeding Heart Murderer, and I was just so thrilled to see that it was, in fact, Buck Barnes. The nerve of that man to judge and talk down to Walter all this time when he’s a deranged serial killer who remembers his victims by leaving bloody marks on the trees where they were killed. The one thing I can’t figure out is why Walter’s figurines have the bloody heart etched into them, but if I had to guess, it would be that he knows Buck’s secret and wants to show Buck’s victims some respect. I wouldn’t be surprised if Buck killed Luke.
Cormac pretty much figured out Walter’s identity on his own, and Sunny and Buck confirmed his worst fears—his whole life has been a lie. Sunny attempted to paint herself as a loving and caring mother, but Cormac proved to be the only sane one in the family when he suggested that their desire to keep this secret and give Walter a good life was the reason that so many people died. Remember—Cormac only knows half the truth, and he still believes Walter is the murderer rather than his own parents. The poor guy. I truly feel for him when he finally learns the whole truth.
Cormac’s date with Cassie was cute—and they danced!—but it was cut short when Cassie pushed a little too hard about trying to connect the dots when it came to his parents and the murders. Cormac shut down, understandably, as he was trying to process it all on his own, but I hope that he entrusts Cassie with all that he found out now instead of being tricked into staying loyal to his parents. It’s a tough spot for him to be in, but ultimately, I have faith that he’ll do the right thing. He’s a good apple among a tree of rotten ones.
In the final moments of the episode, Paige approached Sunny at the camp, revealing that she was, in fact, alive. Sunny went to see Tonya and Donno in order to find her, as it would give her insight as to what really happened and give her a shot at freeing Walter. The promo reveals that Paige and Sunny can now be of use to each other and will likely form an alliance, but honestly, I don’t see this ending very well for either of them.
The worst part of the episode was Jenny and Beau galivanting off to solve a crime about a dead smokejumper found in a tree. His chute was cut, which upgraded the case to murder, but honestly, it was hard to get invested in this storyline with everything else going on. The show succeeds when Jenny and Beau are making strides to solve the main mystery alongside Cassie. I know Jenny is helpful as a cop as she can do a lot more than Cassie and Denise, but sometimes, I wish she would just go back to the detective agency as it made for more compelling television. Jenny and Beau are a great team, but their cases tend to be a distraction.
What did you think of the Big Sky penultimate episode? Will Avery survive? Are Carla and Emily in danger? Will they reunite with Beau, or will Beau and Jenny finally admit their feelings for each other? Will Cassie finally figure it all out? And will the truth destroy her chances at happiness with Cormac? After all, it’s kind of hard to start a life with the woman who ruined your family, even if she was just doing her job.
Big Sky Review – Come Get Me (307)
When everyone works together towards a common goal, Big Sky shines brighter than the supermoon on the deadly trails Sunny was trying to hike on.
On Big Sky Season 3 Episode 7, Cassie, Hoyt, and Beau made headway on the case of the Bleeding Heart Murder, and it’s all connecting back to Sunny Day Acres, which honestly, isn’t so sunny.
On the surface, it definitely seems like Walter is responsible, but I’m not convinced. Walter is strange, there’s no doubt about that, but the killing’s are not his M.O. Walter is a lurker and a stalker who is also a bit obsessive, but we’ve never actually seen him hurt anyone. The missing hiker Mark fell to his death after Walter’s presence scared him, but he didn’t kill him.
The only people Walter was known to kill are his adoptive parents when he was younger, and it was in a rage after they hurt his friend, Meredith.
What we know about the Bleeding Heart Murder is that his weapon of choice is a “curved blade knife” that was never found.
And you know who else just killed a young woman with a knife? Buck. And while I initially thought Buck was just a devoted husband, the way he smelled Mary’s blood on his hands after he killed her and seemed to enjoy it gave me serial killer vibes. He was all too comfortable killing this woman; it was definitely not a one-off.
We’ve been so preoccupied with pointing the finger at Walter that we totally didn’t see what was right in front of us. The person we should really be investigating is Buck.
I don’t have an explanation as to why Walter’s figurines include the red heart, nor do I know why he was lurking around the woods on prom night when Blaire was murdered, but it’s possible that he knows Buck’s secrets.
The bottom line is that the Barnes family is truly disturbed, and poor Cormac is stuck in the middle of it all. He’s suspicious enough as he notices his parents are hiding something and acting rather shady, but he can’t seem to place their odd behavior just yet. I think that if he’d talk to Cassie, they might be able to put two and two together, but the missing piece, for now, is Walter.
When they find Walter, it’ll lead them to Buck, unless Mary’s freshly discovered body, by Emily of all people, will do that instead.
Buck and Sunny conjured up a plan to take a supermoon night hike with the campers so that they could “stumble” upon Mary’s body, along with Paige’s belongings, and let everyone assume that Luke was some kind of Romeo killer, but I don’t think anyone is going to believe that, especially because since Emily found the dead body, Beau is 100% going to be involved. And Beau comes with Jenny and Cassie, who are all making some progress when it comes to Mark’s disappearance and the mystery of the Bleeding Heart Murder.
The point is—it’s all unraveling, and Sunny was right to think that Emily’s persistence was going to be a thorn in her side.
When Emily encountered Buck in the woods after locating Mary’s body, I was sure she was going to be his next victim, so I’m glad that she made it back to base camp safely.
But I hope this is a lesson to Emily to stop putting her nose in other people’s business, especially when someone like Luke gives her a piece of advice to leave because the camp is filled with bad people. I would go home and never look back!
I think every single person at that camp has had a gut feeling that something isn’t right, so why are they still sticking around?
The mystery of the Bleeding Heart Murder really kicked into high gear after someone broke into Dewell & Hoyt and tore the place apart, leaving a cryptic “Come Get Me” message written in blood. Poor Denise was inside at the time and scared to death, but it was evident that it wasn’t the actual murderer since he never pursued her despite her keys jingling at the absolute worst time and giving away her hiding spot.
The series was trying to bait-and-switch us with Del Lucan, the father of the first BHM victim, Blaire. Joe, Blaire’s boyfriend at the time and a key suspect, first pointed the finger at Del, claiming he was obsessed with his daughter. When Cassie made it to Del’s place, she found a bulletin board filled with pictures of Blaire and key pieces of the investigation, which made Del look suspicious, not to mention the way he came in there with his shotgun and threatened Cassie.
However, when she called him out for murdering his daughter, his tough guy facade disintegrated and he confessed to breaking into D&H simply to remind people that his daughter’s murder continues to go unsolved.
“The killer is still out there,” he warned ominously before Cassie located a composite of what looked like a young Walter, who I believe was there that night but again, not the man responsible for the murder.
I’m still missing some key pieces to connect Buck to it, but I’m thinking he may have gone under a different identity. It’s all just too coincidentally, and I’m hoping that as Cassie, Jenny, and Beau dig a little deeper, the answers become more and more obvious.
Elsewhere, Luke, who was trying to evade Tonya and Donno, stumbled into Paige, very much alive, in the woods. The look on her face was menacing, and the fact that Walter was behind Luke with an axe was unnerving, but again, I don’t think the intention is to kill Luke, I believe she wants to scare him into handing over the drive with the $15 million on it.
And that means a lot of people want what Luke has. Tonya and Donno tried to remove themselves from this situation after realizing that it wasn’t exactly what they signed up for, but the people that hired them—guest starring Darius Rucker and Lyle Lovett as Possum and Tex, respectively—weren’t interested. They wanted Luke dead or else they threatened to burn down the bar with Tonya and Donno inside. Understood.
Donno informed Tonya that for the first time in his life, he had something to lose and he didn’t want to keep being a hitman, but she glossed over his very vulnerable moment by suggesting they ask for double the money instead. Donno is so in love with that woman, he would do anything for her. I wish she reciprocated those feelings and acknowledged his desire to by done with the game.
Maybe finding Luke and Paige could be their last job? If they make it out alive that is.
They’re also keeping an eye on Avery, who Tonya describes as a shady finance dude who knows about the $15 million and keeps asking too many questions for his own good. I still can’t pinpoint whether Avery is a good guy or simply moonlighting as one, but I guess we’ll find out. Much like Emily, he needs to learn to keep to himself instead of sticking his nose into business that doesn’t affect him because he has no idea who he’s messing with and how much trouble Luke and Paige are involved in. It could cost him his life.
Either way, bad things are happening at Sunny Acres, and now that the cops and detectives are about to descend on that place, it’s bad news for everyone. Cassie will surely have her confirmation that something eerie is going on in that camp as this is now the third time she’s been summoned there under strange circumstances.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Buck is dangerous?
Who Plays Possum on ‘Big Sky’?
Country star Darius Rucker is coming to Big Sky: Deadly Trails.
The episode synopsis read: “When shocking new evidence surfaces from the “Bleeding Heart Murder Case,” Jenny and Beau team up with Cassie and achieve a major breakthrough; Buck struggles with his moral ambiguity, and cracks begin to form in his and Sunny’s marriage.”
Earlier this month, it was announced Rucker would guest star in the role of Possum, a hired gun who works at night “like his nocturnal namesake.” He is Tex’s partner on the job involving the search for Luke and Paige, who stole a significant amount of cash and tried to lay low by glamping at Sunny Day Camp, run by Sunny and Buck Barnes—played by country singer Reba and Rex Linn.
Tex will be portrayed by musical guest Lyle Lovett and is described as “an expert tracker with a quiet menace hidden beneath a courteous, gentleman-cowboy exterior. Like a snake charmer, his gift for music makes him all the more deadly.”
Donno and Tonya were previously hired to find Paige and Luke and deliver them to the client, so the fact that we’re seeing Possum and Tex in the flesh is a sign that they are getting impatient!
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