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!
Will There Be a Season 4 of ‘Big Sky’?
Big Sky ended on a high note on Wed, Jan. 18, wrapping up a whirlwind season filled with murder, mystery, and deception.
And naturally, fans are already craving more, especially as each season of the series delves into a new storyline centered in Helena, Montana, and involving Dewell & Hoyt’s Cassie Dewell and Jenny Hoyt.
Unfortunately, ABC decided not to renew Big Sky for a fourth season.
In terms of ratings, the series kept steady with 2.4 million viewers and a 0.2 demo, which seemingly wasn’t enough to convince the network despite a very dedicated fan base and some A-list actors joining in the third season, including Reba McEntire and Jensen Ackles.
The third season wrapped up many lingering storylines, giving fans closure to the mystery plaguing the season, however, there’s always more to explore when it comes to the dynamics between the core characters. And something tells me, there’s no shortage of criminal activity in Helena.
While Cassie and Cormac finally made things official, fans were likely hoping to see a bit more romance for Jenny and Ackles’ Beau. The show has been toying with their chemistry, sparking a “will they or won’t they” debate, but when it finally came down to solidifying their relationship, they left it open-ended.
When TV Insider asked Ackles if he’d return for a fourth season, he explained, “I don’t know. They haven’t even picked up the show yet for Season 4, so I don’t know if anybody’s coming back for Season 4 yet. That’s above my pay grade.”
However, he added, “But if they do decide to pick up a Season 4 — which I would hope they would, I think the show’s really great, and I think it’s got a lot of story left to tell — I don’t know. They had me for one season. They were probably like, well, let’s just bring him in for one, and we’ll see how it goes, and then we’ll go from there. So they’re waiting to hear what happened with the show, and then they’ll probably talk to [showrunner] Elwood [Reid] and try to figure out what to do with the characters, those that are returning and those that they want to return.”
It was fun while it lasted, I guess. Keep the good times rolling by reading our review of the Big Sky Season 3 finale right here.
Big Sky Season Finale Review – That Old Feeling (313)
And just like that, Big Sky brought another absolutely bonkers season to a close.
Big Sky Season 3 Episode 13 picked up with the hunt for Buck (Rex Linn), who kidnapped Denise and Emily and was holding them hostage as leverage.
The whole kidnapping storyline with the women trapped in a trailer was reminiscent of Big Sky Season 1, bringing everything full circle and subtly reminding viewers of what drew us to this series in the first place.
Buck sent us all on a frustrating goose chase. The old man had nothing to lose, which made things all the more difficult, but there’s no denying that the unhinged man who was also badly injured should’ve been taken down way sooner. It was annoying to see him wield the upper hand just as it was tiring to see him overpower person after person who got in his way or tried to stop him. Killing one innocent bystander was fine, but in his state, he shouldn’t have been able to overpower Walter or Beau.
Though, I guess when you have the streak of a cold-blooded killer, it’s different. Buck went off the deep end, and there was no bringing him back. And with the way he was just snapping necks left and right, you’d think this was an episode of The Vampire Diaries.
Buck thought he was playing the long game, but he underestimated Sunny. He tried to manipulate her by using the love that they once had for each other, but it didn’t work. While she was his blind spot, Sunny no longer saw him as the man she married—all she saw was a liar who broke her heart in unimaginable ways. He was convinced that she was on his side after everything he’d done—it was evident when he told her to “shoot them” right before she shot him in the heart. Poetic.
The thing about Sunny is that she always has a plan. It wasn’t a smart plan throwing Walter to the wolves, but I guess she felt as though she owed him this much. And when she realized that Buck was like a cat with nine lives, she knew the only way to make sure he never hurt anyone again was to take the shot, even if it meant that she’d spend the rest of her life in prison. Honestly, something tells me she’s going to really thrive there. She’s resourceful and not above getting her hands dirty.
Sunny may have been fed up with Buck for lying to her and turning her against Walter (because he knew exactly who Buck was), the last straw was when Buck bashed Walter’s head and nearly killed him. At that point, Sunny knew that he was unpredictable and she’d never be safe, despite his promises that he’d never hurt her. If that was true, he wouldn’t have messed up their lives and attacked her boy.
No one even blamed Sunny for what she did as both Jenny and Cassie acknowledged that they’d likely make the same choice if they were in her shoes. Sunny may have been questionable throughout the season, but she came through when it mattered.
Buck and Sunny left behind a trail of victims—thankfully Emily and Denise weren’t included—but the biggest one had to be Cormac. Not only was his whole life a lie, but he found out that his father was one of the worst serial killers of his time, found out that he had a brother, and lost both of his parents in one fell swoop.
And he was crucial in helping Cassie locate Emily and Denise by leading her to a cabin where he used to camp with his dad. It’s a chilling thought to know that Cormac was present for so many of his father’s crimes as a child without even knowing it.
If it hadn’t been for Cormac, however, there’s a huge possibility that the women would’ve never been found. I know that in many cases, loved ones don’t get such good news, but I’m glad Beau didn’t have to endure the pain of losing his child. He went through a father’s worst nightmare when Emily was kidnapped, feeling as though he failed to protect his daughter, and it was painful to watch him feel so helpless.
While I don’t think that Beau was in the right headspace to make his romantic feelings known to Jenny, the series has been playing the “will they or won’t they” game the whole season, so I wish we got some kind of moment. However, it’s understandable that Beau simply needed time to process; he was in a fragile place and needed a friend more than anything.
He went through a rollercoaster of emotions, which were topped off by Carla’s announcement that she’s returning to Houston and taking Emily with her. It’s a bummer to lose Emily because I feel like she was such a great intern for Dewell and Hoyt, but it makes sense that her mother doesn’t want her to have anything to do with it after what transpired.
Plus, the fact that he has no plans to reunite with his wife may just be the sign we need that he’s considering pursuing something romantic with Jenny. And the hand holding definitely solidified their feelings. Both of them deserve happiness, so I’m hoping they find it with each other.
As for Cormac, it’s a good thing he had Cassie in his life, who seemingly even got his mom’s blessing as she asked the detective to “keep an eye out on her son” while she was in prison. Cassie was also on hand to support him when he finally met his half-brother, which is likely a moment Sunny dreamt of for quite a long time. Walter didn’t end up being this season’s monster as we all thought in the begging, but there’s still something off about him. It takes a monster to be able to identify a monster, and I’m not convinced that Walter was completely innocent. The series also gave Paige closure as she popped into the hospital to “thank” Walter for allowing her to escape this hellish nightmare and giving her another shot at life. She’s one of the few that made it out semi-unscathed.
Since the series tackles new mysteries each season, they also put to rest Tonya and Donno’s storyline. The good news is–Donno lived. The bad news is that he’s in a wheelchair, which kind of feels like necessary karma for all the terrible things he’s done. And still, I have a soft spot for him, and his cozy friendship with Tonya has been the highlight of the season. They weren’t exactly pivotal to the storylines, but I’m glad the writers saw value in them and did their best to keep them around. They’ll always have a presence in Helena, so it’s wise to keep them looped in. And they may just be the richest people in town now that Tonya managed to cap the $15 million! I hope they finally hit pause on their life of crime and actually just live.
And that’s that, friends. Cassie and Jenny are Helena’s monster slayers, bringing justice to the worst of the worst like Ronald Pergman and Buck Barnes.
What did you think of the season?
Big Sky Part 1 Season Finale Review – Are You Mad? (312)
Big Sky is pulling out all the stops for its two-part season finale.
This season has been a beautiful mess, with one intriguing and twisted mystery after the other.
And somehow, they had us all thinking that Emily and Denise were kidnapped by the men coming after Avery. Oh, how naive of us.
The series pulled off the mother of plot twists, shocking even Beau Arlen himself, when it was revealed that the kidnapper was Buck Barnes.
Of course, Buck would survive the whole ordeal with Paige. I was naive to think that she had succeeded in killing an evil man.
While Paige managed to get herself to safety, so did Buck, and when Jenny, Cassie, and Beau finally located the bunker in the woods, it was Buck-less.
They did, however, find themselves completely disturbed by the hearts in jars, proving once and for all that Buck is the Bleeding Heart Murderer.
Sunny was shocked to learn all about her husband’s dark side, or, at the very least, she wanted everyone to believe she was shocked. But somehow, I’m not buying it. I don’t believe that she didn’t know anything about it, especially when Walter revealed that he told her that he’d seen Buck the night of Blaire Lucan’s murder.
Who would have thought that after everything, Walter would’ve turned out to be the normal one? Upon finding Paige alive at Sunny’s wielding a huge kitchen knife and covered in blood, the police released Walter. And while he didn’t kill Paige, didn’t they find out that he did murder his foster parents? How was he able to walk free? And what about Luke? Are we just going to forget about him? My guess is that Buck also killed him, but why hasn’t that been made clear?
Walt realized that this whole time, his mother made him feel like he was different and dangerous when in reality, she and Buck were the rotten apples. He said his goodbyes, which didn’t sit well with Sunny, but I doubt that their paths will diverge for long as they’re both going to be motivated to find Buck now that they know he’s alive.
Walter will want revenge for what Buck did to Paige, while Sunny, well, I have no idea what card Sunny is going to play now. She’s always been loyal to Buck, but she’s also a force, so I feel like she might finally do the right thing once she realizes Buck kidnapped the Sheriff’s daughter.
Throughout all of this—and while injured—Buck still managed to kill another innocent victim. Gabriel, much like the Mark the hiker, was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was heartbreaking to see his dog, Lulu, whimper and stay behind with the body after witnessing such brutality.
But for now, enough about Buck as he’s going to be the star of the second half of the season finale.
The first half tied up the whole $15 million/Avery storyline with a bloodbath. Avery, Tonya, and Donno showed up for their meeting with Tony, but things took quite a nasty turn. Avery should’ve known better than to get into bed with a bunch of reckless criminals, but by being greedy, he sealed his own fate. There was no way he was going to get out of this alive. He was constantly in way over his head, and as Beau explained, he thought he was smarter than everyone else, which was his biggest flaw.
The moment he gave up his control of the money, Tony shot him dead. Rest In Peace, Avery.
Avery wasn’t the only one who let greed get the best of him as Tonya’s money-hungry ways led to Donno’s untimely death. I know that Donno was a terrible person who killed people for a living, but god, his death was a gut punch. He went out in a blaze of glory. How is it possible that the sweetest love story coming out of season 3 was between Tonya and Donno? The kiss broke my heart!
In the end, they all lost.
Other Notable Moments
- Jenny put her full support behind Beau to help him find his daughter. Her feelings for him are evident, even though this definitely ins’t the right time. However, with Avery out of the picture and Beau going the extra mile to protect his girls, does Jenny stand a shot against Carla?
- Carla truly is a boss babe. She may have been terrified, but she didn’t let on in the slightest when confronting her stalker.
- Cormac finally found out the truth about his family, and I feel for that boy. His whole life has been a lie, he has a half brother he never knew about, and his dad is a serial killer. And now that he knows it, it jogged a traumatizing memory of when he was a kid and sort of witnessed his dad commit the crimes. He’s going to need a lot of therapy.
- I really bet all those people wished they’d never went glamping.
It’s unclear why Buck kidnapped Denise/Emily, though it definitely seems like he’s not even doing anything with a purpose anymore. He kills for the thrill of it—and he found two people that would motivate everyone to hunt him down.
Will they get to Emily and Denise in time? Will Buck finally get what’s coming to him? The second half of the season finale airs next Wednesday!
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