Welcome to the Montana reimagined by David E. Kelley.
Kelley is the man who brought you Big Little Lies, so the expectations were high for Big Sky on ABC.
The series delivered a solid pilot episode with plenty of jaw-dropping moments mixed with some soapier moments to lighten the mood a bit. After all, this is a show where the central mystery is the kidnapping of two young women who run into car troubles.
The episode doesn’t start off too menacingly as it focuses on establishing the relationships between the characters.
And when I say things are complicated, I’m talking love-triangle complicated.
Jenny Hoyt finds out that her bestie and co-worker at the private investigator firm, Cassie, is sleeping with her maybe ex-husband, Cody. I say maybe ex because Cassie swears that Cody told her things were over between them, while Jenny was under the impression that they were “working things out.”
And Cody, who seems to be the embodiment of self-destructive, seems just about fine sleeping with both of them and doesn’t truly know what he wants out of life.
While their personal lives seem to be quite a mess, the show establishes early on that each of these characters is not only cutthroat and dedicated to their craft, but they also have kids, which makes a case of missing women something they become personally invested in.
In a different vein, we meet Ronald Pergman (and how great is it that Brian Geraghty finally got a solid role? Though, after this, I don’t think I’ll ever look at him the same way!), a 38-year-old truck driver who still lives with his momma.
His mom is overbearing, calls him “boo boo,” and takes any chance to point out that he’s a failure in life, so naturally, audiences feel for Ronald.
However, any and all sympathy we may have felt for Ronald fades rather quickly when he picks up a sex worker at a truck stop, seduces her, and then tasers her.
Turns out, Ronald isn’t the kind of man his mother thinks her is.
The whole scene, even prior to Ronald revealing that he’s an absolute creep, gave me such weird vibes, so props need to be given to Geraghty for naling the essence of the character.
The audience is led to believe that Ronald killed the prostitute as we see her wrapped up in plastic in the back of his truck, but it’s unclear what his intentions are until his nasty run-in with Danielle and Grace, two sisters making the trek from Colorado to Montana.
The sisters make the mistake of taking a deserted road to get to their destination to avoid a pile-up on the highway. After a road-rage incident with Ronald, he finds their car broken down and attacks them with, you guessed it, a taser.
Big Sky has taken a different approach than we’ve seen in other thrillers by revealing the killer/kidnapper early on. The mystery goes from wanting to know who is behind the crimes — though Jenny and Cassie will still have to work that one out — to finding out what Ronald’s intentions are.
It doesn’t seem as though he fits a serial killer profile since he doesn’t kill any of the women (yes, even the prostitute ends up alive, and I know you jumped at that scene) even though it may have seemed like the easier alternative. This means there’s a reason he wants them alive.
At one point, it seems as though the women might outsmart and overpower him, but he still manages to take them down.
And once they regain consciousness, they’re chained up in some lair and wondering, much like the audience, what his next move will be.
Is Ronald more into psychological mind games?
Justin, Danielle’s boyfriend, informs his parents, Jenny and Cody about his missing girlfriend and they leap into action.
Cody’s secretary connects him with Montana’s Sheriff, Rick, who we meet briefly in a pretty strange scene where he makes a sex analogy to help a man in a Tesla out of a ditch. Something immediately feels off about Rick, but a later scene of him eating dinner at home seems to prove that he’s just a quirky, small-town man.
Though, the fact that he calls his wife “mother” should have been the second telling sign.
She’s practically beginning for a divorce when he gets a call about the missing women, but again, we brush it off as Rick being a man that’s just too preoccupied with his job and neglecting his wife.
Once Cody and Rick connect, he immediately talks about sending him information about a local church that may be involved because “this has happened here before.”
Again, we should have seen the signs, but instead, we trusted Rick because he’s a Sheriff.
This leads us to an uneasy scene where Cody and Rick are about to embark on a journey together. Rick is making some quirky comments, Cody is ready to get on with, and then bam, Rick shoots Cody point-blank and presumably kills him.
Anyone who was tuning in solely because of Ryan Phillippe — the show’s star power — likely reacted the same way: jaw-drop.
Also, the fact that Rick is calling Ronald sloppy while coming out of the car covered in another man’s blood is truly a sight to behold.
Big Sky’s pilot episode delivered a major shock in the final moments of the episode by not only killing Phillippe (who seemed so central to the plot) but by also revealing that Rick is in cahoots with Ronald.
Now, Rick likely thought Cody was working on this alone, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out once Jenny and Cassie realize Cody is missing and connect it to Rick.
With its Montana scenery, Geraghty’s truly traumatizing portrayal, and that shocking twist, did the pilot hook you enough to make you want to come back for more? ABC surely hopes so.
In the time of COVID where primetime TV pickings are slim, I think Big Sky is a promising pilot.
What do you think Rick and Ronald are doing with these women?
Are they just into kidnapping them to exert some power? Is it a sex trafficking ring? Do they murder them?
And who else is in on it? If Rick was in cahoots with Ronald, there may be others who are involved!
Big Sky Season Finale Review – Catch a Few Fish (2×18)
The Big Sky season 2 finale was — and I hate to say this — uneventful.
There were some high moments, but overall, it was a bit of an anticlimactic outcome to a seriously twisted and dark season.
Why is that?
Most of the major storylines were wrapped up, but it was too neat for the magnitude of the storylines delivered over the course of 18 episodes.
I’ll start with Scarlett as she’s been the overarching connection to Ronald Pergman for two seasons.
She may have been a sociopath, but there’s no denying that Scarlett was a mother that cared deeply about her daughter. She would’ve done anything for Phoebe.
So, when it became abundantly clear that Cassie was right — she’d never outrun the syndicate and be “safe” — she dropped Phoebe off at Cassie’s apartment, along with the drive detailing all the info on the sex trafficking ring.
It’s the smoking gun as that drive is the exact reason that the syndicate is after her.
Of course, the fact that Scarlett witnessed the dangers that this lifestyle poses to Phoebe firsthand likely impacted her decision to give up her daughter, along with Phoebe’s declaration that she no longer wants to live life on the run.
After everything she’s been through and witnessed — including her mother killing a man with her bare hands — Phoebe was strangely okay when she was handed over to Cassie and Lindor. Scared and unsure? Yes. But she was already thriving in a home setting more than she ever was around her mother and Ronald. The poor girl just needs stability and a hot meal. Scarlett never could’ve provided her with that, so good on her for doing the right thing by her baby even if it completely broke her. Over the course of the season, she lost the only two people she ever cared about, so on some human level, I feel bad for the girl.
We’ve seen the dangers the syndicate poses firsthand as they’ve come after Ronald, Scarlett, and Wolf, so it’s only a matter of time before they set their sights on Dewell and Hoyt. After all, they unlocked the drive, which means that they already know too much.
I was genuinely expecting something to come of that drive — at least a warning to the detective agency from the syndicate member or something. They are clearly tying up loose ends, so why wouldn’t they be more careful about trying to open encrypted files?
Again, it felt anticlimactic, though, I know we’ll explore this more in season 3.
The Bhullar storyline also came to a close, and with it, Travis’s quest for answers and revenge. Well, sort of.
Veer Bhullar wasn’t just a problem for Travis. It turns out that a lot of people wanted him dead, including his own girlfriend and children.
Alicia was right when she predicted that he would die at the hands of his son, but she failed to mention that Ren would be stoking the flames. After his father seemed all too comfortable with having his son killed, Jag returned the favor and mustered up the courage that his father never believed he possessed.
Truthfully, Veer did this to himself. He pushed his own children away, and he pushed them towards hatred and wanting to steal the family business away from him.
Once Ren realized that her father was pretty much a monster, she allowed Travis to get his hands on Veer. It’s the very reason why she kept him around because she knew he had what it took to eliminate him if it came to it.
Travis seemed promising throughout the season. I mean, I know that he got in way over his head, but it always seemed like he had some kind of plan if the moment ever arrived.
And then, when it finally did, Travis was a complete mess. He took Veer to where he previously kept T-Lock locked up and just laid in the punches until Veer got to talking. There was no strategy at play, which was disappointing.
Like what if Veer didn’t talk? Would he just kill him and destroy the possibility of getting answers?
Veer ended up confessing that Kate Garza was still alive, but he’s a deceptive man who stares down danger and doesn’t flinch, so who knows if he’s telling the truth.
Jenny and her new partner, Beau (Jensen Ackles), arrived on the scene just in time to stop Travis from actually killing Veer.
Of course, that allowed Jag to deliver the final blows via a hospital pillow.
Veer never saw it coming, but he almost asked for it with all the gaslighting and instigating that he did. I mean, how many times did he put Jag down and basically deny giving Mason the A-ok to shoot his son? It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to him.
And it surely didn’t to Alicia. She was plotting and making moves for this very outcome from Day 1.
The “insurance” paperwork that she had Veer sign actually gave her power of attorney over the business, so she was able to make off with a huge chunk of cash.
Alicia was always in it for the hustle, and it just goes to show you how much Veer’s ego blindsided him.
I genuinely enjoyed the moment between Alicia and Tonya. They are, in a way, kindred spirits, and the advice not to die on Montana is sound.
Tonya has always been in over her head, but she’s now addicted to this lifestyle, so I don’t see her breaking away from Ren ever.
It definitely seemed like a curtain call on the Bhullar siblings, but it’s unclear if we’ll see their operation become a problem in the future.
Big Sky has a tendency to reinvent itself and the mysteries with each season, so my guess is that even if they are in the picture still, they’ll be in the background.
It’s also unclear how Travis plans to find Kate with zero information and resources. Ren and Jag have no idea where she is, and the only person who had any intel is dead.
What’s his plan?
Though, it was big of Jenny to take the empathetic approach and give Travis the chance to finish what he started. He was so passionate and dedicated, that if his whole life is about to wither away in prison, at the very least, it should all mean something.
Do you think Kate’s actually alive?
I wasn’t exactly digging Beau’s energy when he first showed up — his Texas was showing, and it was a lot.
But by the end of the episode, he definitely grew on me. It honestly feels like he’s Cordell Walker’s counterpart/brother, which is fitting considering the renovated Walker is Ackles’ Supernatural co-star Jared Padalecki.
Beau is a nice addition to the two-woman show that is Jenny and Cassie. He seems to be a buffer between their personalities. Plus, he definitely knew exactly what to expect for Jenny, and he trusts her enough to believe that she knows what she’s doing when she makes her calls.
Tubb was a bit of a hardass on her and was constantly pushing back, so Beau’s approach of letting her do her thing and having her back is refreshing. Admittedly, Jenny does need to be reigned in sometimes, so I hope that he’ll be the checks and balances that she needs from a partner.
With Denise, Jerrie, Lindor, and Beau to complete the squad, D&J has a pretty solid lineup going into next season.
And that’s not even including Reba McEntire, who is joining the cast!
If there’s one thing Big Sky knows how to do, it’s build out the squad.
To sum it all up: Phoebe is safe, Scarlett is on the run, the syndicate is after her and likely after J&D+ team for having access to the drive, Travis has gone rogue to find Kate, Veer is dead, the Bhullar siblings are closer than ever and running the cartel show, and Beau is Hoyt’s new partner. And he can throw a punch that can knock the wind out of Donno, so for that, he’s impressive.
What did you think of the finale? It wasn’t terrible because everything that happened made sense, but it simply wasn’t the jaw-dropping, OMG-moment-inducing finale that I expected either.
Do you have any hopes for season 3? Share them in the comments below!
Big Sky Review – Family Matters (2×17)
I’m going to need everyone on Big Sky to just take a breather.
The penultimate episode revealed that sometimes, family can be your own worst enemy.
At least, that was true for Jagat. Dynamics between a father and son tend to be complicated, but allowing your own son to be shot as you turn your back on him is just plain cruel.
I don’t care what events transpired right before the shooting either — it’s a major sign of disrespect.
Veer’s pride took a hit, but again, that’s no excuse to give someone the go-ahead to kill your son.
And knowing that Veer has done his fair share of terrible things didn’t make this any easier to swallow; his actions and lack of empathy for his son were jolting.
I’m #TeamJag all the way. I want him to get his revenge.
You also can’t blame me for not buying any of the things Veer said to Ren at the end of the episode.
Veer doesn’t strike me as the kind of man that will just give up his power. Alicia may have stood up to him — and good on her for coming into her own and not being intimidated by him — and promised to leave him if he didn’t give the reigns to his children, but considering he’s killed his girlfriends before, I don’t think he’d just have a change of heart just because she told him to.
Though, I am so intrigued by how Alicia stood her ground. It almost seemed like she was the boss in all of this, which would be a major game changer.
Overall, I’m distrusting because the Bhullar clan is not one to reveal their hand. We don’t know what Veer has gotten into, only that he’s not doing well financially.
Ren seems to have an idea of the direction she wants to take the company, but it’s unclear how she plans to proceed with the knowledge that Travis is a cop. You would think that she would simply ask Donno to take care of him, but we know she hasn’t done that because Travis is still very much alive and very determined to get his revenge on Veer for what he did to Kate Garza.
Ren knows who her father is, but she’s also always idolized him. I think digging up the truth about Kate helped her see her father in a new light. She seemed equally as upset about it as Travis, which is why I can’t shake the feeling that she’s going to be the one to secure her father’s downfall.
I was convinced that right as Veer was telling Ren that he loves her and that he knows she’s his heir, Travis was going to walk in and shoot him with Ren’s permission.
I see them in a Bonnie and Clyde type of situation just riding into the deranged sunset together.
Travis has gone off the deep end — he’s willing to risk it all for his mission. While I don’t think he’ll die, I do think that his involvement in the cartel and with Ren is more permanent.
He’s dirty, and there’s no coming back from that.
Truthfully, I wouldn’t blame Ren for turning her back on her father.
She’s always sought out his acceptance, but seeing him completely turn on his own child out of shame may have swayed her decision. She knows she can have a better handle on the business, so eliminating her father from the equation would allow her to do it while also dishing out the proper punishment for how he treated Jag.
As the mastermind behind many of the decisions this season, I think Ren has something up her sleeve that’s going to make jaws drop.
Veer had an interesting take on the business when he was confronted by Richard. He has a good read on people, so he didn’t seem all that intimidated by the man with the gun because he never actually thought he would shoot.
I think Veer was slightly surprised that Richard had it in him to shoot his son, but he also gave him no choice. Instead of apologizing, he belittled him by calling Mason, the son who died of an overdose because of his tainted drugs, weak.
Veer didn’t care about cutting the drugs with fentanyl because he saw what he did as cutting poison with poison. If you don’t see the problem, you’ll never actually feel bad for your actions.
It’s almost disturbing that someone has the means to distribute drugs and no care for who they hurt.
Grief affects us all in different ways, so Richard’s actions, while extreme, weren’t entirely surprising. He wanted to get revenge on the people who killed his son, however, the game was rigged because it was never an eye-for-an-eye since Veer never cared about his son. He basically handed him over on a platter.
In a way, Mason was much luckier than Jag. His death was a tragedy, but it proved just how much his father loved him. Veer, on the other hand, told a man to shoot without giving his son a second thought.
You can’t blame the Bhullar kids for being as messed up as they are.
Cassie’s grief manifested as she sought out a counseling group to work through her emotions.
As she talked about keeping Ronald with her as a reminder never to let her guard down, she got a call from Scarlett, who was trying to sell her information in exchange for her and Phoebe’s safety.
Of course, safety is a loose term when Humbert, a man from the syndicate, is tailing you because you stole evidence that can bring down the whole sex trafficking ring. I love that we’re making a full circle right back to this storyline.
Scarlett, unfortunately, is in danger, and instead of putting her daughter’s safety first, she’s willingly putting her in danger, too. Love makes you do crazy things, but it’s heartbreaking to watch Phoebe dragged into all of this. She knows that their lifestyle isn’t normal, so it’s only a matter of time before she escapes her mother’s clutches. She’s been going along with everything because of her loyalty to her mother, but we know that Phoebe is observant and will eventually realize that something is off.
The worst-case scenario is that she’ll witness her mother getting killed, be it by the syndicate or Cassie.
Cassie’s goal was to bring Phoebe to safety as she knows just how ruthless the syndicate is. They are tying up loose ends — first they came for Tubbs, then they approached Scarlett.
I’m just glad that Jenny was in Tubb’s hospital room to make sure that nothing happened to him.
She fights for the people she loves, but unfortunately, her love might not be enough for Travis anymore.
He’s willing to risk it all to get his revenge, but as he pointed out, Jenny always had an inkling it would come to this. She didn’t want to admit it, but it is the truth. Their relationship never had a shot at surviving this mess and everyone knows it except for her. Everyone has told her to cut Travis and walk away, and I fear that if she doesn’t, she’s going to end up with more than a broken heart.
The season finale blows Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles into town as the new acting sheriff, and him and his cowboy hat look like they mean business.
I’m not saying that Jenny needs a new love interest, but with Travis having gone completely rogue, I can see this being a potential thing moving forward. Especially since we all know how much Jenny loves mixing business with pleasure.
Will the season finale finally wrap up Scarlett’s storyline and put an end to the sex trafficking syndicate? Or will she once again escape from Cassie’s grasp?
And how will the Bhullars’ story end? I don’t expect they’ll stay in Helena for much longer, but as seasons go, they were definitely the most captivating crop of characters!
If this season was any indication, expect some big twists ahead!
Big Sky Review – Keys to the Kingdom (2×16)
Big Sky is going full steam ahead towards a season finale.
With only two episodes left, the action is picking up as all eyes are on the Bhullars.
The cartel family is taking hits from every side.
Jenny Hoyt and the police department continue to pursue them in hopes of getting enough incriminating evidence to bring down their empire.
The threat against Jenny was thwarted because killing a cop is bad for business, but you can’t say Donno didn’t try.
However, the Bhullars found another way to get to the cops — Angela whipped out her law degree and hit them with a cease and desist.
This wasn’t exactly ideal for the case, and while Tubbs was definitely spooked, it simply motivated them to get “one step ahead” of the cartel.
Jenny thought she had a great lead with Bryce, but honestly, she should’ve known that she was sending him right into the lion’s den. The Bhullars — despite the laced drugs — run a tight operation. Why couldn’t Bryce simply take a picture of the paperwork and put it right back where it belonged?
Of course, we can’t fault him for not knowing that Tonya has massive OCD and would actually realize her stapler was misplaced, but once she did, she was onto him.
At that point, it was over for Bryce. Once he told the truth, Tonya seemed understanding, but it was very clear that while Donno or the Bhullars weren’t going to kill him, she definitely was. It was Tonya’s first kill, and the thrill in her eyes was slightly less concerning than her stating that “she thought it would be harder.”
She really is the Quinn to Donno’s Huck. If you know, you know.
Tonya seems to be the wild card in this whole scenario if you base it on Travis’ shock, but it also shouldn’t come as such a surprise as she’s basically fangirling over everything Ren. She wants to be a boss babe just like Ren, so if that means putting people who betray her in their place, well, so be it.
I think Travis has realized just so twisted this whole thing has gotten, and yet his desire to bring down Veer continues to dominate over logic and reason.
He swiftly navigated the whole “kill Jenny” situation, but immediately after, a new problem presented itself — Richard.
Richard’s storyline is the outlier here, but it throws a wrench in the whole “police versus the Bhullars” plot because he’s pretty much against both of them.
Richard, who has been wanting to get revenge on the Bhullars for his son’s overdose, wasn’t happy with the lack of progress the police department was making, so he ambushed Tubbs in his home.
While Tubbs tried to reason with him, a tussle ensued, and Richard accidentally shot the Sheriff.
He wasn’t man enough to stick around, however, because he was still determined to go after the Bhullars.
Tubbs will seemingly make it out of this alive, but he’d be crazy not to retire after all of this.
Richard ended up locating the Bhullars and pointing a gun right at Travis, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.
Though, considering how skilled Donno is, I’d actually be concerned about Richard’s safety regardless.
Richard is the connection to the cops, the Bhullars, and his plan loops in Dewell and Hoyt Associates, who have been tasked with finding him at the behest of Denise.
It’s nice when cases align so that Jenny and Cassie can still partner up and work towards a common goal.
While Cassie takes care of things in Montana, Lindor and Jerrie are heading out to Iowa where Scarlett and Phoebe have just been spotted on surveillance footage.
Since they’re in the panhandle, the duo wants to get to them before they cross the border.
Though, my guess is that Scarlett is definitely going to want revenge, so they might just be walking into a trap. In a promo for the upcoming episode, Scarlett calls to threaten Cassie because she killed Ronald, but she seems to forget that Ronald killed Cassie’s father. I guess she only cares when the pain affects her?
At the very least, I hope they find Phoebe some stability. Her upbringing isn’t healthy.
Jerrie and Lindor may be partnering professionally, but romantically, it’s all about Lindor and Cassie. And personally, I love those two together!
Sure, it was slightly weird when they “carpooled” to work, but it seems like the best thing Cassie has after all the pain and suffering she’s been through.
I’m glad he was honest with Cassie about his “moment” with Jerrie because if it didn’t matter, it shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, it’s always good to start a relationship with trust and zero secrets.
What did you think of the episode? Is Travis in over his head? Will Richard get the desired outcome or will he realize that killing the Bhullars doesn’t make him feel better, make his life whole, or bring his son back?
Will Ren and her brother find a way to take over the company from Veer, who they’ve deemed unfit for business?
Will Tubbs survive? Will Jenny ever realize that she singlehandedly puts people find danger with her impulsiveness?
And will Lindor and Jerrie locate Scarlett before she does something that she’ll regret?
Can you feel the tension building?
Sound off in the comments about your favorite moments from the episode.
- Chicago Fire2 weeks ago
Chicago Fire Review: Halfway to the Moon (10×20)
- This Is Us1 week ago
This Is Us Review – The Train (6×17)
- Chicago Med2 weeks ago
Chicago Med Review – End of the Day, Anything Can Happen (7×20)
- This Is Us2 weeks ago
This Is Us Review – Family Meeting (6×16)
- Dynasty3 weeks ago
Dynasty Review – Mind Your Business (5×10)
- Riverdale1 week ago
Riverdale Review – Venomous (6×14)
- Dynasty4 days ago
Dynasty Review – There’s No Need to Panic (5×12)
- Chicago Fire6 days ago
Chicago Fire Review: Last Chance (10×21)