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 Review – Gettin’ Right To It (2×04)
Big Sky has proven time and time again that it’s exceptionally good at cliffhangers.
There were plenty of solid ones during Big Sky Season 1, and only four episodes into the second season, and it continues to be the most compelling mystery on television.
One thing is clear — Jenny and Cassie make a hell of a team. Even when they aren’t working together, they manage to crack the case and make more progress than the whole police force.
When Tonya walked in through those doors, she immediately pointed the finger at Harvey. While we know Harvey isn’t the one that kidnapped her, he’s not entirely blameless either considering he is working for the cartel and involved in the kidnapping of a child.
Ren’s whole plan was to incriminate Harvey and then take him out before he could tell the cops anything, but what she underestimated just how good Cassie and Jenny are at their jobs.
They’re perceptive as hell. Ren put on her best act to get them off her scent, but they both found the coincidence of the “new woman” too good to be true.
They can’t be fooled.
Ren also didn’t anticipate that the group of kids would once again thwart their plans.
When Ren showed up, the whole place was crawling with potential witnesses.
And Cassie and Jenny are right there, too, albeit, dodging quite a handful of bullets.
Donno really took it to heart that no one is allowed to make it down that road.
It’s unclear how this is all going to unfold, but let’s just say that Harvey didn’t anticipate all these visitors when he kidnapped poor Bridger.
You have to hand it to the teens for holding their own against two drug syndicates. This is a whole drug war, and the people messing everything up are a couple of teens that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s impressive.
At this point, Ren is also not really playing it safe. She’s crossed paths with every single person, so if they really wanted to, they could connect the dots and place her as the leader of the cartel.
She’s not exactly lying low and remaining incognito.
To top it off, Trevor would be able to confirm her involvement. The perks of remaining undercover, I guess.
This is definitely one of the more exciting mysteries that Cassie and Jenny have stumbled upon. And why is it that they always have to go against the grain and fight Tubb on what to do?
After everything that went down with Ronald, he should trust their judgment. He wanted Jenny back on the force only to continuously ignore her gut instinct and tell her to follow protocol. Why would he hire her if he knows that isn’t her thing?
Admittedly, they are being fooled by Tonya, so Tubb is technically right in not making any accusations without all the facts, but Harvey is still dirty. Would it kill him to at least investigate the claims without raising any flags?
The latest mystery makes the whole Ronald Pergman storyline less interesting.
Jerrie and Lindor are continuing to pursue leads, but I wonder if the cabin they checked out was the actual place where Ronald is being held by Wolf.
What if they actually found him and simply missed him?
Why else would this cabin be so important? And there was so much emphasis on the cereal!
Jerrie was made aware of Wolf Legarski, so you would think that would be one of the first places they’d check out.
Personally, I’m not really invested in the Wolf storyline. He’s trying to avenge the Legarski name by rehabilitating Ronald? Why? It doesn’t seem believable in the slightest.
Jerrie and Lindor have gotten close, but I hope that the kiss was just a friendly “thank you” on her part. He’s been there for her, he’s looked out for her, and he’s been a good friend.
Let’s keep it at that.
It would be pretty shady of her if she moved in on Lindor considering she knows how he feels about Cassie. We all know Cassie likes Lindor too but due to her past trauma, she’s taking it slow.
How do you think this will all unfold? Will they make some big breakthrough on Ronald?
Will Cassie and Jenny crack the case of the missing drugs and drug money?
Big Sky Review – You Have to Play Along (2×03)
Things are getting quite messy on Big Sky Season 2 Episode 3.
While Cassie and Jenny may no longer be working together, their roads have intersected over the drug deal gone bad.
It’s honestly awesome to see them tag-teaming yet another mystery. There’s no one better in the business, I just wish they got the credit they deserved.
After Big Sam and Ringo’s bodies washed up in town, it became clear that they were dealing with a much bigger issue.
That was only further emphasized when it was revealed that state police were also working the case. And Jenny had a man on the inside as Travis, who she has been hooking up with, is working it while undercover.
It really does pay to have connections in different places.
However, much of the episode hinged on Tonya’s disappearance.
Big Sam’s death would’ve been merely an investigation if it hadn’t been for her disappearance.
Ren and Donny thought she could help them find the drugs and money, but instead, they only got Cassie and Jenny hot on their trail.
They should’ve just relied on Harvey to find their product instead. That way, they wouldn’t have raised so many red flags.
While Tonya was successfully able to escape Donny, it was infuriating to watch her act like a lamb for slaughter. When you’re life is in danger, you run like hell — you don’t keep looking back to see if the bad guy is coming.
There were also so many weapons in that kitchen that she could’ve used to defend herself. Why didn’t she?
The only thing her bravery managed to do was get an innocent kitchen worker killed.
Okay, fine, I guess it also put her on the map so that Cassie could zone in on a location and find her.
Cassie and Jerry zoned in on the trailer, but I wonder how Ren will get out of this one?
The last thing she wants to do is murder a private investigator. Surely, that’ll raise plenty of flags and ensure she never gets what she came for.
Ren also doesn’t blend in. The unique fashion style isn’t working in her favor.
While Cassie was much closer to finding Tonya, Harvey was hot on the trail of the kids, who witnessed the accident and got away with the money and drugs.
Every time I see Harper and Ruby on the screen, I get a little anxious. I wish they just dumped the drugs and put this whole mess behind them.
Haper is definitely naive about wanting to sell them, and it’s irritating that she keeps assuring Ruby that everything will be okay.
She absolutely cannot promise that, especially because there’s a witness to the crime.
Bridger also gave himself away when he went to the station to report a crime. When Jenny showed Harvey the rock, it was basically a tell that the kid had the money and drugs.
It’s getting quite messy for everyone involved, and at the end of the day, that puts them all in danger.
Even Ren, as mean as she is, has a boss she needs to respond to.
The situation with Ronald and Scarlet keeps getting weirder. Wolf Legarski was put on Cassie’s radar, but for now, they’ve put that investigation on hold.
Meanwhile, Wolf is really determined to reform Ronald through any means possible, including a taste of his own medicine — violence.
At least he’s treating him like the animal that he is.
Scarlet has seemingly adjusted pretty well, but that might be because she’s afraid of what will happen to them if they leave Wolf’s compound.
The truth is that they were never free — they were two of the most wanted people on the planet.
I can’t help but wonder if Scarlet’s behavior is all an act as part of a more elaborate rescue plan, but the more I see her, the more I think she believes that Wolf will be their savior.
I can’t wait till we see how Wolf found these two in the first place.
Can you imagine if Jenny and Cassie finally found Ronald and he was a completely changed man?
What did you think of the Big Sky episode? Are you liking how the mystery is panning out this season?
Big Sky Review – Find the Drugs and Money (2×02)
A new mystery keeps Jenny and Cassie occupied for much of Big Sky Season 2 Episode 2.
Ronald remains on the backburner in terms of cases as there aren’t any new developments in his case.
And considering Cassie was getting borderline obsessive about bringing him to justice, it’s probably for the best that she take a little break to get her mind right.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any movement on the Ronald front at all. As we saw in the season 2 premiere episode, Ronald is now a prisoner of himself as Wolfgang aka Wolf Legarski, Rick’s twin brother, has vowed to undo the evil his brother created, and that starts with Ronald.
Unfortunately, I don’t think fixing Ronald is possible anymore, but I’m interested to see how this will pan out.
They seem to trust Scarlet as believe she’s a “bright light,” so maybe she’ll use that to her advantage to help free him.
But for now, it’s kind of nice to see Ronald get a taste of his own medicine. It isn’t the worst twist in a series.
How did Wolf catch Ronald? How did their paths cross?
The writers have crafted such a compelling new mystery that I’m almost no longer interested in all the Ronald drama.
Jenny and Cassie are both working the same case, but they’re on two opposite ends of it.
Cassie was hired by Tonya to find her boyfriend Big Sam’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, Jenny is investigating what led to a crash involving Big Sam.
I love that their paths are crossing despite being at two different points in their careers. Jenny’s legitimate career will surely come in handy.
Sadly, the one person who could give them any real answers, Tonya, was kidnapped by Ren (Janina Gavankar) and Donno (Ryan O’nan).
While the duo is undoubtedly dangerous, they’re also odder than ever. What’s their deal? Is Ren the ultimate boss?
Their arrival in Montana isn’t as welcoming as they likely hoped as they’re forced to track down their drugs and money, both two things that are missing.
Of course, the one thing an organized crime syndicate needs to run without any issues is a connection within the force, which is where Deputy Harvey comes into play.
There’s always corruption coursing through the veins of the police department.
And this means it’s much more dangerous than the teens anticipated.
Ren and Donno are one thing, but now, they can’t even turn to cops for help because no one can be trusted.
The hunt for drugs and money is ruthless, and clearly, Ren won’t stop until she has gotten what she wants.
This is a very dangerous place to be in, so I’m not surprised Max is spinning out.
If they all laid low as promised, they might have a chance at getting away with it, but spending the money (even for a good cause) means that it can now be trackable.
Max knows it’s bad, and her gut is telling her not to sell the drugs, but her feelings for Harper have sadly clouded that judgment. Why would they ever think it was a good idea to deal? And with all the money they’re sitting on, why would they need to find ways to make more?
There might not be anything in the news about the accident, but it’s only a matter of time before people start asking questions and looking for the drugs and the money.
Since Cassie is investigating Big Sam, it’s only a matter of time before they go looking for the drugs and the money.
By sneaking out to give a seller a sample, Max got caught, which means that she’ll likely have to bring T-Lock up to speed. This is the one thing that Max should’ve avoided at all costs.
Also, maybe, just maybe, these teens should be more concerned about a man following them saying “I saw you.” Yes, the world is filled with plenty of creeps, but wouldn’t you at least consider that someone may have seen you out in the woods if they go out of their way to ambush you?
Somehow, people still have time for relationships.
Jenny and Travis’ relationship is heating up, and I find myself shipping them.
It’s only a matter of time before it’s revealed that his undercover assignment is somehow connected to Tonya, the truck crash, and the missing drugs and money.
Things aren’t going as great for Lindor, who is determined to figure out a way to get to Cassie. He even went as far as getting drinks with Jerry to get advice.
Can Cassie just give this man, who is trying so hard, a chance?
It’s nice that the series has found a way to incorporate Jerry into the main storyline. She passed her PI exam, she got a gun, and despite the tragedy of getting kidnapped by Ronald, she’s largely turned her life around. It was the wake-up call she needed. And with Jenny gone, she can be her replacement and become even more involved in the storyline.
What did you think of the episode? What do you think Ren and Donno will do to Tonya? Will Cassie and Jenny managed to crack the case in time?
Will the Ronald case come back to the forefront?
Overall, the episode was slower-paced from the season 2 premiere, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The mystery is much more intriguing than the previous season’s second half of the season!
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