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Big Sky

Big Sky Winter Finale Review – A Good Day to Die (1×05)

BIG SKY - ÒA Good Day to DieÓ Ð Jenny and Cassie feel as if theyÕre closing in on Legarski, but they are racing against the clock as he and Ronald are preparing to move the girls. Jerrie makes one last attempt to convince Ronald to let them go. Elsewhere, Cassie visits Merilee to question her about her husband and Ronald aggressively confronts his mother on the winter finale of ÒBig Sky,Ó TUESDAY, DEC. 15 (10:00-11:01 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman) ALIX LANE

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Just a mere five episodes into Big Sky, the series is going on a hiatus.

My biggest gripe with the episode throughout much of the hour was that not much was progressing in terms of storyline, but that all changed in those final few seconds of the winter finale.  

Yes, a bit of backstory was revealed and the tides were changing between Rick and Ronald, but other than that, Cassie and Jenny were still hitting dead ends despite being hot on the trail of the missing girls. 

It was frustrating to say the least, but then, something amazing happened — the series took a much-needed turn and raised the stakes. 

The Big Sky pilot was proof that this show isn’t afraid of killing off characters, which either means it’ll be a short-lived series or the writers and producers have a good game plan in place. Let’s hope its the latter. 

Since day one, Rick hid behind the “Sheriff” persona because no one would ever question someone that decorated. He abused the badge and he abused his power, and through it all, he convinced himself that he was some kind of American hero. 

Rick had an ego-complex and even in his final moments, when he was pinned against a wall, he genuinely thought that he could weasel his way out of the kidnapping by gaslighting Cassie. It’s the same erratic behavior he displayed when they closed in on him at the shed and he began to deflect and bring up Cassie’s personal failures to get the heat off of himself. 

It’s a good tactic, but not one that works on strong-willed women who see past the bullshit. And that’s what made Cassie’s shot so brilliant. She was relentless in her quest to find the missing girls, and even more relentless in her pursuit to prove that Rick was the responsible party. 

She didn’t fall for his party tricks and clever words. But he totally underestimated her and her abilities. When she shot him, she shot to kill. Just like he shot Cody!

Of course, there was no reason for her not to. Yes, Rick could have played the “I just came to rescue these girls” card, but that would have been easily debunked by the very fact that this closed bar was “his” known hangout spot. 

And let’s not forget the girls who would testify against him. 

This was a dead-end for Rick. He would’ve been better off just accepting it. 

However, the shot could have also been the series shooting itself in the foot because… what happens next?

Killing Rick makes every other storyline that was introduced pointless. They found the fisherman’s truck near the storage unit. Who cares? Rick’s dead. 

There’s no point in caring about his relationship with Merilee anymore, or the fact that he wanted to be a better husband, because he’s dead. And he’ll never find out that Ronald was macking on his wife — though, I would have liked to see his reaction to that. 

The search for Cody is less of a priority because the killer is dead. And all of those flashback scenes have contributed nothing to the story. 

Rick’s death kills so many other storylines that it truly makes you wonder what the series has planned next. 

Depending on who arrives at the bar next, things can get a bit murky. Is it whoever Rick called to get rid of the girls? Is it Ronald? Is it Jenny, who said she was on her way?

That is unless Rick doesn’t actually die. The chances are slim, but if anyone was going to survive that, it would be a misogynistic ass like Rick.

One of the better parts of the episode was some backstory that gave us insight into Rick and Ronald’s relationship, specifically, how they met. In previous reviews, I mentioned that it was hard to understand their dynamic since we didn’t know how they got into this “business” in the first place. 

And while I never want to call someone responsible for a kidnapping a victim, but in a way, Ronald was also Rick’s victim. 

Rick hunted him down and called him out on his sexual weakness – which is a whole other story itself – and then basically didn’t give him much of an option but to join this crusade of “cleaning up America” by selling prostitutes. The justification is a stretch, but Rick seemed to think he was doing the world a favor and helping these women and managed to convince Ronald of the same. 

Because of this, Ronald has never truly gotten the help he so badly needs to deal with his sexual compulsions.

And honestly, his mother is at fault here for knowing that he’s a pervert and staying silent.

Of course, Rick is the guy to blame the women for engaging in these acts rather than the men who can’t seem to keep it in their pants, which also just tells us everything we need to know about the Sheriff. Good riddance.

With Rick now out of the picture, it’s unclear what the future holds for Ronald. Does he get a clean break? Will he somehow get wrapped up into this mess? Will further investigations into Rick reveal his connection to Ronald?

Will Ronald’s mother finally come clean and stop contributing to the problem?

Will Cassie and Jenny continue investigating to find all the other missing girls? Because at this point, that’s the only way I can see this show continuing on. 

There’s also the whole creepy situation with Merilee and Ronald. She’s clearly smitten by him and likes the attention he’s giving her, but what she fails to realize is that she’s simply attracted to toxic men.

However, with Rick dead, I could care less what happens to Merilee, so there’s that. I’m just glad she didn’t get whacked with the hammer, though, Rick really considered it for a hot minute.

While the series exceeds with delivering big punches that are jaw-dropping and unexpected, it’s simply hard to see how it will sustain itself. The fact that it hailed from the creator of Big Little Lies was promising, but honestly, aside from those unexpected moments, there aren’t many redeeming qualities. 

The only good part about the series is seeing how the girls have bonded in captivity. They’re fearless and strong and supportive of each other. While it’s Grace that was always the kickass one standing up to Rick and Ronald, Danielle really came through by calling out Ronald for doing this because he was rejected in high school.

Cassie and Jenny may have been breaking the rules to find them, but Jerrie, Danielle, and Grace’s will to survive has also been instrumental.

What did you think of the winter finale?


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Big Sky

Big Sky Winter Finale Review – [SPOILER] Dies (1×09)

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Big Sky Winter Finale Review Let It Be Him Season 1 Episode 9

The winter finale of Big Sky was one wild ride!

But was justice served? That depends on your definition of justice. 

The episode kicked off with Erik trying to get inside Ronald’s head.

As he was sitting in a cage in a gasoline-doused basement with two dead bodies surrounding him, he still found the courage to antagonize his captor. That is one brave kid! 

Ronald’s biggest mistake up until his point was opening the door when Cassie was canvassing the neighborhood to find Erik. While she didn’t immediately recognize Ronald, which was surprising considering she had a sketch on the newspaper front page that looked exactly like him, she didn’t disappoint as she remembered a brief brush-in with him at Merilee’s shop. 

Going off a hunch, they were able to track down his mother’s social media page, which had a photo of Ronald that Jerilee was able to identify. And once that happened, all bets were off!

Cassie is seriously a gem. She’s been pivotal to this whole case. If it wasn’t for her and her trusting her gut, they likely wouldn’t have even found the girls in the first place. But not only did she save the girls and prove that Rick Legarski was guilty, she was also the one responsible for locating Ronald and saving Erik. 

Unfortunately, Ronald was too smart and had a plan for when he would get caught. It was only a matter of time, so you have to commend him on being prepared.

When SWAT rolled in, he set his plan into motion by rigging the house with trap guns and setting off a gas leak. 

Thankfully, no one was injured in the explosion, not even Jenny, who stayed back despite orders to evacuate to save Erik, which ended up being Ronald’s mother placed there as a decoy. 

He really is a twisted man! Did anyone else scream after seeing her decaying face? 

It took them way too long to figure out that Ronald likely used the late priest’s Tesla as his getaway car, and really, that’s a sign of the times that a serial killer is escaping in a Tesla! 

For the next half of the episode, I was convinced we were watching a Tesla commercial. Seriously, did that not convince you to upgrade to an electric car? Did you see that smooth stop when Cassie and Jenny cut the car off while it was on autopilot?

As Jenny and Cassie pursued the car, I was convinced Ronald put it into autopilot and abandoned it with Erik. However, I didn’t account for the fact that something had to be weighing down the steering wheel, so the shot of the dead priest was gruesome.

And poor Erik. He held it together, but he’s just a kid! He’ll carry that trauma that he endured throughout that whole order for a long time. At least there was a happy ending for him and his mother! 

Sadly, Ronald’s escape was too clean. Tubb was right — he waited until the hunters passed until he made his escape. As we saw him merrily driving his rig towards some new future, I was angry and impressed by his ability to escape capture despite the walls closing in on him. 

But if the show has taught us anything about Cassie, she’s not going to back down anytime soon. A new mystery may be starting in April, but Ronald will eventually get what’s coming to him! I’m sure of it. 

Big Sky Winter Finale Review Let It Be Him Season 1 Episode 9

BIG SKY – ÒLet It Be HimÓ Ð In an action-packed episode, while knocking on doors and searching for clues, Cassie unexpectedly comes face-to-face with Ronald, which puts her in danger and triggers her memory from the pairÕs prior meeting. Elsewhere, not feeling like she can trust her husband, Merilee makes a life-changing decision that puts both her and RickÕs fates into her own hands on an all-new episode of ÒBig Sky,Ó TUESDAY, FEB. 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman)
SARA CANNING

While justice may not have been served with Ronald, some might argue that Rick got what he deserved.

Since he woke up from his coma, audiences have been wondering if he really was experiencing memory loss or if he was simply faking it.

His act was convincing, and he even managed to pass a lie-detector test, but the finger tapping was something that Merilee simply couldn’t shake.

And neither could I! The nervous tick was a dead giveaway that he was lying.

There was also the fact that he a clear memory of all the women that he sold into sex trafficking during a dream and when he apologized, he explained that it “got out of hand.” Sign number two that Rick’s memory was in-tact. 

And as Merilee began reminiscing about their relationship to figure out how exactly she was duped all these years, she realized that all of his little sing-songs were about killing including “If I Had a Hammer,” which led her to the conclusion that Rick was coming to kill her that night. 

I thought that by taking out the hammer, she was simply trying to provoke Rick so that he’d snap and reveal that it was all an act. 

And technically she did.

When he said it was her “menopause” talking, you could see a flicker of the real Rick breaking through. It was a smug, assholish way of speaking that was far from the innocent act he’d been putting on this whole time.

At the moment, you saw Merilee snap. 

The rage and embarrassment of being used and lied to simply bubbled up the surface, and she couldn’t fathom the idea of him walking free after committing murder.

They always say “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

His death, at the hands of his wife using the same hammer that he tried to kill her with, was disturbingly poetic. 

I fully thought it was another hallucination where she was contemplating what it would be like to dole out justice and redeem herself, but this time, it was for real. 

To be honest, I’m kind of disappointed by it. Merilee was hurt, and she deserved to recover from this and move on. Sure, she’d have some major trust issues to work through, but it would have been the healthier alternative for her in the long run.

I would have rather she proved that he was lying and had him stand trial so that he would have to confront all the pain he caused and answer for the crimes he committed. 

After all, he was clearly feeling guilty in his subconscious, so having him live with that guilt would have been the perfect punishment. 

However, there was never any guarantee that he wouldn’t walk free, and killing him ensured that the monster met a permanent punishment. I can’t be upset by that either. 

In the end, the moment was pure shock value, and even if you wanted a different outcome, there was something freeing about Merilee getting a smidge of power back from the man who mentally and emotionally abused her throughout life. 

With the mystery of Montana’s missing girls closed, at least partially, Big Sky is going on hiatus until April before returning with episodes that feature “deeper secrets” and “bigger twists,” per the teaser.

Cassie and Jenny have grown so much over the course of nine episodes, and their relationship has flourished to the point that Cassie even scolded Jenny after almost losing her in the explosion. 

There’s no denying that they make a great team and the world needs their services for situations and cases that the police, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies fail to investigate. 

And while Cassie and Jenny’s detective adventures will take them in a whole new direction, the teaser does reveal that someone will eventually pop up with information about Ronald. And we cannot wait for that glorious day to come. 

What started as a mildly sloppy series in the first few episodes has turned into the most compelling series on television. 

What did you think of the episode?

Was justice served? Where is Ronald going?


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Big Sky

Big Sky Review – Ronald Begins to Unravel (1×08)

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Big Sky The End is Near Review Season 1 Episode 8

Big Sky continues to up the ante with each passing episode. 

I questioned how the show would continue after releasing the three hostages, but it keeps finding ways to surprise and remain unpredictable. 

On Big Sky Season 1 Episode 8, Ronald has fully unraveled. Whatever semblance of humanity or soul that the kidnapped girls saw in him in the first half of the season is dead and gone.

And he’s racking up quite the body count. I think the change happened when he snapped and killed his mother with barely any remorse. Despite his toxic relationship with his mother, she kept him somewhat in check and was his last tether to reality. 

With her gone, Ronald has gone full psychopath and doesn’t even make an effort to hide it. 

Can you even believe there was a time when we thought Rick Legarski was the big bad?

After killing his mother, he kidnapped the newspaper kid who snapped a photo of him and then drowned a priest who came to see his mother. 

It made for one spine-chilling hour. 

Jenny and Cassie said that Ronald’s been very methodical up until now, but as we see, he’s a loose cannon that’s just killing anyone who gets in his way or close to figuring out the truth. 

Rick would’ve been upset with how sloppy he’s gotten.

When Erik snapped the photo, Ronald snuck up behind him and locked him in a cage. At least he hasn’t stooped to killing children yet, but he’s well on his way. 

The priest’s death was avoidable if he had just looked at the paper that day. I mean, Ronald’s mug is all over town and there’s a statewide manhunt underway! How did he not know who they were looking for?

Big Sky The End is Near Review Season 1 Episode 8

BIG SKY – “The End is Near” – Cassie and Jenny grow more suspicious of the circumstances with every visit to the hospital, while Ronald finds himself in a precarious situation thanks to a nosy paperboy. With his back against the wall, Ronald will have to address his inner demons and decide just how far is too far on “Big Sky,” TUESDAY, FEB. 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman)
KATHERYN WINNICK, GUY FAUCHON

Also, wouldn’t someone be able to identify him? He may have flown under the radar, but his mother seems to be connected in the community.

The priest’s second mistake was following Ronald downstairs without a weapon. He heard clanging and muffled screaming — what dog is capable of making those sounds?

At the very least, he was alerted that something was off about Ronald because of Helen’s concerns, so he shouldn’t have followed him without a weapon. Rookie mistake. 

But even though it was obvious the priest was going to die, it still didn’t lessen the severity of the situation. To be quite honest, I’m shocked that such a gruesome death scene made it to primetime television. Those kinds of scenes are typically saved for cable and streaming. I guess we’re just that desensitized these days, huh?

With three people missing all in the same area, it’s only a matter of time before investigators and/or Cassie (as seen in the teaser) connect the dots and seek out Ronald. The only question is, will they be able to one-up him?

His unpredictable and reckless nature may work in his favor. 

Though, I really hope he doesn’t burn the house down with Erik inside because that kid is one brave soul! He’s a 12-year-old that had the nerve to stand up to a deranged man and aim a staple gun at his head.

Cassie and Jenny focused largely on figuring out if Rick was really suffering from memory loss. Turns out, he’s not faking it. 

The idea that he could be faking it is much easier to swallow than admitting that the man isn’t competent enough to stand trial because accepting that he won’t ever answer for all of the crimes he committed and the pain he cause is just too painful.

We see that with Jenny, specifically, as she confronts him for killing her husband. Despite her best efforts, she can’t deny that Rick is no longer there.

Rick’s situation is unfortunate because he’s the only one who can fill in the pieces of the puzzle and lead them to Ronald.

However, the finger-tapping makes me think that the old Rick is there just below the surface and is just dying to come out. 

I wonder if the series will ever explore how “Big Rick” came to be bad Rick in the first place? From everything Merilee said, he was a stand-up guy when she married him as he cared about humanity and wanted to help others, which is why he became a State Trooper. 

Where did he go wrong? Or is this some case of a split personality disorder like Jekyll and Hyde?

It would be interesting to see what he remembers last as that may be where the “switch” happened.

It’s hard not to feel bad for Merilee, who is questioning everything about her existence. She’s been fooled by two men that she trusted, which doesn’t paint her in a great light. It’s not surprising that the police think she’s an accomplice because how could one woman be so blind to what was happening right in front of her?

I guess willful ignorance is bliss! 

And this is more of a general question, but why does the media reveal everything that they know about a case when the suspect is still at large? It’s the equivalent of revealing your cards to your opponent while playing poker. 

With the news revealing that the victims were able to give an accurate description of the truck, it gives the suspect time to revamp and/or get rid of the truck! It makes no sense.

Ronald gave his truck a makeover immediately after they caught Rick, but he’s still able to stay one step ahead by watching the news and seeing what they know about him!

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Rick will remember the truth? What’s Ronald’s next play?

How deeply disturbed are you by the series?


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Big Sky

Big Sky Review – Who Died? (1×07)

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Big Sky Review I Fall to Pieces Season 1 Episode 7

This. 

This is the episode where Big Sky found its footing and brought its A-game. This is the episode I was waiting for. This is good television! 

Since its premiere, the show has proven that it isn’t afraid to take big risks. And the big risks seem to be paying off. 

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 7 is filled with intense, jaw-dropping, and I-can’t-believe-this-is-actually-happening moments!

As Rick wakes up from his coma, the investigation really starts to take shape, even if he isn’t quite in the right headspace. 

His ability to talk and construct sentences is impressive and nothing short of a miracle. Up until the end, I was convinced Rick was pretending and actually remembered everything. He’s cunning enough to pull something like this off, and he of all people would know that it would buy him some time. 

But it seems as though he’s truly suffering from some kind of memory loss and has regressed three years ago since he remembers he’s a Montana State Trooper (a role he prides himself on) and thought his father was still alive. It makes me wonder what happened to him back then to bring him into the world of sex trafficking and make him such a terrible person. 

Sadly, his current state means that he isn’t paying the price for his actions. At least, not fully. But even without his memories, there’s no getting out of this for Rick even with a “best efforts” lawyer by his side as the evidence is stacked against him. Even his own wife thinks he’s guilty!

Grace’s positive identification also has him on the hook for murder. She was beyond brave in this episode by confronting her captor, leading the police to the acid pit, and identifying the disintegrating fisherman. I’m not sure how quickly acid deteriorates the body, but would it be possible to make this identification without pulling dental records? And why couldn’t Grace just pick out Rick from a photo lineup? They really made sure to pile on even more trauma on top of the emotional and physical abuse she suffered!

It probably would have been in Ronald’s best interest to skip town, but instead, he walked right into the line of fire while trying to protect himself. 

Using Merilee to get privileged information on Rick’s health was both smart and incredibly stupid. He would have been better off dying his hair and skipping town. Even if Rick regained his memories eventually, by that point, Ronald could have been in a different country. 

Instead, he stuck around and quite possibly got himself caught. 

Every time Merilee agreed to meet up with “Mitchell,” I kept yelling “Merilee, you’re in danger, girl!” How is it that one woman could be played and fooled by two psychopaths within weeks of each other? Look for the signs, Merilee! 

Big Sky Review I Fall to Pieces Season 1 Episode 7

BIG SKY – ÒI Fall to PiecesÓ Ð Cassie and Jenny work against the clock to find Ronald and prove LegarskiÕs guilt, calling on Grace to join their efforts and bravely help them in the process. Just when all the pieces start falling into place, RonaldÕs emotions get the best of him as he makes an unthinkable decision, even for him. Merilee plays an unwilling and life-changing role in turning the case on its head on ÒBig Sky,Ó TUESDAY, FEB. 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman)
VALERIE MAHAFFEY, BRIAN GERAGHTY

After what happened with her husband, she should have had her guard all the way up. 

Mitchell preyed on her insecurities and weaseled his way in with kindness. He saw a neglected woman and found the sweet spot to make her feel like someone cared. 

Cassie and Jenny’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. I was afraid they weren’t going to show Merilee the photo, but this series insists on doing things the “smart way” and upping the stakes, which is so refreshing and allows for the fast-paced nature of the show. 

Merilee immediately recognized Mitchell from the sketch and didn’t hesitate to inform them that he was upstairs. And all of this just as Ronald found Rick’s hiding space and secured the evidence that incriminated him. 

Catching Ronald while he’s inside the house would be too easy though. As the teaser for next week reveals, he likely heard the commotion downstairs and escaped through a window. 

After all of this, Merilee needs to retire to some mini-islands that’s free of psycho and sociopaths. 

Speaking of Ronald… throughout the whole episode, I kept asking myself why Helen just didn’t call the cops on Ronald. It’s clear that she was terrified of him and yet, there she was protecting him despite knowing all the “filthy” things he’s done. 

They say a mother’s love knows no bounds, but she was harming so many innocent lives with her silence. And it was very obvious that Ronald would never change. 

The only logical explanation for her cooperation is that she felt some sort of guilt for the way he turned out because she coddled and belittled him all his life. Also, I couldn’t help but laugh at her prayer comments. No amount of prayer could fix this. 

Eventually, Helen realized it was her responsibility to get her son some much-needed and long-overdue help, which was smart.

What wasn’t smart? Telling a man who openly said he would consider murder that she was going to report him to the cops. He was already so agitated, why would she think this was a good idea?

Maybe she could’ve informed him as the cops showed up at their house, but absolutely not before she even made the call. What did she think was going to happen when she pushed him into a corner? Did she think God was going to protect her?

It was like watching a car accident unfold. By confronting him, she was basically asking to be killed. I wish God told her that. 

Ronald was so upset that he snapped her neck, and unlike all the other times, this one didn’t happen in his imagination. You could tell he didn’t want to hurt his mother, but he couldn’t stop himself nor was he even aware of the rage bubbling inside of him.

Their relationship was dysfunctional and highly-uncomfortable to watch, but it was nothing compared to Ronald leaving his dead mother on the chair watching television. 

And right after that, he went to Merilee’s house and didn’t even miss a beat. If that isn’t delusional, I don’t know what is. 

Seeing how calm and collected he was after killing the person closest to him, you can see why I was so worried for Merilee. At any moment, she could say the wrong thing or push the wrong button and end up just like Helen. 

Poor Merilee. She’s not a bad person, she’s just a person that bad things keep happening to. 

Do you think Cassie and Jenny will apprehend Ronald based solely on a sketch and a fake name?

And will the decaying Helen eventually help them crack the case? If Ronald doesn’t do a better job of cleaning up, he’s going to leave a trail of bodies that lead right back to him. 

Will Rick regain his memories? Is he faking it?

Other Thoughts

  • Why is Tubb so insistent on Cassie and Jenny staying off of the case? They may not be cops, but it wasn’t cops who cracked the case. They’re clearly good at their jobs, have earned the trust of the kidnapped girls, and are determined because the same suspects killed Cody. At the very least, they should be able to assist. 
  • I hate watching Jerrie live in fear. The fact that the cops didn’t offer protection from the get-go is unreal. There’s a kidnapper/murderer on the loose and these girls can identity him. How does that not warrant protection?
  • The show was heavily criticized in its early stages for ignoring the kidnappings and sex trafficking of indigenous women in Montana. However, it was brought up by a cop named Elena, who suggested looping in the tribes at reservations truck stops for help. How else should the show incorporate this real-life problem?

Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments below!


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