‘Big Sky’ Episode 10 Recap: “Catastrophic Thinking”

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 10
Kylie Bunbury and Katheryn Winnick in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 10 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

ABC’s Big Sky season one returns from its spring break with back-to-back episodes. Episode 10, “Catastrophic Thinking,” picks up the story with Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty) on the run. He’s changed his appearance, is now going by Arthur, and is dating a convenience store clerk named Scarlet. Scarlet’s a single mom and Arthur has somehow become part of her and her daughter’s life.

Ronald’s still a total psycho and while driving the girls, he joins in on “If You’re Happy and You Know It” while experiencing a flashback of the night he kidnapped Danielle and Grace.

Elsewhere, Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) are on a stakeout. Cassie has a vision of Ronald breaking the car window and strangling her, and Jenny realizes something’s up with her partner. Cassie blames it on their job and explains her young son has been panicking about being safe. (You can’t blame the kid.)

Cassie’s clearly upset Ronald’s still on the loose and yet all they’re doing at the moment is “working domestics.” Jenny reminds her it’s the domestics (husband/wife jobs) that pay the bills.

They turn their attention back to the job at hand and watch as Alan, the man they’re staking out, arrives at the Hillcrest Hotel. He’s carrying a huge metal box and Jenny jokes he’s ready to get kinky. The mood swiftly changes to serious as two men in a large truck arrive and enter the same hotel room.

Cassie and Jenny sneak up and listen outside the hotel room door. Inside, Alan’s turned over the box and the men are attempting to leave without paying him.

Cassie and Jenny bust through the door and demand the men put down their weapons. The two men make note they’re not flashing badges, and Jenny informs them they’re private investigators. The stand-off continues for a few minutes as Alan runs into the bathroom with the box.

One of the men makes a serious mistake by telling Jenny to relax. “Telling a woman to relax is never a good idea,” she replies through gritted teeth. Cassie suggests they leave before they change their minds, and surprisingly the men do as told.

Alan sneaks out the bathroom window as all the commotion’s going on.

A short while later Sheriff Walter Tubb (Patrick Gallagher) and his men arrive to investigate. Jenny and Cassie provide him with all the details, and Tubb asks them to question Alan’s wife to determine what she knows.

And now we get our first look at a new season one big player. Horst Kleinsasser (Ted Levine) calls Superintendent Tad Jacobson at the Lochsa County Jail. Horst asks to speak to his son, Blake, and Tad explains Blake isn’t accepting calls from him. Horst warns he’s coming down to the jail since Blake’s refusing to get on the phone.

Alan’s back in a hotel room when he receives a text to sit tight and the sender will come to get him.

Cassie and Jenny speak with Naomi, Alan’s wife, and inform her Alan’s not cheating. She’s unconvinced, reminding them Alan’s been texting someone and taking off at odd hours of the night. They explain they interrupted some sort of deal and warn her the men Alan met with are dangerous. She begs them to find Alan and agrees to provide them with bank accounts and other details – anything to help locate her husband.

She also agrees to contact them if she hears from Alan.

The two men cruise hotels and finally locate Alan’s car.

Cassie and Jenny show up at work the next morning and it seems Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) is now a member of the detective agency’s staff. She answers the phone and hears heavy breathing but nothing else.

Jenny receives a text from Naomi saying Alan never came home.

Jenny and Cassie meet with Naomi at her home and assure her they’re on the case. They promise to keep her in the loop if they hear anything. As they’re about to leave, Naomi’s dad – Bruce Stone – arrives to check on his daughter. He asks to speak to the investigators outside.

Bruce wants to know what Naomi’s paying them and explains she’s broke and he’ll end up footing the bill. He doesn’t believe Alan is missing and claims he just spoke with him. Alan told Bruce he’d be home that evening and would explain things.

Bruce reveals Alan’s been selling his collectibles, doing whatever he can to support his family. Naomi doesn’t know what Alan’s up to and Bruce asks that they send their bill directly to him, not Naomi.

As they’re walking away, Cassie and Jenny agree this isn’t passing the smell test.

Back at the office, a stranger shows up and Cassie loses the rock paper scissors battle and has to deal with him. He introduces himself as Mark (Omar Metwally) and it turns out he’s a U.S. Marshall working the Ronald Pergman case.

Cassie and Mark walk and talk, and she explains no one at the Feds has been returning her calls. Mark admits the case is cold, but he specifically asked for a transfer to work it. He’s seen documents with Legarski’s name tied to a Canadian sex trafficking syndicate, but Ronald wasn’t mentioned.

Cassie reminds him she and Jenny are continuing to work this case, and Mark understands it’s personal for them. Mark seems fine with that and informs her they have an informant working with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. If Ronald’s contacted, they’ll know.

Back at the office, Jerrie’s going through Alan’s financial records and noting weird purchases including karate lessons and a hot tub. As she’s working, she receives another heavy-breathing phone call. The caller hangs up again without saying anything and Jerrie’s convinced it’s Ronald.

Cut to Ronald who’s bashing in a cell phone while repeating “every good boy does fine.”

Jenny and Cassie return to the office and learn Alan’s made a couple of deposits recently (all cash), doesn’t have any social media presence, and his cell is going to voicemail. Jerrie didn’t want to mention it, but Denise tells Jenny and Cassie about the calls Jerrie’s receiving. They’re all from blocked numbers and she’s certain it’s Ronald. If he talked, she could ID him.

Cassie visits Mark’s office and fills him in on the phone calls. Mark doesn’t think there’s much they can do about the calls, but he’s sure Ronald will go back to his old ways. He knows something triggers him but doesn’t know what that “something” is.

Cassie did her research on Mark and runs down his professional history. “People who relocate to Montana are either fleeing for something or looking for something,” she says. Mark replies, “Aren’t we all?” while launching a paper airplane.

As they’re talking Cassie notices a wanted photo of one of the men from the hotel. His name’s Calgrove and he’s a top gun for hire. Mark recognizes her description of the bizarre weapon he aimed at her – an electrical speargun thing – as Calgrove’s signature weapon. Mark warns he’s thorough and meticulous and suggests Cassie’s going to need some help.

Meanwhile, Ronald enjoys a home-cooked meal with Scarlet and her daughter. It’s interrupted by a knock at the door and it turns out the visitor is Scarlet’s sister, Mary. She wants to know if “Arthur” is one of the good ones and he assures her he thinks of himself as good.

Ronald speaks privately with Scarlet and reminds her she told him she doesn’t speak to her family. Scarlet confirms she doesn’t but that Mary’s a bit of a gossip. Ronald thinks her visit is a display of bad manners.

Ronald silently screams into the bathroom mirror. He then retrieves his stun gun which he’s stashed in a cabinet and zaps himself.

He returns to the dining room and announces he’s been called into work, claiming he drives for a meal delivery service. He doesn’t want to let them down so he has to take off.

Once he’s gone, Mary says he seems like a good guy. She adds that he looks really familiar…

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 10
Brian Geraghty in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 10 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

The two bad guys can’t wait any longer (apparently the merchandise has an expiration date). Calgrove gives his partner a kiss before knocking on Alan’s door.

Alan panics and throws the case across the room, knocking a stuffed elk from the wall. They get into a shoving match and Calgrove winds up impaled on its antlers.

Alan flees the hotel room and leaves his cell phone behind.

Calgrove’s partner races into the room and finds him dead on the floor. He begins crying but the tears soon turn to anger. He finds Alan’s cell phone, guesses the password is 1234 – it is – and takes it with him along with Calgrove’s body which he uses a sheet to conceal.

Jenny, Cassie, and Mark head to the hotel after Alan’s credit card pinged as being used there to purchase a candy bar. Mark discusses dogs as they make the drive and he says if Calgrove were a dog, he’d be a Doberman.

They’re let into Alan’s room by a hotel clerk and discover the metal case on its side, contents spilled out. Alan was apparently selling thoroughbred horse semen. The vials could sell for more than $100,000 but they’re going to spoil now that they’re no longer on ice.

Jenny admits she has no idea what’s going on and Cassie explains stable hands secretly collected semen to sell. Mark thinks it should be easy to trace. They notice blood on the elk’s antlers (it’s back on the wall) and that the floor is damp. Someone’s been killed but they don’t know who.

Jenny and Sheriff Tubb get in some target practice while discussing the case. He notes Naomi hasn’t officially filed a missing persons report. Jenny explains she needs a warrant to search a warehouse registered to an unknown LLC that may have been the drop for the horse semen. Tubb confirms he’ll take care of securing a warrant.

Tubb wonders how invested Jenny is in Dewell & Hoyt, and Jenny says she’s a 50% owner. (She has Cody’s share.) Tubb doesn’t think Jenny should be in the PI business and really believes she should be a sheriff. Jenny is certain Cody would have wanted her to take over his role in Dewell & Hoyt.

Jenny and Cassie check out the warehouse which turns out to just have farming equipment. However, they learn it’s owned by Naomi’s dad, Bruce.

Jerrie’s received Alan’s cell phone records and all the calls have been to Bruce. Jenny and Cassie figure out Bruce is in on it and that’s why he attempted to pay them off and shut down the investigation.

Denise says Naomi is no longer picking up her phone.

Jenny and Cassie pay a visit to Naomi’s home and she seems flustered as she answers the door. She explains Alan just got home while signaling with her eyes there’s someone there forcing her to send them away.

Naomi suggests they come back later and closes the door. Cassie and Jenny don’t have time to call Sheriff Tubb as they head around back. They can see through the sliding glass door that the surviving bad guy has got Bruce tied up and is threatening to kill him. The man demands to know where Alan is, and at just that moment Alan pulls up outside.

Jenny makes her way in and frees Bruce while Cassie takes on the bad guy, demanding he put down his gun. He’s got ahold of Naomi and is threatening to shoot her when Jenny fires her gun. The bad guy goes down and Naomi’s saved.

A short while later, Alan tries to explain to Naomi he never looked in the case. He was only involved to make some money for their family. They’re able to kiss before Alan’s placed in a squad car.

Sheriff Tubb questions Bruce about why he lied about Alan’s whereabouts and Jenny’s pissed she had to shoot a man because of Bruce’s little scheme. Bruce claims he didn’t steal the semen – technically the ranch hands extracted it, not him. Jenny’s had enough of his nonsense and makes him stop talking.

Sheriff Tubb suggests Bruce get a good attorney. He also reminds Jenny to think about joining him.

And now we catch up once again with the new Horst Kleinsasser storyline. He shows up at the jail and demands to see his son. It’s past visiting hours but Tad allows him to see Blake anyway. Horst claims he runs this county and goes off on a rant about the country going down the toilet.

Blake (Michael-Raymond James) is brought out to see his dad and it’s not exactly a happy family reunion. Horst hands his son dirt from the ranch, calling it a memento. “Take it, that’s all you’re going to get of it,” says Horst before turning his back on his eldest son.

In a surprise twist, Blake calls Jenny from jail and asks if she has a minute to talk. He wishes they were speaking under better circumstances and asks for her help. Jerrie, Denise, and Cassie are watching Jenny as Blake speaks, and Jenny’s eyes tear up.

The episode ends with Ronald sitting in a car watching the detective agency.