ABC’s Big Sky season one episode three left off with the kidnapped women learning a cop is in on their abductions and with an injured Grace still determined to break free of her confinement. Episode four picks up with State Trooper Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch) driving while angry – never a smart move – as he listens to a news report on the two missing teens and the woman from the truck stop.
At home, Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty) watches Grace and Danielle’s mom make a tearful plea on television for their return. His mom wonders if he has something to do with the missing girls and he responds by dumping cereal on her head. She hopes there’s still more good in him than bad and warns if that ever switches – if the bad outweighs the good – she will take action.
Trooper Rick Legarski calls up Ronald, upset the missing girls are all over the news. He reveals he’s found someone to take them off their hands, but they won’t pay for the girls. It’s more like a problem-solving deal than a for-profit arrangement.
Meanwhile, Danielle Sullivan (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Jerrie Kennedy (Jesse James Keitel) gag as maggots crawl all over their Spam. Although her fellow hostages are grossed out, Grace Sullivan (Jade Pettyjohn) is hopeful the maggots will eat the dead tissues in her wound that are causing the infection and fever. As an added bonus, Grace thinks the maggots on her wound will freak out any potential buyer, making their purchase less likely.
Even if they can’t escape, they can buy some time to come up with a better plan.
Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) continues to work on getting Sheriff Walter Tubb’s assistance in the hunt for Cody and the girls. Walter (Patrick Gallagher) explains he needs evidence before he launches an investigation into Rick Legarski’s involvement but Jenny doesn’t give up. Walter gives in and asks his assistant to invite Rick in for a chat.
Elsewhere, Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) has a heart-to-heart with her dad, Joseph. He believes the hunt for Cody and the teens has dredged up bad memories about her husband. Joseph admits he should have advised her to give herself permission to stop and grieve, rather than just keep moving forward. She confesses she might be in love with Cody.
Rick and Ronald discuss Rick’s planned meeting with Sheriff Tubb. Ronald thinks Tubb might be on to them and then admits his mom’s questioning his involvement in the kidnapping, too. Rick’s stunned Ronald’s mom asked about the missing girls, but Ronald’s sure his mother doesn’t actually believe he’s involved.
Rick and Ronald’s partnership is on the rocks. Ronald assures the dirty cop that if he disappears a trail will lead them to his doorstep. Rick apparently has the same thing set up and has records to back up Ronald’s involvement. They’re stuck in this partnership, even if they distrust each other.
Over at the detective agency, Cassie’s examining footage from the truck stop. She sees Jerrie’s last moments on camera and is sure a trucker is involved. She’s also certain Legarski’s involved and is working with the trucker.
Jenny arrives with news that Legarski’s meeting with Tubb that afternoon. Cassie and Jenny plan on placing a tracker on Legarski’s vehicle, and assistant Denise Brisbane (Dedee Pfeiffer) reminds them they’ll lose their license if it’s discovered.
Ronald visits the girls and Danielle and Jerrie claim Grace is dying. Grace is in horrible shape and Ronald’s shocked to see maggots have infested her wounds. After warning the women he has his taser, he pours hydrogen peroxide on Grace’s wound. She screams in pain and he gives her pills to help battle the infection.
Danielle pleads with Ronald for help, telling him she knows he has a good heart. That doesn’t work and instead of winning him over, Ronald threatens to kill the next person who says anything about a good heart.
Grace vomits and Ronald backs away, leaving Danielle and Jerrie screaming about Grace’s deteriorating condition.
Trooper Rick Legarski shows up for the meeting and informs Sheriff Walter Tubb he only saw Cody Hoyt for a few minutes. Cody was sure the Church had something to do with the teens’ disappearance, and he let him go off on his own to pursue that area of investigation. Rick tries to steer the conversation away from the topic at hand, and Walter reins him in.
Rick’s easily angered at this point and claims Walter’s only brought him in because Cassie – a Black woman – requested it. Rick makes this a race issue and Walter doesn’t correct him that it was Jenny Hoyt who asked for this meeting. Rick thinks Cassie’s trying to “cancel” him and plays the victim, claiming this is all about it being “open season on the badge.”
Walter Tubb doesn’t say much during the meeting, choosing instead to let Rick rant.
Seconds after Cassie and Jenny stick a tracker on Rick’s vehicle, he approaches with Walter Tubb. He confronts Cassie, sure she’s the one who filed a complaint against him. Jenny introduces herself as Cody’s wife and shakes his hand. Rick, pretending to be concerned, asks if she’s heard from Cody and she reveals she knows Cody was last seen in his presence.
Ronald pays a visit to Rick’s wife’s quilting shop. He doesn’t introduce himself as he selects a quilt. As Merilee (Brooke Smith) is wrapping it up, he stares at her long enough for her to become uncomfortable. He claims it’s because she’s so beautiful and she in turn wonders why he’s flattering her. He continues with the compliments, revealing he believes she’s kind and sad. Ronald wonders if she’s ever gone to the Willis House taxi dances. He explains he dances there for money, but he feels a connection and wouldn’t charge her if she showed up.
By the time he leaves her shop, Ronald’s piqued Merilee’s interest.
Next, Ronald meets with Rick and explains Grace is in bad shape and needs stronger medication. Rick agrees to head out and see what he can do. Before he leaves, the impact of what he’s done appears to get the better of him. Rick’s having a tough time dealing with the fact he killed two people and that the teens are all over the news.
Ronald reminds him it will all be taken care of when the Canadians show up tomorrow to get the girls.
Back at the detective agency, Jenny’s discovered a trucker with a record who fits their profile. (It’s not Ronald.) She’s looked up his schedule and realizes he’ll be at the truck stop that very evening. If Grace and Danielle were in his truck, there would still be DNA there.
Jenny wants to go undercover as a prostitute, but Denise thinks it’s too dangerous. As they argue, they notice the tracker in Rick’s vehicle shows he’s on the move. Jenny tells Denise to keep an eye on Rick while she and Cassie head to the truck stop.
Grace’s condition is worsening and her fever’s spiked. Rick shows up as Jerrie and Danielle are comforting Grace, and he’s not in the least bit remorseful about Grace’s condition. He claims he got into this to help the youth of America and confirms they were accidentally caught up in this.
Rick injects an antibiotic into Grace’s leg and then takes off.
Cassie slips into her memories of Cody (Ryan Phillippe), recalling a romantic camping trip complete with roasting marshmallows and singing. She snaps back to reality and prepares to leave for the truck stop. Another heart-to-heart with her dad reveals her state of mind. She wonders if she’s filling her son’s life with optimism and isn’t preparing him for the real world. (She lost her mom as a kid and her husband was killed in Afghanistan.) Cassie becomes emotional and asks how her dad handled life after her mom’s death and he confesses he went on because of her – just like she’ll go on because of her young son.
Surprise, surprise…Merilee shows up at Willis House, spots Ronald dancing with an elderly woman, and abruptly exits. Ronald chases after her, stopping her in the parking lot and introducing himself as Mitchell. He asks her not to leave and instead come inside for a dance. He promises he’s not looking for anything other than a little company.
Ronald’s able to talk Merilee into returning to the dance. They flirt and Ronald assures her she’s safe with him.
Cassie and Jenny arrive at the truck stop, and Cassie parks close enough to keep an eye on Jenny. Jenny’s totally slipped into her prostitute cover and gets wolf whistles as she walks among the truckers. She’s really strutting and working it, and finally spots the trucker she’s after. She compliments his rig and he welcomes her in.
The trucker requests she clean herself with sanitizer before they do anything, claiming he’s germophobic. He even makes her gargle!
Jenny pulls out a badge, says she’s an undercover cop, and promises she’s not busting him. She claims to be taking DNA samples from all the trucks, but the trucker has decided she’s not a cop and isn’t falling for this ruse. Jenny’s able to grab a pillow before hustling out of the truck.
The trucker follows and grabs her, refusing to let go. He has a knife and demands she give him back his stuff. He’s ready to cut her if she doesn’t and Jenny’s had enough. She delivers a quick beating that sends him crashing to the ground. Cassie races up as the trucker pulls a gun. Fortunately, she’s able to de-escalate the situation.
Cassie and Jenny wind up back in Sheriff Tubb’s office after the confrontation. Tubb confirms the trucker was on probation and because he had a gun, he’ll be locked up. He’s not pleased with their undercover work and is of a mind to lock them up. He doesn’t but warns he won’t be so easy on them next time they’re in trouble.
Denise meets up with Jenny and Cassie outside Tubb’s office and delivers the news that Rick Legarski spent time at what’s either an abandoned farmhouse or an old homestead. It was in the middle of nowhere about an hour from the bar and he was there for about half an hour.
Ronald and Rick check in with each other. The pickup’s set for the following day at 3pm and they’ll need to clean up the girls before their Canadian connection arrives.
Merilee returns home around midnight and Rick can’t believe she was out dancing. She explains it was just dancing and she’s not having an affair. Rick’s stunned into silence.
Cassie and Jenny waste no time in arriving at the abandoned farmhouse. It’s pitch black and the wind’s whistling as they pull up to the barn. They agree to stick together and have each other’s backs as they begin their search.
Cassie snaps photos with her phone as they approach the barn. There’s equipment inside and they accidentally break a few things as they look around. Cassie points out there aren’t any exterior windows as they explore the building.
Down below the girls are awakened by the noise.
Cassie and Jenny don’t spot any obvious hiding places, but Cassie senses they’re close. “It’s like I’ve solved a math problem, but I can’t show my work,” says Cassie.
The girls figure out someone’s there and scream for help. Cassie bends down and listens, but Jenny’s impatient to keep looking. Cassie thought she heard something but follows Jenny out of the barn. Down below Grace, Danielle, and Jerrie continue to scream as loud as they can.
The episode ends with Rick Legarski climbing the stairs and heading to his bedroom while clutching a hammer.
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