‘Big Sky’ Season 1 Episode 12 Recap: “No Better Than Dogs”

Big Sky episode 12
Kylie Bunbury and Katheryn Winnick in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 12 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) fell into a pit of dead cows at the end of ABC’s Big Sky season one episode 11, and episode 12 begins with Jenny still in that pit confronting Blake’s brother, Rand Kleinsasser (Ryan Dorsey). She caught him cooking meth in a trailer on his family’s ranch, and it’s because of Rand that Jenny fell into this disgusting pit.

Jenny demands Rand put down the ax he’s casually carrying, firing a shot at his feet when he refuses. He finally puts it down as she attempts to crawl out. Unfortunately, the pit’s so slippery she falls back into it, dragging Rand with her. John Wayne (Kyle Schmid) picks that moment to show up and he sends his brother away, allowing Jenny to try and make her way to solid ground once again.

Jenny claims Rand attacked her but J.W. points out she’s trespassing again. She explains she’s just there to visit the caretaker’s cabin in order to check on Blake’s story. Surprisingly, J.W. offers to show it to her.

J.W. claims he didn’t see Rosie or Blake that night and has no idea where Rosie is now.

They arrive at the caretaker’s house and Jenny heads in alone. She looks around and pulls a gun when she hears a noise. J.W. followed her in, even though he claimed he was going to wait outside, and points out where they found Rosie. Jenny sees the mattress is covered in blood. She looks under the bed and finds a nearly full bottle of alcohol.

Just as she’s pulling it out, J.W. takes off in his truck leaving her to walk back to her car in the pitch black night.

Meanwhile, Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) is able to call her office and leave the phone on while handcuffed in the backseat of Deputy Al Gregor’s (Paul Piaskowski) squad car. She describes where she is and how they got there as another car approaches. Gregor demands she shut up as the other car flashes its headlights.

Cassie continues to narrate what’s happening as Gregor opens the back door. She makes a run for it but is knocked out before she gets very far.

Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) has U.S. Marshall Mark Lindor (Omar Metwally) listen to the recording Cassie left on their answering machine. Jerrie confirms Cassie’s not answering her phone and is sure she wanted them to hear what was happening.

As Cassie’s being dragged through the dirt, her phone falls off to the side and her abductors realize she was recording what was happening.

Jerrie takes the stage at a karaoke bar and is getting into her song when she begins scanning the crowd. She spots Ronald (Brian Geraghty) lurking in the audience and flees the stage. As she’s about to leave the bar, Jerrie tells her friend she saw Ronald.

Morning arrives and Jenny’s heading home from the Kleinsasser ranch when she spots Cassie’s truck burned to a crisp on the side of the road. She looks inside and then runs back to her own vehicle.

Blake (Michael Raymond-James) joins his sister, Cheyenne (Britt Robertson), in the barn and is happy to note she’s speaking to him. (He’s on the outs with the rest of his family.) She’s still angry he left but admits she doesn’t think he attacked Rosie. Cheyenne claims she’s not like the rest of their family and confesses she still loves him.

Blake suggests she should leave town before it’s too late. If she doesn’t take off soon, she’ll never escape.

Cheyenne fills her oldest brother in on Rand and J.W.’s plans for the ranch’s mineral rights. She also reveals their brothers were with Rosie the night Blake was accused of beating her. Cheyenne recalls the next day they “made a big show” about locating her.

Before she can say much more, J.W. arrives and interrupts their chat. Cheyenne breaks the tension by giving J.W. a hug as he informs them dad wants to see them now.

Mark shows up at the station to speak with Lochsa County Sheriff Wagy (Sebastian Roché), introducing himself to the clerk as a U.S. Marshall.

Cassie comes to in a cell and overhears Sheriff Wagy asking Deputy Gregor why he brought her back to the station. Wagy calls Gregor an amateur.

Mark gets his meeting with Sheriff Wagy who acts as if he’s calm, cool, and collected. Wagy claims Cassie was drunk and resisted arrest. Mark demands they let her go and Wagy wonders if Mark’s about to “fedsplain” the law to him. Mark, who doesn’t need to act to be calm, cool, and collected, tells Wagy he should answer the phone (which isn’t ringing). However, within seconds it does and it’s obvious Mark called in some heavy-duty backup.

The governor tells Sheriff Wagy to do what Mark says.

Over at the ranch, the Kleinsasser family sits down for an uncomfortable meal together. Horst demands coffee as he tells Blake he always has a place in the family. Cheyenne and J.W. get into a punching match, and Horst makes her apologize to her brother.

Margaret (Michelle Forbes) listens to this with her back turned to the table and adds a little spit to Horst’s coffee before serving it to her husband. (Margaret’s my favorite Kleinsasser.)

Margaret smiles as Horst compliments her coffee but criticizes her skill at cooking bacon. He orders Margaret to take a seat and then announces John Wayne will take over the ranch since Blake violated the ranch’s moral turpitude covenant.

Blake claims not to want the ranch as Horst informs them the lawyer’s drawing up his new will. J.W. promises not to let Horst down, but Horst doesn’t believe that.

Blake leaves the table without permission.

Big Sky episode 12
Michael Raymond-James and Ted Levine in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 12 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

Later, he and his dad ride the fence line while discussing funeral plans. Blake swears he didn’t attack Rosie but Horst’s sure he’s lying. Horst claims to not know why Blake left in the first place, and Blake brings up Cole Danvers’ name, causing Horst to bristle. Horst reminds Blake he was supposed to forget about that and that he only did “it” to protect Rand.

Blake confesses he thinks about what his dad made him do every single day. Blake knows Rand’s not right in the head and believes Horst knows that too.

Mark drives Cassie home and makes small talk about Hall & Oates. Cassie manages to smile for the first time since being picked up by Deputy Gregor, and Mark explains he has news on Ronald when she’s ready to hear it. She indicates she’s ready and Mark reveals they caught Ronald sleeping on his mother’s grave. He adds that he left Ronald a note and that he’s put in for round-the-clock surveillance, but it will take a while to get that in place.

Mark promises they’ll get Ronald because he has urges he can’t control. He also reassures Cassie he’ll help her any way he can. She asks if he can try and help them find Rosie, and Mark says he’ll get his techs on it.

Mark drops her at the hotel and Jenny’s already there. She tells Cassie she’s there for her if she wants to talk about what happened. She doesn’t.

Jenny shows Cassie the nearly full bottle of whiskey she found under the bed in the caretaker’s cavern. Jenny’s going to get it tested since Blake felt like something was off that night and can normally hold his liquor.

Elsewhere, Ronald’s girlfriend, Scarlet, finds the note Mark wrote – the one in which he acted like he was Ronald’s dead mom – in Ronald’s jean’s pocket while doing laundry. Ronald’s playing dolls with her daughter when Scarlet joins them, kissing one of the dolls and reciting the contents of the note.

The smile immediately fades from Ronald’s face.

Later, the new couple gets in an argument over Willy Wonka and Ronald’s not sure why Scarlet’s angry at him. She pulls out the note along with the taser. If he lies, she’ll zap him. (Scarlet is nearly as crazy as Ronald, but hopefully not as homicidal.)

His first lie is about a musical. He earns a zap. His second lie is about a woman with red hair. Once again, he’s zapped. He then claims he found the note and thought it was sad. It might have meant something to somebody so he kept it. Ronald believes he was meant to find the note and that it could actually be about them.

“I think this note found me just like I found you,” says Ronald.

Scarlet confesses she’s falling in love.

Jenny meets with Blake and tells him Cassie was abducted. Plus, Rand chased her with an ax last night. Blake’s confused, unaware any of this took place. Jenny’s convinced nothing makes sense about the night Rosie was attacked, and Blake tells her she needs to walk away from this investigation before she gets hurt.

Jenny doesn’t want to quit but Blake claims this is his problem to fix.

Over at the Kleinsasser ranch, Cheyenne’s only able to convince her mom to engage in an important conversation if she supplies her with pills. She asks why her mom allows Horst to treat her so horribly and why she’s not saying anything about J.W. getting the ranch when Horst dies.

Margaret tells Cheyenne she needs to leave; there’s nothing for her there. (That echoes Blake’s sentiment.) Cheyenne refuses and reveals she’s seen the trucks in the back pasture. Margaret attempts to shut her down, reminding her she needs to know her place. Cheyenne’s done with everything and attempts to pour all her mom’s pills down the sink. That finally elicits a passionate reaction from Margaret and Cheyenne cheers her on.

Blake’s forced into a meeting with his dad, J.W., and Rand. When Horst threatens to harm Jenny, Blake warns him he’ll tell the town what’s really going on at the ranch.

After Blake leaves, Horst instructs J.W. to follow him to make sure he cools down. J.W. offers to take a ride to cool off but Blake turns him down and takes off in an off-road vehicle.

That night, Jenny and Cassie show up uninvited at Rosie’s secluded cabin in the woods. Rosie gets the drop on them outside and holds both at gunpoint. She demands to know what they’re doing there.

Their answer must have satisfied Rosie because the next scene is the threesome inside the cabin seated in front of the fire. Rosie understands the town doesn’t like Jenny and Cassie snooping around, and she’s aware everyone’s looking for her. She thinks Blake’s family is bad news and admits the night she was attacked doesn’t make any sense.

Rosie believes she was drugged and doesn’t remember that night. All she knows is she was injured and that she had been having fun with Blake before she passed out. They were drinking as they looked for an old saddle of her father’s, a saddle they never found.

Rosie’s known Blake for years and she doesn’t think hitting her is something he’d ever do. She confesses she’s been having flashes of Rand. She’s sure Rand was there that night.

It’s pitch black when we catch up with Blake as he digs a deep hole and screams when he can’t find what he’s looking for.

A little later he finds a belt buckle belonging to Cole Danvers and Cole’s body. J.W. joins him and Blake explains Cole was just a kid who showed up looking for work. J.W. recalls Cole stole a truck and left, but Blake says that’s not what happened. Blake explains their dad woke him up and showed him Cole’s dead body. Blake claims Rand killed Cole and even confessed to doing so after Blake found a bloody shirt in his room.

Blake says Rand got mad and threw a shovel at Cole, killing him. He believes Cole’s family deserves to know what happened, but J.W. thinks they should cover the body up again and not mention this. Blake doesn’t want to and tries to stop J.W. from throwing dirt back in the hole, knowing full well they need to come clean about what Rand did.

Little do the brothers know their sister is lurking in the shadows, listening to this conversation. She watches and nearly screams when she sees J.W. hit Blake with the shovel and Blake fall into Cole’s grave.