‘Big Sky’ Season 1 Episode 14 Recap: “Nice Animals”

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 14
Kyle Schmid, Michelle Forbes, Ryan Dorsey, and Britt Robertson in ‘Big Sky’ episode 14 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

ABC’s Big Sky season one episode 14 picks up with Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) injured and Angela dead after Rand crashed his truck into Jenny’s hotel room. The Kleinsassers needed to take Jenny out because she was getting too close to discovering the truth about what’s going on at their ranch. Unfortunately, Angela paid the ultimate price for helping Jenny with her investigation.

Jenny warns Sheriff Wagy (Sebastian Roché) she’s onto him and knows he’s an accessory in the Kleinsassers’ crimes. She blames him for Angela’s death and warns him he won’t get away with this.

Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Mark (Omar Metwally) are still working the crime scene at Mary’s house. They’re sure Ronald attacked her, but haven’t located her body. Instead of Mary’s corpse, they found a male who’s been dead quite a while wrapped up and stored in a freezer.

Mark’s certain Ronald will slip up soon, and he’s equally sure Ronald’s been watching them.

Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) helps out at the crime scene and fills Mark in on Mary’s family. She’s learned Mary has a sister named Scarlet who lives nearby.

Sheriff Wagy confronts Horst Kleinsasser (Ted Levine), demanding to know if he ordered the attack on Jenny and Angela. Horst claims he’s innocent and didn’t know Angela would be killed. Sheriff Wagy reveals witnesses put Rand at the scene of the crime. Wagy’s also aware Angela told Jenny about the Kleinsassers criminal activities. Although Sheriff Wagy has covered for Horst for years, he’s drawing the line at the death of one of his people.

Cheyenne (Britt Robertson) pops up from the backseat of Sheriff Wagy’s car as he’s preparing to leave. He warns Cheyenne she doesn’t know who she’s messing with, but Cheyenne doesn’t back down. She claims she has the upper hand and suggests he not underestimate her.

It’s late at night when Ronald (Brian Geraghty) shows up at Scarlet’s place with his newly purchased big rig. He wants Scarlet and her young daughter Phoebe to leave right away on a surprise camping trip, promising they’ll have a lot of fun in the wilderness. He makes the camping trip sound irresistible and says he’s in a hurry to get started.

Horst interrogates his sons, and Rand (Ryan Dorsey) admits he came up with the idea to drive the truck through the hotel. J.W. (Kyle Schmid) reveals Cheyenne’s been talking to Jenny, which only serves to make Horst even angrier. Horst instructs the boys to dig Blake’s grave and then they’ll figure out what to do with the barrels out in the back pasture. He threatens their lives if they screw up again.

Jenny’s back at the detective agency and nursing her injured face when Cassie suggests she see a doctor. Jenny doesn’t have time for that but does have time to blame herself for Angela’s death. Denise (Dedee Pfeiffer) wonders how Rand knew she was meeting Angela. They don’t believe Wagy told the Kleinsassers, but Jenny’s certain they need to figure out what Horst has on Wagy that keeps him in line.

Although Denise would prefer Jenny gets some rest, she knows that’s not going to happen anytime soon. She’s researched missing ranch hand Cole Danvers and gives Jenny Cole’s mom’s address which earns her a thank you and a kiss from Jenny.

Ronald drives for hours and finally stops in the middle of nowhere. Scarlet and Phoebe are sleeping in the passenger cab and wake up when the truck stops. Ronald’s stashed Mary’s dead body right under where Scarlet’s sleeping, and he convinces his girlfriend and her daughter to go exploring while he unpacks and sets up camp.

Cassie returns to the crime scene at Mary’s place and learns they’ve discovered more blood inside the house. Jerrie fills Cassie in on Mary’s sister. Other than that, all they’ve really learned thus far is that Ronald met Mary, knew she was going to ID him, and he did something to her. Mary’s phone and laptop are missing, and Cassie’s sure Mary knew Ronald – that it wasn’t just a random encounter.

They’ve discovered the dead man in the freezer – Steve – went missing eight years ago. He was murdered with an icepick to the back of his head. It was a quick kill which makes it unlikely Ronald was the murderer.

Jenny pays a visit to Cole Danvers’ mom, Nora, who’s reluctant to speak to anyone about the Kleinsassers. Jenny explains Blake’s dead because he went against the family and she believes Cole knew something. Nora decides to talk after Jenny suggests she can get revenge for Cole’s disappearance. She explains Cole revealed he saw something he knew was wrong right before he disappeared. Nora never believed Kleinsasser ranch manager Gil’s story about Cole stealing a truck and taking off.

Over at the Kleinsasser ranch, Cheyenne has a talk with her mom, Margaret (Michelle Forbes). Margaret demands to know what happened to Blake and Cheyenne confirms J.W. killed him after they argued over Cole Danvers. Margaret confesses Horst has always treated her horribly and she even tried to kill him once with rat poison. Unfortunately, Horst didn’t even become ill. She thinks he’s too mean to die.

J.W. and Rand dig their brother’s grave and discuss prison. Rand admits he’s scared but J.W. believes their dad will take care of them. If Horst doesn’t, J.W. promises he’ll watch out for Rand. Rand, who’s definitely not all there, explains he wants to build a maze on the ranch after their dad’s gone – a maze that will scare people and freak out visitors.

Horst and Michelle have a private chat prior to Blake’s funeral. They exchange insults and Michelle confesses she’s going to kill him. Horst replies, “I expect nothing less.”

Jenny and Cassie ask Gil (Rosie’s dad) about Cole, explaining Jenny spoke to Nora Danvers. Gil admits he’s been waiting to tell his story for a long time. He tried to help Cole, but Cole asked too many questions. When Cole got into an argument with Horst, Rand killed him – believing he was protecting his dad.

Gil comes clean and reveals he wasn’t fired; Horst paid him off. Gil explains Horst and Sheriff Wagy brokered a deal with big mining companies to use the Kleinsasser ranch as a dumping point for toxic chemicals. The waste is kept in barrels in the back pasture and the paperwork’s under lock and key in Horst’s office.

Jenny and Cassie believe Gil might be able to help them get onto the ranch during the funeral.

Cheyenne tells Rand he doesn’t need to always do what J.W. tells him to do. She calls him a psycho killer and asks what’s going on in the back pasture. Cheyenne confirms she knows Rand killed Cole and Angela, just as J.W. joins them. She warns she might tell Sheriff Wagy what she knows and J.W. threatens she’ll be in deep trouble if she keeps talking.

Jenny and Cassie figure out the Kleinsassers were going to lose their land and chose to poison it instead. Their conversation’s interrupted by Mark calling with the news that Steve, the dead man at Mary’s house, fathered a child with Mary’s sister, Scarlet. They all admit they have no idea how this connects to Ronald.

Mark and Jerrie head over to Scarlet’s place after they can’t reach her by phone.

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 14
Brian Geraghty in ‘Big Sky’ episode 14 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

And speaking of Scarlet… Mom and daughter are walking through the woods calling out for “Arthur.” Ronald’s hiding behind a tree, clutching Mary’s dead body to keep from being seen.

During Blake’s funeral, Margaret hugs J.W. and whispers in his ear. “I know what you did,” she says as J.W. tries to pull away from her, causing a minor scene.

Jenny, Cassie, and Gil arrive at the back pasture under the cover of darkness. They look at all the barrels of waste, and Gil opens one up. A skull pops up in the acidic substance and Gil admits there are lots of bodies hidden this way.

Gil helps by taking a soil sample as Jenny snaps photos.

At the gathering after Blake’s funeral, Sheriff Wagy tells Horst he needs to bring Rand in for questioning. Wagy warns the State might get involved and Horst basically says to bring them on, he’ll take care of them.

Wagy explains he’ll get Rand’s statement and they’ll work the case from there. Horst is adamant no one will be questioning his crazy son.

Margaret strides through the funeral gathering, rips something from the wall and demands her family hang a painting in its place. Cheyenne suggests they do this when the guests are gone, but Margaret wants it done now.

Margaret’s painting is really creepy, depicting an eerie figure that seems to be representing death along with blood and coffins.

Horst clears the room and conducts a family meeting. He needs the family to hold it together until they solve their problem.

Mark and Jerrie make it over to Scarlet’s place and she doesn’t answer the door. A neighbor explains Scarlet and her daughter left with Scarlet’s boyfriend in a big rig in the middle of the night. The neighbor IDs a photo of Ronald as Scarlet’s boyfriend, although now Ronald’s hair has grown out.

Sheriff Wagy is driving on the ranch when he spots Gil’s truck. He calls Horst and alerts him to the problem.

Jenny, Gil, and Cassie are about to return to the truck when they realize someone’s heading their way.

Episode 14 ends with Ronald leaving the tent in the middle of the night. He‘s digging Mary’s grave when Phoebe suddenly appears and asks what he’s doing.