‘Big Sky’ Season 1 Episode 16 Recap: “Love is a Strange and Dangerous Thing” Finale

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 16
Omar Metwally and Kylie Bunbury in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 16 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

Season one of ABC’s Big Sky comes to a close with an episode that ties up the Kleinsasser saga while leaving the Ronald Pergman storyline dangling. Episode 16, “Love is a Strange and Dangerous Thing,” begins right where episode 15 left off, with Ronald (Brian Geraghty) and Scarlet (Anja Savcic) inside Mary’s place as Mark Lindor (Omar Metwally) busts through the front door. Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) pauses in the doorway, gun out and prepared to provide Mark with backup.

Ronald prepares for what’s to come by revealing he’s got a hard drive under the bathroom sink at home. Of course, Scarlet has no idea what he’s talking about but carefully listens to his instructions to call someone and deliver a specific message.

Ronald pretends to be holding Scarlet hostage as Mark busts in. He threatens to hurt her as Mark demands he surrender. Ronald pushes Scarlet toward Mark and then attempts to make a run for it while Mark’s occupied. He makes it near the back door only to encounter Jerrie. “Miss me,” she asks while holding him at gunpoint.

Mark enters the room and Ronald finally drops his weapon, realizing he’s trapped. Mark’s able to place Ronald under arrest.

Also being placed under arrest is Sheriff Wagy (Sebastian Roché) up at the Kleinsasser ranch. Montana Highway Patrol Commander Elena Sosa (Sharon Taylor) compliments Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) on their hard work. Elena gives Cassie the honor of actually placing Wagy in the squad car, and Cassie isn’t gentle as she pushes the crooked cop into the back seat.

Jenny warns Sheriff Tubb (Patrick Gallagher) that when they search the ranch, they’re likely going to discover lots of dead bodies. While they’re talking, Tubb receives a call that there’s been a break in the Ronald Pergman case.

As Mark drives Ronald to jail, Ronald requests to be interrogated by Jenny and Cassie, claiming he does much better around women. Mark reminds him he’s not in a position to dictate terms.

And now, just five minutes into the season finale, we get the first death of the episode. Margaret Kleinsasser (Michelle Forbes) chats with hubby, Horst (Ted Levine), as she provides him with pills. She wonders if he remembers the day they got married and recalls her mother warning her not to wed him.

Margaret withholds the glass of water as Horst struggles to swallow. He stumbles toward her, reaching for the water in her hand, and she deliberately lets the glass slip. It shatters as Horst falls to the ground in the process of dying.

Cheyenne (Britt Robertson) watches from the stairs and then finally joins Margaret after Horst has sucked in his last breath.

Cheyenne suggests they clean up a bit and then discuss the future while they partake in a relaxing spa day.

Jenny and Cassie arrive back in town and Mark fills them in on what went down. Ronald confessed to dating Mary’s sister Scarlet and to killing Steve, the dead guy in Mary’s freezer. Mark explains he’s about to get Scarlet’s statement before sending her home.

Cassie and Jenny sit in on Scarlet’s statement which is completely made up. She says Ronald told her he killed Steve and had been stalking her for months before they started dating. Scarlet claims her sister introduced her to Ronald and acts as though she has no idea Ronald has abducted Mary.

They send Scarlet home to be with her daughter and after she leaves, Jenny admits she’s not buying it.

Scarlet scurries home and finds the hard drive. She locates the name Ronald gave her – John Milton – and makes a call. The first call goes badly so she tries again and is able to deliver the “I ate the fruit” message per Ronald’s instructions.

Ronald and Mark have an uncomfortable chat that ends with Ronald requesting Mark play “Chances Are” for him. Mark reluctantly agrees and Ronald relaxes in his cell.

The following morning prior to their interrogation session, Mark pays a visit to Cassie as she’s finishing up a horseback ride. They flirt and decide after the “Ronald thing” is over, they’ll go out for a drink.

Jenny pops into the detective agency and Denise (Dedee Pfeiffer) hands over a folder on Legarski and the Syndicate. Jenny asks her to see what she can find on Scarlet, explaining she has a feeling there’s something off there.

Cheyenne puts in a surprise appearance at the detective agency bearing cupcakes. They’re a token of her appreciation and are shaped like white lions. Cheyenne reveals her dad’s dead, which shocks Jenny. They discuss Blake and Cheyenne explains Rosie changed her statement and cleared Blake’s name. Cheyenne offers Jenny a place to stay if she’s ever near the Kleinsasser ranch in the future, and admits she owes Jenny one. Jenny, of course, wants nothing more to do with Cheyenne’s family.

After Cheyenne leaves, Jenny tells Denise and Jerrie not to eat the cupcakes.

Scarlet’s daughter, Phoebe, is getting ready for school when she confesses she saw Ronald bury something in the woods during their camping trip. She was supposed to keep the burial of a “deer” a secret.

Phoebe leaves for school and a stranger dressed as a Montana Highway Patrol officer barges in. The Syndicate hitman demands the hard drive and Scarlet hands it over. It’s clear this stranger’s about to kill her so Scarlet claims Ronald made a copy. The hitman needs to bust Ronald out and then they’ll give him the backup.

The stranger shows her a photo of Phoebe at school, warning her to behave herself. They need to leave and grab Ronald now, and he assures Scarlet they’ll pick up Phoebe later when it’s safe.

Jerrie and Denise discover Scarlet’s records have just been expunged.

Ronald attempts to guide the interrogation, informing them they need to remove the death penalty if they want info on the Syndicate. Jenny and Cassie have zero patience for his games, and Ronald reveals he’s willing to give up the locations of Kelly and Mary. But he needs to accompany them during their search.

Ronald also confesses there were so many women that he had to use a system to keep track. He’d write their name along with one nice thing about them. “Dimple…the way their eyes trembled…the way they whimpered for help,” recites Ronald.

“If you find Kelly, you’ll find Mary…and perhaps more. This could be a real jackpot,” teases Ronald.

Jenny and Cassie argue that Ronald’s leading them into something dangerous, with Jenny reminding everyone Ronald’s always one step ahead. Mark doesn’t think they have any other options if they want to locate Kelly and Mary. (He still believes there’s a possibility either or both are alive.)

As they’re heading out, Jenny says she’ll ride with Tubb. The more backup they have, the better. “For the record, I don’t trust any of this,” says Jenny.

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 16
Katheryn Winnick in ‘Big Sky’ season 1’s finale (ABC/Darko Sikman)

While they’re on the road Denise and Jerrie call Jenny with news on Scarlet. Denise reveals they were able to locate some records that weren’t expunged and learned Scarlet was locked up in a facility for the criminally insane.

Jenny’s instincts were spot on.

Scarlet’s driven to a spot where a car awaits. She’s instructed to get in (the keys are in the ignition) and wait. The Syndicate hitman smashes her phone and hands her a burner to use instead.

Meanwhile, Ronald leads the group to his secret hiding spot. The group exit in front of a building and then cuts open the locks on a storage room inside. The smell’s overwhelming as their flashlights light up rotten cakes. Ronald says it was his happy place and claims Kelly is in there. Apparently, Kelly would never understand or accept his love so he left her there to wither away. Ronald calls her his “secret heart” and explains he simply stopped coming to feed her.

Ronald’s still playing games and Mark declares the field trip is over. Before they hit the road back to the station, both Cassie and Jenny share that this was too easy. Ronald doesn’t give up his secrets like this – ever.

Tubb promises his people will find Mary if she’s close by.

Ronald’s behind the cage in the back of the unmarked car with Mark driving and Cassie riding shotgun. Ronald sings “Chances Are” as he slowly lays down in the back seat. A large work truck appears out of nowhere and crashes into them, sending their vehicle hurtling through the air. It ultimately lands right-side-up immediately in front of Sheriff Tubb and Jenny’s car.

Mark appears to be dead but Cassie and Ronald are still alive and conscious. The Syndicate hitmen emerge from their truck with high-powered weapons and riddle all of the cars with bullets.

Ronald grabs Cassie’s around the neck from the back seat and tries to strangle her. She’s able to unholster her gun and begins firing over her head without looking back.

Meanwhile, Jenny’s grabbed a weapon and lures in one of the hitmen by appearing to be injured or dead lying next to a car. She takes him down with a single shot as the other hitman approaches Mark’s unmarked vehicle.

He pulls Ronald from it and takes aim at Cassie. He’s just about to pull the trigger when Jenny yells, “Hey!” to distract him. He turns and shoots her in the chest, blood immediately staining the front of her shirt. She doesn’t get off a shot before collapsing.

Cassie emerges from the car and spots Jenny writhing on the ground. She’s in horrible shape and Cassie begs her partner to stay with her.

Ronald and the one remaining hitman leave in the work truck, with Ronald smiling as Cassie pleads with Jenny to live. They drive to where Scarlet’s waiting in the car and the hitman takes over the driver’s seat. He hands them passports and IDs, along with new clothes.

He doesn’t mention stopping for Phoebe and Scarlet reminds him they need to pick her up before they can head to the border. Ronald also requests they make a pit stop but the driver refuses. Scarlet screams for him to turn around and Ronald takes action.

Scarlet grabs the wheel as Ronald strangles the hitman. They dump his dead body on the side of the road and head off to get Phoebe.

Squad cars race up to the scene along with ambulances. Cassie walks beside Jenny as she’s wheeled to the ambulance on a gurney, set on accompanying her to the hospital. Jenny, however, has other plans for her partner.

“Get him,” she manages to say while obviously in dire straits.

Cassie picks up the dead hitman’s phone and his high-powered rifle. She walks with purpose toward a just-parked squad car, slips behind the wheel, and races off after Ronald.

Ronald and Scarlet hold hands and smile Ronald drives.

The season finale ends with Cassie, focused and determined, in pursuit of the escaped fugitives alone.