‘Big Sky’ Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: “Nowhere to Run”

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 2
Kylie Bunbury and John Carroll Lynch in ‘Big Sky’ season 1 episode 2 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

Episode one of ABC’s new primetime drama Big Sky ended with Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) shot in the head by Montana State Trooper Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch). That shocking turn of events left viewers wondering if Cody was truly dead, given that it was the first episode and Cody seemed to be an important character. His status is one of the many questions answered in episode two, “Nowhere to Run,” which focuses on the hunt for the missing teenagers as well as the search for Cody.

The episode opens with Rick and trucker/kidnapper Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty) getting rid of evidence by burying Danielle and Grace’s car along with Cody’s vehicle.

In town, the atmosphere’s tense as Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) shows up at Dewell & Hoyt’s to help Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Denise Brisbane (Dedee Pfeiffer) investigate the three missing persons. Cody hasn’t been heard from since he called in to say he was going with Rick to check out the Church of Glory and Transcendence. Trooper Legarski informed them Cody went alone, and Jenny wonders if maybe Cody (who’s revealed to be an alcoholic) got sidetracked at a bar.

Cassie sticks up for Cody, claiming he’s no longer drinking. When Jenny presses for intimate details on their relationship, Cassie reveals she told Cody they were over. She admits she’s not sure Cody’s in love with her, a statement that brings tears to Jenny’s eyes.

Meanwhile, Rick and Ronald blame each other’s bad judgment for their current predicament. Rick shouldn’t have killed an ex-cop and Ronald shouldn’t have snagged two teenagers. Ronald’s only supposed to grab females who won’t be missed, and these two teens are definitely not part of their targeted group.

Rick explains Cody was focusing on long-haul truckers and that’s why he shot him in the head. As they’re talking, Cassie calls and informs Rick she’s heading his way to look for Cody and the missing teens.

And speaking of the teen siblings, Grace (Jade Pettyjohn) and Danielle Sullivan (Natalie Alyn Lind), along with prostitute Jerrie Kennedy (Jesse James Keitel), are chained up in what appears to be a basement. Grace is hopeful the tracker on Danielle’s phone – which Danielle was unaware existed – will lead their mom to their location. Grace also holds out hope Ronald will come to his senses and let them go. She thinks Ronald has plans other than to kill them.

Jerrie believes Ronald’s really lonely. He wanted to talk before he zapped her.

A flashback shows Cody and Cassie having a romantic evening. It’s a sweet scene and confirms they were really into each other.

Ronald returns home to a worried mother who’s upset he stayed out all night and didn’t call. Ronald’s done listening to her disparage his occupation, claiming truckers are heroes since they keep the supply chain moving. Seeing that he’s “pent up,” she suggests he masturbate. (This is truly a twisted mother/son relationship!)

Cassie makes it to her meeting with Rick and he appears shocked to discover she’s beautiful and Black, claiming they don’t get much of either in Montana. He continues running off at the mouth and Cassie’s quickly done with this small talk and wants to get down to business.

Rick lies and says Cody’s a renegade who decided to go off on his own rather than follow the law. Rick explains he didn’t go with him because he could tell Cody was a loose cannon.

Cassie doesn’t understand why a cop wouldn’t want to accompany Cody in the search for two missing teen girls. Rick claims he didn’t want to jeopardize his pension by joining Cody. Undeterred, Cassie asks why Rick didn’t follow up since Cody didn’t call in.

Rick realizes Cassie’s one smart cookie and can see through his story. Indignant, he claims Cassie’s out of line and that he did all he could. She asks if he wants to go with her to the church, suggesting a friendly judge would issue a search warrant. Rick finally gives in but explains the warrant will take a couple of hours to obtain.

Cassie’s heading out to look around for herself but when she says she’s going to visit a few truck stops, Rick stops her. He asks why and she reveals her research on the FBI highway serial killer task force shows long-haul truckers could be involved. Cassie notices Rick’s getting a little fidgety as she speaks.

Rick’s giving off weird vibes and before heading off, Cassie sits in her car and makes a call to the office to speak with Denise. Denise believes Rick isn’t creepy; he’s completely harmless. While they’re talking, Rick bangs on the window and wants to have a chat.

Their conversation’s uncomfortable and Rick asks if Cassie carries a gun. He says he’s never shot anyone (Cody would beg to differ) and wonders if she has the guts to pull the trigger should it come to that. Cassie confirms she definitely would.

Back in the basement, Grace and Danielle learn Jerrie’s a prostitute. Danielle bluntly asks Jerrie if she has a penis, and Jerrie confirms that’s true. Grace apologizes for her sister’s rudeness.

Ronald’s arrival quiets the conversation. He reminds Danielle she called him a loser – twice – and demands to know her age. She’s just 17 and Ronald believes that’s why she acts so entitled and empowered. He sniffs her hair and confesses his mom made him wash his hair every night so it would smell “pretty.”

Grace pulls Ronald’s attention away from her sister. He demands her age and learns she’s just 16. Ronald wants them all to know he’s not evil, but Grace can’t resist calling out his lie. “You kidnap us, you tase us, you have us locked up in some dungeon, and you think you’re a good person? Don’t play with us, okay? You want to be a monster, go ahead. At least be an honest one,” says Grace, adding that he’s a pervert and a creep.

Angered, Ronald grabs her and insists he’s not a monster or a pervert. Grace delivers a head butt that makes his nose bleed (go, Grace!), and he warns he’ll kill them if they keep this up.

Jenny takes a break and hits the diner for some coffee. Melissa the waitress wonders if there’s a way to report a person missing without actually getting that person in trouble for being a prostitute. Jenny’s spidey senses tingle when Melissa says the woman was working at a truck stop outside of Helena the night before and hasn’t shown up at the diner today. She always checks in so this is very unusual and concerning.

Cassie’s back at the office and Jenny shows her a photo of the missing prostitute. Before Jenny heads out to check the truck stop, Cassie shows her the highway serial killer initiative’s website. There are red dots all over the U.S. and Cassie explains there have been 500+ murder victims found near highways. So far there are 200 suspects, the majority of which are long-haul truckers.

The victims have been transients, prostitutes, and others with high-risk lifestyles.

Cassie’s really suspicious of Rick Legarski and believes he’s somehow involved in the disappearances. Denise, on the other hand, is certain he’s not. Denise’s cousin is Rick’s ex-wife and she’d like to speak with her. If Rick’s a sociopath, his ex would definitely know.

Cassie confesses to Denise she has a bad feeling about Cody. She had the same feeling when her husband was killed in action.

Rick cleans up Ronald’s bloody nose, chuckling over the fact Grace got the best of him. Ronald describes his victims as beautiful and believes they can get triple for the youngest one who’s undoubtedly a virgin. Rick puts the kibosh on that idea. The teens are too hot for even Canadians to buy.

Rick’s under the misguided impression that cleaning the streets of America of prostitutes and others of that ilk is important, righteous work – even though no one else sees it that way. “We’re the noble soldiers. This nation is mired in muck; we clean that muck up,” says Rick who, according to Denise, wouldn’t hurt a fly and doesn’t even like giving out speeding tickets.

Rick tells Ronald to get the prostitute cleaned up and ready to put on the market.

Grace has decided they need Ronald to emotionally bond with them. She thinks Danielle’s their best shot at that because he found her so pretty. Grace wants Danielle to charm him and Jerrie agrees, believing Ronald wants to be loved. She also thinks he has mommy issues.

Grace comes up with the idea they should sing together. Jerri suggests that since most psychopaths are religious, they should sing church songs.

Big Sky Season 1 Episode 2
Jade Pettyjohn, Jesse James Keitel, and Natalie Alyn Lind in ‘Big Sky’ episode 2 (ABC/Darko Sikman)

Ronald returns home and it’s revealed his victims are being held in a basement under the barn. He hears them singing and pauses briefly to listen. They fall silent when he enters the room and calls out for Michelle – the name Jerri gave him at the truck stop. He explains she’s going to be leaving but first she has to get cleaned up. Ronald acts like she should be happy he’s even going to provide her with new clothes.

Jerri’s instantly leery, as are Grace and Danielle. Grace lies and warns that her uncle’s a cop and she texted him a photo of Ronald’s license plate when he scared them on the road. Her uncle probably has already learned his identity and is coming for them. Ronald’s shocked by this turn of events, unsure if what she’s claiming’s true.

Ronald takes Jerri to clean up, demanding she strip so she can shower. She begs to know what’s going on and he says she’s being sent to a better, safer place where she can do what she does. Ronald forces her to get into the shower and turns away to give her some privacy. Once she gets wet, she tells Ronald to turn around. She takes off her wig and he stares at her naked body, stunned to realize she has a penis.

Ronald returns her to the basement and after he leaves she explains to Danielle and Grace she’s just ruined Ronald’s plan. Jerri learned Ronald’s a sex trafficker and she was going to be sold as a sex slave.

Jenny makes it to the truck stop and learns from a clerk that Jerri was there the other night. Handing him $20, she asks for the security camera footage. Jenny needs to threaten him a little to hand it over, but he eventually does.

Cassie heads off to Rick’s ex’s place while Jenny makes it back home. Her son wonders why the police aren’t looking for his girlfriend and Jenny explains they haven’t been gone long enough. Plus, there’s a lack of law enforcement in this area. However, they’re not going to wait. Jenny knows Grace and Danielle are counting on them.

Ronald’s really worried about Grace’s text to her uncle, but Rick assures him it didn’t happen. There’s no cell phone service where they were taken so she couldn’t have sent a text. Rick also claims to have checked the phones before he destroyed them and didn’t find that text or photo.

Rick realizes they need to adjust their thinking and figure out what to do with the prostitute. They’ll sleep on it and come up with a solution tomorrow. Ronald apologizes for screwing up and Rick assures him things will take a turn for the better.

Rick’s ex calls him to let him know a private detective named Cassie came around asking questions about him.

Ronald returns home late at night and slips into his mother’s bed. They hold each other as they fall asleep.