‘Big Sky’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: “You Have to Play Along”

Big Sky Season 2 Episode 3
Kylie Bunbury and Katheryn Winnick in ‘Big Sky’ season 2 episode 3 (ABC/Michael Moriatis)

ABC’s Big Sky season two episode three begins with Ren (Janina Gavankar) and her minion, Donno (Ryan O’Nan), bringing a kidnapped Tonya (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) to a building site and questioning her about Big Sam. Tonya claims Sam never told her anything about Ren’s drugs or money and she never asked about his work.

Donno discovers Cassie’s business card in Tonya’s purse and Tonya confesses she hired Cassie to find Sam. That doesn’t go over well with Ren.

The freshly reunited team of Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) and Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) fill Sheriff Tubb (Patrick Gallagher) in on Big Sam, Tonya, and the rest of their investigation. Tubb reminds them the last time they teamed up he got shot and he reveals Big Sam was being investigated by the state before he disappeared. Tubb orders them to check in with state before going any further. If they don’t, state will shut them down.

It turns out the person they need to contact is, of course, Travis (Logan Marshall-Green). Travis reveals he’s working undercover on the investigation and that Sam worked for a local outfit with connections to a cartel. Sam unwisely chose to make a play for the drugs and money rather than follow orders and wound up dead. Unfortunately, Travis can’t help in their search for Tonya because she’s not a part of the investigation and therefore not a priority.

As they’re talking Cassie realizes Jenny and Travis have a history. Jenny suggests they all work together, and Travis agrees but with the caveat that he won’t pass on any info that could compromise his cover.

Neither Jenny nor Cassie is happy that Travis couldn’t care less about Tonya’s well-being. “Listen, Sam was mixed up with some real bad people. I really hope that your client is okay,” says Travis as a way of apologizing for his callousness.

After Travis walks away Jenny plays coy, but Cassie sees through her act. “Is Mr. Undercover good under the covers?” asks Cassie. Jenny claims she has no idea.

Even without Travis’ assistance, the dynamic duo’s determined to find Tonya.

And now to catch up with the teens… Bridger (Jeremy Ray Taylor) spent his $2000 on a police scanner instead of a drone, but his sister, Madison, won’t reveal what she’s going to do with her share of the money.

Meanwhile over at Max’s place T-Lock (Arturo Del Puerto) is busying going through her drawers. He’s looking for more of the drugs and money Max had and doesn’t believe she paid for her mom’s dental bill with babysitting money.

Max (Madelyn Kientz) heads over to Harper’s work and confesses T-Lock found her with the sample of the drugs. Max is sure T-Lock will locate the bags of drugs and cash, and Harper (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson) suggests they just hand over all the drugs to her co-worker, Dylan, who can sell them. Harper believes everything will turn out fine once they get the bags out of Max’s shed.

Donno’s charged with babysitting Tonya while Ren’s out and he allows her a bathroom break in the woods after she provides the answer to a crossword puzzle. Tonya seizes the opportunity, spots a pointed stick, and stabs Donno in the thigh with it. She runs off while Donno screams in pain.

Travis meets with a contact and demands to know if Deitrich snatched Tonya. The contact reveals the cartel sent someone and they could have taken Tonya. They get into a tussle and Deitrich (David Meunier) interrupts, asking what’s going on. Travis says it’s nothing.

Over at the detective agency, Denise (Dedee Pfeiffer) hands Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) a book on training dogs that…dun dun Dun!…was written by Wolf Legarski. Denise calls Wolf a guru of some sort but she only knew Rick and never met Wolf. Jerrie quickly shoves the book in her desk drawer as Cassie walks in asking if they’ve learned anything new about Tonya. They haven’t and Denise reports Tonya’s credit cards haven’t been used.

Cassie explains her investigation is now intersecting a state investigation into cartel activities. A call from Jenny interrupts their chat, and Jenny tells Cassie to meet her outside. There’s been a report of two dead bodies at Canyon Creek. Cassie worries one of them might be Tonya’s.

Ren reports into her brother, Jag, and asks for more time to find the missing drugs and money. She’s not worried and turns down his offer of “refreshments.” She’s sitting outside the detective agency when Jenny shows up to retrieve Cassie.

As they drive to the crime scene Cassie admits she believes Ronald’s still alive and that whoever tipped him off and allowed him to escape might go after her son. She absolutely will not allow that to happen. Jenny suggests she concentrate on Tonya, but Cassie’s not ready to change the subject. She still can’t believe Jenny took a bullet for her and saved her life. Cassie confesses she has no idea how to thank her but knows she’ll never forget what she did.

Jenny has tears in her eyes as she says, “To be fair, I also punched you in the face once.”

They arrive at the crime scene and Deputy Poppernak (J. Anthony Pena) confirms the first body is Big Sam’s. The second body is a male without any ID. Jenny and Cassie believe there’s a professional cleanup person involved who made sure the bodies disappeared. If it weren’t for an observant fly fisherman, they might never have been found.

Jenny scans the crowd and notices the kid (Bridger) who wanted to report a crime is watching the bodies being taken away.

Ren’s also at the crime scene and approaches Bridger asking if he’s into dead bodies. He’s not, and she claims she was really into horror at his age. Bridger cuts the conversation short and takes off on his bike.

A short while later, Deputy Harvey (Michael Malarkey) meets up with Ren and he’s shocked she already knows the bodies he was supposed to get rid of have been found. She doesn’t think he’s good at his job and wonders what he knows about Cassie’s investigation. Ren orders Harvey to find out what Cassie’s up to and won’t answer when he asks what she did with Tonya.

Ren confirms her dad is her boss and all she cares about are retrieving the drugs and money. She gives Deputy Harvey 24 hours to find her stuff.

Back at the station Jenny and Cassie go over the just-identified second dead body’s file. Deputy Harvey joins them and asks if the bodies are related to the truck accident. Since he was the first officer on the scene, he wants to help out. Jenny and Cassie are doing just fine without him and turn down his assistance.

Before he leaves, Jenny asks how he spotted the wreck so far off the road. Harvey says he saw the skid marks and checked it out. When Cassie and Jenny hint someone moved the bodies, Harvey immediately gets defensive. He says he didn’t touch them.

Harvey spots the rock on Jenny’s desk and Jenny explains she found it by the truck. Harvey admits he never saw it when he checked out the crash scene. Harvey tosses out that he hopes working this doesn’t keep them from tracking down Ronald.

Travis texts Jenny for a meeting – alone – and Cassie gives her a hard time as they go their separate ways.

Tonya’s screaming for help as she runs through the woods with an injured Donno hot on her trail. She stumbles and a branch rips off a piece of her skirt, and then she spots a cafe. She stumbles in and asks the owner for help.

Cassie returns to the agency and spots the dog training book written by Wolf. There’s no time to talk about it as Tonya calls in saying she was kidnapped and managed to get free. She begs them to come get her and then confirms the man who kidnapped her just entered the café.

The restaurant employee grabs a bat to protect her and gets in one good swing before being repeatedly stabbed. Tonya watches the attack and screams into the phone for help.

Cassie and Jerrie take off while Denise tries to find the café’s address.

Jenny climbs into Travis’ car for their meetup and Travis quickly reveals the cartel sent a cleaner. He claims he doesn’t know anything about the cleaner but promises he’ll do what he can if he discovers Tonya’s location. They kiss but a call from Cassie forces the lip lock to end early. Jenny promises to call him later and takes off.

Cassie and Jerrie beat Jenny to the café by less than a minute and find the dead employee but no Tonya.

Harper and Max are in the shed getting ready to move the bags when T-Lock drives up. He was supposed to be out for the day, and the girls hustle to hide the bags before he can get to the shed. They’re kissing when he finally enters the shed, which is not only a great cover but something they were just about to do anyway before he barged in.

Ren returns to the building site unaware Tonya escaped earlier. She’s surprised to see Donno stitching up his leg and Tonya screaming into her gag.

Sheriff Tubb and other deputies arrive to take care of the crime scene at the café. Tubb wonders why Tonya called Cassie and not the police, and Jenny explains she thinks Tonya was recaptured by her kidnapper(s).

Jerrie recalls seeing a development trailer at a construction site on the way to the café and Jenny’s sure it’s worth a shot to check out. Tubb stops Jenny before she can take off, reminding her she’s no longer a PI and as the first officer on the scene she needs to stick around and process it. Jenny still wants to leave and Tubb adds that he needs to at least pretend he’s treating her like everyone else.

Cassie and Jerrie head off, without Jenny, to check out the construction site.

Back at the station, Deputy Harvey asks officer at the front desk if she remembers the day a kid came in to report a crime. She does and finds the log which shows the kid’s name is Bridger Ryan.

Meanwhile, Bridger fills Madison in on the dead bodies at the creek and admits he learned about them from his police scanner. He says he tried to blend in with the crowd and remembers talking to a freaky lady, but never saw the cop who murdered the driver. Bridger’s sure that cop moved the bodies and he’s also sure they need to tell Max and Harper what happened.

Bridger confesses he has a bad feeling about the weird lady because she kept talking about dead bodies. Madison suggests they keep that to themselves.

Ren blames Donno for Tonya getting loose and is upset he had to kill someone because of his carelessness. Just then Cassie and Jerrie drive up and Donno warns Ren if she doesn’t handle it, he’ll be forced to kill them too.

Big Sky Season 2 Episode 3
Brian Geraghty and John Carroll Lynch in ‘Big Sky’ season 2 episode 3 (ABC/Michael Moriatis)

The Ronald Pergman vs Wolf Legarski Storyline:

Wolf Legarski (John Carroll Lynch) is disappointed Ronald (Brian Geraghty) isn’t showing any improvement in his behavior. Wolf confesses to his girlfriend, Agatha, they may be close to declaring him a lost cause. Agatha suggests Wolf change his approach and ‘show him the face of a friend.’ She means this literally as she wants to shave off his beard and mustache to make him look just like his dead twin brother.

The suggestion upsets Wolf; it traumatizes him to have to look at Rick’s face in the mirror. He only agrees because the alternative is to kill Ronald and be done with him.

Ronald, Scarlet (Anja Savcic), and Agatha are seated at the dining room table when a freshly shaven Wolf joins them. Ronald’s shocked but Agatha and Scarlet are all smiles. Wolf compliments Scarlet’s cooking and tries to keep the mood light for their first real meal all together.

Ronald hates beets and would rather have cereal, calling it his comfort food. Wolf waxes philosophical and says the satisfaction will come when Ronald learns to control his urges. Wolf asks Ronald to give Agatha a cereal list so that she can buy it for the “happy reward table.”

A quick shot shows the happy reward table is a real table with an assortment of items on it, including pancake mix. Ronald asks what Scarlet put on it but she’s unable to tell him. (Apparently, keeping it a secret is part of the happy reward table rules.)

Ronald declares he’d rather starve than eat beets and Agatha asks Scarlet to take Ronald to the barn. Wolf explains Scarlet already has their trust.

Scarlet walks Ronald to the barn and confesses she wants to stay there. She’s tired of running and happy they’re no longer being chased by the men he was working with or the police. Scarlet believes what Wolf’s told her about Ronald and Rick’s arrangement and wants Ronald to obey Wolf’s orders. “The sooner you give in the easier this will be…for you…for us,” says Scarlet.

Ronald claims he’ll never break and instead will get free and escape. He runs off and Scarlet whispers, “I tried to warn him,” just as Wolf appears a few feet away. He assures her he’ll take it from there.

Wolf knocks out Ronald while he’s attempting to escape.