This show, man.
Just when you think they're going to slow things down and take a breather, maybe dive a little more into the emotional stakes of the case and the devastating fallout, they hit with something so shocking you're screaming at the television.
Big Sky Season 1 Episode 7 was another barn burner, with a cliffhanger that had us on the edge of our seats.
Ronald, Ronald, Ronald.
The man has been teetering on edge all season. Since his impulses led him to abduct Grace and Danielle, which was never apart of the plan and arrangement he and Rick had, he's been one step away from snapping.
Unlike Rick, who showed little concern for anything other than the bottom line, Ronald always appeared to be a more perplexing case. Both men are sociopathic cowards, but Ronald has proven to be just a bit more in control of things than Rick has ever given him credit.
Ronald's not dumb, but he is reckless. Instead of dying his hair and still trying to manipulate Merilee in ten different ways, he should have been on the highway headed to parts unknown.
His decision to stick around could ultimately be his undoing. Not to mention the fact that he just killed his own mother.
Trying to analyze the disturbing dynamic between Ronald and Helen would take more room than this review would allow. There's standard family dysfunction, and then there's the emotional and physical abuse between the pair.
In one breath, Helen will act as if she's Ronald's biggest supporter. A mother who will stand by her son and help him to stay out of harm's way.
And then in the next, she will call Ronald names, belittle him, and continue to stomp on his already too delicate ego.
To this point, Ronald has kept his murderous tendencies confined to his brain, but when Helen threatened to bring it all crashing down on him, Ronald's fantasies came to life, and he snapped her neck without hesitation. And then even dared to blame her for her own murder.
Perhaps we should have seen this coming; it was only a matter of time before Ronald killed someone. As it's clear, he's willing to do just about anything to save himself. But it was still a shocking turn of events and continues Big SKy's penchant for the big sweeping moment.
No character on this series is safe.
Except for maybe, Rick, who most assumed was dead and now is alert, awake, and stranger than ever.
There's potential here for all kinds of storylines now that Rick is alive and seemingly amnesiac, but it also feels like a weird attempt to humanize Rick in some way, which is not the play.
Rick is a monster, and there is no redeeming that.
Merilee: What's the point of all this? Really?
Penelope: What's the point?
Merilee: He's clearly guilty.
Penelope: Best efforts, Merilee. Best efforts.
Merilee finds herself at a crossroads with Rick, and she's continuing to sit with Rick and indulge him when a lot of people would have run for the hills when they found out their husband was a murderous criminal.
But Merilee finds herself conflicted with feelings of grief and sadness for Rick's crimes and almost indifference toward Rick himself. It makes her the perfect prey for Ronald, who weasels his way into Merilee's heart and her home.
Helen dies partially because she assumes Rick will kill Merilee, but he really wanted to get into her closet and grab any evidence that might connect him to Rick.
Now, how Merilee didn't hear the man bang around her walls in that quiet house turns out to be for the best because who knows what would have happened if she had caught him in the act.
The fact that Jenny and Cassie basically save her genuinely left me slack-jawed.
This series does not mess around with its pacing. Some series would take three seasons to get to the point we're at in seven episodes.
We've got two main characters dead, the kidnapped girls have already been found, and we've got one perpetrator chained up in the hospital and another now potentially about to be captured.
Even if they don't get Ronald now, they've got more information to go on, and poor Merilee is saved from a potentially dangerous situation.
Honestly, thank the heavens they didn't drag out this Merilee has the wool pulled over her eyes plot any longer than was necessary because it would have been downright cruel.
Cassie and Jenny are still cementing their partnership, but they've gotten to a place where they can joke and smile with one another, which is saying something considering how things started with them and their very public fistfight.
They spent some time with Grace, and I'm glad the show decided to check in with the girls and give them some time to start to process their trauma. Grace is a fighter, and she's tough and resilient, but she's still just a child. And in one day, she had to identify a dead body and identify her attacker.
The pain these girls had to go through is and will continue to go through is unthinkable. And with their freedom, the story passed over them to the next step, tracking down Ronald, and then you assume bringing him and Rick to justice.
But if this is mostly the end of the story for the Sullivan sisters, what's next? Are we going to expand things beyond Montana and dive deeper into the countless missing women that have gone missing over the years?
If we're close to tying up one mystery, there is undoubtedly another one right around the corner.
Odds and Ends
- Penelope had no right to be as funny as she was. Sometimes the humor on this show is out of place, but there was something about Penelope's ironic humor that worked here. Best efforts with your case, Penelope!
- There was something about Jerrie's friends that were off. But maybe that's just a projection on my part because everyone on this show seems like they're hiding something.
- There's something to be said for everyone's newfound respect for Cassie and Jenny, who may not be cops but are literally the only ones that could have solved this case with next to no resources.
This was a great installment, and the series continues to deliver week in and week out!
Do you think Cassie and Jenny will capture Ronald? Or will they be a step too late?
What's next for Rick?
How do you see the rest of this season playing out?
I love reading your comments, so do check in down below and share all your thoughts and theories! And make sure to watch Big Sky online via TV Fanatic so you can join the conversation.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.