After a frenetic premiere, things were decidedly less crazy and a lot more subdued on the follow-up installment.
Big Sky Season 1 Episode 2 was all about filling in more of the pieces and continuing the story building. With so many characters, it will take a while to get to know everyone, but we're slowly getting there.
And it's the smaller character moments that are the most exciting aspect of the series thus far.
One of the show's criticisms thus far has been in regards to the tone. They cover some serious subject matter, yet there's also dark humor that pervades many scenes as, well, to the point that it can be jarring.
There are three women chained underground, potentially being peddled across the border and sold into sex slavery, and during an earnest discussion, there's an ill-timed joke about ending up on an episode of Dateline.
It's not completely clear what kind of show Big Sky wants to be yet, but the second episode is less action and more exploration.
There's a lot of time spent with Ronald and Rick during the hour, as they remain pretty calm considering all the chaos surrounding them.
They dump vehicles and cover-up murders all before lunchtime, and they barely break a sweat!
There was a lot of speculation about Rick being Ronald's father, but that doesn't seem to be the case based on what we know so far. Rick mentions having chosen Ronald to be a part of the sex trafficking ring Ronald is a part of, and while that doesn't rule out Rick being his father, it would be a bit of an odd choice of words.
Rick is the brains of the operation, and Ronald is the foot soldier who takes orders and does what he's told to do.
It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the show to delve deeper into flashbacks regarding the relationship between the two men and how they got to this point in time.
Ronald is impressionable, erratic, and has some deep-seated mommy issues making it easy to see how he'd be drawn into criminal activity like kidnapping and trafficking.
But was there a tipping point? Was he a low-level criminal who met Ronald and then turned into something more sinister?
The dynamic between Ronald and his mother continues to be the most confounding aspect of the show, and they haven't even scratched the surface on exploring the Pergman household.
For as much as Valerie seemingly wants to push Ronald out the door, she's also overbearing, wildly inappropriate, and intends to keep Ronald on a short leash.
She also appears to be oblivious to what Ronald is actually up to when he claims to be traveling the Montana highways and byways as a truck driver. Right now, their interactions feel entirely separate from the rest of the plot, but you have to assume that at some point, that storyline will come into play.
Danielle, Grace, and Michelle spent their first full day in captivity devising a long-term plan to free themselves, and honestly, given the circumstances, they come up with a pretty decent one.
Every time Ronald speaks, it's obvious the man is looking for validation in any way he can get it. Trying to appeal to that may be the best chance the girls have at eventually being able to break free because it's unclear what the plan is for them moving forward.
Grace: Are you ok?
Danielle: What happened?
Michelle: He had a plan. Now the plan is ruined.
The three pose a problem for Ronald and Rick in many different ways.
The fragile, yet heartwarming, relationship that's developing between the three women is by far the best part of the second hour. Placed into a situation that has them all scared and literally fighting for their lives, they're learning to rely on each other and do what they have to do to survive.
The Jenny and Cassie partnership is rocky at best, with residual Cody feelings still at play.
Jenny: How did you two leave things last night?
Cassie: I told him we were over.
Jenny: And how did he take that?
Cassie: I'm not sure. Not great I think.
Jenny: Is he in love with you?
Cassie: I don't know.
If you were wondering how they were going to explain Cody's VERY sudden disappearance, we learn pretty early on that he's an alcoholic on top of being a renegade ex-cop with a temper.
Perhaps that will keep Jenny and Cassie for the day, but what's the grand plan for Rick moving forward? Everything is moving quickly, with the ladies right on the cusp of putting things together.
Cassie is onto Rick, and she's not pretending otherwise. And once Jenny gets her hands on the surveillance footage, she may have a beat on Ronald as well.
But it's too early in the season for everything to come together, which means it's probably safe to assume there are more twists and turns to come, and that would be for the better.
Without the last-minute shock to spice things up, this was subpar at best.
Odds and Ends
- Ryan Phillippe alert! Cody is very much deceased, but he did show up in some flashbacks with Cassie, and they looked pretty in love. It wasn't clear if their relationship was more than a fling, but I think we got our answer.
- Speaking of flashbacks, we need to see more about everyone, but especially Michelle. The relationship she's cultivating with Danielle and Grace is probably the brightest spot so far.
- Does anyone else get a weird vibe from Denise? There's something off about her. And insisting that Rick was harmless felt odd, to say the least.
There's still some fun to be had in Big Sky, and the plot is moving, but this didn't necessarily feel as fresh as the pilot, but it's early, and who knows what direction we are headed next.
Which characters do you want to learn more about?
How long until the ladies realize Cody isn't coming back?
What are you hoping happens next?
Leave all your comments down below and remember you can watch Big Sky online via TV Fanatic anytime!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.