‘Big Sky’: Momma drama.

Big Sky
“Flesh and Blood”
October 19, 2022

Previously on Big Sky … “They’re gone.”

Walter’s cabin in the woods. He wonders why Paige didn’t scream for help while Buck and Sunny were there. Paige—correctly—guessed that she wasn’t likely to find much aid if she did. Walter confirms this when she asks what would have happened if she did scream.

“Nothing good.”

Paige is shocked to learn that Sunny is Walter’s mother—and that she keeps her son hidden away in the woods. Walter explains it’s to protect him from other people. And the police.

“Okay. A lot to unpack there.”

Paige’s skin has a grayish cast and her face is covered in a sheen of sweat. She is terrified but holding it together. Walter tries to reassure her. He says he saved her. Luke was going to cave her skull in with a rock. He shouts that Luke doesn’t care about her! He’s already moved on, frolicking with other women. Walter has … observed … this.

He kneels down in front of Paige and tells her Luke is bad news. He seems shockingly genuine. He also has fresh bandages. He asks permission before removing the bloody dressing around Paige’s ankle. She winces and hisses in pain. Walt says Paige cut herself bad running away from Luke.

Walter promises Paige he will protect her. He reaches up and gently strokes her hair. Paige takes a deep, centering breath to help steel herself from flinching. She turns her head slightly and Walter withdraws his hand.

He tells her in the old days they used maggots to clean wounds and stop gangrene. Walt pulls something out of his pocket and holds it hidden in his cupped hands. If he puts a maggot on her, Claire swears …

But it’s not maggots. Just a small tube of antibiotic ointment. Walter is just funning. AREN’T THEY HAVING FUN? He warns it might hurt before shoving an unguent dabbed finger into a deep laceration on Paige’s ankle. Good lord, did she get her foot stuck in a bear trap? [Ed. Note: No, but if she were on La Brea and got her foot stuck in a bear trap, it wouldn’t much matter, because apparently a day after doing so, you’re up and running around again as if nothing happened and I AM SORRY TO HIJACK YOUR POST BUT I JUST HATE THAT SHOW SO MUCH. Anyway. Please continue.]

As Walt tends to Paige, he tells her he has so much good in him … but it gets messed up. Builds up inside. Makes his head hurt. Seth Gabel is just perfection at balancing on the edge of being both deeply creepy and deeply wounded.

Paige correctly reads the room and begins manipulating the situation to her advantage—and to keep herself alive. She floats the idea that maybe Walter just needs some direction in his life. A secret mission, say. A mission to go into the camp and get something for her.

Walter likes the sound of a mission. He holds out his hand and Paige cautiously puts her hand in his. Walter places a chaste kiss on her hand; Paige tries not to scream or vomit or both.

Walter is at her service.

Also, dear friend JM made an observation that I now can’t unsee. Seth Gabel and Misha Collins are written in the same font.

Jenny meets Cassie at the resting place, now crime scene, of hiker Mark’s body. Cassie notes the advanced state of decomposition despite CSI saying the body had only been there less than 48 hours. Jenny spins possible theories: an animal dragged the body there or Mark hit his head and wandered.

Cassie thinks it more likely that this is a good spot to dump a body. Cormac walks over to say his goodbyes. You can literally see the cartoon hearts in their eyes.

Jenny examines Mark’s body and pulls the doll out of a pocket. It reminds Cassie of her interaction with Walt on the road days before. She says he gave her serious Unibomber vibes.

Later at the office, Jenny drops off Mark’s personal effects. They’re not needed for evidence; she says the coroner has ruled his death an accident. Cassie calls shenanigans. Mark’s injuries may fit the story, but he emailed his parents after he died. And his phone isn’t with his other belongings.

Denise is like, BLEEDING HEART MURDER. IT’S CONNECTED.

Cassie meets with Mark’s parents. She and Denise are tasked with explaining what “death by misadventure” means as an official cause of death. It suggests carelessness on the part of the deceased, but Mark was an experienced trekker. Cassie says they don’t believe the findings and she would like to continue investigating.

She hands over the bundle of Mark’s belongings and asks about the doll. His parents both agree it isn’t something Mark would have carried. His mother says he hated tchotchkes. Cassie promises the family that she will find out what happened to their son.

At Sunny Day Excursions, new guests Meadow and Donno and Beau’s ex Carla join the camp. Donno is immediately taken with the surroundings. He saw horses. He tells Meadow he wanted a real pony when he was little, but he got a stick pony instead.

His dad used to chase him around the house and hit him with it.

There’s a hint of fondness in his voice at the memory? Meadow instantly tells him to lock that shit down. None of his stories around the normies.

Sunny greets them and Meadow introduces Donno as her husband. It’s the way he awkwardly puts his arm around her shoulders for me. Wait no, it’s the non sequitur announcement that he wants to ride a horse for me.

A white one.

“And I will name him Gandalf.”

Sunny is like Mmmmmmkay. She offers to take their bags so they can join the rest of the group at breakfast. She reaches for Donno’s duffel and he turns away protectively. THIS IS HIS BAG. NOBODY TOUCHES DONNO’S CAMPING TOOLS.

“Duly noted.”

Y’all. We love Donno. Protect Donno at all costs.

Sunny careens from one vexation to another. Cormac tells her about finding Mark’s body … with Cassie. Sunny warns her son to make sure Cassie isn’t just using him. Cormac says maybe he wants to be used. Sunny tells her son she just doesn’t want him to get his heart broken while silently praying for brain bleach.

Cormac leaves to bellhop and Sunny sets her jaw, adding Cassie to her ever-growing to-do list.

She sees to another bullet on that list by picking a fight with Buck. She tells him not to wait on an apology from her because she’s not going to apologize for trying to help her own son. Buck simply says it’s his job to protect her—especially from the things she can’t see coming.

He reminds her that they made a deal that Cormac would never know anything about his older brother. Sunny says it if happens, they’ll just burn that bridge and hide the evidence when they get there.

And speaking of evidence, would Sunny care to tell Buck the whole story about the missing backpacker now that his body has been found? Sunny takes a deep breath and considers how to spin it. She says that Mark was badly hurt—beyond help—and Walter brought him to her. Far from causing him harm, Walter was trying to save Mark’s life after he fell.

I mean … that’s one way to interpret what happened.

Buck has met Walter and is having NONE. OF. IT. Did Walt try to save Mark like he saved the people who adopted him? Sunny spits that they weren’t worth saving. She thinks the world was done a favor by their death. Note she doesn’t actually say that Walter killed them.

Buck asks about Paige because yes, they are there. What if Walt did something to her?

He asks how many people Walter has to hurt before Sunny sees him for what he really is? Sunny simply says she’s his mother. She will always love him.

If Sunny isn’t willing to take her son in hand to protect everything they’ve built, Buck suggests maybe it’s time to let the law handle it. Sunny is like, yeah … she let Walt use the old truck to move Mark’s body and Cassie saw him driving it, so.

Sunny’s solution is to force Walt to move somewhere far away, whether he likes it not. He’s going to do what momma says, by god! She asks Buck if he’s with her.

“Always, babe. ‘Til they bury me deep in the ground.”

Emily marches up to Luke while he’s chilling with his tunes. She says she’s been thinking about the person in the woods. The one he claims to have seen the night Paige disappeared. Luke warns her again some more to stay out of it. Emily plops down next to him. What exactly is it that she should stay out of?

Before he can formulate an answer, Donno and Meadow are all like hiyeeeee. They would very much like to be in it. When they start asking about Paige, Luke excuses himself to go be somewhere they aren’t.

Sunny watches all this from a distance and broods.

Luke returns to his tent later to find Meadow waiting for him. Hello again, friend. She’s happy to leave, just as soon as he tells her where Paige is. Luke repeats the lie that she went home. He threatens to yell. Donno counters that he will hit Luke in the eye with his hatchet if he does.

Luke says he doesn’t have what they’re looking for: Paige took the $15 million and left. You can all but hear the *cha-CHING* as Meadow contemplates their next move. She tells Luke he will stay in the camp—if he tries to run, Donno will find him and

Desmond, Carla, and Emily are in their tent playing a card game. Carla laughs at how much her husband is haaaaating this before asking him nicely to come fly fishing with her the next day. They get flirty and Emily silently throws up in her mouth.

Emily becomes even more mortified with Carla suggests she has a thing for Luke. She denies being into him and Carla seems willing to let the matter drop … until Emily says she’s not entirely sure that his girlfriend Paige made it home. The look on Desmond’s face is like, aaaaaaand HERE WE GO.

Carla immediately comes unhinged and actually suggests they call Beau. He is the sheriff after all, he can get to the bottom of things! Desmond takes her hands in his and gently tells her to breathe. He asks her who built a panic room in their house? And who insisted on museum-grade security? Desmond says he is a professional worrier. And if he sensed that there was anything off, he would sound the alarm.

“Trust me.”

Desmond would sound the alarm … unless there was some gain in it for him not to.

“Once. Destroy. Hazard. Forever. Midnight. Risk.”

Desmond tells Luke he was an early investor in Ethereum, so he knows a seed phrase that opens up a crypto account when he sees one secretly encoded in a journal he finds while snooping through Paige’s belongings.

Luke is like, is there anyone who doesn’t know about the money?

Desmond tells Luke if he’s in any kind of trouble, now’s the time. Luke says there’s nothing to tell. He just wants to enjoy the rest of his trip.

Beau is at a bike shop taking advantage of its Gorilla Dayz HUGE SAVINGS! He tells the salesman that Emily has wanted a motorcycle since she was riding tricycles. Now seems like a good time to teach her—a way to get in some daddy-daughter time (and irritate the living hell out of her mother).

The salesman excuses himself to speak to a man eyeing a bike outside. Beau eases into the seat and imagines a conversation with Desmond. What’s that? He’s never seen Emily so happy? Motorcycle beats glamping?

Beau rushes outside when the conversation with a potential customer turns into an assault. The salesman gasps that the guy was trying to steal the bike. Beau shouts for help before pursuing the would-be thief on foot. They both vault over a locked fence and Beau sidesteps the dog that tries to take a chunk out of him.

Running, running, running and something is just … off … about Jensen’s gait. Maybe it’s the cowboy boots. Maybe it’s a character choice for Beau. Maybe the director told him to slow down so he wouldn’t accidentally catch the other guy.

The bad guy hops into a delivery-type truck that speeds away. Beau gets the plate and he and Poppernak trace it to a storage facility. Popp thinks they’re dealing with a simple joy rider. He says he can handle it—no reason for Beau to blow his whole day on it. Beau is like, a joy rider who stabbed a dude with a screwdriver. He’s got time.

Beau interviews the lot manager who says the truck never gets moved … as Beau watches the truck drive off. He calls Poppernak on the radio but he doesn’t answer.

Oh noes! Popp Star has been snatched!

Jenny meets Beau at the storage lot. He tries Popp’s phone again and they can hear it ringing in one of the bays. Jenny finds his radio on the floor next to a paddock stand. Beau says it’s used for working on motorcycles. He thinks Poppernak could have surprised the guy he was chasing earlier, but Jenny wonders why his guy would add on another felony by abducting a cop? Beau says it makes sense if you’re trying to cover up a bigger crime.

The station becomes a hive of activity in the hunt for one of their own. Beau makes a point of making sure there’s someone posted with the deputy’s mom. Because, family. Jenny looks into the truck’s owner and comes up with his grandson, Trent. It’s Beau’s runner from the morning. He’s leveled up from disorderly conduct and shoplifting to grand theft auto and kidnapping.

They discover that Trent is also a bank robber just as accomplice Heather walks Poppernak into a busy lobby with a gun at his back. Trent follows behind them looking like a Great Value Gadreel from Supernatural Season 10.

He doesn’t try to play off like this isn’t a robbery. He demands a bank teller’s pass card and master safety deposit key. When she tries to trigger the silent alarm, he shoots her.

Trent gets the employees and customers on the ground and warns that he’ll kill Poppernak if anyone calls for an ambulance.

While calls go out to all the banks in the area, Beau tries to reassure Jenny that her partner is okay. He supposes Poppernak is talking the guy’s ear off about some species of Montana woodpecker. Hey, did you know that the red-cockaded woodpecker (endemic to the southeastern US) is the only woodpecker species to nest exclusively in live pine trees, with a preference for longleaf pine?

Now you do.

When that doesn’t work to quell Jenny’s worry and fear, Beau says he’s going to give her a hug. And lemme tell you from experience, Jenny’s (and Katheryn Winnick’s) soul is leaving her body right now.

Deputy Madge clears her throat. She tells them Green Meadow Savings and Loan hasn’t picked up any of their calls.

Trent and Heather ransack the safe deposit boxes. Poppernak is sat on the ground with his wrists bound. Trent gives a time check: 30 seconds remaining. Heather is frantic. This may be a crime of opportunity for Trent, but she’s looking for a specific box—and it’s nowhere to be found.

Trent finds one containing several stacks of bound 100s and declares payday achieved. He has what he needs and he’s sick of Heather’s mommy issues, so. Time to go. When Heather refuses to leave, Trent says she was never cut out for this and she wasn’t going to make it out anyway. Before he can shoot her, Poppernak launches himself at the vault door, slamming it shut and sealing them in.

Jenny and Beau stroll into Green Meadow to find everyone still face down on the floor. Jenny tells them to stay there. At the sound of a revving engine, Beau runs back outside just as Trent speeds off. Beau hops on Heather’s would-be getaway bike and the chase is on!

Zooming, zooming, zooming. Beau is cut off at an intersection by two oncoming cars. He carries on, but breaks off the pursuit when he spots the delivery van—back door open and ramp down. Beau arrests and cuffs driver Wyatt and waits for Trent to come to him.

Work smarter, not harder.

Jenny clears out the hostages and calls in backup and an ambulance for the wounded clerk. She works her way through the building until she comes to the vault. She picks up the key card (conveniently dropped and forgotten on the floor). She pushes open the door to find Poppernak on his knees with a gun to the back of his head.

Jenny puts her gun on the floor and tries to talk Heather down. Heather clubs Poppernak in the head. Popps literally saved your life and this is the thanks he gets? Justice for Poppernak.

Heather demands cash, a car, and a plane on standby. Is that something criminals really do? They know that’s just a delay tactic that’s never going to go their way, right? Jenny plays along, hoping the show of “good faith” will convince Heather to let her partner go.

Heather says Poppernak is coming with her. She thinks no one will screw with her as long as she has a hostage. Uh, no. It means your shit is getting sniped as soon as you step out of the building.

But Poppernak is a better person than I am and tries to de-escalate. He reminds Heather that he just saved her life. She tells him it isn’t personal. Popp tells her it’s all personal … because she’s mad at her mom. Jenny is like, mom drama? It’s my time to shine!

Heather says her mom cut her off and stole her inheritance. You’re holding a gun on Poppa Smurf, Heather. I’m kind of Team Mom, here. Jenny sympathizes with Heather. She says flesh and blood doesn’t always make you a good parent. Jenny pleads with Heather not to let her mother ruin the rest of her life. She says she can help her.

Jenny and Poppernak exchange a look and Heather suddenly realizes there is no money and no car coming for her. Heather turns to Popp, giving Jenny an opening to grab one of the large safe deposit boxes and clock Heather in the head with it.

“This is what you get when you mess with my friends.”

Popp, Beau, and Jenny repair to a bar to process the day’s trauma with alcohol, as you do. Popps says it was strange being on the other side this time. He says everyone involved just seemed … scared. He admits he’s glad it was the two of them that came for him.

That’s when Jenny and Beau gently break the news to the deputy that he’s fired. His police work was terrible. The WORST.

Pops breaks into a grin and starts laughing when he realizes they’re just fucking with him and MAYBE NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR YOUR LITTLE JOKEY JOKES. I don’t care for it, but Popp takes it in stride and excuses himself to get more beers … for the good guys AND THEIR TERRIBLE JOKES.

Beau can tell that Jenny is rattled—her mom is still lingering on her mind. Beau wonders if Jenny is considering robbing some banks. See? That’s a good joke. He tells her that all they can do is the best that they can. And at the end of the day, all relationships have to be a two-way street.

“Even blood. Maybe especially blood.”

The eye contact in this scene is intense. Jenny tells Beau she hates it when he does that whole cowboy wisdom thing. She bites her lip as she says it and it is a MOOD. She raises her bottle and proposes a toast—they clink to family.

Beau seems to mention his brother at least once an episode. I hope we get to meet him at some point. I hope they cast Jake Abel. And I don’t care that he’s not old enough, casting Colin Ford would have the Supernatural fandom go absolutely feral.

Cassie ends her day with a visit from Cormac. Her office explodes in hearts and rainbows. She’s hoping for his help IDing the creepy guy she saw near the camp driving a blue and white Suburban. It doesn’t ring a bell for Cormac. She shows him Walter’s doll and Cormac recognizes the red heart cut into one of the feet. He says he’s seen a similar heart carved on some of the trees in the woods near the camp.

Cassie goes out to the camp to investigate. She tracks through the woods … in the dark? Because reasons? I mean, on the one hand, IT’S DARK. YOU CAN’T SEE ANYTHING. And on the other, IT’S DARK. THAT’S WHEN THE CREEPERS AND MURDERERS GET YOU.

The beam of her flashlight eventually finds one of the tree hearts. Then she spots a glow through the trees. She walks out into a clearing to find the blue and white suburban engulfed in flames. Based on the episode preview, I assumed this was actually Cassie’s car—the second to be torched—and worried that she was never going to get affordable car insurance again.

Walter watches from the other side of the clearing. He watches Cassie watch the flames and he smiles.

Big Sky airs on ABC and streams on Hulu. Whitney is also watching The Winchesters airing on The CW and streaming at CWTV.com. Follow her on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.

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