Welcome back to another recap of ABC’s Big Sky. The seventh episode in the series, titled “I Fall to Pieces,” answers a few of the questions I had at the end of last week’s episode, but also creates a few new ones. Here’s a recap of everything that just happened.
The last episode ended with Rick Legarski opening his eyes and this one begins with Merrilee noticing, calling a nurse to get help. He mumbles, asking “Who shot me?” before going blank. When the doctor comes in, he asks Rick to squeeze his hand, which has a delayed response. When Rick does squeeze, it’s very strong. Letting go, he looks at the doctor and quotes an unrelated line from Jaws: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
We get flashes of what some of the other characters are up to. Jenny wakes Cassie up with a phone call alerting her that Rick is awake. Arriving together at the hospital, they confront Sheriff Tubb, who won’t let them near Legarski, but asks them to join him tomorrow on a mission to find the body of the dead fisherman Grace told them about. At Jerrie’s trailer, we learn that she spend the night sleeping in a recliner with a baseball bat, having nightmares about Ronald after finding the note on her door that said “You don’t learn.”
At their quaint country home, Ronald sees a news story about Rick Legarski waking up while eating his chocolatey cereal. He has dyed his hair black and when Helen enters the kitchen, she laughs as he explains the need to disguise himself. He blames her for making him feel inferior as his justification for being manipulated into the bad things he’s done. A few scenes later, Ronald is listening to music loudly in his truck when Helen comes to talk to him, reaffirming that she’s on his side. Ronald gets darker, telling her he’s hurt people but has never killed, something that might have to change. Yelling at her, Helen leaves the car as Ronald calls Merrilee, asking her to meet him. As you may recall from last week, he still hasn’t retrieved the hidden burner phone Rick used to contact him, which is hidden in their closet.
At their office, Jenny and Cassie see the same news report that started Ronald’s day when Jerrie stops by and shows them the note she believes Ronald left on her door. They make a plan for Jerrie to stay with her friend, the waitress from the diner, and Jenny tries to get her a police officer to keep watch. Jenny meets with Sheriff Tubb and brings it up, also learning that the FBI will be taking over the case. By the end of the episode, Jerrie is about to spend her first night at her friend’s house with her husband, who seems keen on confronting Jerrie’s former captor if he shows up.
With Rick awake and more conscious, Merrilee tells him about the crimes he’s committed and he seems genuinely shocked, saying “But I’m a Montana State Trooper.” In the waiting room, a lawyer assigned by the Trooper’s Union introduces herself to Merrilee. Sheriff Tubb walks in and is familiar with the lawyer, named Penelope, and suggests that they have a strained working relationship. Returning to her husband’s bedside, Merrilee begins to think that Rick really has amnesia when he asks to call his dad, who died three years prior.
After Rick’s doctor talks to the press about his condition, Penelope angrily confronts him about doctor/patient confidentiality. She intimidates him with a twisted story from her childhood about two bullies and a baby chicken. Introducing herself to Rick, Penelope tells him that one of the girls will be stopping by today to identify him as a member of their kidnapping and that the police will then interrogate him. She tells him not to say anything to them, but he seems to forget who she is while she is speaking.
Merrilee and Ronald go for a coffee break walk and she tells him about Rick’s memory loss. Ronald doesn’t ask more questions about how Merrilee couldn’t have known and he tells her he believes people can be close and still feel like strangers, telling her he just wants to bring her some comfort. She compliments his new hair color: “I needed a change.”
With a full team of officers, Grace and her parents are joined by Jenny and Cassie in their search for the fisherman’s body. Grace remembers a spot near the river where Legarski dumped the body into a sulphur pool and the police dogs soon find it. Pulling a body out, Grace has a moment of PTSD and her parents want to protect her. She says she can do this and looking at the body, she confirms that it’s the fisherman.
Having returned to the hospital, Merrilee asks Penelope what the point is of pretending her husband is innocent. Penelope shares her mantra: “Best efforts, challenging times.” Rick soon finds himself handcuffed to the bed in preparation for Grace’s arrival and as Merrilee sees the girls, Penelope holds her back from expressing her sympathies to the family. Grace has another moment of PTSD and once again dismisses her parents' worries as she heads into the hospital room to look Rick Legarski in the eyes. He looks so innocent and scared as she tells Sheriff Tubb it’s him. Left alone, he repeats his earlier shock: “But I’m a Montana State Trooper.”
When Ronald gets home, Helen confronts him about his earlier admission that he might have to commit murder, calling him “Filth.” A few scenes later, Ronald calls Merrilee on the phone, who shares her stress about talking with the lawyer. She invites him over to comfort her and as he hangs up, Ronald discovers that Helen was listening on his call. Helen shares that her unconditional love for her son has given her the need to do what’s right and get him help, telling him that she’s going to turn him in. In an emotion-filled embrace, they both start to cry. Ronald turns on a dime, squeezing Helen’s neck and in one fast motion, she goes still and silent. He seems freaked out as he puts her back in her chair, listens for breathing and turns on the TV before leaving.
At the detective office, Denise prints out the updated sketch of the truck driver and pins it up on the board. It looks just like Ronald.
Ronald arrives at the Legarski’s home and while giving Merrilee a hug, he leans in to kiss her. She says that’s too much, but offers to make him tea. He says he needs a restroom and she points him upstairs as she heads to the kitchen. He heads into their bedroom closet and begins looking for the hidden compartment with the burner phone that would lead the police directly to him. Unable to find a hatch, he punches through the wall to retrieve it. Merrilee seems like she hears a sound, but a knock on the door keeps her on the ground floor.
Opening the door, Jenny and Cassie tell Merrilee they need to speak to her. She tells them it’s not a good time, but Cassie holds up the character sketch that looks like Ronald and Merrilee is shocked, whispering “He’s here. He’s in the house.” Jenny and Cassie draw their guns as Merrilee points upstairs.
Is Helen dead? Will Jenny and Cassie catch Ronald? Has Rick Legarski really lost his memories and if so, will they return? Merrilee doesn’t know Ronald’s real name so if he escapes, will she be able to help find him? Hopefully we’ll find out in next week’s episode, “The End Is Near,” Airing Tuesday, February 9th, at 10/9c on ABC.
You can catch up on past episodes anytime on Hulu.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.