Cheyenne Kleinsasser embraces her own power in “White Lion,” the thirteenth episode of Big Sky. In tonight’s new episode on ABC, the creators add more unexpected twists and turns in the latest case for Jenny Hoyt and Cassie Dewell, while also making progress on the search for Ronald Pergman. Here’s a detailed recap of every gritty moment.
John Wayne is standing above the pit Blake dug, his brother lying unconscious at the bottom. Hyperventilating and freaking out, John Wayne runs off as Cheyenne enters, having been watching the entire scene. She jumps into the pit and tries to wake Blake up, crying as she finds the belt buckle in his hand. It clearly means something to her. She drags Blake’s body out of the pit and away from it. A short time later, John Wayne returns to the pit and finds that Blake’s body is gone, muttering a curse word.
Jenny and Cassie are still talking to Rosie Amaya in her secluded cabin. She reveals that she went back to Sheriff Wagy and tried to change her story to say that John Wayne and Rand were the ones who really abused her, but he talked her out of it, saying there would be repercussions if she did. Cassie tells Rosie that her story matters and Rosie says she wishes she could help Blake, but she can’t. Just then, her dad comes in and Jenny introduces herself. Gil Amaya says “You want to help? Leave, and don’t come back.” He warns them that he knows what the Kleinsassers are capable of, having worked for them for twenty-five years. Jenney tells him he needs to do the right thing for his daughter and he says “Believe me, I am.” Rosie asks him to “Tell them,” but he just asks Cassie and Jenny to leave again. On her way out, Jenny hands him her card. “I hope you change your mind.”
John Wayne leads Horst and Rand to the bottom of the cliff, saying “I don’t know what happened.” Blake’s body is on the gravel path face down. Rand starts to pull Blake’s boots off, saying it’s bad luck for the dead to wear boots. “Neither one of you saw anything last night?,” Horst asks his sons, who both say no. Horst says he’s going to call the sheriff, patting his dead son on the back and emotionally saying “He was a good boy.”
Ronald meets a man selling his long haul truck on Facebook Marketplace. “Better than that Craigslist, that’s where the weirdos go,” he says. “Good to know,” Ronald replies, getting into the cab of his new purchase. He puts his phone on the dashboard with a picture of his mom on it and talks to her: “I know what you’re thinking, but I’ve changed. I’m a good boy now. I’ve found somebody special. A woman who understands me. She’s wonderful.” Seeming to hear a response he doesn’t like, he says “I don’t care what you think” and knocks the phone down.
Cheyenne is in her room holding the belt buckle, searching for the name “Cole Danvers” on her laptop and finding a missing person's report. Standing up, she walks to her poster of a white lion that Blake gave her and summons up a roar. She hears her mom outside heaving and runs downstairs.
As Cheyenne emerges from the farmhouse, Horst yells to her that Blake is dead. “We don’t know what happened,” he says, causing Margaret to accuse Horst of doing it. “You killed him,” she grieves, not believing that Blake killed himself. “The truth is you're his mother and you’re a pill popping drunk,” Horst coldly scolds her.
In their room at the Grey Cliff Inn, Jenny reveals to Cassie that she hasn’t heard from Blake. They talk about how weird it is that everyone seems to be so afraid of the Kleinsasser family. “Cody was never afraid, not ever. He just charged at things, not a worry in the world,” Jenny says. Cassie tells Jenny that when her husband Andrew died, she stayed in her bed for a week until her dad moved in and made her move on. “Think about him,” Cassie tells Jenny. “You have to let that stuff in. The minute you shake that out, you stop living.” Jenny’s phone rings with a call from Denise, who asks if Jenny is there too, being put on speaker phone. She reveals that she heard over the police scanner a report of a body found at Iron Cross Ranch, possibly a suicide. “It’s Blake, I know it,” Jenny says. “He wanted to tell me something but he couldn’t.” Cassie tells her not to go to the ranch, so Jenny decides to go to the sheriff. “Another stupid idea,” Cassie tells her, with Jenny decided to go and speak to Angela at the desk instead. “She knows something.”
Sheriff Wagy and his team load Blake’s body into a van and he asks Horst how he wants his death written up. “It was a suicied, you put it down as a suicide,” Horst commands. “He didn’t kill himself,” Margaret objects to the sheriff. Wagy tells her “I’m afraid it’s true, or maybe he slipped.” She slaps his cheek. Off to the side, Cheyenne leans in to John Wayne and whispers so only he can hear: “You can thank me later.”
Scarlet’s sister Mary is over, presuming they’re alone. She talks about Arthur (Ronald) and says from the moment she met him, she felt like she recognized him and had a bad feeling. Arthur is around the corner listening in as Scarlet defends her boyfriend, confessing that she’s in love with him. Mary brings up her ex Steve and Scarlet shrugs it off. Arthur chooses that moment to enter, asking “Who’s Steve?” Mary asks if she can get a picture of him and Scarlet for her online scrapbook and Arthur says he doesn’t like being on the internet, fearing the “Deep fake” and covering his face with his hand. He agrees to take a picture only if Mary is in it with him, taking her phone to take the selfie. He encourages Mary to get in the center of it and then tells her that his mother shared an old superstition with him that when three people are photographed together, the person in the middle will be the first to die. “Big smile,” he says as he clicks the picture.
At the sheriff’s department, Angela nervously tells Jenny it’s not a good time. “What happened at the ranch?,” Jenny asks. “There was an accident.” Jenny asks if it was Blake but Angela changes the topic, asking if she’s still staying at the Grey Cliff Inn. “Grey Cliff used to be a nice place, owners really let it go though,” she tells her as Sheriff Wagy comes out of his office. “I’m sorry Ms. Hoyt, but I can’t give out that information.” Wagy tells Jenny to get back to Helena, saying the case she’s asking about is still open. “We take care of our own up here. Isn’t that right, Angela?,” he asks. “Yes sir,” Angela agrees. Jenny whispers to Angela on her way out: “Tonight.”
Cheyenne pours her mom a drink in the kitchen and Margaret asks her daughter for pills, finding out that she’s out of them. She reminisces about when she was a girl and her mother would paint her nails different colors, sharing that Blake used to let Cheyenne paint his toe nails. The anecdote makes Margaret tearful, saying she never knew about that. Cheyenne reminds her mother that she used to tell her she could be whatever she wanted to be when she grew up, even a rodeo princess warrior queen, but there were rules: “Don’t cry, don’t listen to men, be nice to dogs, always be awesome.” Wiping her mothers tears, she tells her “Your crying, it won’t change a thing.” John Wayne enters the kitchen and asks to have a word with Cheyenne. She motions for him to go ahead, but he says he needs to talk in private.
Out on the front porch, John Wayne attempts to intimidate Cheyenne, who won’t be pushed around. She knees him in the groin, sending him to the floor. “I know exactly who I’m messing with, a piece of trash who killed Blake,” she tells him. “Now you’re going to listen to me.” John Wayne calls her bluff, saying she won’t tell anyone and laughing when she says the ranch will be hers. “You got some kind of little girl plan? Take over the ranch, turn it into some kind of petting zoo?” She tells him to mess with the white lion and see what happens. “Just wait and see when the old man passes and you find yourself in a trailer park,” he laughs her off. She tells him she’s not afraid of him and lets out a lion roar.
Arthur is driving Scarlet to work and Phoebe to school when Scarlet asks him to drop off Phoebe first, but he says Scarlet’s stop is on the way. He asks about Steve and Scarlet asks him not to worry, saying he’s Phoebe's dad, but more of a sperm donor at this point. “He’s long gone,” she says, and Arthur says he was jealous hearing about him. As he pulls up to the gas station where she works, Scarlet realizes she doesn’t have her phone and thinks she left it at home. “I’ll have to keep sane without it.” Driving off with Phoebe, Arthur looks down at Scarlet’s phone, which he has, and sees a text from Mary: “Arthur’s not who you think he is. Call me!”
Jenny returns to the Grey Cliff and tells Cassie that Blake is dead, but she doesn’t know how it happened. She tells her that she thinks Angela wanted to tell her more, but was too scared to. “I don’t know what the next move should be,” Jenny says as Cassie hugs her, telling her to get what she can out of Angela. Cassie reveals that Mark Lindor called with a tip about Ronald and she’s going to go investigate it with him. She hugs Jenny again before she leaves.
Ronald (as Arthur) drives up to a yellow victorian house and knocks on the door. Mary answers and looks shocked to see him. “May I come in?,” he asks, inserting his foot in the door. “Now’s not a good time,” Mary says as she tries to close the door and finds that she can’t. “Leave or I’ll call the police.” Ronald powers up his taser and takes a step towards her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Eating cereal at Mary’s table, Ronald talks to his hostage, who he’s tied up inside a green blanket on the couch. She collects dolls and he notices they’re all staring at him, telling her about a box his mom used to put his GI Joes in if he did something impure in front of them. “She called it the bad boy box,” he muses, calling Mary a busy lady who can’t leave things alone. “I’d like to know just how busy you’ve been.” Approaching her with a razor, Ronald slashes her face, cutting the fabric as blood seeps into it. “Now who else did you tell about me?,” he asks, going on about how she should want him to be happy so he can make Scarlet happy. Going to her computer and checking her search history, he sees that she looked up Dewell & Hoyt. “All you had to do was tell me the truth. I’m a fair person, Mary. But in my experience, lies beget lies.” Walking over to a shelf of dolls, he says “Liar liar woman in the blanket on fire.” Mary pleads, saying all she did was leave a voice message. He tells her he’s not a bad person and she calls him a monster, screaming it repeatedly. Taking his razor, Ronald loses controls and slaughters her in the face, sending blood flying across some of her dolls.
John Wayne and Rand pull up to a field of barrels with one loaded on the back of their truck. Pulling it down, we see the skeletal remains of Cole Danvers, the man Rand killed that Horst made Blake cover up. John Wayne reminds Blake who it is, but he says he doesn’t remember. John Wayne tells him that Blake was digging up the body with the intentions of telling everyone about it. “Is that why he killed himself?,” Rand asks, his brother telling him to “Forget about that.” Promising to have Rand’s back, John Wayne dips the bones into a barrel of green liquid, the skull floating to the top. Rand holds a small bone in his hand, asking if he can bury it somewhere special. John Wayne calls it stupid and grabs the bone, throwing it in the barrel. “Cheyenne’s been running her mouth about things she has no business running her mouth about,” John Wayne says, asking Rand to keep an eye on her. Turning around, Rand reveals to us that he had another bone in his left hand, which he puts in his pocket.
At Dewell & Hoyt, Cassie meets up with Mark and Denise gives them Mary’s address, playing her voice message for them. “I’m telling you, she has seen him,” Denise says when Cassie questions the validity of the call, revealing they’ve had several like it. Cassie says she will drive and on their way out, we see Jerrie looking worried.
Jenny is waiting with her truck just outside the Kleinsasser ranch when Cheyenne pulls up. “You know they shoot trespassers up here,” she warns Jenny, who asks Cheyenne how Blake died. “Fell off a cliff,” she says. Jenny asks if that’s really what happened and Cheyenne says “That’s what we’re going with.” Jenny asks for a trade of information, offering to tell Cheyenne something in exchange for her revealing a secret. “Blake didn’t do that to Rosie, your brothers were there that night,” Jenny tells her, with Cheyenne telling her it’s a little late for that information now. Jenny asks if Blake killed himself, but Cheyenne says she didn’t agree to answer a question, just to tell her something. “Cole Danvers,” Cheyenne says. “That’s it?,” Jenny asks. Cheyenne gets back in her truck, “Mmm hmm.”
On the drive to Mary’s house, Mark asks Cassie about her son and she tells him she feels like he’s interrogating her. He says he’s just trying to get to know her, offering to share some information about him. “I lost someone to something I’m convinced I could’ve prevented,” he confessed. “It’s the kind of thing that eats you alive. I lost everything, at which point I kept driving and driving until I ran out of road.” When he finally came to a place where he couldn’t continue further, he saw a poster that said “Death smiles at us all, all we can do is smile back.” He claims the poster saved his life. Cassie tells him that her husband Andrew died overseas in the military. “I lost my sister, Maria,” Mark shares. “A man named Richard Middleton confessed to taking her from a mall parking lot right in front of me. I mean, I didn’t see it, but I had sent her into the store and was waiting for her. She didn’t come back and I knew something had happened. We never did find her body.” Cassie gives him a sympathetic look, seeming to trust him more now.
Arthur is cleaning up with Mary’s dead body on a tarp, still bound in the green blanket. Picking up a doll, he says to it “We keep a clean house, right mom? We don’t like filth.” There’s a knock at the door and Cassie and Mark are outside, Cassie pointing out that Mary’s car is there. Arthur pulls Mary’s body behind the couch and ducks down as Mark leads Cassie to the back where the door is locked.
Talking to Denise on the phone, Jenny asks her to look up Cole Danvers and she instantly finds a missing person’s report from fifteen-years ago, telling her the case was filed by his parents and dropped because he was an adult. She offers to do more research and says she will give it to Jenny when she comes back, asking if she’s on her way. Jenny says she’ll be back tonight and asks Denise to check in on Justin for her.
Cheyenne enters the horse stable and finds John Wayne there, asking if she’s talked to anybody and revealing that Rand saw her talking to Jenny. Cheyenne says she didn’t tell her anything, but maybe she will. John Wayne grabs Cheyenne’s head and pushes her against a stall. “Are you going to kill me?,” she asks. “Do it!” He backs away and she mocks him. “I think those jeans are squeezing your nuts up into your brain. Remember what happened last time? I’ll do it again, big boy.” Cheyenne leaves the barn and John Wayn turns to Rand. “We’ve got to go see Jenny Hoyt.”
Outside of Mary’s house, Cassie tells Mark that her phone now goes straight to voicemail. Looking through the window, Mark notices a doll on the floor. “I think we just found probable cause,” he says. “For kicking the damn door in.” They search the house, descending into the basement together where amidst a collection of dolls and boxes, they find a locked freezer. Using a hammer to break the lock, they lift it up to find a man’s body inside. “Do you think Ronald did this?,” Mark asks. “No, that guy’s been dead a while,” Cassie tells him.
Jenny gets a knock on the door at the Grey Cliff and she opens it to let Angela in. “I’m scared,” Angela reveals as she enters. Jenny reassures her that she’s safe as long as the sheriff doesn’t know she’s there. Angela confesses that Earl at the front desk might be working for the Kleinsassers as Angela hands Jenny a paper. “Proof the sheriff knew what happened to Rosie was no accident and Blake didn’t do it,” she says. “Proof he covered it up.” Jenny asks if Angela thinks Blake killed himself and Angela says no. “Wagy called the coroner and had him write it up that way,” Angela says about the suicide claim. She also shares that Gil Amaya knows a lot of information that the Kleinsassers want kept secret. Jenny asks why everyone is so afraid for them and Angela says she needs a drink, pulling out a flask.
We see Ronald driving away with a doll buckled into the passenger seat, a lump covered by a green blanket in the back seat.
Jenny and Angela clink their red Solo cups together and take a drink. “You promise you can protect me?,” Angela asks. Just then, they hear tires screeching outside. Jenny grabs Angela and dives out of the way just in time as John Wayne and Rand crash their truck through the door, destroying the room.
Big Sky will return on May 4th with a new episode called “Nice Animals.” Here’s the official description from ABC:
Cassie, Jenny, Jerrie and Lindor work to get things back on track when the motel is reduced to rubble and both the Kleinsasser and Ronald cases not doing much better. At the ranch, Cheyenne seizes an opportunity to shift the family power dynamic in her favor and all it will take is the truth.
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).