Big Sky: Deadly Trails wrapped up its season with Episode 13, titled “That Old Feeling.” In this recap, we say goodbye to many of the new friends introduced this season. But as always, there are a few loose threads that could unravel in a potential fourth season.
Buck Barnes (Rex Linn) has parked his SUV outside of the Hammerhead Bar at night. Denise (Dedee Pfeiffer) and Emily (Cree Cicchino) sit in the backseat, tied up with duck tape on their mouths. Buck gets out and tries to find a car or truck that isn’t locked. While he’s away, a man walks past and hears noises from inside the car, where Denise and Emily try to scream for help. He sees them, pulls out his phone, and is in the process of calling for help when his head is suddenly bashed into the window. The man falls to the floor and barely has a moment to think before Buck snaps his neck. He pulls keys out of the dead man’s pockets and points them around until he sees a truck’s headlights respond to his unlock command. Best of all, it has a trailer attached to it.
Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) and Beau Arlen (Jensen Ackles) are still dealing with the aftermath of the shootout in the Boot Heel where Avery was killed. Carla (Angelique Cabral) enters the bar sobbing and Beau hugs her, apologizing. “You need to know that Avery was trying to do everything he could to fix this mistake of his,” Beau tells his ex-wife, adding that he was trying to help get Emily back. Carla sobs, asking where their daughter is. “We think that Buck Barnes has her,” he says. Jenny interrupts to announce that a man was killed north of Helena and an eye witness description matches Buck.
In her home, Sunny Barnes (Reba McEntire) packs a bag and is sure to include a gun. Her packing is interrupted by the sound of footsteps in the house and she goes to the hallway to find that Walter (Seth Gabel) has returned. “Did the cop see you come in?”, she asks, her home under police surveillance. “You didn’t raise a fool,” Walter reminds her. He heard that Buck is alive and he wants to make him pay for what he did to Paige and the women he murdered. Sunny agrees that she is sickened by what Buck has been capable of. “I’ve got a plan,” she announces to her son. “I’m gonna set everything right.”
Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) joins Jenny and Beau in the Sheriff’s Department to review surveillance footage from the Hammerhead Bar. The footage is grainy, but they see Buck drop something on the ground after he moves Denise and Emily from the SUV to the trailer. He went back for whatever it was before getting in the dead man’s truck and driving away. Jenny suggests they get the footage cleaned up and Cassie thinks Cormac will be able to identify the object Buck dropped. In private, Beau has a teary-eyed moment with Jenny about his worries for Emily’s safety. “She’s gotta be so scared, Jenny,” he tells her. She believes that Buck will keep Emily alive as leverage. Beau wants to go talk to Sunny and Jenny leaves with him.
Deputy Moe Poppernak (J. Anthony Pena) is on duty outside of Sunny’s home. She comes outside and knocks on his window, asking if she’s allowed to leave her home. He tells her not until the Sheriff arrives, telling her that Beau is on his way. Shortly after, Poppernak sees smoke coming from the house and he rushes in, finding that Sunny left bacon sizzling on the stove, which has set off the smoke alarm. As he stands in the kitchen, he hears an engine start and he runs to the window to see Sunny driving away. He calls for backup.
Cassie shows Cormac (Luke Mitchell) the enhanced image and he recognizes what his father dropped – an old bone that serves as a keychain for the gate at an easement property the family owns. He tells Cassie that there’s not much there, just an old cabin, and she believes that’s where Buck is taking Emily and Denise. Cormac offers to go with her to help find it.
As Sunny pulls through an intersection, she almost hits a truck that sped through, which turns out to be Beau and Jenny. It’s no coincidence that they found her so fast, as Beau shows Sunny a tracker he had placed on her car. “Where did he take my daughter?”, Beau shouts at Sunny, who didn’t know Buck had abducted Emily, but seems concerned about it. Jenny has to pull Beau back, reminding him that they have to do this the right way.
Sunny is brought to an interrogation room and she has a hard time watching the security footage of her husband moving Emily and Denise from his truck to the dead man’s trailer. Beau tells Sunny that Buck is the Bleeding Heart Killer. “I know,” she reveals with sorrow. She tells them that Buck called her and asked for help escaping. She tells them she was on her way to meet with him, hoping she could convince him to turn himself in. The gun she packed was to assist her in case he didn’t want to listen. Sunny agrees to help Beau get Emily back.
Denise and Emily are alone in the trailer with the dead man’s body. They work together to search his pockets, finding a pocket knife that Denise hides as Buck comes in with a bottle of water. He pulls the tape away from their mouths and offers them a drink, but Emily is more interested in declaring that her father will kill Buck when he finds him. Denise begs Buck to let Emily go. When he gets close to Denise to give her a drink, she lunges forward and stabs his leg with the small knife. He backs away in surprise, but ultimately laughs as he pulls it out and empties the bottle of water on Denise. He threatens that the next time she tries something like that, it won’t be water, but gasoline and a lighted match. To prove his point, he loads the trailer with three gasoline tanks he just filled up.
Beau and Jenny had Sunny’s phone connected to a computer to try and trace Buck’s next call to her, which finally comes through. “You’re either in or you’re out,” he tells his wife, “this is ride or die.” Beau signals for Sunny to keep Buck on the line as the computer traces his call. “Buck, I think this is the end of the road for us,” Sunny says, saying he hasn’t been honest with her. Buck says he wants to talk this through and not over the phone. “Well, why don’t we start with those women you grabbed?”, Sunny says, which makes Buck realize that the police have gotten to her. Beau joins in on the call, telling Buck that if he loves his wife, he better surrender because he will make Sunny pay for his crimes. Buck has the upper hand, however, when he announces that he would retaliate by hurting Emily. He’s calling the shots and Beau doesn’t have much leverage here.
Beau and Jenny pull into an abandoned warehouse with Sunny in the backseat. They don’t like Buck’s choice of meeting place, with lots of places for a sniper to be hiding. When Buck’s truck pulls in, Beau is furious to see that the trailer isn’t attached. “Where are they, Buck?”, Beau shouts. Buck tells him the girls are safe for now and that he won’t give up their location until Sunny is back with him. Beau lets Sunny out of his truck and reminds her not to do anything funny. Jenny whispers to Sunny to do what she can to get the location of the girls. Sunny goes to Buck, who tells Beau that he’ll be in touch once he and Sunny are far enough away.
As Buck drives, he orders Sunny to get rid of the tracker Beau and Jenny put on her, tossing it out the window. She tells him she’s afraid of him and he tells her he will never hurt her. He tells her that she saved him once and he believes she can do it again. “You can’t run from this, and they told me what you did,” Sunny reveals. “I got a little crossed up, is all,” is Buck’s response to his wife finding out that he’s the Bleeding Heart Killer. He asks Sunny if she can ever forgive him. “If you do the right thing and give those women back, I’ll consider it,” she says, adding “you gotta let those girls go.” When he tells her it’s not that simple, she demands that he pull the truck over and let her out. Instead, he asks her to call Beau, which she does on speakerphone, giving him the coordinates of the trailer. Buck then throws Sunny’s phone out of the window. She asks him to drive them to the spot where he proposed, which Buck thinks is foolish since he’s trying to outrun the police. Sunny says she has a plan, but she won’t tell Buck what it is.
Beau and Jenny arrive at a parking lot with police backup. The trailer is there and Beau runs toward it, but Jenny hears a beeping sound. She yells for Beau to fall back just in time as the trailer explodes. Shortly after, a forensics team zips up a body bag around the lone body found inside the burned trailer, which is presumed to be the man Buck killed at the Hammerhead Bar. Poppernak calls to tell Jenny and Beau that Buck’s truck was found parked outside of a trail and it looks like he’s on foot.
Meanwhile, Cassie and Cormac arrived at the easement property, hopped the gate, and broke into the cabin. They find fresh bloody bandages that make it clear that Buck was there, but there’s no sign of Denise or Emily.
“You remember that promise you made me?”, Sunny asks Buck at the top of a lookout point. “I do,” he responds. She tells him he broke it. “I gave you everything, and I thought I knew what kind of man you were, but I was wrong,” she tells him. Buck apologizes and promises he can change, but Sunny is too angry with him for deceiving her and turning Walter against her. She moves close to him and kisses him. “That was my goodbye kiss,” she announces, glancing towards the woods and nodding. Walter appears as Buck asks what Sunny is doing. “I told you I had a plan,” she says. Walter charges at Buck with a knife, yelling “You were the monster all along!” Their fight doesn’t go well, with Buck overpowering Walter, knocking the knife away, and picking up a large rock, using it to beat Walter over the head. Jenny and Beau rush onto the scene as Sunny sobs, saying “He killed my boy!”
Beau lunges at Buck and they are both sent rolling down the hill of the lookout point. When they land at the bottom of the hill, Buck pulls a knife out of his boot and mounts Beau, trying to stab him. Beau is able to dodge Buck’s stabs and knocks the knife away, demanding that Buck tell him where his daughter is. “It’s too late,” Buck grunts as Beau flips him onto his back and begins to strangle him. Jenny arrives at the bottom of the hill and tries to get Beau to stop, saying “Think about your daughter.” Beau releases his chokehold. “Get up, Buck,” Sunny commands, seen standing with a gun pointed at her husband. “On your feet, it’s time.” Jenny tells Sunny to think about what she’s doing. “I know exactly what I’m doing,” she says as she fires a deadly blow into Buck’s chest. Jenny pulls her gun on Sunny, ordering her to drop her weapon, which she does. Beau rushes to Buck, hoping he will give up the location of his daughter in his last moment. It’s too late, he’s dead.
Jenny called Cassie, who breaks the news to Cormac that his father is dead. “Your mother shot him,” Cassie says. He asks if they found Denise and Emily and she tells him they haven’t. “Well, then we need to keep looking,” he replies, putting aside his grief. She asks him if there’s anywhere else on the land and he says no. “Even underground?” Cormac recalls that there might be an old mine shaft and they rush to it, hearing the sounds of screaming before they get there. Cormac pulls boards away to pry open the shaft. Inside they find Denise and Emily tied up. Fittingly, Cormac uses Emily’s lost pocket knife to untie her, handing it back to her. Soon after, Emily and Beau are tearfully reunited, with Denise, Jenny, and Cassie hugging.
Jenny, Cassie, and Beau watch as Sunny gets fingerprinted. Jenny tells her that Walter is still alive and Sunny asks how he will be legally. She says he’ll be okay. Turning to Cassie, Sunny asks her to be good to Cormac and that if he and Walter ever meet up, to try and have them behave. Poppernak handcuffs Sunny. “Guess it’s the end of the road,” she says as she gets taken back. Cassie and Jenny comment to each other about the lengths we all go to for family.
Tonya (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) wheels Donno (Ryan O’Nan) into the Blue Fox Diner, which is how we learn that he survived the shootout in the previous episode. He’s very stoic and she apologizes for getting them into this mess, acknowledging that he was right to want to stay out of it. She cries as she talks about the possibility of losing him. He brings up the kiss and she defends it as simply thinking he was going to die. He describes it as being similar to his first time at a Tim Hortons. She asks if that was his first kiss and he says no, but she says she can tell he’s lying. “Shame that after all of that, no one got the money,” Donno says, changing the subject. Tonya grins, revealing that she used Avery’s phone to transfer the funds into her account. “I wasn’t about to walk away empty handed after everything we’ve been through,” she says, taking his hand. “We make a good team.”
Cassie encourages Cormac as he prepares to meet his brother Walter in the hospital. She tells him that Sunny has been asking about him, but he needs more time before he decides to talk to her. “I’m really glad you’re here with me,” Cormac says. “Me too,” Cassie replies as she kisses him and tells him she will wait for him. He enters Walter’s room where he is in recovery. Walter smiles at his brother. “Hello, friend,” he grins. Through the window, we see Paige (Madalyn Horcher) blow Walter a kiss before walking away.
It’s nighttime and Jenny is putting away dishes when someone knocks at her door. She opens it to find Beau there and she asks what’s wrong. “Does it have to be an emergency everytime I show up?”, he asks. She asks him when he’s ever come to her when it wasn’t an emergency and he acknowledges this fact. She invites him in for a beer. The fireplace crackles as they sit on Jenny’s couch drinking beer from a bottle. He tells her that Carla is moving back to Houston, saying it’s what’s best for Emily. Jenny asks if that means Beau is moving back and he says he’s not sure. “This town does need a sheriff,” he jokes and Jenny reminds him that he’s still the temporary acting sheriff. She asks him to open up to her about what happened in Houston and he says he will need a few more beers. “I would like that,” she says, asking why he’s there. “I wanted to thank you… Thank you for everything.” Jenny’s eyes become misty as she acknowledges that Beau would’ve done the same thing for her. Beau’s hand rests on Jenny’s knee. She places her hand on the back of his. The camera zooms out as they sit close, hand in hand, staring at the fire.
That’s a wrap on Season 3 of Big Sky. While the show hasn’t officially been renewed for a fourth season yet, the ending certainly leaves things open. It sounds like Beau and Cormac will be sticking around for whatever case comes to Helena next. And with Tonya and Donno now the wealthiest residents, that could really shake things up. Until next time, happy trails to you!