Big Sky Season 3 Episode 13 Review: That Old FeelingWhitney Evans at .
If you were looking for an intense, emotional, fast-paced end of the season, you should be delighted with this hour.
Big Sky Season 3 Episode 13 was perhaps the most dramatic hour of the whole season, which is saying something. And it brings this chapter of the series to a very satisfying conclusion, complete with bows and a creaky door that's left with a little sliver of light peeking through.
If Big Sky does indeed return for that fourth go-around, they now have the blueprint for how to deliver an entertaining season from start to finish.
I've been a Big Sky critic for many a year because the show has sometimes seemed right on the cusp of something more, but it was just unable to get there fully.
Ronald and Rick and Wolf and the syndicate was a storyline that went on for too long. It should have concluded during the first season, and its inclusion into Big Sky Season 2 was often unwelcome and detracted from the show overall.
The series' idea to focus on families has always worked well for them, from the Kleinsasser's to the Bhullar's and now the Barnes family. And adding in the cases of the week was a reliable way to escape the central storyline in a way that allowed it to remain exciting and not stale and oversaturated.
But aside from just the stories, Big Sky Season 3 will go down as the best season to date due to the strong casting and their incredible work.
I could write a review just praising the actors because they made this season come alive. And it started with Jensen Ackles's introduction as the vibrant and tormented Beau Arlen.
On the surface, Beau really isn't a complicated man. He lives a relatively quiet life, devoted to his daughter and job. And those traits were on full display here as the search for Emily and Denise ramped up.
Beau has been a great sheriff, and while he probably shouldn't have been quite so involved in an official capacity due to his relationships with the victims, there was no way anyone was going to tell him that. He threw himself right into the fire, willing to do just about anything to find his little girl.
The power of Jensen Ackles has always been in his ability to tell a story without saying much. He does so much in those quiet moments when he's speaking with Jenny, and his eyes are wild and unfocused as Beau struggles with the knowledge that each passing minute puts Emily in more danger.
And when Beau finally gets his hands on Buck, the rage pours out of him viscerally, and it's impossible to look away from the screen as you wonder just how far this grieving father will go.
It's just masterful stuff, and while he's been excellent all season, he took things to the next level in this installment, where the series asked a lot of him.
The hunt for Buck meant that everyone was racing around, with Beau and Jenny locked in together and following the clues to find their people.
It was always going to come down to Sunny.
Buck has made it increasingly clear that even in his twisted, murderous mind, there is one person he can't do life without, and it's Sunny Barnes.
The Sunny and Buck dynamic has been full of betrayals and secrets, and it's a wonder why Buck thought that after everything he'd done and everything they'd been through, Sunny would blindly follow him to the ends of the earth, but Buck was also extremely unwell.
Their dance during this hour was anxiety-inducing because I couldn't help but wonder what either of them was capable of at any minute. Buck wouldn't hurt Sunny, at least not physically, but what else would he do to get her to stay with him?
And there's no trusting Sunny Barnes on a surface level, so while I desperately wanted to believe that she was through with Buck and wanted to help, there was a little nagging voice in my brain saying, 'Sunny CAN NOT be trusted.' And it's a sentiment that her own son backed up, so I wasn't wrong to think it!
Cassie: Anything for family, right?
Jenny: Honestly? I'd probably do the same thing. You would, too.
Sunny loved Buck, and Buck loved Sunny. But with each lie and death piled up, Sunny finally decided to choose others over her beloved husband.
Think about it. So much of the way she treated Walter was wrapped up in this sham of a life she was living with a serial killer. Buck presented as this virtuous family man who committed himself to Sunny and Cormac, crafting this perfect image of an All-American family that Sunny willingly bought into for years.
Sure, she kept Walter close by, but he was always at a distance. She showed her love in different ways, but Buck was still at the top of the hill, and while she was willing to lie to him and go behind his back, he was still her number one.
But in the end, you could say she chose Walter, finally done with Buck and ready to kiss that part of her life goodbye literally. Because it's Big Sky, things went terribly wrong (and yet another man was beaten to certain death but survived with nary a memory issue!) before Sunny had a choice to make.
There was no reason to kill Buck. He was dead to rights anyway, about to go away for the rest of his life. But Sunny decided to kill the man who'd done so much harm because she felt like it was her responsibility.
She was ready to take on that burden, damn the consequences, and while it's not likely to absolve her of any sins, it was her way of making amends. Her way of making right the fact that she ignored Walter's warnings all those years ago and laid down beside a murderer.
It was a very full-circle moment for Sunny, who started off the season as a cunning woman who could lie at the drop of a dime, and she ended the season as a cunning woman who could still lie at the drop of a dime but found her own form of peace in protecting her family differently this time.
REBA is a star; we were blessed to have her this season! There is no one else who could have played Sunny Barnes!
Sunny's children are left behind to pick up the pieces of a lifetime of lies, and I have to publicly apologize to Cormac, who was just a great guy who dealt a terrible hand in the parental lottery.
Big Sky loves to shock, so while there definitely could have been a world where Cormac and Buck were in it together, in this world, Cormac was an oblivious bystander who turned his inner pain into good and helped to find Denise and Emily. He's a decent man, and his relationship with Cassie feels like it's only just begun.
Walter's redemption tour hasn't landed with me because he's still shady and was holding Paige against her will and brought that hiker to Sunny instead of a hospital, so it's not as if he's a man to be admired, but he led a sorrowful existence. And he finally has this chance for something better.
The scene with him and Cormac in the hospital almost made me cry because there were two men in the midst of this immense trauma, meeting for the first time and just pleased to be together. It may take them a long time to forgive Sunny if they ever do, but hopefully, they can pick up the shards of their lives together as brothers.
This season ends pretty neatly packed, and that's how it should be. Deadly Trails is finished, and they can move on to the next.
But will that next thing include Beau Arlen?
They leave the door wide open for Jensen Ackles to return if the series gets picked up for another season, with Beau's non-answer about whether or not he'll be returning to Texas to follow after Carla and Emily.
Truthfully, it would make sense for Beau to help his girls through everything that's just happened, including the loss of Avery, but there's also a lot of pain associated with Texas. He got away for a reason, and he hasn't exactly had time to properly deal with the feelings surrounding the Texas events.
But is Montana the place for him?
He and Jenny have been slowly dancing around each other, and I appreciate the slow burn, especially considering that neither was in a place to explore anything romantic when they first met. They've taken their time to bond, support, and, most importantly, trust each other.
There is nothing they wouldn't do for each other, and it was an essential step for each of them to acknowledge what they mean to one another. It's about so much more than hopping into bed, and their foundation is solid, should they ever choose to cross that line.
I would be fully on board with this pairing, as I adore a good ship with crackling chemistry and beautiful bone structure, but more than wanting this ship, I want a season four.
They've certainly earned it.
Odds and Ends
- Buck's body count was actually astronomical. He killed so many people and was absolutely fine with it. It's chilling when you think about it.
- Donno and Tonya getting a happy ending was something I never envisioned. But they were involved in everything this season, even lending a helping hand to those who hated them. They should take that money, get the hell out of Montana, and live a quiet life selling pies.
- If the series does return, Cormac BETTER be back. We can not end another season with Cassie happy and on her way to being in love, only for the man to bounce. Cassie deserves so much better than that.
- Poppernak may not have gotten his big hero moment, but he is ALWAYS there and helping. He's the most dependable person on this show and their secret MVP.
Thirteen episodes were probably the right call for such a compact season, but boy, do I miss we got a little more!
Everything about this finale worked, and I can't wait to hear what you all thought about it and the season at large. It has been a pleasure covering Big Sky and seeing it take such a leap this year.
Please flood the comments with all your feelings, and if you missed any of the action, you could always watch Big Sky online via TV Fanatic!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.