A Good Day to Die is the fifth episode of the first season of Big Sky and the fifth episode of the series overall. It was written by Jonathan Shapiro and directed by Jennifer Lynch. It aired on December 15, 2020 on ABC.
Jenny and Cassie feel as if they're closing in on Legarski, but they are racing against the clock as he and Ronald are preparing to move the girls. Jerrie makes one last attempt to convince Ronald to let them go. Elsewhere, Cassie visits Merrilee to question her about her husband and Ronald aggressively confronts his mother.
Legarski enters his room, hammer in hand, and hovers over his sleeping wife. He imagines himself pulling back his arm and striking her with the hammer, but in reality, he just watches her sleep. He sits down and brushes her hair back until she wakes up and asks what he's doing. He tells her that the idea of her dancing with another man is enough to make him lose his mind. He blames himself for neglecting her and says she deserves better. He promises her things will change, starting with taking down the TV in the bedroom and putting up a painting. Tomorrow, he's going to wrap up some items and turn over a new leaf. Merrilee looks at the hammer in his hand. He states again that he'll turn over a brand-new leaf.
Tubb is in his office with Robert and Joanie Sullivan, promising them they're doing everything they can to find their daughters. Joanie asks if offering a reward for information will help. They set up a hotline and have gotten a few tips, but nothing has panned out yet. He promises to investigate every lead personally.
Grace, Jerrie, and Danielle all sing together. When they finish the song, Grace comments that they're good. Their father taught them the song. Danielle can't help but think of how freaked out their parents must be. The door then opens and Ronald comes in. He asks about Grace's leg and Danielle says it's still pus-y, taunting him by suggesting he suck on it. He says she has an evil mouth. He knows it's cool to be unkind. It got her into this place. Jerrie says that's not how it happened for her and he says her issues are different. Danielle continues to taunt him, saying she's sure she represents all the pretty girls who never looked at him, and when they did, they called him a freak. After some time, Ronald realizes she's making an escape attempt. Then he tells them he has good news. It's the first day of the rest of their lives. He leaves without explaining what that means.
Ronald goes outside, leaving the door open. After a moment, he comes back in and looks at the broken glass. He calls Legarski and tells him someone's been there.
Legarski pulls up and Ronald explains how he knows someone else has been there. Legarski thinks maybe someone just got lost. Ronald thinks maybe Cassie followed Legarski. Legarski says that's impossible. Legarski blames Ronald for taking the teenagers. Ronald says maybe it's because Legarski killed a cop. Legarski says he's going to move up the pickup and they'll have to deal with Cassie and Jenny. They remind him of a bloodhound he worked with. They won't quit, so they need to be stopped.
Kai talks to Cassie as she works in the kitchen. He wants to go camping and fishing. When he says fishing, she remembers fishing with Cody. She remembers him telling her to think below while fishing.
Jenny gives Denise a folder and asks her to call the reservation and check to see if any indigenous girls who went missing spent time at truck stops. Cassie comes in. She has the blueprints of the property, which shows underground space. Denise sees on the computer that Legarski is at the property. Jenny and Cassie leave to go check it out.
Ronald cleans up the broken glass. As he works, he remembers being stopped on the side of the road in his truck while a sex worker serviced him when Rick Legarski pulled up and asked for his paperwork, then made him step out of the truck. Legarski says he's been watching Ronald for a while and it's not the first time he's given in to temptations. Even men like them, heroes, have lapses in judgement. He calls Sage out of the truck next and berates her. He then gives Ronald a choice. He can be arrested or he can help Sage by lifting her out of the gutter. In the present, Ronald continues cleaning up the glass.
Jenny calls Tubb, telling him she's sending him coordinates to the Bureau of Land Management shed north of Yankee Jim. She explains that Legarski has been there three times in the last 24 hours. When he asks how she knows that, she admits to putting a tracker on his vehicle. She says they'll stand down if he can think of any good reason for Legarski to be out there three times in one day. She's concerned about the girls' odds of survival dwindling, which is enough to convince Tubb to come. Cassie wonders what happens if Legarski isn't alone. Jenny says they'll have to be enough.
Grace asks if Jerrie would change anything if they get out. Jerrie says she already kind of made the biggest change. Grace is thinking about spending more time with people. Danielle blames herself for Grace being there. She feels guilty for what she did and that her decision might get her little sister killed. Grace tells her no one's going to die. Jerrie says she'd go see her parents, even as much as they hate her, they love her and she misses them. She starts to cry.
As they drive, Cassie and Jenny talk about Jenny's time as a cop. Cassie's surprised she had a partner as she didn't seem like the partnering type. Jenny asks Cassie why she left the force. Cassie says it just wasn't for her. Jenny says she doesn't believe that. Cassie says justice looks different for different people and she wanted her badge to count for something. They pull up and see Legarski's car. They arrive just as a helicopter hovers overhead. They decide not to wait and go in. They find Legarski inside eating a sandwich. They go downstairs and find the container, but it's empty.
Ronald opens his trunk and pulls Jerrie out. All three girls are in there, with their mouths taped.
Tubb is angry with them because the girls aren't there. He leaves with his guys while Cassie says Legarski must have moved the girls somewhere. Cassie says they'll find the girls. They agree they won't let up, even for a second.
Tubb goes up to Legarski. Legarski is angry and believes he's the victim of a witch hunt. When he learns about the GPS tracker, he reminds Tubb that that's a crime. Legarski touts himself as an honorable cop. Tubb asks what he was doing out there and Legarski says the perk of being a state trooper is getting to eat his lunch whoever he wants. He then tells Tubb that Cassie has something against cops. He warns Tubb that Cassie is playing him.
Grace screams as Ronald carries her inside the All-In and puts her down with Jerrie and Danielle. He tells them it won't be long now.
Legarski comes in, pleased with himself for thwarting Cassie and Jenny. Ronald says they're vulnerable there as people pass often. Legarski says they only need a couple hours before they're in the clear and they have the time now. He promises that after today, he's out of the kidnapping business. It's taking too much of a toll on him, his wife, and his married. His wife went dancing last night. Ronald quickly realizes that the woman he was dancing with was Legarski's wife. Legarski says he's going to try to be a better man as she's all he has. The kids are grown and gone. Ronald apologizes for taking the girls, but Legarski says in two hours, it'll be in the rearview.
Tubb is angry with Jenny and Cassie. They believe he found the GPS and then hid his tracks. Elena Sosa then comes in and asks what Tubb is doing to investigate the crimes against Legarski. Tubb says he's handling it, but Sosa isn't convinced. Under pressure, Tubb goes to arrest them for criminal stalking, so Jenny stands up and confesses, saying it was all her idea. She prepares to be arrested. She asks Cassie to let Denise know. After Tubb takes Jenny out, Sosa tells Cassie that out on the road, those are her guys and she won't stand for them being put in danger. Cassie walks out without replying.
Ronald uses wipes to clean up the girls and gives them clean clothes to wear. When he has Jerrie alone, Jerrie tells him he's not like Legarski and says it's never too late to make a different choice. Ronald says he knows Jerrie's a nice girl and should never have ended up where she is. Jerrie asks him to let them go. Ronald hopes she'll be safe, but she says he knows she'll never be safe again. He apologizes to her.
Ronald tells Legarski he's all done. He asks Legarski what happens to the girls. Legarski tells him not to ask as it's a done deal now. They can just go on like this never happened. He won't tell Ronald because Ronald is weak and can't handle it. He also tells Ronald he fits the profile of exactly the guy they're looking for, as they're looking for a trucker. Ronald says he's careful and they have nothing on him. Legarski dismisses Ronald, but not before reminding him that the cops not having anything on him doesn't mean he's in the clear.
Cassie enters H&D and just catches Denise, who is going to post bail for Jenny. She tells Cassie that they found the missing fisherman's truck. It was less than two miles from the storage shed. Cassie knows they had him and they're running out of time. Denise wonders what Cody would say. Cassie says he'd say to get in Legarski's head. Cassie leaves, telling Denise to let her know when she has Jenny.
Helen asks Ronald what kept him. She doesn't like what he's up to, but she doesn't know what that is. She has a hunch it has something to do with his urges and the missing girls. She asks Ronald if he's a sexual pervert. Ronald attacks his mother, grabbing her by the neck. He tells her never to call him that again. Then he leaves.
Legarski talks on the phone, telling the person he's ready.
Legarski goes to see the girls, all cleaned up and ready to go. He doesn't want to have to kill them after all this time. When Danielle tries to get him to let them go, he puts tape over her mouth. Jerrie then suggests he let the other two go and just keep her. She can work for him. It'll make him more money than selling them. Legarski puts tape over her mouth. Finally, he goes to Grace, who fights him.
Ronald goes to see Merrilee at her shop. He tells her he's going to be on the road for a bit, but wanted to come see her and tell her what a great time he had. She admits it was nice, but says it's not to be repeated. She tells him she's married and that means something to her. He says that makes him sad, but they'll leave it at one dance then. He says it meant something to him, even one meeting. He'll remember their dance and so will she. He kisses her on the cheek and then her mouth. On his way out, he passes Cassie, who is coming in. Cassie asks her if she's heard of her and then if she's heard of the missing girls. She's heard of the girls, but didn't know her husband was working on the case as he doesn't discuss his cases. Cassie asks more questions and tells Merrilee that her husband might have something to do with the disappearances. Merrilee says that's not possible and tries to get Cassie to leave as she asks about if anything has changed in her husband's demeanor. Merrilee says he's the same as he's always been. He's a creature of habit. Cassie leaves the shop.
Ronald comes home to find his mother icing her neck. He apologizes, but it's not enough for her. Ronald says he's under a lot of stress. He's not sure he can trust his business associate anymore. Helen asks again if Ronald has the girls. She's seen the way he's glued to the reports. Ronald says the business associate has them. He can't tell her his name or go to the police, but he has a plan.
Cassie answers a call from Jenny, newly out of jail with a notice to appear. Cassie tells Jenny about what she learned about Legarski being a creature of habit and tells her she's on her way to the All-In. Cody and Cassie both met him while he was having breakfast at the All-In. But today he was at the shed instead. Jenny races out to meet Cassie.
Legarski takes a call and says they're all set. He tells the girls their ride is there.
Cassie arrives and comes inside. She has her gun out as she looks around. She hears Legarski calling out, thinking she's their pickup, and comes to the top of the stairs. Legarski is surprised to see her. He tells her she's trespassing. She tells him to put his hands up. The girls cry out. He pretends that he's there to rescue the girls. He then grabs his gun. He taunts her. He gives her to the count of five to put her gun down before he shoots her. When he gets to four, she shoots him in the head. He drops to the ground.
- Katheryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt
- Kylie Bunbury as Cassie Dewell
- Brian Geraghty as Ronald Pergman
- Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane
- Natalie Alyn Lind as Danielle Sullivan
- Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie Kennedy
- Jade Pettyjohn as Grace Sullivan
- with Valerie Mahaffey as Helen Pergman
- and John Carroll Lynch as Rick Legarski
Special Guest Star
- Brooke Smith as Merrilee Legarski
- Patrick Gallagher as Sheriff Walter Tubb
- Gabriel Jacob-Cross as Kai Dewell
- Camille Sullivan as Joanie Sullivan
- Chad Willett as Robert Sullivan
- Sharon Taylor as Elena Sosa
|"Somethin' Stupid"||Cast (Jesse James Keitel, Natalie Alyn Lind, and Jade Pettyjohn)||
|"Just for the Record"||Ruston Kelly||
- This episode scored 3.96 million viewers on first airing.
Behind the Scenes
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|Big Sky: Season 1|
|"Pilot" • "Nowhere to Run" • "The Big Rick" • "Unfinished Business" • "A Good Day to Die" • "The Wolves Are Always Out for Blood" • "I Fall to Pieces" • "The End is Near" • "Let It Be Him" • "Catastrophic Thinking" • "All Kinds of Snakes" • "No Better Than Dogs" • "White Lion" • "Nice Animals" • "Bitter Roots" • "Love is a Strange and Dangerous Thing"|