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I Fall to Pieces is the seventh episode of the first season of Big Sky and the seventh episode of the series overall. It was written by Annakate Chappell and Matthew Tinker and directed by Jennifer Lynch. It aired on February 2, 2021 on ABC.


Cassie and Jenny work against the clock to find Ronald and prove Legarski's guilt, calling on Grace to join their efforts and bravely help them in the process. Just when all the pieces start falling into place, Ronald's emotions get the best of him as he makes an unthinkable decision, even for him. Merrilee plays an unwilling and life-changing role in turning the case on its head.


Merrilee tries talking to Legarski, but he doesn't respond. Nurse Holt checks his eyes with a light and then goes to get a doctor. After the nurse is gone, Legarski asks who shot him.

Jerrie sits up with a baseball bat facing her door. She has a flash of Ronald and startles.

Cassie wakes to a call from Jenny telling her Legarski is awake.

Dr. Wang tries to rouse Legarski, but gets no reaction. He asks Merrilee if she's sure and she says she is. The doctor prompts Legarski to look at him and then squeeze his fingers. Dr. Wang says he's awake, but doesn't seem to be really awake. Then Legarski grips his fingers and won't let go. After Dr. Wang gets his fingers away, Legarski comments that they'll need a bigger boat.

Cassie and Jenny pass through a crowd of press on their way into the hospital. They meet with Tubb, who says they're running tests on Legarski. Tubb hasn't arrested him yet. He says they won't get access to Legarski at all and should leave. Jenny tells him they're going to see the case through the end. Tubb says Grace offered to help them find the body of the fisherman and asked Jenny and Cassie to be there as they bonded some.

A news anchor reports on Legarski's condition with help from Roberta Hillridge, a neurologist.

Ronald watches the report as he eats his cereal. He turns it off after a moment. Helen comes in and asks what he's done to himself, noticing his newly darkened hair. He says he needed to change his appearance. Helen knows it's not a good day and wonders how they got to that. Ronald says Legarski valued him and he fell for it after so many years of Helen telling him he was worthless. He gets angry when Helen tries to defend her role in the equation, saying he needed to eat his cereal. He watches the TV on mute as he eats.

Legarski is confused to hear Merrilee tell him what he did. All he can say in his defense is that he's a Montana State Trooper. He has no memory of kidnapping any girls and believes it didn't happen.

Dr. Wang gives a statement to the press about Legarski's condition.

Jenny, Cassie, and Denise watch the news report from the office. Cassie says they need to start looking for the trucker's truck as they're sure he'll get rid of it.

Ronald also watches the report from his house.

Denise gives Jenny and Cassie a list of used truck dealers within 40 miles. As they continue to watch the news, Jerrie comes in and asks to talk to them.

Jerrie shows them the note Ronald left. She doesn't want to go to the police. In the meantime, she might be able to stay with her friend Melissa. Jerrie knows she's the bigger threat to Ronald because she saw his truck up close in the daylight while the other two girls didn't.

Tubb says he can send a patrol car by periodically, but Jenny says it needs to be more than that. He says the FBI is joining their hunt, but until then, he doesn't have more to give. Jenny's upset that the FBI is taking over, saying the FBI hates these kinds of cases. Tubb says he's happy to talk about it if she decides she wants to be a cop again. Jenny wants a patrol car by Jerrie's every hour.

Penelope Denesuk introduces herself to Merrilee. She's Legarski's lawyer, hired by the troopers' union. Penelope knows Legarski is a horrible man, but she'll give him her best. Penelope tells Merrilee she hopes he's not talking to the police. Penelope spots Tubb and tells him Legarski has representation and not to try talking to him.

Ronald listens to loud music alone in his truck. Helen comes out and asks to join him. She climbs into his truck and turns off the music. She's impressed with how clean his truck is. She tells him she's on his side, but he says she's never been on his side. Ronald says he's hurt people, but he's never killed anyone. That might have to change. Helen tells him he's taken it as far as he can. He hasn't been caught yet. He tells her to shut up and get out of his truck so he can focus. She climbs down and he turns the music back on.

Cassie and Jenny talk about Jerrie. Cassie's worried Tubb can't keep her safe, but Melissa has a big dog and an even bigger husband. They're installing security cameras and putting a big American flag outside, since there's no better indicator to say there's guns inside.

Jenny and Cassie arrive to help Grace start the search. Her leg is healing well. Tubb gives directions and they all climb onto four-wheelers.

Merrilee and Legarski sit in silence. Merrilee's phone rings and she leaves the room to answer.

Ronald is calling and asks her not to hang up. He wants to be her listening ear. He wants her to meet him at the park, but she says she can't. Merrilee ends the call and goes back to her husband's room.

Merrilee lies and says she was just talking to a friend when Legarski asks. He then tells her to call his father as his father will be worried. She has to tell him his father died three years ago of a stroke.

Penelope tells Dr. Wang he violated doctor-patient privilege by speaking to the press about Legarski. She warns him to be careful as it's not his job to cooperate with the police. She tells him a story of biting off the head of a baby chick as a child to illustrate that she's not backing down.

As they search the woods, Cassie admits that she's still having nightmares when Jenny asks. Jenny claims to be doing a little better herself. Elena Sosa is also there to search with them. Unlike Tubb, Sosa encourages their involvement in the case, calling it paramount. She wants to use the attention they got from two white girls being taken to redirect attention to the indigenous girls who are clearly also part of this. She'll share the sketch with tribal law enforcement once they have one. She's hopeful someone will come forward with something.

Penelope introduces herself to Legarski. He insults her as she explains what she's there for. He then tells her he was shot, but can't remember it. She tells him they're bringing one of the victims in to identify him. They're also going to want a statement from him, but he won't be giving it. He's only allowed to talk to her about the case. He's forgotten who she is already.

Ronald and Merrilee walk in the woods and talk about Legarski. Ronald is amazed that he's talking, but doesn't remember anything from the last few years. It could improve, but they don't know. Merrilee doesn't know where they go from here. Merrilee's surprised Ronald hasn't asked more questions about how she didn't know or if she knew that Legarski was a monster. Ronald says it's easier for him to believe people can be strangers to each other as he doesn't feel he's ever been known. She asks him what they're doing, what he wants from her. He says he wants to bring her some comfort, but she can turn him back into a stranger anytime. She tells him she likes his hair. He says he needed a change.

Grace talks about what she remembers about Legarski dumping the fisherman's body. She knows he was dumped in a silver spring near the water. Suddenly, the dogs all start barking near a silver spring.

Legarski stares straight forward in his bed.

Merrilee and Penelope sit in the waiting room together. Merrilee's surprised that they're bringing the victim into his room. She asks what the point is. They know he's guilty. Penelope says it's about best efforts.

They search the spring for the body. Grace has flashbacks to her first escape. She says she should have kept running. She led Legarski right to the fisherman. Cassie tells her she was trying to escape. They finally pull a body out of the spring. Tubb says he's somewhat recognizable and needs Grace to look and see if it's him. Her mother objects, but Grace says she'll do it. Grace looks and says it's the fisherman.

Ronald comes home. Helen tells him Legarski is continuing to improve. He is angry with her for not having good news. They argue over it. She tells him she won't sit idly by while he becomes a monster. She'll pray for him and he needs to pray for himself.

Danielle is upset that she wasn't there with Grace. Grace just wants the nightmare to be over. Their parents aren't sure about Grace identifying Legarski either, but Grace is insistent that she can do it. Without her identifying him as the man who killed the fisherman, he can get off with much lesser charges. All Grace has to do is identify him, then they can go home to Colorado and never step foot in Montana again.

Legarski is agitated because he can't see Merrilee. Penelope reminds him that he's not to talk during this time either. He quotes Jaws again and then asks Dr. Wang for a bedpan as he thinks he had an oopsie daisy.

Penelope finds Merrilee watching Grace, the police, and her family. She asks Penelope if it would be okay for her to go over and say how sorry she is. Penelope tells her it would be a bad idea. She says it feels perverse to make that girl go in there.

Tubb asks Grace if she's ready. She hugs Danielle and says she is. She and Tubb walk past Merrilee and Penelope.

Nurse Holt pulls back the curtain so Grace can see Legarski. Grace has flashbacks to her captivity and starts breathing quickly. After a moment, she says it's him and she's sure. Tubb then leads her out of the room.

Merrilee's phone rings as she gets in her car. She tells Ronald she can't talk. Ronald asks if she wants him to go away, but she's not sure if that's what she wants. She says Penelope told her she might need to get her own lawyer as suspicion will fall to her. Ronald asks her to let him be with her. When she doesn't answer, he says he'll see her soon.

Ronald hangs up the phone and tells his mother he has an in. He'll go to her house and get into the room. Helen tells him she prayed on it and she can't let him continue. Her love for him is unconditional and now instead of protecting him, she's going to save him. There are lots of new treatments, so she's decided to report him to the police. He gets angry with her and tells her she won't call the police. Helen tells him God has spoken to her. He wants her to protect him, but she says it's over. He holds her face and then breaks her neck. He gently sets her down in a chair. Then he frantically starts calling to her to wake up. When she doesn't answer, he holds her body close.

Ronald leaves the house that night with the TV on and his mother still in the chair.

Denise puts the sketch of Ronald up on the wall.

Jerrie thanks Melissa for letting her stay. She's worried she's putting them at risk by staying there. Ben says his one fantasy is that a bad guy would break into his house at night and he'd get to shoot the guy. With it being a sex offender, he could die and go to heaven right then. Melissa says he actually wanted to move to Maine because it Maine you don't have to wait for them to come inside. Ben even knows what he'd say first.

Ronald goes to Merrilee's house. She invites him in. Ronald looks around and says she has a beautiful home, even though the cops left it a mess. He leans forward to hug her and then they kiss. She pulls away and says she can't do any of that, but she offers him tea. He asks her about a bathroom and she sends him upstairs.

While Merrilee makes tea, Ronald goes up and finds the room behind the closet. Jenny and Cassie interrupt her tea making by coming to the door. They show her the picture and ask if she's ever seen that guy, her husband's accomplice. She tells them he's in her house, upstairs. They draw their guns and step inside.



Guest Starring



Song Performer Scene
"Dead Pixel" Wetwood Smokes
  • Ronald is listening to music in his truck when his mother interrupts and comes in.
  • After his mother leaves, he turns it back on.
"Tricks of the Trade" Vince Hill
  • Legarski lies in bed, totally silent.
  • Penelope and Merrilee sit together.
  • Jerrie thanks Melissa and Ben for letting her stay.
  • Ben tells her about his intruder fantasy.


  • This episode scored 3.66 million viewers on first airing.


Episode Stills

Behind the Scenes


See Also

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.