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Love is a Strange and Dangerous Thing is the sixteenth and final episode of the first season of Big Sky and the 16th episode of the series overall. It was written by Elwood Reid & Annakate Chappell & Matthew Tinker and directed by Michael Goi. It premiered on May 18, 2021 on ABC.


Cassie and Jenny leave the Kleinsasser women to forge their own path, ridding themselves of their ranch troubles and heading back home. Along with Jerrie and Lindor, they finally get to see Ronald behind bars, though he quickly strips them of any satisfaction by leading them on a wild goose chase, straight into the arms of the syndicate. A brutal battle ensues, clearing a path for Scarlet and Ronald to escape, but while they run off into the sunset Jenny risks her life to save Cassie's. Is this the end for our dynamic duo? Only time will tell.


Ronald and Scarlet kiss inside Mary's house. When they pull apart, Ronald lays out a plan and tells Scarlet what to do.

Mark and Jerrie come into the house.

Scarlet pulls Ronald's wig off and screams. Ronald grabs her and pretends to be holding her hostage. Suddenly, Scarlet breaks free and runs to Mark while Ronald goes the other way. He runs into Jerrie, who had a gun. Mark then comes up behind him and arrests Ronald.

Jenny asks if Cassie's ready to get out of Lochsa and Cassie says not quite. Tubb tells them it's out of his jurisdiction, so the state is stepping in. Elena says they'll need a statement and the recording. Wagy and Gregor have been arrested pending the investigation. Elena asks if they want to help. Cassie puts Wagy in the car herself and tells him to enjoy the ride. Jenny sees Margaret and Horst watching from a window and tells Tubb he'll find more bodies. The whole ranch is a crime scene. Tubb tries again to convince Jenny to succeed him as sheriff. Tubb gets a call and says Jenny's going to want to get back to Helena. There's been a break in the Pergman case.

As Mark transports him, Ronald says he'll need to see a doctor. Human bites are twice as likely to become infected as animal bites. Ronald asks if Cassie and Jenny will join them. Mark says there's a whole team coming. Ronald offers his help, as long as Jenny and Cassie are present.

Margaret brings Horst his meds. She asks if he remembers the day they got married. It rained and ants got in the cake. Her mother spent three weeks making roses out of bobbin lace for her dress. Horst starts to choke after taking his pills. He asks for water, but Margaret doesn't give it to him. Margaret tried not eh dress before the wedding and she was a bride. She was happy and hopeful. Then her mother poked her and said she was making the mistake of her life. Horst gets up to try to get the water, but collapses to the floor and convulses. Margaret thought her mother was exaggerating because she'd spent so much work on the wedding. Now she understands why. Margaret says she gave Horst everything and has nothing left to give as Horst dies. Cheyenne, who was watching the whole time, comes up and tells her mom it's over. Margaret says it's time to clean up. Cheyenne says they'll do that and have a nice self-care day and discuss the future.

Cassie and Jenny come in to see Ronald, who is in the interrogation room. Jerrie can't believe they got him. After Jenny and Cassie tell her what she did was brave, she leaves to call Grace and Danielle to give them the news. Mark tells them he was dating Mary's sister, Scarlet, and admitted to killing the man in the basement. He plans to get Scarlet's statement and then send her home as she's pretty rattled. She claims to have met Ronald, whom she knew as Arthur, through her sister. Jenny wants to speak to her.

Scarlet says Ronald took her to the basement and then turned into a different person when he saw the the freezer wasn't there. She lies and says Ronald was following her for some time and wanted to clear the way for them to be together. She claims her sister said she knew Ronald from work and introduced them. Scarlet then asks if her sister is dead. They say they don't know. Scarlet starts crying, saying she left him alone with her daughter. They tell her to go home and they'll pick it up again later. Once she's gone, they wonder how she possibly didn't know. Mark says they're looking more into Mary's background to find her connection to Ronald. Mark then tells Jenny and Cassie that Ronald has offered more cooperation if Jenny and Cassie are present at his interrogation. Jenny knows he's playing games. Mark says the team taking over will arrive tomorrow and then he has to hand it over to them. Cassie asks to see Ronald. They watch him on the monitors. As they watch, he looks into the camera and smiles.

Scarlet finds the drive taped under the sink as Ronald told her. It's labeled "Property of The Big Rick." She plugs it in to her computer and gets the number for John Milton as instructed.

Jenny pours herself a drink and hugs Justin. She tells him they got Ronald, but Denise already told him. It's over now. He'll die in prison. Justin's really proud of Jenny. She's upset because this case has reminded her how much she's changed since Cody died and how she hasn't been there for Justin. It might be time to sit still and feel everything. She promises him she's done running away from things. Justin asks if she wants dinner.

Ronald says Mark can't figure him out. He's learned they're all strangers, even to themselves. His mother used to tell him he'd never amount to anything. He'd just be a man who couldn't control his urges. She was wrong. She also used to say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.Mark asks what he wants. Ronald wants a kindness from Mark. Perhaps he'll return the favor. He wants Mark to play "Chances Are" by Johnny Mathis. Tomorrow, he'll tell Mark what it means to him. Mark pulls out his phone and plays the song. Ronald leans back.

Scarlet calls the number. When she hesitates, the person who answers hangs up. She calls again and says she ate the fruit as instructed. She's told to stand by and the person hangs up again. When she calls again, the call doesn't go through.

Cassie leads her horse back to the barn. Mark's waiting for her. He's there to they can carpool in. And he was curious about her life. She's hard to get to know. He's trying his luck at breaking through her defenses. Cassie says they could try again once the Ronald thing is over. Cassie doesn't think Ronald will give them anything, but Mark says he doesn't think Ronald can help himself. They bet on it.

Jenny comes in and Denise says it's a big day. Jerrie finally got some sleep, but Jenny didn't. Denise gives Jenny the Legarski file and everything they have on the syndicate. Jenny also wants her to look into Scarlet. Cheyenne comes in. She just finished with her lawyer and brought them some cupcakes decorated as white lions. Jenny reminds her that her father tried to kill Jenny. Cheyenne tells Jenny he's dead. She's surprised Jenny didn't hear. Cheyenne says they woke up and there he was on the floor, staring up at the stuffed elk. Funny how things work out. Cheyenne says Rosie went and amended her statement with the interim sheriff. Jenny says Cheyenne could have stopped her father and brother. Cheyenne says she did and Jenny helped her. If she ever finds herself in Lochsa, she has a place to stay. There's going to be some changes once the dust settles. Cheyenne owes Jenny one. She hangs Jenny the cupcakes and leaves. Jenny tells them not to eat the cupcakes.

The smoke alarm goes off, but Scarlet ignores it until Phoebe comes in. Phoebe says she's acting funny. She asks if it's because of Ronald's secret. Phoebe tells her about Ronald burying something on the caping trip that didn't look like the deer he claimed it was. Scarlet says if Arthur said it was a deer, it was a deer. Scarlet gets a text telling her to secure the hard drive and standby. She tells Phoebe it's time for school.

Ronald looks at Jenny, Cassie, and Mark. He feels important. Mark says it won't be so much fun when the FBI arrives. Ronald says they need to get to work. He has some requests first if they want to know things about Legarski and his operation. He wants the death penalty off the table. Ronald was just a middle man. Legarski kept him in the dark. They ask him where Mary is. Ronald says Mark extended him a kindness and he'll return it. He gets blood from the wound on his hand and write the name Kelli on the table. It's a two for one, he says, Mary and Kelli. Who knows what they might find.

Scarlet is leaning when there's a knock at the door. The trooper at the door enters and asks where it is. She tries to claim she doesn't know, but when he threatens her, she says it's in the kitchen.

Kelli was Ronald's special one. He wants them to let him take them to her. He used to have a system where he'd write their names and one nice thing about them. He says if they find Kelli, they'll find Mary and perhaps more. He has to show them. He tells them the story of finding a cat. He trapped it in a cage in the basement. It was his secret because his mother had allergies and hated pets. He'd sneak down to feed it. It bit him and the bite got infected, so his mother started asking questions. He did nothing. Just left the cat in the basement with no food or water. An experiment of sorts. Mark is tired of the story and asks where Mary is. Ronald says he has to show them.

The syndicate man takes the hard drive. He thanks Scarlet for her help. Scarlet says Ronald made a copy and keeps it in a storage locker. She says he can shoot her and take the chance that she's lying. He realizes she has no idea what this is. Scarlet says Ronald told her things and he has no idea who he's dealing with. The man holsters his weapon and shows Scarlet a picture he took of Phoebe. She tells him to keep Phoebe out of this. The man says it's time for them to leave. They'd made arrangements to pick up Phoebe later.

Jerrie tells Denise Scarlet's records have been expunged. They're sealed. And it gets weirder.

Mark, Cassie, and Jenny lead Ronald out. Jenny doesn't truck it, but Mark wants to take the chance that the women might be still alive. Jenny says he once lured them into a house of explosives. He's always one step ahead. Mark says it's happening. Cassie wants to play it out in case the women are alive. Jenny tells Cassie to ride with Mark and she'll ride with Tubb. Jenny doesn't trust any of it. Ronald looks at them and tells them it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Ronald talks to Cassie and Mark about Legarski. He knows all sorts of things like Legarski. He may tell them some more.

Jenny doesn't think it makes sense to give Ronald so much power in the investigation. Tubb says Mark outranks them both. Jenny gets a call from Denise, who tells her Scarlet's record has been completely erased. They found one record though. She spent time in a facility for the criminally insane when she was sixteen. They'll need a warrant to find out why. Jenny tells Tubb she knew something about Scarlet was off. Tubb says she has good instincts.

Scarlet and the man arrive at a bar by the side of the road. He gives her directions and has her give him her phone, which he smashes and breaks. He gives her a replacement phone to use.

The group arrives at a building, where Ronald says there's a surprise inside. Tubb will stand guard as the rest go inside. Ronald tells them not to be afraid. Once the door is open, Mark leads Ronald in by his collar. They break a lock on a box when Ronald says it's in there. Cassie and Jenny hold up their guns and start gagging once the doors are open. Ronald says it was his happy place. Kelli's there, he says. He didn't mean for it to end like this. He was waiting for her to see his love. They find her mummified body as Ronald explains that Legarski found out about Kelli and wanted Ronald to hand her over, but he couldn't. Ronald claims he did nothing to her, like the stray cat. He just stopped coming. He thought she'd come for him. But she never did. They ask what he did to Mary, but he wants to make a game of it, so Mark says the field trip is over.

Ronald is back in the car. Tubb says they'll leave an officer there and forensics is on their way. Mark wants to get Ronald back so they can finish questioning him. Jenny tells Tubb it was too easy and Cassie agrees. Tubb says they'll find Mary if she's nearby.

Ronald sings Chances Are as they drive back. Then he leans to one side. Just then, a truck rams them. Tubb and Jenny have to brake suddenly to keep from hitting them.

Cassie and Mark are both unconscious. Two men get out of the truck with guns and approach the car as Cassie starts to wake. Jenny sees them and warns Tubb to get down as they begin firing. Tubb gets shot in the shoulder. As Cassie tries to rouse Mark, Jenny gets out of the car and fires back at the men. Back in the car, Ronald grabs Cassie and starts strangling her. Jenny grabs another gun from the back of the truck. Cassie is able to grab her gun and fires into the backseat as Ronald tells her she doesn't learn. The men approach the sheriff's truck and when one come around the side, Jenny shoots him while the other grabs Ronald out of the back of the car, saving Cassie. The man then aims his gun at the front seat, but fires at Jenny instead when she calls out to him, hitting her in the abdomen. The man then leaves with Ronald as Cassie gets out to tend to Jenny. She tries to hold pressure on the wound while Ronald and the other man escape.

Ronald and the man meet up with Scarlet, who is still waiting at the van as instructed. They all climb into the van together and drive away. The man gives them new identification and says to study it as they'll be at the border in three hours. Scarlet says they have to get Phoebe first. The man says it's too messy. Scarlet begs him to turn around. She says she can't do it. Ronald quietly tells her to get the wheel. They overpower the man.

Mark and Jenny are taken away on stretchers while Tubb's arm is in a sling. Jenny tells Cassie to get Ronald, though Cassie wants to go with Jenny.

Denise answers a call from Tubb.

Scarlet and Ronald dump the man's body on the side of the road and drive off.

Cassie checks the phone of the man Jenny killed and finds that he has a missed call from John Milton. She takes a gun, steals a cop car, and drives off.

Ronald and Scarlet drive away together, holding hands.

Cassie drives in search of Ronald.



Special Guest Star

Guest Starring



Song Performer Scene
  • Ronald tells Scarlet he has a plan.
"Chances Are" Johnny Mathis
  • Mark plays a song for Ronald.
  • Scarlet makes the call for Ronald.
"Chances Are" Cast (Brian Geraghty)
  • Ronald sings to himself as they drive him.
"Crazy on You" Heart
  • Ronald and Scarlet overpower the driver.
  • Jenny is taken in an ambulance. She tells Cassie to get Ronald.
  • Denise gets a call.
  • Ronald and Scarlet dump the body on the side of the road.
  • Cassie finds the body with a missed call from John Milton.
  • Cassie takes a gun and steals a police car.
  • Ronald and Scarlet escape together.
  • Cassie searches for Ronald.


  • This episode scored 2.96 million viewers.


Episode Stills


See Also

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