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The Big Rick is the third episode of the first season of Big Sky and the third episode of the series overall. It was written by David E. Kelley & Jonathan Shapiro and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton. It aired on December 1, 2020 on ABC.


Still on the search for the missing girls, Cassie grows more suspicious of Legarski after a threatening conversation between the two. Meanwhile, Grace manages to make headway on the girls' quest for freedom. Merrilee pleads with Legarski to open up emotionally before it's too late, and Helen finally confronts Ronald about his increasingly strange behavior.


Grace shows Jerrie and Danielle how to get their leg irons off. She gets free and then starts to free the other two.

Ronald makes himself a bowl of cereal, but is startled by his mother appearing behind him. She says he's been acting off. She thinks it might be her. She's suspicious of him, saying she has a nose for things and doesn't like the stink.

Jerrie finds a bit of the wall that's vulnerable. They start to bang into it.

Merrilee sees Rick up and he tells her he got up at three and couldn't go back to sleep. He asks if she's going to leave him and she says she'd feel a lot less alone if she did. He talks to her about his high school nickname, The Big Rick. It wasn't just because he was large, but also because he could also be counted on to do the right thing. But morality is murky. She asks him what he's done.

Cassie goes to see the sheriff, Walter Tubb, who tells her that Jenny already came to see him and he told her it had to be 48 hours before people can be reported missing, so there's not a lot he can do. Cassie says he could assign officers to look, to check the truck stops, and look into Rick Legarski. There are three missing girls on his watch. She just wants to find them. And Cody. Tubb dismisses her over her objections.

Ronald drives his truck.

The girls keep kicking at the wall. They're starting to lose hope, but Grace encourages them to continue.

Cassie meets Legarski at the All-In. He knows she's been talking to his ex-wife and accuses her of libel. She says things about him just aren't adding up. He antagonizes her, calling her missy after she says she doesn't like that. He stands above her, claiming to be a good man. She tells him the evidence is showing her that that's not true. He doesn't go above and beyond. He says he'll arrest her on whatever grounds he wants if she doesn't stop him. He's the law and she doesn't want to mess with the law. As she goes to leave, he tries to make amends with her, but she doesn't fall for it. She goes to leave and he waves her off.

The girls finally break through the wall enough for Grace to slip out. Without her additional strength, they can't open the wall enough for Danielle and Jerrie to get out. Grace goes to look for the trap door and finds it locked. She sees running water and thinks it might lead to a way out.

Grace uses a shovel to break through concrete, which she says was poorly laid, while Jerrie and Danielle listen from inside.

Jenny is on the phone talking about Cody and the girls' disappearance. Cassie comes in and Denise explains that Jenny is on the phone with the girls' mother. Jenny promises to call back whenever she hears anything. After she hangs up, Jenny gathers her things to go to the church, saying it's where Cody was last headed and she's done messing around.

Grace is sure she can get into the drainage pipe, but she's not sure if it'll lead out. As they listen, Jerrie tells Danielle she has some sister. Danielle says she does. She got the looks and Grace got everything else.

Jenny arrives at the Church of Glory and Transcendence. At the gate, she explains who she is, calling herself Special Agent Jenny Hoyt, and says there are some missing girls and she needs to speak to William Edwards. The voice asks if she has a warrant. Jenny says she didn't think she needed one as she assumed the leader of a church would want to help. She doesn't want to go back and say they didn't help. The gate opens and Jenny drives through. Once she's through, she gets looks from the cult members.

Grace breaks through rotted floor boards. They hear creaking and realize Ronald is coming. Danielle cries out to Grace.

Danielle and Jerrie keep calling out to Grace as the trap door opens, telling her to hide. However, she ends up falling through the rotted floor boards into water. She follows the water into a drainage pipe. Ronald then opens the room and realizes Grace has gotten out. He closes the door again and goes to look for Grace. He sees the hole, but not Grace. He then falls through himself. As Grace crawls through the pipe, Ronald starts to follow her. He tells her to come back or he'll kill her sister. Just then, the pipe itself gives way, blocking the way between them.

Danielle and Jerrie hear the crumbling and Danielle cries out for Grace.

Ronald crawls back to where he came from. He climbs up out of the hole.

In a room with William Edwards, Jenny explains that she's not actually FBI, but an ex-cop turned private detective. She knows his history, too. He got fired from the Presbyterian church and was out of work for two years before starting his own church. He lured people in with the promise of young women. William says they're evolved women, coupling with their emotional counterparts. Jenny's not looking for a fight, just two missing girls and her husband, who is also missing. She's a bit of a wreck, an armed wreck. Rick Legarski has led her there. William is aware of Legarski, unfavorable. He says he keeps track of who comes and goes, so he knows the girls aren't there, but says she's welcome to look around and check the security footage.

Legarski arrives to find Ronald stumbling out of the building, covered in filth. Ronald tells him one of the girls escaped. He thinks she was buried alive. Legarsk is angry, because he knows freedom is on the other end of that pipe and he can't be sure she was buried. Legarski goes to search for her while sending Ronald to dig out the place where she escaped.

Danielle and Jerrie are unsettled by the silence. Danielle's worried that Grace is dead. Jerrie thinks she got out.

Ronald digs out the drainage pipe as Legarski takes off his hat and goes out in a four-wheeler. Ronald searches the pile of rubble he has dug out and finds Grace's boot.

Legarski looks for Grace and is angry not to find her.

Grace sees light at the end of the tunnel and comes out in a body of water. Once she's out, she starts running down the road.

After struggling to run with one boot on and one off, Grace stops for a moment to take off the other boot. She then enters the woods.

Jenny calls Cassie and tells her Cody never showed up at the church. She doesn't necessarily believe the reverend, but believes the security camera footage, which showed no sign of Cody, unless he jumped some back fence. Cassie got nothing from Legarski and thinks he's more of an obstacle. Jenny needs to go home now and talk to Justin, who is worried sick. She wants Cassie to come over later so they can compare notes and Cassie says she will.

Danielle asks Jerrie when she knew she was transgender. Jerrie says she knew at four years old. She loved all the girl stuff. She always knew. And at some point, not talking about it wasn't an option anymore. Then when she was fourteen, she went to her parents and told them she was a girl. They hugged her, told her how much they loved her, and then put her into therapy. She told them therapy wouldn't fix it, so they threw her out of the house. Their love wasn't unconditional. She's been living in a trailer park since then. Danielle asks if she isn't scared of all the hatred out there. She says life is dangerous and points to their current situation as proof. Danielle remembers her dad talking to them about bigotry and racism. He told them it wasn't so much the skinheads and the KKK, because you see those people coming. It's more the progressives, people who think they get it but don't actually know. She thinks she might be one of those people. Jerrie says there's hope for her since she knows that. The two of them cuddle closer and hold hands.

Legarski gets to the end of the pipe and sees signs that Grace came out of it.

Ronald opens the door. Danielle and Jerrie are right inside the door and attack him, but he uses the taser on both of them again. He yells at them that they don't learn. He leaves and shuts the door behind him.

Ronald goes back to the backhoe and feels a pain in his mouth. He opens his mouth and spits out a bloody molar.

Grace desperately drinks water from the stream. Then she starts running along the edge of the water.

Legarski finds Grace's abandoned boot on the side of the road.

Jenny arrives home to find Justin waiting for her on the porch. She tells him there's nothing yet, but reminds him his dad has disappeared before. Justin knows this time is different. He knows his dad is dead. He starts crying and Jenny holds him.

Grace spots a man, Matt Shaw, fishing and calls to him for help. She tells him who she is and explains that she was kidnapped and is being chased. He tells her his truck is just a mile upstream. As they get ready to go for his truck, Legarski uses his crossbow from the woods to shoot Matt in the chest.

Legarski approaches Grace and introduces himself as Montana Highway Patrol. She asks him why he shot the fisherman. He claims he thought Matt was kidnapping her. Grace tries to run from Legarski, but he grabs her. She throws rocks into his eyes and starts running away. He pulls back another arrow and shoots her in the leg. When that doesn't stop her, he shoots a third arrow, which causes her to stop. He then comes up to her, breaks the arrows, and pulls them out.

Legarski picks up Grace and starts carrying her. He then wraps up Matt's body and dumps it in a boiling pit, where it sinks. He has Grace taped up in the back of his four-wheeler and takes off with her.

Cassie arrives at Jenny's house. Justin won't look at her and barely talks to her, then he leaves the room. Jenny tells Cassie what she knows. She thinks Cody got too close and that's why he was killed. She thinks Cassie's right about Legarski. There's no complaints against him and he's considered a top cop, but he's bad. Cassie just knows it. Jenny wants to focus on him then. They each agree that they're not okay.

Ronald is filling the hole back in as Legarski arrives with Grace. Legarski tells Ronald he kidnapped the wrong girls and carries Grace inside.

Legarski opens the shed and puts Grace down inside. Danielle is happy to see Grace alive. She asks Legarski who he is, but he just tells her not to say a word. Jerrie asks if he isn't there to help them. He doesn't answer, just closes and locks the door.

Outside, Legarski tells Ronald to seal up that container so there's no more escapes. He tells Ronald to give them enough food to keep them alive for a few days and then they need to steer clear and let things settle. Legarski has no idea what the plan is.

Justin glares at Cassie through the window as she leaves. Cassie cries as she gets in her truck to leave.

Jenny sits up at night and thinks.

Ronald seals the side of the container where Grace broke through.

Inside, the girls can hear him work. Danielle is worried about Grace, who was shot twice. Grace tells Danielle she's okay, but Danielle knows the wounds are serious. Danielle asks what she knows about the other guy, other than him being bigger and a cop. Grace tells them he killed a fisherman. Ronald tells them to shut up. Grace screams back at him, telling him to shut up as she bangs on the wall. She tells him she got out once and she'll get out again. As she screams, he bangs on the outside of the container.



Guest Starring


Song Performer Scene
"Empire" J. Golden
  • Ronald drives his truck.


  • This episode scored 4.13 million viewers on first airing.


Episode Stills

Behind the Scenes


See Also

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