Big Sky Premiere Ends With a Bloody Twist

ABC's new drama Big Sky, from David E. Kelley, ended its first episode with quite the surprise that you might not have expected from a pilot.

By Lauren Piester Nov 18, 2020 4:00 AMTags

Well, if you tuned into the premiere of ABC's new drama Big Sky because you're a big fan of Ryan Phillippe, we've got some bad news for you—he's not sticking around. 

The first episode of the Montana-set mystery series essentially introduced us to four eventually interconnected stories. 

In one, a truck driver named Ronald (Brian Geraghty) with a very concerned mother tased and kidnapped a prostitute. In another, two girls were on a road trip in the middle of the night in a car that was not behaving. In a third, a state trooper was being incredibly weird. In the fourth, a man named Cody (Phillippe) was sleeping with his partner Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) while separated from his wife Jenny (Kathryn Winnick), and the two women got into an actual fist fight over it. 

By the end of the episode, we saw that the two girls were on their way to visit Cody and Jenny's son, but they got kidnapped by the truck driver on the way. Cody then went to meet up with the trooper, but it turns out the trooper is involved in the kidnapping and shot Cody right in the face. 

Yep—Phillippe's character didn't even survive the pilot. 

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Death is, of course, not funny, but it becomes funny here when you consider the fact that Phillippe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Live With Kelly and Ryan and Good Morning America to promote the series in which he dies almost immediately. 

"It's a cliffhanger, this show," he told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. "Edge of your seat, you can't wait for the next episode, lots of twists and turns." 

Who know his character's death was the cliffhanger, the twist and the turn he was referring to? 

It's clear that this pilot is not exactly a telling representation of what Big Sky will eventually be. Instead of punching each other over him, Cassie and Jenny will likely now have to come together over his death and to solve the mystery of the missing girls. Hopefully those missing girls will also endure a little less punching. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner David E. Kelley promised that there's more to this story than just women being attacked and fighting over men. 

"You may start out thinking this is a series where women get victimized but hold on, not so fast," he said. "Grace (Jade Pettyjohn) and Danielle (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) are very formidable, even as prisoners. And Cassie and Jenny are strong characters as well. The totality of those characters, we should be won over and impressed by their strength." 


In the same interview, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke promised a story that's "realistic about the fact that violence against women exists in our country."

"It's owning it and it's telling a story of women that are victims of it that ultimately triumph over it," she said. "It is not a story that neatly wraps up in the first episode. What intrigues me most about it is the ultimate power that it shows from women who start as victims and ultimately triumph. Our heroines—our detectives—start in a hard place. We meet them at a low point in their relationship when they are at odds over a man and ultimately, they cross that bridge and come together to solve the mystery in a really compelling way." 

You'll get to see that next week when episode two airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC. 

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