“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”
Robert Frost was ahead of his time because that masterful line is the PERFECT title for Big Sky Season 3 Episode 2, which is a little all over the place but still a good time.
It appears that like attracts like when it comes to Sunny Barnes’ business because she’s hiding many secrets, as are some of the campers hiding out in her overly fancy tents.
Picking up where we left off after Big Sky Season 3 Episode 1, Sunny is hanging out with her wildly creepy son in the woods and basically telling him that he needs to stay away from there.
She will make sure he gets his sugar rush and maybe a little tune underneath the moonlight, but outside of that, he has to uphold whatever arrangement they’ve made in the past. His being in her neck of the woods is a clear no-no.
But Walt only traveled there to get Mark…help? He claims he had nowhere else to bring him, but it’s all very confusing because if the objective was to help him, it probably wasn’t wise to drag him around the woods.
On the flip side, if he wanted him dead, he could have easily left him where he was to die.
I guess it’s all a moot point in the end because Sunny lets him die, and that scene gives us a much greater picture of just who Sunny Barnes is. And throughout the hour, we see the fractured family dynamics and the incessant need to hold onto control.
Sunny isn’t wrong about mamas wanting to protect their babies. It’s what they’re supposed to do, after all.
But covering up murders? Letting innocent men suffer as they die right in front of your eyes, in the name of protecting your child, is definitely not in any parent handbook.
What’s interesting about Sunny, though, is that it would appear whatever shady business she’s up to, her closest family members are mostly in the dark about it. I say mostly because Cormac seems to at least recognize that his mother is a shade ball, though who knows to what extent right now.
Buck seems clueless, but this is Big Sky, and it’s probably a mistake to think you have it all figured out by the end of the second hour.
Sunny doesn’t get much time to worry about Mark’s dead body because the next day, she has to deal with the disappearance of two of her own.
Luke and Paige appeared to only be a dysfunctional couple stuck in the woods for the week, but there’s something much deeper going on there that plays out throughout the hour. It’s honestly a little jarring how quickly it goes from jealous banter and thinking these two are so not right for each other to attempted strangulation.
There’s a bigger story here we do not have the details about yet, but it involves money and using the woods as a means to hide out, so that means it’s probably something of the criminal variety. But what could it be?
The couple’s disappearance greatly worries the other guests, especially Emily, who is so worried that she’s willing to walk alone in the woods to try and find them. And I have to ask why people are so willing to navigate these trails alone when I am not ever seeing any signs while these people are out there.
Emily is a curious teenager, and it’s no surprise she has her phone on her constantly, ready to record anything at the drop of a hat. But I was internally screaming when she decided to follow a trail of blood AND take a picture of battered, bloodied Luke as he tried to clean the blood off of himself.
Luke: Man, I’m so sick and tired of always trying to please you.
Paige: You would be in jail right now. And you whine about your birthday.
Luke: Shut up.
Paige: You’re a little boy pretending to be a man.
Now, it’s easy to conclude that he killed Paige because, duh. Luke proved himself to be somewhat unhinged not that long ago, but maybe there’s another answer.
I can almost guarantee he will have a story at the ready for when someone confronts him about what happened. They’ve been talking about bears a lot, so perhaps he’ll say a bear got him and Paige ran off, never to be seen again.
There is no way anything happens to Emily here because she is Beau Arlen’s daughter, and she will find her way out of trouble. But I wonder how much longer people will want to stay at this place? Things are getting weird, that’s for sure.
And speaking of weird, what’s up with Avery? You want to believe that Beau’s archnemesis isn’t a bad guy, but he was moving very funny when he heard Luke and Paige were missing. Searching their room and lying about it was odd, as was leaving Emily alone in the woods.
Beau seems to have a pretty good sense of people, and if he doesn’t like Avery, then we should probably listen to him.
You know who else people should have listened to? Jef with one f, otherwise known as Paul.
I still stand by the show’s decision to include more cases of the week because they need to switch things up. But like any good procedural series, there will be hits and misses. Some cases will have you riveted, and others will have you bored.
This case was somewhere in the middle.
The story starts strong, and it does an excellent job of finding a way to incorporate Tonya and Donna into the plot. If they’re going to be around full-time this season, they will have to find a way to do that more often.
And while I agree with Jenny that Tonya must pay for her crimes, I’m more interested in seeing something different from what we saw with them in Big Sky Season 2. Their time will come, but in the meantime, seeing Jenny have to help them reluctantly is very entertaining.
While I will forever miss Ren, Donno and Tonya’s partnership was an unexpected highlight, and imagine they had to work with Cassie and Jenny weekly, bickering and being strange together.
I would like to see it.
But back to the case, the whole whistleblower angle is fine, but it all fell flat in the end and wasn’t all that intriguing when you put it up against everything that’s going on in the woods.
Jensen Ackles can rescue any story and does his part here, but this one just wasn’t all that exciting.
I also miss Jenny and Cassie working together, but I will take these mini personal scenes mixed with detective work wherever I can get it.
Jenny and Cassie’s relationship will always be the show’s heartbeat, and Beau’s addition has been fabulous. They all fit together in a way that can honestly be rare to see on television.
All I know is whenever the three are together, you know you will be smiling.
Odds and Ends
Sunny absolutely did not need to scream at Cormac like that! Obviously, there is a favorite in that family, and it is certainly not him.
Pop Star. Another A+ nickname for Poppernak.
I know there is a greater meaning behind the hearts on the trees, and it will probably connect to Denise’s neighbor’s whatever whatever murder, but I’m not seeing all the connections yet. And it doesn’t line up with Mark’s death, as he really did just fall off that cliff.
This wasn’t quite as fun as the premiere, but there were still things to enjoy. It will be neat to see Sunny’s mask slip further and further as things spiral out of control at that campsite. I don’t think she was anticipating these kinds of problems!
Let me know what you think about the hour in the comments, and watch Big Sky online so you can join the conversation!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.