Updated: 4 days ago
Rather than writing individual reviews for the Disney Plus STAR Originals, I wanted to do a mega-post that will be constantly updated with my thoughts on each episode as and when the embargo lifts.
This post is for Big Sky.
From visionary storyteller David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) comes Big Sky, an intense thriller that follows private detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt as they join forces with his estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to find the women before it’s too late.
Big Sky stars Katheryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt, Kylie Bunbury as Cassie Dewell, Brian Geraghty as Ronald Pergman, Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane, Natalie Alyn Lind as Danielle Sullivan, Jade Pettyjohn as Grace Sullivan, Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie, with John Carroll Lynch as Rick Legarski and Ryan Phillippe as Cody Hoyt.
Episode 1 Review "Pilot"
Oh my god is this show dark! We're introduced to a vast cast of characters whom we no doubt will get to know over the evolution of the series. The show takes place in the beautiful Montana landscape, which is nicely juxtaposed against the things going on here. It's an interesting choice to cast John Caroll Lynch as a guy on the good side of the law.
What makes this show interesting is that we already know everything there is to know, i.e. we know where the victims, Grace, Danielle and Jessie, are. We know who the perpetrator is. What happens next? That remains to be seen. I'll leave you with this, though:
"Ronald, you've been sloppy,"...
Episode 2 Review "Nowhere to Run" [Spoilers for Episode 1]
The episode opens up dealing with the fallout from last one. It's a new day and wow, the show has made some huge moves in just one episode. To be honest, the effectiveness of that death in the pilot episode was a little bit weaker than it perhaps could've been because the show spent a lot of time focusing on all the characters, meaning we didn't really get to spend a lot of time with would-be fan-fave Ryan Phillipe, whose character-name is something I'm too lazy to look up.
Still, though, the show manages to give us, the audience, some insight into how the two killers' minds operate. Oh yeah, there are two; I fooled you with the last review, right?
The rapport between the victims seems oddly placed. On that note, however, Jesse James Keitel is absolutely phenomenal. Being a non-binary performer for a primetime show is a huge achievement and they will no doubt lead the charge in mainstream LGBT representation, especially on a service like Disney+.
It's very difficult to see where the story is going, and I found this episode a little weaker than the first one. Still, though, I am intrigued.
Episode 3 Review "The Big Rick" [Spoilers for Episode 2]
The third episode opens up with the girls trying to break free from Ronald’s shackles from the shipping container. They manage to make a hole but only Grace can fit through it and, when she does, she discovers they are trapped in a barn. This episode seems to pull together some of the plot-threads, such as PI Cassie copping on to the fact that Rick may not be the nice guy he says he is. Still, though, I can’t escape the feeling that the show isn’t building towards anything.
The fact that it’s a network show that became a STAR Original is demonstrated by the episodes’ runtime, a network hour (42 minutes to you and I). This means that we don’t spend as much time with each of the three main character groups than we would ideally like to so their personal stakes mean a little less to us. I personally don’t care about the drama between the two PIs because the centre of that drama, Ryan Phillipe’s character, was killed off in Episode 1. All I see is two PIs who aren’t doing their job properly.
With those criticisms aside, the show definitely kicks it up a few notches in this episode. The thrill of Grace escaping combined with the frustration of her being unsuccessful, it’s cliched but it really did go quite far in making us think she would get out.
As to where I think the show could go, I really do have no clue. For the time being, it feels like an episode of Criminal Minds spread out over 16 episodes, but here’s what I think we’ll need to find out:
What do the kidnappers want to do with the girls?
What is up with Ronald and his mother?
Will the PIs ever link the missing girls’ cases to the one at play?
Episode 4 Review "Unfinished Business" [Spoilers for Episode 3]
Review posting Thursday 4 March 2021
Episode 5 Review "A Good Day to Die" [Spoilers for Episode 4]
Review posting Thursday 11 March 2021
Episode 6 Review "The Wolves Are Always Out for Blood" [Spoilers for Episode 5]
Review posting Thursday 18 March 2021
Episode 7 Review "I Fall to Pieces" [Spoilers for Episode 6]
Review posting Thursday 25 March 2021
Episode 8 Review "The End is Near" [Spoilers for Episode 7]
Review posting Thursday 1 April 2021
Episode 9 Review "Let It Be Him" [Spoilers for Episode 8]
Review posting Thursday 7 April 2021
Episode 10 Review
Review posting Thursday 15 April 2021
Episode 11 Review
Review posting Thursday 22 April 2021
Episode 12 Review
Review posting Thursday 29 April 2021
Episode 13 Review
Review posting Thursday 6 May 2021
Episode 13 Review
Review posting Thursday 13 May 2021
Episode 14 Review
Review posting Thursday 20 May 2021
Episode 15 Review
Review posting Thursday 27 May 2021
Episode 16 Review
Review posting Thursday 3 June 2021
Big Sky airs on STAR on Disney+. The first two episodes will be released on 23 February 2021, with Episode 3 releasing on Friday 26 February 2021 and each episode releasing every Friday after that.