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S01.E12: No Better Than Dogs

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Cassie and Jenny each face a dangerous attempt to run them out of town while Jerrie has a close encounter with a dangerous threat of her own. Back at the ranch, Blake returns home, where he receives anything but a warm welcome. This ain’t your typical family reunion on “Big Sky”.

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Original Airdate: April 20     Tuesdays at 10pm ET       ABC 

 

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I swear, I can't figure out if Scarlett/Ronald's girlfriend is just as crazy as he his!  There are times I'm almost rooting for them, because maybe Ronald just needs to find someone who can handle his brand of crazy, and he'll chill on all the killing and stuff.  But then we get scenes of him creeping out poor Jerrie, and I'm back to just wanting him dead or brought to justice at least.

Glad Jenny and Cassie got out of their predicaments, but I suspect the latter will still have some psychological effects over how close she was to getting killed.  At least they're back on the right trail and have found Rosie (and, hey, she's Michelle Veintimilla a.k.a. Firefly from Gotham!)  Definitely seems like the alcohol was spiked, and Blake likely wasn't the one that assaulted her.  Rand seems like the most obvious suspect, but I wouldn't count out John Wayne either.  And not just because he's named John Wayne...

Still not sure if I should fully trust Mark, but I did love his "Just wait for the phone call" bit with Sheriff Wagy.

You know a family has issues when the daughter is basically her mother's drug dealer (or holding her medicine hostage), and that's probably the least offensive thing going on with them.  And why am I not surprised that Horst has some extremely dated views about women?  Probably don't want to hear his take on race or sexual orientation either.

A lot of good scenery shots in this one.  The show is certainly taking advantage of its location shooting.

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7 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

But then we get scenes of him creeping out poor Jerrie, and I'm back to just wanting him dead or brought to justice at least.

Was Ronald actually at the bar where Jerri was singing?  I thought she was just imagining seeing him.  

 

7 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Definitely seems like the alcohol was spiked, and Blake likely wasn't the one that assaulted her.  Rand seems like the most obvious suspect, but I wouldn't count out John Wayne either. 

My money's on their father being the one who assaulter her. 

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I haven't read "The Bitterroots", the book on which the Kleinsasser storyline is based, but I'd be curious to see how closely this plot follows the book.  Because, as it is, I'm not caring for this storyline.  It probably plays out better in a book, but I feel like the show realized they only have 6 episodes to do this and I think they just thrust too much on viewers too soon.  There are too many characters, too many unknown motives, too many secrets and not enough time to adequately set this up.  

I also feel that unfortunately, this plot seems like a direct rip-off of Kevin Costner's "Yellowstone".  We have a tough and gruff patriarch (although Costner's character isn't nearly the caricature that the old man in this show is).  They own a ranch, and things aren't going well, and the patriarch is trying to preserve the legacy of the ranch and that makes him do whatever it takes to keep it going.  We have four children... one daughter, three sons.  One of the sons is the good son (Lee / John Wayne), one is the son who has fallen out of favour (Jamie / Blake), one is the son whose path has meandered and does some very bad things (Kaycee / Rand).  There's a lot of sibling rivalry and there's particular animosity between the daughter and one of the sons.  The only major difference here is that the mother is still alive.

The fact that there are only 6 episodes in this storyline lends to issues with pacing.  I had no idea who the cop that arrested Cassie was in the previous episode.  Had we seen him before?  I had actually thought that was one of the sons posing as a cop.  This episode, Cassie addressed him by name.  How did she learn his full name?  When did he tell it to her or when did she indicate she knew who he was?  She gets kidnapped and almost killed.  Then the Marshall comes in, got the Governor to call the sheriff.  Then all of a sudden, we next see Cassie in the Marshall's truck. 

I would have liked to have seen exactly what happened.  Did the sheriff simply call and tell the deputy to let her go?  Why wasn't there any talk about unlawful arrest?  The sheriff had told the Marshall she was a DUI.  Surely that wasn't true.  Why didn't she dispute it to the sheriff/Marshall?  The deputy was going to kill her and she must have overheard this.  Why aren't there any consequences for the deputy?  What about her truck that they set fire to?  Is the sheriff going to have to replace it?  And why destroy someone's truck for a supposed DUI?  Too many loose ends there.

There is pretty much zero overlap between the Ronald story and the Kleinsasser story, and I find that annoying because it's like we are watching two separate shows.  I find myself particularly uninterested in the Kleinsassers and I am annoyed that the Ronald story is still going on. 

When Jerrie got the message at the office from Cassie, why didn't she use "Find My Friends" to trace the location of Cassie's phone?  The phone was on for some time and surely they would be able to find it or at least find which cell tower was used.  Why didn't Jerrie immediately call up Cassie and Jenny when she saw Ronald at the bar?  Why didn't she tell anyone at the bar?  There should still be an active manhunt for this man.

Granted Jerri has had more interaction with him than most people, but if she saw so easily through his disguise, how come nobody else can?  For some reason I thought that Ronald had left Helena.  The bar seems to be in or near Helena, so that makes me think he is actually still living close to Helena.  Shouldn't the people there be on more alert to look out for Ronald?  His sketch should have been everywhere in the paper and the news.

6 hours ago, Bulldog said:

Was Ronald actually at the bar where Jerri was singing?  I thought she was just imagining seeing him.  

 

My money's on their father being the one who assaulter her. 

He was there.  He admitted to whatshername that he stopped at a bar because he wanted to hear some music, or something like that.

And I agree that the father is the one who assaulted the girlfriend.  It seems obvious to pin it on Rand but that's too obvious.

Edited by blackwing
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This storyline is too much like Yellowstone and I know it’s based on a book but maybe the timing isn’t right. I like the actors in this but the duel western/Ronald storyline isn’t working well for me.

Edited by Madding crowd
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Another thing that doesn't make sense to me is the camera at the mom's grave and the Marshall saying they know he visits.  Cassie asked him what he was going to do, apart from leaving a note.  I think he said something about lack of resources and manpower, but that doesn't make sense to me... this should be an active manhunt.  If the feds decided to spend the money to send the Marshall to Montana, why wouldn't they spend more money and give him the proper resources to run the investigation?

39 minutes ago, Madding crowd said:

This storyline is too much like Yellowstone and I know it’s based on a book but maybe the timing isn’t right. I like the actors in this but the duel western/Ronald storyline isn’t working well for me.

Agreed, I feel the exact same way.  I don't like the two separate storylines and the Kleinsasser storyline is a ripoff of "Yellowstone".  Yellowstone premiered in summer 2018 and "The Bitterroots" was published in August 2019 so I do wonder if Box was influenced by the show.  Even if he wasn't, surely the TV producers who adapted the book for this show could have made some significant changes to avoid comparisons.  The gruff old man trying to hang on to the ranch and the nature and interaction of the siblings is what stands out to me.

 

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11 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

I can't figure out if Scarlett/Ronald's girlfriend is just as crazy as he his

Yeah, normally girlfriends don't play 'truth or taser' with their guys. I think she'll be either helping or actively directing Ronald in trying to kill Jeri/Cassie/Jenny, jmo. And Jenny and Cassie really aren't playing their A games, what with the traipsing off by themselves-always at night-and not telling anyone where they are, not having any tracking tech, etc.

What I want to know is what the secret business is several of the Kleinsasses referred to as supposedly going on at the ranch- my first thought was something drug-related, but we haven't seen any sign of that kind of traffic. 

I liked poor old Mama K. spitting in Daddy's coffee, which he then praised. I don't really understand why the daughter is still sticking around, unless she has some plan to pick up the pieces when all the dysfunctional men implode. If so, she needs to keep her mouth shut in the meantime.

Echoing what several others have noted- if the marshal is so influential that he can get to the governor to request Cassie's release, how come he doesn't have any budget to actually hunt for Ronald (whose disguise is pretty weak, really, and who still seems to be out and about in his old stomping-grounds, so why would he be hard to find?) ?

 

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11 minutes ago, tvfanatic13 said:

Wait, there is only 6 episodes (so 3 left)???

The original order for this season was 10 episodes.  Then ABC gave them an additional 6 episodes.  9 episodes were aired in the initial run.  The 10th episode was held back until this April premiere. 

The media articles had said that episode 10 would be a one-shot to wrap up the Ronald storyline.  And then a new storyline with new characters would be shown in the remaining 6 episodes.  As we have already seen, the Ronald storyline did not wrap up, it is ongoing, so that media article was wrong.  But regardless, this run of episodes that started in April has 7 total.  Three of which have already aired.  So there are four episodes left.

It's possible that the Ronald and/or Kleinsasser storylines could be left unresolved and continue into a potential Season 2.  But the same media article (that was obviously wrong) had also said that future seasons would utilize plots from other Cassie Dewell books, implying that both storylines are wrapped up in this season.  (Again, the article was wrong about Ronald, so who knows.)  There are two other books, plus a Cody Hoyt prequel book, that could be used as source material.

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My biggest complaint this episode was Jerri singing with a microphone in a crowded bar, she sees Ronald and just walks off the stage. She should have yelled "HEY! There's that murderer kidnapper Ronald --last name-- right there in the glasses and red mop hair, GIT EM BOYS!" That stupidness was so not like the tough Jerri we thought we knew.

I liked the marshal this week (plus he was good looking, which I hadn't noticed before). But he knew Ronald was visiting Mom's grave and put notes on her tombstone, and Ronald got them. Was marshal in bed sleeping because he gets off work at 5 or what. Maybe he should hire Cassie and Jenny to stake out the cemetery since they seem to only work at night, via flashlight in the pitch black dark.

Kinda funny that Ronald's squeeze is all into the taser stuff.

I've never seen Yellowstone (just have three networks via antenna) but the ranch stuff is kinda beyond my comprehension. I missed most of last week's two-hour episode so only sorta kinda caught up with the family dynamics this episode. I guess Blake is the Good Son, which is why he got smacked in the face with a shovel this week.

I don't know who the "lost" woman is or why Cassie/Jenny were searching for her. But she was living in a cabin all lit up with yard lights. Geesh, just go knock on the door ladies. No need to sneak up in the dark since the cabin occupant would have heard that truck coming from five miles away.

The cop who arrested Cassie did ask her to do a breathalizer (sp?) and she refused, so that would be her arrest on a suspected DUI.

I have no idea why the cops want Jenny and her gone though. Until they figure it out, they need to stay off the streets and out of the woods at night since all the bad guys are out after dark too.

 

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39 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

My biggest complaint this episode was Jerri singing with a microphone in a crowded bar, she sees Ronald and just walks off the stage. She should have yelled "HEY! There's that murderer kidnapper Ronald --last name-- right there in the glasses and red mop hair, GIT EM BOYS!" That stupidness was so not like the tough Jerri we thought we knew.

I liked the marshal this week (plus he was good looking, which I hadn't noticed before). But he knew Ronald was visiting Mom's grave and put notes on her tombstone, and Ronald got them. Was marshal in bed sleeping because he gets off work at 5 or what. Maybe he should hire Cassie and Jenny to stake out the cemetery since they seem to only work at night, via flashlight in the pitch black dark.

Kinda funny that Ronald's squeeze is all into the taser stuff.

I've never seen Yellowstone (just have three networks via antenna) but the ranch stuff is kinda beyond my comprehension. I missed most of last week's two-hour episode so only sorta kinda caught up with the family dynamics this episode. I guess Blake is the Good Son, which is why he got smacked in the face with a shovel this week.

I don't know who the "lost" woman is or why Cassie/Jenny were searching for her. But she was living in a cabin all lit up with yard lights. Geesh, just go knock on the door ladies. No need to sneak up in the dark since the cabin occupant would have heard that truck coming from five miles away.

The cop who arrested Cassie did ask her to do a breathalizer (sp?) and she refused, so that would be her arrest on a suspected DUI.

I have no idea why the cops want Jenny and her gone though. Until they figure it out, they need to stay off the streets and out of the woods at night since all the bad guys are out after dark too.

 

Agreed re Jerrie... at first I thought she just thought she was having a vision, but it's clear she believes she actually saw him.  Not sure why she just walked off.  Ronald's name should be well known enough in the area that people would know who she was talking about.

The archetypes don't exactly fit, but if there is a "Good Son", right now it's John Wayne.  He's the one that the father has now decided is going to run the ranch.  He keeps Rand in check.  Blake seems to be the oldest son since it was always assumed he would get the ranch, but he allegedly raped/beat that girl so now he is Out of Favour and has lost his place in the family pecking order.

I don't understand why the sons can't run the ranch together... but then again I don't know much about ranches.  Are ranches always passed on from a father to only one child?  Why can't they share the responsibility and the profits?  Because if this show and "Yellowstone" are accurate, it would imply that all ranch families should be dysfunctional if all the siblings are competing for the prize.

The lost woman is Rosie, the woman that Blake allegedly beat/raped.

And I think the cops were after Cassie because I think the cops are in the pocket of the Kleinsassers, and the dad doesn't want Cassie and Jenny interfering in whatever crooked business he is conducting.  He expressed irritation that Blake called up Jenny for help and brought Jenny and Cassie into their lives and poking around in their affairs.

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11 minutes ago, blackwing said:

The lost woman is Rosie, the woman that Blake allegedly beat/raped.

So is Rosie hiding out ... why? She said she didn't think Blake "did it," so why hide.

If the bottle of booze was roofied, why was it left under the bed in plain sight in a cabin that had basically nothing in it. It's not like it was stuffed in a closet full of clothes or something. The bed wasn't even low set, anyone could find that bottle. And I guess they did. At night. With a flashlight. Whoever left it is a dumbass. It would have been easy to just dump the contents and chuck the bottle.

One of my problems with all tv shows is people digging a huge grave several feet deep with a hand shovel. If anyone has dug a hole to plant a tree, it takes FOREVER to dig just a 3x3-ft. hole, much less one that could hold a truck. And doing it w/o gloves ... big ouch.

A ranch of that size would have a bucket loader or skid with a bucket or at least a tractor with a bucket. So much easier to fire one of those up to dig than use a hand shovel.

Edited by saber5055

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Always happy to hear Jerrie sing, but I really wish she had told people that she saw Ronald. I guess she thought she was hallucinating, but now we know that he probably was there. I guess Ronald went and found the one woman who can just about match him for crazy, she could end up even helping him out with any future kidnappings, we know how much she loves the taser. 

So this story is basically Yellowstone: The Trashy Edition. I thought the Duttons were a mess (and they are) but these people make them look like the Cleavers in comparison. They must be up to some illegal activity, and I would assume its drugs but I cant be sure. Considering the one son is practically a serial killer in the making, it could be something a lot more gruesome. So is the daughter just hanging around so that she can swoop in and take everything when her brothers implode in dysfunction? Were there really no other options? 

I guess we have another "seemed like a main character but is already dead" situation on our hands. I am guessing the dad assaulted the woman, he just reeks of creep the way a lot of the bad guys on this show do. At least I can look at the landscape instead of the creeps, which is always beautiful. They are really taking advantage of the scenery. 

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It’s funny that some of you are calling John Wayne the good son since he just killed his brother. lol I don’t think the father raped Rosie since she seems to remember it was Rand. But the father did make a comment about her, so hopefully it wasn’t the both of them. John Wayne really did seem to think it was Blake, and he didn’t know about Rand killing that ranch worker, so he does seem to be clueless. He almost could have been a good guy but went and killed Blake. Since the family has horses on their ranch, could they be involved in the stolen horse semen from earlier? I don’t recall the show ever saying what exactly they do on the ranch.

Edited by pezgirl7
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5 hours ago, pezgirl7 said:

It’s funny that some of you are calling John Wayne the good son since he just killed his brother. lol I don’t think the father raped Rosie since she seems to remember it was Rand. But the father did make a comment about her, so hopefully it wasn’t the both of them. John Wayne really did seem to think it was Blake, and he didn’t know about Rand killing that ranch worker, so he does seem to be clueless. He almost could have been a good guy but went and killed Blake. Since the family has horses on their ranch, could they be involved in the stolen horse semen from earlier? I don’t recall the show ever saying what exactly they do on the ranch.

The archetype doesn't fit exactly, but I called him the "good son" mostly meaning "the son that the dad currently likes the most".  And is Blake actually dead?  I know John Wayne hit him with the shovel and Blake fell into Cole's grave but I guess we will find out if Blake is actually dead or not next week.

I'm curious about the sister watching the two of them, and what will happen.  Not really sure what her motive is at all.

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No Blake won't be be dead, he probably will have fewer bruises than Rosie.

Rand was making Meth, they showed he doing so when Jenny first trespassed on the ranch right before she ran away and fell into the dead cow pit. They probably use the dead cow smell to hide the Meth smell.

I am still not seeing a lot of money in the Kleinsasser family, so I am not getting the power or influence factor. I can't begin to understand what hold they have over the local and regional police.

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The Sheriff's Deputy hit Cassie on the head with a big stone and she immediately lost consciousness. There should be an after effect,. There is no way she can just wake up and shake it off. At the minimum it is a severe concussion. 

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On 4/21/2021 at 7:21 AM, Bulldog said:

Was Ronald actually at the bar where Jerri was singing?  I thought she was just imagining seeing him.  

 

 

Jerri saw Ronald with his new look, longer hair and glasses. I don't think her sighting of Ronald was in her imagination.

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9 hours ago, pezgirl7 said:

John Wayne really did seem to think it was Blake, and he didn’t know about Rand killing that ranch worker, so he does seem to be clueless. He almost could have been a good guy but went and killed Blake.

If the sister can be believed, John Wayne was at the cabin with Rand.  She told Blake that both of them were there that night - she saw them.  My guess is the John Wayne was well aware of the "moral turpitude" clause in the father's will and he spiked the whiskey and let Rand assault Rosie to frame Blake so Blake would be disinherited and he and Rand could continue what ever they're up to on the ranch.

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I haven't read the books Big Sky is based on nor have I seen Yellowstone, but anyone who has ... do you think Yellowstone is based on the books and sort of stole the plot before Big Sky was given a go? It could be that Yellowstone has ripped off Big Sky, not the other way around.

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11 hours ago, saber5055 said:

I haven't read the books Big Sky is based on nor have I seen Yellowstone, but anyone who has ... do you think Yellowstone is based on the books and sort of stole the plot before Big Sky was given a go? It could be that Yellowstone has ripped off Big Sky, not the other way around.

The Kleinsasser family doesn't appear in the CJ Box books until the fourth book, "The Bitterroots", which wasn't published until August 2019.  "Yellowstone" premiered in June 2018.  The first three books... the first one is set in Helena and the show more or less follows it.  The second book is set in North Dakota.  And the third book starts in North Dakota and has Cassie back in Montana.  None of the books has any semblance of a ranch storyline until "The Bitterroots".

I've read all 21 Joe Pickett books, and my recollection is that while there are ranches in the books occasionally, I don't think any of the stories involved a "Yellowstone"-like family.

So while it's possible that the "Yellowstone" producers got advance wind that Box was going to write a Cassie Dewell story about a ranch that is falling apart and the patriarch's efforts to save it despite the efforts of his occasionally good-for-nothing children... given the timing of the releases I'd say it's more likely that Box was influenced by the show.

That said, despite the similarities in the theme of the struggling ranch and the dysfunctional family, there are major differences.  Box's books are classified as mysteries.  There's always a mystery or two involved in all of his plots.  We can see that here in this show, there are multiple mystery storylines going on with the Kleinsassers.  Who attacked Rosie?  What are the sons up to with the lab and the dead animals?  What is the daughter up to?  What's up with the wife and her doormat docility but then she spits in his coffee and needs medication?

"Yellowstone" doesn't have as much mystery... there was some element that was a mystery of sorts to the family, like who poisoned the cattle in Season 2, but the viewers were never really kept in the dark or wondering.

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maybe it’s set on a ranch ....because that’s the book the producers  felt was easiest to film quickly. 
 

Maybe the book was set on a ranch because it’s the West and ranches are synonymous with the West.  There are lots of ranch books,  that doesn’t make them copied off someone’s idea. 
 

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On 4/22/2021 at 12:31 PM, Mrs. Stanwyck said:

If the sister can be believed, John Wayne was at the cabin with Rand.  She told Blake that both of them were there that night - she saw them.  My guess is the John Wayne was well aware of the "moral turpitude" clause in the father's will and he spiked the whiskey and let Rand assault Rosie to frame Blake so Blake would be disinherited and he and Rand could continue what ever they're up to on the ranch.

Ahh yes, I had forgotten she said that. And your deduction seems very plausible. I guess John Wayne is a good liar! I know Rand is cooking meth, but it doesn't seem like a large scale operation, so I don't think that's the big secret. The sister mentioned trucks coming and going, and it sounds like her family wants to keep her in the dark. The secret better be something juicy!

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Mineral rights... not likely gold... maybe lithium

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I thought it was strange Jenny didn't mention the meth thing to Blake. "Your brother tried to kill me last night ... after I caught him cooking meth." I wanted to see if Blake already knew. And who was that weird girl sitting upside down? It wasn't the sister.

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I've never seen Yellowstone but the creep, has secrets to hide ranch family is nothing new. With every single one I just simply don't understand why someone doesn't put a bullet in the racist/ misogynistic/abusive patriarch. 

 

I swear Cassie and Jenny actually got dumber over the break. How many times are they going to wander off by themselves in the Montana wilderness at night and get caught before one of them thinks maybe that's not a great idea. 

I like the marshal. I don't know if he's on the up and up, but he's entertaining. 

I actually think RonRon's girlfriend may be crazier than him. 

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