Detailed Recap of Big Sky Season 3 Episode 4 “Carrion Comfort”
Music plays as a woman in a black and white dress and bare feet sways to the tune and removes plates from the table. She bumps a wine glass which shatters on the floor, then cuts her finger as she attempts to sweep it up. As she stands at the kitchen sink, a shadow passes by the window. She returns to the dining room. Behind her, through the sliding glass doors lies an inground pool. Her brow furrows as she hears a dog bark. When her back is turned. a figure appears standing outside – a man in a creepy werewolf-like mask. This looks exactly like the beginning of a horror movie. She goes outside to throw out the trash and sees the gate swinging open. “Autumn, is that you?” she calls. No answer. She turns back toward the house; the motion detector lights turn off, then on again. She turns, horrified, to see the man right behind her. He holds up a finger to the deformed lips of his mask, then reveals a blade. She screams.
Jenn’s vehicle moves across the wild landscape of Montana, Beau (unexpectedly) at the wheel, Jenny in the passenger seat looking out the window, eyes watery. When Beau asks her what is wrong, she pretends she’s OK, but Beau knows she’s lying. He tells her that they’ll work out this thing with her mom. “She stole thirty grand from me!” Jenny exclaims. “Well, technically, she stole it from the government,” Beau says, raising his eyebrows, the same government that spends fifty bucks on a roll of toilet paper. Along the way, she also helped them catch a murderer so they can call it a wash. “It’s personal,” says Jenny, staring out the window.
They pull up on a residential street filled with emergency vehicles and step under the yellow police tape. Investigators are taking pictures of the crime scene. Jody Cutter, a 46 year old woman, had her throat cut around 2 a.m. Her body lies by the pool; her skirt is ripped and her feet bruised. The body had been dragged. Neighbors saw nothing, but hopefully there will be something on the security cameras.
Inside, a stunned husband, sitting in front of a row of family pictures, blames himself for not being there. His teary-eyed, teenage daughter sits near him. She’s slim, with straight dark hair and bangs. Her dad had been working all night; he owns a bike shop, Mountain Trails. His daughter doesn’t like it when Jenny asks if anyone can corroborate his alibi, saying her dad would never hurt her mom. “I don’t know why anyone would do something like this,” the husband says, keeping his head down but eyes looking up at them. The daughter had gotten back late from a volleyball tournament and stayed at her boyfriend’s. She’d texted her mom to let her know. She tells Jenny that her mom was OK with that, but Beau doesn’t look like he believes that. He tells them that it probably wasn’t a stranger but someone the victim knew.
As they leave the house, Jenny says it’s usually the husband, but Beau comments on the way the daughter reacted when he’d asked her if the mom liked the boyfriend. “Something’s not right about that house,” he adds. Jenny’s sure that Autumn, the daughter, isn’t a killer. Maybe it IS a random killing. Beau plans on finding out.
Back at Sunny Day Excursions, employees tidy up while guests enjoy an outdoor breakfast. Sunny asks Cormac if he’s seen Buck. Cormac says he’s probably checking the trails for bears or rattlers. Since Cormac is heading into town for a supply run, Sunny tells him to mind his business while there: those people don’t need to know what’s going on at the camp. “A little faith please. I got it,” says Cormac. He mentions that he’d checked the trail and seen no sign of any of Paige’s footprints, but his mother says she probably took a different way. “If Paige has a problem, let her vent on Yelp,” she says.
Sunny approaches one of the tables where Avery and Emily are eating along with a dark-haired young woman who is picking at her food. Sunny asks her guests their plan for the day. Avery says he and Emily may hike to the lake or go on a trail ride, but Emily wants to go look for her knife. “I have a replacement for you!” Sunny offers, pulling out a closed knife, but Emily wants hers since it was a gift from her dad. Emily has one last question: “Did Paige make it back to New York OK?” “She sure did!” Sunny lies confidently. Emily side eyes her as she leaves, though Avery thinks this is good news. The young woman glances over at Luke, sitting with bandaged head at another table. She doesn’t look happy.
At the sheriff’s office, Cassie asks Beau and Jenny for some input on the missing hiker case: he’d recently posted an old picture on social media as if it was current. “No law against that!” says Beau; Jenny adds that he’s using a ten-year old picture for the department website. He readily admits it and says he’s not changing it. When Cassie says that the spot the hiker is in is Logan’s Pass, Beau’s first question is if it is near where Emily is, but Cassie says it’s miles away. She wants their tech guy to take a look at the photo and see if there are any clues because it’s possible someone is trying to throw them off the scent.
Deputy Poppernack shows them the footage from the victim’s security cam: racoons, an opossum, and . . . a werewolf? “That’s a first for me!” Beau remarks (another Easter Egg for us Supernatural fans). They see blood on the sleeve of the masked man. Maybe the victim fought back. They want to go talk to the family again. As they exit the building, a slim, dark-haired woman in a dark, belted dress and heels approaches. She looks a little intense but seems like she’s deliberately being casual as she says, “I’m heading up to see Em and Avery and figured I’d stop by.” Beau seems a bit taken aback, but Jenny introduces herself with a big smile. “This is my ex-wife, Carla,” says Beau, adding, “Can we not do this right now?” “Do what?” smiles Carla. “That thing you do.” “I’m not doing ANYTHING,” Carla smiles, making a playful noise of dislike. “So sensitive. Big old man-baby.” “I’m not doing this,” says Beau, smiling, but looking away and uncomfortable. “I’m joking,” smiles Carla. Beau says they have to go; they’re on a case. Carla wants to know if it’s the missing hiker and if it’s anywhere near where Emily is. Avery had told her that he’d seen Beau up there. “I was going to tell you,” says Beau. “Still working on those communication skills,” she states. “He’s actually getting better. It’s one of his best qualities,” interjects Jenny with a friendly smile. Carla asks for a private moment and Jenny steps away. Carla is concerned about Avery – Beau interrupts, “So you don’t trust him either?” which she talks over. Avery wants this perfect bonding time, but he can be a little focused. Beau doesn’t like that she didn’t ask him about Emily going camping, and she says she told him but he wasn’t listening. She was supposed to go too, but something came up at work. She wants to know that it’s safe, and he earnestly replies that it is. “Don’t forget you promised Em she can stay with me the first week after this camping crap,” Beau says. “I know,” Carla smiles. Beau sometimes has trouble meeting her eyes, and she’s a mix of confidence and tentativeness. Their interaction is not particularly contentious except for Beau’s contempt for Avery. “Interesting,” says Jenny after Carla walks away. “You’re still in love with her.” “No, I’m not,” Beau denies walking away down the sidewalk. “You ARE! Just admit it!” laughs Jenny.
A closeup of the red heart carved into a tree. Buck is examining it. “Not like you to miss breakfast,” Sunny says approaching. “Not like you to lie to me,” he responds. He says he knows what she’s up to: “He’s here, isn’t he Sunny? Now we’ve been over this. You promised me Walter would stay in the woods.” “He came to me,” she replies, but says it’s best that Buck doesn’t know why. Buck doesn’t like that. “He’s dangerous, Sunny!” “No, he’s not. That happened a long time ago,” Sunny says. Buck asks if he’s involved with Paige then the missing backpacker and Sunny says no. “You’re wrong about Walter, dead wrong,” she says. “Do I have to remind you what he did? He murdered his parents!” Buck tells her. “They weren’t his parents!” Sunny stresses. Buck tells her they were because they adopted him, and he trapped them in their house and watched it burn. “It’s not that simple!” says Sunny. Buck reminds her that he’d agreed to look the other way as long as Walter stayed in the woods, but this is crossing lines he doesn’t want to cross. Sunny tells him not to make her choose between her husband and her child. “Cormac is our child. Walter isn’t,” Buck tells her. When Sunny says she’s responsible for him because she brought him into the world, Buck says he wants the past to stay in the past. She needs to end it or he will.
Beau and Jenny go back to the victim’s house where Autumn is hanging out in the garage with her boyfriend Eric. She doesn’t recognize the mask the attacker is wearing in the photo; Eric doesn’t either. Eric’s arms are free from wounds when Beau asks him to push up his sleeves. Reluctantly, Autumn tells them that her mom had been with another guy. About a month ago, they’d walked in on them. Autumn said she’d told her to end it before her dad found out. “The dude was weird,” adds Eric. “Do you have a name?” asks Jenny. Autumn nods.
A car pulls up at a diner, and a suited, mustached man enters, eyes Donno serving food behind the counter, and takes a seat on a stool. He eyes Donno as he pours the coffee.
“Donno, right?” he asks. In a booth behind him, Tonya raises her eyes. “Would you like to see a menu or should I just smash this coffee pot over your head?” asks Donno in his gruff, uninflected voice, prompting the stranger to open up his coat and reveal his holstered gun. Tonya approaches to diffuse the situation. The man says Wren Buller gave him their name and said they might be able to help him with a problem. He won’t tell them the name of his boss, but says that something was taken from him and he wants it back along with the people that took it. Tonya gives a little smile and lifts her shoulders, saying, “That’s not what we do.” The stranger says that Wren told him that she was smart and likes money. He pushes a large envelope across the counter and tells her, if she delivers them, she’ll be very well compensated. He takes a slow, deliberate sip from his cup: “Not bad.” Then he flips through a wad of bills to lay a dollar on the counter. “I’ll be in touch,” he says as he leaves. Tonya opens the envelope and takes out the pictures inside. The people are Paige and Luke.
Cormac runs into Cassie at an indoor climbing facility and recommends a particular rope. She’s planning on rappelling down Deadman’s Drop, and he insists on accompanying her. He says they won’t need rope because he knows a better way. With a smile and an indulgent eye roll, she turns to follow him.
Walter is chopping wood as Sunny approaches, surprising him so he turns with ax uplifted. That gives her a moment’s pause, but he doesn’t threaten her. He’s not happy when she says he needs to pack because she’s moving him that night because the girl is still missing and people will come looking for her. He doesn’t like her suggestion of a trailer by the creek – it has mold in it. On a nearby stump, she sees a bloody cloth. He tells her it was the backpacker, and she sighs. Why would he keep those bandages? The backpacker’s DNA is on them, and they could put Walter in jail for life for this. He says he’ll burn it, but Sunny says she’ll handle it. He just needs to pack his things and she’ll be back after dark.
Jenny and Beau enter a dark shop crowded with random, miscellaneous items. Autumn had said that her mom’s boyfriend had an antique store. “Interesting antiques,” remarks Beau. He recollects how his brother would take him to places like this when they were young; one had a severed finger in yellow fluid that always pointed at you. He never figured out how it did that. Jenny is eyeing the sharp teeth of a taxidermized baboon. They find a display of masks, including some blank-eyed animals and a devil. Suddenly, a flannel-clad figure armed with an axe appears in a mirror behind them. Beau whirls, pulling his gun, as does Jenny. “Drop the weapon now!” Instead of a fearsome attacker, the man is mild-mannered as he lowers his historic double-bladed weapon and keeps his hands raised. He knows they’re there about Jody, but says she was the love of his life. He’d been there that night having dinner and drinks. When told to pull up his sleeves, he reveals unblemished arms. Jenny and Beau lower their weapons. Beau shows the man the picture of the “werewolf”, and the shop owner said he’d sold that mask to Jody because she and her husband Grant were going to be Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf at a Halloween party. Does this mean Grant could have been the attacker?
Cassie and Cormac gleefully zoom through the woods on four wheelers. They park and prepare for a climb. They hope they won’t be looking for a dead body.
Jenny and Beau enter Grant’s bicycle shop and talk with his partner Scott who says he was with Grant the night of the murder. He HAD stepped out to get pizzas, but he couldn’t have committed the murder. He’s a good man. He loves Jody. Scott tells them that Grant has gone over to their shipping warehouse.
Emily sees Luke having an angry discussion with Avery. As Luke walks away, Emily asks what it was about, and Avery tells her that Luke overheard her asking Sunny about Paige and thinks she’s still suspicious of him. “Yeah! Because he’s acting weird!” the teenager insists. She’s willing to reluctantly stop if he want her to, but he says he didn’t say that. Her mom is arriving tomorrow. “Let’s keep this secret between us,” he says. “She wanted us to do some bonding.” “Gross.” “I know.” Avery adds that Carla thinks they’re riding horses not looking for a missing camper so they can just keep that info on the down low. They smile, at ease with each other.
Tonya is typing on her laptop in a booth when Donno approaches with a slice of pie. “It’s a new recipe. Also you work too much.” It’s really good, but he’s not planning on putting it on the menu. It’s just for her. Tonya earnestly tells him that she recognizes his sacrifice in leaving the Bullers and being in Montana with her. “You’re the best partner I could ever hope for!” she says warmly, even her eyes smiling. He looks away, uncomfortable with compliments. They’re not sure if they should take the job. Tonya naively thinks that they’re just locating someone, but Donno says first you find them, then kill them, then dispose of the bodies, and only THEN get paid. He’ll look into it. Suddenly he asks, “What about Gigi? You know she’s Jenny Hoyt’s mother.” Tonya’s no longer smiling. She calmly says she’ll tell him where she’s going with that when she’s ready.
Beau (still driving) takes a call from the deputy, whom he addresses as Popstar. The deputy’s at the shipping warehouse, but they haven’t seen Grant all day. “Scott!” Doing a u-turn, Beau heads toward the Cutter’s house. They push open one side of the double front doors which were unlocked and pull their weapons. “Grant? Autumn?” They separate to search the house. There’s blood on a banister and a couple places on the walls. Then Beau discovers a bloody Grant on the kitchen floor. Though he looks dead, he still has a pulse so they call an ambulance.
Later, at the hospital, Beau tells Jenny that Grant is alive, though the knife wound was deep. Jenny reports that there’s no sign of Autumn. Forensics is looking into the blood found in Autumn’s room. When a nurse tells them that Grant’s awake, they question him about his daughter’s whereabouts. “Scott has her,” he gasps. “He’s in love with her. I shoulda listened to Jody.” “Call Poppernuk. Get an address,” Beau commands.
In the rugged woods, Cassie sees some blood on a lichen-covered rock. Cormac thinks it might be a deer, but Cassie doesn’t agree. She asks him where he’d hide a dead body. “Quite the question to ask on a first date!” he jokes. “I don’t know and I hope I never find out.” Then he directs her gaze to some circling vultures. Cassie wants to go take a look, although the hike will take them until after dark. They smile warmly at each other, enjoying each other’s company despite their grim purpose.
Emily finds Luke by the river. He says he doesn’t know what happened to Paige. She left, but there was someone else out there. Emily isn’t sure what to believe, and Luke avers that he wouldn’t ever hurt Paige or anyone else, but adds, “I just really, really need you to stay out of this! You don’t know what you’re dealing with.” “OK!” says Emily, but, as Luke walks away, she pulls her phone out of her pocket. She’d recorded their conversation.
Beau and Jenny arrive at Scott’s house, where the police have already arrived and have been searching, but neither he nor Autumn are there. They wonder if Scott had gone to the house for Autumn the night of the murder but had run into Jody instead. As Beau eyes the kitchen, he notices something weird. He says he used to build houses with his uncle in the summers. Jenny interrupts that it’s not time for one of his stories, but Beau says there’s something off about the house. The dimensions are wrong.” They eye the dark, cluttered kitchen, lit up by the flashing police lights outside, then they head upstairs. When Jenny touches a doorknob, blood coats her fingers. Pulling their weapons, the throw open a closet door, revealing men’s shirts. A music box lullaby plays in the background. There’s a door at the back of the closet and a hidden room. Slowly, they enter. It’s a dimly lit room, perfect for a young girl complete with canopy bed and numerous items like stuffed animals, a hair brush, and ballet shoes. Autumn is sitting in the room, unresponsive. Jenny thinks she’s been drugged, and they want to get her to the hospital, but she’s chained. While Jenny tries to get Autumn to tell them if there’s a key, Beau realizes that Scott has been planning this for years, since she was a child. Suddenly, the music stops and the already dim lights go out, leaving only scattered spots of lights spinning disorientingly from the music box. From under the bed, a hand lifts the dust ruffle, and Scott slowly creeps out, clutching a knife in his hand, then leaps at Beau and plunges the knife toward his back. Beau spins and hits him, but Scott hits back harder and Beau loses his gun and then falls. Jenny fires off two shots, then Scott is punching her. She punches back, but a stronger blow from him sends her to the ground. Then Beau rushes him, careening across the room and struggling in the near darkness, until the knife goes into Scott’s torso. A punch or two more, and Beau is able to hurl Scott to the ground, where he lies on his side, facing away from them. Breathing heavily, Beau reaches the back of his shoulder. “He got me,” he says casually. Jenny, who’s been approaching the abductor with her gun drawn, hurries to him. “You OK?” “Hoyt!” Beau warns as he sees Scott rising up behind her. Grabbing her shoulders, he spins her to face the attacker and she raises her gun and fires. Scott collapses, leaving them out of breath and Jenny with Beau’s arm around her.
An owl hoot in the distance as Cormac and Cassie walk through the woods, flashlights lighting their way. Cormac is just beginning to say that the day had been fun, when Cassie’s light falls on a body – the missing backpacker lies face down, plaid shirt filthy with blood and dirt.
Jenny, her arm around Autumn, guides the girl into her father’s hospital room, Beau behind them. Autumn sits on the edge of the bed as tears stream down her face. “I’m sorry, Daddy. He did all this because of me.” “No, I should have protected both of you,” her father says weakly. He pulls her into his arms as they weep. Leaving the room, Beau says it feels like the monsters always win, even when we get them. “At least those two have each other,” says Jenny. “A loving dad can’t protect you from everything but goes a long way,” she adds, with an arched look at the sheriff. “We still talking about them or about somebody else?” he asks. She just smiles and pats his shoulder before walking away.
Later that night, Donno pulls up in front of the closed diner and tells Tonya that he located Paige and Luke: they’re on a camping trip. “Sounds like they’re trying to lay low,” she says. “Yeah, they’re bad at it,” says Donno. “Which means this should be easy,” muses Tonya. “Your call,” the large man tells her. “I have always wanted to go camping,” she smiles.
“You think moving Walter to another cabin is going to solve things?” asks Buck as he and Sunny, guided by flashlights, walk up to the cabin where Walter’s been living. Sunny says it’s more isolated by the creek. Bucky thinks Walter has something to do with the recent disappearances. They enter the cabin, but Walter is incensed that Buck is there. He charges him, but the older man isn’t intimidated. He slams him into the wall and says he’d rather put a bullet in his brain than have him drag his mother down.
Sunny steps in between, and when he tries to speak, she flashes out, “That’s my son. My child. And if you touch him again, God help me, I’ll bring down a cold hell on your head the likes of which you’ve never seen and you know I can!” “You just don’t see it, do ya? Or you do and just don’t care. That boy’s gonna be the end of you someday, Sunny.” He steps outside, and Sunny turns to walk toward her son. “I’m not leaving,” he says, and shrinks away when she reaches out. “Come here. Come here,” she commands firmly. He slowly turns toward her and she hugs him and pats his back. “That’s a good boy.” She steps away. “I love you, Walter. I really do.” Then she walks out of the cabin. An eye is peaking at him through a knothole. He walks closer. The spy gasps. He swings open a door. In a back room, Paige sits on a bed.
“They’re gone,” he says softly. She looks at him solemnly in the shadowy lantern light.
QUESTIONS: Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
- I loved the atmospherically spooky intro scene. Did you find it scary?
- Will Beau reconnect with Carla or is there a spark between him and Jenny?
- What nods to Supernatural did you see in the show?
- Will Emily’s curiosity cause her trouble with Sunny, Luke, or Tonya and Donno?
- Has Walter captured Paige? If so, why didn’t she call out when Sunny and Buck were inside the cabin?
- Will Sunny die for her son or will she kill for him?
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Illustrated by Nightsky. Images courtesy of ABC.