Friday, January 1, 2021

Big Sky - Pilot

David E. Kelley's latest ensemble is adapted from the novel The Highway by C.J. Box. The "Pilot" episode of Big Sky introduces us to our core characters. We've got hot-tempered former cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), her separated husband Cody (Ryan Phillippe) and his partner at their private detective firm Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury). Much of the drama in the first episode concerns Jenny confronting Cassie about sleeping with her husband. On the road, we're also introduced to state trooper Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch), trucker Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty), and a pair of teenage girls (Natalie Alyn Lind and Jade Pettyjohn) traveling from Colorado into Montana.

The mystery for the ex-cop and private detectives to solve involves the disappearance on the road of the two girls, who are only the most recent of several young women to disappear along the stretch of highway in recent years (the list includes the recently abducted hooker played by Jesse James Keitel). The first episode is a solid introduction to the core characters. The choice to show the audience what happens to the girls, and who is responsible means the audience starts out with much more information that our detectives (one of whom won't make it out of the first episode). Kelley is known for both drama (The Practice) and the more absurd dramedy (Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) and Big Sky definitely fits into the former category. Personally, I prefer Kelley tinged with more humor, but the "Pilot" of Big Sky works in setting up the primary conflicts of the show and setting the stage for the search of the girls to begin.

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