[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Big Sky: Deadly Trails Season 3 premiere “Do You Love An Apple.”]
In Season 3, Big Sky is deadly and fun.
The new mystery for Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) — and eventually Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) and Beau (Jensen Ackles) — involves a missing backpacker, which takes her to Sunny Barnes’ (Reba McEntire) business. As the opening showed, it’s the mysterious Walter (Seth Gabel) who’s responsible, having stalked the backpacker on the trail until he backed off a cliff. And as the premiere ends, it’s Sunny who seeks out Walter in the woods in the dead of night with a s’more. “Momma brought you a treat,” she says.
“She’s a very protective mother and she’s very secretive about Walter and you’ll understand why later on, but it’s a little creepy, a little endearing,” McEntire tells TV Insider. “It’s an ongoing development of their relationship and how they interact. I love to get the scripts. I can’t wait to read them because it’s surprising to me and I know the audience is going to really, really like this storyline.”
Adds Winnick, who’s looking forward to getting involved in Sunny’s storyline and working with McEntire, “I love reading her [stuff]… It is definitely a good surprise when you flip the pages on Sunny’s storyline.”
But does Sunny have any limits as to what she’ll do to protect her family? “I don’t think so,” McEntire says. “Haven’t seen any yet.”
Beau doesn’t yet realize that his daughter, Emily, could be in danger, camping with her stepfather Avery (Henry Ian Cusick) at Sunny’s. Chances are we’ll see an overprotective father when he does. “I keep joking with [showrunner] Elwood [Reid]. I say, ‘at what episode do I go fully Liam Neeson?’ And he literally has looked at me and he’s like, ‘it’s probably gonna happen, pal,’” Ackles shares. “So yeah, I think we will certainly see something happen, something trigger Beau to go kind of full on Liam Neeson. And I think that only makes sense. He’s gonna have to use his special set of skills and —”
“He will find you,” interjects Bunbury. Ackles agrees, adding, “I gotta be honest, I’m looking forward to it.”
Though Cassie’s a P.I. and Jenny’s busy with the Sheriff’s Department, we will see them working together again (and Beau joins Cassie at Sunny’s soon enough to meet McEntire’s character). And now, they have the “nice added ingredient to the Cassie-Jenny sort of stew” in Beau, Bunbury says. “I’m the potato,” according to Ackles.
While Jenny was skeptic that Cassie and Beau are just friends, “I feel like the cool thing about our characters is that they sort of have this like brotherly sisterly relationship where they get to poke fun at one another, but some people would call that sparks,” Bunbury says.
“Some people might call that chemistry,” Ackles points out. “I’m still trying to figure out where the hell I am. Beau is definitely a fish out of water at this point, and I think any chemistry he can have with anybody is just making his situation a little easier.”
As for Beau’s relationship with Jenny, Winnick calls that “a hoot just because they definitely have a very interesting fun banter between the two of them. He’s a great partner. There’s great chemistry as even a teammate and a partner in crime. And Jensen himself is just really fun to work with.” Says McEntire, “he’s a sweetheart.”
But is there romantic chemistry between Jenny and Beau? McEntire had the same question. “Well, they did cast Jensen,” Winnick says (though notes his character’s divorce). “How can there not be when you, when you cast someone like that? If there’s something that maybe manifests or doesn’t manifest, you don’t really know. I don’t know yet.”
But while there’s a lot of new to enjoy this season, it’s not out with all the old. Tonya (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is still around, ostensibly going legit with her real estate business. If looks could cause a sign to burst into flames, Jenny’s at Tonya’s would have.
Though they didn’t interact in the premiere, they will “soon,” Winnick teases. “[Jenny] knows her real motives and her real agenda here in Montana, so she doesn’t trust her. And she feels that the whole the real estate is all front. I know that we did a few scenes, but I’m very excited to see it come even more in terms of the storyline when Elwood gets a chance to write it to it.”
Meanwhile, Cassie takes advantage of knowing the history of the ranch her dad wanted to buy (the drug lab in the basement, the murders) and Tonya’s connections to force the other woman to sell it to her, despite having better offers. So how closely will Cassie be watching her?
“I think Cassie is always focused on the case, whatever case it is. So her focus is going to be the backpacker, but I do love me some Jamie-Lynn,” Bunbury admits. “And so I’m hoping that they intertwine the stories a little bit more so I can just be around her energy.”
Big Sky, Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC