Warning: This post contains spoilers from the Tuesday, November 17, premiere of Big Sky.
Executive producer David E. Kelley loves a good twist — and he proved that once again during the series premiere of ABC’s Big Sky.
During the first episode, two young women are kidnapped by a truck driver (Brian Geraghty) while on a road trip to Montana. When private detective Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) hears about the case, he immediately reaches out to Montana police for help. Meanwhile, his estranged wife and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) joins forces with the other detective in town, Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury), who she just found out is sleeping with her husband.
While the women start digging into what’s happening, which seems to be some sort of human trafficking situation, Cody enlists Sherriff Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch). However, in the final moments of the episode, before Cody and Rick hit the road, Rick turns and shoots Cody in the head.
“I was shocked certainly; I think that’s also what made me so excited about it,” Phillippe, 46, told reporters during a recent virtual press screening. “I mean, so often in entertainment, you can see what’s coming from a mile away. To have moments in a series like this, where it kind of takes your breath away — that’s exciting to be a part of.”
The Pitch alum, 31, added that when she read the script, she was completely caught off guard — but really proud of the network.
“When we read it, we said, ‘Woah, Ryan’s fans are going to be pretty pissed,’” Bunbury said. “I feel like it’s a real opening for ABC showing that they want to go for a bit of an edgier feel, a more cable feel. I think we gave that to them episode one.”
Phillippe, who noted that it’s “not the last you’ll see or hear from” Cody, added, “I think it sends the message that, in a series like this, no one’s safe.”
The Shooter alum will pop up in flashbacks throughout the season while the story line now will focus on the relationship between Jenny and Cassie as they try to solve the case.
“The show is really about two strong women in their own right, completely independent and strong and vulnerable,” the former Vikings star, 42, said. “They each have their own path and somehow they’re coming together under these crazy circumstances.”
Phillippe also confirmed that yes, Cody did die from that gunshot and no, he didn’t get the chance to apologize to the women for leading them both on.
“It’s weird of me to apologize [now] from a dead character’s perspective,” he said with a laugh. He also added that he is excited to see what happens next. “I loved being part of the project. I was very comfortable in the female-centricness of it all. I have three sisters; I was raised by women. I’m very down for seeing a show that celebrates the strength of what it is to be a woman and everything that comes along with that. Now I get to be a fan. I get to guess along with the rest of you what exactly is gonna come next. I get to be excited about every episode.”
Big Sky airs on ABC Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.