‘Big Sky’: Merilee Makes a Shocking Decision That Involves Her Husband

Episode 9 of Big Sky may have just shocked us even more than the premiere episode of the season. Something unexpected happened, and Merilee (Brooke Smith) is the one who surprised us this week. We have all the details about the moment in question in the series.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from ‘Big Sky’]

Brooke Smith in 'Big Sky'
Brooke Smith in ‘Big Sky’ | Darko Sikman via Getty Images

Rick Legarski was shot in the head by Cassie Dewell in ‘Big Sky’

Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch) is a corrupt state trooper that’s been involved in abductions in the area. He’s been working with Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty), who kidnapped Danielle (Natalie Alyn Lind), Grace (Jade Pettyjohn), and Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel). 

Rick and Ronald are involved in a sex trafficking ring, and when Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) gets too close to uncovering what’s going on, Rick shoots and kills him. Cody’s wife, Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), and his private investigator partner, Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury), track down the clues to find Danielle, Grace, and Jerrie, as well as the whereabouts of Cody.

Cassie eventually finds Rick just as he’s moved them, and she shoots him in the head when he draws his firearm and starts counting to five. But somehow, he survives, and he wakes up in the hospital claiming to have amnesia.

Merilee recalls a night involving a hammer

Rick’s wife, Merilee, tries to deal with her husband’s crimes, and at the same time, she’s trying to figure out if he can really remember things or not. Their marriage was falling apart for a long time before this. She even spent time with Ronald before knowing the truth about him and her husband. Ronald manipulates her for his benefit, and she seems to like him at times.

Rick has called Merilee his mother and says he doesn’t remember the crimes he committed. Merilee seems unsure of how to deal with the situation, at least at first. But something triggers her memory, and she realizes Rick was going to kill her in a recent moment from the past. He had a hammer, and he was watching her as she slept, contemplating killing her. This all happened after Merilee confessed to dancing with Ronald. She wakes up to Rick touching her face and hair, and he claims to have the hammer to hang up an art print.

While thinking of her past with her husband, she recalls songs that he used to sing, including one about a hammer, which jogs her memory about that night. Realizing he was going to kill her, Merilee brings the hammer with her to the hospital, making a choice to kill him when she sees the truth about her husband and what he’s capable of.

Merilee kills Rick when he’s in his hospital bed

John Carroll Lynch in 'Big Sky'
John Carroll Lynch in ‘Big Sky’ | Darko Sikman via Getty Images

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Merilee comes to see her husband, telling him that she’s been “reminiscing” about their “marriage.” She mentions the songs he would sing, like “The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” She also notes a song he used to sing as well called “If I Had a Hammer.”

“And it dawned on me,” she tells him. “You were about to kill me that night. You had this crazed look. You weren’t about to rehang the Rockwell. You were getting ready to bash my skull.”

She recalls Rick’s victims and says that she was “next.” Then she pulls out the hammer, and Rick is still insistent on calling her his mother.

“You know what I have a hard time with?” Merilee asks him. “You killing two people, thinking about killing me, and you going free. That’s kind of awful.”

She sings “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” and when Rick says it’s her “menopause talking,” Merilee knows right then and there that Rick knows she’s his wife and he remembers everything. 

“That is the wrong answer, Rick,” she tells him. “Means your memory’s back.” Rick doesn’t believe she’s his mother, and his memory problems were all an act. Merilee takes the hammer and kills Rick in his hospital bed, and she’s taken away in handcuffs.

Merilee made a decision to kill her husband in episode 9 of Big Sky. She realized that he was going to kill her in a previous situation, and she murders him in the hospital.