‘Big Sky’: The Impressive Thing Jade Pettyjohn Had To Learn for Episode 3

ABC’s new series Big Sky is full of twists and turns like you won’t believe. When two sisters get abducted, Danielle (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Grace (Jade Pettyjohn), it starts a chain reaction of events. In episode 3, Grace makes some headway when it comes to an escape attempt, and there’s something the actor who plays her had to learn for the episode, and it’s pretty impressive.

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

Jade Pettyjohn in 'Big Sky'
Jade Pettyjohn in ‘Big Sky’ | ABC/Darko Sikman

Private investigators search for the missing sisters

Danielle and Grace are kidnapped by a truck driver named Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty). He’s working with a corrupt state trooper, Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch), and they’re both involved in a sex trafficking ring.

One of the sisters has a boyfriend, Justin (Gage Marsh), who enlists his parents in the search. Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe), an ex-cop and a private investigator, work with Cody’s private investigator partner, Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury), to find the girls.

However, Cody starts catching on to a long-haul trucker being involved, and Rick shoots and murders him in the premiere episode. The sisters are held captive alongside Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel), who was abducted right before them.

Grace manages to escape, but it doesn’t last long

Jade Pettyjohn and Natalie Alyn Lind in 'Big Sky'
Jade Pettyjohn and Natalie Alyn Lind in ‘Big Sky’ | ABC/Darko Sikman

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Grace has proven herself to be extremely resourceful, and she manages to use a shoelace to break free of her chains, along with Danielle and Jerrie’s as well. They find a loose metal side frame in the trailer attachment they’re being held in underground, and all three push with their feet, allowing Grace to escape. She uses a drainage system to find a way out before Ronald can catch her. The pipe and floor collapse, but Grace still manages to get out into the wilderness.

She runs for her life, finding a fisherman eventually and pleading for help. But before they can get away, Rick finds them, shooting the man with an arrow and killing him. Grace tries to run, but he grabs her, and she throws a fishing hook into his cheek. Rick ends up shooting her with an arrow in the leg twice, breaking it off and pulling it out of her leg without much regard to the pain she’s in. He brings her back to where Danielle and Jerrie are being kept, with Grace in really bad shape.

The impressive thing Jade Pettyjohn had to learn for episode 3

Natalie Alyn Lind, Jesse James Keitel, and Jade Pettyjohn in 'Big Sky'
Natalie Alyn Lind, Jesse James Keitel, and Jade Pettyjohn in ‘Big Sky’ | ABC/Darko Sikman

Pettyjohn, who plays Grace, spoke with TVLine about her character’s attempt at freedom, and she even reveals that she actually had to learn how to escape from handcuffs using only a shoelace, since Grace used it to escape her chains in episode 3. It’s a surprising and impressive feat, considering she taught herself how to do it by watching a YouTube video.

“I did have to actually learn how to free myself from handcuffs with a shoelace,” Pettyjohn said. “It’s kind of like a little sidenote, not as important. But it’s fun, the little things that you have to learn as an actor.”

She was asked if she really knows how to escape from handcuffs using just a shoelace, and she revealed that the prop master on set gave her ankle cuffs to practice with and showed her a video on how to do it.

“Yeah. I learned how to do it,” Pettyjohn continued. “The prop master gave me a set of ankle cuffs and a shoelace and showed me a YouTube video, and then I just practiced in my apartment until I got it. Yeah. It’s definitely very, very difficult, but now I’ve got a new little party trick.” [Laughs]

Jade Pettyjohn really had to learn how to escape from cuffs with just a shoelace. Will her character continue to use her resourcefulness to find a way out? She’s already coming up with new ideas in episode 4, so we’ll have to see what comes next in the upcoming episode.