Big Sky star Jesse James Keitel breaks down Jerrie's surprising detour
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Thursday's episode of Big Sky, "Mother Nurture."
It's time to say goodbye to one of Big Sky's favorite faces.
On this week's episode of the ABC drama, Jerrie, the kidnapping-victim-turned-Dewell-and-Hoyt-associate, left town to return to her parents and say goodbye to her mother, who has terminal cancer. Off screen, actor Jesse James Keitel is wrapping up their time in Montana in order to shoot the new Queer as Folk reboot.
But Keitel wasn't about to leave without giving Jerrie a proper send-off, including a tearful reunion with her father (Jeff Kober) in which she refused to let her parents off the hook for abandoning her. And Jerrie made good on her blooming romance with Mark Lindor (Omar Metwally), getting a goodbye kiss as he sent her off on this detour.
Outside of Jerrie's personal turmoil, Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) and Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) continued to investigate the messy case involving the cartel and Deputy Harvey (Michael Malarkey) but found themselves in hot water with Jenny's beau, Travis (Logan Marshall Green). Back at Wolf's (John Carroll Lynch) residence, he continued to try to tame Ronald (Brian Geraghty), though his plan didn't work as well as he might think.
To get more on Jerrie's (temporary?) exit, we called up Keitel to get their perspective on this emotional reunion, the chemistry between Jerrie and Lindor, and whether they want to return.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jerrie is finally going home to see her parents after saying in season 1 while she was kidnapped that she wanted to do that if she got out alive. But do you think without the push from her dad and Mark she ever would've got there on her own?
JESSE JAMES KEITEL: No, no, I don't. It opens up a lot of wounds that she has really let callus over. Going back home for her is — oddly, it's embarrassing. It's infuriating. It's kind of heartbreaking just knowing how her family has treated her. She's giving them a lot of grace in very Jerrie fashion to make amends and to say goodbye.
How much is it costing her to make this choice and go?
A lot. She's finally at a place in her life where she has stability, even more than stability. She's accomplishing career goals that she never even knew she had. She's on the pursuit of Ronald and getting closer and closer and closer. And it's like, of course right when everything in her life is going just the way she wants to, her family comes in and kind of ruins it again. It seems like she's even perhaps on the cusp of something romantic, and I feel for her but that's how life works. Things happen when you least expect them.
This reunion with her father and prospective reunion with her mother is incredibly fraught. How much were you drawing on personal experiences or more broadly wanting to show something that is unfortunately true for many trans individuals and their families?
I love my parents. I have got a great relationship with them. But that doesn't mean things have always been super-smooth and simple. As queer people, society forces us to come out, and especially as trans people, a lot of times you're coming out 1,000 times in 1,000 different ways. So for Jerrie, a part of that scene felt a little bit like a coming-out. She had to tell her dad how he f‑‑‑ed up. He was not there. I was kidnapped and he knew about it. I was rescued and he knew about it and did nothing. Until you needed something for me. Again. You need me to come home. And that's to absolve your guilt. That's not to make me feel better. That's for you. And Jerrie sees right through it. She's a great judge of character. And I don't think for a second she has any trust left for her parents after they kicked her out.
She asks Mark if they could've ever been together, and he kisses her in response. How much do you think there's really something there, and would you want it to pick back up if she returns?
I mean, listen, the proof is in the pudding. The chemistry was there between the two of them from the start. Whether that's a romantic relationship or a mentor relationship, a really good friendship, I don't know. But they definitely have a connection that has really helped Jerrie grow as a human, and her life is better having Mark in it.
Do you think in some ways, especially given her history with sex work, that this is the first time she feels if not desirable, then perhaps worthy of love?
Considering she definitely never got much love from her parents, I imagine her relationship to self-love has been a really tumultuous journey. The famous RuPaul quote, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" I think that's really true for Jerrie. And through the process of getting rescued and working with Dewell and Hoyt and finding fulfillment in something, it's very tangible. Music has always been a career choice for her and something she aspired to. But helping save people is something that gives immediate satisfaction, and having all that really gave her a new sense on self-love. Perhaps for the first time she's like, "Hey, I'm worthy of affection that I may not have allowed people to give me before."
A lot of the writing last season and early this season seemed focused on pairing off Mark and Cassie. Were you pleasantly surprised to see this spark between him and Jerrie?
No, because I think it was there from the start. Genuinely. Savvy viewers with a good eye could definitely see there was chemistry between them from the start. Listen, life loves to throw curveballs our way. The heart wants what the heart wants. I know some people probably view Jerrie's pursuit of Lindor as a little troublesome considering Lindor clearly has feelings for Cassie, but life is messy and so are relationships, especially when you add co-workers to the mix. Life isn't cut and dry.
This is your last episode for now, but Jerrie tells Cassie and Jenny that she'll be back soon, so would you want to return?
Jerrie's still got a lot of work left to do at Dewell and Hoyt. I don't think she's going anywhere anytime soon… except to go see her parents.
How much is Jerrie still wanting to catch Ronald even though she's taking this detour?
She said something in the previous episode that hits the nail on the head: There are girls out there who aren't as lucky, who really didn't have the opportunity to get revenge like she has to seek justice. And she is forever changed because of her experience with Ronald and what she's learned from Dewell and Hoyt. So whether she continues on in pursuit of Ronald or not, I think she'll continue on a lifelong pursuit of people just like Ronald. She's really changed. She's grown. It's been a really beautiful story to tell, and I'm so grateful for the arc that Jerrie's had.
What's one thing you wanted to do on Big Sky that you didn't get to in your time on the show, whether it was a stunt or a desired story line or something else?
Ride horses. I used to ride horses competitively actually when I was younger, and I haven't been on one in a while. Jerrie was definitely such a horse girl. That's what I'd want to do.
Do you have a favorite memory on the show?
Me and Kylie Bunbury were filming an overnight with Janina Gavankar, and we were all just really tired. We were filming out at that construction site. Kylie was supposed to say something to Ren like, "Hey, I know you, you're Huckleberry Pie." And instead she went, "Hey, you're Huckleberry Finn." I have not laughed that hard. My ribs hurt. I was crying. It was such a silly, funny, fleeting moment that was just so joyful and lovely.
A twisty crime thriller set in the remote climes of Montana, from TV legend David E. Kelley.