'Big Sky' Episode 2 Preview: Is Ryan Phillippe's Cody Hoyt dead? Here's the truth and how it differs from books

Fans are desperately looking around for some loophole or promise that Ryan Phillippe can return to the show


                            'Big Sky' Episode 2 Preview: Is Ryan Phillippe's Cody Hoyt dead? Here's the truth and how it differs from books
(ABC)

'Big Sky' delivered a frightening twist in the premiere itself: Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) was shot dead at point-blank range by Montana state trooper Rick Legarski. This came as a shock to all the fans who haven't read the books because 'Big Sky' was apparently marketed as a Ryan Phillippe show. Well, surprise. If you're wondering whether he actually can survive a gunshot to the head, you're not the only one. Fans are desperately looking around for some loophole or promise that Phillippe can return to the show.

Here's the truth. 'Big Sky' is the adaptation of CJ Box's The Highway, chronicles the grim tale of private detective Cody and his ex-partner Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) as they work to finding the creepy serial killer Ron Perghman, who abducts women on lonely highways, a trope we're all probably exhausted with. Cody was a character in two of his books, 'Three Weeks To Say Goodbye' and 'Back of Beyond', and then became the protagonist in 'The Highway'.

In the books, he is fired from his job, after Cassie catches him planting evidence on a murderer. Unlike in the television show, he doesn't have scandalous sex with her, provoking fights between Cassie and his ex-wife Jenny (Katheryn Winnick). However, while in the middle of investigating the disappearance of his son's girlfriend and the possibility of a trucker sex trafficking ring, Cody's fate becomes sealed. Just like on the show,  Legarski shoots him, just as Cody pieces the truth about the nearby church that is involved with the abductions.

So, yes, Cody is dead as a doornail. Cody dies much later in the books while he is in the midst of the investigation, unlike the show where he's killed pretty quickly. The only way for Cody to return on the show, is...well, through flashbacks.

As Box explained to Crime Reads, the decision to kill off Cody was a twist he decided on as he was writing — and some readers still aren't happy about it. "I thought, no one will be prepared for what happens next," he said. "Over the years, I’ve heard many, many comments from readers about that twist. Most say they read that seminal page three or four times to make sure it actually happened. Some readers simply got angry with me and they’re still angry with me. Oh well."

In the premiere of the show, the girls were abducted, and Cody was shot. So, now what's going to happen? The synopsis reads, "Cassie and Jenny continue to search for the missing girls; Danielle, Grace and Jerrie plan their escape."

'Big Sky' airs Tuesdays at 10 pm on ABC.

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