Salt, Sandwiches and Supernatural Shout Outs for Jensen Ackles’ Beau Arlen in Big Sky 3.02

Episode 2 of Season 3 of Big Sky aired last Wednesday, and we got some more insights into one Sheriff Beau Arlen. (Yes, lots of other cool things happened too with the other amazing characters, but this is my just-for-fun focus on Mr. Beau Legs and what we learn each week about his character, so read with that framework in mind).

Jensen Ackles got to show off his comic chops a few times in this episode – first with Deputy Poppernak, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on this show. He and Beau share a love of good food (or maybe just food in general), and in this episode Beau is heartily enjoying the sandwich the Deputy bought at Tonya’s new place. That doesn’t go over all that well with Jenny considering her history with Tonya – and her determination to finally bring her to justice. Beau just wants to enjoy his damn sandwich, though. Shades of Dean Winchester! Besides, Tonya needs help removing a squatter from one of her properties.

Beau knows how much Jenny detests her, so of course he goes off to help Cassie and leaves Jenny to investigate Tonya’s situation. He clearly enjoys all that a little too much also.  I really like the dynamic he has with both Jenny and Cassie, and kinda hope it doesn’t skew to the romantic – I enjoy them all as partners and friends and three people trying to do a little ‘saving people, hunting things’.

I also very much enjoy all the Supernatural shout outs that Big Sky seems happy to include in Season 3 – poor Jensen is setting himself up to play a character once again who does a lot of eating on screen. You would think he would have learned his lesson with Dean Winchester!

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Then again, uhh, maybe he shouldn’t stop any time soon…

The other priceless comedic moment is when Beau catches up to Cassie on a steep trail, out of breath and adorably pissy about it. Cassie’s eyeroll is understandable in the face of his ‘tantrum’ but it’s also fond, because who can be truly annoyed at THIS?

He wishes he’d worn his “marathon boots,” which btw are what Dean Winchester’s iconic boots were for 15 seasons of Supernatural.

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How can you stay annoyed when he looks so adorably flustered?

Another shout out – Beau is (rightly) skeptical of the officer who shows up (alone) to accompany their whistleblower, saying he wants to call her office first and be sure she’s who she says she is (she isn’t). Shades of the Winchesters and their set up with trusty Bobby Singer, who assured everyone that Sam and Dean were in fact feds. (Not.)

Damn, Big Sky, you’re really bringing all the Supernatural emotions this season.

I like that Beau Arlen, like Dean Winchester, is smart. His instincts turn out to be right this time, which means Beau and Jenny have to go save the day when the not-a-fed abducts their whistle blower guy.

The best shout out comes near the end of the episode, as Beau and Jenny bring some housewarming gifts to Cassie at her new house. Beau brings bread, so she never goes hungry – and salt.

Beau: And you’re always protected.

Cassie: Ohhhh, from demons…how traditional of you…

The grin on Beau’s face says he – and Ackles – could not be more proud of that Supernatural callback. I unabashedly love it.

We get a lot more than comedic moments in this episode, though. We also get a healthy dose of competence kink, from Beau’s casual toss of a pen that lands perfectly in its cup, to a single-layered vested gun-toting Sheriff smoothly sneaking into the house where the whistleblower is being held. Legs for damn miles.

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All while wearing a delicious shade of burgundy. (Look, we Supernatural fans did not get a lot of single layered Winchesters over the years, so this is….noteworthy.)

Damn, something about how soft his hair looks there on the back of his  neck…maybe the Victorians were onto something with those little seemingly innocuous glimpses… Anyway.

Also, Ackles fans all inevitably recalled his story of being locked out of his hotel room with no recourse and kicking the door down in real life, so that added a bit of extra hotness to the moment when Beau kicks the door in too.

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As always, the emotional moments are the ones that will really stay with me, though. Beau finally gets to meet Reba – I mean, Sunny Barnes – and her husband. Ackles said that in real life, he was totally fanboying, not just Reba but her real life partner, Rex Linn. It shows on Beau’s face, and it’s adorable.

Having to investigate Sunny Day Excursions of course also gives Beau the chance to check up on his daughter, Emily. Before he gets there, we’ve all become increasingly concerned about her as we find out that not only is Sunny’s possibly dangerous son lurking in the woods, but the birthday celebrating constantly fighting couple are actually thieves whose relationship is unraveling in a possibly violent way. On top of that, stepdad Avery is a bit shady too. Emily finds him snooping in the arguing couple’s tent, finding a gun and lots of cash in a bag. Does he know something? Is he somehow wrapped up in the other mystery that’s going on as a tech guy? Hmmm.

Emily, played with admirable realism by Cree Cicchino, is less than thrilled to have her dad show up and check up on her. She assures him she’s fine and he awkwardly acknowledges how annoying over protective parents are.

He pulls her aside and starts to ask her not to say anything to her mother about him being there, then thinks better of it and says never mind, that he is just glad to have seen her and be able to hug her. So we learn something else about Beau Arlen – he’s a good dad.

He almost put her in the middle and inappropriately asked her to keep secrets from her mother for him, but he realized his mistake and took it back. That’s good parenting! Also assuring her that what he really wants is just to love her and be able to spend time with her, that’s good parenting too. God knows, parenting is hard, I can testify to that myself, but I really like the writing here around Beau being a daddy.

We also get to see him be softer than most of Ackles’ characters have ever been – closer to Ackles himself when he’s with his kids. It’s all kinds of awwwww.

And that look on his face when Beau has to be nice to stepdad as he walks away? Not at all soft. Beau’s got a scary side, and I like it.

The ending leaves us in characteristically ominous territory, as Beau realizes his little girl might be in danger – and we happen to know that unfortunately she is.

Looking forward to next week!

Caps by spndeangirl

– Lynn

You can read Jensen Ackles’ thoughts on fandom

and Supernatural in his chapters in Family Don’t

End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You

Are Done. Links on home page or at:


14 thoughts on “Salt, Sandwiches and Supernatural Shout Outs for Jensen Ackles’ Beau Arlen in Big Sky 3.02

  • I love the fact that they write Beau as clever. I love smart characters. Jensen always layers the characters he plays. Beau has definitely got more going on than we have seen. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

    • I love that too – and really, he can adeptly play a character who’s smart as hell and still funny, they’re not mutually exclusive

  • Great review! I love all the shout outs too! I think in the first ep Emily has a knife her father gave her!

  • Legs for days, single layers and that smile…Lynn you are spot on! Jensen brings a bright spot to this show for sure! And the writers are getting gold stars for all the SPN shoutouts! They must be fans too! (aren’t all the smart people?) Thanks for a great recap and lovely screenshots! I’ll happily follow you though this new adventure in Jensen-watching.

    • I think you’re right, someone else on that show (or many someones) are also SPN fans. I mean, clearly all smart people are!

  • Jensen is just so charming in this role. I see a lot of him in the character. I’m enjoying watching him on this show. I also saw that their ratings took a big jump this season. I wonder if he will be around for another season (if there is another season). Regardless, I will enjoy Beau while he’s on the show. He’s an interesting character. And, of course, I love his wardrobe of tight jeans, tucked in shirts, etc.

    • He originally said this was just for one season, but I guess who knows? It’s a role that’s a bit closer to his own personality than his other recent ones, which makes it extra fun to watch

  • There’s so much going on in that scene with Beau, Avery and Emily! The uncomfortable playing nice-nice between the adults and Emily 100% aware of the playing nice-nice. The passive-aggressive posturing. Beau’s probably been poking into things uninvited a lot because I could feel Avery’s eye-roll from the moon. And while Beau backed out of the “hey don’t tell your mom”.. the fact that he started to ask that makes me also wonder if there are any custody/visitation limitations in place. It just seems like there’s an undercurrent of “you shouldn’t be here” from Avery in addition to the overall annoyance factor. Divorces are complicated. Should be really interesting whenever Carla makes her entrance!

    • Agreed, there was alot going on there – and there’s clearly alot we still don’t know. I’m looking forward to finding out more with all these competent actors making it interesting for sure!

  • What if Avery was in Paige & Luke’s tent BECAUSE of their theft?

    I’m wondering if he used the camping excursion to investigate them for his company or a client.
    I don’t want him to be bad because 1) Desmond; and 2) stereotype of the wicked step-parent.
    I’m really liking this show, and Jensen’s legs are still so sexy! Well, everything abt him is, actually.

  • I will adore Dean Winchester until the day I die-obviously!
    But Beau Arlen has become my favorite cutie pie! I kept thinking how attractive and sweet and funny he is in this show, then I realized he gets to smile and laugh here about 20X more often than poor Dean did (although I do remember the pranks on Sam and the funny episodes that gave us a welcome break from the intense dramas they went through!) What’s great is Beau excellent at his job too.
    I was on a facebook fan page for Big Sky and people were commenting on the SPN shout out about the salt and someone commented that it wasn’t a reference to SPN because “the writers are not smart enough for that.” I was thinking this clueless person does not know much about Jensen…he used to throw in his own ad-libs on SPN, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t the one who suggested it!

  • I wasn’t aware Natalie Alyn Lind was in this episode. And that was definitely not her playing the role of Emily.

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