Seeing a calculated, stunning, yet merciless female portrayed as a villain on a television show or film is always a thrill, don’t you agree?
In this case, our star of the day is Ren Bhullar, the smart, strategic, and sometimes ruthless daughter of a renowned drug dealer.
Ren, played by Janina Gavankar, dispels stereotypes and overcomes obstacles by demonstrating that she is just as capable as the next man in her patriarchal South Asian family.
Despite being a key character on ABC’s Big Sky, Gavankar suddenly didn’t make a comeback after season two, which was a big shocker for fans of the show.
So, what happened to Ren on Big Sky? That’s a major question on fans’ minds. We did some research to find out why Ren’s role no longer aired and what happened to Gavankar afterwards.
Who is Ren on Big Sky?
Actress Janina Gavankar plays Ren Bhullar on Big Sky. She is the first female antagonist in the crime drama thriller, an exciting role she perfectly embodies.
In the series, Ren hails from a prominent Asian family dabbling in drugs and arms. The first time we see her, she lands in Helena looking for her family’s money and drugs lost after one of their employees got into a horrible accident.
Ren’s character is initially ambiguous; at one point during her time in Helena, she portrays herself as a weirdo. On the other hand, she comes off as a smart, overthinking perfectionist who won’t stop at anything to get what she wants.
She is unafraid of letting her presence be known in the quiet town. Ren sees this as an opportunity to impress her father and show that she is capable of handling the family business despite the patriarchal climate.
Determined to get back the lost money, Ren is not afraid to establish her presence in the quiet town. She also sees this assignment as an opportunity to make a bigger impact in the family business, subsequently impressing her father, the cartel leader.
Janina Gavankar is an American actress and musical artist with an extensive and frankly impressive background in theater, film, television, and technology. She is a trained orchestral percussionist, vocalist, and pianist and an alumnus of the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she majored in theater.
Gavankar’s parents are Ganesh Gavankar, an engineer who emigrated from Mumbai to study in the United States, and Demohra Gavankar. Demorah, fondly known as Mohra, who is half-Indian and half-Dutch, also emigrated to the U.S.A. from Pune, India.
In addition to her film career, Janina also dabbles in music. After a long hiatus, she made a comeback, covering Love Lockdown by Kanye West. She was also part of Endera, a now-disbanded all-female singing group signed to Cash Money Records.
The gorgeous actress has also accomplished a lot in the tech space. We bet you didn’t know she was the first actress to use Twitter (now X) in 2006, using Richard Branson’s computer to sign up while they were on Necker Island.
Now you know!
Did Ren leave Big Sky?
Ren Bhullar became a series regular in season 2 of Big Sky, joining fellow regulars Brian Geraghty, Bunbury, Winnick, Anja Savcic, Omar Metwally, and Dedee Pfeiffer.
Her promotion from a recurring role to a regular saw season 2 largely dedicated to Ren’s character and her story.
In an interview with TV Guide, Janina explained her reaction when one of Big Sky’s producers approached her about a role in the second season of the series: “I saw this as an opportunity to play a character that would change the narrative around South Asian communities and their portrayal on television.”
The Indian-American actress further noted that Hollywood barely showed South Asian representation. Asian actors as a whole rarely play leading characters with complex stories, Gavankar said.
Surprisingly, Janina anticipated resistance from the top executives when the Big Sky producers asked if they were ready to hire brown people for the set.
She did not expect that they would easily accept something different from what people are used to, which is caucasian, a bit of African-American, and Latina actors. So, it was delightful that the show’s writers, producers, and executives agreed with her ideas, which would go a long way to making the series more authentic.
Ren certainly made a strong appearance in season two, where she owned her narrative and showed off her impeccable acting skills.
Not seeing her in season three definitely left us with many questions. So, did Ren leave Big Sky?
In the season’s final scenes, we see Verr Bhullar, Ren’s father, recover in the hospital from a beating. Additionally recovering from an alleged attempted murder by his father is Jag Bhullar, Verr’s son and Ren’s brother.
Jag finds the strength to drag himself to his father’s hospital room, where she smothers him with a pillow. Ren then makes her way in and takes her brother out of the room, eventually leaving the hospital together.
With their father dead, a tearful Jag tells Ren that he loves her, to which Ren casually replies, “This family! Love em or hate em, can’t live without em!”
And that scene was the last we saw of Ren Bullhar on Big Sky.
Ren did not leave Big Sky. There are several possible explanations for her hiatus on season three. For one, it could be that her contract with the show ended.
There is also the possibility that Ren’s story was put on hold to highlight another character’s narrative. In fact, a bold, new, and exciting character was introduced at the end of the second season.
Sherrif Beau Arlen, played by Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, continued his narrative throughout the third season. Despite the show’s cancellation, the season’s finale pointed to his return in the future.
In an interview with the media, Ackles admitted that he would be happy to return if the show got renewed. “If there is a contract and that’s where they tell me to go, that’s where I will go,” he quipped
Is Ren coming back to Big Sky?
There is no doubt that Janina Gavanka is an amazing actress, and her portrayal of Ren adds another layer of excitement and drama to Big Sky.
As much as we would love for her to grace our television screens, it seems Ren will not return to Big Sky.
ABC, the network airing the series, confirmed that the crime drama had been cancelled along with others, including The Company You Keep and Alaska Daily.
So, unless ABC renews its contract with the show’s producers, we likely will no longer see Ren Bhullar.
ABC has not yet provided a reason for canceling the show, but as Jensen Ackles aptly sums it up, “Anything can happen in this industry.”