Everything about Heartland, eh?

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Review: Georgie’s past haunts her on Heartland

What did Lou expect when she connected with Georgie’s aunt? That was the first thing that came to mind when Lou decided to reach out to Crystal (Keegan Connor Tracy) so that Georgie could complete her birth mom’s side of her family tree project.

Lou, Peter and Georgie were front and centre during “The Family Tree,” with Lou being her usual overly-concerned self with regard to her daughters and anyone else that lives in Heartland. Written by David Preston and directed by Chris Potter, Lou at first found herself trying to measure up to the self-assured, confident and perfectly-coiffed Crystal before switching to plotting her demise. And who could blame Lou, really? Crystal had blown in like a whirling dervish, telling her niece how much she looked like her late sister and describing that side of the family so Georgie could fill in the blanks. Lou didn’t have too much of a problem with that, until Crystal started to question how Georgie was being raised.

Mucking out stables? Wearing her hair back? Dressed in hand-me-downs? That wasn’t good enough for Crystal. Her niece deserved more. The high-end shopping spree wasn’t a surprise. Georgie breaking her arm after falling from Checkers wasn’t. Lou’s outrage wasn’t either. What was surprising to me was that, rather than have Georgie lash out at Lou–a trope that’s over-used in this genre–Georgie embraced her and admitted having Crystal urge her to be more assertive and wear makeup just confused the young girl. (Did anyone else cheer when Peter told Crystal to get out of the house? Yeah, me too.) Crystal saying Lou and Peter couldn’t stop her from seeing Georgie hinted–at least to me–that she may show up later this season to cause more trouble for the Hogans.

Potter, meanwhile, was doing double duty behind the camera and in front, as Tim valiantly tried to get his relationship with Casey back on track. Again, rather than have the usual back-and-forth of two people tentatively easing into a relationship, Heartland did it differently by having Casey put Tim in an uncomfortable spot–buying a bulldogging horse so he could wrestle steer–before he admitted his rodeo days are in the rearview mirror. The two ended up smooching in the hay, so all is good with “Tasey” (“Casim”?).

That bulldogging horse of Caleb and Ty’s represented the last sale the latter wanted to make before leaving his business with the former so he could concentrate on his vet gig. Ty’s decision to sever ties over beers with Caleb had the usual effect. After all, beer and business don’t usually mix; throw in Jesse Stanton and things got ugly. I wish more time had been spent during the bar brawl itself, but the result was nonetheless the same: the pair were thrown in jail overnight and Ty called on Amy to come and bail them out.

“Did I mention I hate you two?” she said as she pulled away from the RCMP detachment? Yes, Amy, you made that quite clear.

 Notes and quotes

  • “What happened to your face?!”–Lou
  • “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yeah, shut up Crystal
  • I like Drunk Caleb
  • I missed Jack
  • Did anyone else catch the “godmother” reference that teased Connor’s role on Once Upon a Time?

Next week is a repeat of Heartland followed by one more new episode on Dec. 7 before a break for the holidays.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

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Review: Hutterites and (almost) heartbreak on Heartland

Back in 2012 when I was working for TV Guide Canada, I interviewed Alisha Newton. She was just about to debut as Georgie on Heartland that year and I jumped at the chance to speak to the show’s newest character.

So it’s been a distinct pleasure to see her grow and evolve as Georgie on CBC’s Sunday night stalwart. Ty and Georgie have shown a lot of growth character-wise this season, and last night’s newest episode, “Walk a Mile” (written by Mark Haroun and directed by Chris Potter), was no different. Georgie, after teaming with Jade last week, made a new friend in Hannah, a young girl from the local Hutterite colony. Hannah’s father, Walter, had dropped off their Percheron horses to have Amy look at them after the skittish beasts scared some kids during a hat ride. Who else knew Paul wasn’t telling his dad all the facts when he told him the horses needed to be sold? Yeah, me too.

Still, knowing the truth would come out didn’t take away from the storyline. It actually enhanced it, because it gave Georgie and Hannah time to bond as buds around Lucas and Alexander, those beautiful horses. It also gave the second-youngest member of the Heartland crew the opportunity to once again be a voice of advice for someone else. I love how Georgie is evolving from the quick-to-judge person she was at the beginning of this season with Amy to a more patient person who takes the extra time to learn both sides of the story. That really paid off with it came to Hannah’s secret that Paul was scared of horses and was afraid to tell his father. Rather than blurt out the secret to Walter in order to stop Lucas and Alexander from being sold, she and Amy and Jack hatched a plan that kept the horses around.

Speaking of patience, Tim had returned from the rodeo a little short on that. After confronting Ty and telling him to either break up with Amy for good or get the heck back together, he waffled over whether to break things off with Casey. His ultimate decision to dump her was thwarted by the family, who invited Casey to dinner as proof about how much they liked her. Lou was the only one who figured out Tim’s aloof behaviour towards Casey hid the fact he was falling in love and didn’t want to get hurt. Too bad Casey beat him to the punch and called things off with Tim. This being Heartland, I don’t thing we’ve seen the last of the bubbly blonde.

As for Ty, Scott has been busting his butt at the clinic. But what Ty took as bullying was actually Scott’s way of driving his employee to be the best vet he can be, something that was shown when Ty oozed confidence (and his hands oozed something unspeakable) as he untwisted a cow’s stomach. Ty’s icy attitude to Amy seems to be melting a bit too; he returned her phone call (shocker!) and was happy to see her when she swung by to say hi (double shocker!).

Will the two get back together soon? We’ll have to wait at least two weeks: Heartland returns with a new episode on Nov. 23.

Notes and quotes

  • I love it when Heartland embraces their horse co-stars for a few minutes. The scene with Amy leading the Percherons into Heartland’s front yard was particularly engrossing. Those are beautiful animals.
  • Heartland continues to educate: I had no clue Hutterites used modern-day technology
  • “I like you. Sort of.”–Tim to Ty
  • I’ll take Tim’s tackle kit if he doesn’t want it
  • I don’t want to know what was on Ty’s gloves after the cow’s stomach surgery

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

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Review: Jade and Georgie team up on Heartland

What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday night Jade had basically alienated herself on Heartland after holding a party at the dude ranch, and this week she and Georgie were starring in their own buddy comedy.

Not that it was easy. Things are never easy at Heartland. But thanks to some mighty big patience on the part of Jack, Jade turned her snark into smiles. Learning that Jade was upset with her mother for going to Toronto and finding a new man went a long way to making me understand why the teen was being so hard to get along with. And why she was holding both horses and humans at arm’s length. Credit Georgie with cracking Jade’s hard shell via a mixture of compassion and stubbornness. And give Dash the horse some credit too; if it hadn’t have been for him Jade may not have bonded with the Heartland crew. Putting Georgie in the position of “boss” over Jade was a pretty brilliant idea by Jack: it forced Georgie to test her own patience–something she’s had a short supply of with Amy lately–and delegate tasks too.

Meanwhile, Ty further evolved as a character–and a man–by taking on the poachers. I had a feeling that Bob wasn’t the laid-back stoner we’d been introduced to. The fact he took money from the poachers and then looked the other way when they slaughtered bears for their gall bladders got me hot under the collar too, so I was totally behind Ty’s high-flying tackle of that one dude. Amy may not be happy with the direction Ty is going in his life but I’m think it’s a fascinating story angle. Reporting Bob to Wildlife and Game was a bold move and apologizing to Scott was a mature one. And I’m happy that Ty is back working with Scott again; their partnership is just too good to ignore.

Alas, Amy and Ty’s partnership is still fizzling. The most awkward scene of the night was at the end, when Amy and Ty passed each other on the road. After a few stilted lines of dialogue, Ty looked off into the distance and rebuffed Amy’s “I miss you” with a dimissive “take care of yourself.” Ouch.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.