Review: Heartland ends with double cliffhanger

The mark of a good cliffhanger episode leaves a viewer stunned, shocked–and in the best of cases–yelling “No!” at the television screen. Sunday’s episode of Heartland was certainly that in a couple of cases, especially when it came to Ty and Amy being arrested. I was a little surprised by the kiss they shared moments after liberating the wild horses from the corral Matt constructed, but I didn’t expect them to be collared by the local RCMP.

I think part of the reason for my surprise was that they were nabbed so quickly. It seemed like they’d only just minutes before stopped riding and suddenly the local police were there. I was glad to see the show’s fave couple reunited–there has been a great slow burn between Amy and Ty over the last several weeks–in the spot that meant so much to the couple: Pike River.

“The Pike River Cull,” written by Heather Conkie, brought back the show’s second-best curmudgeon–after Jack– in Will (Nicholas Campbell) and his daughter, Joanna (Hélène Joy). With business on the wane and wanting to move closer to her son, Joanna put the restaurant and hotel up for sale and was hoping Will would move closer to Calgary with her. No dice; he was staying put and close to the wild horses last seen in “A Heartland Christmas.” The fact that a local farmer named Matt was plotting to cull some of those wonderful beasts only cemented Will’s resolve.

Jack, Tim, Ty and Amy all headed to Pike River to try to talk some sense into Will, and it didn’t take long for the former lovebirds to recall their time in front of the hotel fireplace, snuggled under a blanket (and Ty’s shocking long mane of hair). Ty may have started out that first night sleeping in Tim’s truck to avoid Amy, but once he saw her in that tank top, his emotions had come rushing back. Good thing too, because they certainly made for a great team by calling out Matt on his evil plans to kill off some of the horses and then loosing the proud animals from his trap.

The cliffhanger, of course, is whether or not Amy and Ty are actually going to be arrested or whether they’re able to talk themselves out of it. I can see this going either way within the first few minutes of the first episode back in January. Will the RCMP officer stuff the two into the back seat of his truck? Will the two explain that Will is hurt and needs attention back at the corral? We’ll have to see.

The other cliffhanger on Sunday was the state of Lou and Peter’s marriage. He’d spent so much time away from the family on business that Lou finally blew her top when she found out he’d delayed his return to Heartland because he wanted one night to relax. (Raise your hand if you thought perhaps he’d had a dalliance.) Their bitter back and forth certainly put a damper on their staycation at the dude ranch, though there was a nice moment when Georgie caught that fish. But that wasn’t enough to solve the couple’s deep problems, and it appeared Peter was about to ask for a trial separation on the road to divorce when a lawyer showed up to present them with papers: Georgie’s aunt Crystal had made a complaint that her niece wasn’t growing up in a safe environment. I knew Crystal was up to no good when she left Heartland!

Heartland returns Sunday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. on CBC.