Jul 23, 2012

Heartland Season 2 Episode 2 - Letting Go

Basically, this episode be crazy. We get to see the continuation of the very clearly delineated Ty/Caleb/Mustang metaphor, all of which makes terrible sense, as I shall make clear in my recap. Basically, if you love something and it hates you, set it free so that it can run away and be with someone who is not you that it actually loves and then you will be alone and shame on you for trying to make it love you. Also, Lou moves forward with her plan to build a dude ranch on Heartland, but not without provoking the ire of Grandpa Mustache, of course. Amy gets a new horse from her dad because he wants her to love him. And Mallory hangs around and says some really cool stuff because she's great. But, before all of that, we get this:

I thought this was a family show.

So Amy is outside chasing Ghost around, trying to make him fall in love with her or something. Mallory, who acts basically as the show's chorus, is watching and plainly states, "I don't think he likes you." No Amy, that stallion doesn't like you but he sure LOOOVES Ty. You should ask him what shampoo he uses. But no, Amy does not want to smell nice, she is just generally bitchy to Ty, as is her right, and Mallory totally backs her up on it, girl power. Then Amy storms off, as is her MO, and so does Ty, as is his MO, and then Mallory asks Grandpa Mustache what he's going to do about the Ty/Caleb situation, because Mallory is awesome. Lou also asks Grandpa Mustache if it was such a good idea bringing Ty back to Heartland, what with all the storming off, but Grandpa Mustache made a promise!!!!! And promises cannot be broken. It's up to the Men in Heartland's world to keep their promises (as well as police moral boundaries) or else everything will fall apart. Maybe he likes Ty's early morning underwear displays?

I know one person who doesn't love Ty's budding Calvin Klein career: Caleb. He makes a point of following Ty out to the round pen and engaging him in some really tense discussion rife with sexual undertones. I'll put the subtext in italics, just to make it easier for you.

Caleb: I'm betting you're not much of a rider. What I mean is that you are unskilled in the sexual department.
Ty: Haven't done much lately. I haven't been laid in a while.
Caleb: And you obviously don't know much about horses. I am asserting that you are very bad with women, and perhaps also at sexually pleasing them. What brought you back here, the fresh mountain air? Are you here because of vagina? 
Ty: Yeah, that's it. Yes I'm here because of vagina. It's too bad, though, because all I'm smelling right now is a bunch of bull. Caleb, I think you smell like poop. Not vagina. 

Ugh, okay, what else. Oh, um. Amy's dad buys her a world class show jumper to make up for missing out on ten years of her life. I wish my dad would buy me horses to make up for his shitty parenting. I'd be running a breeding operation. The horse he buys her, Storm, is seriously gorgeous, and Amy is appropriately thrilled, though not sure that she wants to dedicate her life to show jumping/that she can find the strength to reject her father's outright attempt at buying her love.

Also, Tim gets the plans for the dude ranch drawn up professionally and Lou is very, very excited but because everyone else hates the idea they ignore her/don't care. But she has an MBA, damnit! Can't they see that? Grandpa Mustache won't even let her tear down the old bunkhouses that are rotting and can't be seen from anywhere and aren't being used by anyone. Lou's solution is to pop champagne and make an incredibly sarcastic toast to the idea that nothing should ever change and no one should ever support anyone else, and she does this, of course, at dinner. Then she goes to Maggie's and gets a job as a waitress and precedes not only to suck at it and get fired, but to disturb Grandpa Mustache so much that he gives in and lets her re-purpose the bunkhouses for, as he dubs it, her "Equestrian Restrooms Haven Cure." Because Grandpa Mustache is the best.

Meanwhile, back in the main plot, Amy is still trying to tame the mustang, even though it charges her while her back is turned and almost kills her. Scott the vet says, "Stallions don't like being bossed around by mares." Look. I know absolutely nothing about breaking mustangs, but is this sexist? Should I be incensed? Someone tell me if I should be angry this show keeps saying women can't break mustangs because we are smaller and smell like girls. Please. Because I feel like I should be angry but animals are weird and maybe it's true? Aren't stallions bossed by mares all the time in nature? I don't know and I'm too lazy to Google it so someone else please tell me.

At this point Ty is convinced that Ghost has a friend out in the wild that he is trying to get back to, but Amy is still all, "No, I will tame the wild beast."

Amy will never tame this wild stallion.
So Ty waits until Amy is not looking then lets Ghost go free and you know, yay Ty for making the right decision. But Amy gets even MORE pissed and is all, "NO TY BAD TY," and runs off to find the mustang with Caleb. Caleb thinks this is all the best because now that Ty has pissed Amy off for the millionth time perhaps Caleb can get in her pants.

So Caleb and Amy gallop around looking for this mustang, which is fine because the scenery is very pretty, and then they find him and guess what, Ty was right, he has a girlfriend! See Amy, if you set your stallion free he will run away to his pretty girlfriend...I guess. But oh no! Someone starts shooting at the two horses and then, starting what will become a habit, Amy gallops her horse toward the gunfire. Brilliant! Good thing it is only Grandpa Mustache and Ty, there to chase the horses off private land so ranchers won't come out and shoot them to death.

Then Grandpa Mustache schools Amy. He's all, "Look, I know you have this Ty/mustang thing all mixed up, just like you are supposed to because the show is making a metaphor even though at this point it really makes very little sense. But anyway, you've got to let it go or you'll squeeze the life out of it, and you don't want Ty to die, do you? Forgive him for being a giant dickwad or you won't be able to enter into an incredibly unhealthy relationship with him and also Caleb is like, 47 so that's not okay you have to date Ty instead because he's only around 32."

Amy decides the best way to take Grandpa Mustache's advice is to walk into Ty's room later that night without knocking.

Can't you see I'm busy not wearing a shirt, here?
She mans up and asks him why he just didn't call her while he was away and, because the writers couldn't think of any answer to this legitimate question other than "Ty's a giant dick," this is literally his reaction:

Uhhhh...I don't know?
So Amy storms out again, case not closed, next episode please.


Mara said...

Personally, those "ladies can't tame stallions!" sounded ridiculous to me. Basically, I think the whole mindset based in myth, and why the hell would they even SAY that to Amy, the resident horse whisperer? She's retrained a least two male racehorses, and what do you want to bet they're stallions?


And yes, the "I don't know" response. Awesome attempt to draw out drama, Heartland! Awesome.

Anonymous said...

^but the idk response is the most realistic part of the show. not that im projecting my own guy drama or anything

Claire said...

I think you you actually make a really good point, and I've been trying to think of a way to contextualize my reaction to the "uhhh" response.

You're right that many guys, and people in general, do things like Ty did and then offer up an "uhhh" response. But I think my problem with it is a little more complicated because what Ty did to Amy really was very shitty, and she has every right to be angry and expect and explanation if he wants her forgiveness. But what happens instead is that it turns into some weird thing about Amy having freaky insecurity and control issues and needing to overcome her own fear of saying I love you when Ty is the one who made the mess in the first place. I've been in some Amy/Ty situations myself, and looking back, no...Ty is still the one who needs to also figure out a way to articulate his feelings and explain to this woman he supposedly loves why he just ran away and dropped off the face of the earth.

I also think it's just lazy writing on part of the writers. Amy and Ty's conversations often involve a lot of "uhhhs" and storming out without doing anything other than huffing and puffing, and for a show with such great dialog on many occasions, I just can't figure it out. Maybe this is what's more offense to me. The situation feels awkwardly contrived to keep them apart so the show can continue to play on the will/they won't/they vibe.

I really hope you'll comment on more posts! You really made me think about my own reaction to the show, and I enjoyed the mental exercise. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.

wildecatt said...

I love totally love this show even though it is completely teenage angst, but I also really enjoy these commentaries. Why did you stop writing them? No one else seemed to comment on the fact that Ty needed Jack to pick him up (even though he had a truck and at one point a dirt bike). Jack picked him up and then somehow his truck appeared at Heartland with no explanation. Did it break down and that's why he needed Jack to rescue him? I really want to know!