Jul 19, 2012

Heartland Season 1 Episode 12 - Nothing Endures

Moving on from our last adventure in family togetherness, in this episode we get to experience a barn fire, because every horse series ever must have at least one installment with a barn fire. Did Thoroughbred ever have a barn fire? I don't think so. That's probably why it never got a television adaptation. Think about it - Saddle Club had a barn fire, The Black Stallion had a barn fire. I'm sure everyone else I'm forgetting also had a barn fire. Hence Heartland's barn fire, and coming quite early in the game might I add.

As we begin the episode we are greeted with what is essentially the ongoing b-plot that will eventually become the a-plot. Amy is training Spartan to participate in the upcoming big show that it is really important for her to win or something. Everyone who knows horse series also knows that we always have one of these events as well. In this episode, Ty has decided that the way to win Amy's heart is to be her show jumping coach, despite the fact that he can barely stay on a horse, which Ben so helpfully points out to us upon hearing this news. Not that Ben is the fount of wisdom on horses. In fact, he's transferred to Briar Ridge, which for some reason automatically translates to dating Ashley. But his shitty riding, combined with their shitty yet somehow top notch trainers, has caused him to be thrown from his horse and injured. Yay Ben. You're dumb and I'm excited for when you disappear from this show forever and I forget about your existence.

Anyway, despite the fact that Ashley is Amy's rival, she invites her and Ty to an school dance after party she is throwing, which I guess is her pretense for randomly showing up at Heartland a la Brad Townsend. Then off she goes in her awesome red Bimmer (Beamer is the BMW motorcycle, freaks. Look it up.), Ben in tow. There is some awkwardness involved with Ty then asking Amy if she wants to go to the high school dance and remembering his glory days as a high school dance crasher. Or maybe Amy asked him. I don't remember because I am really freaked out by how old Ty is supposed to be. It is never, ever mentioned, but he looks to be at least old enough to make their relationship illegal. I will assume for the sake of not creepiness that he is under 18, as he is still a ward of the state. So anyway, Amy makes fun of Ty being her jumping coach and he storms off all angry, which prompts Mallory to ask "Who peed on his pancakes?" Have I mentioned that I love Mallory?

At this point I will mention that Jack keeps seeing some creepy red truck sitting up on the road spying on Heartland, but he decides the best thing to do is mention it to Ty and then ignore it forever, which we viewers all know is the best way to approach creepy spying trucks in horse shows.

Plot progresses and now we are going to the dance. Lou and Scott are also going on a date, but I find their relationship to be awkward and weird, so I'm going to ignore it. Of course we get the moment where Amy appears all dressed up (she is not wearing anything made of velvet, thank god), and Ty stands there all slack-jawed, though who knows if it's a result of his normally gaping mouth or awe at her beauty. He does manage to stammer out, "I'll go get it warmed up - the truck." I like this clarification. It's as if he wanted to make sure everyone knew he wasn't referring to his penis or some sort of furious pre-dance masturbation ritual, which I'm sure absolutely no one was thinking until he made that clarification because of course he was talking about the truck. Creeper.

We skip the dance and go straight to Ashley's party so that Ashley can come over and smack talk Amy some more. Amy is actually the one least baited by Ashley. Soraya is all upset because Ben is dating Ashley and not her (Soraya has a great track record of dating men that she has been warned are dicks and then getting upset when they act like dicks). And also everyone is making fun of Ty for thinking he can coach Amy. Ty makes the assertion that show jumping is all about "strategies and angles" and actually yes, he is right. Other than knowing how to ride a horse very well and having an appropriately athletic animal, show jumping IS about strategies and angles. Ty makes the mistake of comparing this to billiards, an obvious past time of his because he is a juvenile delinquent, and that just blows his already non-existent credibility. Sorry, Ty.

Oh yeah, and now the barn is on fire! Everyone is gone so evil pickup truck guy comes down to the barn and sets it one fire. But oops, Grandpa Mustache is home and he rushes in to the barn and manages to save all the horses before bumping his head, which causes him to forget that he actually did see who evil pickup truck guy was. This momentary amnesia leads the fire department to believe that a space heater caused the fire, and this leads Ty to blame Mallory for perhaps leaving the space heater on, which leads Mallory to burst into  tears and run away. Everything is as it should be.

Because we have already established that Lou is the only one who can do anything related to paperwork, it is on her to contact the insurance company and she discovers that, because her dead mom was bad at these kind of things, the house was insured but the barn isn't. Heartland is poor, what will they do? Meanwhile, Grandpa Mustache is busy having crazy concussion flashbacks to when he was a kid and he promised his own grandfather that he'd never sell Heartland for any reason ever, even if selling off a small part of it means he would be able to pay for repairs to the barn. So Grandpa Mustache refuses to sell part of the farm to Ashley's mother because of a promise Ghost Grandpa Mustache made to Ghost Grandpa Mustache's Grandpa. Guys, I'm going to let you know right now that ghosts make more than one appearance on this show and everyone acts like its normal.

What are we going to do now guys? Thankfully, Grandpa Mustache passes out and hits his head again while trying to touch Ghost Grandpa, and when he wakes up he happens to see evil pickup truck man walking into the hospital, hands very visibly bandaged as if they'd been burned. Grandpa Mustache realizes that this man is the one he saw lighting the barn on fire. He just so happens to be Wes, the guy who got fired after Amy and Ty intercepted his mustang rustling operation a few episodes previous. Out for revenge, he decided to burn Heartland to the ground. Instead he ends up being violently tackled by Tim and carted off in a police car. Fun.

So that's all settled. When the crew gets home they discover that the entire town has pulled together to rebuild the burned down barn, donating apparently $50,000 dollars worth of material and labor. That is love, or something. Of course, in the shot of the finished barn it already looks incredibly weathered, a rare slip for a show with such high production values.

And we end on the family gathered around the fire playing board games because we have to make up for the lack of family meal in this episode. In conclusion, I present you with Ty's best gaping mouth face of the episode:

He's not in the middle of a word, you guys, he is just staring.
 Also, please maybe get a haircut. Your hair is eating your face.

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