We’re quickly approaching the end of this season of Heartland. But, before we get into the last two episodes of the season, we had this beautiful installment that highlighted one of the sports that is woven into the fabric of Heartland – rodeo. As well as saw the return of Ty’s old motorcycle, which brought back a lot of memories for not only Amy but also Jack.
Want to know what exactly happened on this episode? Then keep on reading this recap of Heartland season 14 episode 8.
As per usual, this is your official spoiler warning, since this is a recap of the episode and therefore it will contain many spoilers.
Strength to let go
The episode began with Caleb arriving at Heartland and surprising Amy and Jack with Ty’s old motorcycle. The same one Amy and Ty sold in season 13 episode 2 to have the money to keep building their dream home.
When Caleb was looking online for a new truck, he saw Ty’s old bike for sale. And knowing how much that motorcycle meant to Ty and therefore to Amy, he bought it. Besides, it was in bad shape and didn’t even run, so it cost next to nothing.
Amy, of course, was grateful for Caleb’s gift, but it was Jack that ended up gaining the most out of it.
As I mentioned, the bike was in bad condition, so Jack decided to fix it up knowing how upset Ty would have been if he saw it like this. And hearing about Jack’s plans Amy decided that once it’s fixed, they would sell it to someone who’d actually enjoy the motorcycle and ride it.
However, once Jack actually started working on the bike, it brought back a lot of memories. Memories of him and Ty going on that road trip to spread Ty’s father’s ashes and so much more. So, when it came time to actually start ordering parts for the bike to fix it up, Jack stalled.
He looked online and found the carburetor that the motorcycle needed. But it would have to be shipped from the UK which would take about a month to arrive. And to Jack that seemed like a normal thing but Amy saw it differently. So, she took matters into her own hands.
She tracked down the carburetor in a junkyard that was nearby. However, the owner wanted double the price Jack paid for the part online. So, Jack got angry at the owner, they exchanged some words, and he and Amy left the junkyard without the part. Yet Amy knew that Jack’s anger wasn’t just about the price of the part.
When they got home Jack realized that he overreacted at the junkyard and apologized to Amy. Which is when Amy told him that the junkyard owner had called her back to offer her to buy the carburetor for half price and she agreed. Now, all Jack had to do was to install the part and the bike would be ready to sell.
So, Ty’s old motorcycle was up and running once again. However, Amy knew that Jack’s enthusiasm about the bike being all fixed wasn’t all genuine, so let her grandfather know that it’s okay to admit that he still misses Ty like crazy. And, just like Lisa pointed out in episode 6 of this season, that it’s okay to feel and to not be the strong one all the time.
Jack: “I just hope that he knew how much he meant to me because lately, I’ve been thinking that I didn’t tell him enough.”
Amy: “Hey, you don’t have to worry about that. Ty knew that he was the son you never had. And in case he didn’t tell you enough, he considered you the father that he never had.”
Jack: “You know, how you have handled all of this, well, you’re amazing.”
Amy: “I couldn’t have done this without you. You have been so strong for me and for everyone else for so long. And I have to admit, I needed that. But I’m in a better place now, and you gave me the strength to start to let go. Maybe it’s your turn.”
By the end of their emotional talk, Amy decided not to sell Ty’s bike after all. She saw how much it meant to her grandfather. And just like she kept Ty’s jacket in the last episode, Jack deserved something special that reminds him of Ty, too.
Speaking of Ty’s jacket, at the end of the episode we even saw Amy and Jack go for a ride on Ty’s bike. And the two of them enjoying that motorcycle together just like Ty would have wanted was something special to see.
It feels like even though Ty is gone Amy, Jack, and the rest of the family are starting to learn to enjoy life again while still remembering and honoring Ty in everything they do. This is what this season has truly been about. And it’s so beautiful to see!
Rodeo is in my blood
One thing I loved about Heartland season 14 episode 8 is that it really let some of the smaller, recurring characters shine. I’m talking about Caleb and Jade in particular. Let’s start with Caleb since we already mentioned him before in this recap.
Although Caleb did have a part in Jack and Amy’s storyline for this episode, his main story had nothing to really do with Ty’s motorcycle and everything to do with his family and career trajectory.
In episode 6 we saw Caleb struggle with parenthood and Peter helping him through it. So, in this episode, while he seemed much better accustomed at being a dad, now he had to learn how to juggle that with being a cowboy, too.
Ever since the season 10 finale, Caleb has been not only a decorated bronc rider but also an active part of Tim’s rodeo school, teaching the next generation of riders. And this episode we saw a lot of that. However, after he got bucked off a bronc riding bareback and came close to getting seriously injured he started to rethink his career choice. After all, he has a family to think of now.
So, all through the episode, we saw Caleb wrestle with his role as a father to baby Carson and his role as a rodeo coach and cowboy. And it really started to affect his coaching. He was worrying about Jade practicing bareback bronc riding too much and refused to show how it’s done when Tim asked him by saying that he doesn’t have his equipment with him. So, he made a decision to quit rodeo all together.
Amy tried to change his mind by getting Caleb to help her teach Jade how to ride bareback, which he was great at, but it didn’t work. So, the next day Caleb handed Tim his letter of resignation and announced that this was his last practice. After all, if he’s quitting rodeo, he’s quitting all of it not just competing.
Luckily, his last practice proved to be an eventful one. And after advising Jade to seize the day, which led her to ride the bronc better than any cowboy could, Tim realized that he couldn’t let Caleb quit. So, he told Caleb how good of a coach he is and convinced him to stay on as a coach.
Caleb might be ready to quit competing, but it looks like rodeo will still be a big part of his life moving forward. After all, as he said to Jessica, rodeo is who he is, it’s in his blood.
Caleb: “For those of us who live it – Tim and I, and Jade – rodeo is more than something we just do, it’s a part of who we are. It’s our way of life.”
And I have to add, I love how Amy and Caleb’s friendship has developed this season. They just support each other and help each other. And, although, it might not be the same as what Caleb had with Ty, it’s pretty damn close. So, hopefully, we will see more of this friendship in upcoming episodes and, fingers crossed, coming seasons.
Next up, all-around cowgirl
While Caleb was thinking about quitting rodeo, Jade was looking for a way how to further her rodeo achievements. But, to start winning all-around cowboy buckles, she needed another event besides just saddle bronc riding.
Fortunately for Jade, the opportunity presented itself in the form of Caleb’s mistake. Caleb accidentally got the rodeo school broncs that only ride bareback, so Jade decided that bareback bronc riding might be just the thing to add to her rodeo resume.
Tim was reluctant to let Jade even try it but she did it anyway and got bucked off pretty quickly. But even seeing Caleb’s bad fall at the end of the practice didn’t stop Jade from wanting to learn how to properly ride bareback. So Tim promised to teach her by getting Jade to ride bareback until she doesn’t get bucked off anymore.
And it was rough. Jade got bucked off so much at practice that she was clearly in pain the next morning. Luckily, Amy saw that and offered a different approach – instead of learning by riding actual broncs Jade could first learn how to ride bareback on a broke horse.
Jade, of course, was all for it because nothing sounded better to her than learning to ride bareback bronc without hitting the ground every time she made a mistake. And despite Tim’s snickering it actually worked.
First Jade practiced her spurring motion on Spartan. And then, as per Caleb’s suggestion, Jade rode steers bareback since the fall off of a steer isn’t as big as it is when falling off a bronc. Add in a little studying of the bareback broncs that are going to be at the rodeo on YouTube and Jade was ready to compete.
However, Tim had doubts and wanted Jade to get more training in before she actually starts riding bareback broncs at the rodeo. So, Jade suggested a wager – if she could stay on a bronc for eight seconds tomorrow at practice then Tim has to let her enter the rodeo that weekend.
The next day Jade got ready to prove to Tim that she’s got this. Caleb and Amy were there to support her. And although Jade was a little unsure about the bronc that she was riding, Pile Driver, since it was the same one that bucked Caleb off at the beginning of the episode, with a little pep talk from Caleb, Jade was good to go. And all that unorthodox training really paid off.
She was able to ride the bareback bronc far and fast which meant that she not only won the bet with Tim but also showed him what Amy and Caleb’s training methods could achieve. And, with any luck, she would take home the all-around cowboy, sorry, cowgirl buckle that weekend.
The true spirit of rodeo
Lastly, in this episode, we also saw Tim and Jessica’s romance continue. But it wasn’t without its disagreements. And with the two strong and opinionated personalities that are Tim and Jessica, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
If in the last episode we saw Tim play polo because he assumed that it takes no skill to play. Then this episode, Jessica was the one who was assuming things. Namely, she thought that Tim, Caleb, and Jade were crazy for being willing to risk their lives for the crazy, dangerous, pointless sport that is the rodeo.
And just like Jessica didn’t like Tim calling her favorite sport – polo – boring in the last episode. Tim didn’t appreciate Jessica calling rodeo pointless. So, he invited Jessica to come to watch the rodeo school practice sometime.
Tim didn’t have to wait long to see Jessica in the bleachers of the arena where his practices were happening. But seeing Jade get bucked off the broncs didn’t help with changing Jessica’s mind about rodeo. So, when Tim suggested her to take pictures of the practice, all the shots were of the violence and chaos of the rodeo.
Understandably, that upset Tim. After all, Jessica failed to see the heart, courage, and skill that went into rodeo. Which made Tim think that that is how she sees him as well.
Tim: “You wanted to photograph a bunch of daredevils with a death wish, and that’s exactly what you did. And I was crazy to think that you’d ever see rodeo any other way. “
Later, Tim admitted to Jack that he might have overreacted, and decided to apologize. And by the looks of it, Jessica came to the same conclusion and went to apologize, too. But she ran into Caleb instead. And Caleb, of all people, was the one who was able to get through to Jessica.
So, Jessica decided to put together a photo book with shots of what rodeo is really about and gifted it to Tim. And Tim was truly moved by it because it was full of photographs that captured the true spirit of rodeo. The two ended up sharing a thermos of cowboy coffee and actually apologizing and forgiving each other. Which makes me hopeful that even if their lives, experiences, and opinions are different on a lot of things, they might make it work in the long term. Or at least as long as Jessica is in town.
Last thoughts on Heartland season 14 episode 8
I loved how this episode addressed both the dangers and the beauty of rodeo. And in a way was a love-letter to the sport. Because, sure, it’s dangerous. But it’s also exciting and takes real skill. And this episode really highlighted that.
READ NEXT: Heartland season 14 episode 9 review
Lastly, how nostalgic was to see those flashbacks of Ty? The bond that Jack and Ty shared was something special and I’m glad that the show is acknowledging that as well. Because, although Amy did lose a husband and the father to her child, Jack lost a son. And his pain shouldn’t be glossed over.
Promo for Heartland season 14 episode 9
And here’s the promo for the next episode of Heartland, episode 1409 titled “Find Me in the Dark” that’s airing on March 14th and is directed by Heartland’s own Michelle Morgan.
It will see Quinn’s dad come for a visit with a life-changing proposition for not only Quinn but Amy as well. I wonder what that could be… I guess we’ll just have to watch to find out!