If the previous episode of Heartland was a more emotional one and brought up some tough topics, then this latest one brought some fun to Hudson while also saw Amy working with a new client horse.
Want to know more? Then keep on reading this recap of Heartland season 15 episode 8!
As always, since this is a recap of the episode it will basically be one big spoiler so read at your own peril.
For a moment there I thought we were in trouble
At the top of the episode, we saw Lou, Amy and Lyndy visit Al Cotter, one of the competitors of a draft horse race that’s going to be the half-time show for the lumberjack competition.
Al promised to show Lou a little of what he and Butch, Al’s Clydesdale horse, can do. However, while showing off their skills, Butch got spooked by some trees and Al ended up on the ground.
Seeing this Amy stepped in and offered to help and at first Al refused. But his grandson Finn talked the old man into bringing Butch to Heartland. And Amy quickly figured out what’s wrong with Butch – he’s blind in his left eye.
It didn’t come as a shock to Al. However, the old man thought that since the horse is fully blind in one eye now, it’s time to retire him which would mean that Al’s done, too. Yet, Amy had a different opinion.
Amy was sure that Butch could still log. It would just have to be without the blinders on. Which meant that she and Finn will have to retrain the horse and get him not to freak out when he sees something in his peripheral vision.
It was a slow process that involved a few steps.
First Amy worked with the horse on her own to desensitize Butch so he doesn’t get nervous when he sees something behind him. And then Finn helped Amy lead Butch through an obstacle course that also mimicked tree branches in the forest to see if Butch could do it.
And although Finn and the horse were doing great up until the last obstacle, Butch wouldn’t go through it with Finn at the reins. But Amy was confident that when Al took the lead, Butch would cooperate. And she was right.
On the day of the lumberjack competition, we saw Butch do great at the draft horse race. And despite a little hesitation at the obstacle that Butch wouldn’t go through at Heartland, Al got the horse through that obstacle and the two won the race, putting on a show for the audience while doing so.
It was really nice to see Amy back to working with client horses, she was really in her element, as well as bonding with Finn while doing so. More on that in the next section.
And it was also really interesting to see yet another little corner of all of the sports and activities people use horses for – logging. I love that Heartland is still finding new things to show us and surprise us with!
Taking the blinders off
Butch wasn’t the only horse Amy was worried about in Heartland season 15 episode 8. Spartan was giving Amy some trouble, too.
The episode opened with Amy on a ride with Spartan. And suddenly we saw Spartan refusing to go up a hill. Worried that his arthritis is acting up again, Amy decided not to push Spartan and walked him back to the ranch.
And all through the episode, we saw Amy worry about Spartan.
She tried new supplements and gave the horse extra care but nothing helped. So, Amy worried that the sudden change in the horse’s behavior was a sign that things are getting worse. However, it turned out that things aren’t as bleak as Amy thought.
Al’s grandson Finn who was helping Amy work with Butch is a farrier and a gifted one at that because he took one look at Spartan and deducted that he might need corrective shoeing because Spartan looked sore. So, Finn offered to help.
When Finn was done with the re-shoeing process Spartan was back to his old self. And the process also gave time for the two to talk.
After telling Finn about how Ty used to see the re-shoeing process as a meditation of sorts the two got talking and Amy told Finn about how she can’t believe it’s been almost two years since Ty passed away.
It seemed like Finn knows a little about what Amy is going through when it comes to feeling guilty about even thinking of moving on. So he advised her that she shouldn’t feel guilty about trying to find happiness again. And that seemed like just the thing that Amy needed to hear.
Finn: “You’re not the first one who’s told me that.”
Amy: “My husband used to say it was almost meditative to him. He was a vet.”
Finn: “Yeah, I see the sign on the barn. You guys are partners, too?”
Amy: “Yeah, we were. Ty passed away almost two years ago.”
Finn: “I’m sorry.”
Amy: “I can’t even believe it’s been that long. You know, time just sorta rolls by. You know, you go through your daily routine.”
Finn: “Put the blinders on?”
Amy: “Exactly. Cause if you look at the bigger picture you know you’re probably gonna get spooked.”
Finn: “And when you start moving forward, allow yourself to have fun and be happy, you start feeling guilty. But you can’t stay in that place too long, Amy. You’re not supposed to feel guilty about being happy.”
Amy: “So, it’s time to take the blinders off?”
Finn: “Yeah, maybe.”
After that conversation, Amy even went out with Lou to a bar and seemed somehow lighter. So, at the end of the episode, Amy thanked Finn for telling her that. And in return, he told her that he might be sticking around town.
Now that almost two years have passed since Ty’s death, it seems pretty appropriate for Amy to at least consider dating someone else. And whether it ends up being, Finn, who looked pretty taken by Amy, Sam, who looked very happy to see Amy out at the bar, or someone else who Amy decides to date in the future, as Caleb said, it’s good to see her getting back out there.
Show them what I’m trading the Big Apple for
Speaking of the lumberjack competition, it really was the focus of this episode since all that happened during Heartland season 15 episode 8 was basically related to the lumberjack games. But both Tim and Lou’s storylines in particular were tied to the games. Let’s start with Tim and Jessica.
Early in the episode, we saw Jessica chat on the phone with Ezra, a friend from New York who’s helping Jessica sort out her apartment sale and other things back in the city. And by friend I mean they did date years ago but, according to Jessica, they’re “better off as friends”.
Tim thought that Ezra was being overly helpful for being just a good friend. I mean Ezra was not only helping her find storage for her stuff but also picking her up from the airport.
Jessica, of course, denied there being anything between her and Ezra. But Tim was still suspicious. So, when he heard that Jessica wants to photograph the lumberjack competition the day before she’s leaving for New York to show her friends what’s she’s trading New York for, Tim decided to enter the competition himself.
And to everyone’s surprise, he actually did really well!
Tim basically outdid both Caleb and Sam. And although he wasn’t feeling too hot after the competition because after all, all the other guys who were competing were much younger than him, he was still proud of himself because now Jessica could show pictures of her new husband in action to all her New York friends.
Tim: “What do ya mean?”
Jessica: “This whole lumberjack thing? Wouldn’t have anything to do with my friend Ezra, would it?”
Tim: “No! No, not really. NO, I just wanted you to get some good action shots of the guy you left New York for.”
Jessica: “Ah, I knew it. I mean, I thought it was pretty cute but, come on, by now you’ve gotta know that when it comes to you there’s no competition.”
It is really interesting how this relationship between Jessica and Tim has become one of my favorites this season. It might have started out rocky last season but now Tim and Jessica are sound as ever. And Tim has also changed a lot thanks to his marriage to Jessica making him a tad less annoying.
I mean, Tim is still Tim, just a little more mellow and tame.
Avoidance is the name of the game
While Tim was entering the logging competition as a contestant, Lou was organizing it with no other than Fred Garland. And by the looks of it, Fred was interested in more than just a working relationship with Lou.
At the beginning of the episode, we saw Fred visit Lou at her office seemingly to talk about the competition. But at the end of the conversation, he also asked Lou out.
Fred, of course, tried to play it off a thank you dinner for both putting on the competition (something he has been wanting to do ever since his brother Evan started doing these competitions) as well as sawing his life on the cattle drive in episode 5 of this season. But Lou knew deep down that it was a date.
So, she started looking for ways to get out of the dinner because not only is Lou kind of dating Peter again or at least thinking about rekindling their romance. But, if you remember, Lou actually already went on a date with Fred in Heartland season 12 episode 9 and was so bored during it that she was definitely not interested in another one.
Her first attempt was to get Amy to come with her. But Amy saw right through Lou and refused to go with her telling her sister that Lou should just be honest with Fred and tell him that she isn’t exactly single.
The solution Lou came up with was to get the local pub to put on a small event for all the people that are involved with the lumberjack contest the day before it.
This way she won’t have to say no to Fred’s dinner invite because after all, it would be awkward since they are hosting the competition together. But she also won’t have to go on a one-on-one dinner with Fred, it will be more of a group event.
It wasn’t perfect because Lou would still have to have dinner with Fred at Clancy’s pub but it was the best Lou could do.
Luckily, right before Lou headed to the pub she also got Amy to tag along. So, things were looking up.
However, as Lou and Amy got to the pub they found themselves in the company of Fred and his cocky younger brother Evan. The evening was filled with awkward conversation, Fred fawning over Lou and Evan flirting with Amy. And at the end of the night Lou even ended up saving Fred’s life. Again.
Fred was trying to show off to Lou by also asking for a lot of chili flakes on his food although he hates spicy things, so he ended up choking and Lou performed the Heimlich maneuver to save his life.
Needless to say, the non-date date was everything Lou was trying to avoid.
So, when Fred asked Lou out again after the event this time specifying that it’s a date, Lou decided to come clean to Fred and let him know that she’s actually involved with someone.
Lou: “Look, Fred, I think you’re a really nice guy, I do, but my status is just a bit complicated at the moment. That’s the truth.”
Fred: “Okay, what does that mean?”
Lou: “It means that despite my attempts to distract myself from that very complicated situation, there is someone else in my life.”
Fred: “Well, whoever’s in the picture, he’s one lucky guy.”
Now that Lou has admitted to herself that this thing with Peter is real and it’s something she needs to figure out, I can’t wait to see what she decides.
I mean, I’m hoping that the two will get back together. But anything can happen, really.
And by the sounds of it, the next episode, which is the second-to-last episode of the season, will contain some emotional revelations from both Katie and Lou that might just be the catalyst for Lou’s final decision.
Lines that can’t be uncrossed
Lastly, in this episode, we also saw Jack get reacquainted with someone from his past. However, as we found out during the course of the episode, that person was not really someone Jack cared to see again.
When Lou and Amy went to see Al Cotter in action at the start of the episode, Al recognized that Amy had named her daughter after her grandmother. And he also told the sisters that back in the day he knew both Jack and his first wife Lyndy.
But when Amy brought up Al’s name at dinner telling Jack that Al is bringing Butch to Heartland so Amy can work with the horse, Jack seemed less than happy to hear that. And the next day when Al and Jack met, right off the bat, you could see that there is bad blood between the two older gentlemen.
Amy, of course, asked Jack about it later in the evening. However, Jack was stingy with the details. He just told Amy that back in the day, when Jack’s father was already drinking heavily, Al helped out at the ranch.
It wasn’t good enough of an explanation to Amy, so she tried finding out more but Jack shot her down by saying that it was a long time ago.
However, the next day when after Amy was telling Jack about how Al’s alone most of the time, Jack said that “sometimes, in life, there are lines that can’t be uncrossed”. And we quickly started figuring out that there must be something serious that happened between the two men back in the day.
And sure enough, the next time Jack and Al met they hashed things out.
We found out that although the two used to be friends, Al went after Lyndy even though Jack was already dating her and was preparing to propose. But Al still kept on asking Lyndy out until Jack had to step in, tell Al that she’s not interested, and basically throw him off his property.
So, it was quite understandable that Jack and Al didn’t see eye to eye on things, especially since Al didn’t think that he did anything wrong.
Will the two men ever make up?
It’s hard to say, that feud seemed to run long and deep. But if Finn keeps hanging around Amy, maybe Jack and Al will eventually find a way to reconcile.
Last thoughts on Heartland season 15 episode 8
I loved that this episode provided some levity before the final two episodes of the season kick off.
Although there were some heavier moments in this episode as well, all in all, it was lighter than some of the previous ones. Which was a nice change from the often pretty heavy storylines that are happening on Heartland this season.
READ NEXT: Heartland season 15 episode 9 review
What did you think about this episode? Did you love it as much as I did?
Sound off in the comments below, I would love to hear your opinion! And get ready because we’re now coming to the end of the season. Let’s hope that the last two episodes are fun ones!
Promo for Heartland season 15 episode 9
And here’s the promo video for Heartland episode 1509 which is titled “The Long Game”:
In it, we will see Amy enter Spartan into an endurance race now that Spartan is feeling better thanks to Finn. While Jack decides to gentle an unbroke horse named Blue. And Lou and Katie go camping during which some hidden feelings will come to the surface.
I’m rooting for Sam