Heartland Season 16 Episode 1 Recap

Finally, a brand new season of Heartland is here! One that will have 15 whole episodes and will see many new storylines for our favorite fictional family.

And as I have done for the last six years, I’m continuing with recaps of every new Heartland episode that airs.

So, here’s the recap of Heartland season 16 episode 1 which saw Amy struggling with being thrust into the limelight once again, Jack missing Lisa, Tim and Jessica figuring out their place at the ranch, and Lou and Katie finding their rhythm after Lou and Peter got back together.

Miracle girls?

Heartland season 16 episode 1 started out with a bang with Amy and Lyndy witnessing a truck swerving off the road on their way to Dr. Ty Borden’s Youth Centre to teach a clinic.

The truck in question was towing a horse trailer and blew a tire resulting in the driver losing control and narrowly avoiding a ditch by veering onto a side road.

The horse inside was spooked, so when the truck driver went to check on the animal, it bolted. Amy was there to help, but it was actually Lyndy who saved the day.

Earlier in the day Amy and Lyndy were exercising Ty’s horse, Harley, when Lyndy witnessed her mom stopping Copper from trampling them by raising her hands up and calming the horse. So, even though Amy told Lyndy to stay in the car, the little girl unbuckled herself from the car seat, got out of Amy’s truck, and used the same gesture to slow down the scared horse.

Ruby and Emmanuella Spencer as Lyndy on Heartland season 16 episode 1

Seeing this Amy, of course, ran to protect her daughter from danger, but Lyndy had successfully stilled the horse. After which, Peyton Westfield ran up to claim her horse, Moondance, berating the driver of the truck for the accident that, frankly, he wasn’t responsible for.

Little did the mother-daughter duo know that the bystanders were filming everything. So by the evening, the video of Lyndy and Amy had gone viral and the next morning the Hudson Times had Amy and Lyndy on their front page with the headline reading “Miracle Girls!”.

Something’s got to give

Amy, however, was not enjoying the renewed attention that was on her as well as her daughter.

She spent the next morning unsuccessfully trying to get the video taken down because she didn’t want Lyndy’s face out there so publicly. As well as answering calls from potential new clients who wanted her to work with their horses after seeing the video.

You would think that the influx of new clients was good for Amy but not in this case.

Amy was already overwhelmed with trying to balance working with multiple client horses, teaching clinics at the Youth Centre, and spending time with her daughter. So, there was no space for more responsibilities without giving something up.

Jack, Lou, and Tim all saw how overworked Amy was and Tim and Lou tried talking to her about needing to cut back on the amount of time Amy spent at the Youth Centre in order for her to be able to keep her own business running.

However, as Jack told Tim, Amy had to realize for herself that something needs to change because until she does, nothing will.

Tim: “So, I told Amy, you know, you’re a single mom. You can’t do it all. Especially if you’re acting as a glorified stable hand at the center. You know what I think?”
Jack: “I’m sure you’re going to tell me even if I don’t want you to.”
Tim: “I think she’s using it as a safe place.”
Jack: “A safe place?”
Tim: “Yeah. A safe place, she’s hiding from all her other responsibilities.”
Jack: “That’s not Amy.”
Tim: “I don’t know. If she keeps up this pace something’s gonna give.”
Jack: “There might be some truth to that. But even if there is, she’s gotta make that realization on her own.”

Luckily, after a conversation with her grandfather and helping Jessica with her new horse, Amy finally realized that her time might be better spent at Heartland, working with horses who actually need her help and spending time with her family.

Amber Marshall as Amy and Shaun Johnston as Jack on Heartland season 16 episode 1

It was a hard decision to make, after all the Youth Center was Ty’s legacy, but it’s one that had to be made.

So, she told Clint that she won’t be able to make it to the Youth Center that day and chose to help Jessica join up Flash, the horse Amy and Logan gentled and gave Jessica on her and Tim’s wedding day in season 15 episode 6.

And this decision came just in time, too, because later that day Peyton Westfield showed up at the ranch asking Amy to work with Moondance. And despite Amy offering earlier and Peyton’s mom Paula refusing Amy’s help, Amy didn’t hold a grudge and took Payton on as a client.

READ NEXT: Heartland season 16 episode 2 recap

So, it looks like in the next episode we will see Amy working with Moondance, for better or for worse. Because, as we all know from the previous seasons, working with a Westfield is never easy.

They’re a little jealous

But Amy wasn’t the only one who had to deal with the consequences of Amy and Lyndy’s Miracle Girls moment.

While Amy was fielding calls from potential new clients, Lyndy’s newfound fame made her an outcast in her kindergarten class.

Nobody, Lyndy’s friend Andy included, wanted to play with Lyndy anymore. And Lyndy’s teacher Ms. Clarissa wasn’t helping the matter by paying more attention to Lyndy than usual and praising her for her bravery all the time.

Seeing that, Jack stepped in.

He not only let Ms. Clarissa know that maybe she should tone down the praise so Lyndy isn’t singled out quite so much but also helped the little girl realize that the other kids are just jealous and that soon things will be back to normal.

Shaun Johnston as Jack and Ruby and Emmanuella Spencer as Lyndy on Heartland season 16 episode 1

By the end of the episode, the little girl already seemed happier. And the time Amy spent with her daughter, even thinking of adding the letter “s” to the words “Miracle Girl” on the saddle Prince Ahmed gave to Amy (great call back, am I right?) and then using that saddle while going for an evening ride with Lyndy, helped even more.

Too many cooks

Speaking of Jessica and her new horse, Flash, during Heartland season 16 episode 1 we also saw Jessica struggling with her hose. And Jessica’s frustration was only exacerbated by the fact that the newlyweds had to bunk in Katie’s room while the plumbing in their loft was getting fixed.

As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth, so the fact that Tim and Jessica were temporarily living at the ranch house with Jack, Amy, Lyndy, Jou, and Katies was getting on everyone’s nerves. But especially on Jack’s, who was already grumpy because he was missing Lisa.

So everybody’s frustrations came to a head when Tim, Jessica, and Jack got into an argument.

That morning Jessica had discovered that Flash had run away and she couldn’t find him. So, she was not having a good day. Add in Jack’s grumpiness and frustration about Jessica asking when the part he needs to fix the loft’s plumbing will be here for the nth time. As well as Jack accusing Tim of the plumbing problem being Tim’s fault in the first place since Tim chose to install a cheap, no-name water system instead of going for something more durable. And you have a recipe for disaster.

Words were had and everyone walked away even more upset than they were before.

Luckily, by the end of the episode, the three made up.

Michelle Nolden as Jessica, Shaun Johnston as Jack, and Chris Potter as Tim on Heartland season 16 episode 1

The part finally arrived, so Jack was able to fix the plumbing, and Jessica and Tim could move back to the loft. And then Amy helped Jessica find Flash and later coached Jessica through getting the horse to join up.

And even Jack realized that his grumpiness wasn’t helping anyone, so he got over himself, apologized to Tim and Jessica for what he said, and told them that the newlyweds are welcome to stay in the barn loft as long as they want.

Which, hopefully, means that Jessica and Tim aren’t going anywhere anytime soon because Jessica is a truly welcome addition to the Heartland family.

Away too often

Finally, in this episode, we also got to see Lou and Katie get back from one of their near-weekly trips to Vancouver to visit Peter. But while Lou’s romantic life was back on track, it did have a negative impact on both her work as well as on Katie.

As soon as Katie and Lou arrived back at the ranch, Katie seemed stressed. And it didn’t help that she still had to room with Lyndy since Tim and Jessica were staying in Katie’s room.

And slowly throughout the episode, we found out that Katie was stressed because she had exams next week and she didn’t have time to study while they were in Vancouver. Plus, she was also frustrated by their frequent trips because Katie couldn’t hang out with her friends on the weekends resulting in her friends not even inviting her to stuff anymore.

So, when Lou saw Katie chuck one of her textbooks across the room, Lou realized that something’s really wrong. The two talked and Lou finally admitted that she knows that she’s spending too much time in Vancouver and that she will not only travel there less but that Katie also doesn’t have to go with Lou every time.

That seemed to alleviate a little bit of stress for Katie and hopefully will help her keep her grades from slipping. However, I do think that there is something more going on with Katie. Especially after Lou commented on how much time Katie is spending on her phone. Could there be a boyfriend she hasn’t told anyone about? We shall see as the season continues!

But Katie wasn’t the only one frustrated by Lou always being gone. Rick had enough, too!

Since Lou and Peter got back together and Lou started visiting Peter in Vancouver, she had started neglecting her mayoral duties. What with leaving for Vancouver early Friday and being back at the office midway through Monday which meant that Rick had to constantly cover for Lou not attending important meetings.

Michelle Morgan as Lou on Heartland season 16 episode 1

So, Rick expressed his frustration and even told Lou to stop taking him for granted because he might not always be around.

That terrified Lou. Hence why after stewing for a day or so she finally asked Rick what he meant by that. And that’s when Rick told Lou that he and his partner Carl had started the process of adopting a baby. Therefore in the future, Rick might have to take some time off for paternity leave.

Lou, of course, was ecstatic for Rick. And I’m sure that will be the push Lou needs to work on figuring out a balance between her long-distance relationship with Peter and her life in Hudson.

Last thoughts on Heartland season 16 episode 1

By now Grandpa Jack’s advance has become the stuff of legends in the Heartland universe, so I, of course, loved the tidbit he said to Amy about how often we don’t quite comprehend what consequence big life decisions might have on our lives.

Jack: “Sometimes, we make these big, life-changing choices that feel great at the time. But what we don’t realize are the ramifications that could happen down the road. Last year, I bought that herd of cattle, and now… I’ve never been busier. And look at Lisa, she bought Platinum Bow and he turned out to be everything she hoped for. That horse is a winner. But now that she’s found the success she was looking for, she’s never home. So, who would have thought that our dreams would keep us apart? [..] So, somehow we all need to find a balance with what we dream of and how to handle it when it actually happens.”

I think it’s such an important lesson to learn. And, hopefully, it will serve our characters well in continuing to live their lives and reaching for new highs.

Promo for Heartland season 16 episode 2

And here’s the preview of the next episode:

Heartland season 16 episode 2 will be titled “Changes” and in it we, as expected, will see Amy working with Peyton Westfielf’s horse. However, this decision will not sit well with Logan. Also, Jack will be guiding Katie toward finding her own path. While Lou will be supporting Rick on his journey of becoming a dad.


  1. I’m in the states and anxious to know when and how I can watch season 16. Heartland is the best.

  2. What a great recap. Here in states we will not see until April or May next year so nice to see what happens while it is fresh.

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