After last week’s more intense episode, this week Heartland brought us a more mellow one that was full of heartfelt family moments and resolutions to season-wide arcs.
Want to know what exactly happened?
Then keep on reading this recap of Heartland season 16 episode 12!
An unpleasant surprise
Ever since Finn Cotter was introduced in episode 1508, he has played quite a big role in Amy’s life.
From a new friend and potential love interest to standing Amy up only to come back and convince her to give him another chance and then ultimately breaking her heart, Finn has been and done many things over the short season we’ve known him. And this episode, we learned a little more about him without him really appearing on the screen (since Robert Cormier, the actor who played Finn, tragically passed away before he could finish filming this season).
At the start of the episode, we saw an unknown truck with a horse trailer pull in, and when Amy went to see who that was since they weren’t expecting anyone that day Amy was met with Kristi, the same woman who answered the door of Finn’s house when Amy went to see him in episode 1610.
It turns out Kristi isn’t just anyone to Finn, she introduced herself as Finn’s fiancée and asked Amy to work with her horse.
After a quick chat with Lou, Amy was determined to decline Kristi’s offer. However, when Kristi told Amy that Lincoln was Jay’s, Kristi’s brother’s horse, that gave Amy pause. Because it’s the same Jay who was killed in the fatal car crash that we found out about in episode 1607. So, Amy decided to look at Lincoln after all.
It was a challenge to get the horse out of the trailer, but once that was done, Lincoln seemed to settle in the barn pretty well. The same couldn’t be said about Kristi who was lingering around, mucking out the horse’s stall and whatnot.
But eventually, Kristi realized that it was time to head to her motel, so she asked Amy for a bathroom to wash up in. Amy directed her to the barn loft since Tim and Jessica were away and that’s when Kristi found the picture of Finn and Amy Jessica took in episode 1604.
As you may imagine, what followed was an uncomfortable conversation between Kristi and Amy. Yet, it was also a very necessary one because during it we found out that Kristi is actually Finn’s ex-fiancée.
Kristi and Finn had broken off their engagement years ago and the only reason Kristi told Amy that she’s still Finn’s betrothed is that she wanted to hurt Amy. After all, when Finn went back to Kindersley to help out Kristi’s dad the last time, they had fallen into only patterns and Kristi had hoped that they might be able to rekindle their romance. However, now Amy was in the picture and that didn’t seem possible anymore.
What’s more, Kristi also revealed that she actually was in the car with Finn and Jay during the crash. And neither Finn nor she can remember anything about that night.
Sure, Kristi doesn’t blame Finn for what happened. But he blames himself and until that changes there really can’t be any real future for him and Kristi.
Luckily, Amy was able to help with that.
The other woman
After their tough conversation and once all the cards were laid out on the table, Amy still wanted to work with Lincoln if Kristi would have her. And although at first Kristi was reluctant to agree, she eventually did.
Amy’s first order of business the next morning was for Kristi to take Lincoln out on a trail ride. And since Amy had intentionally put her horse Shadow in the stall next to Lincoln, the two had become buddies which helped to get Lincoln out of the barn.
But the fix wasn’t as simple as getting Lincoln a friend.
Although Lincoln used to get out of the barn frequently and of his own volition since his stall latch was often broken in Kristi’s family’s barn, after the accident that killed Jay, Lincoln didn’t want to leave the barn at all. And that wasn’t even Lincoln’s only problem.
When Amy and Kristi reached a road they had to cross in order to continue their trail ride, Lincoln went crazy and didn’t want to continue. Amy decided not to push so they headed back to the barn but she did take note that the road was what spooked Lincoln.
When they finally got back to the barn, Kristi and Amy had an honest conversation about their roles as the ex and the other woman, and Amy confessed how she recently realized that she’s not really ready to move on yet.
Amy: “Yeah. I never thought I’d be the other woman but here we are. Honestly, you have nothing to be jealous about.”
Kristi: “Are you kidding me? Have you met you? I mean, in case you haven’t noticed, you are insanely gorgeous, not to mention smart and genuinely really kind. I see what Finn sees. So, if you and Finn really want to be together, I won’t stand in your way.”
Amy: “My husband died three years ago. And I thought I was ready to move on, but I still haven’t brought myself to take these rings off and… His name was Ty. And I still love him with all my heart, and I’m not ready to move on. Not with Finn, not with anyone.”
Kristi: “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
Amy: “I’m sorry for yours.”
So, in the end, the two agreed to move past the whole “jealous ex” and “the other woman” thing and be themselves. Which seemed to be the start of a new friendship.
Conquering the road
The next morning their work with Lincoln continued and they started by going back to the road that spooked Lincoln on their previous trail ride.
Amy encouraged Kristi to take control of Lincoln when he started acting up again upon Kristi trying to cross the road. But this time, a car came down the road beeping at them, so Lincoln reared and threw Kristi off.
Seeing Lincoln go crazy like that after landing on the ground triggered something in Kristi and suddenly all the memories came back about the night Jay died.
It turns out, Lincoln was the one who caused their accident.
Since the latch of Lincoln’s stall was broken, he had gotten out that night and ran on the road. So, when Finn suddenly spotted the horse in the dark that night, he hit the brakes. But Jay grabbed the wheel and they drove off the road. Which means that it wasn’t Finn’s fault that the accident happened and that Jay died.
At first Kristi, understandably, was distraught. But she also couldn’t see how remembering all that helped her. Until Amy helped her understand.
Amy: “No, not everything. You still have Finn. And if guilt and blame is what’s been keeping you apart, then, now that you know the truth, you can find your way back to each other.”
With a renewed understanding of what’s actually going on with Lincoln, Amy had a plan to help the horse.
First, she got Kristi and Lincoln to trust each other again by getting Kristi to lead Lincoln around the round pen until he joined up. And then once that bond of trust had been renewed, Lincoln and Kristi finally crossed the road and Kristi remarked that Lincoln was back to his old self, the Lincoln that she remembered before Jay’s death.
Kristi took off for home not long after needing to tell Finn what she remembered in hopes that it might change things between them and Amy wished her well saying that she hoped it worked out between them.
The two parted as friends. And this ordeal with Kristi had Amy rethinking a few things as well.
After a lot of thought, Amy finally felt brave enough to take her wedding rings off her finger. However, that doesn’t mean that she’s quite ready to move on yet.
Like she told Kristi, Amy still loves Ty with her whole heart, so, although she did take the rings off her finger, she hung them on a chain around her neck. Seemingly taking the first step towards moving on yet still keeping Ty close to her heart.
Another important storyline of Heartland season 16 episode 12 had to do with Lou and Peter’s relationship.
Ever since the two finally decided to officially get back together in the season 15 finale, Peter and Lou have been pretty lovey-dovey. But nothing in life is that simple, so, although they have recommitted to each other, there are still relationship hurdles they need to overcome, especially, since Peter is away so much. And this episode we saw them dredge up one of their long-standing issues.
At the start of the episode, we saw Peter come to the ranch, and right off the bat, they had different ideas about how they should use their time together.
Peter wanted to do a fun weekend in Banff but Lou reminded him that they had commitments at home, chiefly a dinner date with Rick and Carl that they had scheduled weeks prior.
So, Peter had to adjust their expectations for the weekend ahead. While Lou was stressing about Katie wanting to get a break from her because she chose to spend the weekend with Jack and Lisa at the fishing cabin, and Georgie possibly not telling her the whole truth about why she dropped out of a show. On top of that, Lou got into her head that she had to cook a fancy meal for their dinner party since Carl used to be a Red Seal chef.
Of course, Peter tried to make Lou see that if Georgie says that Phoenix isn’t feeling up to competing, that’s all there is to it. However, since Georgie was looking forward to this show for weeks, Lou thought that something isn’t quite right and so she wanted to call Quinn to find out if her hunch is right.
Peter, rightfully so, advised Lou against doing that since Lou calling her daughter’s boyfriend sounds like crossing some serious parental boundaries. Yet, Lou went and did it anyway and found out that the reason Georgie dropped out of the show is, in fact, that Phoenix isn’t feeling up to it because he has a tooth abscess.
That rubbed Peter the wrong way and the two started arguing about Lou checking up on Georgie behind her back and Peter saying that she can’t leave well enough alone. But before the two could hash it out, Rick showed up (sans Carl I might add) and Lou and Peter had to table their argument in order to appear to be the perfect dinner party hosts.
But the dinner being tense was an understatement. To his credit, Rick, seeing that there is something going on between Peter and Lou, tried to lighten the mood, but was unsuccessful because all throughout their meal Lou and Peter were taunting each other using thinly-veiled criticism.
Peter mentioned that Lou made dinner all by herself despite him offering to help because she’s a one-woman show. While Lou threw back Peter’s remark about her not being able to leave well enough alone and launched into comments about how she’s alone all the time and that she learned to adjust.
That got rebuffed by Peter saying that Lou’s the top chef in their family and the two started arguing about how to properly load the dishwasher of all things.
Rick finally had enough and he interjected by pointing out that whatever’s going on is clearly not about knives, got the two lovebirds to take a deep breath in and out and tried some tricks that he’s learned in couple’s therapy by getting Lou and Peter to look at each other and to communicate their feelings via sentences that start with “I feel”.
And while Rick had good intentions, that ended in disaster because once the floodgates opened, there was nothing to stop Peter and Lou from airing their dirty laundry right there in front of Rick.
Rick: “Oh, good, okay, well, that’s a good start.”
Lou: “I feel like you leave all the parenting to me. I’m always the bad cop, and the only things you’re interested in are fun camping trips and taking Katie to her favorite restaurant in Banff.”
Peter: “Literally all you let me do, Lou.”
Lou: “You don’t step up.”
Peter: “You don’t involve me.”
Lou: “You’re not here!”
Peter: “I was literally here today. I told you, “Do not call Quinn,” and you did it anyway.”
Lou: “Yeah, I did it anyway because your idea of parenting is doing nothing, Peter.”
Peter: “You’re punching them away, okay? Every time you call Georgie’s boyfriend behind her back and every time you read Katie’s diary, you’re pushing them away. That’s what’s happening.”
Their fight ended with Lou storming off to her room and Rick going after her with their wine glasses and the rest of the wine.
The morning after
The next morning Rick, who slept over on the couch after drinking too much wine with Lou, made brunch. So, when Peter came in after spending the night in the barn loft, Rick made Peter and Lou sit down and eat. But before they could dig in, Carl called Rick and Rick declined his call.
That got Lou’s attention and when she asked Rick about the real reason why Carl wasn’t at dinner, Rick came clean about them having a fight of their own.
It turns out Carl had put together a crib in the spare bathroom without Rick’s approval, so the two got into a huge fight. Rick didn’t want to get his hopes up when it came to adopting a baby, and, therefore didn’t want to put together the crib, because, if the adoption fell through, it would serve as a reminder of what they never got to have.
Luckily, Lou and Peter were there to help Rick through his rough patch. And in the process, they also remembered what’s really important when it comes to their own marriage.
Lou: “The only way really to get through it is by being there for each other, even when you don’t see eye to eye.”
So, after Rick decided to go home and apologize to Carl, Peter and Lou finally reconciled and made a plan for how to get past this.
Lou recognized that she needs to let go a little and let her daughters come to her for help if they need it. While Peter acknowledged that he needs to be home more so he could be there for both the good times and the bad.
How well will they implement these changes in their daily lives? I guess we’ll see in the final three episodes of this season.
But one thing’s for sure, I’m glad that Peter and Lou finally got past this issue seemingly once and for all. Because this was one of the things that broke up their marriage in the first place, so I hope they won’t let it ruin their relationship the second time.
READ NEXT: Heartland season 16 episode 13 recap
While Amy was dealing with Kristi and Lou and Peter were quarreling, Jack, Lisa, and Katie were off to Jack’s old fishing cabin for a weekend getaway.
Jack and Lisa had been talking about visiting the fishing cabin since episode 1606, so now that Jack was better and could move around better, they decided to finally take the trip. And when Katie asked to join them, they couldn’t say no to their great-granddaughter.
So after some fussing from Lisa about Jack bringing things, namely his guitar, to the truck (after all Jack was cleared for light exercise only), a little waiting on Katie (Lou wanted to know how Katie is doing before she leaves and for Katie to pack a few more sweaters), and a quick goodbye to the family, the trio were finally off.
They arrived safe and sound and Jack insisted on Katie and Lisa bunking in the cabin while he slept out in the tent. After all, this was Katie’s first time at the cabin and he wanted her to have the full fishing cabin experience.
However, all Katie did on the first day was read or write in her notebook. This didn’t concern Lisa and Jack per se, but it did inspire Lisa to try and get Katie to open up by taking her on a ladies’ fishing trip.
Katie, of course, didn’t want to go. Fishing really isn’t her thing and she didn’t see a point in going since she thought that they aren’t going to catch any fish anyway. But Lisa stayed positive and set her sights on catching at least one fish to show Jack that she’s learned a thing or two about fishing from him.
While fishing, Lisa tried talking to Katie about her keeping to herself on their trip. But when Katie replied that Lisa sounded like Lou and that she could have stayed home if she wanted the third degree, Lisa dropped it.
Then Katie accidentally got her fly stuck in Lisa’s hand and it was a blessing in disguise because when Lisa admitted to Katie that she’s more worried about Katie than the fly in her hand it finally got Katie to open up.
Katie told Lisa about how she had a crush on an older guy but then she saw him (Logan) with a girl his own age and that broke Katie’s heart.
After, as per Katie’s request, Lisa promised not to mention it again since Lou has been on Katie’s case about the crush and won’t let it go. But Lisa did have one last piece of advice for her great-granddaughter.
That night Jack found Katie writing in her notebook by the fire and asked her what she’s working on. And Katie reluctantly replied that she’s writing a poem. Jack, being curious, asked if he could maybe read it. But Katie declined thinking that it’s not good.
Yet, the next morning, before heading out with Lisa again, Katie did give her finished poem to Jack to read. And Jack gladly accepted it.
While fishing Lisa and Katie had some more heart-to-heart about crushes and first loves.
Lisa recalled the name of her first crush, Charlie Scalise, a horse trainer at her parent’s stables, and how Charlie started looking pretty dull and unremarkable when Lisa really got to know him. And encouraged Katie by telling her that there are plenty of fish in the river and that Katie has plenty of time to catch the right one.
Just then Katie caught an actual fish and the two went back triumphant.
When the girls got back to the cabin, Jack had a surprise for them. He had read Katie’s poem and it inspired him so much that he turned Katie’s words into a song that he played for Lisa and Katie.
All in all, it was a great trip for everybody involved. And when the trio got home, Katie even hugged Lou, thanking her for letting her go to the cabin with her great-grandparents.
This hopefully signals that we’re done with the animosity between Lou and Katie that’s been there for quite a while now and the two are on their way to improving their relationship.
However, based on the description of the next episode (read it at the end of this article), I’m not sure that it will be all that simple (*cough* strike at Maggie’s *cough*).
To remodel or not remodel
But Katie getting over her crush on Logan and sharing her poetry with her GGs wasn’t the only thing that happened during the trio’s time at the cabin.
When Lisa and Jack talked about taking a trip to the cabin in episode 1606, they also mentioned how their fishing cabin is a bit worse for wear. So, it looks like Lisa had an intention to do something about it. Because while sitting by the fire on their first night at the cabin, Lisa shared some blueprints with Jack.
Apparently, Lisa got someone to draw up some remodeling plans in which the cabin would stay the same but they would add two bedrooms in the back so the cabin could sleep more, a bathroom for comfort, and, Lisa’s favorite part, an outdoor kitchen.
Jack, of course, didn’t even really want to start this conversation. However, Lisa explained why she wanted to renovate the cabin.
She wanted the fishing cabin to turn into a retreat, a place where the whole family could gather together for generations to come without having to put up tents to do that.
Hearing that, Jack promised to at least think about it. And he apparently did because when Lisa returned from their fishing expedition the next day Jack announced that he wanted to bulldoze the whole thing to the ground.
While the girls were gone, Jack went to the shed to get some tools (which Lisa was not happy to hear, understandably so). But instead of tools, Jack found old, empty whiskey bottles, the brand that his father preferred. And that sent him on a spiral. So, when Lisa and Katie got back, he told Lisa that the cabin is too old to renovate and that the best course of action was to build a brand-new one.
Lisa, of course, knows Jack, so she calmly asked her husband what’s going on. And eventually, Jack opened up to his wife.
Jack told Lisa about the whiskey bottles that he found and how he always thought that the fishing trips with his dad to this cabin were one of the few good memories he had of him. But then he recalled the trip when Jack had caught his first fish on his own.
Jack had run two miles back to the cabin with the fish in his hand to show his dad. But instead of a proud smile on his father’s face, all he got was his dad passed out on the floor of the cabin with a whiskey bottle in his hand.
Which is why Jack wanted to wipe the slate clean and build new memories, better ones.
Lisa sympathized with Jack but right before they left the cabin to go home, Lisa reminded him that maybe he should remember all the good memories that he has had at the cabin instead of focusing on the bad.
Lisa: “And this trip was no different.”
Jack: “Oh, it was pretty great, even if I couldn’t fish.”
Lisa: “It would be a real shame if finding some old liquor bottles ruined what this place means to you.”
Jack: “Ah, You’re right. I can’t let my dad take away any more of my happiness than he already has.”
So, in the end, Jack decided not to tear down the cabin. In fact, he wanted to keep the cabin exactly as it is to preserve the memories made at that cabin. But after a bit of sparring with Lisa, they compromised on at least adding the outdoor kitchen. For now.
I really hope that we will eventually see the cabin renovations actually come to fruition because I would love for Jisa (Jack + Lisa) to return to the cabin this season or the next (fingers crossed we get one!) and for Lisa to get to enjoy her new outdoor kitchen.
Last thoughts on Heartland season 16 episode 12
We’re slowly nearing the end of the season, so how have you liked this season so far? Let me
I think it has been a great one. Maybe not my favorite one but definitely up there because I think it’s moving forward the story of all the characters in new, beautiful directions. And I can’t wait to see what stories the show will throw at as in the last three episodes of season 16!
Promo for Heartland season 16 episode 13
And here’s the preview of the next episode:
Heartland season 16 episode 13 titled “Striking a Balance” is airing on January 22nd and will see Amy helping Lisa with Platinum Bow. Meanwhile, Jack will be reconnecting with his country music roots. Katie will be leading a strike at Maggie’s. And Tim will be visiting his son Shane and the visit won’t go to plan.