The time has finally come for us to enjoy a brand new season of Heartland. And the season 17 premiere episode, which just so happens to be the show’s 250th episode, didn’t disappoint.
We got some old faces returning in the form of Mallory and Jake. We saw some old storylines continuing and new ones emerging. And, of course, we had the true essence of Heartland – the family that made this show so special.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into this recap of Heartland season 17 episode 1!
Part of the family
Although it was already teased in the season 17 trailer, this episode featured the return of a fan-favorite couple – Mallory and Jake. And, as per usual, when it comes to anything related to Mallory, it didn’t disappoint.
At the start of the episode, we saw Amy and Logan working with a horse when a truck pulled into the ranch. And, to everybody’s surprise, a very pregnant Mallory jumped out, first, claiming that she needs Amy’s help with a horse and following that up by saying that she might be in labor.
Although it turned out to only be Braxton hicks, on the way to the hospital, Amy started realizing that the horse, Ransom, that Mallory brought to the ranch (sans Jake, I might add) might not be the real reason why Mallory is in Hudson.
Yes, Mallory still needed help with Ransom since Mallory and Jake didn’t quite know what to do with the horse. After all, Ransom was once a ranch horse who was set free eight years ago during a wind storm and ended up joining a wild herd, only for the herd to be rounded up recently, which is how Ransom got returned to Jake and Mallory and why Mallory wants Amy to integrate Ransom with the wildies living near Heartland.
But over the course of the episode, it became clear that Ransom was really just an excuse for Mallory to come back to the ranch.
Not only was Mallory feeling lonely in Colorado, what with living there only with Jake, as opposed to the Heartland ranch, which is always full of people and life. Hence, her talking about wanting to move back to Hudson.
Mallory: “Not exactly. You know, when I was at home, I just wanted to be here. But now that I’m here, I… guess I feel kind of sad.”
Jack: “Well, why is that?”
Mallory: “I know this house is… It’s full of life and laughter. In Colorado, it’s just me and Jake, and it’s mainly just me right now because Jake is working, so I guess I felt kind of homesick. I kind of realized that, um, I want my kid to grow up surrounded by family and friends, like I did. So I’m thinking maybe Jake and I move back to Hudson.”
Jack: “Well, I can’t tell you what to do, but nobody’d be happier if you moved back. But even if you decide to stay in Colorado, just… well, know this. Families, they come in all shapes and sizes, and it doesn’t matter how full of people your house is as long as it’s full of love. You and Jake will be great parents and that baby of yours will be loved for the rest of their life. That’s all that matters.”
But Mallory was also feeling scared of becoming a mom, especially since Mallory and Jake don’t have friends and family in Colorado to help them raise their son.
Amy: “Okay. Explain.”
Mallory: “I’m about to have an actual human being, and it’s gonna be Jake and I, just us, in Colorado. What if we’re terrible parents, you know? I’m scared.”
Amy: “I know that feeling. And… I don’t know that it ever goes away.”
Lou: “She’s right. Here’s a question. Are you and Jake happy with the life you’ve built together?”
Mallory: “Yeah. Yeah, we’re happy.”
Lou: “Then, trust that feeling, you know, trust that you two are making the right decisions for your family.” Amy: “And, you know, you can read all the parenting books in the world, but, at the end of the day, it’s what you believe is right.”
Lou: “And remember, you’re not doing this alone, right? Because Amy and I are just a phone call away.”
However, after talking to Jack, Lou and Amy and actually having the baby with Jake by her side (in the bed of Ty’s old truck, no less), Mallory realized that her home is wherever Jake and their son, Sully Jack Anderson (named after Jack, of course), are.
And the new family left Heartland to go back home to Colorado with a renewed sense of hope for the future.
As for Ransom, after giving the horse a refresher course on how to be a ranch horse, Amy listened to Mallory’s wishes and brought Ransom to the wild herd. However, it was instantly clear that the horse didn’t have any interest in joining the wildies since he instantly took off for the cattle grazing nearby instead of trying to get near the herd once Amy released him.
So, Amy had a hunch, which turned out to be right – Ransom was an excellent cattle horse. And after Ransom got Jake to Mallory in time when she was having the baby, Mallory accepted Ransom’s role as their new ranch horse.
I love how Mallory and Jake keep shwoing up at Heartland these last few seasons. The episodes that they are in are that much more entertaining. And it’s also great to see some faces from the early seasons of the show that haven’t been around for a while!
Did you enjoy Mallory and Jake’s return? Let me know in the comments below!
Speaking of horses and cattle, another big part of the episode was the new competition to Heartland Beef that popped up seemingly overnight.
At the start of Heartland season 17 episode 1, we saw Tim spot a billboard that’s very similar to the ad that Garland Foods did of Jack way back in season 13. Silimar to the point of being a rip-off of the Garland Foods ad.
The billboard was advertising Pryce Family Beef that’s exclusively sold in Crown Shoppers Grocery stores. And since, unlike Garland Foods, Crown Shoppers is a national chain that sells everything at a discount, Tim was worried that Nathan Pryce and his collaboration with Crown Shoppers might put Heartland Beef out of business.
But that’s not where Jack and Tim’s problems with Pryce ended this episode.
Over the course of it, it became clear that Pryce was a bigger threat than it appeared.
First, he outbid Tim and Jack at an auction for a bull they wanted to buy. And since Pryce bid twice what the bull was actually worth, it already seemed like a sketchy move.
And then, Pryce bought the land, where Heartland’s cattle are grazing, right out from under them, which proved Tim’s point that Pryce’s beef (no pun intended) with Tim and Jack seemed personal.
See, at the beginning half of the episode, Sam came to the ranch to let Jack and Tim know that he’s selling off a quarter of Big River – the quarter that’s bordering Heartland, which also happens to be the quarter that Heartland Beed leases from Sam to graze their cattle.
And, since Sam knew how important that land was to Jack and Tim, he told them that if they made a fair offer to Sam, the land was as good as theirs.
Jack and Tim, of course, were shocked by this news. But, since they couldn’t afford to lose that grazing land, they got their ducks in a row and made a good offer to Sam.
However, Pryce made a much, much bigger offer on the land, the kind of offer that Tim and Jack wouldn’t be able to counter, leaving them without the land they desperately needed.
I’m really interested in seeing why exactly Pryce is doing this to Jack and Tim and if it is just business or if it really is personal.
And at this point, I’m inclined to believe Tim when he said that Pryce might be targeting Heartland Beef on purpose. But I guess we will just have to wait and see if that’s true or not.
I just hope that Tim and Jack will be able to come out on top in the end.
Ever since Lou started dropping hints about the mayoral elections being near last season, we knew that this storyline was coming. But what was surprising was just who would be running against Lou.
In the season 16 finale, we heard Rick’s husband Carl ask him if Rick had told Lou about him running for mayor. And although, at that point, Lou was still in the dark about her new opponent, this episode made it clear that that wasn’t the case anymore.
The campaigning for the Mayoral election was in full force, and Lou and Rick weren’t on the best of terms. At least where Lou was concerned.
Early in the episode, we saw Lou doing the door-to-door portion of her reelection campaign when Rick approached her. He was eager to set up a lunch date with Lou so they could catch up and he could show Lou pictures of his daughter. But Lou, while remaining polite, was having none of it.
It was clear that Lou was hurt by Rick’s decision to run against her. And it didn’t help that Rick was moving ahead in the polls.
To get ahead in the polls, Tim and Peter suggested that Lou slander Rick during her upcoming interview with Gail Wexford (who Lou already had a successful interview with on Heartland season 16 episode 13). At first, Lou didn’t want to do that to Rick, but the closer the interview got, the more Lou was prepared to bad-mouth Rick during her interview. She even got a list together that was filled with reasons why Rick would not make a good mayor.
However, after Katie saw the list and asked Lou if she really was about to criticize Rick on air, and told her mom that if that’s what politics is, then politics sucks. And after Rick brought Lou her calming tea since he knew how nervous his friend was about the radio interview, and they talked things out, Lou had a change of heart.
So, during the interview, instead of saying anything negative about Rick, she actually said that she believed that Rick would be a good mayor. And although that might end up costing her the election, at least Lou was true to herself and had her friend back.
Lou: “Listen, Rick was a dedicated and hardworking CAO, but when it comes to being mayor, I think… I think Rick would serve the people of this town well. I know it’s probably crazy for me to say that about my opponent, but… my daughter told me, “Politics suck.” And she’s right. But it doesn’t have to. When I was elected mayor, I vowed to make Hudson not just a tourist stop on the way to the Rockies but a community where we celebrated each other’s strengths, where we built each other up instead of tearing each other down. Where we treat each other like family. That’s what I did, and that is what I will continue to do if I’m elected mayor for a second term. Rick is my friend. Well, he’s family. And he always will be, no matter who wins.”
The synopsis for the next episode says that it will feature the election, so we sure won’t have to wait long to see who will become the next mayor – Lou or Rick.
I just hope that whoever it is, we will see Lou and Rick’s friendship endure. Because now that we know that Lou was upset, not because Rick decided to run for mayor, but because he didn’t tell her sooner, they can move on and maybe forge an even stronger friendship.
While Lou was out campaigning for reelection, Peter was helping out at Maggie’s as the diner’s interim manager, which meant working together with Katie, who still waitressed at Maggie’s.
Although things at Maggie’s were going smoothly enough, it seemed that Peter was more focused on being a cool, chill boss to Katie rather than actually being a good manager.
So much so that he was caught off guard when Katie informed him that there were some unhappy customers because one of the other waitresses and the cook were late for their shift, and therefore, the customers were left waiting.
That seemed to finally make Peter realize that he needed to step up when it comes to being Maggie’s manager and make some changes. And with Lou’s approval, he went on to implement those changes – making the staff use punch cards and handing them corporate policy manuals to read.
However, while that might work in a large company, say like the one Peter worked for before, Maggie’s needed a different apriach. And Katie seemed to realize that the second her dad started the staff meeting. So, after it, she informed Peter that these changes would only make the staff feel like he didn’t trust them.
Peter was a bit put off by Katie questioning his decisions. But when Katie told him that the reason the staff was late was because they had childcare issues and that opening the diner 30 minutes later would solve that problem, Peter realized that Katie had a knack for this type of thing.
So, at the end of Heartland season 17 episode 1, Peter and Lou told Katie that they are promoting her to assistant manager.
It was not only nice to see Katie and Peter work together most of the episode but it was also amazing to see how much Katie has grown. And I’m excited to see what that promotion will mean for Katie and her future storylines.
To have someone in your corner
Speaking of the future, this episode also briefly touched on Amy’s love life or, rather, lack of it.
The last time Mallory was at the ranch, in season 16 episode 7, she used Finn and Amy’s undefined relationship status as a distraction from her own problems.
So, it’s only natural that she did the same in this episode – asking Amy about Finn when Amy started to pry about the real reason Mallory came to Heartland.
Amy told Mallory that Finn is now happily married to Kristi. But when that didn’t satisfy Mallory and she threatened to use her matchmaking skills to find Amy the perfect man, Amy explained that her life is full enough as it is.
However, although it might have been true when Amy said that to Mallory, by the end of the episode, Amy admitted to herself (and Lou) that she wouldn’t mind having someone to share her life with. Especially after seeing Jake with Mallory.
Lou: “The cherry on top. Does that mean you’re ready to date again?”
Amy: “Don’t say that! That just sounds awkward. I haven’t dated in a million years.”
So, we might just see Amy finally start exploring dating this season more seriously, which is exciting!
And with Edwin being mentioned in the description for the next episode (read it at the end of the article) and seeing someone (possibly Caleb?) kiss Amy in the season 17 trailer, season 17 might just be the season of romance for Amy.
Last thoughts on Heartland season 17 episode 1
The only thing I didn’t quite like about this episode was the fact that Sam so easily sold the quarter of his land to Tim and Jack’s competitor.
I understand it’s business and that Pryce made Sam an offer that was hard to refuse… But I would have thought that Sam would rather sell the land to his neighbors for a smaller price rather than cash in big and have the land Tim and Jack so desperately need go to someone else.
Especially since it didn’t seem that Sam was after a big payday when he decided to put the land up for sale.
READ NEXT: Heartland Season 17 Episode 2 Recap
What I did like, however, was to hear Amy tell Logan that Sunshine, the client horse that arrived at Heartland while they were working on Ransom, was his client horse. And that she trusted Logan to work on Sunshine on his own despite the fact that the horse was a champion team roping horse that won big at the Calgary Stampede last year.
It just goes to show how much Logan has grown and how much Amy trusts Logan with horses. He’s ready to work on his own client horses, and Amy clearly knows it. So, I’m excited to see Logan working with Sunshine in the next episode.
Promo for Heartland season 17 episode 2
And here is the promo for the next episode:
The next episode, episode 1702, is titled “Taking the Reins” and will see not only Logan working on his first client horse while Amy and Jack retrain Edwin’s horse for carriage racing, which will end up bringing Amy and Edwin closer. But election night will arrive just as the family faces a difficult loss.