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October 31, 2014

Heartland: The Places You'll Go

by Brett Love, posted Jul 18th 2007 7:00AM
Treat Williams and Kari Matchett(S01E05) The preview for Heartland that ran during The Closer said it was a can't miss episode. To be honest, I have no idea what they were on about. There wasn't anything particularly shocking, or interesting, nor any big revelations about any of the characters. It was, for the most part, just like every other episode has been. That is, somewhat disjointed with too little focus on the main characters.

And with this episode, I think they finally lost me. The promise that I saw in the premiere hasn't turned into a show that I am going to watch every week. Add in the fact that my Monday TV schedule is already pretty busy with Inside Nextel Cup, The Closer, Big Love, Hell's Kitchen, and the upcoming Saving Grace, and there just isn't enough room for Heartland. So, I'm checking out of St. Judes, and this will be my last post on the show.

Now, as to this episode, it was once again, just ok. The intermingled stories of prospective liver recipients Helen Crawford and Emily Turner were an interesting place to start off. Especially the black market organ transplant angle of Emily's story. I thought the idea that someone took Nathaniel's notes and passed them along to help her with that was good, but the attempted misdirection with Nathaniel accusing Jessica of being the culprit didn't really work. For one, we have no reason to suspect that Jessica would be involved in such a thing. Nathaniel is operating on information that we just don't have, she had befriended Emily and they were often speaking privately with each other. And that is information that we didn't get until it was already clear that Newell led Emily down that path. It also highlights just how much they are not following through on the Nathaniel/Jessica relationship can of worms that was opened earlier.

Where it really fell short though, was the complete lack of consequences. There was hospital administration making noise and threatening that bad things were going to happen, but Nathaniel just didn't seem to care, and in the end, nothing came of it. He just shrugged it off and we're left with a system with no conflict. Nathaniel can do whatever he likes, and there is no one to answer to. It makes those tough choices so much easier.

I thought the Jonas story was the best bit of this episode. Although, that was a good bit of story that came out of a poor premise. I didn't really care for the idea of the West Virgina Grayson's suddenly changing their mind once they saw that Jonas was black. It seems like far too easy of an out, but even though that didn't really work, what came of it was rather good. The phone call that he made where he didn't let on exactly who he was but thanked the family for what they had done showed the maturity and growth of Jonas, and how he understands what the big picture here is. It is worth noting though that the whole asking for the phone number thing was a little silly. He knows their name, the name of their recently deceased daughter, and where they live. It doesn't really take Jim Rockford to track that number down.

Much of the rest of the episode was a combination of things that I just can't get interested in, or don't really care about. Kate's date? The 30 seconds of the car ride with Jonas was more interesting. I like the idea that they have some sort of a past together, and that is an angle that I would rather see pursued, instead of her getting back in the dating game. Thea's budding romance with Emily's son? It could have potential I suppose, but I don't have any faith that there is anything more to it.

The thing that I really didn't get was Hank Carlson? His scenes with Nathaniel where he is struggling with the decision to undergo a new procedure or keep his place in line waiting for a new liver just felt kind of shoehorned in. Like someone decided that this was the big liver episode, so the more the merrier. And what was really odd about it was that after he finally decided that he was going to take his chances and wait for the transplant, he just goes and sits down in the waiting room. Like he is going to just wait at the hospital for six months?

And finally, what for me is far and away the worst part of this show, the visions. They were odd at first, and now they vary from silly to annoying. It's an unnecessary gimmick tacked on to a show that doesn't need it. It needs a lot of things, but not that. If you enjoy the show, more power to you, it's not my intention to rain on anyone's parade. It just isn't working for me.

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Brett Love

JLM, I have been watching Burn Notice, and I would second your recommendation. It's a very fun show.

July 18 2007 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JLM

Brett - if you can find some time on Thursday night, check out 'Burn Notice'. The show does a really good job of integrating the weekly story with overall character development. It is what the Heartland writers needed to emulate.

July 18 2007 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

Good for you. I dropped it 15 minutes into the Pilot. "3lbs" lasted 10 minutes longer.

Heartland is boring. Period.

July 18 2007 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BobbyBuz

I agree. I gave it a chance, but they also lost me.

I too am looking forward to "Saving Grace."

July 18 2007 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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