Dragons: Riders of Berk – “Heather Report Part One” Recap
Berk’s Dragon Training Academy continues to bustle, with Hiccup and his friends continuing their studies of the dragons and recording their findings in the Book of Dragons. However, after performing some time trials to see who is the fastest, Snotlout arrives and tells them to follow him, as he has found something very interesting. At the beach, they see a wrecked boat, and inside, an unconscious girl. They wake her up and introduce themselves, learning that she is named Heather and that she and her family had been attacked by pirates. She managed to escape but not before they laid siege to her village. They take her back to Berk in order to recover and speak to the chief for counsel, but that night, Astrid notices Heather snooping around and starts to become suspicious. The next day, Heather speaks with Hiccup to learn more about the dragons and gives him advice on how to build a saddle that would make Toothless go faster. After a brief flight together, they return to the Dragon Training Academy where she learns of the Book of Dragons. Later that afternoon, she begins to flirt with the male Riders of Berk in order to learn what she can about the dragons, but unable to get any substantive information, decides to seek the book out herself. That night, she searches Hiccup’s room and finds the book, only to be caught in the act by Astrid. They go to Hiccup, who forgives her after she explains that she found it by accident, much to Astrid’s chagrin. The next night, Astrid finds Heather trying to tame her dragon, Stormfly, and the two exchange angry words before Heather walks away. Knowing that she’s up to something, Astrid follows her down to the beach where she sees her meeting with one of Alvin the Treacherous’ men. She runs off to tell Hiccup, but by the time they go up stairs, Heather had already snuck her way back into bed and Hiccup refuse to believe her. The next day, Heather is missing and she took the Book of Dragons, and worse, she stole Stormfly. Astrid is livid with Hiccup, blaming him for not listening to her, so the Riders of Berk set off after Heather. They find her, and Astrid jumps onto Stormfly mid-flight in order to fight Heather, but Book of Dragons is lost in the scuffle and claimed by Alvin. Hiccup and his friends fly back to Berk, with the traitorous Heather in tow.
I really don’t get this show. Each time it takes steps forward and improves in quality, it immediately stumbles backwards and presents an episode that bothers me on a number of levels. This was a very bad episode. Heather was played with as much subtlety as a sack of bricks being thrown through a window, and when you think about it, subtlety has been something that this show has sorely lacked. Whenever a character is guilty of something, it makes their guilt incredibly evident, as if the writers are unwilling to have enough faith in the audience to form their conclusions unless they practically write it out on-screen. Heather could have been a good character, but they made her so unlikable in this episode that even if they come up with some convoluted reason to justify her betrayal, too much damage has been done to her and I hope she never shows up again after this two-part episode is finished.
What’s worse is that despite how blatant Heather’s behavior was, nobody believed Astrid because they thought that she was jealous. I loathe that trope. More than that, I am insulted by it. I am insulted that shows keep trying to pull that garbage as if it’s actually an interesting plot point. It is not. Hiccup just went through the same thing a few episodes ago, when nobody would believe him about Mildew, and he so easily disregards Astrid’s advice and then gets betrayed by Heather no less than a minute later. The show deserves better than the clichés that this episode delivered, and I can only hope that the second episode somehow turns everything around. Now that Alvin has the Book of Dragons, maybe he can militarize some dragons in time for the next episode and we can get some long overdue dragon vs. dragon combat. I think this show should try focusing on that instead of trying to be clever with writing, because it’s becoming more and more apparent that it’s incapable of being clever.