Georgie Fleming-Morris, played by Sally Bishop at a young age and Alisha Newton as a young adult, was one of the main characters in “Heartland.” She captured the viewers’ hearts with how she overcame her childhood traumas from a foster family and bonded with her adoptive parents, Lou Fleming and Peter Morris, and their young daughter Katie.
She found refuge at the Heartland Ranch after Jack Bartlett took her in, becoming a talented horserider and a brave and respectful young woman. However, she disappeared in the 15th season, worrying many fans, but returned in the last few episodes of the 16th season before they could create petitions. We covered Georgie’s journey from the introduction to the last episode in early 2023.
Georgie has had a difficult journey
After the showrunners introduced Georgie to viewers in the sixth season, the fans learned about her tragic backstory. After she lost her parents, the child service organization put her into one foster family after another. However, Georgie never felt at home in those families, and ran away several times. After one such escape, Jack, who inherited his grandfather’s 600-acre Heartland Ranch, found her in the loft above his barn and took her in.
We love this pic of Georgie (Alisha Newton) from this weekend’s new episode of Heartland! #iloveheartland 🐴 😊
Posted by Heartland on CBC on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
She quickly realized that her heart told her that the ranch was where she belonged. Thankfully, she could stay and ride horses thanks to her adoption by the Fleming-Morris family. Georgie quickly befriended several people, including Mallory, Jade and Stephen, dated several, such as Adam, Wyatt and Quinn, and even made an enemy in Olivia Wheaton. Her relationships and acceptance from Jack and her adoptive parents turned her into a passionate horserider and animal lover who wanted to win the Olympics in show-jumping.
Her biological parents died
Most problems in Georgie’s life can be traced to her biological parents. In the same season she debuted, the storyline explained that she was the younger daughter of Mary and Matthew Crawley, but that they died when she was three. Although she does not remember them, her full birth name, Georgina Crawley, is a remnant, and she could learn about their lives through her older brother, Jeff Crawley. He is the only biological family member whom Georgie keeps in touch with, although the showrunners revealed that they have a maternal aunt, Crystal Norwood – their maternal grandparents, Michael and Silvia Norwood, are deceased.
Jeff is the bad-boy type with a noble heart, who rides motorcycles and can afford expensive things because he works for an oil company. However, the two are close, and he doesn’t hesitate to work part-time for Jack whenever he visits Heartland Ranch. Additionally, he developed a romantic interest in Mallory and Cassandra, and even kissed Georgie’s best friend, Jade, in the eighth season. Although Katie is much younger in the show, Jeff likes spending time with her, giving the siblings another reason to be together.
Most importantly, Jeff admires Ty Borden, who had a hard life and worked on the ranch during the probation period after assaulting his stepfather Wade, who abused him. Georgie enjoys seeing him have a close male friend, which deepens their bond.
Her adoptive parents always supported her
Although Jack offered to foster her, then become her permanent assistant, the arm of the law would have taken Georgie away and put her in yet another two-parent foster family, as they would likely find a more suitable and less busy couple than Jack.
Luckily, Peter and Lou stepped in and fostered her before adopting her. Lou was the older sister of Amy Fleming and Jack’s granddaughter, and owned Maggie’s Diner and Heartland’s Equestrian Connection. However, she was perhaps best known as the jam-maker for the ranch. Peter was a former Bedford Oil executive who Lou’s family initially disliked, but he managed to warm their hearts. He invited Lou for a date in the second season, and the two started dating in the early third season before he proposed in the 12th episode. Georgie also has a young adoptive sister, Katie, who was five years old when introduced in the ninth season.
Unfortunately, Georgie’s parents started having issues in their marriage in the eighth season, culminating within roughly two and a half seasons. Regardless of their problems, they agreed to co-parent Georgie and Katie. Lou begins to date Mitch afterward; they buy a ranch in the 13th season, and their relationship almost ends in marriage. However, Peter and Lou realized that they had feelings for each other during the 14th and 15th seasons.
Georgie focused on horse-riding and nurturing her friendships during the discord between her parents, so she felt little tension. Additionally, her parents were rekindling the flame before the end of the 15th season; hence, the viewers couldn’t see Georgie’s reaction. Her return focused on her lack of passion for show-jumping and romantic relationship, robbing them of another opportunity to see Georgie’s response. Still, her adoptive parents were always by her and her sister’s side, and approved of her relationship with her biological brother.
Georgie’s rival later became her friend
Midway through the sixth season, the screenwriters decided to explore Georgie’s response to bullying, unfairness, and competition in her favorite activities. Thus, they introduced Olivia Wheaton, who made fun of George for two seasons, making Georgie punch her in the face and get in trouble.
Also, Olivia annoyed her by doing the same things, such as trick-riding Extreme Team. That wouldn’t be an issue if Olivia indicated that she was interested in that activity with the horse; instead, she did it out of jealousy; Georgie excelled at it. Additionally, Olivia begins to make moves on Adam while he’s dating Georgie, and has dated him in seasons 10 and 11 after Georgie breaks up with him. Unfortunately for Adam, Olivia bid him farewell at the end of season 12. Nonetheless, fans got the impression that she wanted Adam so that she could prove that she could steal him from Georgie, then keep him interested.
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However, Georgie and Olivia developed a friendship and learned to work together in the middle of the 10th season. In one episode, Extreme Team’s coach Natalie chose Olivia to headline the end-of-season event by performing a difficult trick, tail drag. After she fails, the coach chooses Georgie, but she too has trouble, and decides that it’s too dangerous. Natalie eventually apologizes and chooses Sam, the rider who initially performed the trick, and Georgie proposes a joint trick performance with Olivia, followed by their taking turns at the hippodrome. Offering a helping hand when Olivia was down showed the camaraderie, and had a massive positive effect, making the two much closer afterward.
Georgie had an unclear relationship with Stephen
Soap operas are known for keeping fans in suspense, especially regarding will-they-won’t-they relationships. Stephen fulfilled that role; Georgie defended him from a group of boys attacking him near a school bus, and their relationship blossomed in the eighth season.
In the 13th episode, Georgie asks him to a Sadie Hawkins dance, but ultimately has to stay home after contracting chickenpox. Stephen cared for her since he was immune, which let them get to know each other, including Georgie learning that Stephen’s parents were divorcing. Thus, he unknowingly helped prepare Georgie for her adoptive parent’s down the road.
Moreover, although she was confused when Stephen called their lunch at Maggie’s Diner ‘a date,’ she realized shortly after that he had a crush on her. Unfortunately, his mom landed a job in Manitoba, and he had to leave with her. Luckily, Georgie saw his mom beforehand, and she told her about the departure before Stephen. She longingly responded, ‘Just when I was thinking of having a boyfriend…’ indicating that she was developing feelings and considering the relationship with him. To the dismay of fans who thought they would be a great couple, Stephen left the show in the middle of the ninth season and never returned. However, they had a passionate hug before he got on the bus.
She had three boyfriends
Fans disappointed with Stephen’s disappearance didn’t have long to wait for a new romance. Adam Parker became her math tutor in the ninth season, but she initially disliked him. However, after they partnered up to do some work at the wildlife reserve, her opinion of him changed, and she developed a crush. Adam made the first move and attempted to kiss her, but her focus was elsewhere. Luckily, she redeemed herself later by kissing him because she didn’t want to regret not trying. Things initially looked great for the young couple, especially when she didn’t mind that Adam had diabetes, and saved him from a winter storm. Sadly, he started snooping through her smartphone, and his insecurity made her break up with him in the 10th season.
Georgie quickly moved on; several episodes later, she met Wyatt McMurtry, Casey McMurtry’s nephew and Clay McMurtry’s cousin. Although the first time he tried to kiss her was awkward, they soon got cozy during a barbecue at Heartland Ranch and started kissing. However, her illusion shattered when Wyatt admitted that he was dating a girl in his hometown. Although he claimed that his emotions were gone and that he wasn’t sure how to tell her, his confession cooled Georgie off, and she severed all ties with him.
She later developed a crush on Dylan Westfield, and the two had a lot of positive tension and playful conflicts, but nothing happened in terms of romance. That was until season 13, when she met Quinn McGregor, a jumping coach. Although he taught at Hillhurst, he was born and spent much time in Florida with his father. After they began dating, Quinn developed a rivalry with Wyatt over Georgie. However, that was his only somewhat negative trait; Quinn was sweet, supportive, and mature, and they were together when Georgie disappeared from the show.
Georgie didn’t return for the 15th season
Soap opera viewers know that any character could leave the show. In most cases, the writers choose to take the script in another direction because of a plot change, problems with the actor’s contract, or the actor’s decision to leave. Moreover, viewers already mourned the departure of Ty Borden; he died in the 10th episode of the 13th season; while saving Amy from a poacher shooting at a wolf, he was shot and died from a blood clot. In reality, the actor Graham Wardle decided to quit the show and accept other acting gigs, so writers abruptly changed the storyline.
However, nothing could prepare viewers for Georgie vanishing. Her relationship with Quinn was heading toward marriage, and she planned to compete in the Olympics with his professional help and motivation as a boyfriend. Moreover, her parents got their romantic spark back after being apart for five seasons, and fans expected her to be there. Therefore, rumors started circulating that Alisha had had enough of portraying the character. That was understandable; the actress appeared in the flick “We’re All in This Together” in 2021 before landing the lead role of Helen in the “Devil in Ohio” horror movie in 2022.
Georgie returned two years later
Luckily, Georgie wasn’t written out of the show; she appeared unannounced in the 14th episode of the 16th season, “After the Ever After,” on 29 January 2023. She returned to Heartland Ranch, walking behind Phoenix, her horse. After meeting others, she explained that she had been on a ranch in Florida with Quinn, practicing showjumping for the Olympics.
However, she broke the bad news to them afterward; she quit showjumping, gave up on her dreams of competing, and was back home to decide what to do next.
With some convincing from her mother, she rode Phoenix and quickly saw how much the horse loved jumping, making her realize that she still finds joy in show-jumping, too. However, she refused to watch her old rival, Peyton Westfield, compete at the Winter Fair, suggesting she didn’t plan on competing.
The following day, Georgie admitted to Amy and Lyndy that Eleanor Hinchcliff emailed her an offer to relocate to Brussels, Belgium, to train with her. Eleanor was a world-class coach who helped riders get back into jumping after injuries or training gaps, making this an extraordinary opportunity.
Unfortunately, accepting the offer meant that Georgie would have to break up with Quinn, take him to Brussels, or maintain a long-distance relationship. After Quinn heard about it, she refused his marriage proposal, telling him that they didn’t need a ring to keep their love alive. Consequently, Georgie and Quinn decided to stay together but physically apart, ending the 16th season on a cliffhanger about the upcoming struggles.
Fans love her new personality and appearance
Although individual events invoked a full spectrum of feelings in her, Georgie’s story is ultimately one of change. She overcame her tragic childhood, constantly escaped foster families, and found family at Heartland Ranch while maintaining a tight-knit bond with her biological brother.
She also changed from a social outcast, tomboy-looking girl who never became attached, to a caring and loving young woman. She was also persistent about not pursuing ballet, something her adoptive mother wanted, and diving headfirst into horse-riding with Trouble, Phoenix and Checkers. She demonstrated her decisiveness again when she chose jumping instead of trick riding.
Georgie also showed a kind heart for other animals when she adopted a lost dog named Remi, who she rescued from a deep well. Her fashion sense also showed a personality and confidence shift. She went from wearing hand-me-down clothing from Lou and Amy and a professional ponytail, to sporting feminine clothing and letting her hair down.
Georgie should come back for the 17th season
CBC hasn’t renewed the longest-running family drama in Canada for a 17th season, as of early May 2023. However, if they do, it would likely air in the fall of this year. Judging by the steady viewership and popularity, the chances of cancellation are slim to none. Moreover, the showrunners have evidently mapped out Georgie’s upcoming story in Brussels and Heartland Ranch, meaning that the actress cleared her schedule. Therefore, Georgie’s fans will almost certainly see her on-screen again, towards the end of the year.