Hearts Divided Review

One year on from the release of Secrets and the City, Home and Away released another exclusive-to-video episode in Australia on 29th October 2003. This time around, the release was also available on DVD. It was presented by Rebecca Cartwright. Once again, the content was two TV episodes followed by the exclusive episode.

Episode 3601 - Turn Back The Night - TV Episode 1
In the recap, the tension with Kane and the Sutherland family escalates. The episode opens with Dani driving on a dark rainy night, crying. She suddenly hits something but does not know what. When she gets out of the car the only thing that she can see is some blood on the car.

The episode then flashes back to the preceding events. It is revealed how high the tension has become between Kane and the Sutherlands. Scott has punched Kane, which makes Kirsty think even more that her family is totally against her.

Dani feels everyone thinks she is going crazy when they just want to help her. Because of these feelings, she tells Scott to stay away from her. She later heads to her professor, Ross's house to study. When he walks her to her car, he leans forward to kiss her and she kisses him back. Realising what she has done, Dani gets in her car and drives home, upset. This is where the episode began. Dani has to get back in her car because of an approaching truck and she drives off. Kane is seen lying at the side of the road.

Episode 3606 - Fallout - TV Episode 2
Dani and Rhys talk about whether or not Dani will be found guilty of the attempted murder of Kane. Rhys tells Kirsty that Kane is being invested in a robbery and is shocked to find out she already knows this but still feels the same way about him.

Heyley tries to persuade Dani to tell the police the reason she was distracted from her driving - that she had kissed her professor. But that would mean telling Scott.

Alex returns home and is hiding an injury. This is the beginning of his steroids storyline.

Kirsty gets a call that Kane has been moved to the city and runs out of class. She talks to Flynn about Kane and feels like she has ruined Dani's life. She wants to move to the city to be near Kane.

Dani tells Scott about the kiss and he is naturally upset. He tells Dani that he needs time to think about their future.

Hearts Divided - The Exclusive Episode
Dani and Hayley talk. Dani misses Scott and is worried that he hates her.

Rhys is regretting letting Kirsty go to the city. Kirsty is on a bus on her way to the city. We see Kane in hospital, getting frustrated with his physical therapy. The bus breaks down and Kirsty decides to hitch hike to the city. The man that picks her up tries to assault her but Kirsty gets away and takes his car. She finds herself being followed by the police. She eventually gets out of the car and makes a run for it, managing to escape the police. Strangely, we see a very brief guest appearance by Paula Forrest as Shelley, as she calls Rhys to let him know that the bus has broken down and Kirsty has not arrived.

Scott and Dani talk about Kirsty and each other, but Scott isn't ready to forgive Dani.

Kirsty finds Kane at the hospital, which makes him happy. Rhys barges in and grabs Kirsty to take her home, but she refuses. Kane manages to get on his feet to defend Kirsty. He is excited that he can walk again and asks Kirsty to marry him. Kirsty says yes and heads for home.

Final Comments
Many fans were disappointed with Secrets and the City and felt it was a waste of money to buy a video that contained two episodes they had already seen on TV and that the exclusive episode was only twenty minutes long like a regular episode. Also, Secrets and the City had a PG rating (as opposed to the regular broadcast G rating) but it did not seem any more dramatic or adult-themed. So, was Hearts Divided any better? Unfortunately, the powers that be decided to repeat the same unpopular format - two broadcast episodes followed by a twenty minute exclusive episode. If Home and Away continues these releases, they need to add much more original content to warrant fans spending their money. However, the plus side of Hearts Divided is that it pushes the boat out and takes advantage of the PG rating. Unlike when Kane attacked Dani offscreen, Hearts Divided shows the man in the car trying to force himself on Kirsty. This is followed by a dramatic police chase which makes the viewer very tense. Then Rhys grabs Kirsty at the hospital. I do not think that any of these three scenes would be allowed in a regular TV episode.

The extra features include some short behind the scenes footage, Emmanuel Carella's music video of "Don't Say a Word" and a day in the life of Bec and Beau. The latter was used as a special feature on the UK release of Secrets and the City a couple of months prior to Hearts Divided's release. More features would be welcome on future releases, taking advantage of the DVD format.

Hearts Divided is available in both DVD and Video format from any good stockist. You can order it online from HMV Australia, either on Video for A$19.99 or on DVD for A$30.99.