V.C. Andrews' Fallen Hearts Review: Lions, and Baby Daddies, & Affairs, Oh My!

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Who is more cursed? The Casteel Vanvoreen Tatterton clan or us for having to witness all that befalls them?

Has there been a family marred by this much tragedy outside of the Kennedys?

The Casteel saga continued with the third installment, Fallen Hearts, and it was no less batshit crazy than the first two. If you, like I, have made it through these movies, it's more than can be said for the majority of Heaven's family.

All-Grown-Up - Tall

These stories come with a body count, and Heaven has inadvertently contributed to it.

Heaven Leigh Casteel VanVoreen Tatterton Stonewall is the worst.

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She was a nuisance for the first two movies, and it was passed off as her being young and naive. However, this time, she wasn't either. She was a self-righteous, petty asshole.

Heaven- Sent

She racked up a lot of offenses, and by the end of the movie, none of the characters were likable. I can't even rule out the children. The genes are mighty with this lot, and they never stood a chance.

The most likable character died in such a fantastical way I found myself laughing to the point of crying during his death scene.

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Rest in peace, Tom Casteel. You deserved better. You're free now. They say only the good die young, or, like, any Casteel or anyone adjacent to them.

Tom was the most likely to have a decent life and a traditional family, so of course, he had to go.

Tom at the Circus

He was too pure for this world and solidified it when he used his last breath to tell Heaven to stop being a bitch. Well, he said "forgive," but it's the same thing.

Death by a lion was the most exciting thing about Tom, and I'm mad about that. I'm also upset that he died covered in clown makeup. What a way to go!

Heaven herself didn't recognize him at first (which about sums up their relationship perfectly), but that's also because of how little she saw the guy despite him being her so-called best friend in the world.

Luke: He was a good man. 

Heaven: Better than you ever were. 

Tom Casteel got screwed. Did he have hopes and dreams? Did he ever find love with the bearded lady or a trapeze artist, or hell, the strongest man in the world, or whatever floated his boat (I'm not judging)? We knew nothing about Tom, but he deserved good things.

Casteel Siblings - Tall

I can't believe this biatch got her brother killed because of her need to be petty and vindictive.

She was willing to get back at Luke no matter the cost and no matter how much it could hurt other people. Why?

He was a shitty dad to her; no one is disputing that. She was a grown woman stuck in the past, though.

Unlike Tom, I don't think she had to be the bigger person and forgive Luke; but that was more of a reason for her to mind her business and carry on with her life.

Ringleader - Tall

For one, I'm confused about how her ire was reignited in the first damn place.

Where the heck was Grandpa Casteel all this time? Where was he when her grandmother died? Why weren't they living together with Luke and the family? He wasn't at the funeral!

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He just randomly appeared like we were supposed to know he existed, and I'm assuming he and Heaven were living together in the years she was a teacher and before she married Logan.

But we'll get into that in a minute.

They should have at least mentioned grandpa in the other movies if he was going to pop up in this one. He only served two purposes. He was there to drop the bomb about Luke selling his children to buy the circus (I still can't believe I get to type lines like that).

Grandpa was also there to flip out when the news about Luke and his wife's deaths came. He was mostly irrelevant for the remainder of the movie.

Heaven's reaction to being pimped out to Kitty and Cal for circus peanuts was extreme. There's no barometer on how best to react to that sort of thing, but she went from zero to psychotic in less time it took Fanny to drawl out Heaven's name in her exaggerated accent.

Circus Freaks - tall

It seemed as though she was sitting on that plan to haunt Luke for a while. Who comes up with something that dastardly and dramatic on the fly?

She already knew where to find her mother's wedding dress, a matching wig, and everything.

Heaven thought it was going to be her time to shine, and if anything, she should have been the one who was wearing a clown suit by the time all was said and done.

She lets the unthinkable slide, and she uses things to her advantage when she deems fit, but she remained hung up on Luke's indiscretions from years ago and wanted him to pay for them.

Luke the Loser - Tall

It's OK if she feels as though Luke shouldn't be happy, but what about everyone else?

He had a family of his own and another child.

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She was willing to trigger a psychotic break, or whatever it was she was hoping for, to get back at him. Screw his wife, Tom, his employees who need the paycheck, and little Drake too, huh?

New Look, New Heaven - Tall

It's to the point of being impressive how in a sea of awful individuals, Heaven manages to be a sucky character too.

Tony: Family is everything, and we are all family now.

Heaven must've thought about pulling something like this off before, but she didn't consider when it would be best to do it?

Heaven haunting her recovering drunk not-dad in the middle of the day at work is dumb. She could've done it at night and been more effective and spared her brother his awful death.

Heaven on the Run - Tall

She doesn't even get brownie points for being talked out of it. She took her sweet time deciding to back out despite knowing Luke was close. WHY DID IT TAKE HER SO LONG TO LEAVE?!

She couldn't even let Tom rest peacefully at his damn funeral. The first thing she brought up was how great of a man Tom was and how terrible Luke is.

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Heaven couldn't shut the hell up at a damn funeral if someone duct-taped her mouth shut and waved a forbidden d*ck in front of her as a distraction.

It made it all the more absurd when she dared to be upset about Luke not showing up at her wedding and answering her calls and letters.

Heaven's Wedding

Heaven, you got your brother mauled by a damn lion trying to be petty and spiteful, even if Luke wasn't being paid off by Grandpa Daddy, he was well within his rights to not go to your freaking wedding!

Speaking of weddings and distracting d*ck, we have to discuss Heaven and Logan's dumpster fire of a relationship. Logan could have been anywhere else, but he went back to that small-ass town and continued to fawn after Heaven like she was the only available girl in the world.

Logan: Seriously, I can't stop thinking about you. I know you're the one. I need to know we have a chance despite our complicated past. 

Heaven: You'll always be my first love, Logan Stonewall, but I don't want to rush into anything. Wouldn't want to make the same mistake again. 

He could have been with anyone else, but he wanted to be with a woman who rejected him and barely gave him the time of day. Why didn't he ever date other girls? Why was prime-beef Logan just waiting for Heaven to live her messy life before settling down with him?

Young Love - Dark Angel

It's like they had him on ice waiting to pair them up, and all of this without us ever getting a real feel for why he loves her so much in the first freaking place.

Finally, Heaven made it down the aisle ( or backroad? We never saw the wedding, or if the pedophilic reverend officiated it, or if Heaven even had friends to be her bridesmaids). She got married, and it was to Logan.

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Most of my sympathies for Logan disintegrated around the time he shot his shot at Tom's funeral. The boy was relentless, and for the life of me, I don't know why.

Logan: I know I'm not Tom. I know I never will be, but I want to take care of  you. I want to comfort you. I love you, Heaven. I've always loved you.

He claimed he was better when he was with her, and I guess we're going to have to take his word for it. We knew nothing about him away from Heaven, and we didn't know anything about their relationship.

Co-Ed Logan - Dark Angel

However, he was nothing more than a poor Heaven's Troy. She settled for him and spent most of their marriage treating him like an afterthought; it was painful.

She didn't tell him anything about her life away from there before they got married, and I think your husband should know about the time you fell in love with your uncle and how your rich stepgrandfather is also your dad. It only seems fair, you know?

Give the guy a chance to back out of all that crazy. He already had to deal with her senile grandpa who mysteriously disappeared and freaking Fanny. Dear God, Fanny -- how I could pity her and loathe her so much at the same time is beyond me.

Fanny's Hard Time - Dark Angel

What did they do with Logan?

I'm trying to figure out how he went from a college-educated, sophisticated man living in Boston to a country bumpkin with barely two brain cells to rub together and acting as though he had no home-training nor exposure to anything outside of his small-town.

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It doesn't matter if they spent no time developing the man, they can't retcon Logan and expect us not to notice it! Also, what did he do before Grandpa Daddy gave him a job co-owning and overseeing a Tatterton business in West Virginia?

We know Heaven was supposedly a teacher despite never being shown once anywhere near a school, but they never even mentioned anything Logan did.

Heaven's Wedding - Tall

Outside of Fanny, of course. I don't know what it says that Logan's infidelity didn't bother me so much as him sleeping with Heaven's, not half-sister. Did he need to keep it in the family?

Also, it was Fanny; she was awful. There was nothing remotely appealing about her throwing herself at Logan every chance she got. She was the town's rite of passage, and everyone got a turn.

Heaven: Why are you trying to seduce my husband? 

Fanny: Oh, Heaven. I'd never. I have a boyfriend who keeps me quite satisfied, I might add.

The former city-slicker Logan Stonewall from the first movie wouldn't have been this stupid. They killed Tom and ruined Logan; this movie was a personal attack.

Fanny Plots - Tall

The worst part about Fanny taunting Heaven with the Logan affair like a backwoods Eliza Doolittle is before Logan confirmed it like a buffoon, Heaven didn't have reason to believe Fanny.

She was an established pathological liar who spent all of her free time chewing up space like Gumby and trash-talking Heaven with an accent that sounded like nails on a chalkboard.

Fanny: I'm having your husband's baby, not you!

Fanny did and said anything to get under Heaven's skin, so why did Heaven keep letting her?

Welcome Home Wagon

But I also wonder why Heaven didn't take her earrings off and throw down with Fanny at least once. Violence is rarely the answer, but Fanny needed a good old-fashion ass-whooping.

Heaven was in no real position to be as angry with Logan as she was considering she got knocked up by her presumed dead uncle-lover and never told him the truth.

If this family story isn't insane enough they went ahead and tossed in the ghost who rose from the dead.

I should not have been as surprised as I was that Troy was still alive, and yet, I'll admit I needed a moment to take a deep breath and compose myself while I processed the reveal of this brand new information.

Truest Love - Tall

The rule of thumb is that if there isn't a body then there isn't a death, but we assumed he took a permanent swim in the sea.

Does this mean he took off stark naked and disappeared into the wind never to be seen or heard from again until he heard Heaven was coming back?

Why? Did Tony know he was still alive? What had he been doing in the years since he faked his death?

Twisted Reality - Dark Angel - Tall

Why couldn't he leave the country like other rich people? If I found out my clinically depressed uncle lover pretended to commit suicide and left me blaming myself for his death for half a decade, I would be livid.

Heaven: I'll never forget last night, but I'm married. I'm married to Logan, and we're happy. We have to be stronger. Goodbye, Troy. 

Troy: Goodbye, Heaven. 

Heaven, however, was turned on.

I try not to kink-shame people. Nevertheless, I'm well within my rights to draw the line at married women doing a naked forbidden dance with their uncles, especially when it leads to a bouncing inbred baby

Temptations - Tall

Forbidden sex must be a thousand times better than crazy sex, but at least Heaven and Troy agreed they needed to stay away from each other.

Heaven acknowledged that it was screwed up to not forgive Logan when she f**ked her uncle, but for all of this talk about honesty, shouldn't she have told him about her indiscretion? Shouldn't she have told him little Annie wasn't his?

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It's little things like that which made her more insufferable than ever. She was never honest with Logan at any point.

She stood in judgment of him for sleeping with Fanny, when these days the consent would have been questioned since she plowed him with alcohol.

Tears and Pain - Tall

She was annoyed by his infatuation with Tony, but she refused to explain why she had issues with him. She didn't tell him about Tony until the drunken creep tried to assault her. She made comments, but she had no problem playing the dutiful granddaughter to Jillian who she loathed.

R.I.P. Jillian.

They fridged the hell out of her, didn't they? It's a recurring theme, right along with women over 40 drinking their body weight in liquor, sharing unearned special moments with those they screwed over as if they're redemptive, and meeting tragic ends.

Wine Grandmom - Tall

Jillian was not a happy woman, so I'm not surprised she succeeded in her suicide.

It was amusing how nice she was to Heaven for those few seconds. One would think they bonded offscreen instead of having -23 minutes of screentime together excluding the two full minutes of hick shade.

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What was the generational fire/sickness Jillian spoke about? Was it a reference to the siren vibe?

Jillian: The fire inside of your body will burn you alive if you don't give into it. 

Was she pointing out their ability to attract the worst men? Tragedy and bad luck haunt the entire family, so maybe it was a reference to that.

Grandma and Me - Tall

I hate when drunk people fail to elaborate; it's inconvenient.

Keeping up with Heaven remaining terrible, the messed up part about the "sisterly" squabble was Fanny had valid points and reasons to be angry.

It's not fair to expect her big sister to do more than her no-good father ever did, but Heaven was a sucky sister.

Heaven and Fanny's feud would have been more entertaining if Fanny, someone who should be sympathetic, wasn't needlessly ugly and cruel all the time.

Fanny Plots - Tall

She was a victim of sexual abuse, was dealt a terrible hand, and had her baby taken from her. In news surprising no one, she was a sex worker, and her whole family bailed on her.

But she also should have been tossed headfirst into a swamp.

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If Fanny spent more time showing people she was capable of functioning as an adult instead of throwing tantrums and treating babies like interchangeable cash cows, no one would have batted an eye about her having custody of her first baby or Drake.

From her perspective, Heaven promised to get Fanny her baby. After one conversation with the pedophile, Heaven shrugged and carried on with her life.

StepGrand-Zaddy - Tall

Fanny was pissed off, and she should have been. I'm still pissed she left the baby with a known sexual abuser. Heaven also brought Drake to another sexual abuser and runs a business for him.

Heaven standing on any moral high ground never works out well. She decided she would take custody of Drake knowing full well they weren't blood-related, but part of that was probably guilt.

Was there no one on his mother's side who could have taken him? Wasn't it bad enough she and Fanny were bringing babies into this f**ked up family?

Drake - Tall

Fanny and her dumb as a rock boyfriend kidnapping Drake was ludicrous, but nothing compared to that court session. Everything was out of order. What mind of Maury Povich kangaroo court craziness was that?

There would be a cold day in hell before anyone should want to air out that kind of dirty laundry in front of the town and court.

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Heaven using the reverend as a witness to support the argument that Fanny was an unfit mother was foul.

Heaven: I will give you one million dollars if you give me custody of Drake.

She used her sister's rapist to destroy her sister. What the hell? Reverend Wise confessing to sleeping with an underaged girl and paying her off and still getting away Scot-free smelling like roses by playing a victim is utter madness!

Meeting Tony

How did Heaven think Fanny would keep it secret that she was pregnant with Logan's child? And in a pattern that carried on for the entire series, screw Logan and his feelings, huh?

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All that drama and making a public spectacle of themselves, and Heaven ended up doing the same thing she was angry at Luke for participating in the sale and purchase of children.

She bought Drake from Fanny like it was nothing. Fanny couldn't resist pointing out Heaven's hypocrisy. She was upset at Luke for selling his kids, but she bought her not brother.

Opening Up His Home - Tall

She was mad at Logan for cheating on her, but she cheated on him with her uncle, got knocked up, and didn't tell him.

She recognizes Cal and Tony as sexual abusers, but not Troy. She knows Tony and the Reverend have issues with underaged kids, but has no concern bringing or leaving kids around them.

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I don't understand Heaven Leigh Casteel Vanvoreen Tatterton Stonewall, but no one can ever accuse her of being an unflawed protagonist.

Other Tidbits:

  • Not that Heaven needed a defense, but the last time Heaven dressed up like her mother it was a bloodbath. Drunk Tony didn't know what he was asking. 
  • Tony was going for "Daddy of the year" giving Heaven a company and paying Luke to never speak to her again. 
  • So, Heaven just stopped teaching?
  • Is it safe to say the Tattertons have money money? Twenty-five hundred dollars a month in secret child support is a hell of a lot of money for the '60s -'70s, and a million dollars for Drake is a lot now. 
  • No, but seriously, what happened to grandpa?
  • Congratulations to Fanny for being the only female character outside of Heaven with an abundance of material. It wasn't great material, but it was material.
  • Fanny's obnoxious, dramatic antics at court with the sauntering, baby bump, and animal print were OG Dynasty levels of cheesy. I loved it. 
  • I don't like a single character, not a soul. 
  • Somewhere the twins are out there living their best lives. They are the unsung, forgotten about heroes of this event. 

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Is Heaven the absolute worst? Do you think she ever loved Logan at all? Were you Team Heaven or Fanny? 

Did the Grandpa Casteel situation confuse you too? What would you rate the third installment of this saga? Hit the comments below, Fanatics. Let's discuss! 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.7 / 5.0
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Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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