Guest Author - Cheril Vernon
Season four of ABC Family’s original series “Wildfire” is full of change. Relationships have been destroyed. And no one is the same.
Season four started Jan. 21 and continues at 8 p.m. CST each Monday on ABC Family.
After participating in an illegal match race at the end of season three, troubled teen-turned jockey Kris Furillo (Genevieve Cortese) has lost her jockey license and her relationship with the Ritters, who own Raintree Horse Ranch. Davis Farms daughter Dani Davis (Nicole Tubiola) has lost her horse racing license and her edge in running the family business to her father Ken Davis (James Read) and brother Junior Davis (Ryan Sypek).
Kris bolts town after disappointing everyone and losing her place at Raintree, thumbing for a ride. Blaming Kris for the loss of her horse racing license, Dani offers to take the hitchhiking Kris to the bus station. Upset and driving in the rain, Dani doesn’t see a herd of cows in the road, but Kris does, and in the knick of time, prevents them from having a wreck. Regardless, both head separate ways: Kris, to the bus station; Dani, to a new life without her father and brother in control.
Season four picks up six months later. Kris is keeping a low profile in Colorado making money jockeying for illegal races. Dani is opening up the Danielle Davis Equine Center with the hopes of getting her reputation and eventually her horse racing license. She’s also on the lookout for a veterinarian that can build the clinic’s reputation and draw clients.
Matt Ritter (Micah Alberti) is still pining for Kris, who he hasn’t seen or heard from in six months. He’s not happy with his mother’s (Jean Ritter – Nana Visitor) decision to sell the racing horses and turn Raintree into a dude ranch.
Junior is now in love with Laura, a girl he met on that same rainy night when Kris left, and is ready to marry her. His dad is thrilled, as she is the daughter of a very influential politician with strings in the horse racing business.
Even Wildfire has changed. He’s no longer the racing champion he once was. His times are off. As Wildfire’s owners, Jean and Pablo Betart (Greg Serano) are thinking about retiring Wildfire.
With news about Wildfire’s possible retirement and a lead from his uncle about Kris’ whereabouts, Matt heads to Colorado to find Kris and to ask her to come back to Raintree.
Time has passed and Kris isn’t the same person. She doesn’t see a future with Matt because she knows that Jean will never forgive her for the illegal match that led to Raintree’s demise. But the thought of Wildfire being retired makes Kris decide to hop a bus to California back to Raintree — and back into the chaotic mess of a life that she left six months ago.
Jean and Pablo make it abundantly clear that they are done with Kris. Surprisingly, Dani has turned over a new leaf. She sees the near-wreck as a life-changing event and has opened the clinic on a positive note. No longer living under her father’s thumb, she is independent. She asks Kris to stay with her while she’s in town to see Wildfire’s match.
Wildfire seems to be doing better in the race as he spots Kris, but his back is thrown out of place during the race. One vet suggests euthanasia. But recent vet school grad Dr. Noah suggests a new, yet risky surgery that saves Wildfire’s life. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready to race just yet. Kris is hired to work as Dr. Noah’s assistant at Dani’s clinic, which will keep her around at least until Dr. Noah is off crutches.
There are many questions this season: Will Wildfire race again? Can Kris make peace with the Ritters and Pablo? Will she ride Wildfire again?
The real question is simple: Whom will she choose? Matt is still in love with Kris, and it appears Junior still has feelings for her even though he is engaged.