7 episodes

The Heron is a six-part audio drama, a psychological thriller set at a cutthroat sports-driven boarding school. Kelsey, a teenage tennis star driven to the edge by her tyrannical trophy-mother, is forced to see her school’s psychiatrist, which reveals unimaginable events. Inspired by the likes of David Fincher and "Homecoming," The Heron is a character-driven mystery about a young woman who seeks the light at the end of the tunnel, but instead might find it's a train headed right for her.

The Heron Realm

    • Fiction
    • 4.2 • 120 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

The Heron is a six-part audio drama, a psychological thriller set at a cutthroat sports-driven boarding school. Kelsey, a teenage tennis star driven to the edge by her tyrannical trophy-mother, is forced to see her school’s psychiatrist, which reveals unimaginable events. Inspired by the likes of David Fincher and "Homecoming," The Heron is a character-driven mystery about a young woman who seeks the light at the end of the tunnel, but instead might find it's a train headed right for her.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Accusation

    The Accusation

    Kelsey, a teenage tennis star, is questioned for accusing her roommate at an elite sporting boarding school of violent bullying. This accusation has sent shockwaves through America’s top tennis academy, so much so, the school’s highest paid employee and recruiting star, renowned sports psychiatrist Dr. Sienne Callahan, is meeting with the girls to investigate. Sienne quickly suspects Kelsey is lying and, following a call with her trophy-mother Barb, suspects she is the real abuser. To Kelsey’s shock, Sienne backs her accusations with the Dean and has the roommate thrown out of school. Kelsey is required to meet for mandatory sessions with Sienne.
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    • 23 min
    A Former Student

    A Former Student

    Kelsey performs horribly at the Junior US Open. Barb throws a violent tantrum, insisting Kelsey end her sessions with Sienne. Kelsey tries to follow those orders until Sienne reveals her personal experiences with her abusive mother and offers to help Kelsey free herself and work with her on reaching her potential as a tennis player. This unimaginable dream for Kelsey is interrupted by a campus lockdown. A former student athlete shows up at Sienne’s office, claiming to know her then firing a gun.

    Trigger warning: this episode contains a depiction of an attempted suicide; listener discretion is advised.
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    • 21 min
    The Visit

    The Visit

    Sienne’s system takes hold; Kelsey dominates on the tennis court. Following her win, she lets Barb believe that the sessions with Sienne are done. Later, Kelsey tries to make new friends with her schoolmates, but is bullied and accused of being queer. In a moment of isolation, Sienne takes Kelsey to dinner. Sienne denies knowing the former student who attempted suicide, and turns the conversation to Kelsey’s run-in with her former roommate, suggesting she knows what really happened.
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    • 14 min
    Another Secret

    Another Secret

    Barb attends one of Kelsey’s matches, her ranting ruining Kelsey’s performance. Barb learns Kelsey has been lying – she has continued meeting with Sienne. Barb tries to persuade Kelsey that Sienne is a bad influence. Later, the schoolmate who’d bullied Kelsey apologizes to her based on information Sienne had shared. In Kelsey and Sienne’s session, Sienne claims Barb is fearful that their meetings will precipitate her losing her daughter. She also offers to keep their sessions a secret.
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    • 12 min
    Showdown

    Showdown

    Kelsey learns a prominent scout is attending the academy but isn’t meeting with her. Kelsey confronts Sienne and learns it was she who blocked Kelsey being considered. Sienne claims Barb is an impediment, then surprises Kelsey with Barb joining their session. An intense showdown ensues, Barb questioning Sienne’s motives, Sienne calling out Barb’s abuse. With Sienne’s help, Kelsey finally stands up to her mother and sets herself free. Barb storms out.
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    • 13 min
    Flight

    Flight

    Kelsey shares feelings of paranoia with Sienne. Barb shows up to a hospital to investigate the former student who attempted suicide in episode two, asking questions of the girl’s mother. Sienne tells Kelsey that they’ve never done real work because Kelsey has never been fully honest. Barb pushes the former student’s mother, suggesting Sienne victimized said student. Sienne’s session with Kelsey grows inappropriate, turning to a conversation about sex. Barb pushes harder with her investigation, prompting the mother to question Barb’s parenting skills. Sienne pushes Kelsey to admit her attraction to women. Barb leaves Kelsey a voicemail conceding that Sienne may be a good influence. Sienne reveals her true purpose, her intention from the beginning.

    Trigger warning: this episode contains a depiction of sexual assault; listener discretion is advised.
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    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

hyperberry ,

Others may be turned away…

Anyone who was shocked by the twist and therefore disliked the show… come on. I knew this was coming the moment the Dr. took Kelsey out for a celebratory dinner. These kinds of things happen IRL all the time. Especially in sports. We see headlines about Larry Nassar, or softball coaches doing this… the fact that so many listeners were shocked just further shows how needed a show like this is to bring awareness.

aes8289 ,

I wish I read the reviews

the one called “Be Warned” explains it best. this story happens in real life and it’s unspeakably awful. the victims’ stories deserve to be told. but to write about it in this way? with advertising money like that? I’ll generously give you enough benefit of the doubt to believe that this show was based on personal experience, not on an attempt to profit off of queer trauma for shock value.

sunbee78 ,

Great Premise, Horrible Execution

Not much of a ‘plot twist’, everyone could see the grooming that was being done. When you are dealing with pedophilia, you really shouldn’t use it as the cliffhanger / plot twist…really cheapens the narrative and exploits the very thing that shouldn’t be exploited. When writers go out of their way to include such a graphic script you have the responsibility to treat that narrative accordingly. I think it’s a story that needs to be told, but not in such a cheap way.

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