Sunset Over Hope Valley: Gambling for Happily Ever After

I’ll be honest with you, there was a lot going on in this episode of When Calls the Heart. It felt like an episode before a season finale. This seems strange, considering that we’re about halfway through the season. But despite this, I thought the episode was engaging and entertaining! It asked several questions and provided some answers to them. This episode was almost like a mystery story, where the audience was given puzzles to solve alongside the characters. To answer this growing list of questions, let’s talk about When Calls the Heart’s most recent episode!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart Season 5 poster
When Calls the Heart poster image created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel Poster image found at

Season: 5

Episode: 4

Name: Open Hearts


Major Stories:

  • At the beginning of the episode, Abigail tries to calm the people of Hope Valley as they fear for the financial future of their town. After this town gathering, Abigail is overwhelmed by the situation at hand. She reveals to Bill that doesn’t have a plan yet, but that she will quickly figure something out. The next day, Abigail talks to Henry at the lumber mill about the possibility of having him help to recruit investors in their cause. Henry turns down Abigail’s offer as he recognizes that his troubling past could cast a shadow on Abigail’s plan. Later in the episode, Abigail conducts a meeting in her office with all of Hope Valley’s merchants. She decides that until the bank can re-open again, all of the merchants will put customer’s purchases on credit. She also decides that if Hope Valley does acquire debts, she will sell a plot of land that the town happens to own. Before the meeting ends, all of the merchants agree to Abigail’s plan.


  • Elizabeth notices one day that Jack is packing for an upcoming trip. Jack tells her that where he’s going is a surprise, leaving Elizabeth in the dark about Jack’s whereabouts and his experiences in the Northern Territories. During Jack’s brief absence, Elizabeth worries that Jack is hiding something from her and addresses her concerns to Abigail. Meanwhile in Hamilton, Jack pays Mr. Thatcher a visit to ask for his blessing. Mr. Thatcher expressed his concerns, at first, about whether Jack was a good choice for Elizabeth’s future husband. Jack successfully persuades Mr. Thatcher to approve of Jack and Elizabeth’s marriage, as well as look forward to their wedding. When Jack comes back to Hope Valley, he shares the news with Elizabeth, causing her to express happiness. Shortly after Jack’s news, she asks him to share his experiences in the Northern Territories. At first, Jack attempts to avoid the subject like before. But Elizabeth states that healthy couples are the ones that share their feelings with each other. This causes Jack to tell Elizabeth, later in the episode, about a tragedy he faced during his recent service as a Mountie.

    Mountie face image created by Bakar015 at <a href=’’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=””>Food vector created by Bakar015 –</a>. Image found at


Minor stories:

  • One day during class, Elizabeth reveals that her entire class is invited to her and Jack’s wedding. She also shares that everyone will have a special role to play during the ceremonies. After class, Phillip asks Elizabeth what role he will get for the wedding. Elizabeth thinks that he would a perfect ring bearer, so she gives Phillip that responsibility. During recess several days later, Harper tells some other students that after his previous teacher got married, she resigned from her teaching job to raise a family. Phillip starts to fear that after the wedding, Elizabeth will abandon her class. One day, as Jack and Elizabeth plan to get eloped, Abigail tells them that Phillip has gone missing. Elizabeth knows that Phillip would go to his favorite spot near the lake, so she and Jack go to find him. When they do find Phillip, Elizabeth asks him why he seems upset. Phillip shares his fears to Elizabeth about the possibility of her leaving the class behind. She reassures him that Hope Valley is her home and that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As they return Phillip home, Jack and Elizabeth decide not to elope and get married in Hope Valley.


  • Rosemary volunteers to help plan Elizabeth’s wedding. While it started with creating Elizabeth’s wedding dress, Rosemary recruits friends and neighbors to participate in planning the wedding. As the wedding comes together, Elizabeth feels that Rosemary means well, but has taken Elizabeth’s ideas out of proportions. Elizabeth is also concerned about the money that is going into the wedding, as Hope Valley is currently short on funds. Rosemary’s wedding planning obsession has also affected Lee, who tries to remind Jack about the color-scheme of the wedding. Jack tells him that he wants to wear his Mountie uniform instead of a suit. After a few days of feeling ignored, Jack and Elizabeth share that they want a simple wedding and that they will make all wedding plan decisions.



  • At the lumber mill, Lee considers giving one of his employees a promotion. He asks Jesse if Henry is the right man for the job. Jesse shares his honest opinion, saying that Henry just started working at the lumber mill and that there are other employees that are more deserving of that promotion. Several days later, Henry and Jesse confront each other in town, with Henry accusing Jesse of having a personal bias against him. Clara happens to show up when this confrontation happens, where she stands up for Jesse. After this confrontation, Jesse and Clara realize that staying together as a couple makes more sense than being apart. They decide to continue pursuing their relationship.


  • Sofia and Carson continue to stay friends as Sofia stays longer in Hope Valley. During their time together, Sofia expresses her concerns about still being unemployed. A few days, Carson gets a letter at the Merchantile, which is revealed to be from San Francisco. Right before Sofia leaves Hope Valley, Carson gives her the letter he received. This letter was actually for Sofia, informing her of a job offer from one of Carson’s friends. Sofia seems to be pleased by this news as she encourages Carson to visit her on the West Coast.

    Poker neon sign image created by Freepik at <a href=’’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=””>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at

Some thoughts to consider:

  • After this episode, there was a commercial for the next episode, where Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding will take place. I was surprised by this because I assumed that Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding would take place in the season finale. Now that it will happen halfway through the season, I wonder what the rest of Season 5 will be about?


  • I think it was interesting when Henry told Abigail that she became a gambler when she was appointed as mayor. It reminded me of something Brian Bird, the Executive Producer of When Calls the Heart, said in his production journal back in Season 2. In this journal entry, Mr. Bird was describing how all the characters on the show were playing a figurative game of poker, where every detail needs to be paid attention to. Maybe our favorite characters will enter a second round of this continuous poker game, with no Heartie knowing how it ends.
Red sunset clouds over trees.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at <a href=””>Background image created by Photoangel –</a> <a href=’’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at

What did you think of this episode? Are you excited for Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding? Let me know in the comment section!


Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen


Link to Brian Bird’s production journal entry that I referenced in this re-cap post:

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