Even though Jack is, temporarily, not on When Calls the Heart, there were still exciting and concerning things that happened in Hope Valley. The business side of our favorite small town was the focus of this episode, whether it was determining the financial future of Hope Valley or introducing children to the fundamentals of business. I think this season-long story has been a very interesting approach that the creative team behind the show has taken. Come to think of it, I don’t believe When Calls the Heart has ever had a story like this that was not only told over the course of several episodes, but also affected the lives of the majority of Hope Valley’s residents (unless another Heartie knows something I don’t). Since we’ve gotten introductions out of the way, let’s talk about the fifth season’s seventh episode!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Heart of the Matter
- One day, Mr. Jenkins tells Abigail that after an investor is chosen, the bank will be able to re-open. Two possible investors come to Hope Valley and meet with Abigail. The first investor is Joshua Baxter. He tells Abigail about the other towns he has invested in, giving Abigail a promising picture. When Joshua makes vague statements about the specific types of investments, however, Abigail starts to show concern. The second investor is Greta Preston. A resident of Hamilton, she has a good relationship with Elizabeth and her family. She also explores Hope Valley’s opportunities with an open mind. As the days progress, Abigail starts to wonder more about Joshua and his motives. She learns through Bill and A.J. Foster that Joshua has a shady history of negatively transforming small towns. Right before Bill and Abigail tell Mr. Jenkins the news, Mr. Jenkins agrees to give Joshua a majority share of the bank.
- When Bill walks into the prison one day, he discovers that A.J. Foster has decided to turn herself in. While trying to figure out A.J.’s motives, Bill realizes that A.J. thinks that they could start a relationship where she can begin a new life. Bill discourages any of A.J.’s ideas and focuses on justice being served. When Abigail visits Bill and talks about Joshua Baxter, A.J. Foster overhears this conversation and believes that she knows more information about Joshua than Bill and Abigail. After negotiating with both Abigail and Bill, A.J. agrees to go undercover in order to find out more information about Joshua. After A.J. pretends to be cordial toward Joshua, she shares with Bill that Joshua does not have Hope Valley’s best interests in mind.
- After Elizabeth returns from her honeymoon, she decides to create a class project where each student has to observe a leader from Hope Valley’s businesses during a single school day. This project was inspired by the students overhearing their parents talking about the circumstances surrounding Hope Valley’s financial situation. During the day of the observations, Elizabeth checks up on her students as well as catch up with Greta Preston, who is an investor and a family friend of the Thatchers. During their conversation, Greta reveals that she and her son, Duncan, haven’t spoken in years. When Elizabeth shares this news with Abigail, she also shares that Greta’s husband passed away several years ago. While trying to keep up to date with the events surrounding the investors, Elizabeth starts thinking of ways to help Greta and her son.
- In class, every student gets excited about Elizabeth’s project. Each student enthusiastically chooses which business leader they want to observe. On the day of the project, all of the students spend their school time with Hope Valley’s respective business owners. Though the students learn valuable lessons throughout the day, Cody seems to enjoy his experience of spending time with Lee at the lumber mill the most. He even spends time with Lee after the project is finished. When Lee takes Cody to school, he explains that Cody was late for school because he wanted to hang out at the lumber mill and understand how a lumber mill operates. Lee tells Elizabeth that he can relate to how Cody feels because he had a father that was a traveling salesman, which meant they didn’t spend much time together. When Elizabeth talks to Abigail after school, she tells Abigail that Cody was late for school because he was spending time with Lee. Abigail comes to terms with the fact that Cody needs an important male figure in his life. After school, Lee asks Cody if he’d like to play a game of catch with him, with Cody and Abigail agreeing.
Some thoughts to consider:
- As grateful as I am that Tom Thornton came back to the show, it’s too bad that he wasn’t on this episode, especially since he’s a businessman now. It would have been interesting to see one of Elizabeth’s students spending a day with Tom as a tires salesperson. I’m guessing that it was not easy for the creators of When Calls the Heart to bring back the actors from the earlier seasons, including Max Lloyd-Jones (the actor who portrays Tom Thornton). I also think the creators probably put a good amount of focus on bringing these actors back specifically for the wedding episode.
- Where is this ice cream parlor Hattie and Opal talked about? When Calls the Heart has been on TV for five seasons and I don’t ever recall hearing about any ice cream parlors. I do hope that it can be featured either in the Christmas movie later this year or in Season 6 next year!
- Do you think that Greta’s son, Duncan, could become a new character on the show? With the amount of times that he was brought up in this episode, I think it could be a possibility. It will be interesting to see where this story goes and how it will affect Elizabeth.
What did you think of this episode? Do you have any predictions of what could happen? Let me know in the comments section!
Have fun in Hope Valley!