When you go for a walk, what do you see? Maybe the familiar sights that make your walk so enjoyable. Or maybe you’re on a new path, excited for what you might see. Whatever path you’re taking, you know it’ll be a memorable experience! Watching When Calls the Heart is a lot like going for a walk. There are sights and people we’ve come to know, such as the church/school, the café, and Bill Avery. New faces and places are also included. Every episode contains its own twists and turns, just like a walking path. But, like walking, the journey can be more memorable than the destination itself! Because When Calls the Heart just started a new season, we don’t yet know where this story will go. But I hope this will be a journey worth taking! To get this re-cap journey started, let’s begin the first re-cap of season nine!
Just a reminder: If you did not see the season premiere of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: In Like a Lion
Mr. Winkler and his team land their hot air balloon in front of the church/school. This visit causes a commotion in Hope Valley. Rosemary takes advantage of this opportunity by writing about it for the Valley Voice. The hot air balloon also catches the attention of Jack Jr., who just arrived in Hope Valley with Elizabeth, after spending a month in Hamilton with her family. But the hot air balloon isn’t the only thing making waves in this little Canadian town. A potential business partner named Jerome Smith arrives in Hope Valley to form a business partnership with Lucas. Jerome is interested in getting involved in the town’s oil business. But when Henry returns to Hope Valley and discovers Jerome’s invitation, he wants nothing to do with the visitor. This is because Henry claims Jerome hired him to oversee the coal mines years ago. Out of earshot from Henry, Fiona reveals to Lucas that she knew about Henry and Jerome’s business relationship, but believed they could put their differences aside and work together again. She also reveals this information to Mike, who was previously unaware of this news. The arrival of Jerome has consumed a lot of Lucas’ time, even forgoing a dinner with Elizabeth, despite both of them being at the Saloon at the same time. During this saloon trip, Jerome and Henry get into a fist fight, with Jerome pressing charges. This means Henry is taken to prison. Meanwhile, Mike is disappointed that Fiona didn’t tell him about Henry and Jerome’s business relationship. But he’s also concerned about his mayoral prospects. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas surprises Elizabeth with a ride in Mr. Winkler’s hot air balloon. On this ride, he tells Elizabeth he is leaving the oil business, in an attempt to spend more time with her and Jack Jr.
Bill informs Nathan that all Mounties will have to know how to drive a vehicle. Nathan doesn’t feel this change is necessary, with Bill hoping the mayoral election has a satisfactory outcome. When Nathan shares his lack of driving skills with Elizabeth, she volunteers to help him, as she feels she is more than qualified to be a good driving instructor. Later that day, while Nathan rides on the trail, another rider zooms past him. Because of how fast this rider, who is later revealed to be Mei Sou, raced by, Nathan wasn’t able to identify them. That evening, at the saloon, Nathan officially introduces himself to Mei, learning that she was the fast rider from earlier in the day. Despite being friendly with Nathan, Mei keeps herself guarded, revealing very little information about herself. While visiting Ned and Florence at the Mercantile, Mei shares that she will be Hope Valley’s pharmacist. Ned is confused by this because he was led to believe a man named Jeffrey would be arriving in town. Mei clarifies she was corresponding in her husband’s, Jeffrey’s, place the whole time. She also shares how she attended the same medical school as Faith (hence how the two characters know each other) and graduated at the top of her class. But when anyone attempts to learn more about Jeffrey, Mei cuts them off and quickly changes the subject. She does ask Faith for her help, but Faith is unsure how she can help Mei. At the end of the episode, Nathan gets into a car accident, a car colliding with Nathan and his horse.
At breakfast one morning, Bill reveals through a letter that Jesse and Clara moved to Montana in order to start their own homestead. This means that the Canfield family have moved into the café. While Elizabeth was away, Minnie was the school’s substitute teacher. She also has been helping run the café. Minnie not only misses Clara, but she also wonders if Bill will sell the café. Meanwhile, Joseph is preaching in Hope Valley’s church, gaining friendship and trust. Both Angela and Cooper are students of the school, implying Elizabeth gained her certification to teach Angela. But Cooper has acquired a bit of a defiant streak, which worries Joseph. As Bill is a candidate for Hope Valley’s mayor, he makes a promise with Lee not to campaign at the grand opening of a brand-new business. But at the grand opening, Bill does try to campaign, with Lee calling him out. Meanwhile, Lee is also serious about his mayoral candidacy. When he hears from Rosemary how Bill is leading a poll, Lee becomes discouraged. He even brings up his broken promise to give Rosemary her theater, wondering what other promises he hasn’t fulfilled. But Rosemary reassures him of how great of a mayor he would be and that she’s always by his side.
Because Dottie’s Dress Shop is no longer in business (for reasons that are never explained), that means a new business will take its place. Ned and Florence have purchased the property, with Joseph helping renovate the space. Leading up to the grand opening, the three of them have been very secretive about the nature of the business. This is done to keep an element of surprise. In an effort to spruce up the grand opening, Florence tells Ned she used to be a dancer years ago. She comes up with the idea of performing a song and dance duet. On the day of the grand opening, Ned and Florence perform their duet to great fanfare. It is also revealed that Dottie’s Dress Shop will now be replaced with a pharmacy and ice cream parlor. This decision is met with much success, as it brings residents older and newer closer together.
Some thoughts to consider:
- Overall, season nine’s premiere is stronger than season eight’s was! While there were some stories that felt like “filler”, some stories got the ball rolling for the rest of the season. These stories brought a sense of intrigue for what’s to come, making me look forward to how they will play out! From Mei’s mysterious arrival to Henry’s troubles, the show provides reasons to come back for more!
- I’m glad we finally got the ice cream parlor in Hope Valley! But though I’ve been waiting to see this business since season five, I don’t like how it came at the expense of Dottie’s Dress Shop. However, the dress shop going under kind of makes sense, story wise. With Dottie and Clara no longer on the show and Rosemary becoming editor-in-chief of the Valley Voice, there aren’t any characters who could run the dress shop. Then again, a clothing store is an important business in any town. While I’m looking forward to seeing the ice cream parlor thrive, I’d like to see a clothing store return to Hope Valley. Who knows? Maybe Rachel will return and open her own shop someday!
- Speaking of Rosemary, I got a little bit excited when Lee mentioned her theater! If you read my list of the Top 10 things I’d like to see in When Calls the Heart’s ninth season, you’d know how much I want to finally see Rosemary’s theater. This idea was first brought up in season two and hasn’t been mentioned in a long time. If Lee does become Hope Valley’s mayor, I wonder if he’ll fulfill that promise?
- Even though the oil business subplot has been going on for several seasons, it has become more confusing. Henry is constantly leaving and coming back to the business. Lucas is now leaving the business, likely focusing more on the saloon’s operations. With that said, it makes me wonder who will take responsibility for the oil business? Maybe it will be Mike and/or Fiona? Perhaps a new character will show up?
What are your thoughts on When Calls the Heart‘s ninth season premiere? Which storyline are you most excited about? Let me know in the comment section below!
Have fun in Hope Valley!