Sunset Over Hope Valley: Growing Pains

Every show experiences “growing pains”. Characters come and go each season. Even when they stick around, characters change as the seasons go by. Stories begin and end, some of them taking longer than a season. But no matter how a show begins, its landscape is not the same as when the show ends/continues. This can be said about When Calls the Heart. So much has happened within this show’s lifespan. There has even been a lot going on in the ninth season, despite it not reaching the halfway point yet. Whether you’ve been watching When Calls the Heart since the very beginning or have just recently tuned in, we can all agree that this is not a stagnant show. With all that said, it’s time to start this re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

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

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 4

Name: Straight from the Heart

Major stories:

Mr. Landis has returned to Hope Valley. As he’s about to approach the Jack Thornton School, Elizabeth reminds him how she went to Hamilton and received her certification to teach Angela. Problem is, she was supposed to obtain that certification in her respective school district, which is not located in Hamilton. Because of this error on Elizabeth’s part, Mr. Landis claims her certification is invalid. He ends up sitting in on Elizabeth’s class because of this news. During a spelling test, Cooper accidently breaks his pencil. When he receives a new pencil, Cooper tells Elizabeth he doesn’t like Mr. Landis. While he didn’t state in that moment why he didn’t like Mr. Landis, Elizabeth believes it has to do with the superintendent causing Angela and her trouble. One day, during class, Elizabeth and Mr. Landis discuss the situation in private. Elizabeth feels that as long as the school is not officially a part of the Valley school district, she gets to control the school how she wishes. But Mr. Landis disagrees, saying her school will have to join the district sooner or later. Before Mr. Landis leaves, he discovers his hat was glued to a table. Even though the students think the prank is funny, both Elizabeth and Mr. Landis are not pleased. The next day, Cooper confesses to gluing Mr. Landis’ hat. In an after-school meeting, Cooper says he isn’t sorry for pulling the prank. But he is sorry for causing Elizabeth and his sister any trouble. His parents agree to have Cooper earn extra money to purchase a new hat for Mr. Landis.

Bill is still suspicious about Wyman. He continues to inspect Wyman’s gun, which was confiscated in the previous episode. When the gun doesn’t reveal any clues, Bill turns to Lee and Rosemary in an attempt to find answers. Rosemary says she has newspaper related connections in several towns, volunteering to find any information about Wyman’s whereabouts. With Rosemary’s help, Bill discovers Wyman was detained in Brookfield before returning to Hope Valley. He wasn’t held for long, though, because he didn’t receive any official charges. While Wyman was in Brookfield, he tried to take advantage of businessowners, similar to how Wyman tried to take advantage of Jesse in season eight. A businessowner was also shot, currently in a coma. Later in the episode, Wyman comes into Hope Valley with Julius Spurlock. When Nathan and Bill ask the men to hand over their weapons, Julius and Wyman conveniently don’t have them in their possession. Lucas even warns the men to stay away from Elizabeth and Jack Jr.

Chalkboard image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/mathematical-operation-written-on-blackboard_1357576.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

 Toward the beginning of the episode, Mei visits Nathan at the jail. She wants to know if Nathan would like to work with Newton. Nathan agrees, with this decision working out in the long run. Through these interactions with Mei and Newton, Nathan is able to regain his connection with his horse. Mei reminds him situations like this one take time and trust. To thank Mei for her help, Nathan invites her to dinner at any restaurant of her choice. Mei accepts this offer, choosing the saloon as their destination. At the dinner, Mei arrives with an ointment. She claims this will help relax the muscles in Nathan’s shoulder, which is still in a sling. But before the dinner took place, Mei asked Bill for his help. She hires him as her attorney, claiming she’s a fugitive against her husband. This statement was never clarified in this episode.

Because Laura is sick with the flu, Elizabeth is left without a babysitter for Jack Jr. After overhearing a conversation between Florence and Ned, Lucas volunteers to help. Despite having little to no childcare experience, Lucas tries his best to make the most of his time with Elizabeth’s son. During the day, he takes Jack Jr. for a wagon ride in Hope Valley. They ride past Henry, who wonders where Fiona is. This is because Henry wants to tell Fiona he is staying with the petroleum plant, especially if the investors agree with his decision. Lucas and Jack Jr. also meet up with Rosemary. Lucas tells Rosemary Jack Jr. appears to be feeling down. When she suggests giving him ice cream, Lucas dissuades this idea, as Elizabeth told him not to give Jack Jr. any ice cream. Rosemary then suggests visiting Faith for help. Faith discovers Jack Jr. has inflamed gums, though the situation can be easily taken care of. She also reassures Lucas that he is doing the best he can looking after Jack Jr. Elizabeth is pleased with Lucas’ babysitting efforts. But she’s not pleased he installed a phone in her house without her permission. Over an ice cream date, Elizabeth explains to Lucas why she doesn’t want a phone. Lucas does apologize and explain the benefits of having this piece of technology. After this, Elizabeth reconsiders having a phone.

Joseph has accepted a bookkeeping job at Lee’s lumberyard. While discussing this new job with Minnie, he brings up the idea of purchasing half of the company. Joseph believes by doing this, he would have something for himself. This statement causes Minnie to consider her responsibilities at the café. They both agree to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Cooper’s behavior in school concerns both Minnie and Joseph. Their son’s attitude toward Mr. Landis also concerns them. While at the café one day, Joseph and Minnie discuss how to handle the situation. As a car drives up to the café’s porch, Joseph notices the car’s damaged front end. When he questions the driver how the car got in that condition, the driver runs away. Joseph not only chases the driver, but also catches him. It is revealed this driver is the one who hit Nathan and Newton. The driver is taken to jail, with his identity never being revealed in this episode.

Old fashioned telephone image created by Kues1 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage photo created by kues1 – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know Mr. Landis’ presence is meant to cause drama and conflict within the overarching story. However, it’s kind of a shame that he is portrayed as a villain. As far as I can tell, Mr. Landis is just doing his job. If anyone is to blame, it’s, in my opinion, Elizabeth. She spent the previous season avoiding the process to obtain the aforementioned credentials to teach Angela. Yet, during this same season, Elizabeth somehow found the time to maintain her love life and write her book. Even when she did obtain these credentials, Elizabeth didn’t seem to take the time to learn how to receive them properly. If anything, she needs to take responsibility for her actions.
  • I’m kind of disappointed the mystery of Nathan’s car accident was wrapped up so quickly. This story could have been drawn out for a little bit longer. The guilty party could also have been discovered by an unlikely character, leading to a shocking reveal. But the reveal in this episode was anti-climactic. We don’t even know who committed the crime. The mystery reminds me of Dylan’s arrival in season eight’s premiere.
  • In this episode, we learn a little bit of information about Mei. But by this point in the season, I was hoping we’d get more information about her. Granted, we’re not halfway through the season yet. So, there’s still plenty of time for Mei’s story to be told. I just hope her story isn’t drawn out for too long.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Which story has been your favorite so far? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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