Sunset Over Hope Valley: Mightier Than the Sword

While working on the next issue of the Valley Voice, Lee and Rosemary talk about how “the pen is mightier than the sword”. As I reflect on this episode, I have to agree with the Coulters. The spoken or written word is a very powerful tool. But as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben put it, “With great power comes great responsibility”. In Hope Valley alone, words have been used to help and hurt. In Elizabeth’s case, words have been utilized in the name of learning. Joseph is now using words to bring people closer to the Lord.  And Mike is trying to use words to be a better leader. What I get out of the quote, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, is how accessible pens are compared to swords. When one learns how to use a pen, it can empower and inspire them in a way they may not have realized before. So far, on When Calls the Heart, there are three writers: Elizabeth, Rosemary, and Lee. If this show continues for a tenth season, who knows who’ll be encouraged to pick up the written word?

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: 8

Name: Hope Valley Days: Part 2

Major stories:

Geoffrey is still in Hope Valley, claiming that Mei needs to be arrested. Curiosity getting the better of him, Nathan asks Mei for the truth. Mei confesses that, before she came to town, she worked with Geoffrey as a friend. When Geoffrey wanted to be more than friends, Mei turned him down. Refusing to take no for an answer, he created a rumor that he and Mei not only got engaged, but also eloped. Nathan takes Mei to jail, but only to protect her from Geoffrey. In the meantime, he tries to find legitimate evidence against her “ex”. Nathan sends a telegram to Chicago, in the hopes of finding out more information about Mr. Lewis. Later in the episode, when he does receive a call from Chicago, Nathan informs Mei of the charges against her. The newly elected mayor of Chicago has connections to Geoffrey. When Nathan tells her the mayor wants Mei to be transferred to Chicago, she recognizes this as a manipulation tactic on Geoffrey’s part. But instead of following the mayor’s orders, Nathan finds a way to help Mei. As Nathan is letting Mei out of jail, Geoffrey shows up. Nathan uses this as an opportunity to present a marriage license in Geoffrey’s name. This license reveals that Geoffrey was married this whole time, but abandoned his wife in pursuit of Mei. After being confronted with this truth, Geoffrey leaves. Mei not only hugs Nathan, but also thanks him for his help.

Bill is still dealing with his cough from the previous episode. After visiting with Joseph and Minnie, congratulating them on their new loan, Bill discovers he is now coughing up blood. At his recent doctor’s appointment, both Faith and Mollie are disappointed he didn’t receive the X-Ray he was prescribed in “Hope Valley Days: Part 1”. However, Faith does prescribe him medication he has to take once every hour. But Bill doesn’t listen to Faith’s recommendation. Instead, he drinks the whole medicine bottle in one sitting, causing him to become drunk. While Mei is in jail, Bill ends up resting in the cell across from hers. As was mentioned in the previous episode, Bill is representing April Fools’ Day for ‘Hope Valley Days’. People in town comment how he still hasn’t done anything in correlation with the holiday. What they don’t know is that Bill has a trick or two up his sleeve. After church services one day, Hope Valley’s citizens discover a Christmas tree residing in the center of town. No one can figure out who put the tree there. But the audience discovers it was Bill all along.

Image of Thanksgiving dinner created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

While walking through town one day, Elizabeth meets a woman who has chosen to homeschool her children. After reading the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, she would like to know if Elizabeth could help her receive school supplies. Elizabeth not only agrees to help, but she also gives the woman suggestions on how to locate educational materials for older students. Elizabeth finds a way to help Anna as well. When visiting the café one day, Elizabeth tells Anna she talked to Anna’s mother beforehand. In that conversation, they came to an agreement that Anna could stay in Hope Valley and continue working at the café, until she has enough money saved for college. As for lodging, Joseph has agreed to set up the café’s rooms into boarding house rooms. That way, Anna could stay at the café and pay Mr. and Mrs. Canfield monthly rent. Anna agrees with this plan and is grateful for Elizabeth’s help.

Rosemary and Lee continue to find the voice of Hope Valley’s newspaper. They’re not opposed to writing in an honest manner. But, at the same time, they seek to discover a literary voice that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Rosemary also gives Lee a typewriter, in the hopes of helping Lee learn how to type. Lee has been impressed with Mike’s idea for ‘Hope Valley Days’ and decides to write an editorial about that. When Lee tells Mike about his editorial plans, Mike doesn’t want to hear it, as he fears Lee will only give him more criticism. Despite these concerns, Lee still publishes the editorial. Rosemary likes it, claiming she can sense Lee’s change of heart when it comes to Mike’s leadership. At Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving feast, Mike privately tells Lee how much he liked the article.

Blue sparkly Christmas tree image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/frame”>Frame vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/merry-christmas-card_2875396.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m glad Mei’s story has finally concluded! While it contained a good twist and the explanation was straight-forward, Mei’s secret was not as shocking or scandalous as the show’s marketing made it seem. In fact, the creative team behind this season “pulled an Achara” on the audience. For those wondering what “pulling an Achara” means, let me provide some context before I give you an answer. Achara is a character that made a guest appearance in the Lost episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land”. In that episode’s flashback scenes, Achara mentioned to Jack (the show’s protagonist) and the audience that she had a “gift”. But for the majority of the episode, she purposefully withheld any information related to her “gift” and strung both Jack and the audience along. When that information was revealed, some could argue it was underwhelming. To sum all that up, “pulling an Achara” is when a character spends more time withholding information than sharing it, which ends up stalling the story. Like I mentioned earlier, the explanation of Mei’s secret was straight-forward. But if the show’s creative team knew that was the case, why would they string that story along for more than half the season? Looking back on Mei’s story, I wish that information was revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei.
  • I like Joseph and Minnie’s idea to use the café’s rooms as boarding rooms for future tenants! This could encourage more people to visit Hope Valley, as the saloon only has a certain number of rooms in their establishment. But this begs the question; where have the Canfield family been living this season? Toward the end of season eight, the Canfield family moved out of the log cabin they moved into within that season. Are they currently living in the row houses like Elizabeth and the Coulters? Having they been living in the café this whole time? Even though we have about four episodes left this season, I would like to receive an answer to this question.
  • After Bill coughed up blood, I wondered if he’ll stay on the show much longer? Usually when a character coughs up blood, it’s not a good sign for them, health-wise. However, I haven’t heard anything about Jack Wagner, the actor who portrays Bill, expressing any desire to leave When Calls the Heart. Granted, there has been no official word about a tenth season, as of late April 2022. Personally, I hope Bill pulls through, especially since he has appeared on the show since the very beginning.
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? What do you think Bill’s fate will be? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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