Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Revolving Door

Characters coming and going on a television show is nothing new. It has happened on When Calls the Heart on multiple occasions. But in this season, it seems like the arrival and departure of characters has become more common than in past seasons. Most of these characters have returned to Hope Valley, such as Henry Gowan. But some characters have permanently left the show, like Jesse and Clara. I’m not sure if this was intentional or just a coincidence. However, this constant change in When Calls the Heart’s landscape feels like a revolving door. And, honestly, I think it’s kind of exhausting. As of May 2022, no announcements about season ten have been made yet. But if When Calls the Heart does receive another season, I hope this issue gets, somehow, resolved.

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: 11

Name: Smoke on the Water

Major stories:

Plans to re-open the coal mines are still underway. Because of these plans, Arthur and Jerome are continuing their stay in Hope Valley. They have recruited Collin (the man who gave evidence to Henry in the previous episode) to inspect the coal mines. But after the inspection, Collin tells them that the mines could be re-opened, even though it would be difficult. This contradicts what Collin told Henry in the episode prior, that there was no way the mines could safely re-open. Henry suspects Collin had been paid off by Jerome, even asking Collin if that is the case. When Henry doesn’t receive an answer, he angrily leaves the mines. Later in the episode, Collin admits to Henry he was indeed paid off by Jerome. However, Collin claims he took the money to improve his quality of life, as his health has been declining. Upset by how easily persuaded Collin was, Henry decides to take matters into his own hands. During a rainy day, Henry takes every piece of dynamite he can find and blows up the coal mines. He confesses what he did in a private meeting between Bill, Fiona, and Lucas. Though no one was hurt by Henry’s actions, the damaged coal mines seem to be more trouble than the investors are willing to put up with. But, for now, Henry must go to Benson Hills, as Bill tells him to lay low for a while.

With everything going on in Lucas’ life, Lucas feels he needs a break. He takes a short out-of-town trip, with the trip being so short, I didn’t even realize he had left Hope Valley. Despite the short length of this trip, Elizabeth suspects Lucas has changed. During dinner at the Saloon, Lucas tells Elizabeth that, while on his trip, he missed the remoteness of the big city. Not only does this comment bother Elizabeth, but the fact Lucas still hasn’t given Elizabeth her birthday gift is also bothering her. This causes Elizabeth to think Lucas doesn’t want to date her anymore. During her and Rosemary’s “salon day”, Elizabeth tells Rosemary how she feels about Lucas. Rosemary reminds her friend of her assumption about Lee from this season’s fifth episode. She also reminds Elizabeth to be honest with Lucas. One rainy day, Elizabeth visits Lucas at his office, telling him how she feels about everything since his return to Hope Valley. Lucas clarifies on his statement from the Saloon, claiming his priority has always been to be with Elizabeth and her son. As for Elizabeth’s birthday gift, Lucas reveals this gift is a pair of earrings. While Elizabeth is grateful for her gift, she is disappointed he didn’t propose to her. At the end of the episode, Elizabeth discovers Lucas took another out-of-town trip.  

Heart image created by Dashu83 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundimage created by Dashu83 – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/happy-valentines-day-and-heart-card-with-happy-valentines-day-and-heart_1747001.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Florence is still upset over the potential re-opening of the coal mines. After seeing several posters advertising new mining jobs, she not only takes them down, she also yells at Lucas for being partially responsible of the recent events. Throughout all of this, Florence notices how calm Ned has been. When she questions him about it at the Mercantile, Ned says he has always had a calm disposition. He also says having a hobby has taken his mind off of stressing situations. During this conversation, Florence decides to take up dancing again. At the salon, Florence is practicing ballet en pointe. Things seem to going smoothly at first. But when she goes en pointe, Florence ends up developing a cramp in her arches. A few moments later, Mollie, Fiona, and Faith attend the salon for a small get-together. The point of this get-together is to support Florence through these changing times.

Rosemary still hasn’t told Lee about her recent news. She is hesitant to tell him because she continues to believe it’s “too good to be true”. Meanwhile, Lee receives his own news. On more than one occasion, Arthur has visited the Valley Voice’s office with a business opportunity. Later in the episode, Arthur reveals what this business opportunity is. Arthur not only wants to include the Valley Voice in his network of newspaper publications, he also wants Lee to come work for him. Lee doesn’t accept the offer, as he feels his place is working alongside Rosemary. Arthur encourages him to reconsider the offer.

Minnie and Angela have returned to Hope Valley. With this return comes a letter to Joseph from his father-in-law. Even though the contents of this letter are never revealed, Joseph appears to be bothered by them. The next day, Joseph and Minnie discuss what was in the letter. Though this conversation is vague, it seems like Joseph’s familial support is called into question.

Image of ballerina preparing to dance created by Pressfoto at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/people”>People photo created by pressfoto – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • In this season of When Calls the Heart, it seems like the show’s creative team is indecisive over whether they want to start another love triangle. Nathan has been seen interacting with both Mei and Faith. But, in my opinion, Kevin McGarry doesn’t have strong on-screen chemistry with either Amanda Wong or Andrea Brooks. If I had to be brutally honest, it feels like When Calls the Heart’s creative team banked a little too hard on receiving another season. I understand moving on from any relationship takes time. But the fact the screenwriters haven’t committed to a possible love interest for Nathan this season kind of proves my point.
  • Even though Florence has danced only a few times this season, I’m glad this new side of her is being shown! This has become good character growth for Florence and has given the fans a sweet surprise. With Florence’s renewed love of dance, it does make me wonder if we are one step closer to, one day, seeing that theater Rosemary’s been dreaming of?
  • On Twitter, I’ve seen some speculation that Lee could end up dying in the season finale’s saloon fire. Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. Both Lee and Rosemary have been the glue that have kept When Calls the Heart together. They also happen to be two of the show’s most popular characters. I could be wrong about Lee’s fate. But, in my opinion, if Lee and/or Rosemary were to get written off When Calls the Heart, the show would lose more viewership than they already have.
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 will happen in the season finale? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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