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.

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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.
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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

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Tea for More Than Two

Something I noticed about this episode of When Calls the Heart is how often beverages were referenced. Not only that, but there were scenes showing these characters consuming these beverages. From the way I saw it, those scenes served as a symbol for what the show itself is about. When Calls the Heart has a pace that is on the slower side. Consuming a beverage typically involves slowing down and taking the time to enjoy what you are drinking. Another thing I noticed is how these characters were consuming these beverages in company. This means they shared their beverage with someone else. Sometimes, watching a show is better with others. It’s also nice to have someone else to talk to when it comes to all things Hope Valley! Speaking of Hope Valley, let’s 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: 10

Name: Never Say Never

Major stories:

Because of Lucas’ plan to foil Wyman, his innocence is uncertain to the residents of Hope Valley. Until hard evidence is brought forth, Bill places Lucas in jail. While in jail, Elizabeth gives Lucas a new pocket watch with the inscription “Our Time Has Come”. He says he has a birthday present for Elizabeth, which a small box is later revealed. At his office, Bill receives a call from a lawyer in Grandville. This lawyer is representing the man who hit Nathan and Newton with his vehicle. This man claims he not only planted the ledger books in Lucas’ office, he was driving away in order to not get caught. After this information is given, Bill gives Nathan a choice. The aforementioned lawyer presents an offer: let the man who hit Nathan and Newton go free in exchange for the ledger books. Nathan knows this offer will be difficult to accept. On the one hand, harming a Mountie is a serious offense. But those ledger books would be more than enough evidence to prove Lucas’ innocence. Nathan contemplates this decision throughout the episode, as he wonders if it’s right to forgive one wrong with another wrong. Eventually, Nathan accepts the offer from the Grandville lawyer. He even pays Elizabeth a visit with this news.

Jerome Smith returns to Hope Valley, in order to settle the petroleum plant deal. But this time, he has brought Arthur Gilchrist with him. While in Hope Valley, Arthur seems interested in both Fiona and the coal mines. He even carries these interests into the petroleum plant meeting. Lucas, now out of jail, attends this meeting as well. Even Henry dramatically shows up, after being out of town for a few episodes. The reason why Henry was out to town was so he could obtain evidence, from a man named Collin, that the coal mines are in no condition to reopen. In a private meeting with Jerome, Henry finds out it was Arthur’s idea to re-open the mines, as Jerome claims his only focus was the oil. Both Henry and Jerome agree to open the mines, unless there is something preventing them from doing so. Meanwhile, Rosemary plans to report on the mines re-opening. She feels the residents of Hope Valley have a right to know what is happening. But Elizabeth thinks the release of Rosemary’s article would smear Lucas’ reputation. Rosemary does publish her article about the mines, which, predictably, causes tension in Hope Valley. Florence is, understandably, so upset by this news, she slaps Henry in the face when she crosses paths with him in town. Fortunately, this news doesn’t destroy Rosemary and Elizabeth’s friendship, as Elizabeth apologizes for her hesitance over the article publication.

Illustrated tea and table set image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. Mint tea vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com

Minor story:

At the start of the episode, Rosemary feels nauseous. Faith thinks Rosemary has caught a “stomach bug” that has apparently been going around Hope Valley. Instead of attending a meeting with Arthur Gilchrist about the Valley Voice, Rosemary takes it easy by drinking tea and resting. Later in the episode, Rosemary visits Faith again, unable to understand what is going on with her body. Faith then comes to the conclusion Rosemary might be pregnant. Not wanting the news to be “too good to be true”, Rosemary decides not to tell Lee just yet. Speaking of Lee, he visits Joseph at the café, apologizing for his interference with the Canfield’s loan. Joseph forgives Lee, stating how he wanted to get the loan himself.

Pocket watch with confetti image created by Freepik at freepik.com. Christmas clock photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the beginning of this episode, Nathan has a conversation with Fiona about the petroleum plant deal. Kevin McGarry and Kayla Wallace (the actor and actress who portray Nathan and Fiona) not only had really nice on-screen chemistry, they also had strong banter! I’ve heard Kevin and Kayla don’t want their characters to end up in a relationship together, as they don’t want their real-life relationship to be affected by what their characters experience on the show. But, honestly, I wouldn’t oppose the idea of Fiona and Nathan forming a romantic relationship!
  • With how much beverages are referenced in this episode, I’m surprised Hallmark or a shop on Etsy hasn’t created teas inspired by When Calls the Heart. Some examples of possible teas are Gooey Butter Cake flavored tea representing the Canfield family, strawberry tea representing the ice cream parlor, and blueberry scone flavored tea representing the café. I can only speak for myself, but I would certainly consider purchasing When Calls the Heart inspired tea, especially if they were created with natural ingredients.
  • While I’m glad we finally received some answers over whether Rosemary and Lee will start their own family, it’s kind of frustrating how Rosemary’s news is not a confirmation. It’s also frustrating how we’re receiving this news toward the end of the season. I really hope Rosemary and Lee aren’t given a miscarriage story, as that would be cruel for both the Coulters and the fans.
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What are your thoughts on this episode? What you think Lucas will be Elizabeth for her birthday? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Masks We Wear

On this episode of When Calls the Heart, there is one character who wears a mask for the majority of the story. While the audience learns the motive behind the mask, it was interesting to see how the other characters responded to this decision. Some characters knew what was going on, so they helped this character in any way they could. Others had no idea what was happening, turned off by the sudden changes in this character. But this episode serves as a reminder how, sometimes, we truly don’t know someone. That is why, throughout the show, the residents of Hope Valley attempt to get to know each other. Whether it’s a simple, friendly conversation or an elaborate celebration, the show’s creative team has, more often than not, given both the characters and the audience an opportunity to become emotionally invested in a characters’ story. There are even times when these characters have become fan favorites. So, have you figured out which character was wearing a mask in this episode? Find out if you’re right in my 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: 9

Name: Recent Memory

Major story:

Wyman Walden has returned to Hope Valley. But this time, he wants to purchase the Queen of Hearts Saloon. Fiona also returns from San Francisco with some not so good news. According to Fiona, Henry was straight forward when asking about the investors’ intentions for the mines. Due to Henry’s angry approach, three of the investors had to remove Henry from the conference room. The investors also propose to remove Henry from the petroleum plant, but on one condition. This condition is Lucas has to stay with the petroleum plant for one more fiscal year. Meanwhile, with the saloon, Lucas attempts to bluff Wyman into purchasing the saloon. But Bill has beat him to it.

In a private meeting with Wyman, Bill confesses he’d like to become mayor again. Using specific laws, Bill comes up with an agreement with Wyman; he’ll give Wyman the saloon and drive Lucas out of town if Wyman will help Bill in his mayoral quest. After putting on that figurative mask, Bill only tells a handful of people what he’s doing. For those who aren’t aware of Bill’s plan, they are put off by his sudden change in character. Nathan is one of those characters put off by Bill’s changes. Bill eventually informs Nathan what is going on. But Bill tells Nathan in enough time to concoct a plan. Later in the episode, Bill meets Wyman to collect the payment for the saloon. Before any transactions occur, Bill arrests Wyman on multiple charges, including an attempted murder charge from another town. Meanwhile, Julius Spurlock tries to drive out of Hope Valley, in an effort to run away from accountability. Nathan catches up to Julius, even shooting Julius in the arm to stop him. After everything is said and done, Bill finds a way to return the money Wyman took from unsuspecting business owners. When Lucas finds out about Bill’s plan, however, he is upset. Lucas explains his own plans for conning Wyman. Unfortunately, this plan brings suspicion toward Lucas’ character.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

With Minnie and Angela on an out of trip to St. Louis, the café is short staffed. Joseph is able to find a few of his friends to help for the time being. During Lee’s time working in the kitchen, Joseph discovers what Lee did with his and Minnie’s new loan. He confronts Lee about this at the café. Lee apologizes for getting involved, claiming his good intentions. Joseph is upset he wasn’t asked first. At dinner one evening, Cooper confesses he’d like to be his own boss. This confession comes after Joseph askes about Cooper’s decision on attending church. Even though Joseph is supportive of his son, he reminds Cooper how he shouldn’t become too big for his britches, especially when it comes to God. The next morning, Cooper askes his father if they could go fishing. Joseph tells his son how they have work to do, despite being the boss of the café. This gets Cooper to consider his previous decision.

One morning, Faith discovers Mei is leaving for Chicago. While Mei is on her way out of town, Nathan comes to the saloon, asking why she is leaving. Mei explains Geoffrey is pursuing the fake charges against her, meaning she has to appear in court. Nathan arranges for an officer to look out for Mei. Later that evening, Faith crosses paths with Nathan. This leads them to discuss marriage. Nathan claims marriage isn’t on his “to-do list”. Meanwhile, Faith says she and Carson drifted apart because she wasn’t ready to get married. They both agree to get ice cream, especially since Faith has a key to the ice cream parlor.

While helping Lee fix his hair at the salon, Rosemary confesses an editor from Hearst Publishing has expressed interest in including the Valley Voice in their collection of publications. After Fiona finds out this editor is Arthur Gilchrist, she calls him from the Mercantile. Later in the episode, Fiona discovers, through a phone call, that Arthur plans to visit Hope Valley in the near future. She also remembers Arthur is one of the petroleum plant investors. Fiona visits Rosemary and Lee at the saloon and explains all of this to them. They agree to keep their distance from Arthur. Meanwhile, Lucas confesses to Elizabeth what has been happening with Wyman. In an effort to keep Lucas safe and because Elizabeth’s birthday has arrived, they agree to let Lucas spend the evening on Elizabeth’s couch. The actual celebration was a small, intimate affair. But it did give Elizabeth and Lucas a chance to bond and spend time together. With everything happening in Lucas’ business life, Elizabeth has been stressed about his well-being. After Wyman and Julius have been arrested, she thinks Lucas is in the clear. But when she learns more of Lucas’ plan, her stress over Lucas returns.

Birthday cake image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/chocolate-birthday-cakes-collection_765437.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/birthday”>Birthday vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m going to be honest: Mei’s story has become, so far, the most disappointing one this season. This is because it is the most frustrating. In my previous episode re-cap, I pointed out how Mei’s story was strung out for more than half the season. This made me to wish her secret had been revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei. Now, she has left Hope Valley, with only three episodes left in season nine. Because Mei has been so guarded and secretive for so long, I don’t feel like I truly know her as a character. That creative decision has led me to not feel emotionally invested in her or her story. If Mei returns for a possible tenth season, that would be nice. But if she doesn’t, I wouldn’t mind her departure too much.
  • When I look back on When Calls the Heart as a whole, I can’t think of many bonding, heart-to-heart moments between parent and child. These moments between fathers and sons are also extremely rare. Therefore, it was nice to see Joseph and Cooper talking and spending time with one another in this episode! Through these interactions, the audience learned more about where Cooper was in his journey of faith. We also received some wisdom from Joseph. These moments were my favorite in this episode and I hope we receive more of them if When Calls the Heart is granted season ten!
  • While visiting the saloon one evening, Nathan wore a long, black, tailored coat. Despite never seeing him wear this coat before, Nathan (as well as Kevin McGarry) looked great wearing it! I hope to see him wear this coat in future episodes!
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What did you think of this episode? Would you miss Mei if she left When Calls the Heart? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Enjoy the Compliment

At the Soda Fountain, Mike gives Faith a compliment on her hair, which was styled by Fiona in the previous episode. Faith then asks Mei what she should do about it, with Mei telling her to “enjoy the compliment”. While the advice itself is vague, both Faith and Mei bring up a good point. When someone gives us a compliment, we, more often than not, accept it. But once we’ve accepted it, what do we do with that compliment? Sure, we could use that to boost our confidence. Or we could “pay it forward” and give a compliment to someone else. But I feel there must be something more that could be done with any compliment. Sadly, I don’t currently have the answers to solve this dilemma. Until then, let’s begin 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: 6

Name: Past, Present, Future

Major stories:

Henry, Lucas, and Fiona are still dealing with the woes of the petroleum plant deal. At the plant, Lucas asks Henry why he is against the new investors and Jerome. Henry reveals that, in the court hearing from the earlier seasons, the Pacific Northwest Mining Company was forbidden from re-opening the mines. With Jerome now on board, Henry fears Jerome will try to re-open the mines under a new company name. Lucas and Henry, along with Fiona, visit Bill at his office, in an attempt to remedy the situation. Because money has already exchanged hands, Bill says there isn’t much that can be done. However, he still thinks they should find a way to dissuade the investors without showing their hand. Bill tells Fiona, Lucas, and Henry to keep quiet about their conversation for the time being, especially since several Hope Valley residents lost a family member or friend in the mining accident. When Elizabeth visits Lucas at the saloon, he tells her how much her concern means to him. She then addresses Wyman’s interaction with her in an earlier ninth season episode, asking Lucas if he’ll sell the saloon. Lucas reveals that not only has Wyman left with no forewarning, but how he won’t ever be selling the saloon. Later in the episode, Fiona leaves for San Francisco again, attempting to fix the mess she made. But before she leaves, Henry apologizes to Fiona for how he treated her. This is because he realizes Mike placed Fiona in a situation she was ill-prepared for. Accepting his apology, Fiona agrees with Henry to start their business relationship over.

There have been several changes taking place in Hope Valley. One of them has been increased traffic. Even though some of the town’s residents have not been pleased about some of these changes, Lee has become the most vocal about them. He approaches Bill to see if anything can be done. After Bill reminds him how Mike is now Hope Valley’s mayor, Lee comes up with an idea. This idea is to write an editorial in the Valley Voice about the changes that have taken place. While Lee hopes some issues can be addressed in his editorial, there are some issues that have suddenly popped up. One day, at the Valley Voice office, Lee notices a group of men building something just outside of town. When Lee approaches the men in order to ask questions, one of the men is standoffish with him. As Lee tries to help him carry a plank of wood, the man pushes Lee, which starts a fist fight. Not only is Joseph able to stop the fight, but Lee was able to walk away with minor injuries. Before his article is published, Lee discovers the group of men were building a billboard to advertise jobs at the incoming foundry. But when Lee’s editorial is printed, it causes a buzz in the town. Rosemary warns Lee that even though his words are important, they might not be everyone’s “cup of tea”. Her words of wisdom encourage Lee to cancel additional prints of the new edition of the Valley Voice.

Newspaper image created by Zlatko_plamenov at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/newspaper-mockup_1386098.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by Zlatko_plamenov – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

One morning, Nathan decides to reacquaint Newton to their Mountie duties. But just as Nathan is about to put the saddle on his horse, Newton becomes skittish. The situation gets worse when Nathan and Newton arrive in town. Nathan is attempting to direct traffic. But the noise and commotion frighten Newton. So, Bill agrees to look after Newton during Nathan’s traffic directing. After the morning’s events, Bill informs Nathan that, for the time being, he has to get permission to ride Newton. This is because Newton’s current demeanor could put both horse and man in danger. Later in the episode, Nathan addresses what Bill told him to Mei. He says she shouldn’t have told Bill about Newton’s issues, as they were none of Bill’s business. But before this conversation, Nathan shared with Mei a past memory that has contributed to his current apprehension toward riding. When he was first learning to ride horses at thirteen, Nathan was thrown off a horse, which caused him to acquire a concussion. This recent apprehension led Nathan to take up Elizabeth’s offer, so he can learn how to drive a vehicle.

Mei is still secretive about her past and reasons for coming to Hope Valley. When Nathan asks Mei why she came to town, she tells him she wanted to see the world. She also tells Nathan Faith sold her on how great Hope Valley is. At the Soda Fountain, Faith asks Mei what happened between her and Jeffery. Mei simply says that her marriage with Jeffery was never going to work. Later in the episode, Bill arrives at the Soda Fountain to get some strawberry ice cream. While there, he wonders if Mei has anything to hide. Mei claims that she has been telling the truth the whole time. But Bill tells her that anyone who fears the truth is hiding more than they’re letting on. Meanwhile, Joseph and Minnie have been considering new steps in their careers. Joseph is still thinking about becoming a partner in Lee’s lumber yard. Minnie also wants to purchase the café from Bill. For now, though, they will continue to pray about it.

While showing Ally how the seltzer squirt bottle works, Robert unintentionally causes a food fight with some of Elizabeth’s students. Not only do these students have to clean up their mess, but Robert is also required to take care of Newton with little to no pay. Ally is proud of her throwing arm, as she claims she threw some ice cream right at Robert’s face. But she also claims the food fight was all meant in good, friendly fun. Later in the episode, Ally visits Elizabeth seeking advice. Even though she had a good time at her grandparents’ house, Ally now feels left out. She says her friends are either too busy interested in “childish” things or are moving on to graduation or taking jobs. Ally is also jealous of Angela’s new friendship with Robert, especially after hearing about their bike ride that happened earlier this season. Elizabeth tells Ally the same thing Nathan told her: to simply remain friends with Robert. She also tells Ally to find people who she feels comfortable with. That way, Ally will have a place to belong, no matter where she is.

<a href=”http://<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/vectors/background’>Background vector created by bluelela – http://www.freepik.com</a>&quot; data-type=”URL” data-id=”<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/vectors/background’>Background vector created by bluelela – http://www.freepik.comStrawberry background image created by Bluelela from freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the end of this episode, Elizabeth asked Joseph to build a book wagon. After seeing a notice on the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, Elizabeth became inspired to deliver books to neighboring towns in the summer. Not only do I like her idea, but I honestly wish this was the basis for When Calls the Heart’s spinoff show. The overarching story could have been similar to shows such as Highway to Heaven and Touched by An Angel: where a new person is helped each episode. Maybe if the spinoff show had a more unique identity, I would have a stronger interest in watching it.
  • As I mentioned in the introduction, Mike gives Faith a compliment. He then invites Faith to dinner at the saloon, with Faith accepting the invitation. Even though Mike is not romantically involved with Faith or Fiona, it makes me wonder if we’ll witness a second love triangle in the future? At this point, it’s way too early to speculate. But after the love triangle that took place from seasons six to eight, I really don’t like the idea of another one.
  • While looking back on Henry’s overarching story, I realize it has, more often than not, been unhappy. Yes, he’s come a long way since the beginning of When Calls the Heart. And we did see a happier side to him in season eight. But giving Henry basically one happy story in nine seasons is, honestly, disappointing. If When Calls the Heart receives a tenth season, I hope Henry catches a break. If he’s not ready to fall in love, that’s ok. As long as Henry is happier than he usually has been.
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What are your thoughts on this episode? How are you enjoying this season so far? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Facing the Music

Over the course of When Calls the Heart’s eight, going on nine, seasons, many of the characters have experienced trials and tribulations. Because each character is a unique individual, they have dealt with their trials in their own way. Some of these trials took longer to resolve than others. But no matter what these road maps looked like, the trials were met and conquered. Despite the ninth season just beginning, the majority of Hope Valley’s citizens are already experiencing conflicts. A few of them have even faced the music. With these conflicts starting, it will be interesting to see how they get resolved. For now, let’s begin this episode’s re-cap!

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: 2

Name: Out Like a Lamb

Major stories:

Toward the beginning of this episode, Bill releases Henry from prison. He tells Henry how Jerome has dropped the charges made in the previous episode. But instead of being excited to leave his jail cell, Henry takes his time leaving. Shortly after Henry’s release, Joseph tries to talk to Henry. But all Henry shares is how he doesn’t go to church because he doesn’t like the sermons. Meanwhile, Fiona struggles whether to share her knowledge of Henry and Jerome’s business relationship with Henry. When she brings this struggle to Joseph, he tells her to tell Henry the truth. At the petroleum plant, Fiona confesses to Henry her knowledge of his and Jerome’s work history. To her surprise, he thanks her for being honest with him. While that conversation is taking place, Lucas is discussing his plans to sell his half of the oil business with Jerome. Jerome likes the idea of recruiting some investors to buy this half. His only concern is Henry’s involvement in the business, as Jerome fears Henry hasn’t changed. But over the course of the episode, Jerome ends up changing his own mind. When he visits Henry at the petroleum plant, Jerome brings up the mining accident that happened prior to the events of the show. He tells Henry the accident was his fault, as he claims he cared more about money than business morale. Jerome also says he should have taken Henry’s warnings seriously. Before Jerome leaves Hope Valley, it appears he and Henry have settled their differences. Jerome encourages Henry to stay on the oil business, with Henry saying he’ll think about it.

Nathan and his horse, Newton, have survived the previous episode’s car crash. While Bill and Lucas unsuccessfully try to locate the car that hurt Nathan and Newton, Nathan is treated at the Infirmary for a concussion and a dislocated shoulder. Elizabeth tells Nathan she’ll take care of Newton. But the horse is so shaken up by the crash, he won’t let Elizabeth near him. At the ice cream parlor, Robert and Angela discuss Newton’s condition. After overhearing this conversation, Mei volunteers to help the horse. While on her way to the stables, Elizabeth discovers Mei has had more success approaching Newton. This success allows Mei to take care of the horse. During Newton’s recovery process, Mei asks Bill for his help. She tells Bill this request will be discussed at another time. Later in the episode, Mei apologizes again to Ned for posing as Jeffrey in her letters. She does clarify how she never lied about her credentials or qualifications as a pharmacist. Meanwhile, Elizabeth tells Nathan about Mei’s ability to take care of Newton. This information seems to satisfy him.

Horse with saddle photo created by Topntp26 at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/stallion-black-equine-race-sky_1104246.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Topntp26 – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Lee is anxious about the mayoral election results. Rosemary reassures him that no matter what happens, he’ll still remain an important member of Hope Valley. Later that day, Ned and Florence make an announcement about the election results. But they claim these results are inconclusive, which leads to a re-count. This re-count is resolved the next day, with Mike Hickam becoming Hope Valley’s mayor. Mike is surprised by the results, despite not being present for the announcement. His reason for his absence, as Mike later tells Fiona, was to help a neighbor wrangle his cattle. However, he was also afraid of the election results. Mike later comes to the conclusion that, in order to avoid a conflict of interest, he should give his part of the oil business to Fiona. His other conclusion is how impressed he was by Fiona’s honesty toward Henry. Meanwhile, Lee is bummed about the election results. To cheer him up, Rosemary suggests hearing Lee’s acceptance speech. Instead, Lee wants Rosemary to read the last part of it. She discovers Lee thanked Rosemary for helping him be the man he is today. Rosemary also surprises Lee, later in the episode, with a job offer. She offers to make Lee the Valley Voice’s managing editor. This means he’ll be overlooking the newspaper’s day-to-day operations. Finding the offer appealing, Lee accepts the job. His first assignment is redirecting a call to Rosemary.

While Cooper and Angela are at the ice cream parlor, Minnie comes to remind Cooper to do his spelling homework. Angela tries to take the fall for her brother by claiming she forgot to remind him of his homework. But Minnie says Cooper needs to take responsibility for his own actions. On their way home, Cooper confesses he doesn’t want to attend church anymore. His reasons are never brought up in this episode. This decision concerns both Minnie and Joseph. However, Joseph hopes his upcoming sermon will encourage Cooper to come to them for help. But Cooper might have found his encouragement from an unlikely individual. One day at school, Henry comes to talk to the students about his recent fight with Jerome. His moral to the children is to avoid using violence, as it only causes more harm. But Henry did not choose to visit the school on his own free will. Earlier in the episode, Elizabeth pays Henry a visit at his office, encouraging him to talk to her students about the fight. During this visit, Henry reveals Christopher and Rachel are going to get married in the near future. When Henry brings up how Elizabeth continues to write to Abigail, Elizabeth shares how much Henry’s out-of-town trip meant to Abigail.

Hand-written letter image created by Veraholera at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Veraholera – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/love-letter-pattern_1292902.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know it’s only the ninth season’s second episode. But, so far, Elizabeth and Lucas’ story is the weakest one. There is no intrigue, mystery, or a conflict that needs to be resolved. This is despite Elizabeth and Lucas’ heavy presence in the show’s marketing. Due to the story’s weaknesses, it seems like the other characters and plots are picking up the slack. Granted, we’re not even halfway through the season yet. So, I’m hoping Elizabeth and Lucas’ story picks up traction.
  • I like seeing Angela become friends with Robert! Now that she is attending school, it’s nice to see her gain her first real friendship on the show. This creative decision will not only help Angela’s character development, but it will progress forward the stories of the students. Therefore, I will give the screenwriter(s) credit where it is due!
  • On the blog, It’s a Wonderful Movie, a commenter named Abigail asked, “If Mei Sou is already married, how can she be matched up with Nathan”? After learning about Mei’s connection to Jeffrey, I thought the same thing. But I think it’s too early to judge Mei’s choices. We still know very little information about her. Her actual relationship to Jeffrey is , at this time, unknown. Also, just because Mei and Nathan have been featured together in this season’s marketing, doesn’t mean they’ll become a couple. With all that said, I will, for now, give Mei the benefit of the doubt.
  • If you read my list of the top ten things I’d like to see in When Calls the Heart’s ninth season, you would know how much I wanted to see Henry fall in love, preferably with a new character. This came on the heels of seeing him happy in the previous season. But based on the ninth season’s first and second episodes, I’m wondering if Henry is going to learn to love himself before he can love someone else? If this is the case, that would be understandable.
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? How do you think these conflicts are going to get resolved? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Let’s Go for a Walk

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.

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

Season: 9

Episode: 1

Name: In Like a Lion

Major stories:

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.

Oil rig image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/icon”>Icon vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

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.

In honor of Hope Valley’s Ice Cream Parlor, I thought this picture from my 2019 attempt at making coffee ice cream would fit the occasion! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

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?
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 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!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: You Fit In Just Fine

Now we are coming to the end of another season of Chesapeake Shores. With this story complete, I can now give my honest opinion on the season as a whole. This has been one of the strongest seasons in the show’s history! That balance between character and plot driven stories has returned! One of the strengths was the addition of new cast members. Because Robert Buckley was promoted the most, I’ll talk about his character, Evan Kincaid. With new characters, it can be hit or miss. But with Evan, he fit in just fine. In fact, it felt like he was meant to be on Chesapeake Shores all along. Evan was a well written character, with each layer being pulled back as the story went on. Robert also presented a personality that hadn’t been seen on the show before. Despite joining Chesapeake Shores this season, I can’t imagine this story without him. As this chapter of the show comes to a close, let’s re-cap the season finale!

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season finale of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 10

Name: As Time Goes By

Abby’s story: Abby comes back home from her business trip in Cleveland. She is surprised to discover Evan waiting for her at the airport. Afterwards, they agree to have lunch at Sally’s Café. During their meal, Evan confesses how he might have romantic feelings for Abby. She turns down this possibility at first, as she and Evan are business partners. But Evan convinces her to, at least, think about the idea of them together. The next day, Evan visits the O’Brien family home to deliver some homemade brownies. Abby is not only amazed by how good the sweet treats are, but how Evan created the brownies so that Caitlyn, who is lactose intolerant, could eat them too. In the middle of this exchange, Evan shares with Abby how he learned to bake from a man who used to date Evan’s mother. When Abby asks Evan if she can meet this man, Evan says he’ll try to locate him, as he is a truck driver. Later in the episode, Jay reveals how every year, he takes a picture for his “Best Moment of the Year” collection. For the previous year, he shows Abby a picture of her, indicating how she was his “Best Moment of the Year”. Jay also confesses how he has romantic feelings for Abby. But he says he has romantic feelings for a female guidance counselor named Cam as well. The information Abby received from Evan and Jay puts her at a fork in the road. After consulting with Bree, Abby calls someone and tells them how she has feelings for them too. But the identity of the receiver is not known.

Mick and Megan’s story: One morning, Mick and Megan share the news that not only are they taking a trip around the world, but Mick is also taking a year off work in order to make this trip happen. While the family is shocked by this news, there are happy to see Megan and Mick move forward with their relationship. While she’s at the location where the art show took place, Carter tells Megan how she has received multiple job offers due to the art show’s success. Megan says she has given up that life, indicating her disinterest in these offers. Then, Carter reveals how a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles wants Megan to join their team. Because she has always dreamed of working with that particular gallery, she thinks twice about her future. Mick ends up finding out about this job offer from Carter, as Carter is on his way home to New York. When Mick addresses this piece of news with Megan, she says she hasn’t made a decision yet. But, by the end of the episode, she questions if she can have both the job and the trip. This makes Mick wonder if she’ll leave the family again.

Connor’s story: While Luke’s court hearing has received a different judge, the date is scheduled for the very next day. Even though this concerns Connor, he continues to look for a way to help Luke. Meanwhile, Margaret has her concerns about Connor’s well-being. Remembering what Connor said in the previous episode, Margaret brings s’more ingredients to the firm, in an attempt to help Connor relax. Connor likes Margaret’s gesture, which ends up with both of them kissing. But, the following day, Luke and Bree discover Connor slept at the firm. Because of this discovery, Luke reveals how he takes sleep medication. This information gives Connor an idea. He recruits his doctor as an expert witness, in an attempt to show how Luke’s sleep medication could be mistaken for amphetamines. The plan works and Luke doesn’t have to go back to prison. Toward the end of the episode, Margaret visits Connor at the O’Brien family home. While they are kissing, Connor collapses. The cause of his ailments is unknown.

Courtroom image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/isometric”>Isometric vector created by macrovector – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: At the beginning of the episode, it is revealed Sarah had a miscarriage. Devastated by this latest heartbreak, Sarah tells Kevin to keep it between themselves. But, later in the episode, Kevin shares this information with Mick and Megan. They tell their son how they suffered a miscarriage years ago. Through the interaction, they show their support for Kevin and Sarah. When Kevin tells his wife what he told his parents, Sarah is upset. However, she comes to appreciate Mick and Megan’s support when Megan pays her a visit. Megan tells Sarah how her miscarriage happened after Jess was born. She also tells Sarah how, in time, she will get through this tragedy.

Jess and David’s story: Jess has a lot of thoughts about Mick and Megan getting back together. So, at three in the morning, she decides to write Megan an email, which contains her real thoughts. Later that day, Jess freaks out because she actually sent the email. When David reads it, he thinks it is brutally honest. So, Jess goes to the O’Brien family home to talk to Megan. She apologizes for the email, telling Megan how she’s actually happy for her and Mick. But Megan responds by saying she hadn’t checked her email yet, but appreciated Jess’s honesty. Meanwhile, David discovers his trust fund has been cleaned out. Only his father has access to this fund, but he is nowhere to be found. David goes to Boston to find out more information on his father’s whereabouts. When he returns, David tells Jess his father flew out of the country, with the FBI looking for him.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Looking back on the show as a whole, it seems like Kevin and Sarah can’t win. First, they don’t have the wedding of their dreams because season four only contained six episodes. Now, they are dealing with a miscarriage. I understand things do not always go according to plan, in real life and in fictional stories. However, I was hoping the writers would try to make it up to the fans after the omission of a wedding in the previous season. If Chesapeake Shores receives a sixth season, I hope Kevin and Sarah meet happier circumstances.
  • While talking to a family member about this season, I realized injuries and falls seemed to be a common theme. Sarah fell twice, Thomas fell while hiking, and Evan fell in Tae Kwon Do class. There was also Mick’s plane accident, Thomas’ sprained ankle, Evan’s hurt back, and Connor’s medical issues. I’m guessing this was all a coincidence. But, as a fan, I found it concerning how five of the show’s characters were in harm’s way, sometimes on more than one occasion.
  • While I know cliffhangers and season finales can sometimes go hand-in-hand, I thought it was risky for the season to end with four cliffhangers. As of October 2021, there has been no announcements about a sixth season. This means if the show were to be cancelled, several stories would receive no resolution. Personally, I think one or two cliffhangers would have been just fine. Some of these cliffhangers could have been introduced earlier in the season, such as the whereabouts of David’s dad. Had this been the case, David and Jess’s story could have contained more depth.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on the season finale? Would you like to see Chesapeake Shores receive a sixth season? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: The First To Know

After watching this episode of Chesapeake Shores, one of my family members brought up how Mick has suddenly been playing a father figure to Evan. I then mentioned that Mick was the first character to receive the details of Evan’s accident, the same one that Mandrake brought up two episodes ago. He was also the first character to learn about Luke’s past. With all this said, it seems like Mick is, sometimes, the first to know if a character has something important to say. He not only provides a listening ear, but also a strong shoulder to lean on. Even though Nell seems like the glue that keeps the O’Brien family together, Mick is the heart of that family. So, let’s get to the heart of this episode by starting this re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers in this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 9

Name: What a Difference a Day Makes

Mick’s story: Hours after he crashed his plane due to a storm, Mick is found on a nearby island by the Coast Guard. He is taken to the hospital because he obtained injuries, including a broken arm. When he arrives home, his family is happy he is alive. But Megan is upset that Mick would leave without letting anyone know where he was going, as she feels he would have left behind a loving family if something had happened to him. The next day, Evan comes to visit Mick at the O’Brien family’s home to discuss details about the hotel project. Mick uses this time to tell Evan how he didn’t like Evan’s business offer to Abby, the one where Evan offered Abby a job at his business firm. This is because Abby is Mick’s business partner. But, as the episode goes on, Mick forgives Evan for Abby’s offer. While going through the hotel project details, Mick tells Evan he can visit the O’Brien family home for non-business-related reasons. He also invites Evan to check out the plane’s damages at the hangar. This is the start of Mick’s discoveries about Evan. While making omelets for Mick, Evan reveals how he never knew his father. So, his mother was the only parent in Evan’s life. At the hangar, Mick and Evan see the plane’s damages, which are worse than Mick realized. Evan offers to purchase a new plane for Mick, but Mick refuses the offer. Realizing how rude this could come across, Evan goes to Mick at his business firm and apologizes to him. When Mick shares his feelings about his injuries, this causes Evan to reveal how he injured his back. When he was 18, he was riding in the car with his mother. Evan wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and he isn’t sure whether his mother was drunk or tired. Evan survived the accident, but his mother passed away.

Megan’s story: Megan is making last minute preparations for the art show. She receives a lot of support, including from her family. When Kevin visits her at the art show venue, he says he wants to tell her something. But instead of telling her his and Sarah’s news, Kevin gives her encouraging words. The art show ends up being a success. During the event, Mick approaches Megan as he contemplates his future. He plans on traveling the world someday and would like Megan to join him. Megan agrees with Mick’s plan.

Connor’s story: Connor is looking for an assistant for his law firm. When Nell volunteers to be his assistant, Connor accepts her offer. But this arrangement is not as successful as Connor hoped. Because of Nell’s advice for clients to solve their problems on their own, Connor isn’t receiving any work. So, Connor searches for a new assistant. After multiple interviews, Margaret comes to the law firm. She tells Connor she quit her job shortly after Connor quit his, stating how he is a lawyer of integrity. Connor then gives her the assistant job. Shortly after this happens, Bree and Luke come to Connor. Luke explains how he failed a drug test, with him swearing he didn’t consume any drugs. The test in question claims Luke took amphetamines. Remembering Luke took allergy medication at The Bridge, Connor suggests how the allergy medication could have caused the drug test results. Unfortunately, the allergy medication contains a different set of ingredients. Connor also suggests Luke take another drug test, which he later passes. Three days later, Luke’s hearing is about to begin. But, all of a sudden, Connor passes out. This incident, as told by Connor, was triggered by stress. It also causes the hearing to be pushed back a week. Margaret encourages Connor to take the doctor’s advice, starting with a trip to a local yoga class. After the class, Margaret asks Connor what helps him relax. He tells her he feels relaxed when he spends time with his family around their outdoor firepit.

Colorful travel suitcase image created by Pikisuperstar at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/beautiful-illustration-of-travel_2686674.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Pikisuperstar – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Jess and David’s story: After leaving with his groceries, David receives a phone call from his father. Mr. Peck tells his son how he didn’t make smart choices when it comes to investments. He not only tells David he loves him, but to not listen to everything he hears. This phone call concerns David and makes him worried by his father. At the art show, David tells Jess about the phone call. Jess asks if he told his mother about what his father said to him. David says he doesn’t know if his mother knows about his father’s financial troubles. Jess then thanks David for keeping her in the loop.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Sarah develops pregnancy related food cravings. First, she craves peanut butter and avocados. Then, she wants barbeque potato chips and cream soda. Despite these cravings, Kevin is more than willing to make Sarah happy. Before they leave the station for the art show, Sarah tells Kevin she doesn’t feel well. She then collapses onto the floor with no known reason why.

Nell and Arthur’s story: Arthur is amazed by how many people showed up to the art show. But he also doesn’t like being in large crowds. So, he and Nell go to a nearby outdoor patio where there are less people present. On the outdoor patio, Arthur tells Nell how he only cared about creating art. When it comes to fame, he claims his wife took care of that part of his career. Nell asks him what he would really like to do. He responds by saying dancing. Their story ends with the two of them dancing together on the patio.

Couple performing the waltz image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by macrovector – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I found the scene where Nell was Connor’s secretary hilarious! But I also liked how she tried to give the clients legitimate and meaningful advice. After watching that scene, I now want to see Nell become a radio host whose job is giving listeners advice. This would not only allow more appearances for Nell, but it would also create an interesting story for her.
  • While I’m glad the art show was a success, I’m surprised how well Arthur took it. As I’ve said in previous re-cap posts from this season, Megan did not tell him about her plans for the art show. Because of this, I was expecting Arthur to get upset at Megan. But, once again, I was proven wrong about this outcome.
  • I understand Megan was upset about Mick’s recent situation. But when she, basically, accused him of being selfish, I thought that was very hypocritical of her. In this re-cap, I said Megan was upset that Mick would leave without letting anyone know where he was going, as she felt he would have left behind a loving family if something had happened to him. But that’s exactly what she did when she left her family prior to the show’s events. I kind of wish one of the characters would have pointed this out to Megan.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think will happen in the season finale? Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Sally Watches…Touched by an Angel (Again)!

As I mentioned in my recent Word On The Street story, the newest Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie is on its way. Premiering on October 17th, this movie will bring their audience a new chapter to a story that started all the way back in 2013. The series is executive produced by Martha Williamson, who also executive produced Touched by an Angel. Similar to Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Touched by an Angel has seen many guest stars appear over the course of the show’s nine season life-span. One of them was Bai Ling, who guest starred on Touched by an Angel in 1998.

Even though I have seen many episodes of Touched by an Angel before, I don’t recall ever seeing the two-part episode, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, the episode I’ll be reviewing for this post. Prior to writing this article, I had heard it was “one of the most moving episodes from the television drama”. With curiosity getting the better of me and because Bai’s birthday is on October 10th, I decided to revisit this show and review this particular episode. Two years ago, I wrote about another Touched by an Angel episode, “The Sky Is Falling”. Like that post, what will be discussed is what I liked about this episode, what I didn’t like about this episode, the story itself, the other factors from this episode, and my overall thoughts.

This is a screenshot of one of the Touched by an Angel DVDs I own. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

What I liked about this episode:

Last November, I reviewed an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street titled “And The Rockets Dead Glare”. In that post, I talked about how, while portraying Teri Chow, Bai was forced to rely on emotion instead of actions. This was compared to her characters in The Crow and Lost; Myca and Achara. Because of how effectively she used emotion, Bai was the stand-out actor in “And The Rockets Dead Glare”! I’ve seen only a handful of projects from Bai’s filmography. Despite this, I have noticed that she has a strong sense of emotionality. She not only knows how to control that emotionality, but also how to use that control to her advantage. Portraying a character named Jean Chang, the emotions Bai brought to her role in “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” felt realistic and genuine. Earlier in the episode, Jean crosses paths with Monica and Edward, a toy company CEO, at a local Chinese restaurant. In an attempt to recruit her for an upcoming business trip, they ask Jean why she doesn’t want to go to China. This is where Jean explains her very heart-breaking life story. Throughout this explanation, Bai’s emotions flawlessly adapted with each part of Jean’s story, ranging from blissful reminiscing to tear-inducing sadness. This strength in Bai’s acting abilities allows her performance to contain depth. It also gave the audience a reason to feel empathy/sympathy for Jean.

What I didn’t like about this episode:

One of Edward’s co-workers is his friend, Alex Stella. Throughout “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, Alex was rude and self-centered, especially toward Jean. It got to the point where his attitude became so annoying, it was tiresome to watch him in a static state. I understand Alex was meant to show the viewer that, sometimes, people won’t change, no matter how hard you try. I’ll also admit this is not a bad lesson to teach. But because of this episode’s story and because of the nature of Touched by an Angel, I wish the angels had paid Alex a visit and opened his eyes to selflessness.

The story itself:

Touched by an Angel is a show that was not afraid to take creative risks. “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a perfect example of that statement. I haven’t seen the movie, Red Corner, but I am familiar with its basic premise. The story of “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is very reminiscent of the film due to topics discussed within the script. Criticism of China’s government and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests are the two major subjects revolving around this episode. Because of the serious nature of these subjects, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. Similar to the Touched by an Angel episode, “The Sky Is Falling”, the story of “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a fictional narrative wrapped up in a real-life historical event. During Jean’s recollection of her past, black-and-white flashbacks and video footage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were shown on screen. The use of these visual techniques presented an interesting and creative way to discuss a piece of world history.

The other factors from this episode:

  • As I mentioned earlier, Alex is rude and self-centered, especially toward Jean. To further explain my point, I will bring up two examples from this episode. When Monica suggests a translator should join their business trip to China, Alex suggests speaking to Jean about the idea. While Edward assumes Jean’s ethnicity based on her appearance, Alex carries that assumption into his and Monica’s meeting with Jean. Even though Jean calls Alex out on his assumptions during this meeting about the aforementioned idea, Alex’s promotion of the idea itself should have been more professional. When Alex, Edward, and Monica have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, Jean soon arrives. The three then discover Jean had lied about her ethnicity. Upset by this discovery, Alex approaches Jean and yells at her in public, accusing her of lying about other things. I understand Alex was disappointed by Jean’s decision. Even Jean admitted that her decision was wrong. But, like I said about the previous example, Alex could have handled this situation more professionally and in private.
  • Throughout the episode, Edward and Jean develop “romantic” feelings for one another. I’m using the word “romantic” loosely, as the only romantic gestures they perform are holding hands and Edward kissing Jean’s head. When a romantic relationship is introduced in a movie or television show, it is usually done with an endgame in mind. Without giving anything away, there wasn’t an endgame for Jean and Edward’s relationship. Their relationship also felt “insta-love”, as it progressed at a quick pace. With all that said, I don’t think a romantic relationship was necessary for this particular story.
  • Touched by an Angel shows the angels going undercover in different professions based on an episode’s mission. In “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, Monica goes undercover as the Chinese consultant of Edward’s toy company. As Monica interacts with Edward and Alex, I was confused why Monica was the Chinese consultant instead of Jean. When Alex was explaining what Monica would do on their business trip, it made me wonder why Jean wasn’t originally recruited for the consultant position, especially since she knows more about China than Monica. But, without giving anything away, it makes sense why this choice was not made.

My overall thoughts:

“The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a tough episode to write about. On the one hand, I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from watching it. It contains one of the strongest stories in the show’s history and features strong acting performances, especially from Bai Ling. On the other hand, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is not for the faint of heart. This episode is so emotionally intense, I was left mentally drained after watching it. Because of that, the episode doesn’t have a high re-watchability rate. What I will say is this story is an important one. In fact, I would say this episode’s story is one of the most important Touched by an Angel has ever told. So, if you’re interested in watching “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, my advice would be to watch it in the right headspace. Speaking of Bai Ling, I realized something while watching this episode. As I said earlier, I’ve seen only a handful of projects from Bai’s filmography. Based on her roles I have seen, I noticed how her characters are, more often than not, surrounded by unfortunate circumstances. Myca is one of the villains of The Crow, so her unfortunate circumstances don’t cause the audience to feel any empathy/sympathy for her. But for Teri, Achara, and now Jean, their unfortunate circumstances can, to varying degrees, cause feelings of empathy/sympathy from the audience. During my movie blogging journey, I hope to see Bai portraying a character whose circumstances are more fortunate and happier.

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

Birthday cake image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/chocolate-birthday-cakes-collection_765437.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/birthday”>Birthday vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Have you watched Touched by an Angel? If so, which episode is your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun on television!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Light a Candle

In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Nell says she always lights a candle for Mick. Her reasons for letting a candle were never revealed. But it did make me think about something. Lighting a candle for someone is usually seen as a sign of remembrance or keeping them in your thoughts. The characters on this show are always in someone’s thoughts, whether its between each other, the fans, or the show’s creative team. A candle can also represent the characters’ vulnerability. Some of them are trying to prevent their candle from being blown out, in an attempt to simply survive. Other characters want to spread the light around by sharing that shine. Together, they are bright, illuminating among Chesapeake Shores. This helps bring out the best in each character.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers in this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 8

Name: Where or When

Abby’s story: Abby is scheduled to attend two business trips, one in Ohio and one with Evan in Pennsylvania. When she tells Bree and Jess about these trips, they think Evan is whisking Abby away in order to profess his feelings for her. At first, she laughs off the idea. But as the Pennsylvania trip approaches, Abby begins to wonder if her sisters are right. On the day of the trip, Evan takes Abby to his home in Pennsylvania. While there, he explains how they have made a connection, even though it has happened suddenly. As Evan is taking an emergency business call, Abby calls Bree and Jess. She tells them what Evan told her, with Jess and Bree thinking they were right. But when Evan comes back, he asks Abby if she’d like to join his business firm. Abby not only refuses Evan’s offer, but she also shares what her sisters thought he was going to ask. Evan considers buying the O’Brien business firm, but Abby tells him there are more important things in life than money.

Mick’s story: While looking through a stack of mail, Abby comes across a package for Mick. In this package is an urn and a letter explaining the ashes were to be spread all over Chesapeake Shores. The letter also stated how Mick was a good friend to the deceased. Because the letter or package were not addressed, Mick and Abby are desperate for answers. Abby finds out the ashes came from a nursing home in another state. She also discovers the ashes belonged to a man named Eugene. These clues still don’t give Mick any answers. Later in the episode, Abby presents Mick with Eugene’s obituary, revealing how Eugene’s nickname was Buzz. This causes Mick to remember his connection to Eugene. At a juice bar called “Juicy Juice”, Mick reveals to Abby how, many years ago, he would go to the bar and talk with Eugene. At that time, the bar was a completely different establishment. Shortly after Megan left the family, Mick relied on Eugene, recalling how he always listened to what Mick had to say. Now, many years later, Mick realizes just how much he meant to Eugene. Toward the end of the episode, Mick takes a plane ride with Eugene’s ashes in the passenger seat, likely fulfilling Eugene’s last wish.

Megan’s story: Megan hasn’t given up her plans to host an art show. She calls her friend, Carter, to help her pull some strings. He not only arrives in Chesapeake Shores to see Arthur’s art, but he shows up at the O’Brien family home as well. When Carter is introduced to Mick, he immediately labels Mick as the “ex-husband”. While Carter attempts to label Nell the “ex mother-in-law”, Nell replies how there’s no such thing as “ex mothers-in-law”.  For most of her story, Megan is seen making various phone calls, with Carter doing the same. Throughout the episode, Mick wonders if Megan and Carter had ever dated. Nell suggests that Mick just ask her. After many phone calls and negotiations, Megan and Carter uncover a loophole in Arthur’s contract with the art dealer from in the previous episode. While celebrating their victory over wine, Megan notices Mick’s sudden departure from the living room. Following him into the kitchen, Megan asks what is happening. This is when Mick asks his awaited question to Megan. She confesses how she used to date Carter, but that it happened many years ago. This conversation makes them realize they haven’t talked much about the past.

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Bree and Luke’s story: Luke is still planning on telling Bree about his past. He tells Connor at The Bridge how he is going to tell her that day. Connor also reveals news about Luke’s situation. He contacted a friend on the parole board who said how difficult it was to switch parole officers. However, Connor’s friend agreed to continue looking into the situation for Luke. When Luke tells Connor how he doesn’t have the money to pay him, Connor says that his case is pro bono. Meanwhile, at the University of Maryland, Jerome shares with Bree how Luke was arrested for assault and battery. He tells Bree how he found this information from a friend at the university’s law department, days after he saw Bree and Luke dancing at Jess and David’s wedding. Upset by this news, Bree goes straight to The Bridge. She demands to know if Jerome was telling the truth. When Luke admits he did get arrested, Bree asks him why he was hesitant to tell her. He says he didn’t want Bree to look at him the way she looking at him at that moment. Back at the University of Maryland, Bree calls Jerome out for his decision to search Luke’s information. While Jerome claims he did it to look out for her, Bree knows he did it to encourage her to date him. On Bree’s first day of class, Luke unexpectedly shows up. He conveniently arrives as the students are writing a two-hundred-word essay on who they currently are. After class, Bree talks to Luke about what he wrote. Even though she likes Luke’s essay, Luke says he put more emphasis on the content. Before he leaves for a meeting with his parole officer, Bree kisses Luke on the lips. This indicates she has chosen to fall in love with him.

Jess and David’s story: After dealing with a disgruntled guest, Jess discovers a negative review on the bed and breakfast’s Yelp page. It bothers her how she doesn’t know who posted the review, so she leaves a professional reply. While this review also bothers David, he tells Jess not to worry about it. Days later, Jess still hasn’t received any word from the anonymous reviewer. She wonders if it’s from the owner of a nearby hotel. But David encourages her to be the bigger person, stopping her from making any rash decisions. Toward the end of the episode, Jess jokes about suing the anonymous reviewer for libel, with David playfully disagreeing.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Sarah and Kevin are excited about becoming new parents. However, they want to wait to share their news. Sarah uses this time to reveal how she accepted the Lieutenant position. This makes the couple even more happy. At the station, Kevin gives Sarah a pair of baby shoes. They also agree to share their news over the weekend. Toward the end of the episode, Kevin and Sarah attend a small family gathering at the O’Brien family home. During this gathering, Megan worries over Mick’s absence, as he still hasn’t returned from his plane trip. After making a phone call to the airport, she tells the family how Mick didn’t arrive from his trip.

Money plant image created by Dooder at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/infographic”>Infographic vector created by Dooder – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/watering-the-coin-plant_1076121.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • In my re-cap of this season’s fifth episode, I said how I was disappointed by the revealed summer date, as I thought this meant we weren’t going to see Bree interact with her students. So, I was happy to see Bree teaching her class in this episode, even if it was only in a short scene. Because we’re over half-way through the season, I doubt we’ll get to know any of these students. But, as I said in the aforementioned re-cap, it’s gives me something to look forward to if Chesapeake Shores gets a sixth season.
  • I didn’t like how Jess and David’s story was unresolved. In real life, I know a situation like theirs typically wouldn’t receive any answers. But because the majority of David and Jess’s stories are episodic, I was expecting this story to be similar. Maybe in a later episode, they’ll discover who wrote the review? Maybe the reviewer will be revealed in the season finale?
  • In my list of the top 10 things I wanted to see in Chesapeake Shores’ fifth season, I said I wanted to see more appearances for Nell. Even though this season isn’t over yet, Nell has had more appearances in this season than in the previous one! I also like how she is more involved in the overall story. Including Arthur in season five certainly helps, as they can possibly form a relationship.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Who do you think wrote the bed and breakfast’s negative review? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen