Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in When Calls the Heart’s Ninth Season

With production finished on When Calls the Heart, there has been a lot of speculation about the upcoming season. Because the show’s cast and crew has shared very few behind-the-scenes photos on social media, fans have been left in the dark about plot details, new cast members, and even season nine’s premiere date. While there is silence surrounding When Calls the Heart, I think it’s time I post my list of the top ten things I’d like to see in the show’s ninth season. Last year, I wrote a list titled ‘Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in Chesapeake Shores’ Fifth Season’. As I watched the show’s return in late summer of 2021, it was interesting to see how many things on my list came true. In fact, it was about half. So, with this When Calls the Heart related list, I’ll be curious to see how many of these subjects come to fruition. Since the series hasn’t received a Christmas movie for the second year in a row, I hope my list ties Hearties (the show’s fandom) over until the show comes back to television.

When Calls the Heart poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.
  1. For Bai Ling to Join the Main Cast

Back in March, I wrote an editorial titled ‘Why Bai Ling Should Join the Main Cast of ‘When Calls the Heart’’. In this article, I explained four reasons why this would be a good idea. A month after I published my editorial, Bai found and liked my Instagram post about it. I brought this up in one of my When Calls the Heart re-cap posts. But, like I mentioned in that ‘Sunset Over Hope Valley’ post, this doesn’t guarantee anything. As I said in my introduction, there have been no announcements about new cast members yet. Until we hear confirmation about whether or not Bai becomes a “Heartie”, I’ll provide a link to my aforementioned editorial, in case you’d like to read it.

Why Bai Ling Should Join the Main Cast of ‘When Calls the Heart’

2. Hope Valley’s First Female Mountie

In my editorial, ‘Why Bai Ling Should Join the Main Cast of ‘When Calls the Heart’’, I talk about how I’d like to see Bai portray Hope Valley’s first female Mountie. While this character doesn’t necessarily have to be portrayed by Bai Ling, I think a female Mountie would provide an interesting dynamic to the show. As I also mentioned in my editorial, it would fit the narrative When Calls the Heart has had since the beginning. If Hope Valley has women owning their own businesses and had a female Mayor at one point, they can have a female Mountie. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt the town to have more than one.

3. True Love for Henry Gowan

As I said in my season eight finale re-cap post, Henry’s storyline was one of the best. He was, honestly, the happiest he has ever been on this show. So, I’d like to see this happy momentum continue by watching Henry fall in love! But, if I had a say, I would want him to share a romantic relationship with someone new. In When Calls the Heart’s eight seasons, Henry has never experienced romance or true love. Therefore, this would provide the show with a new story and a new character!

4. An Attitude Change for Elizabeth

I’ve said before on my blog how I don’t like the direction Elizabeth is going. Ever since the end of season five, she has become more entitled and self-centered. It has gotten to the point where if Elizabeth continues to behave this way, the show’s viewership will drop. In order to prevent this from happening, I think Elizabeth should receive an attitude change. Seeing her become more selfless and putting others before herself would be refreshing. This change would also help Elizabeth gain more likability, something that she is currently losing. With her teaching job in jeopardy, a wake-up call for Elizabeth may be on its way.

5. A Brutally Honest Character

My favorite character in Jurassic Park is Dr. Ian Malcolm. His realism and common sense help him become the film’s “voice of reason”, allowing Ian to be brutally honest as well. I’ve been waiting for a character like Ian Malcom to make a permanent residence in Hope Valley. But any time this kind of character shows up, they only appear for a limited amount of time. Similar to the idea of Hope Valley’s first female Mountie, a brutally honest character would create an interesting dynamic among the citizens of Hope Valley. Sometimes, I feel like the characters on When Calls the Heart are too nice, almost like they’re afraid to be honest. A new resident who goes against that gain would definitely change that.

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

6. Rosemary’s Theater and/or the Ice Cream Parlor

Season six saw the fruition of Hope Valley’s first public library. While I was happy to see an important resource come to Hallmark’s favorite Canadian town, I was frustrated by how quickly it came. This library became a reality partly because Elizabeth complained loud enough about the town not having one. Meanwhile, Rosemary has been dreaming about her theater since season two and still hasn’t received it. Season nine is the time for Rosemary’s dream to finally come true. It’s also time to see that ice cream parlor Opal brought up back in season five. The beauty of these two facilities is how the show’s creative team can use space they already have on set. Opportunities for new characters and stories could also grow thanks to the theater and/or ice cream parlor!

7. A Season Within a Season

Toward the beginning of When Calls the Heart’s eighth season, the story took place in late spring. An end-of-school-year celebration was a clear indication of that specific time. But as the season was coming to a close, Hope Valley’s children were going back to school. The issue with this change in time was how there was little acknowledgment to it, which led to confusion on my part. To make things less confusing for the viewers, including me, I would like to see season nine take place within a season. For instance, have the story of season nine take place exclusively during Spring. That way, the season would have a tighter timeline.

8. Adopting the Chesapeake Shores Model

One of the best parts of Chesapeake Shores’ fifth season was the new model the show’s creative team adopted. This new model was a cycle that allowed the characters to take a break from the overarching story. An example is featuring every character on one episode except Abby. In another episode, Abby will be back on the show, but Connor will be nowhere in sight. With this approach to storytelling, it allowed a more cohesive narrative to be told. It also helped the show’s overall pace move faster. When Calls the Heart’s cast is arguably larger than Chesapeake Shores’ cast. Because of this, the show could benefit from using Chesapeake Shores’ model.

9. Different Types of Pets

There’s a When Calls the Heart related blog I like called ‘When Calls The Heart Blog’. On this blog, I read a list titled ‘Personal Requests To The Writers…’ The list is similar to mine; a fan sharing what they’d like to see in future episodes. One of these requests is animals, as there haven’t been many pets on the show. I’d like to take it one step further by suggesting different types of pets be featured on When Calls the Heart. Sure, it’s nice to see a dog or horse every now and then. But how about adding a cat to the show? Or a cockatoo? Maybe even a ferret? When it comes to pets, I personally think the sky’s the limit!

10. A When Calls the Heart Thanksgiving Movie

I know what you’re thinking, “How Can When Calls the Heart have a Thanksgiving movie if the show takes place in Canada”? For those who don’t know, Canadians celebrate the holiday in October, while those in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving in November. The fact this holiday has two dates would work in Hallmark’s favor. Because their ‘Countdown to Christmas’ line-up starts in October, the network could start the line-up with a When Calls the Heart Thanksgiving Movie. Then when November comes around, Hallmark Channel could air the movie again, but have a sneak peek for the upcoming season included. A new When Calls the Heart film is something Hearties would look forward to, especially since there hasn’t been a movie from this series in two years. It could also boost ratings for the ‘Countdown to Christmas’ line-up.

When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas poster created by Hallmark Channel and Crown Media Family Networks. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=When+Calls+the+Heart+Home+for+Christmas.

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Let Him Go Review + 380, 385, and 390 Follower Thank You

During my recent mini hiatus, I was thinking about what movie to choose for the long-awaited Blog Follower Dedication Review. While I do have several movies on my DVR, I wanted to choose one that was different from those I have recently reviewed. So, when I saw the 2020 title, Let Him Go, I knew it was the right choice. Like I have stated in the past, the western genre is one that isn’t often covered on my blog. In fact, the last western film I wrote about was the 1999 Hallmark Hall of Fame production, Durango. With this current review, it’ll provide more content related to this specific genre. What makes Let Him Go unique from the other westerns I’ve talked about is how the story takes places later in the 20th century, as the story is set in the early ‘60s. Since I haven’t seen many “modern” westerns, I was curious to see how this type of story would be presented in a different lens. So, without further ado, let’s get this Blog Follower Dedication Review started!

Let Him Go poster created by
The Mazur Kaplan Company, Focus Features, and Universal Pictures

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: While the cast of Let Him Go was strong, there were two actors who gave stand-out performances. The first one came from Lesley Manville. Portraying the Weboy family matriarch, Blanche, her character reminded me of the mob bosses from gangster movies of yesteryear. Lesley carried her character with her own distinct style and personality, which is reminiscent of the aforementioned mob bosses I brought up.  Blanche’s attitude escalates over the course of the movie, becoming viler and more brutal. Even though I wasn’t a fan of Blanche, Lesley’s performance stole the show! The second performance was Booboo Stewart’s! His character, Peter, was my favorite in this film. Booboo’s portrayal consistently appeared genuine, which showed the strength of his acting abilities and the screenwriting. Peter’s presence also brought a sense of peace that was rarely found in this story. I, honestly, wish he was given more appearances in the movie.

The scenery: This movie takes place in Montana and North Dakota. But it was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada. No matter where Let Him Go was filmed, the scenery was beautiful to look at! At the beginning of George and Margaret’s road trip, large mountains dominated the background. That piece of earth was so majestic, I would guess photos and videos do not do those mountains justice. Surrounding these mountains were clear blue skies and grassy hills. All the natural elements came together to create a landscape that brought a sense of peace. I just wish more scenes had taken place outdoors.

The topics discussed: Like I mentioned in the introduction, Let Him Go is set in the early ‘60s. What should also be noted is how two of the film’s overarching topics are child abuse and domestic violence. Even though these subjects are met with a sense of urgency and seriousness today, it was interesting to see how they were viewed over fifty years ago. The attitude surrounding these topics, in the film, carried an “it’s none of my business” energy. This brought a sense of historical realism to the overall story. In Let Him Go, Peter says he was sent to an “Indian school” when he was younger, referring to the residential schools where Native American children were forced to attend. When it comes to entertainment media, these types of educational institutions are not often brought up. So, even though this particular subject was briefly brought up, it was an interesting to see the movie’s creative team include that topic at all.

Sheriff badge image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/brown-cowboy-label-set_1543252.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A misleading trailer: Before watching Let Him Go, I saw its respective trailer, in an effort to determine if the film was worth seeing. In that trailer, the movie came across as an intense thriller. But when I actually saw the film, it was mostly a drama with thrilling elements. This reminds me of when I saw the 2015 movie, Forsaken. Because of the talent involved and the story’s western genre label, I expected more action in that movie. Instead, the script emphasized the drama in the protagonist’s life. Similarly, most of the action in Let Him Go took place during the climax. The story also revolved around the drama among the Blackledge family. With all that said, I found this film’s trailer misleading.

An unclear time period: As I’ve already said, the story is set in the early ‘60s. In fact, the majority of the film takes place in 1963. However, everything looked and felt like it came straight from the ‘50s. From the Blackledge’s kitchen to the cars in their Montana town, the set design and costumes appeared authentic for that period in time. Toward the beginning of the movie, I wasn’t sure if the story was set in the ‘50s or if the Blackledge family just liked a vintage style. When I saw a headstone bearing the death date of 1961, the time placement of the story became clear to me. The 1960s has a very distinct aesthetic, so I was disappointed it was absent from this film.

The Weboy brothers’ lack of distinctiveness: When the Weboy family is first introduced, the audience meets Blanche and her sons. Before this happens, one of the sons, Donnie, marries the Blackledge’s daughter-in-law, Lorna. Because of that event, Donnie is a memorable character. But his brothers appeared and acted very similar to one another. It got to the point where I had difficulty telling these characters apart. Not only is the screenwriting to blame for this, but I think there shouldn’t have been that many members of the Weboy family.

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.

My overall impression:

It feels good writing posts after taking some time away from my blog! I honestly did not mean for the hiatus to last two weeks. But I was working on some projects that weren’t blog related. Since I came back at the beginning of December, I can’t wait to check out some seasonal flicks! Now, back to this Blog Follower Dedication Review. Personally, I thought it was just ok. While I am glad I checked out another western, it wasn’t the product advertised. Plus, the film didn’t look or feel like the ‘60s. Despite these major flaws, there are aspects of the movie I did like. The topics discussed in the story provided historical realism, allowing the audience to glimpse how they were viewed back then. I also thought the acting was strong. As I wrap up this review, I want to take the time to thank all of my blog’s followers. Looking back on these three years, I still can’t believe how far I’ve come as a blogger.

Overall score: 6.5 out of 10

Have you seen any westerns lately? If so, would it be worth recommending? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Made-for-TV Film Projects, including a Hallmark series, in the Works

On July 24th, Google Trends Now reported a Christmas movie is about to begin filming in late August. So far, this film is titled ‘The Seek for Christmas’. But “that may most likely change earlier than it airs”, says Evergreen Movie Productions’ Daniel Lewis. Erin Cahill, an actress who has starred in five Hallmark films, will be the lead actress and a producer on the project, according to the article. Maclain Nelson has also been announced as the movie’s director. The production is being filmed in Natchez, Mississippi, which is located near the Louisiana border. Daniel said ‘The Seek for Christmas’ “is about three sisters who grew aside and their journey of discovering their manner again to one another over the Christmas vacation”. Daniel also said “that filmmakers did their analysis to make the film as authentically Natchez as attainable and have written Natchez Christmas traditions such because the annual Christmas parade into the script”. Even though Hallmark Channel is mentioned in the article and its title, the network has not confirmed their association to this movie, as of late July to early August 2021.

In Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, a Christmas movie has been in production since July 19th. Ashley Kulp, from Inside Ottawa Valley, writes that this movie is, so far, titled “The Christmas Campaign”. Filming locations in Kemptville have included “the former North Grenville District High School on Prescott Street” and downtown Kemptville. Almonte, Carp, and Ottawa have also been announced as filming locations. No story-related details or casting decisions have been made known at this time. Also, it is unknown where this movie will premiere.

The link to the articles I referenced in this post:

https://trends.blogdady.com/hallmark-channel-christmas-film-filming-in-natchez-in-august-mississippis-greatest-group-newspaper/

https://www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/10442638-what-s-going-on-here-christmas-in-july-holiday-movie-being-filmed-in-kemptville/

Christmas themed movie tickets created Kraphix at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/movie-tickets-christmas_971544.htm’>Designed by Kraphix</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Kraphix – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Angelique Jackson, from Variety, reported on July 28th about Hallmark’s plans to create television films based on the company’s Mahogany card line. The article states how these efforts will consist of “a quarterly slate of original movies coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in early 2022”. The pre-production phase of the project started “in early 2021”, with Wonya Lucas, Crown Media Family Networks’ president and CEO, and Toni Judkins, Crown Media Family Network’s current programming and development senior VP, working to get the project off the ground. “Mahogany is a 34-year-old brand that has been an important part of the portfolio since its existence. So for us, it’s not an initiative; it’s bringing something to life through storytelling”, said Wonya. Toni responded to Variety by saying “It was a brand that I love and have known for decades. It just seemed like the most natural, authentic thing to do, to translate and take the inspiration behind the Mahogany card brand and bring it to air”.

This article from Variety mentions how Hallmark has big plans for their Mahogany series. Angelique writes how the network wants “to further expand the franchise to include podcasts and scripted series in the coming years”. According to the article, the Mahogany series is a stepping stone toward programming based on Hallmark’s other card lines, including Eight Bamboo, which highlights “Chinese values and customs”. But in order to make these big plans a reality, Hallmark needs big money to make them happen. In my last Word on the Street story, I speculated how Hallmark might not be as financially strong as in years past. This speculation is based on things happening with the company that I’ve seen and heard as a consumer of some of the network’s programming. To add to this, it should be noted that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the network that will host the Mahogany films, doesn’t have the strongest numbers in viewership. As of late July to early August 2021, the movie from Hallmark’s second network with the highest number in viewership was Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part, which garnered 1.6 million viewers. This number is lower than those from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ past films, with 2017’s Rocky Mountain Christmas receiving a record-breaking 2.18 million viewers. One of the reasons for these low numbers is how Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a smaller network compared to the main Hallmark Channel. This means that the second network doesn’t have the same amount of sponsorship opportunities as the first network does. Because of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ smaller size and lower viewership, maybe Hallmark has been cancelling programs like Home & Family in order to put those finances and resources toward the Mahogany series? Like any film project in pre-production, we’ll just have to wait and see how this series will be carried through.

Links to the references I included in this post:

https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/hallmark-mahogany-card-line-tv-movies-2022-1235028599/

http://www.ratingsryan.com/2021/06/cable-tv-ratings-week-ending-june-13.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20171227121829/http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-friday-cable-originals-network-finals-12-22-2017.html

Christmas card image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/christmas-card-with-watercolor-mistletoe-decoration_965555.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

Andrea Brooks, who stars on When Calls the Heart as Faith, will be co-leading two upcoming movies. In an article from Heavy, these movies are, right now, titled ‘Sit, Stay, Love’ and ‘Fishing for Love’. With ‘Sit, Stay, Love’, Andrea will star alongside Hallmark alumni, Marcus Rosner. The film will be directed by Heather Hawthorn Doyle. According to the article, this movie is about the following:

“A woman’s tightly controlled life starts to loosen up when she adopts a dog and falls in love with him and the owner of the animal shelter she adopted him from”

For ‘Fishing for Love’, Andrea will star with Spencer Lord. The article from Heavy states “the movie was filmed in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada” and is about the following:

“When Kendall, a successful restaurant designer comes home to Mystic Bay for the annual Big Catch Festival, she finds herself in uncharted waters with town newcomer Zack. Is Kendall baited for trouble in her home town or will she catch true love?”

As of late July to early August 2021, “It’s not clear if either of her [Andrea’s] two new movies will be airing on The Hallmark Channel or somewhere else”, as stated in the article.

The link to the Heavy article I referenced:

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What are your thoughts on these pieces of movie news? Which project sounds the most interesting to you? Please let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Love Triangle is Finally Over

I have been very vocal about how I dislike When Calls the Heart’s love triangle. When several people from the show claimed it would end in season eight, I was hoping they were telling the truth. But as this chapter of the show is coming to an end, I can honestly say that the love triangle is officially over! Other good news comes from a commercial at the end of the episode announcing season nine! While I’m not surprised by this announcement, I am happy to see the show taking a new step forward. Overall, I’d say this season has been, for the most part, good. Yes, it did have its flaws. However, these can become areas of growth for the next season. It is amazing how far Hope Valley has come. From a town that was broken by sorrow and uncertainty to a place filled with hope and brighter days, Hope Valley has grown beyond expectations. Now, as the door of season eight comes to a close, let’s re-cap this episode of When Calls the Heart!

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 12

Name: The Kiss

Major stories:

Elizabeth feels guilty about the way she has treated Rosemary. She immediately apologizes to Rosemary, who ends up forgiving her. Elizabeth tells her friend all about her relationship troubles with Nathan and Lucas. Rosemary reminds Elizabeth how she needs to choose a man that she can see herself spending a lifetime with. These words are taken to heart as Elizabeth visits Nathan to tell him that she loves him, but she is not in love with him. She also tries to tell Lucas how she feels, but is interrupted by Wyman at the café. In this episode, Landis is still in Hope Valley. He continues to believe that Angela’s educational needs will interfere with the educational opportunities of Elizabeth’s other students. However, Elizabeth insists that she wants Angela to attend the Jack Thornton School. Minnie becomes doubtful due to Elizabeth’s job being in danger. But she still allows her daughter to make her own decision. Elizabeth tells Rosemary how Landis threatened to shut the school down if the students and their parents refused to attend because of Angela becoming a new student. Rosemary agrees to publish the story in Hope Valley’s newest version of their newspaper; The Valley Voice. This plan worked, as every student agrees to walk the Canfield family to the school building on the first day of a new school year. The act shows Landis how kind and supportive the Jack Thornton School is. He tells Elizabeth he will find a way to help her keep her job. On Robert’s first day as Jack Jr.’s new babysitter, Elizabeth gives him a note that needs to be given to Lucas. Later that day, however, Elizabeth notices the note in Robert’s hands. He says the saloon was closed and that Lucas was gone. When Elizabeth goes to the saloon, she sees Robert was telling the truth. She asks Rosemary and Lee where Lucas went, with Lee pointing toward the road leading out of town. Even though Elizabeth runs down that road, she knows she missed Lucas. Consoling a broken heart on a bridge, Lucas happens to show up. They share a passionate kiss, making their relationship official. Lucas also notices Elizabeth isn’t wearing her wedding ring anymore. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas and Elizabeth have a private date at the library. On this date, Elizabeth plans to read some of her final manuscript, which was sent to Elizabeth from Helen earlier in this episode.

Preparations are being made for Hope Valley’s race for mayor. Mike sits outside Ned’s Mercantile, collecting names of potential nominees. The only people who express interest in running are Bill, Mike, and Fiona. Mike shares with Fiona that he not only told Henry about his plans to connect a pipeline to the train depot, but Henry also agreed to make this plan a reality. To Mike’s surprise, Henry gives him complete leadership over the petroleum plant. Henry decides to leave Hope Valley in an effort to find what makes him happy in life. As Henry looks at the café’s sign, it is to be assumed Henry is trying to locate Abigail. As Rosemary is busy writing her first newspaper and organizing information, Lee has difficulty figuring out his purpose in life. While talking to Joseph about his worries, Joseph tells Lee two of life’s most important moments are when someone is born and when that person discovers why they were born. These words lead to Lee’s decision to run for mayor. After Lee shares this news, Rosemary says she would like to acquire a better printer press and an official staff if she is to take her new occupation seriously.

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:

Faith is sad to see Carson’s packed bags at the Infirmary. But she doesn’t stop him from leaving. Carson and Faith share one last moment together, where all they do is hold each other. When it’s time to leave, Carson is met with most of Hope Valley’s residents waiting by the stagecoach, as they wish to send him off. This causes Carson to be pleasantly surprised. As he boards the stagecoach, Clara and Lee find the engagement ring that was missing in the previous episode. However, Carson still chooses to leave Hope Valley. Faith is disappointed, as she hoped Carson would change his mind. While helping Nathan with a minor injury, Nathan tells her how she’ll make a good doctor. Faith says that, like an injury, it will take time to heal. During Carson’s send-off, Nathan brings Jesse back to Hope Valley. Clara and Jesse are excited to see one another again. Lee gives Jesse some time off of work, which Clara and Jesse use as a second honeymoon. Ned also returns to town, explaining to Florence what has been happening. He has been trying to acquire a patent for an adhesive bandage he created.

Adhesive bandage image created by aopsan at freepik.com. Background photo created by aopsan – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • While the majority of this season has been good, the season premiere and finale were fine. They met their requirements instead of going above and beyond. I wish the Hope Valley mayor race was saved for season nine and not shoehorned into season eight’s last episode. This way, the dynamic between the candidates could be explored throughout the season.
  • The references to Abigail this season were not only random, but the amount of references made the creative team’s wishes a little too obvious. Even though some people from the show have expressed interest in working with Lori again, the network made the ultimate decision to distance themselves from her. In my opinion, I don’t think Abigail will ever be seen on the show again. When Calls the Heart is one of Hallmark’s most successful programs, so I doubt the network’s leaders would risk tarnishing their crown jewel in any way.
  • I really hope Henry returns to Hope Valley. His story has been one of the best from season eight, as he received more character development and growth. As I have stated in a Sunset Over Hope Valley re-cap post, I hope Bai Ling considers joining the main cast of the show. If she does, maybe her character could form a relationship with Henry. That way, he might find someone new to make him happy.
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 season finale? What would you like to see in season nine? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Changes Are Coming

Change is evitable. There have been so many changes on When Calls the Heart, it would make this re-cap longer than necessary. But this has made the show interesting. If the show had stayed the same, we would have never gotten to see things like Rosemary’s transformation as a character or the multiple weddings Hope Valley has hosted. Each season has offered something different, whether it has been new characters or stories. Hope Valley itself has evolved. Remember when the town was called Coal Valley? How about when the Jack Thornton School was first built? These changes have led to the creation of memories. Each memory has become a stepping stone as the show progresses. While the show is approaching its last episode of the season, let’s start re-capping this episode of When Calls the Heart!

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 11

Name: Changing Times

Major stories:

As Elizabeth is preparing for the start of a new school year, Minnie tells her that Landis, the school inspector who came to town earlier this season, has come back to Hope Valley. This puts Elizabeth on edge, concerned about what Landis has to say. When Landis pays Elizabeth a visit at the Jack Thornton School, he shares his desire for the school to join the Valley School District. Landis also hands Elizabeth a packet of papers from the school board. In this packet, it states that if Elizabeth doesn’t receive special training in order to teach students who are disabled, then she will be forced to step down from her teaching position. She visits Bill in the hopes he will be able to help her. After reading over the packet, Bill tells her there is not much that can be done about the situation. However, he tells Elizabeth he will support whatever decision she makes. Elizabeth meets with Landis one morning, hoping to work with him on these new changes. Landis brings up his concern about Angela potentially holding the class back due to needing extra educational attention. Elizabeth promises to receive the appropriate training as soon as possible. Later in the episode, Elizabeth tells Landis that she won’t allow the Jack Thornton School to join the Valley School District. Landis warns her of her likely job loss. Meanwhile, Elizabeth seems to be spending more time with Nathan. When he pays her a visit at her house to give her Florence’s wedding bouquet, Elizabeth volunteers to place his jacket by the fire, sharing that she used to do that for Jack. She also offers Jack’s gloves to Nathan when Nathan reveals he misplaced his gloves. At school, she lets Lucas know about her conversation with Nathan at the wedding reception. Even though that interaction was not romantic, Lucas feels that Elizabeth is moving away from him. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas ends his relationship with Elizabeth, telling her he needs to “set her free”.

 One morning, Rosemary studies a map of Hope Valley at Lee’s office. She wants to know who has purchased the Canfield’s cabin and what their intention is for the town. Since Jesse borrowed Lee’s car, Rosemary decides to go to the cabin to see what’s going on. When she arrives on the Canfield’s former land, Rosemary hears a gunshot. This sound causes Rosemary to fall off her horse, as the horse got spooked. As a Pinkerton officer helps Rosemary to her feet, he informs her that the land is now private property. When Rosemary goes to the Infirmary due to a minor back injury, she tells Nathan what happened, as he also happens to be at the Infirmary. He was also informed by Fiona that Wyman Williams, the businessman who appeared in the previous episode, has returned to Hope Valley. Just like before, he came to the barber shop with an offer to purchase it. During a business-owner’s meeting, Nathan arrests Wyman. At the jail, Wyman reveals that he made an investment with Jesse’s money. Later in the episode, when Clara goes to the jail in an effort to discover Jesse’s whereabouts, she gives Wyman a piece of her mind. Eventually, Wyman refunds all of Jesse and Clara’s money he invested. Wyman reveals to Bill that he has been purchasing multiple businesses in order to invest in them. His excuse is that the town is growing and so are businesses. Before he leaves Hope Valley, Bill sees Wyman talking with the Pinkerton officers that have been guarding the Canfield’s former land. Because Jesse hasn’t returned home, some of the residents of Hope Valley look for him. They find Lee’s car by a mountain, but Jesse has still not been found. Toward the end of the episode, Lee surprises Rosemary by giving her half of his office. She also reveals she will restart Hope Valley’s newspaper.

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

Minor stories:

Carson has made up his mind to become a surgeon. He also plans to propose to Faith. Before he and Faith go to the café for breakfast, Carson gives Minnie the ring. Unfortunately, Minnie and Clara end up misplacing it. When Carson goes to the kitchen to help them find the ring, Clara suggests it could be in the pudding. However, Carson has no luck finding the ring. Meanwhile, Faith suspects that Carson is planning on proposing to her. But she still wants to stay in Hope Valley. At the saloon, Carson shares with Lucas how losing the ring is probably a sign that he and Faith were not meant to be.

Henry receives a letter from his son, Christopher. In this letter, Christopher shares that he not only found Rachel, but also plans on staying in the city. He tells his father he got a job at the furniture store Rachel’s father owns. The letter comes with a photo of Christopher and Rachel as well. This makes Henry reflect on the photo of him and Christopher that is located on his desk.

Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I, personally, don’t think it was fair for Elizabeth to receive Florence’s wedding bouquet, as this is the third time it has happened to Elizabeth. The bouquet should have been given to either Mollie, Faith, or Fiona. If Rachel had attended the wedding, the bouquet could have even gone to her.
  • Speaking of Rachel, I’m disappointed she and Christopher won’t become recurring characters on the show. Besides the schoolchildren, Laura, and Jack Jr., there aren’t many young people in Hope Valley. With the arrival of Christopher and Rachel, I was hoping they would bring something different to the town. While they did accomplish this, the results were short-term.
  • Even though I’m glad Hope Valley’s newspaper is going to continue again, I’m kind of disappointed Rosemary won’t be getting her theater. This is something the fans (and Rosemary) have been waiting for since season two. But because building a new piece of the set costs money, I wonder if the show’s creative team has been avoiding giving Rosemary her theater due to how expensive it could be?
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Are you looking forward to the season finale? What do you think will happen? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Dearly Beloved

Last month, I wrote an editorial on why Bai Ling should join the main cast of When Calls the Heart. As I mentioned in one of my re-cap posts, I tried reaching out to Brian Bird on social media, in an effort to give him my suggestion. But these efforts were met with no success. On Instagram, however, Bai not only saw my post about the editorial, but she also liked it! Here is the picture to prove it!

This is a screenshot I took from my phone a few days ago. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

While this doesn’t guarantee anything, I hope Bai considers joining the main cast of the show! Speaking of the main cast, there was a lot happening in this episode! Underrated characters received their recognition, from Henry becoming Ned’s Best Man to Florence transforming into a “beautiful swan”. Series favorites lent a hand, making Florence and Ned’s special day even more memorable. Profound wisdom was shared by Elizabeth, sharing words that could resonate on a relatable level.  All of these components came together to create an episode that was well done! Now, it’s time to 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 may be spoilers within this re-cap.

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

Season: 8

Episode: 10

Name: Old Love, New Love, Is this True Love

Major stories:

It’s the day of Ned and Florence’s wedding and their friends help them with last minute preparations. Clara and Minnie bake a wedding cake at the café, with Carson coming later to help decorate the cake. When Rosemary has difficulty finding a dress for Florence, Mollie gives Florence the dress she purchased for herself several episodes ago. Fiona even volunteers to style Florence’s hair for the ceremony. Before preparations begin, Florence feels insecure about her looks. She tells Fiona she wants to appear different for Ned, but is afraid she’ll come across as “ugly”. Both Fiona and Elizabeth reassure Florence that she is not ugly at all. Meanwhile, Ned reveals he has cold feet, both literally and figuratively. He visits Florence at the barber shop to tell her this information. Florence tells Ned that no matter what decision he makes, she will respect and love him for the person he is. This causes them to share their first kiss in private. Within this episode, Ned’s daughter, Katie, comes back to Hope Valley. She’s not thrilled with the idea of her father getting remarried. In a private conversation with Katie, Elizabeth learns that Katie is afraid Ned’s heart will be broken again, as the death of Katie’s mother deeply affected him. Elizabeth tells Katie that if Ned didn’t take the risk in fear of getting hurt, then he would miss out on experiencing joy. Elizabeth also has a private conversation with Ned, sharing some much-needed wisdom with him. She tells Ned that she knows how it feels to lose a spouse, but reminds him how it’s important to give his heart the opportunity to open. When the ceremony takes place, Katie decides to attend. The only people who attend Florence and Ned’s wedding are their closest family and friends. Both Bill and Joseph officiate the wedding and the ceremony carries on without any issues. The same can be said about the wedding reception, as every attendant seems to be enjoying the celebration.

It seems that some of the other couples in Hope Valley have been impacted by Ned and Florence’s wedding. While helping Minnie with the wedding cake, Carson reveals he purchased an engagement ring in the hopes of giving it to Faith. When he tells Minnie that his decision to accept the John Hopkins offer has affected his relationship with Faith, Minnie reminds him to remember why he became a doctor in the first place. After hearing Joseph’s sermon at Ned and Florence’s wedding, Carson becomes inspired to stay in Hope Valley with Faith. However, Faith tells him that he is persuaded by the emotions of the moment. Earlier in the episode, a man named Wyman Williams passes through town. When Jesse sees his car, he tries to chase after it with no success. He claims that Wyman stole his and Clara’s savings. Before the wedding ceremony, they file a report with Nathan. While Wyman is in the area, Nathan says there isn’t much he can do about the situation. Clara suggests to Jesse that they should focus on what’s ahead in their lives. While Elizabeth attends the wedding with Lucas, she has a private conversation with Nathan outside. Elizabeth tells him she doesn’t blame him for Jack’s death. Nathan then holds Elizabeth’s hands. Lucas sees this interaction through one of the saloon’s windows, likely receiving the wrong idea.

Wedding cake image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/enjoyable-wedding-card_953556.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/frame”>Frame vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

Minor stories:

Because the storylines in this episode revolved around Florence and Ned’s wedding, there were no minor stories.

Wedding postcard created by Kraphix at freepik.com.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/postcard-for-a-wedding-invitation_1058640.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Kraphix – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m glad everything worked in Florence and Ned’s favor. However, I found the number of last-minute wedding preparations to be somewhat unrealistic. Who chooses their Best Man the day of their wedding? Wouldn’t that decision take place shortly after the date has been chosen?
  • As I said in last week’s re-cap post, Elizabeth has become unlikable. The way she talked to Rosemary was not necessary. In this episode, Elizabeth and Rosemary’s friendship felt strained. When she entered the dress shop, Elizabeth tells Rosemary they should put their differences aside in order to give Florence a good wedding. Elizabeth refuses to apologizes and doesn’t interact with Rosemary at the wedding or reception. Similar to what I said last week, if Elizabeth continues to treat others this way, her friendship with Rosemary, as well as the other characters, will be ruined.
  • During the wedding reception, I saw Henry sitting at a table by himself. I honestly felt bad that he was not participating in the festivities. If When Calls the Heart receives a ninth season, I hope Henry finds a love interest. That way, he’ll have someone to bring to these events.
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? Did you enjoy seeing Ned and Florence’s wedding? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: ‘Chesapeake Shores’ Says Goodbye to Jesse Metcalfe

I know it’s been a few months since I last wrote a Word on the Street post. I also know this story doesn’t exactly relate to the world of film. However, as soon as I read Deadline’s article, I just had to talk about this piece of news, as I re-cap Chesapeake Shores. Yesterday, on March 31st, Nellie Andreeva reported Jesse Metcalfe’s departure from Chesapeake Shores, Hallmark Channel’s series that began back in 2016. In the article, the network gave Deadline a statement, which said Trace’s, Jesse’s character, “storyline will wrap up early in Season Five”.  Though Jesse is leaving the show, he isn’t leaving Hallmark. The statement mentions how the network is “continuing to work with him on projects”. These projects include the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series, Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries, which is “currently in development on another movie in the series”. What is also mentioned in this article is how “Metcalfe is currently in Canada and set to film Trace’s final scenes”.

Chesapeake Shores poster image created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%203&episodeIndex=3001

As of early April 2021, Hallmark has not addressed the Coronavirus in any of their programs. Because Chesapeake Shores focuses on characters from different walks of life, this is the show to cover something like Coronavirus. With all this in mind, my prediction is season five will include Coronavirus in the script, with Trace becoming a casualty of the virus. As Jesse walks away from the show, it begs the question; “What will Abby’s story be about now”? Since Trace played a huge role in Abby’s narrative, it will be interesting to see where her story goes, in both the fifth season and the network’s planned Chesapeake Shores movie.

What are your thoughts on Jesse leaving Chesapeake Shores? Do you have any predictions for season five? Tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Here is the link to the Deadline article I referenced:

Jesse Metcalfe Exits Hallmark Channel’s ‘Chesapeake Shores’ Series

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Praying for a Solution

When Lee goes to the Infirmary after he injured his back, Joseph Canfield, a new character on When Calls the Heart, tells Rosemary he’ll pray for Lee. Not only was the gesture thoughtful, but it also highlights an important component of the show. Since the show’s beginning, faith has been interwoven throughout the overall story. Whether it was Elizabeth’s students putting on a Nativity play during Christmastime or the characters adding Biblical values to their lives, faith is one of the cornerstones of Hope Valley. It has been a while since services were shown in the church or since a pastor has stayed in the town for more than a few episodes. Adding a new pastor to When Calls the Heart’s growing cast of characters would continue to emphasize the importance of faith. It would provide the town with someone to turn to whenever someone is struggling. The pastor’s journey of faith could also be explored. In the meantime, let’s start this week’s re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 2

Name: Honestly, Elizabeth

Major Stories:

Helen Bouchard spends her morning reading Elizabeth’s manuscript. When Lucas visits her at the Queens of Hearts Saloon, Helen expresses no interest in leaving her room. Later that day, as Elizabeth is on her way to the Infirmary to visit Lee, Lucas asks Elizabeth if she’ll visit Helen. After Lucas explains how Elizabeth is easier to talk to, Elizabeth agrees. At the Saloon, Elizabeth arrives at Helen’s room, bringing a basket of homemade muffins. Helen refuses the muffins and also frowns upon Elizabeth’s lateness when it came to handing in her manuscript. When Helen asks if Elizabeth can meet with her the next morning to look over Elizabeth’s manuscript, Elizabeth agrees. The following day, Elizabeth and Helen work on editing the manuscript. They have difficulty seeing eye-to-eye, as they only finish the first page. To resolve this issue, Elizabeth suggests they take a break by going for a walk. On this walk, Helen reveals that she likes Elizabeth’s honest writing. She also confides in Elizabeth how her husband left her. Helen says her husband was in London the last time he was located. She tells Elizabeth not to tell Lucas about this news. When Lucas arrives to invite Elizabeth to dinner, she turns down the invitation. Instead, she recruits Lucas to help plan a special night in for Lee and Rosemary. Throughout the episode, Helen takes notice of Lucas’ feelings for Elizabeth.

A box for the Coulters arrives at their house. Joseph Canfield comes to help Lee bring the package into the home. During this procedure, Lee hurts his break. He is taken to the Infirmary by Rosemary, Joseph, and Jesse. At the Infirmary, Carson discovers Lee has sprained his back. He tells Lee and Rosemary how Lee will have to rest at the Infirmary until the afternoon, when Lee will be able to go home. Back at home, Lee is still in pain. He plans to take it easy by sitting on the sofa. Later that evening, Elizabeth surprises Lee and Rosemary by planning a special night in. She gives them wine and a record that have something to do with Hawaii. As they dance to the music, Lee confesses to Rosemary how he has always wanted to visit Hawaii. The next day, they discover what the box contained. While the majority of the contents consist of coffee, they also give a sombrero and poncho to Elizabeth’s son, Jack.

Old-fashioned books image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/books-seamless-pattern_1539033.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Nathan visits Bill with the intention of starting the process of Ally’s adoption. Even though Bill thinks it is a bad idea with Ally’s father in prison, Nathan explains how this is the perfect time to start the process. As Bill fills out the necessary paperwork, Nathan finds a map of Bill’s property. Bill explains how the land is for sale, as he doesn’t spend much time using it. Later in the episode, Nathan tells Elizabeth how he plans to visit Bill’s land. He also shares his desire to settle down. Before the episode ends, Nathan expresses his feelings about Bill’s property to Elizabeth, saying how it would the perfect place to build a house. Elizabeth tells him how she cares about him and is concerned about the future of their relationship. She doesn’t want to lose him like she lost her husband. Even when Nathan explains how he’d quit being a Mountie, that doesn’t dispel any of Elizabeth’s concerns. After Nathan tells her he loves her, Elizabeth rides away on her horse, Sergeant.

Toward the beginning of the episode, Fiona opens her barber shop, which is called Nichols and Dimes. She explains how she incorporated her former boss’ name into her business, as a symbolic gesture to show how she is more than just “a small spoke in a big wheel”. When she is seeking customers, Henry, Jesse, and Mike turn down the offer. As the episode progresses, Mike comes to the barber shop after he lost a bet with Jesse. As Fiona is giving Mike a haircut, she explains why she re-opened the barber shop. During this process, she accidently cuts Mike’s ear with the trimming scissors. Horrified by the ordeal, Mike rushes to the Infirmary. Later in the episode, Mike returns to the barber shop. He apologizes for abruptly leaving. Fiona tells him both of them are equally to blame. She then becomes surprised when Clara and Faith bring Jesse and Carson to get a trim.

While driving through the country roads, Joseph Canfield experiences car trouble as the car’s engine stops working. He goes to Hope Valley in search of help. When he enters town, Joseph finds Jesse and asks him for help, an offer Jesse accepts. When Jesse finishes fixing Joseph’s car, they witness Robert’s horse-riding adventure. As Robert loses control of the horse, Elizabeth chases after him while riding her own horse. When revisiting Hope Valley, Joseph expresses interest to Bill about purchasing the gas station. Joseph also shares how he’d like to call Hope Valley his home. Bill and Henry take Joseph to Henry’s house, which is currently for sale. Even though the house needs some repairs, Joseph purchases the house, claiming it will be the perfect place for his family to live. After this exchange, Henry visits the mercantile. When he discovers his letter has been returned and partially opened, Henry demands to know who is responsible. Carson, who just so happened to come to the Mercantile at that very moment, suggests Henry leave in order to prevent the conflict from escalating further. As Henry is leaving, he collapses on the stairs. While Carson reminds Henry of his troubling blood pressure, Henry tells Carson how nothing he does will ever be good enough. Carson takes Henry to the Infirmary in an attempt to resolve this issue.

Barber Shop image created by dgim-studio at freepik.com Ribbon vector created by dgim-studio – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • This episode was much stronger than the season premiere! I liked how the overall story placed more emphasis on the plots and conflicts of the characters instead of the love triangle and relationships. Within the episode, interesting storylines were either revisited or introduced. Nathan’s plan to adopt Ally is one example. After Nathan explained why he wants to adopt Ally now, I have gained an understanding for the creative team’s decision to not use Ally’s father to serve a multi-episode storyline.
  • Why is Mollie suddenly interested in Bill romantically? For seven seasons, Mollie has never expressed any desire to be in a relationship with anyone. In this episode, she seemed jealous of Helen when Mollie spotted Helen and Bill at the Saloon. To me, this part of the story feels random.
  • Similar to the previous season, there is a lot of mystery surrounding Henry’s character. Not only do we not yet know the significance of the letter, but also why Henry is suddenly interested in getting back into the petroleum business with Lucas. I hope we start receiving answers as this season continues.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Which storyline interests you the most? Tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Something’s Going On

After a year without a When Calls the Heart Christmas movie, it’s nice to see our favorite Canadian frontier show return! As I write and publish this re-cap post, it feels weird getting back to regularly talking about a television show, especially since I wrote about When Calls the Heart’s seventh season a year ago. But with the way 2020 turned out, it’s good to have something to look forward to. Based on advertisements I’ve seen, there are exciting additions to the show! One of them is the Canfield family. While they didn’t appear in the season premiere, it will be interesting to see how they get along with the other members of the town. For now, viewers can get reacquainted with returning faces and fan favorites.

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 1

Name: Open Season

Major stories:

After checking on Elizabeth and her son, Nathan discovers his brother-in-law, Dylan, has arrived in Hope Valley. When Nathan asks Dylan how he found him, Dylan shows Nathan a newspaper reporting on the Mountie who passed away at the end of season seven. All Dylan wants is a thousand dollars, threatening to make Nathan’s life miserable if he doesn’t get the money. After this confrontation, Dylan’s crosses paths with Elizabeth and Jack. Concerned for their safety, Nathan reminds Dylan to leave Hope Valley. Later in the episode, Nathan borrows the much-needed money from Lucas and plans to give it to Dylan that evening. When Bill finds out about Nathan’s plans, he insists on joining Nathan. However, Nathan feels that he must do this alone. Before he leaves Hope Valley, Nathan lets Elizabeth know he will be leaving town and that Ally is staying at Opal’s house. That night, as Nathan is riding on the trail, Dylan knocks Nathan off his horse. He steals Nathan’s rifle and the money, as well as causing Nathan’s horse to run away and beating Nathan up. The next morning, Nathan finds his horse and begins his search for Dylan. A few scenes later, Nathan finds Dylan in a nearby cabin. This was possible because Dylan left behind the newspaper he showed Nathan earlier in the episode, which listed the name of the town at the top of the front paper. Nathan also reveals he let Dylan attack him in order to provide a reason for arresting Dylan. After this explanation, some fellow Mounties appear out of nowhere to arrest Dylan and take him into custody. When Nathan returns to Hope Valley, he asks Elizabeth if she’d like to have dinner with him. As she tells him how Laura can’t take any time off to watch Jack, Nathan suggests to bring Jack with her and says he’ll bring Ally along. This dinner never happens because Elizabeth claims to not be feeling well as they are on their way to their destination.

At the beginning of the episode, Lucas visits Elizabeth and apologizes for abruptly leaving without an explanation. This event was explained in Elizabeth’s opening monologue which showed a flashback of Lucas leaving Hope Valley during Christmastime. Even though Elizabeth forgives him, Lucas tells her he’ll explain why he left when he is ready. Some time later, Lucas eventually tells Elizabeth what happened. At the end of season seven, he witnessed Elizabeth hugging Nathan. He admits he saw this embrace and became jealous. Lucas went to Louisiana to help rebuild a school that had been destroyed by a storm. He tells Elizabeth serving others allowed him to deal with his emotions. Later that day, Elizabeth tells Rosemary what Lucas told her. She also shares how she feels about Nathan and Lucas. When Rosemary asks Elizabeth if she has made a decision yet, Elizabeth quickly changes the subject. At the end of the episode, Lucas introduces Elizabeth to his mother, Helen Bouchard. This interaction makes Elizabeth feel intimidated.

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, Jesse and Clara have an argument over whether or not Clara woke Jesse up on time. This causes both of them to be in a bitter mood. Clara tells Fiona and Rosemary what happened, unsure of what to do. To take her mind off of her problems, Clara helps Fiona with a personal project. When Clara discovers Fiona purchased Hope Valley’s pre-existing barber shop, Fiona explains how this decision will help her in business. Since she is starting a barber shop with a predominantly male clientele, Fiona says most men want to talk about business. By eavesdropping on their conversations, she’ll gain some insight into the business world. Meanwhile, Jesse is dealing with his and Clara’s relationship issues by staying late at work and reading. Lee and Rosemary volunteer to help Jesse and Clara with their problem. Lee takes Jesse to the spot where Jesse and Clara shared their first kiss, with Lee reminding Jesse how love is a choice, not just a feeling. Lee also purchases a two-person bicycle, which Clara and Jesse seem to enjoy. Rosemary and Lee remind themselves how the bike will not fix all of Jesse and Clara’s problems, so they’ll be there for the younger couple if they ever need help.

Carson is concerned when he doesn’t hear anything from Faith. She hasn’t come home when she said she would, which causes Carson to worry about her. Faith does arrive in Home Valley, but she hasn’t come alone. After an unknown wagon driver gives her a lift, Faith explains to Carson how her buggy broke down along the way. The wagon driver makes Carson feel jealous. As they examine the new patient file organizational system, Faith asks Carson what the matter is. Carson tells her how he feels, saying that he was afraid they were growing apart due to her time studying medicine in Chicago. Faith tells him she only thought about him during her trip back to Hope Valley, which puts Carson at ease. Later in the episode, Carson and Faith spend some quality time together by the lake. They promise each other they’ll go to Orchestra Hall someday.

Illustrated image of bicycle created by Freepik at freepik.com. Background vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I found it interesting how Coronavirus was incorporated into the script in very subtle ways. In Elizabeth’s opening monologue, she writes how the winter has held its grip on Hope Valley. Carson tells Faith how the year had crawled by. Considering when the eighth season was filmed, it makes sense that the creative team behind the show would want to at least mention the pandemic. It was enough to address it, but not overpowering enough to turn people off from being reminded about it again.
  • Hearing about Nathan’s plans to officially adopt Ally was a pleasant surprise! I’m also happy to see Fiona start her own business! Seeing these subplots evolve over the course of this new season, as well as the conflicts that may appear, is something I’m looking forward to.
  • At best, this episode was fine. But at worst, it was a mixed bag. There were parts of the story that felt like a season premiere. Other parts seemed like they came directly from a “filler” episode. The plot involving Dylan could have easily been a multi-episode arc. Instead, the show has placed all their eggs in the love triangle/relationship basket. I hope the season gets better, but I’ll keep my expectations low.
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 the season premiere? Are you excited for the Canfield family to arrive in Hope Valley? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Willy Wonka to Receive a Prequel + Hallmark’s ‘One Winter Wedding’ will Finally Go into Production

As I said in a Word on the Street post last September, it hasn’t been easy finding movie news stories to write about these days. So, when I stumbled across this story on Twitter, I thought it would make a perfect topic for the first Word on the Street article of 2021! According to Aaron Couch from The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is creating a new film titled Wonka. The movie “hails from Paddington director Paul King and Harry Potter producer David Heyman”. Aaron also says of the script that “Simon Rich wrote the original draft, with Simon Farnaby and King penning the current draft”. As of January 2021, the film is scheduled for a March 17th, 2023 release. It is also about Willy Wonka’s life before his beloved candy factory came into the picture.

While everyone involved with this project is busy creating their next cinematic project, they are forgetting one major detail. Back in the 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka’s backstory was revealed. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience learns that Willy created his candy factory in spite of his strict father, who forbade the chocolatier from eating sweets when he was younger. Because of this, it makes Wonka seem like it is using rehashed material and trying to pass it off as new. What would have been more interesting is a movie about Ronald Dahl and how he created one of his most iconic stories.

Bakery image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/pattern”>Pattern photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Back in 2019, I mentioned that Taylor Cole announced a third film in Hallmark’s One Winter series; One Winter Wedding. However, the reality of the project seemed distant at the time. This was because two of the series’ stars, Jack Turner and Taylor Cole, were working on separate film projects. Now, two years after Taylor made the aforementioned announcement, One Winter Wedding is finally going into production! On the website for UBCP/ACTRA (Union of British Columbia Performers/Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the movie will start filming on February 1st and end on February 20th. With this production schedule, I predict One Winter Wedding will either be a Christmas film or a 2022 ‘New Year New Movies’ presentation.

Ski lodge during winter-time image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/ski-station-background_3423830.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on these movie news stories? Do you plan on seeing any of the films I mentioned? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Here are the links to the articles I referenced in my post:

https://www.ubcpactra.ca/whats-shooting/ (click on the words “Current Film and TV Production List”)