Take 3: The Lion Review

I haven’t participated in MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur since April, when I reviewed the 1966 movie, Born Free. To make up for some of that lost time, I decided to review a film for July’s event. This month, the theme isMovies of the Outdoors”. That means the majority of the film has to take place outdoors or the movie has to significantly feature nature within the story. In a search for ideas, I turned to a book that I’ve had in my possession since last year: Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies & Video Guide 1989 Edition. The pages of this text revealed a title I had never even heard of before. In 1962, 20th Century Fox released a live-action production titled The Lion. Leonard gave this project two out of four stars, saying “Beautiful scenery of Kenya is far better than melodrama about young girl attached to pet lion, with family concerned it is turning her into a savage”. With curiosity getting the better of me, I chose to seek this movie out as my contribution for July’s Genre Grandeur! But will I end up agreeing or disagreeing with Leonard? Keep reading in order to find out!

The Lion poster created by 20th Century Fox.

Things I liked about the film:

William Holden and Capucine’s banter: While The Lion is the fourth film of William Holden’s I have seen, it is also the first film of Capucine’s I have seen. Despite this, I really liked hearing the banter between their characters, Robert and Christine! After Robert arrives at the game reserve’s guest house, Christine reminds him how he is now on a game reserve. In a nonchalant manner, Robert tells her that he won’t bite the animals. In this film, there was a hint of a laid-back persona with William Holden’s character. Even though this was not Robert’s strongest character trait, William pulled it off flawlessly, making his line sound like a piece of natural conversation. Another collection of banter between these characters carried a more serious tone later in the film. When Christine questions Robert’s reason for coming to Africa, he says “I’m here, aren’t I”? In my review of The World of Suzie Wong, I said that William Holden’s performance in that movie was consistent. His and Capucine’s performance in The Lion was consistent as well, each actor delivering their lines with effective execution!

The scenery: The natural landscape of Africa is one of the reasons why I chose to watch this film. Similar to the 1966 movie, Born Free, the African fields served as the principal scenery for The Lion, almost like the landscape itself served as a character in its own right. When Robert’s plane first flies to the game reserve, an establishing shot of a massive mountain is predominantly featured in the background. It was such a beautiful piece of earth, with its white and light blue hues glistening on screen. Like Born Free, the African plains are given multiple opportunities to be featured. But in The Lion, there were other locales that were shown. When Tina, Robert and Christine’s daughter, is on her way to introduce Robert to her pet lion, King, she walks along a winding path. One part of this scene shows Tina and Robert walking past a huge waterfall. While I wish this waterfall had been shown for a longer period of time,  it highlights how there are various types of landscapes within Africa.

Pamela Franklin’s performance: I am not familiar with Pamela Franklin’s filmography. However, she gave a solid performance in The Lion! While watching her portrayal of Tina, I couldn’t help being reminded of Hayley Mills in films such as The Parent Trap. This is because, like Hayley, Pamela carried herself with confidence and a strong sense of self, especially for a young person. These qualities in character paired nicely with Tina’s headstrong personality. Pamela also brought enough emotionality to make her role sympathetic. Whenever she is instructing her per lion, King, on what she wants him to do, you can tell Tina truly cares about him. In one scene, King is leaving with a mate. As Tina is begging him to stay, desperation could be seen and heard in her eyes and voice. Everything I’ve been saying allowed Pamela to still the show!

Image of male lion created by Wirestock at freepik.com. Animals photo created by wirestock – www.freepik.com

What I didn’t like about the film:

Use of the words “wild” and “savage”: In The Lion, there are a few moments where Robert and Christine use the words “wild” or “savage” when referring to Tina’s interest in the local wildlife and African tribe. At one point, Christine fears her daughter will grow up to be “wild”. I know the ‘60s were a different time compared to the 2020s. But that is not the reason why I didn’t like the characters’ use of the words “wild” and “savage”. By them choosing those words to refer to Tina’s interests, they fail to understand the importance of these subjects. Throughout the movie, Christine, Robert, and even John worry about who Tina will grow up to be in the future. Instead, they should have taken the time to get to know her in the present. Since Tina’s passion for wildlife and her appreciation for the local African tribe is common knowledge to everyone in her life, her parents could have chosen to homeschool their daughter. Those aforementioned interests could have served as the basis for various academic subjects, with Tina’s parents guiding and protecting her along the way. Tina’s upbringing in Africa and a strong educational foundation might afford her a good chance to be accepted into a reputable university. If her parents took the initiative to nurture their daughter’s love for animals, maybe she would have become a veterinarian or operate her own wildlife sanctuary. Some people say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. However, Christine and Robert’s words fail to recognize a middle ground where all parties are satisfied.

Poor special effects: As I just said in my previous point, the ‘60s were a different time compared to the 2020s. One way this is made apparent is the quality of the technology used in cinema. Sometimes, actors will be placed in front of a green screen, in an attempt to present the illusion that the actors are in a particular location. A few scenes in The Lion showed some of the characters driving through the fields of Africa, with pre-filmed shots of this landscape shown in the background. But during these on-screen trips, a faint but visible blue glow could be seen outlining the characters. This technological error prevented me from getting fully immersed in these scenes. Toward the end of the movie, rain was shown falling in one scene. But the special effect used looked like small images of raindrops lay on top of the scene’s picture instead like looking like the raindrops were falling in that world. That also ruined the illusion of being in the movie’s space.

A drawn-out conflict: Like I already mentioned before, Tina’s parents worry about her future. The way they talk about this conflict sounded like a dire situation. But throughout the film, there was no sense of urgency to find a resolution. Instead, several scenes focus on a safari trip John leads. While I enjoyed seeing Africa’s scenery, these scenes felt like padding to make up for the main conflict being drawn-out. Another part of the story that received more attention than the main conflict was the customs and politics of the local African tribe. I will admit that this part of the script was interesting. However, it took time away from the main conflict, causing its final outcome to be stalled. Even though Tina’s parents solve their problem, the answer doesn’t feel satisfying because of how long the problem was drawn out.

Illustrated African landscape image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. Background vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com

My overall impression:

Because this month’s Genre Grandeur theme is Movies of the Outdoors”, I knew The Lion would be the perfect choice for this event. As expected, the scenery in the film presented a pleasant picture to look at. But like I quoted in my review of To Catch a Spy, “The scenery can’t save you”. That is certainly the case for the 1962 movie. The pieces of a good project were there; from the strong acting performances to interesting conflicts. But the overall direction wasn’t focused. Instead of working to find a resolution to the film’s main conflict, the story traveled down side paths. This placed more emphasis on other parts of the plot and caused the overarching narrative to be drawn-out. I was also frustrated by the lack of initiative from Tina’s parents to help their daughter reach her full potential with the resources they already had. While I understand they wanted the best for her, they never took the time to ask Tina what she wished for. Honestly, I’d recommend Born Free over The Lion. The story of the 1966 picture is not only straight forward, but its script is also stronger.

Overall score: 6.2 out of 10

Have you seen The Lion? Which “outdoor movie” would you prefer? Tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun outside!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Holly and Ivy Review

For the third year in a row, I am participating in the Christmas in July Blogathon, hosted by Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews! This time around, I went back to the Hallmark well. When I first joined the blogathon, I reviewed a Hallmark film titled Christmas Camp. If you read that article, you would know that I wasn’t a fan of it. Last year, I wrote about Little House: Bless All the Dear Children, a film that was a fine, family-friendly picture. Since I still had the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie, Holly and Ivy, on my DVR, I chose to review this title for the 2021 blogathon. In 2020, I didn’t see a lot of Christmas films from Hallmark. In fact, the only newer release I watched and/or wrote about was The Christmas Bow. Within a year, I have heard good things about Holly and Ivy, with my family sharing similar sentiments. Therefore, I figured it was time to finally check the movie out. How does it compare to The Christmas Bow? Like a child counting down to Christmas Day, you’re just going to have to wait to find out!

Holly and Ivy poster created by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Crown Media Family Networks

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: If the interactions between the characters feel like they are having real-life conversations with each other, that’s how you know the acting in a given film is good. That was certainly the case within Holly and Ivy! All of the characters got along well with one another, as they had good on-screen chemistry. It also helps that the cast as a whole was talented! I’ll be honest, I have never seen any of Janel Parrish’s projects from her filmography. However, I did see her on Dancing with the Stars. The way Janel’s character reacts to various situations came across very naturally. While Melody and her neighbor, Nina, are decorating Melody’s Christmas tree, she shares her reason for collecting elf ornaments. The tone of Melody’s voice and the look in her eyes highlights how reminiscent she is over something as small and simple as ornaments. These acting techniques helped make Janel’s performance feel believable. While we’re on the subject of Nina, let’s talk about Marisol Nichols’ performance. While portraying this character, Marisol embodied what a good mother should be. Despite dealing with her own medical issues, she always tries to take an active role in her daughters’ lives. While decorating her family’s Christmas tree, Nina reveals a special tradition that involves Nina performing a dance routine with Holly and Ivy. This scene shows how much she enjoys the life she has created for herself. While I like the performances of Sadie Coleman and Piper Rubio, the actresses who portrayed the titular characters, I want to talk about Jeremy Jordan’s performance. Similar to Janel Parrish, I am not familiar with Jeremy’s filmography. However, I still liked seeing his portrayal of Adam. His on-screen personality was easy-going and care-free. While he took his profession and hobby seriously, Adam just wanted to have a good time. When he interacted with Melody, you could tell just by watching them that these characters were made for each other. It helped that both Adam and Melody had similar personalities, but were traveling on similar paths in regards to their respective careers.

The presentation of Christmas tropes/activities: Hallmark is known for featuring a plethora of Christmas related tropes and activities within each story. But sometimes, these films are oversaturated with them, as if there is a checklist that needs to be completed. Holly and Ivy shows some Christmas related activities that have been featured in other Hallmark films. It’s the way they are included in the story that sets Holly and Ivy apart from the network’s other titles. In one scene, Melody is decorating homemade Christmas ornaments with Holly and Ivy. The purpose of showing these characters creating Christmas decorations is to give the audience some of Melody’s backstory. That small piece of information was emphasized more than the activity. This scene is an example of how there was enough presentation of Christmas tropes and activities for the viewer to get the intended point. At the same time, if you were to put this same story around any other holiday, it would still work.

An emotional balance: In films that revolve around a serious, real world topic, such as a potentially terminally ill relative, the overall tone tends to be heavy. There are times when viewers warn one another to “have a box of tissues at hand” or share that the film will “pull at your heartstrings”. While there are somber moments in Holly and Ivy, the movie itself never felt sad. In fact, feelings of sorrow and despair never crossed my mind. That’s because the script doesn’t rely too heavily on the sadder parts of the story. Instead, the creative team strives for a balance by also focusing of happier, more joyous moments. As I mentioned earlier in this review, Nina is dealing with medical issues. Even though these issues are discussed and an emergency plan is created if the worst-case scenario happens, Nina puts her energy toward helping Melody and being present in her daughters’ lives. In fact, I can think of more scenes where Nina is enjoying the company of her friends and family than worrying about her medical situation.

The 2021 Christmas in July Blogathon banner created by Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews

What I didn’t like about the film:

Adam’s conflict: It’s typical for the male and female protagonist to have their own conflicts within a Hallmark picture. However, I didn’t like Adam’s conflict in Holly and Ivy. Throughout the film, Adam’s parents wanted him to come work at the family car dealership. But Adam would rather stay a contractor and focus on his woodworking hobby on the side. This conflict reminded me of a young, college-bound adult not seeing eye-to-eye with their parents on a potential degree. Because of this, it felt a bit immature for a character that appears to be in his early 30s. One of the film’s messages and Adam’s parents’ mantra is “help where help is needed’. By being a contractor and taking up woodworking, Adam is doing exactly what his parents wanted; helping where help is needed. It baffled me how his parents failed to realize this until the end of the film.

 Chippewa Falls Library being unbelievably ill-equipped: I understand that some libraries deal with more challenges than others. But based on what the movie presented, the town of Chippewa Falls appeared to be doing just fine. There’s no evidence of the town being a predominantly low-income community or having a high crime-rate. What the characters said about the library’s issues didn’t match up with the visuals. During her time volunteering at the library, Melody comes up with several ideas in order to solve some of the library’s problems. Two of these ideas are renting out meeting rooms for events and setting up a “Mitten Tree” to collect hats and scarves for citizens in need. I can only speak from my own experience, but my local library already does these things. With that said, I find it hard to believe that the Chippewa Falls Library wouldn’t utilize these resources already.

The inclusion of Betty the dog: Holly and Ivy have a dog named Betty, who periodically appears in the film. While I don’t have anything against the dog itself, I don’t think it was necessary to include a dog in this story. Having Betty in the movie felt like she was there just for the sake of being there. If you had written the dog out of the script, I don’t think it would make a difference.

Christmas family image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nice-family-christmas-scene-singing-together_1458033.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.

My overall impression:

Like I mentioned in the introduction, this is my third year participating in the Christmas in July Blogathon. Out of the three movies I’ve reviewed, Holly and Ivy is, by far, the best one! Within the past few years, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has, in my opinion, made stronger films than their companion, Hallmark Channel. This is because Hallmark’s second network appears to try different things when it comes to storytelling. Holly and Ivy is a good example of this, as I highlighted in my review. There wasn’t a heavy emphasis on Christmas tropes/activities like in other Hallmark films. Creating a balance between the happier and sadder moments of the story also helps shape the film’s identity. I ended up liking this movie almost as much as I liked The Christmas Bow. Come to think of it, I wish Holly and Ivy was the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for 2020. This story certainly has the ingredients for that to have been a reality. But I guess that wasn’t meant to be.

Since we’re still talking about Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, it’s time for me to share who I’d invite to Drew’s Christmas party! This year, I chose John Christian Plummer! For those who are not familiar with him, John is the father of Charlie Plummer and is one of the screen-writers of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Mystery 101 series. When I look back on the celebrities that have been “invited” to Drew’s Christmas party in the past, actors and actresses made up the majority of the guests. While choosing an actor or actress as a guest is totally fine, I wanted to change things up a bit. To an extent, screen-writers are underrated, especially from Hallmark. Therefore, my invitation will, hopefully, give recognition to at least one of them. Like in 2019 and 2020, my invites are about giving “standing ovations”.

Overall score: 7.7 out of 10

What are your thoughts on Holly and Ivy? Which Hallmark movies do you wish had become Hallmark Hall of Fame titles? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at Drew’s Christmas party!

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?
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

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

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Second Chances

In When Calls the Heart’s eighth season, the storylines of Henry, Ned, and Florence share one thing in common. Not only have these characters appeared on the show since its beginning, but their stories highlight the theme of second chances. As Rosemary mentioned at the beginning of this episode, it has been years since Ned and Florence have been married. However, they have formed a romantic bond by giving each other a chance. Meanwhile, Henry has reunited with his son, Christopher. He has also come back to work at the petroleum plant. While Henry has had many ups and down throughout his story, it’s been nice to see Henry grow as a character and watch his journey progress. In fact, Henry’s story has been one of the best this season! As of mid-April 2021, there have been no official announcements of a ninth season. However, if When Calls the Heart did receive another season, it would be interesting to see where Henry’s story goes. For now, though, let’s begin this week’s re-cap!

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: 9

Name: Pre-Wedding Jitters

Major stories:

One morning, Rosemary shares with Elizabeth how she is having difficulty finding the right wedding dress for Florence. During this conversation, Elizabeth tells Rosemary what Nathan told her at Bill’s send-off celebration. When Elizabeth asks Rosemary what might have caused Nathan to withhold this information, Rosemary suggests that maybe the information itself isn’t as important to him as it is to Elizabeth. Offended, Elizabeth asks Rosemary why she would say that, with Rosemary telling Elizabeth she was only being honest. In town, Elizabeth notices Ally leaving the saloon. Ally reveals that she had a conversation with Lucas, which was shown in a previous scene. She tells Elizabeth that Nathan and Lucas plan to sort things out. When Lucas visits Elizabeth at the school, she tells him what Nathan told her at Bill’s send-off. Lucas asks if he should talk to Nathan, but Elizabeth refuses the offer. Later in the episode, Elizabeth visits Nathan at his office. When she asks him why he waited so long to tell her about his Fort Clay secret, he says that he felt guilty about what happened to Jack. This caused Nathan to ask for a transfer to Hope Valley, in order to protect Elizabeth and her son. Nathan also tells Elizabeth that he still loves her. Things between Elizabeth and Nathan become even more awkward at Florence’s bachelorette party. During a game Fiona introduces, Elizabeth is blindfolded and asked to identify her true love by holding hands with each male participant. When Elizabeth reaches Nathan, she assumes it is Lucas. She is shocked and embarrassed by her decision. The next day, she apologizes to Lucas for her mistake, with Lucas expressing no hurt feelings. Toward the end of the episode, Rosemary pays her a visit. After learning that Rosemary and Nathan were at the library, Elizabeth asks Rosemary if she said anything to Nathan to keep him interested in Elizabeth. Before Rosemary leaves, she tells Elizabeth she should seek out the truth of what she really said.

Florence’s bachelorette party and Ned’s bachelor party are just around the corner. As soon as Fiona arrives in Hope Valley, she agrees to help Florence fix her hair for the event. While Rosemary and Mollie help Florence choose a wedding dress, Minnie and Clara make baked goods for the party guests. Meanwhile, some of Ned’s friends convince Ned to host a bachelor party. But Ned is not invested in the idea like his friends are. After paying a visit to the dress shop, Clara comes back to the café to discover Mike and Jesse eating near the baked goods. Thinking they were eating the food for the party, Clara yells at Jesse and Mike to stop eating the food. Jesse shares that they were actually eating quiche. Throughout the episode, Bill is still trying to figure out who stole the car from this season’s seventh episode. Ned’s bachelor party turns out to be just as uneventful as Jesse’s bachelor party from last season. After Ned makes a comment about his hair, Bill makes a discovery in relation to the stolen car. With Ned’s help, Bill finds a shoe print inside the car’s removeable hood. During the evening, Lucas tells Henry that he hired Christopher to the petroleum plant in order to keep an eye on Henry. Upset by this news, Henry tells Lucas not to let Christopher know that he now knows this news. Despite these interruptions, the guests decide to combine their parties, just like Jesse and Clara’s party last season. They end up having a better time than when the parties were separate. Clara also apologizes to Jesse for yelling at him earlier, with Jesse forgiving her.

Baking essentials image created by Olga_spb at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-with-elements-of-the-bakery_903718.htm’>Designed by Olga_spb</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Olga_spb – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Toward the beginning of the episode, Christopher reveals to Henry that the stolen car from this season’s seventh episode was actually stolen by one of Christopher’s friends. Christopher says that even though he only borrowed the car, he plans on leaving that life behind. When Christopher shares that Rachel was the reason for this change, Henry tells his son how Abigail was one of the few people who gave him a second chance. Later in the episode, Christopher asks Henry what happened to Abigail. Henry says she left town to take care of her mother. After the bachelor and bachelorette party, Bill shares the discovery of the shoe print. Henry tells him he will help with the case. Instead, Henry burns Christopher’s shoes. Before this happens, Henry says goodbye to Christopher as he leaves for Bellingham in search of Rachel.

At the café, Clara tells Lee that Joseph has become Hope Valley’s official pastor. She also tells Lee that Joseph is preparing to officiate Ned and Florence’s wedding. After hearing this news, Lee pays Joseph a visit at his home. Even though he notices surveyors on Joseph’s property, Lee doesn’t think much of it because he joins Joseph on a out of town trip. The purpose of this trip is to pick up a church bell from a neighboring town. When explaining to Lee, on this trip, why he chose to become the pastor, Joseph explains that he had to think about what was best for his family. Meanwhile, Carson shares with Faith that he has accepted the John Hopkins offer. This brings Faith and Carson at a crossroads, as they don’t know how to find a resolution to their problem. They talk about this some more at Ned and Florence’s party. Carson suggests he and Faith should get married. While he says they can wait to get married, they do plan to work things out.

Detective work image created by Photoroyalty at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/investigation-background-design_1041877.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Photoroyalty – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Ever since Jack passed away, I noticed how Elizabeth has become more unlikable as the show has progressed. In this episode, Elizabeth came across as selfish. The way she talked to Rosemary was, in my opinion, uncalled for, as Rosemary did nothing wrong. If When Calls the Heart receives a ninth season and Elizabeth continues to behave this way, I feel the show will lose a certain amount of viewership.
  • This episode felt like there was context missing, like parts of the story were unintentionally cut out of the show. Joseph’s decision to become a pastor is one example. He had been contemplating this new job opportunity for several episodes. But his final decision seemed to come out of the blue. The audience doesn’t get to witness why and how Joseph came to this decision.
  • On Crown Media Family Network’s website, I saw some promotional photos for the next episode. In at least one of the pictures, the décor at the church looks fall/autumn themed. At the beginning of the season, Elizabeth said that spring had arrived in Hope Valley. With everything said, I find this to be confusing.
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? Are you looking forward to Florence and Ned’s wedding? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: You Are Not Alone

In this episode of When Calls the Heart, Angela changes her mind about learning Braille. She explains to Elizabeth that when she plays the piano, she can go wherever she wants in her imagination and she doesn’t feel alone. Angela hopes that if she learns Braille, she will continue to not feel alone. Though Hope Valley is a small town, there are many people who call it their home. Everyone’s home life is different, with some residents living by themselves. However, no one in this town is ever alone. Whenever someone is in need, neighbors help one another. Friends visit each other and are free to go wherever they please. Even when a resident leaves Hope Valley, they sometimes find a way back home. A network of people exists on this show, connected to each other to some extent. Because of the show itself, a network of fans exists as well. Speaking of fans, it’s time to start this re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 8

Name: A Parade and a Charade

Major stories:

Elizabeth approaches Nathan to discuss the awkward situation that took place at Ally’s adoption ceremony. They barely have time to discuss it because Nathan has to return a prisoner to prison. Elizabeth then visits Lucas at his office to tell him what happened at Ally’s adoption ceremony. But as she’s starting the conversation, Lucas receives an important phone call about a painting for his parents. He says he’ll talk about it at dinner later that day. After she helps Angela learn seven Braille letters, Elizabeth witnesses Christopher running out of Henry’s office in search of Carson’s help. She learns that Henry’s blood pressure has risen. That night, Elizabeth visits Lucas at his office again to let him know that Henry is doing better after receiving medical help. Because of everything that happened that afternoon, Lucas forgot about their planned dinner. To make up for that, Elizabeth suggests she sit with Lucas in his office. Even though she sits with Lucas for a short amount of time, they do hold hands and almost share a kiss. The next day, Elizabeth talks with Ally after school about what happened at her adoption ceremony. Ally says that she and Nathan talked about it, giving Elizabeth a replacement invitation to make up for the event’s awkwardness. However, this invitation is for Elizabeth to join Nathan and Ally for dinner. Elizabeth then tells Ally how she is currently seeing Lucas. This makes Ally upset and causes her to tear up the invitation and leave. At Bill’s send-off celebration, Elizabeth demands to speak with Nathan. During this heated conversation, Nathan reveals that at Fort Clay, he was originally supposed to lead the training mission. But, due to a disciplinary action, Jack took his place.

 Bill is still upset about having to turn in his Mountie uniform. He tells Lee at the café how it doesn’t feel celebratory. Other residents of Hope Valley become aware of Bill’s sentiments. Carson tells Mollie about what Bill is going through when Carson brings his lumber order to the Infirmary. Lucas even takes notice of Bill’s demeanor when he sees Bill serving customers on the café’s porch. As Bill is getting ready to leave in order to return his uniform, Mollie reminds him how important he is. She also encourages him to put his uniform on, as she brings up the fact that no one in Hope Valley has seen Bill wear his uniform. After Bill puts on his uniform, he discovers a band playing outside the Mountie office. The majority of Hope Valley is waiting to send Bill off, cheering him on as he takes one final ride in his uniform. Even though he reminds everyone he is returning to town, he still gets his picture taken.

Mountie face image created by Bakar015 at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/a-set-of-canada-icons_1050671.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Bakar015 – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Christopher visits Rachel at the dress shop. Their original plan was to spend some time alone. But because Rosemary happens to be at there, Rachel and Christopher change their plans. Later that day, Christopher visits Rachel at the dress shop again. Rachel tells Christopher he can’t stay for long because Rosemary and Lee are right across the street. During their interaction, Rachel tells Christopher she saw him pick-pocket Lee’s pocket-watch and hasn’t said anything about it. She also kisses Christopher on the cheek. When Christopher visits Henry at his office, he discovers his father isn’t feeling well. Immediately, Christopher runs to the Infirmary for Carson’s help. During this ordeal, Faith explains to Christopher that his father has had high blood pressure for quite some time. That night, Carson and Henry share dinner at the café. Henry thanks Carson for helping him and reveals how Christopher called him “dad” instead of “Henry”. Meanwhile, Christopher and Rachel are sitting outside. Christopher feels bad that he isn’t having dinner with his father. Rachel reminds Christopher that he’s afraid to get close to the people he cares about. After this statement is made, Christopher and Rachel share a kiss. The next day, Rachel leaves Hope Valley to spend her birthday with her family in Bellingham. Before Lee and Rosemary take Rachel to the train station, Lee tells Rosemary he found his missing pocket-watch under the car seat. Rosemary also shares with Lee that Dottie is not planning on selling the dress shop, for now. After Lee, Rosemary, and Rachel leave, Christopher visits the dress shop. But when he arrives, he discovers the front door is locked.

Carson plans on expanding the Infirmary. He purchases a large order of lumber in order to build a separate operating and recovery room. But, as the episode progresses, Carson ends up changing his mind. After helping Henry with his medical emergency and operating on Ned, Carson realizes what he must do. Toward the end of the episode, Carson tells Faith how he isn’t going to expand the Infirmary. He also reveals how he is reconsidering the John Hopkins offer. This concerns Faith because she was considering staying in Hope Valley. Carson and Faith are not on the same page like they originally thought.

Ned goes back to working at the Mercantile. But he’s not working, as Florence is temporarily running the store. Also, Robert is temporarily working as the Mercantile’s mail delivery service. These changes frustrate Ned because he doesn’t feel like he’s making a contribution. As the episode goes on, Ned tells Florence exactly how he feels. Florence apologizes and says that she was only trying to help. Their part of the story ends with them holding hands.

Canada postage stamp image created by Ibrandify at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/canadian-flag-stamp-template_836872.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/template”>Template vector created by Ibrandify – Freepik.com</a> Image found at freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • As good as this season has been so far, I don’t like how several storylines have been dragging on longer than necessary. One example is Rosemary trying to figure out what her next occupational step should be. This is episode eight and we still haven’t seen Rosemary make a decision. I understand choices like Rosemary’s take time and stories have to be told in a certain amount of episodes. But because some of these stories have been drawn out, it makes them feel like they are at a standstill.
  • I’m glad to see Christopher return Lee’s pocket-watch, even if was anonymously. Small steps like this one show he is growing up and changing his ways. Even though we only have a few episodes left until the end of the season, I hope we get to see Christopher’s growth as a character.
  • I found this episode’s title to be somewhat misleading, as there was no parade. Technically, Bill paraded out of Hope Valley. But there were no parades in the traditional sense. There has been a parade in Hope Valley before. However, it took place during one of the Christmas movies.
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? Are you looking forward to the next one? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: For the Longest Time

There have been some storylines on When Calls the Heart that have lasted a long time. Some of these stretches of time were justified, such as the conflict with the train depot. Other storylines could have taken place in a short amount of time, like Elizabeth’s love triangle. But the one thing these storylines share is how they have been allowed to travel at their own pace. They all contain a beginning, middle, and end, each one dealing with their own unique issues and conflicts. Characters may vary and situations change from season to season. But an answer, more often than not, is found. Sometimes, it’s exactly what a character wanted, like Elizabeth getting a library in season six. But there are times when characters receive something completely different, but in a good way. Speaking of good ways, 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 may be spoilers within this re-cap.

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

Season: 8

Episode: 7

Name: Before My Very Eyes

Major stories:

Ned is still unconscious after falling in front of the Mercantile. Carson feels they should have taken Ned to the hospital, but Faith tells him Ned wouldn’t have made the trip. Despite not having a diagnosis, Carson decides to operate on Ned. Before Ned enters surgery, he asks Florence to marry him. Florence says yes, even though she is still concerned about his final outcome. The next day, as Elizabeth is passing by the Infirmary, Carson reveals how he tried the best he could, but still doesn’t know if Ned will make it. After noticing Ned’s jaundice and his shallow breathing, Carson decides to operate on Ned again. This situation has taken its toll on Florence. She volunteers to run the Mercantile and operate the phone board. When Elizabeth visits the Mercantile and discovers Florence struggling to hold down the fort, Elizabeth suggests Florence should take some time off in order to rest. But after two days of worrying, Ned begins to recover. He asks Florence if he asked her to marry him before he had his surgeries. When Florence tells him yes, Ned appears satisfied with his decision.

At the saloon, Bill gives Nathan the final adoption papers for him to sign. Bill also reveals he will pay for the adoption fees. To commemorate this milestone, Nathan plans to host an adoption party. Later in the episode, he asks Elizabeth if she would like to attend. Even though Elizabeth agrees to go, Ally doesn’t want Elizabeth to show up. She not only thinks Elizabeth will bring Lucas, but she’d also rather see Elizabeth with Nathan. Nathan tells Ally the most important thing is to see the people you care about happy. On the day of the adoption party, Lucas gives Elizabeth a gift to give Nathan and Ally. When Lucas points out Elizabeth’s unwillingness to express displays of affection, Elizabeth agrees to hold hands with Lucas as they walk to her house. At the adoption party, Elizabeth discovers the only attendants are Bill, Nathan, Ally, and herself.

Heart image created by Dashu83 at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image 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:

Christopher wants to follow in Henry’s footsteps and work in the oil industry. But Henry doesn’t want his son to grow up to be like him. When Christopher is late for breakfast, Henry says that no matter what his mother and Jerry, Christopher’s stepfather, has told him, he has to be on time while he is living in Hope Valley and working with his father. At the petroleum plant, Christopher is surprised by how little time Henry spends in the office. He thinks he will gain wealth by working in the oil industry. But Lucas reveals to Christopher how Hope Valley’s petroleum plant isn’t doing as well as expected. After Christopher meets Mike in Henry’s office, Mike wants to talk with Henry in private. However, Henry says he’ll talk with Mike at another time. Lucas hears of Lee’s missing pocket-watch. When he asks Christopher about the pocket-watch’s whereabouts, Christopher lies and says he doesn’t know where it is. The next day, a car is towed into Hope Valley. Nathan shares with Elizabeth how the car was reported stolen. This car is the same one Christopher parked in the forest in the previous episode.

Clara and Jesse are still spending time apart. On the night of Ned’s first surgery, Jesse attends the prayer vigil Joseph organized. When Elizabeth tells Clara about Jesse’s whereabouts the next day, Clara finds this odd, as she reveals how Jesse is not a religious man. Jesse visits the café later in the episode. Even though Clara is cordial toward him, she thought the interaction with her husband would be different. Clara then visits Joseph at his house. As she is desperate for advice, Joseph tells her to invite Jesse back home. He says that it’s important for her and Jesse to spend time together, advising her to address their issues later. However, this advice is easier said than done. When Jesse visits Clara at the dress shop, they get into an argument about the length of Clara’s skirt. Meanwhile, Minnie finds Joseph praying in the church. She asks him if he is considering becoming the town’s pastor. Joseph considers passing on the opportunity because of how he was treated differently in Fall River. He also points out how the church doesn’t have a pulpit or a bell. Minnie tells him that his decision will not only be important for him, but also for their family.

Small, western town image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the beginning of the episode, Henry and Christopher enter the saloon in order to escape the rain. Henry could be seen laughing and smiling with his son. This is the first time I have seen Henry smile in a long time. I hope When Calls the Heart features more moments where Henry gets to smile.
  • I’m glad Ned was able to overcome his medical challenges. It’s also nice to see Ned and Florence get engaged. All I ask is for the show’s creative team to keep their promises to their fans. What I mean is if Florence and Ned say they want an outdoor wedding, give them an outdoor wedding and feature it on the show.
  • In one of my re-cap posts, I brought up a theory of Jack possibly returning to Hope Valley after his identity was mistaken and he experienced amnesia. After seeing the preview for the next episode, I speculate that this might be the case. In season eight alone, Jack has been brought up more than the previous two seasons combined. If everything is a coincidence, then nothing is a coincidence.
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What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you predict will happen? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Shape of Things to Come

A few days ago, I published an editorial explaining why Bai Ling should join the main cast of When Calls the Heart. This editorial was written as a suggestion for the show’s possible next season. However, that article has received very few views. I also reached out to Brian Bird, one of the show’s executive producers, on Instagram and Twitter, in an effort to give him my suggestion for the ninth season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t responded to my social media posts. I’m not going to lie; I was disappointed when my article didn’t gain much engagement from readers. For a show that claims it is interactive with fans online, I, as a fan, felt ignored and unheard. So, I’m bringing up my editorial in the introduction of this week’s re-cap for more awareness to be brought to it. I will provide the link in this re-cap if you are interested in reading my article. Hopefully, more fans and even people from the show can hear what I have to say and give my suggestion some consideration. Until that happens, let’s start this week’s re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

Why Bai Ling Should Join the Main Cast 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: 6

Name: No Regrets

Major stories:

After finishing Helen’s edits on her manuscript one morning, Elizabeth receives an invitation from Lucas. This invitation announces an upcoming private picnic for the two of them. On her way to the date, Elizabeth visits Rosemary. Rosemary expresses excitement for Elizabeth’s date. Elizabeth is curious about what Rosemary’s next step in her career will be. When Elizabeth arrives on her date, she meets Lucas by the river. Though the sky is cloudy, Lucas and Elizabeth enjoy a nice gourmet picnic. They discuss Elizabeth’s manuscript, when, all of a sudden, it starts to rain. Lucas and Elizabeth go to Lucas’ car to stay dry. While in the car, they are about to share a kiss. But before they kiss, Elizabeth stops and says she isn’t ready. The next day, Elizabeth visits the Mercantile. She not only receives more edits from Helen, she also receives a package from her sister, Julie. Elizabeth goes to the Canfield family’s home to give Minnie and Angela the package. This package contains a book written in Braille. Minnie reveals that her family tried to acquire Braille written books for Angela back when they lived in a town called Jameson. However, the Canfield family was denied these books. Elizabeth promises to give Angela more Braille written books and teach her how to read them.

Because Ned is still experiencing stomach troubles, Florence gives him a family remedy. Since she is concerned for Ned, Florence approaches Carson and asks if he can help Ned. Even though Carson is about to help Angela, who has a minor knee injury, he does promise to give Ned an evaluation. Within this episode, Carson continues to contemplate the offer he was given in the previous episode. Faith worries that if Carson doesn’t accept the offer, he will regret his decision. Carson tells her he has everything he needs in Hope Valley. Later in the episode, Carson makes the decision to not accept the John Hopkins offer. Faith feels he is making a mistake. At the barber shop, Faith shares with Clara how she feels her relationship with Carson is traveling on a rocky road. Meanwhile, Florence gives Ned an early birthday present. Even though it is the wrong gift, Ned loves the beekeeper suit. When he asks how she knew he was interested in beekeeping, Florence reveals how she’s interested in him. As they hold hands and are about to kiss, the bell on the door rings, indicating an incoming customer. Later that day, Ned leaves the Mercantile to show off his beekeeping suit. Suddenly, Ned falls down the stairs, appearing to be unconscious. Carson rushes to Ned after witnessing the fall.

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Minor stories:

While Joseph is preparing to build a swing, Cooper is pushing Angela on another swing that is connected to a nearby tree. All of a sudden, Angela falls off of the swing. Joseph and Cooper go to inform Carson of what happened. At the Infirmary, Carson discovers that Angela has a minor knee injury. However, this concerns Minnie of what could have happened. After finding her husband praying out loud in the forest, Minnie expresses her doubts to Joseph about working with Elizabeth. Joseph reassures Minnie that Elizabeth seems trustworthy. Jesse visits the Canfield family to help Joseph build the swing. During this project, Joseph hears about Jesse’s marital issues. He gives Jesse advice by comparing marriage to the swing they are building. Joseph says Jesse and Clara represent each leg of the swing. He also says God represents the post that holds the swing up.

Since Fiona is still out of town, Clara is working at the barber shop. One day, Mike visits the barber shop announcing he received a two dollar raise. He plans on using the two dollars to bribe Clara into giving him a haircut that day, on Ladies’ Day. This plan fails, as Clara gives Mike his two dollars back. The next day, Mollie receives a package from the Mercantile. She immediately rushes to the barber shop to reveal she purchased hair extensions and how she’d like Clara to apply them immediately. Because this emergency appointment takes place during Mike’s appointment, Clara tells him to come to the barber shop in the afternoon, with the price now at half-off. When Mike arrives at his newly scheduled appointment, Clara tells him the haircut is on the house. After Mike expresses his satisfaction over Clara’s haircutting work, Clara considers working full-time at the barber shop.

A man named Christopher Hughes arrives in Hope Valley. After pick-pocketing Lee’s watch, Christopher takes notice of Rachel in the dress shop window. He stays by the window in order to avoid Henry, as he is passing through town. However, when Christopher tries to enter Henry’s office, he discovers the door is locked. At the saloon, Christopher sits at Henry’s table. Henry not only recognizes Christopher, but he also asks Christopher to leave Hope Valley. Christopher then meets Rosemary and Lee, who also happen to be at the saloon. The next day, Christopher visits Henry at the petroleum plant. He points out how Henry’s name is associated with the business, even though he doesn’t work for the plant anymore. Christopher asks Henry what he has learned over the years. In an emotional monologue, Henry reveals how he has hurt many people and no matter what he does, there will always be broken pieces. On his way out of Hope Valley, Christopher decides to park his car and walk back to town. When Rachel notices Christopher’s return, Christopher considers staying in Hope Valley. He also addresses Henry with the prospect of getting reacquainted. When Elizabeth approaches, Henry introduces Christopher as his son.

While making breakfast one morning, Rosemary discovers who tried to buy Dottie’s Dress Shop. Lee reveals how he negotiated with Dottie in an attempt to buy the dress shop for Rosemary. Appearing upset, Rosemary tells Lee to leave the house. Later in the episode, Lee tells Rosemary how he thought he was doing something nice for his wife. But then he realizes that Rosemary wouldn’t want to buy her way to success, but earn it instead. With that, Rosemary turns down the offer to purchase the dress shop. In her free time, Rosemary tries to come up with a list of potential career options. But she ends up thinking of nothing. The next day, Elizabeth and Rosemary talk about Elizabeth’s date and Rosemary’s future. Rosemary tells Elizabeth that even though she has enjoyed working at the dress shop, her mind has changed, like fashion. She says she looks forward to whatever comes her way.

Sewing pattern image created by Nenilkime at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Nenilkime – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/sewing-color-background_1380853.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Out of all the times Martin Cummins, the actor who portrays Henry Gowan, has appeared on this show, his monologue at the petroleum plant was one of his best scenes! Henry truly appeared wrought with anger and frustration. With the tone of his voice and the amount of emotion in his words, you could tell Henry was hurting.  It helps Martin was very expressive in this scene and came across as believable!
  • As I said in this re-cap, Florence claims she gave Ned the wrong present. However, this does not make sense. If Florence knew enough about Ned to purchase a beekeeping outfit, how is that not a good gift? It makes me wonder what she originally planned to get him.
  • After hearing Joseph’s advice to Jesse and seeing him praying in the forest, I wonder if Joseph will consider becoming Hope Valley’s next pastor? This episode was one of the more faith-based stories I’ve seen in quite some time. It should also be noted that Hope Valley hasn’t had a pastor since season three or four.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think Ned’s medical outcome will be? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Hope Valley, We Have a Problem

Over the course of seven and a half seasons, the residents of Hope Valley have experienced a plethora of problems. Some of these problems have been dire, like Henry’s blood pressure or troubles at the bank. Others might be minor and require less than a day to solve. This season of When Calls the Heart has seen all sorts of problems. However, what matters most is how those problems are solved. There have been times when the whole town had to pitch in and help, like when there was a fire at the church shortly before Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding. But sometimes it takes only one person to find a solution to a conflict. Not matter what the residents of Hope Valley face, they always find the answers they are looking for. Let’s see if they solve their problems in 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: 5

Name: What the Heart Wants

Major stories:

As the school year comes to a close, Elizabeth and her students prepare for the upcoming graduation and moving up ceremony. Elizabeth is also preparing for the Parent Teacher Conferences. Later that day, Elizabeth meets with Joseph and Minnie during the Conference. Despite spending a short amount of time at the Jack Thornton School, Cooper has been earning good grades and doing well among his peers. After their meeting, Elizabeth invites Minnie and Joseph to the graduation and moving up ceremony. Even though they agree to go, Minnie seems hesitant to attend. When the conferences are over, Elizabeth realizes Nathan hasn’t shown up. So, she sends him a note telling him to come to her house. That night, Nathan arrives at Elizabeth’s house, saying his and Ally’s fishing trip is the reason why he didn’t come to the Parent Teacher Conferences. Elizabeth tells him Ally received straight As on her final report card, but her math grades are the most impressive. Because of this, Elizabeth recommends placing Ally in an accelerated math program. She also points out how the inquiry caused Ally to lose concentration on her studies. Nathan apologizes for the effects of the inquiry and for not attending the Parent Teacher Conferences. He tells Elizabeth he’ll think about the accelerated math program. Later in the episode, Elizabeth goes to Dottie’s Dress Shop for a fitting. While there, she shows Rosemary the dress she plans on wearing for her date with Lucas. Rosemary is impressed with the dress and agrees with Elizabeth’s choice.

The next day, before the graduation and moving up ceremony, Lucas takes Elizabeth horse riding. However, this ride is short due to Elizabeth needing to prepare for her event. When they visit a bridge in the forest, Elizabeth invites Lucas to the ceremony. Lucas declines, as he doesn’t want to make things awkward for Nathan and Ally. At the ceremony, Elizabeth is surprised by a song the students performed in her honor. She’s also surprised by the arrival of a Valley school board member. He wants the Jack Thornton School to join the district and reminds her how she’s not certified to teach disabled students. Elizabeth stands up for herself by telling him the Jack Thornton School is independent and how she will try her best to teach all her students, no matter their abilities. Because she was impressed with the ceremony, Minnie agrees to work with Elizabeth, as she plans on sending Angela to school with her brother. Nathan and Ally also agree to the accelerated math program, even though Ally doesn’t seem too happy about it. The episode ends with Elizabeth having dinner at home with Lucas, due to her desire to stay close to her son. They agree to slowly start a relationship and proceed to hold hands.

After Rachel’s first successful sale at the dress shop, Rosemary is impressed with how well Rachel is adapting to her new life in Hope Valley. But after receiving a letter that says Dottie might sell the dress shop, that happiness is shattered. The news causes Rachel to take a walk and Rosemary to contemplate her future. When Lee visits the dress shop, Rosemary tells him the news. Lee isn’t too worried, as he thinks everything will work out for the better. This troubles Rosemary, with her believing Lee doesn’t understand what she’s going through. Rosemary and Rachel are not the only ones troubled by the news. Clara is concerned about her future income. She’s not only stressed about her temporary position at Nichols and Dime, but she also accepts more hours at Abigail’s Café. At the café, Bill brings up the idea of buying out Abigail to gain more ownership of the café. He asks Clara and Jesse if they would also like to buy out Abigail, but they decline the offer. That night, Clara makes the discovery that all the money in their bank account is missing. When she addresses this to Jesse, he reveals how he gave all their money to an investment that didn’t work out. In anger and frustration, Clara kicks Jesse out of their house. Meanwhile, Rosemary and Lee realize Rachel hasn’t returned from her walk. So, they take a drive in order to look for her. When they arrive at the forest, they find Rachel wandering through the woods. Before they go home, Rachel says she lost her way.

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:

When Lucas crosses paths with Henry, Henry expresses interest in wanting to work with Lucas at the petroleum oil plant again. Because of this, Lucas gives Henry his old office key. Later in the episode, Henry discovers his office is dusty, as it hasn’t been utilized in a long time. Henry is not the only Hope Valley resident to experience good occupational news. Early in the episode, Carson receives a letter from a surgeon he worked alongside in Union City. Though he doesn’t say what’s in the letter at first, Faith eventually puts the pieces together. Carson is invited to become a resident surgeon at John Hopkins. Despite Carson’s concerns about the future of their relationship, Faith encourages him to consider the invitation. Meanwhile, Ned experiences stomach troubles. Even though Florence and Carson insist that Ned accept medical treatment, Ned refuses. Florence expresses her concerns for Ned, which cause her to place her hand over Ned’s hand. Because Carson and Faith walked into the Mercantile at that moment, Ned suggests putting a bell on the door to let Ned and Florence know if customers are coming in.

Colorful image of key created by orchidart at freepik.com. Flower vector created by orchidart – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • During Elizabeth’s fitting at the dress shop, Rosemary thinks about her future employment options. She tells Elizabeth she wants to do something she loves while also making a difference. This makes me wonder if Rosemary will finally get her long-awaited theater? She could lead acting classes as well as directing plays. The theater could also be a place where families can spend some quality time together.
  • Ever since When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas, I have felt there are too many continuous storylines on the show. This episode serves as a perfect example, as new pieces of different stories were introduced. None of these stories were resolved at the end of the episode, with the conflict of Angela’s education being resolved way too quickly. Having so many storylines make the overall show feel bloated. The creative team needs to have a better handle on which storylines can be covered over several episodes and which ones should be resolved in one episode.
  • As I mentioned in my re-cap, Lee doesn’t seem too worried about the future of Dottie’s Dress Shop. Because of his demeanor, I wonder if Lee is planning on purchasing the dress shop for Rosemary? That could mean the dress shop would be Rosemary’s, with the name of the business making a change to Rosemary’s Dress Shop. It would also mean Rosemary would become the next small business owner of Hope Valley!
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What are your thoughts on this episode? How do you think the characters will solve their problems? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen