Last week, I posted the Best Actor poll for the Gold Sally Awards. But no votes were received within that week. So, I’m extending this poll from today, April 6th to April 13th. Like I’ve said before, you can vote for more than one nominee. However, you can only vote once per person. The link to the poll is listed at the bottom of the poll image.
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.
Name: Before My Very Eyes
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.
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.
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.
What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you predict will happen? Please tell me in the comment section!
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”.
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!
Here is the link to the Deadline article I referenced:
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!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: No Regrets
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.
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.
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.
What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think Ned’s medical outcome will be? Let me know in the comment section!
After a short hiatus, the Gold Sally Awards polls are back! This time, you can choose which actor was the best one out of the movies I saw in 2020! As usual, you can vote for as many nominees as you’d like. But you can only vote once per person. The poll begins today on March 29th and ends on April 5th. You can vote by clicking on the link under the poll image.
When I accepted The Sunshine Blogger Award and The Blogger Recognition Award back in February, I said I wanted to see Bai Ling join the main cast of When Calls the Heart, portraying Hope Valley’s first female Mountie. I also mentioned wanting to see this happen in my list of Hallmark’s Top 10 Missteps From the 2010s That Should Not Be Repeated. However, these explanations were brief. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Out of all the actresses you’d want to see star on one of your favorite TV shows, why Bai Ling?” Well, that is a very good question, and I’m about to give some very good answers! In this editorial, I will provide four major reasons why Bai Ling should join the main cast of When Calls the Heart. Before I thoroughly explain these reasons, I want to bring up three disclaimers. This editorial is meant to be a suggestion to the creative team of the show. So, any casting decisions are up to them. Bai’s career is her own, which means that whether or not she wants to star on When Calls the Heart is a decision only she can make. Whenever I refer to the main cast of the show, I am talking about the actors and actresses who appear in the opening sequence of each episode.
Bai Would Represent a Series of Firsts for the Show
Since 2014, many characters have come and gone throughout the overall story of When Calls the Heart. Whether these characters have made short appearances or claimed Hope Valley as their permanent residence, each individual has had an important role to play. In the seven and a half season lifespan of the show, there have been no Asian characters featured in any part of the story. Also, no female Mounties have arrived in Hope Valley or any area of Canada. Just in Hope Valley alone, several female characters have been portrayed and written as independent individuals who lead successful lives. From season six to season eight, Fiona Miller has evolved from a telephone operator to a small business owner. Though she has had her obstacles along the way, Fiona has overcome each one in order to achieve her dreams. Having a female Mountie would fit the narrative When Calls the Heart’s creative team has carried since the very beginning. As fans have heard and seen from other on-screen Mounties, this particular job has its challenges. However, I know this new character would prove that she is just as important as the others in Hope Valley!
When Lori Loughlin was removed from the cast due to her involvement in the infamous College Admissions Scandal, When Calls the Heart’s main cast was left without an actress over the age of fifty. The main cast has also not featured any actors or actresses who weren’t white. Because Bai Ling happens to be in her mid-50s, she would become the first actress over fifty to join the main cast in two years. Bai would be the first Asian cast member not only in the main cast, but in the entire show’s history as well. If Bai’s character chose to form a romantic relationship with either Bill Avery or Henry Gowan, they would become the first prominent interracial couple on When Calls the Heart. Up until this point, the show has had only one interracial couple, which were Robert’s parents. But they only made a brief appearance in the 2017 movie, When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree.
New Storytelling Opportunities
In the seven years that When Calls the Heart has stayed on the air, many stories have been included in the script. Each story has explored a different character’s background or a different component of the town. If Bai Ling were to join the main cast of the show and portray Hope Valley’s first female Mountie, that would call for a new story to be told. What would it look like to have a female Mountie in the 1910s, when female Mounties were not as common as they are now? What obstacles would this new character face? These are questions that would be answered if this story were introduced. Since When Calls the Heart has never had a female Mountie before, it would be interesting to see her dynamic among the other characters. Would she be friends with those who have appeared on the show for a long period of time or get along better with those who have been on the show for less than three years? Bai is Chinese, so the screenwriters could find ways to incorporate her culture and heritage into her character’s story. Hallmark has never acknowledged the Chinese Lunar New Year in any of their programs. Having one episode revolving around this holiday would be a good place to start.
Bai is an Underrated Actress with Years of Acting Experience
When Calls the Heart has seen many actors and actresses make their appearances on the show. Some of these actors have household names, such as Brooke Shields. Others have been underrated, like Max Lloyd-Jones. But no matter what status an actor has, the majority of the show’s actors have had at least some acting experience before they starred in an episode. For these points, I’ll bring up Jack Wagner and Pascale Hutton as examples. For thirty years, Jack starred on the soap opera, General Hospital. Within that timeframe, he gained acting experience as well as notoriety. When Jack joined When Calls the Heart’s main cast, his fanbase and notoriety grew, giving him a “standing ovation.” Before she became a series regular, Pascale was given small to supporting roles in two Hallmark productions: 2010’s A Family Thanksgiving and 2014’s Recipe for Love. After making her first appearance toward the end of the first season as Rosemary, Pascale made a household name for herself in the Hallmark community. During her time on When Calls the Heart, Pascale has starred in ten Hallmark films! On June 5th, she will star in her eleventh movie from the network, You Had Me at Aloha!
According to IMDB, Bai Ling has 132 acting credits. While I haven’t seen all of the projects listed, I have watched a few of them, with two of those projects being covered on 18 Cinema Lane (a review of The Crow and a review of an episode from the television show Homicide: Life on the Street). Out of Bai’s projects I’ve seen, two of them have been television show episodes from Homicide: Life on the Street and Lost. However, she was given guest-starring roles in those episodes, working with a limited amount of material. In an interview from 2009, Bai Ling said the following in regards to her career:
“On the other hand, there’s one thing I hope even though I’m grateful: I think other roles I have been offered are not near the level of my talent as an actress. I’m hungry for those great magical roles like Kate Winslet gets. Like my role in Red Corner. I also won an Asian Academy Award, but here, those roles don’t come along for me. I can make magic. Magic is a beautiful gift as an actress to play all these different characters. Those opportunities, I am open for.”
The creative team behind When Calls the Heart has a beautiful opportunity to grant Bai’s wishes. Placing Bai in the main cast would give her more acting material than she has received from other television shows. It would also allow her to receive the recognition she deserves.
Casting Bai Would Force Hallmark to Address Some of Their Hypocrisy
In my list of Hallmark’s Top 10 Missteps From the 2010s That Should Not Be Repeated, I brought up how Hallmark has become blatantly hypocritical since 2019. Their stance on diversity is one area where Hallmark’s hypocrisy has been obvious. Last year, George Zaralidis, Hallmark’s network program publicity vice president, said, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us.” But the network’s actions have been much louder than their words. I will bring up the Canfield family as an example for this point. Season eight has seen the introduction of the Canfield family. Now that the show is about halfway through the season, the Canfield family has appeared in less than ten scenes total. They also haven’t received a major storyline yet. When they do face a conflict, it is resolved in the episode after it was introduced. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and her love triangle have been covered for two and a half seasons. It also has been heavily promoted in the show’s marketing, even when an episode has little or nothing to do with the love triangle. On a recent cover of TV Guide, the only cast members that were featured were Erin Krakow, Chris McNally, and Kevin McGarry. The cover’s caption read “Who will Elizabeth choose? The irresistible love triangle of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart.” The Canfield family or any other character were not only absent from the cover, but they were also not referenced. Emphasizing one character or storyline is hypocritical, as it undermines the other characters and stories the show has to offer. When Calls the Heart was never meant to be about one character, but about the town as a whole. If Bai Ling were to join this show’s main cast, Hallmark would have no choice but to address some of these hypocrisies. This means When Calls the Heart’s creative team would have to give Bai a significant amount of screen-time and a significant number of lines in the script. She would also have to be significantly featured in When Calls the Heart’s marketing.
Auggie Pullman, from Wonder, once said “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” For seven years, When Calls the Heart has given many people their “standing ovations” both in front of the camera and behind it. The show’s creative team has created a place where various talents and skills are celebrated. A lifetime of stories have been told because of the show’s desire to give as many people the recognition they deserve. While a ninth season has not been announced yet, fans have already been making requests for the next season. But these requests have revolved around which suitor Elizabeth will choose. What makes my suggestion different is that it is more meaningful than Elizabeth’s decision, and that it will outlive the hype surrounding the love triangle. At the end of day, it’s about bringing a new voice and perspective to Hope Valley’s table. As I bring this editorial to a close, I have to ask: What makes Bai Ling any different from the other cast and crew members on When Calls the Heart? Doesn’t she deserve a standing ovation too?
Here are the links where quotes or information came from:
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.
Name: What the Heart Wants
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.
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.
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!
What are your thoughts on this episode? How do you think the characters will solve their problems? Let me know in the comment section!
Happy Patrick’s Day to all my readers and followers! For Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Luck O the Irish Blogathon, I wanted to choose a Hallmark movie that was either filmed in Ireland or that takes place in Ireland. Since I have seen most of the network’s films that fit this criteria, I selected the 2012 presentation, Chasing Leprechauns. Despite this being my first time seeing the movie, I am familiar with its basic premise. The inclusion of leprechauns helps the film stand out from the tried-and-true rom-coms that frequent Hallmark Channel. I also liked how a relationship wasn’t the central focus of the story. Instead, Chasing Leprechauns revolves around finding a resolution to a conflict. But will these factors equal an enjoyable movie viewing experience? Keep reading to find out if a pot of gold is waiting at the end of this review!
Things I liked the film:
The forestry: There are two scenes in Chasing Leprechauns where Ireland’s forestry was beautifully filmed! When Michael and Sarah, two of the story’s lead characters, go to the leprechaun’s forest for the first time, the grass and moss poke out through the snow. It presents an image of spring forcing itself past the wintery barrier. On the beaten path, green trees can be seen in the background, with an afternoon sunlight being cast over the forest. This particular location appears peaceful and serene. Several scenes later, Sarah and Michael spend some time at an abandoned building. While sitting around a fire, the taupe structure of the building is behind them. Green from a nearby tree peeks out of a window, with a foggy view of a field visible from these windows. The space looks haunting and secluded, which is a pleasant change in scenery for a Hallmark project!
The characters of Evelyn and Sheamus: When Michael goes to Ireland, he stays at a Bed and Breakfast run by a woman named Evelyn. Throughout the film, Evelyn has a cheerful personality. She also dreams of traveling to New York City. Hearing Evelyn share which places she’d like to visit was such a joy. I also liked seeing her positive persona! Sheamus is a frequent patron of the local pub. At first, it can be easy to write him off as a man who just likes his glass of alcohol. But when the audience learns more about him, they see Sheamus carries a lot of wisdom and helpful advice. Evelyn and Sheamus were my favorite characters in Chasing Leprechauns! Not only were they well written, but they were also well acted by their respective actor and actress, Marion O’Dwyer and Terry Byrne. I honestly wish this story had focused more on them!
What I didn’t like about the film:
No leprechauns: As I’ve said before on 18 Cinema Lane, a movie’s title partially serves as a promise to the audience. In the case of Chasing Leprechauns, that promise is featuring at least one leprechaun on screen. Despite what the title claims, there are no leprechauns in this film. Everyone in the small Irish town says there are leprechauns, even dedicating a museum to them. At various moments in the movie, squeaking noises can be heard, implying leprechauns are nearby. But never does a leprechaun show themselves to any of the characters in the story. How am I expected to care about the town’s “leprechaun problem” if the script doesn’t give me a reason to care? How am I to believe the town contains leprechauns when no evidence is provided? Chasing Leprechauns is a textbook example of why you shouldn’t just tell and not show when creating a story.
A drab looking film: Ireland is known for having beautiful landscapes that contain lush greenery and picturesque forestry. Too bad the creative team behind Chasing Leprechauns chose to film their movie in the middle of winter, when all that greenery is buried in snow. I know that snowy landscapes can be beautifully captured on film. However, the movie’s creative team appeared to not take any initiative to do so. This presents one reason why Chasing Leprechauns is such a drab looking film. The movie consistently carried dull shades of black, white, brown, and beige. Even when pops of colors did appear, such as on a scarf, those colors appeared muted. Even though I’ve never been to Ireland, I can honestly say this movie did not make the country look visually appealing.
No sense of urgency: Chasing Leprechauns is a movie where the protagonist says they are going to do something, but spends the majority of the film not doing what they said they were going to do. Though Hallmark doesn’t tell stories like this often, it is one I have grown to dislike. In this movie, Michael, our protagonist, is sent to Ireland in order to get approval for a future building project. Due to the town’s “leprechaun problem”, Michael faces an unexpected dilemma. Throughout the story, Michael spends more time experiencing Ireland than actually doing his job. It gets so bad that Michael’s boss shows up in Ireland to remind him how the trip was supposed to last two days, not two weeks.
A not so bright protagonist: Like I just mentioned, Michael spends two weeks in Ireland instead of the required two days. What is even worse is how it took Michael two weeks to solve his problems. I am aware of how some problems take longer to solve than others. But when Michael has a reputation of being his company’s “fixer”, then that should be embarrassing for him. Even though his job requires him to travel all over the world, he doesn’t take the time to learn about the countries he is visiting. As Michael and Sarah, the inspector, go to the forest where the leprechauns supposedly live, Michael suggests to call a priest and have him perform an exorcism. While Sarah calls him out for his lack of education, Michael reveals how foolish of a protagonist he is.
My overall impression:
Chasing Leprechauns wants to have its cake and eat it too. What I mean by this is the film takes itself so seriously, yet they expect their audience to suspend almost all their disbelief. When you have a story where leprechauns are involved, a sense of magic or whimsy is usually found. But Chasing Leprechauns is devoid of those things. One of the film’s biggest mistakes was not showing at least one leprechaun on screen. I haven’t seen Fairy Tale: A True Story in years. But from what I remember, there was enough whimsy and charm to make up for the lack of fairies. If the creative team behind Chasing Leprechauns knew they weren’t going to put any leprechauns in their project, this is the direction they should have chosen. The magic within that world should feel believable, helping to create a whimsical and delightful place. It could be similar to the Good Witch series, where the magic is more figurative than literal. If you’re looking for a Hallmark film set in Ireland, I’d recommend Forever in My Heart from 2019. The story is much stronger than Chasing Leprechauns’ and the film is more grounded in reality, which gives the audience a reason to take it seriously.
Overall score: 4.7 out of 10
Have you seen any Hallmark movies set in or filmed in Ireland? If so, which one did you like? Please tell me in the comment section!
In this episode of When Calls the Heart, we are introduced to two new characters; Angela Canfield and Rachel Thom. Though their lives are very different, they share one thing in common. Both young women have a mother who is protective of their daughter. From a distance, it can seem like these mothers are strict and unfair. But when we get to know these characters, we learn that their hearts are in the right places and they have the best intentions for their child. As Angela and Rachel grow up, they will want to go out into the world and have lives of their own. In this episode, we see each young woman has a talent worth pursuing. How those talents are used, nobody yet knows. Until those moments come, let’s re-cap this week’s 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.
Name: Welcome to Hope Valley
The Canfield family begins moving into their new home. In an effort to welcome them to Hope Valley, Elizabeth brings some books from the library. When Elizabeth arrives at the Canfield’s house, she meets Joseph and Minnie. She is also introduced to Cooper and Angela, who is blind. Elizabeth gives the children Call of the Wild and the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. Minnie declines Elizabeth’s invitation for Angela to come to the Jack Thornton School, as she says she’ll teach Angela at home. Later that day, Elizabeth visits Joseph at the gas station. She expresses excitement about teaching Cooper and Angela. Joseph reminds her how Minnie is protective of Angela. Elizabeth tells him that even though she isn’t certified in teaching blind children yet, she hopes to teach Angela in the near future. The next day is Cooper’s first day of school. As Cooper introduces himself to the class, the Canfield family listens through the school’s front door. As they walk home, Angela expresses interest in going to school with Cooper, as she wants to spend time with children her own age. Minnie is against the idea because she doesn’t want Angela to face prejudice like she did before. Joseph feels that this won’t happen in Hope Valley, based on how the residents have treated the family so far. Minnie then agrees to think about what Angela wants. Back at home, the Canfield family continues to unpack their wagon. During this activity, Angela climbs into the wagon in order to reach the piano. After she accomplishes her mission, she starts playing ‘Clair de Lune’. As Jesse and Elizabeth are giving Cooper a ride home, they hear the piano music. Everyone is impressed with Angela’s musical talents, especially Elizabeth. In a private conversation with Minnie, Elizabeth compares Angela’s desire to reach the piano to her desire to learn among her peers. Minnie shares how her family experienced difficult times ever since Angela was born. Elizabeth tells Minnie how she will never stop trying to help Angela and her family.
Nathan’s inquiry begins in Hope Valley. On the first day, Andrew questions Bill. Bill shares how even though he was present during last year’s prisoner transfer, he didn’t see who shot the now deceased Mountie. Andrew points out how Nathan could have shot the Mountie. The next day, Nathan is questioned by Andrew. One of the questions is about his time at Fort Clay three years ago. Bill objects to this, as he feels it does not relate to the prisoner transfer from last year. After the hearing, Bill asks Nathan what happened at Fort Clay. Nathan reveals he broke protocol by making an arrest on his own. Because Fort Clay was Jack Thornton’s last assignment, Bill asks Nathan if he knew Jack. Nathan replies by saying no. The inquiry has also been bothering Ally. During recess at school, Ally shares that Nathan was suspended after he served at Fort Clay. This causes Elizabeth to wonder if he knew her husband. On the day of the final verdict, Ally visits Nathan at the courthouse. Right before Andrew gives the final verdict, Ally enters the courthouse, confessing how Nathan is a good man. She also says his reputation is impeccable (a word she learned from Elizabeth) and how Nathan is the closest thing to a father she has. After Ally leaves, Andrew agrees to drop the inquiry. Before the end of the episode, Elizabeth apologizes to Lucas for keeping his mother’s secret from him. Lucas also apologizes for being disrespectful toward Elizabeth. After making up, they agree to have dinner together. Nathan then approaches Elizabeth, giving her an opportunity to ask about his time at Fort Clay. She asks Nathan if he ever met Jack, which he replies no. When she asks why he never shared this information with her, Nathan says he never found the opportunity to do so.
While Mike and Jesse are helping Fiona load some furniture into her barber shop, Clara gives Jesse the cold shoulder. When Fiona points out how harsh Clara is being toward Jesse, Clara reveals how she is teaching him a lesson for purchasing Lee’s motorcycle without consulting her first. Later in the episode, Jesse and Clara share an ice cream cone. When discussing finances, Clara reminds Jesse how even though Lee offered the motorcycle to Jesse for a good price, Jesse will still have to pay for repairs. Not only does Jesse agree to give the motorcycle back to Lee, but he also agrees to communicate with Clara when it comes to major purchases. Several scenes later, Fiona reveals how she is going out of town to see her family. Clara says she is seeking extra employment so she and Jesse can purchase a house someday. Fiona decides to help Clara by hiring her as a barber.
Lee’s sister, Susannah, and her daughter, Rachel, have come to Hope Valley for a visit. Even though Lee is excited to see his sister again, he and Rosemary quickly notice how Susannah is protective of Rachel. One morning, Lee, Rosemary, Susannah, Rachel, and Elizabeth have breakfast at the Queen of Hearts Saloon. When Elizabeth discovers Rachel has recently graduated high school, Elizabeth asks Rachel what her plans are for the future. Rachel says she wants to be an actress like Rosemary. Because they know how protective Susannah is, Rosemary and Lee try to dissuade Rachel from this career path. Later that day, as Lee takes the motorcycle to the lumberyard, Rosemary and Rachel go to the dress shop. While helping Mollie with a fitting, Rachel gives Mollie fashion advice that ends up improving Mollie’s look. Rosemary takes notice of Rachel’s eye for fashion and agrees to give Rachel an outfit from the store. When Rosemary and Rachel come home, Rachel models her new Freedom Alls and makeover. Susannah disapproves of this look and tells Rachel to change back into her previous outfit. Because Rosemary senses tension between Lee and Susannah, Rosemary talks a walk. When Rosemary arrives that evening, Susannah apologizes for being disrespectful toward her. She also asks if Rachel can stay with the Coulters. Even though Lee and Rosemary agree, Susannah explains how she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up in the city.
Mollie is still determined to attract Bill. When Florence questions this, Mollie says she’s in it for the long haul. In an effort to get Bill to notice her, Mollie purchases a fancy dress from Dottie’s Dress Shop. At first, she isn’t thrilled with the dress Rosemary picks out for her. Then, Rachel gives Mollie a necklace and satin ribbon sash to complete the look. These simple changes instantly cause Mollie to change her mind about the dress. That evening, Mollie goes to the Saloon, where Bill happens to be. When Mollie arrives, Bill leaves in a hurry, not noticing Mollie’s dress. Seeing Mollie’s disappointment, Florence invites Mollie to join her and Ned at their table, as they also happen to be at the Saloon. The next day, as he’s passing by Mollie in town, Bill makes a comment about Mollie’s dress. This makes Mollie feel validated.
Some thoughts to consider:
Jesse, Clara, and even Ally appear to have purchased their ice cream cones from the Mercantile. However, Opal and Hattie revealed in season five that Hope Valley had an ice cream parlor. Did these characters purchase their ice cream cones at the parlor off-screen or did the parlor close down? If the latter is the case, maybe a new character could purchase the ice cream parlor in season nine.
This episode was funnier than I expected! One of the funniest scenes was when Elizabeth is about to join Ally at the courthouse. Elizabeth tells Robert to watch the class while she is away. Robert then appears satisfied with her decision and says to himself how he’s the right man for the job.
I thought it was nice of Carson to give Faith her own doctor’s bag! This simple gesture keeps up the season’s continuity, as Faith told Carson in the previous episode how she wanted to be taken seriously as a doctor. The bag also serves as a symbol for the start of Faith’s medical career. I hope we get to see this bag in future episodes!
What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any predictions for what will happen in the next episode? Tell me in the comment section!
The Gold Sally Awards recognizes the crucial role screenwriting plays in the filmmaking process. Among the best movies I saw in 2020, you can choose which film contained the best story! Even though you can only vote once per person, you are able to vote for more than one nominee. As I’ve said before, the link to the poll is featured under the list of nominees. This poll starts today, March 15th, and ends on March 21st.