Take 3: The Karate Kid Part II Review (Olympic Dreams Double Feature Part 2)

Now that I’ve seen 1984’s The Karate Kid, it’s time for me to review its respective sequel; The Karate Kid Part II! Long before I even thought about starting a movie blog, I had only seen a snippet of this film. Like I said before, I am willing to give a chance to movies I haven’t watched in their entirety. Because of that and because the majority of The Karate Kid Part II takes place in Japan, which has hosted the Olympics four times, my blogathon became a good excuse for checking this sequel out! Sequels, like any type of film, can be hit or miss. There are times when the next chapter can allow the overall story to “go the distance”; expanding the narrative and bringing something new to the table. Meanwhile, there are sequels that waste their potential by trying to recapture the magic of the previous installment. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the creative team and their intention for creating another film. If you want to know what type of sequel The Karate Kid Part II is, you’ll just have to keep reading this review!

Because I had The Karate Kid Part II on my DVR since last year, I decided to use a screenshot of the movie’s poster from my television. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Things I liked about the film:

More focus on Mr. Miyagi: The first film was about Daniel’s personal journey; hence the film being titled The Karate Kid. While the majority of the movie revolved around the protagonist, we get to learn about Mr. Miyagi through his interactions with Daniel. But only parts of Mr. Miyagi’s backstory are revealed in these interactions. The Karate Kid Part II places more emphasis on Mr. Miyagi’s story. As I mentioned in the introduction, the sequel takes place in Japan, where Mr. Miyagi is originally from. However, the audience also witnesses people from Mr. Miyagi’s past interacting with him. The reason for the sequel primarily taking place in Japan is because Mr. Miyagi receives a letter from his former love interest, Yukie, about his father’s ill-health. By crossing paths with Yukie again, Mr. Miyagi is given the opportunity to reflect on past life choices. He also has to deal with the ramifications those choices had created. This new direction in the overall story shows that even though Mr. Miyagi is a good teacher with plenty of wisdom to share, he is still a human who, like Daniel, is constantly learning.

Interactions among the characters:  In my review for The Karate Kid, I talked about how the interactions among the characters were one of the strongest parts of that film. The sequel has the same strength as its predecessor, which provides consistency to the overall story! Having Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita reprise their roles helps maintain this consistency, as both actors are now familiar with each other’s talents. One of the strongest scenes in the movie is when Daniel and Mr. Miyagi are watching the sunset on the beach. In this moment, we not only learn more about Daniel, but we get to see him support his mentor and friend. The Karate Kid Part II shows Daniel having grown up since the events of the first film. Even though Daniel is still a teenager with a teenage perspective, he is more willing to put others before himself, as well as open his mind to new opportunities and experiences. Right as Mr. Miyagi boards his plane, Daniel joins him in the plane terminal. The reason why he wants to join Mr. Miyagi on this trip is because he wants to be there for his friend and mentor, especially since that friend and mentor has been there for Daniel. Not only does Daniel purchase a book about the specific place in Japan where Mr. Miyagi is from, but Daniel also uses some of the money from his savings account to pay for his ticket. Like I said in my review for the first movie, interactions like Mr. Miyagi and Daniel’s were made possible by the quality of the acting performances and the screenwriting!

The scenery: Although most of The Karate Kid Part II takes place in Japan, the movie was actually filmed in Oahu, Hawaii. Despite this change in location, the scenery was simply beautiful! Because Okinawa is presented in the film as a seaside town, there are several shots of the water that are featured. As I previously mentioned, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel are watching the sunset on the beach. Parts of this scene are shown through long shots, capturing the sun’s soft orange glow against the gray of the sky and water. In my review of the first installment, I talked about how one scene transitioned from a medium to a long shot, in an effort to showcase a part of the Grand Canyon. A scene where Daniel is practicing a breathing technique on a dock uses a similar transition. However, instead of starting with a medium shot, it begins with a close-up of Daniel. It then evolves into a long shot of the ocean, with clear blue water surrounding the dock and green palm trees found in the background.

Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A limited presence of Kumiko and Daniel’s relationship: Before watching The Karate Kid Part II, I was interested in seeing how Kumiko and Daniel’s relationship differed from his relationship with Ali. Even though I liked seeing Ali and Daniel together, I can see why their relationship didn’t survive past the first film. Daniel and Kumiko were a nice couple. It also helps that Ralph and Tamlyn Tomita had really good on-screen chemistry. But Daniel and Kumiko’s relationship was shown less than Ali and Daniel’s relationship. Because of this, it caused their relationship to feel rushed. In one scene, when Daniel is getting into Kumiko’s car, Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” is playing on the radio. This is not only the film’s official song, but the song’s official music video heavily emphasizes Kumiko and Daniel’s relationship. Anyone who has heard “Glory of Love” would agree that it is better suited as a “wedding song”. Having this piece of music surround a teenage couple that has known each other for about less than three months feels a bit misleading. Also, The Karate Kid is a trilogy, followed by the television show, Cobra Kai. If the third movie and/or TV show is anything like the beginning of the second film, “this could all end in tears” (Bartok’s (from 1997’s Anastasia) words, not mine).

Karate fight sequences being used sparingly: One of the flaws of the first movie was how the karate fight sequences had a limited presence in the overall story. In The Karate Kid Part II, there are even less karate fight sequences. With a movie called The Karate Kid, you expect a certain amount of karate to be featured in the film. While both movies are not action oriented, fight sequences can add excitement to the overall story. Fighting was primarily avoided in The Karate Kid Part II, as both Mr. Miyagi and Daniel try to find other ways to resolve their issues. This was one of the central themes of the narrative: exploring other problem-solving avenues before using fighting as a last resort. However, karate is the heart of this series. When you choose to show only a handful of fight sequences, you have little exciting material to work with.

No satisfying resolutions for parts of the story: In The Karate Kid Part II, there were a few parts of the story that were not consistently told within the overall film. Because of this, I feel their resolutions were not satisfying. While taking a trip through town, Kumiko reveals to Daniel that she dreams of becoming a dancer. However, the type of dancing she’s interested in is not taught in Okinawa. Toward the end of the film, Kumiko tells Daniel that she plans on going to the United States in order to pursue her dream. But this resolution feels kind of random. There is no lead up to the resolution itself. Daniel also doesn’t provide any advice to Kumiko in regards to her personal dilemma. For this part of the story, the journey from Point A to Point B was missing.

Okinawa, Japan image created by Charlie Balch at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/Charlie Balch.”

My overall impression:

 The Karate Kid Part II is a fine film. But I don’t think the script was as tight as it was the first time around. I like how the story focused on Mr. Miyagi, as it offered new story-telling opportunities. But, to a degree, it came at the expense of Kumiko and Daniel’s relationship, as it was shown for a limited amount of time. If Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” had revolved around Mr. Miyagi and Yukie’s relationship, it would have made more sense. Not only is The Karate Kid Part II primarily Mr. Miyagi’s story, but he and Yukie have history together. While the theme of using fighting as a last resort is important, it prevented the movie from featuring more karate fight sequences than the previous film. As I’ve stated before on my blog, a movie’s title partially serves as a promise to the audience. With The Karate Kid Part II, I can’t say this promise was completely broken. This is because, according to Mr. Miyagi, karate should be used in self-defense only, emphasizing how karate consists of more than just fight sequences. But when a movie features any form of marital art, people, more often than not, come for the cool-looking and exciting fight sequences. I appreciate how this film wasn’t just a carbon copy of its predecessor. It shows the creative team put legitimate thought and care into their project. If you enjoyed the first film, I’d say give its second chapter a chance. Even though there are stronger sequels out there, The Karate Kid Part II is certainly not one of the worst.

Overall score: 7.3 out of 10

Have you seen The Karate Kid Part II? Are there any sequels you are a fan of? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Karate Kid (1984) Review (Olympic Dreams Double Feature Part 1)

For my first two blogathons, I wrote editorials as my contribution for the event. These articles were ‘Phantom of the Megaplex’ at 20: A Reflection on the Movie-Going Experience and Roger Ebert’s Movie Yearbooks: How Relevant are They Anyway? This time around, I wanted to do something different. Therefore, I chose to write a double feature review! Because this year’s blogathon is Olympic themed, I selected The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part II. In 1984, the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. The Karate Kid not only takes place in California, but it was also released in 1984. Years ago, I had seen about half of this movie. As I said in my review for It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, I am willing to give films a second chance if I haven’t finished them or haven’t watched them in several years. It’s been a long while since I have seen The Karate Kid, so I thought my blogathon would provide a good excuse to revisit it.

The Karate Kid (1984) poster created by Delphi II Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions, and Columbia Pictures

Things I liked about the film:

The interactions among the characters: In stories that heavily rely on the relationships between various characters, how well-acted those characters are and the quality of their interactions will make or break that story. With The Karate Kid, these interactions served as one of the strongest parts of the film! That is because all of them felt natural and believable. When Daniel and Ali go to Gold N’ Stuff for the first time, you can see these characters are genuinely having a good time. They acted the way you’d expect a typical teenager would; smiling while racing each other at the go-kart track, laughing as their bumper boat crashed into another boat, and critiquing their pictures from the photobooth. Because of Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue’s performance, as well as the script, their relationship came across as realistic. When it comes to Daniel’s relationship with Mr. Miyagi, we are given the opportunity to witness healthy mentor/student interactions. If one were given instructions, but not the reason behind those instructions, it can be easy to get frustrated. This happens after Daniel receives a series of instructions from Mr. Miyagi. But when Daniel discovers the reason why he has been following these instructions, you start to see him gain an understanding and appreciation for what Mr. Miyagi has taught him. Similar to what I said before about Daniel and Ali’s relationship, this period of learning and discovery contains a lot of realism. It shows that, with the right support and guidance, we can learn things such as how to think for ourselves.

The cinematography: The Karate Kid is a movie that has better cinematography than most of the film fan community gives it credit for. To prove my point, I will bring up one of the film’s earliest scenes as an example. At the beginning of the movie, Daniel and his mom are driving through Arizona. This particular scene starts with a medium shot, placing primary emphasis on Daniel’s mom’s car. As their journey down this road plays out, the camera pulls away from the car and delivers a long shot of a section of the Grand Canyon. Characters’ interactions are also captured well on film! At a Halloween party, Daniel is dressed up as a shower. When Ali wants to talk to Daniel, she goes behind the costume’s curtain. Their conversation is shown in a close-up shot, which allows the audience to feel like they are that small space with Ali and Daniel. I really liked how the karate tournament was filmed! It involved a combination of medium and close-up shots, allowing the audience to witness the action. The camera was also steady, which made the scenes appear clear.

The music: Music is an important component of any movie. A song or instrumental piece can elevate the mood within a scene or highlight a scene’s intended point. The scene where Daniel attends his first day of school serves as a great example. In the background, “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama can be heard. Having this song play during this scene makes sense for several reasons. Daniel’s story starts in September, which is technically summer until September 21st or as late as September 24th. Daniel is also having a difficult time adjusting to his new home, believing the move to be a “cruel” gesture on his mother’s part. The music itself is light with a higher tempo, as the sunny California environment pairs nicely with the tune. The struggles Daniel is experiencing are heavily emphasized, with the help of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”.

Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The on again/off again nature of Daniel and Ali’s relationship: I liked seeing Daniel and Ali together and I thought Ralph and Elisabeth had good on-screen chemistry. However, I didn’t like the on again/off again nature of their relationship. I know that every relationship, whether platonic or romantic, has their issues to deal with. I also understand that a relationship where both parties are younger are going to handle those issues differently than a relationship where both parties are older. With Ali and Daniel, they became frustrated over their issues too easily. This causes them to enter and exit their relationship too quickly. While I was glad to see Daniel and Ali work things out, I wish they were less hasty about their relationship by talking things through.

A limited presence of karate fight sequences: The Karate Kid is not an action movie, but a coming-of-age story where one develops a better understanding of karate. Even though I knew that before watching this film, I feel the presence of karate fight sequences was limited. We see about three fight sequences toward the beginning of the film, with the majority of them taking place during the tournament. The rest of the story focuses on Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel the foundations of karate. In the middle of the movie, I think there should have been one or two fight sequences. For example, instead of simply showing Mr. Miyagi breaking the loiters’ glass bottles at the beach, a karate fight sequence had taken place. That way, the excitement that comes from these sequences would be consistent throughout the movie.

Small details that don’t make sense: While watching The Karate Kid, I noticed some small details that, to me, didn’t make sense. In one scene, Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel that karate is about what is in your mind and heart, not about what belt you have. If that is the case, why do belt ranks exist in the first place? Why work toward earning another belt when what’s in your mind and heart are more important? At the tournament, the people running the event acted like they weren’t familiar with Mr. Miyagi’s “dojo”. Yet, on the scoreboard, there is a pre-made logo next to Daniel’s name. How was this logo able to be made if no one organizing the tournament had heard of Mr. Miyagi’s “dojo”?

Martial arts image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/red”>Red vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

My overall impression:

The Karate Kid is a film that is considered a “classic” for good reason. It not only features exciting karate fight sequences, but it also uses one-liners well and has a strong script. But, in my opinion, the reason why the 1984 picture has earned this title is because it’s the type of movie that sticks with you. “Wax on, Wax off” is one of the most quotable lines in film history. Whenever I hear that line, I think about how there’s a reason for everything. I also remember how Daniel had to learn the meaning of “Wax on, Wax off” for himself instead of Mr. Miyagi telling him what it means. The Karate Kid is also a movie that has the ability to make you think. Whether or not this was intentional, you can’t help but reflect on the things that Mr. Miyagi says. You also can’t help but think about how those things can apply to real life. It’s been amazing exploring the world of ‘80s cinema. I’ve found some hidden gems, revisited some classics, and stumbled upon some stinkers. With The Karate Kid, I’d say it is definitely a keeper! I hope you stick around, because I’ll be reviewing this story’s second chapter!

Overall score: 8.2 out of 10

Have you seen The Karate Kid? Are you looking forward to my review of The Karate Kid Part II? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part Review (Hallmark Mysteries Double Feature Part 1)

Because I haven’t reviewed a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film since January, I thought writing about the newest Aurora Teagarden movie was a good idea! I also watched the latest mystery film, To Catch a Spy. Therefore, I decided to make my reviews a double feature! First though, we need to talk about Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part! While weddings have been shown in Hallmark’s mystery films, this is the first time one of the protagonists has gotten married within their respective series. Having Aurora finally walk down the aisle makes sense, especially since the Aurora Teagarden series has been on the air the longest. However, it’s still nice to see Aurora and her fiancé, Nick, reach this milestone in the lives. Speaking of miles and stones, let’s hop, skip, and jump through this review of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part!

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Things I liked about the film:

Omitting the “planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period” cliché: Anyone who has read my list of The Top 10 Worst Cliches from Hallmark Movies would know I am not a fan of the “planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period” cliché. Because this is the first time Aurora and Nick have gotten married, let alone planned a wedding, it would have been easy for the series’ creative team to include this cliché in the script. Instead, part of the story revolved around Aurora and Nick finalizing wedding plans days before their big celebration. I like how the creative team took a different approach when it came to the subject of weddings. It also helps that the wedding itself didn’t dominate the story, like in some wedding movies. Showing a wedding’s planning process in a realistic fashion is quite refreshing. At one point in the film, Nick and Aurora seriously consider postponing their wedding, a conversation that felt mature and considerate. It was nice to see soon-to-be newlyweds take the planning process seriously instead of a) relying on the “power of love” to make everything fall into place or b) become so attached to a physical location, that they do anything it takes just to get married there.

A cold case mystery: Hallmark’s mystery series have sometimes featured cold cases. But these types of cases are not featured as often as cases that take place in an immediate time frame. This is especially true when it comes to the Aurora Teagarden series. The mystery in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part first took place over twenty years ago. Not only that, but it also relied on dialogue as clues more than physical objects. This kind of story-telling is rarely seen in Hallmark mystery films. It gives the audience a reason to stay invested in the movie, as it forces them to pay attention to what the characters are saying and doing. I also applaud Aurora Teagarden’s creative team for choosing a different kind of mystery for this story. It keeps the overall series fresh and exciting!

Aurora’s wardrobe: An underrated strength in the Aurora Teagarden series is Aurora’s wardrobe! The outfits found in this film not only appeared stylish and modest, but they also complimented Candace Cameron Bure. In a scene where Nick brings Aurora donuts for breakfast, Aurora’s outfit consisted of a simple green skirt and a gray sweater with a green, yellow, and purple plaid pattern. When a piece of clothing features a pattern, you should pair it with a plain colored piece. This is the reason why Aurora’s outfit worked. Another memorable outfit was the one Aurora wore to her rehearsal dinner. The pink, short-sleeved dress was complimented by simple gold and silver jewelry. When Aurora went outside, she wore a navy-blue coat that boasted a light and dark pink plaid pattern. Because the coat featured the same color of pink as the dress, both pieces paired well together!

Wedding couple image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-drawn-wedding-invitation-with-happy-couple_1259848.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A limited amount of humor: In Hallmark’s mystery series, including the Aurora Teagarden series, a certain amount of humor is incorporated into each story. This element prevents the film from becoming too dark. But Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part didn’t feature as much humor as other movies in the series. One reason for this was the absence of Miranda Frigon, who has portrayed Lynn since the series’ beginning. Her dry humor and criticism of Aurora’s involvement in each case has served as comic relief. Without Lynn, a percentage of the series’ humor is gone. Even though, there were two scenes that made me laugh out loud, this movie was one of the more serious stories in the series.

The mystery’s weak connection to the wedding: While I did like the film’s cold case mystery and how the wedding didn’t dominate the story, the mystery itself didn’t connect to the wedding. As I mentioned in this review, the mystery took place over twenty years ago. But as I watched the movie, I felt it could have been placed in its own story. I found myself wondering, “Do we really need a wedding to break up the darkness of this case”? If the series’ creative team really wanted Nick and Aurora’s wedding to remain an important part of the story, the mystery could have been something along the lines of a cold case being connected to the wedding reception venue or a florist being kidnapped.

The dynamic of Charles and Aida’s relationship: Aurora’s father, Charles, attends Aurora and Nick’s wedding. Because Charles and Aida, Aurora’s mother, divorced when Aurora was in college, this is the first time Aurora’s parents have interacted in years. If this had happened in real life, there would be a certain amount of awkwardness and discomfort between both parties. But for Aida and Charles, it seemed like they picked up where they left off. I can see the film’s creative team wanted to showcase cordial, co-parenting exes, similar to the Hallmark Channel movie, Love to the Rescue. What made that concept work in the 2019 film is how Nikki DeLoach’s character and her ex were currently raising a school-aged child. Therefore, both parents needed to co-parent. In the newest Aurora Teagarden chapter, Aurora is an adult. At this point in Aurora’s life, Aida and Charles no longer need to co-parent, let alone be on the same page when it comes to their daughter.

Magnifying glass and fingerprint image created by Alvaro_Cabrera at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/loupe-over-a-fingerprint_853908.htm’>Designed by alvaro_cabrera</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/glass”>Glass vector created by Alvaro_cabrera – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

The Aurora Teagarden series is Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ longest running series. Since 2015, fans have watched Aurora solve multiple murders, navigate her love life, and lead the Real Murders Club. With Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part, Aurora, as well as Nick, reach a new chapter in their lives. At the same time, our favorite librarian does what she does best: solve a mystery. This new film contains elements that serve as the series’ strengths; such as showing a type of mystery that isn’t always featured on the network and utilizing different ways to present clues. However, the film is one of the more serious titles in the series. Miranda Frigon’s absence was seen and felt. Because some of the series’ humor comes from her character, most of Aurora Teagarden’s comedy was not there. While Marilu Henner and Andrew Airlie, who portray Aida and Charles Teagarden, have good on-chemistry, I didn’t think the dynamic of their characters’ relationship was well executed. For this flaw, the fault lies in the screenwriting. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Honeymoon, Honeymurder! Since Hallmark hasn’t created any programs about a honeymoon before, it’ll be interesting to see how the overall story will play out.

Overall score: 7.5-7.6 out of 10

Have you seen Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part? Are you looking forward to Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Honeymoon, Honeymurder? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun at the wedding!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Love Triangle is Finally Over

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 12

Name: The Kiss

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • While the majority of this season has been good, the season premiere and finale were fine. They met their requirements instead of going above and beyond. I wish the Hope Valley mayor race was saved for season nine and not shoehorned into season eight’s last episode. This way, the dynamic between the candidates could be explored throughout the season.
  • The references to Abigail this season were not only random, but the amount of references made the creative team’s wishes a little too obvious. Even though some people from the show have expressed interest in working with Lori again, the network made the ultimate decision to distance themselves from her. In my opinion, I don’t think Abigail will ever be seen on the show again. When Calls the Heart is one of Hallmark’s most successful programs, so I doubt the network’s leaders would risk tarnishing their crown jewel in any way.
  • I really hope Henry returns to Hope Valley. His story has been one of the best from season eight, as he received more character development and growth. As I have stated in a Sunset Over Hope Valley re-cap post, I hope Bai Ling considers joining the main cast of the show. If she does, maybe her character could form a relationship with Henry. That way, he might find someone new to make him happy.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

What are your thoughts on When Calls the Heart‘s season finale? What would you like to see in season nine? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Changes Are Coming

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 11

Name: Changing Times

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

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

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Dearly Beloved

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

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

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 10

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

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m glad everything worked in Florence and Ned’s favor. However, I found the number of last-minute wedding preparations to be somewhat unrealistic. Who chooses their Best Man the day of their wedding? Wouldn’t that decision take place shortly after the date has been chosen?
  • As I said in last week’s re-cap post, Elizabeth has become unlikable. The way she talked to Rosemary was not necessary. In this episode, Elizabeth and Rosemary’s friendship felt strained. When she entered the dress shop, Elizabeth tells Rosemary they should put their differences aside in order to give Florence a good wedding. Elizabeth refuses to apologizes and doesn’t interact with Rosemary at the wedding or reception. Similar to what I said last week, if Elizabeth continues to treat others this way, her friendship with Rosemary, as well as the other characters, will be ruined.
  • During the wedding reception, I saw Henry sitting at a table by himself. I honestly felt bad that he was not participating in the festivities. If When Calls the Heart receives a ninth season, I hope Henry finds a love interest. That way, he’ll have someone to bring to these events.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

What are your thoughts on this episode? Did you enjoy seeing Ned and Florence’s wedding? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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.

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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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 predict will happen? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Three Musketeers (1948) Review

Last year, I participated in the Classic Literature On Film Blogathon. Since I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird at the time, I chose to review the book’s film adaptation. For this year’s event, I selected the 1948 version of The Three Musketeers! Because I’m using my TBR Tin to choose which book to read next, I wasn’t able to read the source material before I saw the movie, as I’m currently reading The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. I was recommended this film by Patricia from Caftan Woman. As I try to see as many film suggestions as I can, this became one reason why I selected The Three Musketeers for this blogathon. I have seen the 1993 adaptation of the story. But I can’t give an honest opinion on that film, as I haven’t seen the movie in years. What will my thoughts be on the 1948 adaptation of The Three Musketeers? Keep reading to find out!

The Three Musketeers (1948) poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Loew’s, Inc.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Because The Three Musketeers contained an ensemble cast, it’s difficult to choose a favorite performance. However, I will still mention a few of them. For me, Gene Kelly is always going to be known for his performances in musicals. Seeing him work with different acting material was very interesting, as it forced him to utilize his expressions and emotions more. Out of Gene’s films I’ve seen so far, his portrayal of D’Artagnan has become one of my favorites! This performance was so well-rounded, D’Artagnan came across as a mutli-layered character. As Gene had a variety of expressions at his disposal, he was able to adapt to any situation D’Artagnan faced. I am not familiar with Van Heflin as an actor. But I was impressed with his portrayal of fellower Musketeer, Athos! Van’s best scene was when Athos drunkenly tells a story of an aristocrat who was betrayed by a woman from the country he fell in love with. Even though Athos is disoriented by the alcohol, you can tell there is deep emotion in his voice and eyes. Another performance that also became a favorite came from Lana Turner, who portrayed Countess de Winter! Her standout scene was when her character was in prison. The Countess appears disheveled as she begs for her life to end. What made this scene so memorable was the amount of emotion Lana put into her role. She presented a character that was so desperate, she’d be willing to do anything to get out of it.

The costumes: When it comes to scene-stealers, the costumes in The Three Musketeers definitely stole the show! I liked how colorful they were, as bright hues were used on various pieces of apparel. It not only made the characters stand out, but it also helped when telling characters apart from one another. The amount of detail on these costumes was also exquisite! In one scene, the Duke of Buckingham wore a purple shawl. Gold embroidery complimented the shawl’s shade of purple and prevented the piece from becoming plain. At a dinner party, Queen Anne wore a white gown. This gown also contained gold details, which were found on the skirt and bodice. Small jewels near the top of the dress completed Queen Anne’s elegant look!

The set design: If you’re going to create a period film, you have to pay attention to the finer details that go into each set. These details will reflect the effort, research, and care that went into how these sets look. The sets in The Three Musketeers show how much the film’s creative team cared about the presentation of their final product! What I love about the sets in this movie are the fine details that can be found. Carved images are shown in the Duke of Buckingham’s study, covering the fireplace and doorframe in these wooden pictures. They can also be found in other rooms and on other materials, such as on a tin-plated cabinet in a General’s office. My favorite design detail can be found in Queen Anne’s sitting room. As Queen Anne and the Duke of Buckingham are standing near the fireplace, Queen Anne turns a knob found near the top of the fireplace. This action reveals a secret compartment that hides a box of diamonds.

The fight choreography: Any action movie is just as good as its fight choreography. The performative presentation of the fights in The Three Musketeers helped make these fights so memorable! Because of Gene Kelly’s dancing skills, he was able to incorporate leaps into his fight sequences. Watching D’Artagnan leap from place to place gave him a natural superpower that he was able to use to his advantage! Humor can also be found during these fight sequences, which prevented them from being too dark or serious. D’Artagnan’s first duel was against the head of the French police. During this duel, hilarity ensued, from D’Artagnan splashing water in his opponent’s face to pushing his opponent in a pond. This inclusion of humor in the fight choreography allowed the creative team to present these fights in creative and interesting ways!

The 2021 Classic Literature On Film Blogathon banner created by Paul from Silver Screen Classics.

What I didn’t like about the film:

D’Artagnan’s romantic relationships: After rescuing Constance from a home invasion, D’Artagnan falls in love with her. He not only tells Constance he loves her, but they also share a romantic kiss. While I liked Constance and D’Artagnan’s relationship, I felt it was developed too quickly. Later in the film, Constance is kidnapped. In order to save her, D’Artagnan pretends to fall in love with Countess de Winter. However, after his initial meeting with the Countess, D’Artagnan tells Athos how much he loves her. If D’Artagnan was romantically interested in Constance, why would he even bother having feelings for the Countess? That part of the story was confusing.

A weaker villain: There are two villains in The Three Musketeers; Countess de Winter and Richelieu. But one of them definitely outshined the other. Countess de Winter was the stronger villain. She is a criminal by legal context and the audience can witness her committing several crimes. Richelieu, on the other hand, is not presented in the same way. The audience does see him commit a crime of theft, but it is never explained how this was done. Richelieu was also friends with the King of France, a character that was not written or portrayed as a villain. This made me puzzled as to what Richelieu’s true intentions were, whether he was a villain or simply a man who follows his own rules.

The Musketeers spending little time together: When you think of The Three Musketeers, you think of these heroes fighting alongside each other and saving the day together. As I watched this film, I noticed how they spent more time apart. I was disappointed to discover this because that team dynamic the Musketeers are known for had a limited presence. While this separation did allow the audience to get to know these characters individually, we didn’t really get to see this group of friends grow over time. Though there was a lot of content in this movie, I wish more time was given to show the Musketeers together.

Castle photo created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/old-castle-in-the-mountians_1286237.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Anchors Aweigh was the best movie I saw in 2020. This was a pleasant surprise, as I never expected one of Gene Kelly’s films to receive this honor. Even though it’s only April, the 1948 adaptation of The Three Musketeers has now become the best movie I’ve seen so far! There is so much effort that was put into this project, which is reflective in many parts. The costumes and set designs were impressive because of the detail that was incorporated into them. Many good acting performances can be found, making it difficult to choose the best one. These actors not only did a good job individually, but they also worked well together as a group! Similar to what I said in my Oliver! review, I might read The Three Musketeers because of how much I enjoyed its film adaptation! For now, my top priority is reading the books that are currently on my TBR shelf.

Overall score: 8 out of 10

Have you read or seen The Three Musketeers? What adaptations of classic literature do you like? Please let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen