Sunset Over Hope Valley: Honesty is the Best Policy

In my article, ‘Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in When Calls the Heart’s Ninth Season’, I talked about wanting to see a brutally honest character make a permanent residence in Hope Valley. One of my reasons was how it, sometimes, feels like the characters are afraid to be honest. But in this episode of When Calls the Heart, the characters were more honest than they’ve been in quite some time! This change was refreshing, whether or not it was intentional! While this honesty wasn’t brutal, it did help resolve some overarching issues. Even though this is only episode three, I’m hoping the honesty remains a consistent aspect throughout the season. Now let’s re-cap this episode of When Calls the Heart!

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

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

Season: 9

Episode: 3

Name: Turn of the Page

Major stories:

Elizabeth’s book has finally been published! Everyone in town is excited to get their copy. But not all news is good news. At the Valley Voice’s office, Rosemary and Lee receive negative reviews for Elizabeth’s book. Even though they don’t want to hurt Elizabeth’s feelings, Lee and Rosemary agree to be honest with her. This decision comes after Rosemary read Lee’s first article, when she discovered his bold writing style. Elizabeth is hurt and disappointed by the reviews, especially the ones that criticize her as a person. But the residents of Hope Valley remind Elizabeth of her recent accomplishment, sharing their praise for her book. Meanwhile, Lucas plans a surprise party in celebration of the book’s publication. But things don’t go according to plan. On the night of the party, Elizabeth would rather share a private moment with Lucas on the saloon’s deck. Lucas remains patient, despite a room full of guests waiting downstairs. After several minutes, Lucas reveals the surprise party to Elizabeth. In an effort to salvage Lucas’ plans, she agrees to act surprised when they arrive in the saloon. Though the party is a success, Rosemary figures out Elizabeth knew about the party. Throughout all of this, Rosemary reads one positive review to Elizabeth. This review is from a widow, explaining how Elizabeth’s book helped her cope with her and her family’s loss. Elizabeth is able to put things into perspective because of that review.

Wyman returns to Hope Valley. This time, though, he is heading the foundry project. Wyman has given up on trying to purchase the saloon, as Lucas has decided not to sell. Despite this, Lucas and Bill still have their concerns over Wyman. One evening, at the saloon, Bill sees Wyman talking with Mike. In an attempt to steer Mike away from danger, Bill warns him about Wyman at Elizabeth’s party. Mike reassures Bill and tells him he knows about Wyman’s shake-ups, especially those that happened last season. Later in the episode, Mike pays Bill a visit. He reminds Bill how seriously he is taking his mayoral position. Mike also tells Bill that he needs to move out of the office within a week. Meanwhile, Henry is still considering his future with the petroleum company. In an effort to assist Henry with his decision, Lucas suggests Henry should read Elizabeth’s book. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas calls a woman named Janette and asks for information about Wyman.

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

Minor stories:

Nathan is off bed-rest and now has his arm in a sling. While his recovery has been successful, his attempts to reconnect with Newton have not. Bill shares with Nathan that Mei has been the only person to approach Newton. When Nathan visits the pharmacy to express his frustrations to Mei, she tells him he has to be patient. Later in the episode, Nathan visits Newton. Mei also pays the horse a visit. Nathan wonders if the accident from the previous episode was his fault. He also questions if the accident was some sort of sign. Mei reminds him that he and Newton have been traumatized to some extent. She also states that, because Nathan doesn’t remember the accident, he doesn’t have to relive his trauma. The day after Elizabeth’s party, Nathan goes to Ned’s mercantile to pick up a hat and Ally’s letter. Florence notices how Nathan is looking at Mei through the window. She suggests Nathan may try to start another courtship. But Nathan denies that suggestion.

Joseph notices how Cooper doesn’t want to spend much time with him. He is still concerned over Cooper’s behavior and his lack of desire to attend church. Minnie suggests Cooper tag along with Joseph so father and son can spend more time together. Taking Minnie’s words to heart, Joseph decides to bring Cooper on a building project. Since Rosemary wanted to add another window to her office, Joseph creates a new window for her. He and Cooper carve out new window space and insert the window. But Lee points out the window was placed backwards. After Joseph states he and Cooper will fix the window the following day, he confesses to Rosemary and Lee that he purposefully put the window backwards so Cooper could spend more time with his father. On their way home, Joseph asks Cooper what is wrong. Cooper confides in his dad by revealing he feels guilty. Because he was sick with measles, like Angela, Cooper wonders why he didn’t become blind as well. Joseph and Minnie contemplate Cooper’s guilt while sitting alone at church. They reflect on how a doctor refused to treat Angela long before they moved to Hope Valley. Minnie and Joseph also take note of how Angela never questioned her disability. What they agree on is teaching their children the importance of kindness and on keeping their home in Hope Valley.

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:

  • If you create anything subjective, such as writing a book, you should know ahead of time your work is not going to be everyone’s “cup of tea”. This allows you, as a creator, to handle criticism and learn from the perspective of others. If Elizabeth had known this before she published her book, she might have taken her negative reviews in stride. I blame Helen and Lucas for not better preparing Elizabeth for that part of the process. Sure, Helen’s letter to Elizabeth and the editing pencil were nice gestures. But as an editor, it was Helen’s responsibility to educate Elizabeth on the publishing world.
  •  As much as I appreciate the honesty within this episode, the episode itself was a “filler” story. The plots and character development didn’t progress forward that much. In fact, the stories weren’t that interesting. Yes, we received some closure on Cooper’s story. But it did not receive a resolution. The commercial for the fourth episode makes it seem like the upcoming stories will be exciting. This has me questioning why that episode wasn’t the third episode?
  • As I said in this re-cap, Nathan wondered if the accident was some sort of sign. After he said this, it made me wonder if he was considering stepping down from the Mounties? If this is the case, does that mean Hope Valley will get their first female Mountie? It will be interesting to see how Nathan’s story turns out.
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? Do you think the next episode will be more interesting than this one? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Facing the Music

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

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

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

Season: 9

Episode: 2

Name: Out Like a Lamb

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know it’s only the ninth season’s second episode. But, so far, Elizabeth and Lucas’ story is the weakest one. There is no intrigue, mystery, or a conflict that needs to be resolved. This is despite Elizabeth and Lucas’ heavy presence in the show’s marketing. Due to the story’s weaknesses, it seems like the other characters and plots are picking up the slack. Granted, we’re not even halfway through the season yet. So, I’m hoping Elizabeth and Lucas’ story picks up traction.
  • I like seeing Angela become friends with Robert! Now that she is attending school, it’s nice to see her gain her first real friendship on the show. This creative decision will not only help Angela’s character development, but it will progress forward the stories of the students. Therefore, I will give the screenwriter(s) credit where it is due!
  • On the blog, It’s a Wonderful Movie, a commenter named Abigail asked, “If Mei Sou is already married, how can she be matched up with Nathan”? After learning about Mei’s connection to Jeffrey, I thought the same thing. But I think it’s too early to judge Mei’s choices. We still know very little information about her. Her actual relationship to Jeffrey is , at this time, unknown. Also, just because Mei and Nathan have been featured together in this season’s marketing, doesn’t mean they’ll become a couple. With all that said, I will, for now, give Mei the benefit of the doubt.
  • If you read my list of the top ten things I’d like to see in When Calls the Heart’s ninth season, you would know how much I wanted to see Henry fall in love, preferably with a new character. This came on the heels of seeing him happy in the previous season. But based on the ninth season’s first and second episodes, I’m wondering if Henry is going to learn to love himself before he can love someone else? If this is the case, that would be understandable.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? How do you think these conflicts are going to get resolved? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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

When you go for a walk, what do you see? Maybe the familiar sights that make your walk so enjoyable. Or maybe you’re on a new path, excited for what you might see. Whatever path you’re taking, you know it’ll be a memorable experience! Watching When Calls the Heart is a lot like going for a walk. There are sights and people we’ve come to know, such as the church/school, the café, and Bill Avery. New faces and places are also included. Every episode contains its own twists and turns, just like a walking path. But, like walking, the journey can be more memorable than the destination itself! Because When Calls the Heart just started a new season, we don’t yet know where this story will go. But I hope this will be a journey worth taking! To get this re-cap journey started, let’s begin the first re-cap of season nine!

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

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

Season: 9

Episode: 1

Name: In Like a Lion

Major stories:

Mr. Winkler and his team land their hot air balloon in front of the church/school. This visit causes a commotion in Hope Valley. Rosemary takes advantage of this opportunity by writing about it for the Valley Voice. The hot air balloon also catches the attention of Jack Jr., who just arrived in Hope Valley with Elizabeth, after spending a month in Hamilton with her family. But the hot air balloon isn’t the only thing making waves in this little Canadian town. A potential business partner named Jerome Smith arrives in Hope Valley to form a business partnership with Lucas. Jerome is interested in getting involved in the town’s oil business. But when Henry returns to Hope Valley and discovers Jerome’s invitation, he wants nothing to do with the visitor. This is because Henry claims Jerome hired him to oversee the coal mines years ago. Out of earshot from Henry, Fiona reveals to Lucas that she knew about Henry and Jerome’s business relationship, but believed they could put their differences aside and work together again. She also reveals this information to Mike, who was previously unaware of this news. The arrival of Jerome has consumed a lot of Lucas’ time, even forgoing a dinner with Elizabeth, despite both of them being at the Saloon at the same time. During this saloon trip, Jerome and Henry get into a fist fight, with Jerome pressing charges. This means Henry is taken to prison. Meanwhile, Mike is disappointed that Fiona didn’t tell him about Henry and Jerome’s business relationship. But he’s also concerned about his mayoral prospects. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas surprises Elizabeth with a ride in Mr. Winkler’s hot air balloon. On this ride, he tells Elizabeth he is leaving the oil business, in an attempt to spend more time with her and Jack Jr.

Bill informs Nathan that all Mounties will have to know how to drive a vehicle. Nathan doesn’t feel this change is necessary, with Bill hoping the mayoral election has a satisfactory outcome. When Nathan shares his lack of driving skills with Elizabeth, she volunteers to help him, as she feels she is more than qualified to be a good driving instructor. Later that day, while Nathan rides on the trail, another rider zooms past him. Because of how fast this rider, who is later revealed to be Mei Sou, raced by, Nathan wasn’t able to identify them. That evening, at the saloon, Nathan officially introduces himself to Mei, learning that she was the fast rider from earlier in the day. Despite being friendly with Nathan, Mei keeps herself guarded, revealing very little information about herself. While visiting Ned and Florence at the Mercantile, Mei shares that she will be Hope Valley’s pharmacist. Ned is confused by this because he was led to believe a man named Jeffrey would be arriving in town. Mei clarifies she was corresponding in her husband’s, Jeffrey’s, place the whole time. She also shares how she attended the same medical school as Faith (hence how the two characters know each other) and graduated at the top of her class. But when anyone attempts to learn more about Jeffrey, Mei cuts them off and quickly changes the subject. She does ask Faith for her help, but Faith is unsure how she can help Mei. At the end of the episode, Nathan gets into a car accident, a car colliding with Nathan and his horse.

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

Minor stories:

At breakfast one morning, Bill reveals through a letter that Jesse and Clara moved to Montana in order to start their own homestead. This means that the Canfield family have moved into the café. While Elizabeth was away, Minnie was the school’s substitute teacher. She also has been helping run the café. Minnie not only misses Clara, but she also wonders if Bill will sell the café. Meanwhile, Joseph is preaching in Hope Valley’s church, gaining friendship and trust. Both Angela and Cooper are students of the school, implying Elizabeth gained her certification to teach Angela. But Cooper has acquired a bit of a defiant streak, which worries Joseph. As Bill is a candidate for Hope Valley’s mayor, he makes a promise with Lee not to campaign at the grand opening of a brand-new business. But at the grand opening, Bill does try to campaign, with Lee calling him out. Meanwhile, Lee is also serious about his mayoral candidacy. When he hears from Rosemary how Bill is leading a poll, Lee becomes discouraged. He even brings up his broken promise to give Rosemary her theater, wondering what other promises he hasn’t fulfilled. But Rosemary reassures him of how great of a mayor he would be and that she’s always by his side.

Because Dottie’s Dress Shop is no longer in business (for reasons that are never explained), that means a new business will take its place. Ned and Florence have purchased the property, with Joseph helping renovate the space. Leading up to the grand opening, the three of them have been very secretive about the nature of the business. This is done to keep an element of surprise. In an effort to spruce up the grand opening, Florence tells Ned she used to be a dancer years ago. She comes up with the idea of performing a song and dance duet. On the day of the grand opening, Ned and Florence perform their duet to great fanfare. It is also revealed that Dottie’s Dress Shop will now be replaced with a pharmacy and ice cream parlor. This decision is met with much success, as it brings residents older and newer closer together.

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Overall, season nine’s premiere is stronger than season eight’s was! While there were some stories that felt like “filler”, some stories got the ball rolling for the rest of the season. These stories brought a sense of intrigue for what’s to come, making me look forward to how they will play out! From Mei’s mysterious arrival to Henry’s troubles, the show provides reasons to come back for more!
  • I’m glad we finally got the ice cream parlor in Hope Valley! But though I’ve been waiting to see this business since season five, I don’t like how it came at the expense of Dottie’s Dress Shop. However, the dress shop going under kind of makes sense, story wise. With Dottie and Clara no longer on the show and Rosemary becoming editor-in-chief of the Valley Voice, there aren’t any characters who could run the dress shop. Then again, a clothing store is an important business in any town. While I’m looking forward to seeing the ice cream parlor thrive, I’d like to see a clothing store return to Hope Valley. Who knows? Maybe Rachel will return and open her own shop someday!
  • Speaking of Rosemary, I got a little bit excited when Lee mentioned her theater! If you read my list of the Top 10 things I’d like to see in When Calls the Heart’s ninth season, you’d know how much I want to finally see Rosemary’s theater. This idea was first brought up in season two and hasn’t been mentioned in a long time. If Lee does become Hope Valley’s mayor, I wonder if he’ll fulfill that promise?
  • Even though the oil business subplot has been going on for several seasons, it has become more confusing. Henry is constantly leaving and coming back to the business. Lucas is now leaving the business, likely focusing more on the saloon’s operations. With that said, it makes me wonder who will take responsibility for the oil business? Maybe it will be Mike and/or Fiona? Perhaps a new character will show up?
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on When Calls the Heart‘s ninth season premiere? Which storyline are you most excited about? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sally Watches…Touched by an Angel (Again)!

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

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

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

What I liked about this episode:

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

What I didn’t like about this episode:

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

The story itself:

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

The other factors from this episode:

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

My overall thoughts:

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

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

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

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

Have fun on television!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Love Triangle is Finally Over

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 12

Name: The Kiss

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

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

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

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Changes Are Coming

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 11

Name: Changing Times

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I, personally, don’t think it was fair for Elizabeth to receive Florence’s wedding bouquet, as this is the third time it has happened to Elizabeth. The bouquet should have been given to either Mollie, Faith, or Fiona. If Rachel had attended the wedding, the bouquet could have even gone to her.
  • Speaking of Rachel, I’m disappointed she and Christopher won’t become recurring characters on the show. Besides the schoolchildren, Laura, and Jack Jr., there aren’t many young people in Hope Valley. With the arrival of Christopher and Rachel, I was hoping they would bring something different to the town. While they did accomplish this, the results were short-term.
  • Even though I’m glad Hope Valley’s newspaper is going to continue again, I’m kind of disappointed Rosemary won’t be getting her theater. This is something the fans (and Rosemary) have been waiting for since season two. But because building a new piece of the set costs money, I wonder if the show’s creative team has been avoiding giving Rosemary her theater due to how expensive it could be?
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Are you looking forward to the season finale? What do you think will happen? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Dearly Beloved

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

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

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 10

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

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

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

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

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Second Chances

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 9

Name: Pre-Wedding Jitters

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Ever since Jack passed away, I noticed how Elizabeth has become more unlikable as the show has progressed. In this episode, Elizabeth came across as selfish. The way she talked to Rosemary was, in my opinion, uncalled for, as Rosemary did nothing wrong. If When Calls the Heart receives a ninth season and Elizabeth continues to behave this way, I feel the show will lose a certain amount of viewership.
  • This episode felt like there was context missing, like parts of the story were unintentionally cut out of the show. Joseph’s decision to become a pastor is one example. He had been contemplating this new job opportunity for several episodes. But his final decision seemed to come out of the blue. The audience doesn’t get to witness why and how Joseph came to this decision.
  • On Crown Media Family Network’s website, I saw some promotional photos for the next episode. In at least one of the pictures, the décor at the church looks fall/autumn themed. At the beginning of the season, Elizabeth said that spring had arrived in Hope Valley. With everything said, I find this to be confusing.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to Florence and Ned’s wedding? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: You Are Not Alone

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 8

Name: A Parade and a Charade

Major stories:

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

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

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

Minor stories:

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • As good as this season has been so far, I don’t like how several storylines have been dragging on longer than necessary. One example is Rosemary trying to figure out what her next occupational step should be. This is episode eight and we still haven’t seen Rosemary make a decision. I understand choices like Rosemary’s take time and stories have to be told in a certain amount of episodes. But because some of these stories have been drawn out, it makes them feel like they are at a standstill.
  • I’m glad to see Christopher return Lee’s pocket-watch, even if was anonymously. Small steps like this one show he is growing up and changing his ways. Even though we only have a few episodes left until the end of the season, I hope we get to see Christopher’s growth as a character.
  • I found this episode’s title to be somewhat misleading, as there was no parade. Technically, Bill paraded out of Hope Valley. But there were no parades in the traditional sense. There has been a parade in Hope Valley before. However, it took place during one of the Christmas movies.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to the next one? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: For the Longest Time

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

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

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

Season: 8

Episode: 7

Name: Before My Very Eyes

Major stories:

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

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

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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.

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Some thoughts to consider:

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

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen