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

12 Delights of Christmas Tag – 18 Cinema Lane Edition

Earlier this month, I was tagged by Heidi from Along the Brandywine to participate in the 12 Delights of Christmas Tag. As I have mentioned before, December was a busy month for me, as I had both blog and non-blog related projects to work on. However, I definitely wanted to complete this post before Christmas. This tag is a blessing in disguise for me because I haven’t produced much Christmas related content this year. Like I said about the Hallotober Tag, the 12 Delights of Christmas Tag will definitely fix that!

The 12 Delights of Christmas Tag banner created by Heidi from Along the Brandywine.

1. A favorite Christmas tradition?

Opening presents on Christmas morning!

2. Say it snowed at your domicile, would you prefer to go out or stay curled up inside?

Personally, I’m not a fan of cold weather. Therefore, I’d rather stay inside and watch a movie.

3. Tea or hot chocolate?

Why not both?

4. Favorite Christmas colors (i.e. white, blue, silver, gold, red and green etc)? 

I know that purple isn’t a traditional Christmas color. However, I’ve recently noticed that purple and red make a surprisingly good color combination for this time of year!

5. Favorite kind of Christmas cookie?

Preferably one with chocolate!

6. How soon before Christmas do you decorate (also, and more specifically, when does your tree go up)?

Normally, I put my tree up after Thanksgiving. This is because I’m busy preparing for the aforementioned holiday throughout the majority of November.

My little Christmas tree I mentioned in my post, ‘Oh Lil Christmas Tree: My New Christmas Project’. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

7. Three favorite traditional Christmas carols?

Carol of the Bells, We Three Kings, and O Holy Night

8. A favorite Christmas song (i.e. something you might hear on the radio)?

Definitely ‘Christmas Eve Sarajevo’ from Trans-Siberian Orchestra! Fun fact, this is the song that introduced me to the band!

9. A favorite Christmas movie? 

If I had to choose one, it’d be the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, November Christmas. It tells a type of story you don’t often find on Hallmark these days.

10. Have you ever gone caroling?

No, I haven’t.

11. Ice skating, sledding, skiing, or snow boarding?

For this question, I’ll choose sledding, as that’s the winter outdoor activity of these four I’ve participated in the most.

12. Favorite Christmas feast dish?

Personally, I think you can’t go wrong with cranberry sauce!

Essential items of Christmas image created by Moonstarer at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/christmas-elements-collection_994917.htm’>Designed by Moonstarer</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Moonstarer – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Who I am tagging:

— Lady Kelleth from Lady Kelleth

— IMA from The Cinema Post

— Nisha from The Local Ticket

— Sarah from Room For A Review

— Diane from In Dianes Kitchen

— Lucy from Fun With Orzo

— Kingsley from Divine-Royalty

— Myles from Enticing Desserts

— Eggsandwich04 from KS Blogs

— Simran from The Preserver of Life

— Pale Writer from Pale Writer

— Dbmoviesblog from dbmoviesblog

— J-Dub from Dubsism

What are your thoughts on Christmas? Would you like to participate in this tag? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas Review

For my last movie review of 2019, I’m going to talk about the newest film in the When Calls the Heart series, When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas! Since I reviewed last year’s movie, When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing and since I re-cap the show, I thought it would be fitting to keep up the continuity. While I liked the previous movie, I had lower expectations for this year’s project. This was caused by how unappealing the film’s synopsis sounded to me. In a Word on the Street story last month, I discussed how I felt about the synopsis for this movie. To me, it seemed like the screenwriters were running out of ideas and not taking advantage of beautiful story-telling opportunities. It also seemed like they were repeating the same mistakes they made in the previous film. But, like I do for every movie I watch and/or review, I watched When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas with an open mind. I thought that, maybe, the movie could be better than the synopsis made it sound. Was I right or wrong in my guess? We’re about to find out in this review of When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas!

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

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Like last year’s movie, the acting in When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas was one of the strongest elements of the project! Everyone in this cast was talented, bringing their characters to life with a sense of well-roundedness. From newer characters, like Nate’s niece, Allie, to veterans of the show, such as Bill Avery, it was a pleasure to see these characters come back on television. What works in this cast’s favor is how most of the cast members have appeared on the show for at least one season. This helps keep up the consistency of both the performances and the overall narrative. It also shows how comfortable these actors and actresses were in the roles they were given.

Learning about backstories through Christmas traditions: At several moments of the movie, the audience got the chance to receive more backstories from some the characters through the sharing of Christmas traditions. With the incorporation of Hope Valley’s Christmas Festival, we learn that one of Lucas’ favorite memories was visiting a German Christmas festival with his parents. Another example is Nate’s Christmas present for Allie. For Christmas, he gets her a charm bracelet. Nate’s sister and Allie’s mom used to have a charm bracelet and would receive a new charm every Christmas. This was an interesting way to learn about these characters. It not only expands the character development, but it also gives the audience story material before the start of the next season.

The character interactions: Similar to last year’s film, I liked seeing the character interactions in When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas! One of the reasons why is because of the on-screen chemistry between the actors within the cast. But the other reason why I enjoyed watching these interactions was because they felt genuine and thoughtful. A great example is the interaction between Florence and Fiona. In this scene, they give each other Christmas gifts that are telephone related: Florence receives a telephone necklace and Fiona receives an embroidered piece of art about keeping people connected. This was my favorite character interaction because it showed Florence and Fiona putting effort into these gifts as well as the growth of their friendship. It was not only well-acted, but also well-written!

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Christmas Tree with boxes image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/christmas-tree-out-of-gift-boxes_1448089.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com

What I didn’t like about the film:

Too many plots: There were about eight plots found in When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas. Because the film was only an hour and thirty minutes, there was not enough time for these plots to be fully developed. Instead of lending themselves to an engaging story, they ended up competing against each other to see which one could be the most memorable. What also didn’t help was how almost all of these plots were basic and surface-level. Most of them felt like they could have been featured on any episode of the show, as they seemed ordinary and mundane. The only plot that had any amount of intrigue was Carson and Faith’s story.

Under-utilized characters: When a movie or television show has a cast this large, there are bound to be characters that receive more screen-time than others. But in this movie, there are some characters that could have benefitted from having their own story. Henry Gowan is a perfect example of this. Since Henry doesn’t receive his own plot, this gives him very little to do in the movie. It also doesn’t give Martin Cummins, the actor who portrays Henry Gowan, much material to work with as an actor. Jesse and Clara are another good example. They got engaged at the end of season six, so we could have seen them get married during Christmas-time. Instead, Jesse and Clara’s story was reduced to them saving Lucas Bouchard’s reputation. I understand that the show’s creative team wants to save some story material for the upcoming season. But a Christmas wedding could have been an eventful way to end Hallmark Channel’s Christmas line-up.

Plot points that don’t make sense: Throughout this film, there were some plot points that didn’t make sense. For this part of the review, I’ll give you two examples. The first involves a new character named Walter. He claims to be a struggling traveling salesman, selling his only coat for gas money and not having the funds for a new tire. If Walter is having that much trouble acquiring a steady income, then how he is able to afford a car? Vehicles require constant upkeep in order for them to run smoothly. For Walter to be able to maintain his car’s well-being, he would probably have to sell more belongings of his over a significant period of time. The second example involves Rosemary. After learning about a dilemma related to Hope Valley’s Christmas Festival, Rosemary complains to Lee about Lucas’ poor event planning skills. She then complains about how Lucas should have asked her for help. Ever since her introduction in season one, Rosemary has always been a determined and headstrong woman. No matter what happens, she finds a way to discover a solution to any problem. For Rosemary to not volunteer with any event planning and for her to expect to be asked for anything doesn’t make any sense with her character development.

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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.

My overall impression:

In 2018, I gave a good review to When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing. While I had issues with the film, there were things about it that I liked. With When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas, however, I can’t give it a good review. But I can’t give it a bad review either. At best, I found the movie to be ok. It had its strengths, like the acting and Christmas traditions serving as opportunities for character development. At worst, this film was a rushed “filler” project that tried so hard to say so much, but ended up saying so little. It felt like the creative team behind this show just wanted to get this movie done and over with so they could move on to the next project. If anything, it was less of a movie and more of an extended episode. After watching this film, I’m kind of concerned for the next season. It doesn’t help when the only thing that was shown in the commercial for season seven was Elizabeth looking at both Nate and Lucas. I’m hoping it is better than this movie was, but I’m starting to wonder if the show’s creative team is still passionate about this story?

Overall score: 6 out of 10

What did you think of this film? Are you looking forward to the next season of When Calls the Heart? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List 2019

Now that the Christmas/holiday shopping season has begun, it feels like the perfect time to bring back a tradition that I started last year. Returning to 18 Cinema Lane is my Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List, where I share the movie related things I’d like to receive as gifts! Just like the first one, there will be four categories that each item will be listed under. If you need more of an explanation, you can check out my first Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List at the featured link. Also, like last year, each item is something that I think could be realistic. Before I start this list, I just want to say that the only image in this post that is not one of my screenshots is the Three Wise Men themed wish list image.

A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List

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Three Wise Men themed wish list paper image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Something You Want

  • In last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I shared that I would like to see Stuart Townsend and Marguerite Moreau star in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie together. While I still want this, I’d also like to see other actors and actresses from the Queen of the Damned film appear in a Hallmark Hall of Fame project. If you read my review of Swept from the Sea, you would remember that I enjoyed Vincent Perez’s performance in that film! Even though I’ve only seen two of his movies, I believe that Vincent would be able to use his acting talents to bring a Hallmark Hall of Fame story to life. I also wouldn’t be opposed to seeing these actors or actresses working behind the camera, such as directing or producing the film. According to his IMDB filmography, Matthew Newton, who portrayed Armand in Queen of the Damned, has written, directed, and produced a few films. Maybe, one day, he could help create a Hallmark project. Like I said in last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I’m not sure if there’s anything preventing these actors or actresses from appearing in a Hallmark film or if they’ve ever gotten along well enough where they would want to work together again. But if Hallmark wants to coordinate a mini Queen of the Damned reunion, I would be on board for that decision!

 

  • On Wikipedia, when I was deciding which film to choose for a blog follower dedication review, I came across a movie titled The Wife of Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo and Haydee are one of my favorite couples from pop culture. However, in different adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo, Haydee is either not featured in the film or she appears in the film for a brief period of time. Haydee and Monte’s relationship is also barely talked about. What makes me want to see this film is how it not only focuses on Monte and Haydee’s relationship, but also allows Haydee to become a more prominent character. Currently, the film is not airing on Turner Classic Movies. But I would love to review it for Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month!

 

  • In the movie, Easter Under Wraps, the protagonist, Erin, brings the most adorable suitcase on her trip to Washington. While I’m not shopping for luggage anytime soon, I would love to own a suitcase that looks like Erin’s! Based on the photo, it appears to be perfect for a weekend trip. I also really like its color. I don’t know what the suitcase’s inner material looks like, but I would want it to have my blog’s logo printed on it.

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Something You Need to See

I’ve said on 18 Cinema Lane before that I would really like to see the movie, Words on Bathroom Walls. But, as of late November to early December 2019, it seems that this film still does not have a distributor. If you are not aware, a distributor is a studio that releases a film. Because Words on Bathroom Walls doesn’t have a distributor yet, it means the film hasn’t been given a premiere date. I hope that this movie finds a distributor sooner rather than later so people can finally see it!

 

Even though When Calls the Heart is a television show, there are still movies that bridge the seasons together. So, this Wish-List request counts for this section. Ever since the show’s season five finale, I have noticed that Tom Thornton has received very little acknowledgement. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like Elizabeth is ignoring Jack’s side of the family. I realize that the issue lies in the screenwriting. Because the screenwriters don’t make an effort to include Tom in the story, they don’t bother to recognize his existence in that world. As a fan of both Tom Thornton and When Calls the Heart, all I ask is for the screenwriters to make more references to Jack’s brother. If Max Lloyd-Jones cannot make an appearance on the show, that’s understandable. But the most important thing is for Tom’s importance to get recognized more often.

 

This Wish-List request is similar to the previous one. In my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Endgame, I talked about how Bucky was, to a certain extent, treated like an afterthought in that film. Ever since then, not only do I feel like Bucky is still being seen as an afterthought, but it seems like the fans of the character are being treated like an afterthought as well. In this case, the problem lies with Disney and Marvel, as they have made very few efforts to acknowledge these fans and get them excited for The Falcon & the Winter Soldier. It also doesn’t help that they are doing this to a co-lead character of an upcoming TV show. For this request, the only thing I ask is for Disney and Marvel to stop treating Bucky and his fans like afterthoughts. No matter what you’re a fan of, no person should ever feel this way. Besides, fans are the ones who can make or break the popularity of a piece of entertainment.

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A movie related piece of clothing or accessory I’d want to wear

For this category, I have two choices. The first is Rachel’s pill-box hat from The Trouble with Angels! In my review of the movie, I featured three pictures of this hat. It is the coolest pill-box hat that I’ve ever come across and I’d love to own one that looks like it. The second is Paula’s choker necklace from Gaslight! I also featured a picture of it in my review of the film and this piece of jewelry is just adorable. Because Gaslight was filmed in black-and-white, it’s difficult to determine what color the necklace was meant to be. But, if I owned a necklace like this, I would like to be able to interchange the ribbon to coordinate with any outfit.

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Gaslight choker necklace picture

A book I’ve read that I’d like to see adapted into a film

When it comes to books I’ve read in 2019, most of them were either already turned into adaptations or I felt they didn’t need to become adaptations. However, there was one book where the more I read it, the more I could see it as a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series. This book is Murder on Ice by Alina Adams! When it comes to mystery series on Hallmark’s second network, there have not been any collection of films revolving around athletics. In Hallmark’s library of films, there are only three movies I’m aware of that prominently feature figure skating. If the Figure Skating Mystery books were adapted into a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, it would fill those two voids that I just mentioned. I even pictured which actors and actresses could portray some of the characters. Despite the fact that Hallmark’s second network is saturated with mystery series at the moment, I think that an adaptation of Murder on Ice could bring something new to the table.

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What are your thoughts on this year’s Christmas Wish-List? Are there any movie-related things you’d like to receive as a gift? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen