Sunset Over Hope Valley: Doing the Right Thing

More often than not, the residents of Hope Valley are shown doing the right thing. While part of this has to do with the nature of the show, this also has to do with the nature of the characters themselves. The majority of the characters have a sense of goodness to them. Sure, they make mistakes from time to time. But, for the most part, the characters take responsibility for their actions and try to learn from those mistakes. Through these on-screen mistakes and choices, it encourages the audience to do the right thing, whatever that may be. Even after the show ends for the season, viewers can carry that goodness with them and incorporate it into their lives. Since this is When Calls the Heart’s season finale, let’s begin this re-cap!

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season finale 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: 12

Name: Rock, A Bye, Baby

Major stories:

Henry returns to Hope Valley. But this time, he has been arrested for destroying the coal mines. Even though Bill told Henry to lay low in Benson Hills, Henry chose to turn himself in. When the residents of Hope Valley find out what Henry did, they applaud him and label him a “hero”. But Henry doesn’t agree with their sentiment. He even tells Elizabeth to stop Rosemary from publishing an article about his recent actions. While in jail, Henry donates a lot of money to Hope Valley’s church, money that was given to him by Lucas several episodes ago. Henry also starts to pray, with the help and guidance of Joseph Canfield. Jerome and the rest of the investors are planning to press charges against Henry. However, Bill promises to help Henry in any way possible.

Lucas’ out-of-town trip from the previous episode is revealed to be a solo camping trip. Because Elizabeth has been worried about Lucas, she asks Nathan to help locate him. When Nathan rides to the top of a secluded hill, he finds Lucas and his campsite. During this encounter, Lucas confesses he just needed some time to think. When Nathan returns to Hope Valley, he reassures Elizabeth that Lucas is ok. Later in the episode, a fire breaks out at the saloon. Lucas arrives just in time to help several Hope Valley residents put out the flames. The next day, Lucas and Elizabeth revisit the saloon to assess the damage. While no one was hurt from the fire, part of the saloon’s sitting area was blackened by the fire and smoke. Shortly after leaving the saloon, Elizabeth reveals she didn’t read the letter Lucas left behind in the previous episode. However, she somehow knew that Lucas’ words to her would be endearing. Lucas tells Elizabeth even if he had lost the entirety of the saloon, he would be fortunate to still have Elizabeth and Jack Jr. Toward the end of the episode, Lucas shares he called Elizabeth’s father to ask for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. He then surprises Elizabeth with a marriage proposal, which Elizabeth accepts.

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.

Minor stories:

Rosemary is still unsure if she is pregnant. Desperate for answers, she finds a book at the doctor’s office about the subject of pregnancy. Even though Elizabeth is present at the office when Rosemary finds the book, she encourages Rosemary to ask Faith. Later, outside the ice cream parlor, Faith passes by Elizabeth and Rosemary. When Faith notices the book Rosemary is reading, Elizabeth says what Rosemary has wanted to tell Faith: that Rosemary is curious of her pregnancy status. At the doctor’s office, Faith shares with Rosemary how, if she were pregnant, Rosemary would feel a fluttering feeling in her abdomen. Rosemary does get this feeling toward the end of the episode, indicating she is, indeed, pregnant. This is also the perfect time to tell Lee the news. After Rosemary shares the good news with her husband, Lee is excited by the prospect of becoming a father.

Joseph and Minnie decide to have a picnic just outside Hope Valley. But due to the windy weather, they change their plans, having the picnic in the church. During their outing, the subject of Minnie’s father is brought up. Joseph is unsure whether working with his father-in-law is a good idea. Minnie reminds him how he shouldn’t let pride get in the way of a good opportunity. Joseph tells her how he will, at least, hear what his father-in-law has to say. Meanwhile, at the Valley Voice, Rosemary discovers Arthur’s offer to Lee. Lee explains how he didn’t accept the offer because it didn’t include Rosemary. He also didn’t take the offer because he feels their home is in Hope Valley. Rosemary agrees with Lee, stating how Hope Valley is a good place to raise a family.

One evening, Bill pays Elizabeth a visit at her home. During this visit, he reveals to her the medical condition he’s been dealing with. Bill also gives her his will, simply as a precautionary move. He does reassure Elizabeth he will try to resolve his medical issue as soon as possible. In town, Mike decides to step down from his mayoral position. Because of this decision, there is a rumor Bill will become mayor instead.

Picnic basket in Autumn image created by Stockgiu at freepik.com. Picnic basket vector created by stockgiu – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • At best, this season of When Calls the Heart has been enjoyable. There are aspects of the overall story I found myself liking, such as Nathan’s newfound snarkiness and the character development of Florence and Ned. But, at worst, season nine has been frustrating. As I said in the previous re-cap post, it feels like When Calls the Heart’s creative team banked a little too hard on receiving another season. Even the season finale didn’t feel like a season finale, but an episode to get things done and over with instead. As of the publication of this article, a tenth season has not been announced. I do hope When Calls the Heart receives another season, so the creative team gets another chance to tell a stronger story.
  • Is it just me or did the saloon fire seem totally random? Back in season five, there was a fire at the church because Cody accidently knocked over a candlestick while practicing for Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding ceremony. Because this fire took place shortly before the aforementioned wedding, it felt like the stakes were higher. In the case of the saloon fire, the cause of the fire was not revealed. The situation was isolated and lasted for a short period of time. With all that said, the stakes in this situation were lower than the season five fire.
  • I know Lucas’ camping trip was a temporary excursion. But now that he is engaged, I would really like to see Lucas receive a bachelor party camping trip! I could just picture Nathan planning the whole event, even recruiting Bill to help with the festivities. As I said, a tenth season has not been announced. If When Calls the Heart doesreceive another season, I hope this party becomes a reality!
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 the season finale? What do you hope to see if the show receives another season? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Revolving Door

Characters coming and going on a television show is nothing new. It has happened on When Calls the Heart on multiple occasions. But in this season, it seems like the arrival and departure of characters has become more common than in past seasons. Most of these characters have returned to Hope Valley, such as Henry Gowan. But some characters have permanently left the show, like Jesse and Clara. I’m not sure if this was intentional or just a coincidence. However, this constant change in When Calls the Heart’s landscape feels like a revolving door. And, honestly, I think it’s kind of exhausting. As of May 2022, no announcements about season ten have been made yet. But if When Calls the Heart does receive another season, I hope this issue gets, somehow, resolved.

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: 11

Name: Smoke on the Water

Major stories:

Plans to re-open the coal mines are still underway. Because of these plans, Arthur and Jerome are continuing their stay in Hope Valley. They have recruited Collin (the man who gave evidence to Henry in the previous episode) to inspect the coal mines. But after the inspection, Collin tells them that the mines could be re-opened, even though it would be difficult. This contradicts what Collin told Henry in the episode prior, that there was no way the mines could safely re-open. Henry suspects Collin had been paid off by Jerome, even asking Collin if that is the case. When Henry doesn’t receive an answer, he angrily leaves the mines. Later in the episode, Collin admits to Henry he was indeed paid off by Jerome. However, Collin claims he took the money to improve his quality of life, as his health has been declining. Upset by how easily persuaded Collin was, Henry decides to take matters into his own hands. During a rainy day, Henry takes every piece of dynamite he can find and blows up the coal mines. He confesses what he did in a private meeting between Bill, Fiona, and Lucas. Though no one was hurt by Henry’s actions, the damaged coal mines seem to be more trouble than the investors are willing to put up with. But, for now, Henry must go to Benson Hills, as Bill tells him to lay low for a while.

With everything going on in Lucas’ life, Lucas feels he needs a break. He takes a short out-of-town trip, with the trip being so short, I didn’t even realize he had left Hope Valley. Despite the short length of this trip, Elizabeth suspects Lucas has changed. During dinner at the Saloon, Lucas tells Elizabeth that, while on his trip, he missed the remoteness of the big city. Not only does this comment bother Elizabeth, but the fact Lucas still hasn’t given Elizabeth her birthday gift is also bothering her. This causes Elizabeth to think Lucas doesn’t want to date her anymore. During her and Rosemary’s “salon day”, Elizabeth tells Rosemary how she feels about Lucas. Rosemary reminds her friend of her assumption about Lee from this season’s fifth episode. She also reminds Elizabeth to be honest with Lucas. One rainy day, Elizabeth visits Lucas at his office, telling him how she feels about everything since his return to Hope Valley. Lucas clarifies on his statement from the Saloon, claiming his priority has always been to be with Elizabeth and her son. As for Elizabeth’s birthday gift, Lucas reveals this gift is a pair of earrings. While Elizabeth is grateful for her gift, she is disappointed he didn’t propose to her. At the end of the episode, Elizabeth discovers Lucas took another out-of-town trip.  

Heart image created by Dashu83 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundimage created by Dashu83 – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/happy-valentines-day-and-heart-card-with-happy-valentines-day-and-heart_1747001.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Florence is still upset over the potential re-opening of the coal mines. After seeing several posters advertising new mining jobs, she not only takes them down, she also yells at Lucas for being partially responsible of the recent events. Throughout all of this, Florence notices how calm Ned has been. When she questions him about it at the Mercantile, Ned says he has always had a calm disposition. He also says having a hobby has taken his mind off of stressing situations. During this conversation, Florence decides to take up dancing again. At the salon, Florence is practicing ballet en pointe. Things seem to going smoothly at first. But when she goes en pointe, Florence ends up developing a cramp in her arches. A few moments later, Mollie, Fiona, and Faith attend the salon for a small get-together. The point of this get-together is to support Florence through these changing times.

Rosemary still hasn’t told Lee about her recent news. She is hesitant to tell him because she continues to believe it’s “too good to be true”. Meanwhile, Lee receives his own news. On more than one occasion, Arthur has visited the Valley Voice’s office with a business opportunity. Later in the episode, Arthur reveals what this business opportunity is. Arthur not only wants to include the Valley Voice in his network of newspaper publications, he also wants Lee to come work for him. Lee doesn’t accept the offer, as he feels his place is working alongside Rosemary. Arthur encourages him to reconsider the offer.

Minnie and Angela have returned to Hope Valley. With this return comes a letter to Joseph from his father-in-law. Even though the contents of this letter are never revealed, Joseph appears to be bothered by them. The next day, Joseph and Minnie discuss what was in the letter. Though this conversation is vague, it seems like Joseph’s familial support is called into question.

Image of ballerina preparing to dance created by Pressfoto at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/people”>People photo created by pressfoto – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • In this season of When Calls the Heart, it seems like the show’s creative team is indecisive over whether they want to start another love triangle. Nathan has been seen interacting with both Mei and Faith. But, in my opinion, Kevin McGarry doesn’t have strong on-screen chemistry with either Amanda Wong or Andrea Brooks. If I had to be brutally honest, it feels like When Calls the Heart’s creative team banked a little too hard on receiving another season. I understand moving on from any relationship takes time. But the fact the screenwriters haven’t committed to a possible love interest for Nathan this season kind of proves my point.
  • Even though Florence has danced only a few times this season, I’m glad this new side of her is being shown! This has become good character growth for Florence and has given the fans a sweet surprise. With Florence’s renewed love of dance, it does make me wonder if we are one step closer to, one day, seeing that theater Rosemary’s been dreaming of?
  • On Twitter, I’ve seen some speculation that Lee could end up dying in the season finale’s saloon fire. Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. Both Lee and Rosemary have been the glue that have kept When Calls the Heart together. They also happen to be two of the show’s most popular characters. I could be wrong about Lee’s fate. But, in my opinion, if Lee and/or Rosemary were to get written off When Calls the Heart, the show would lose more viewership than they already have.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think will happen in the season finale? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Tea for More Than Two

Something I noticed about this episode of When Calls the Heart is how often beverages were referenced. Not only that, but there were scenes showing these characters consuming these beverages. From the way I saw it, those scenes served as a symbol for what the show itself is about. When Calls the Heart has a pace that is on the slower side. Consuming a beverage typically involves slowing down and taking the time to enjoy what you are drinking. Another thing I noticed is how these characters were consuming these beverages in company. This means they shared their beverage with someone else. Sometimes, watching a show is better with others. It’s also nice to have someone else to talk to when it comes to all things Hope Valley! Speaking of Hope Valley, let’s 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 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: 10

Name: Never Say Never

Major stories:

Because of Lucas’ plan to foil Wyman, his innocence is uncertain to the residents of Hope Valley. Until hard evidence is brought forth, Bill places Lucas in jail. While in jail, Elizabeth gives Lucas a new pocket watch with the inscription “Our Time Has Come”. He says he has a birthday present for Elizabeth, which a small box is later revealed. At his office, Bill receives a call from a lawyer in Grandville. This lawyer is representing the man who hit Nathan and Newton with his vehicle. This man claims he not only planted the ledger books in Lucas’ office, he was driving away in order to not get caught. After this information is given, Bill gives Nathan a choice. The aforementioned lawyer presents an offer: let the man who hit Nathan and Newton go free in exchange for the ledger books. Nathan knows this offer will be difficult to accept. On the one hand, harming a Mountie is a serious offense. But those ledger books would be more than enough evidence to prove Lucas’ innocence. Nathan contemplates this decision throughout the episode, as he wonders if it’s right to forgive one wrong with another wrong. Eventually, Nathan accepts the offer from the Grandville lawyer. He even pays Elizabeth a visit with this news.

Jerome Smith returns to Hope Valley, in order to settle the petroleum plant deal. But this time, he has brought Arthur Gilchrist with him. While in Hope Valley, Arthur seems interested in both Fiona and the coal mines. He even carries these interests into the petroleum plant meeting. Lucas, now out of jail, attends this meeting as well. Even Henry dramatically shows up, after being out of town for a few episodes. The reason why Henry was out to town was so he could obtain evidence, from a man named Collin, that the coal mines are in no condition to reopen. In a private meeting with Jerome, Henry finds out it was Arthur’s idea to re-open the mines, as Jerome claims his only focus was the oil. Both Henry and Jerome agree to open the mines, unless there is something preventing them from doing so. Meanwhile, Rosemary plans to report on the mines re-opening. She feels the residents of Hope Valley have a right to know what is happening. But Elizabeth thinks the release of Rosemary’s article would smear Lucas’ reputation. Rosemary does publish her article about the mines, which, predictably, causes tension in Hope Valley. Florence is, understandably, so upset by this news, she slaps Henry in the face when she crosses paths with him in town. Fortunately, this news doesn’t destroy Rosemary and Elizabeth’s friendship, as Elizabeth apologizes for her hesitance over the article publication.

Illustrated tea and table set image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. Mint tea vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com

Minor story:

At the start of the episode, Rosemary feels nauseous. Faith thinks Rosemary has caught a “stomach bug” that has apparently been going around Hope Valley. Instead of attending a meeting with Arthur Gilchrist about the Valley Voice, Rosemary takes it easy by drinking tea and resting. Later in the episode, Rosemary visits Faith again, unable to understand what is going on with her body. Faith then comes to the conclusion Rosemary might be pregnant. Not wanting the news to be “too good to be true”, Rosemary decides not to tell Lee just yet. Speaking of Lee, he visits Joseph at the café, apologizing for his interference with the Canfield’s loan. Joseph forgives Lee, stating how he wanted to get the loan himself.

Pocket watch with confetti image created by Freepik at freepik.com. Christmas clock photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the beginning of this episode, Nathan has a conversation with Fiona about the petroleum plant deal. Kevin McGarry and Kayla Wallace (the actor and actress who portray Nathan and Fiona) not only had really nice on-screen chemistry, they also had strong banter! I’ve heard Kevin and Kayla don’t want their characters to end up in a relationship together, as they don’t want their real-life relationship to be affected by what their characters experience on the show. But, honestly, I wouldn’t oppose the idea of Fiona and Nathan forming a romantic relationship!
  • With how much beverages are referenced in this episode, I’m surprised Hallmark or a shop on Etsy hasn’t created teas inspired by When Calls the Heart. Some examples of possible teas are Gooey Butter Cake flavored tea representing the Canfield family, strawberry tea representing the ice cream parlor, and blueberry scone flavored tea representing the café. I can only speak for myself, but I would certainly consider purchasing When Calls the Heart inspired tea, especially if they were created with natural ingredients.
  • While I’m glad we finally received some answers over whether Rosemary and Lee will start their own family, it’s kind of frustrating how Rosemary’s news is not a confirmation. It’s also frustrating how we’re receiving this news toward the end of the season. I really hope Rosemary and Lee aren’t given a miscarriage story, as that would be cruel for both the Coulters and the fans.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What you think Lucas will be Elizabeth for her birthday? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Masks We Wear

On this episode of When Calls the Heart, there is one character who wears a mask for the majority of the story. While the audience learns the motive behind the mask, it was interesting to see how the other characters responded to this decision. Some characters knew what was going on, so they helped this character in any way they could. Others had no idea what was happening, turned off by the sudden changes in this character. But this episode serves as a reminder how, sometimes, we truly don’t know someone. That is why, throughout the show, the residents of Hope Valley attempt to get to know each other. Whether it’s a simple, friendly conversation or an elaborate celebration, the show’s creative team has, more often than not, given both the characters and the audience an opportunity to become emotionally invested in a characters’ story. There are even times when these characters have become fan favorites. So, have you figured out which character was wearing a mask in this episode? Find out if you’re right in my re-cap 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: 9

Name: Recent Memory

Major story:

Wyman Walden has returned to Hope Valley. But this time, he wants to purchase the Queen of Hearts Saloon. Fiona also returns from San Francisco with some not so good news. According to Fiona, Henry was straight forward when asking about the investors’ intentions for the mines. Due to Henry’s angry approach, three of the investors had to remove Henry from the conference room. The investors also propose to remove Henry from the petroleum plant, but on one condition. This condition is Lucas has to stay with the petroleum plant for one more fiscal year. Meanwhile, with the saloon, Lucas attempts to bluff Wyman into purchasing the saloon. But Bill has beat him to it.

In a private meeting with Wyman, Bill confesses he’d like to become mayor again. Using specific laws, Bill comes up with an agreement with Wyman; he’ll give Wyman the saloon and drive Lucas out of town if Wyman will help Bill in his mayoral quest. After putting on that figurative mask, Bill only tells a handful of people what he’s doing. For those who aren’t aware of Bill’s plan, they are put off by his sudden change in character. Nathan is one of those characters put off by Bill’s changes. Bill eventually informs Nathan what is going on. But Bill tells Nathan in enough time to concoct a plan. Later in the episode, Bill meets Wyman to collect the payment for the saloon. Before any transactions occur, Bill arrests Wyman on multiple charges, including an attempted murder charge from another town. Meanwhile, Julius Spurlock tries to drive out of Hope Valley, in an effort to run away from accountability. Nathan catches up to Julius, even shooting Julius in the arm to stop him. After everything is said and done, Bill finds a way to return the money Wyman took from unsuspecting business owners. When Lucas finds out about Bill’s plan, however, he is upset. Lucas explains his own plans for conning Wyman. Unfortunately, this plan brings suspicion toward Lucas’ character.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

With Minnie and Angela on an out of trip to St. Louis, the café is short staffed. Joseph is able to find a few of his friends to help for the time being. During Lee’s time working in the kitchen, Joseph discovers what Lee did with his and Minnie’s new loan. He confronts Lee about this at the café. Lee apologizes for getting involved, claiming his good intentions. Joseph is upset he wasn’t asked first. At dinner one evening, Cooper confesses he’d like to be his own boss. This confession comes after Joseph askes about Cooper’s decision on attending church. Even though Joseph is supportive of his son, he reminds Cooper how he shouldn’t become too big for his britches, especially when it comes to God. The next morning, Cooper askes his father if they could go fishing. Joseph tells his son how they have work to do, despite being the boss of the café. This gets Cooper to consider his previous decision.

One morning, Faith discovers Mei is leaving for Chicago. While Mei is on her way out of town, Nathan comes to the saloon, asking why she is leaving. Mei explains Geoffrey is pursuing the fake charges against her, meaning she has to appear in court. Nathan arranges for an officer to look out for Mei. Later that evening, Faith crosses paths with Nathan. This leads them to discuss marriage. Nathan claims marriage isn’t on his “to-do list”. Meanwhile, Faith says she and Carson drifted apart because she wasn’t ready to get married. They both agree to get ice cream, especially since Faith has a key to the ice cream parlor.

While helping Lee fix his hair at the salon, Rosemary confesses an editor from Hearst Publishing has expressed interest in including the Valley Voice in their collection of publications. After Fiona finds out this editor is Arthur Gilchrist, she calls him from the Mercantile. Later in the episode, Fiona discovers, through a phone call, that Arthur plans to visit Hope Valley in the near future. She also remembers Arthur is one of the petroleum plant investors. Fiona visits Rosemary and Lee at the saloon and explains all of this to them. They agree to keep their distance from Arthur. Meanwhile, Lucas confesses to Elizabeth what has been happening with Wyman. In an effort to keep Lucas safe and because Elizabeth’s birthday has arrived, they agree to let Lucas spend the evening on Elizabeth’s couch. The actual celebration was a small, intimate affair. But it did give Elizabeth and Lucas a chance to bond and spend time together. With everything happening in Lucas’ business life, Elizabeth has been stressed about his well-being. After Wyman and Julius have been arrested, she thinks Lucas is in the clear. But when she learns more of Lucas’ plan, her stress over Lucas returns.

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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m going to be honest: Mei’s story has become, so far, the most disappointing one this season. This is because it is the most frustrating. In my previous episode re-cap, I pointed out how Mei’s story was strung out for more than half the season. This made me to wish her secret had been revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei. Now, she has left Hope Valley, with only three episodes left in season nine. Because Mei has been so guarded and secretive for so long, I don’t feel like I truly know her as a character. That creative decision has led me to not feel emotionally invested in her or her story. If Mei returns for a possible tenth season, that would be nice. But if she doesn’t, I wouldn’t mind her departure too much.
  • When I look back on When Calls the Heart as a whole, I can’t think of many bonding, heart-to-heart moments between parent and child. These moments between fathers and sons are also extremely rare. Therefore, it was nice to see Joseph and Cooper talking and spending time with one another in this episode! Through these interactions, the audience learned more about where Cooper was in his journey of faith. We also received some wisdom from Joseph. These moments were my favorite in this episode and I hope we receive more of them if When Calls the Heart is granted season ten!
  • While visiting the saloon one evening, Nathan wore a long, black, tailored coat. Despite never seeing him wear this coat before, Nathan (as well as Kevin McGarry) looked great wearing it! I hope to see him wear this coat in future episodes!
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 did you think of this episode? Would you miss Mei if she left When Calls the Heart? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Mightier Than the Sword

While working on the next issue of the Valley Voice, Lee and Rosemary talk about how “the pen is mightier than the sword”. As I reflect on this episode, I have to agree with the Coulters. The spoken or written word is a very powerful tool. But as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben put it, “With great power comes great responsibility”. In Hope Valley alone, words have been used to help and hurt. In Elizabeth’s case, words have been utilized in the name of learning. Joseph is now using words to bring people closer to the Lord.  And Mike is trying to use words to be a better leader. What I get out of the quote, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, is how accessible pens are compared to swords. When one learns how to use a pen, it can empower and inspire them in a way they may not have realized before. So far, on When Calls the Heart, there are three writers: Elizabeth, Rosemary, and Lee. If this show continues for a tenth season, who knows who’ll be encouraged to pick up the written word?

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: 8

Name: Hope Valley Days: Part 2

Major stories:

Geoffrey is still in Hope Valley, claiming that Mei needs to be arrested. Curiosity getting the better of him, Nathan asks Mei for the truth. Mei confesses that, before she came to town, she worked with Geoffrey as a friend. When Geoffrey wanted to be more than friends, Mei turned him down. Refusing to take no for an answer, he created a rumor that he and Mei not only got engaged, but also eloped. Nathan takes Mei to jail, but only to protect her from Geoffrey. In the meantime, he tries to find legitimate evidence against her “ex”. Nathan sends a telegram to Chicago, in the hopes of finding out more information about Mr. Lewis. Later in the episode, when he does receive a call from Chicago, Nathan informs Mei of the charges against her. The newly elected mayor of Chicago has connections to Geoffrey. When Nathan tells her the mayor wants Mei to be transferred to Chicago, she recognizes this as a manipulation tactic on Geoffrey’s part. But instead of following the mayor’s orders, Nathan finds a way to help Mei. As Nathan is letting Mei out of jail, Geoffrey shows up. Nathan uses this as an opportunity to present a marriage license in Geoffrey’s name. This license reveals that Geoffrey was married this whole time, but abandoned his wife in pursuit of Mei. After being confronted with this truth, Geoffrey leaves. Mei not only hugs Nathan, but also thanks him for his help.

Bill is still dealing with his cough from the previous episode. After visiting with Joseph and Minnie, congratulating them on their new loan, Bill discovers he is now coughing up blood. At his recent doctor’s appointment, both Faith and Mollie are disappointed he didn’t receive the X-Ray he was prescribed in “Hope Valley Days: Part 1”. However, Faith does prescribe him medication he has to take once every hour. But Bill doesn’t listen to Faith’s recommendation. Instead, he drinks the whole medicine bottle in one sitting, causing him to become drunk. While Mei is in jail, Bill ends up resting in the cell across from hers. As was mentioned in the previous episode, Bill is representing April Fools’ Day for ‘Hope Valley Days’. People in town comment how he still hasn’t done anything in correlation with the holiday. What they don’t know is that Bill has a trick or two up his sleeve. After church services one day, Hope Valley’s citizens discover a Christmas tree residing in the center of town. No one can figure out who put the tree there. But the audience discovers it was Bill all along.

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Minor stories:

While walking through town one day, Elizabeth meets a woman who has chosen to homeschool her children. After reading the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, she would like to know if Elizabeth could help her receive school supplies. Elizabeth not only agrees to help, but she also gives the woman suggestions on how to locate educational materials for older students. Elizabeth finds a way to help Anna as well. When visiting the café one day, Elizabeth tells Anna she talked to Anna’s mother beforehand. In that conversation, they came to an agreement that Anna could stay in Hope Valley and continue working at the café, until she has enough money saved for college. As for lodging, Joseph has agreed to set up the café’s rooms into boarding house rooms. That way, Anna could stay at the café and pay Mr. and Mrs. Canfield monthly rent. Anna agrees with this plan and is grateful for Elizabeth’s help.

Rosemary and Lee continue to find the voice of Hope Valley’s newspaper. They’re not opposed to writing in an honest manner. But, at the same time, they seek to discover a literary voice that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Rosemary also gives Lee a typewriter, in the hopes of helping Lee learn how to type. Lee has been impressed with Mike’s idea for ‘Hope Valley Days’ and decides to write an editorial about that. When Lee tells Mike about his editorial plans, Mike doesn’t want to hear it, as he fears Lee will only give him more criticism. Despite these concerns, Lee still publishes the editorial. Rosemary likes it, claiming she can sense Lee’s change of heart when it comes to Mike’s leadership. At Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving feast, Mike privately tells Lee how much he liked the article.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m glad Mei’s story has finally concluded! While it contained a good twist and the explanation was straight-forward, Mei’s secret was not as shocking or scandalous as the show’s marketing made it seem. In fact, the creative team behind this season “pulled an Achara” on the audience. For those wondering what “pulling an Achara” means, let me provide some context before I give you an answer. Achara is a character that made a guest appearance in the Lost episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land”. In that episode’s flashback scenes, Achara mentioned to Jack (the show’s protagonist) and the audience that she had a “gift”. But for the majority of the episode, she purposefully withheld any information related to her “gift” and strung both Jack and the audience along. When that information was revealed, some could argue it was underwhelming. To sum all that up, “pulling an Achara” is when a character spends more time withholding information than sharing it, which ends up stalling the story. Like I mentioned earlier, the explanation of Mei’s secret was straight-forward. But if the show’s creative team knew that was the case, why would they string that story along for more than half the season? Looking back on Mei’s story, I wish that information was revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei.
  • I like Joseph and Minnie’s idea to use the café’s rooms as boarding rooms for future tenants! This could encourage more people to visit Hope Valley, as the saloon only has a certain number of rooms in their establishment. But this begs the question; where have the Canfield family been living this season? Toward the end of season eight, the Canfield family moved out of the log cabin they moved into within that season. Are they currently living in the row houses like Elizabeth and the Coulters? Having they been living in the café this whole time? Even though we have about four episodes left this season, I would like to receive an answer to this question.
  • After Bill coughed up blood, I wondered if he’ll stay on the show much longer? Usually when a character coughs up blood, it’s not a good sign for them, health-wise. However, I haven’t heard anything about Jack Wagner, the actor who portrays Bill, expressing any desire to leave When Calls the Heart. Granted, there has been no official word about a tenth season, as of late April 2022. Personally, I hope Bill pulls through, especially since he has appeared on the show since the very beginning.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think Bill’s fate will be? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Looking back on this episode, it seems light is the theme of “Hope Valley Days: Part 1”. The candles on a Menorah begin to be lit and a bonfire takes place in the middle of town. But literal light is not the only kind to be found in the episode. Bill and Nathan shed light on secrets from the past. Elizabeth gives a former student the light of hope. Joseph and Minnie rely on God to shine a light on a brighter future. If you think about it, light appears to be a common subject on When Calls the Heart. The most obvious is, for the most part, the show is light-hearted. The majority of the characters try to be a light in someone else’s day. I could go on and on about how light comes into play in other ways. But, right now, we need to get started 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 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: 7

Name: Hope Valley Days: Part 1

Major stories:

In an effort to put his best mayoral foot forward, Mike hosts Hope Valley’s first annual ‘Hope Valley Days’. This holiday is a collection of other holidays wrapped up into one. Some of the town’s patrons are not only responsible for decorating their place of employment, but for also preparing activities based on their respective holiday. These participating patrons are Elizabeth (representing Thanksgiving), Ned and Florence (representing Hannukah), Bill (representing April Fools’ Day), Rosemary and Lee (representing Halloween), and Mei (representing Valentine’s Day). Throughout the festivities, the aforementioned patrons really get into their roles. From Lee and Rosemary dressing up in costume to Elizabeth planning a Thanksgiving dinner, everyone seems to be enjoying the new holiday. Among the festivities, Faith becomes interested in purchasing an X-Ray machine for the Infirmary. This interest begins after Bill needs to take a chest X-Ray in another town. But Mike created a rule that doesn’t allow her to receive financial grants from the town, as she now owns the Infirmary. Faith tries to ask Mei for financial help, but Mei thinks Mike’s rule is reasonable. Faith also tries to convince Mike to change his mind, but he thinks she will find a way to afford the X-Ray machine. At the town’s bonfire, Faith decides to burn the old Infirmary sign. She tells Mike this is the first step to truly creating the Infirmary as her own.

A man claiming to be Jeffrey bolts into Bill’s office. Jeffrey wants Mei to be arrested, but all Bill wants is for Jeffrey to, politely, leave his office. After Jeffrey refuses and punches Bill in the face, Bill puts Jeffrey in jail. When Bill goes to Nathan with this information, Nathan discovers there are no arrest warrants for Jeffrey, but there are three for Mei, all from Chicago. It is revealed these charges are Arson, Forgery, and Abandonment of a Spouse. Shortly after Mei accepts a permanent position at the Pharmacy, she is called to Bill’s office. Nathan is upset Mei never told him any of the information he discovered. She says no one knows the whole story. Later in the episode, Mei is still in Bill’s office, but alone this time. Ally unexpectedly shows up, still wanting advice about what she should do about Robert. After Mei tells Ally to be herself, she suddenly knows how to handle the situation with Jeffrey. When Mei goes to the jail, Bill tells her he will have to release Jeffrey, as no one saw Jeffrey punching Bill. Jeffrey tries to explain what has been happening, but Mei wants to hear none of it, as she claims he accused her of crimes she didn’t commit.

Things are not going according to plan for the petroleum plant. Henry called Fiona, only to find out she wasn’t successful in driving away the investors. After telling Lucas this news, Henry decides to travel to San Francisco, in order to give Fiona a helping hand. Meanwhile, Lucas is recruited in teaching Nathan how to drive, after Elizabeth was unsuccessful in doing so. But instead of learning how to drive, Nathan shares his worries about Mei to Lucas. Lucas suggests Nathan ask Mei for the truth. Nathan leaves the vehicle, immediately taking Lucas’ advice. After school one day, Lucas comments on how passionate Elizabeth is about teaching. When she asks him what he has always wanted to do, Lucas simply says he has always wanted to set roots in one place, a place to call home.

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Minor stories:

Minnie receives some promising news. She tells Joseph Bill told her Abigail is interested in selling her half of the café. But before any purchases can be made, they need to receive a loan from the bank. When Elizabeth visits the café, Minnie shares her good news. Elizabeth says Abagail also told her this news during a phone conversation. Before they go to the bank in Buxton, Joseph and Minnie pray for a good outcome. But when they arrive back in Hope Valley, later in the episode, they confess to Rosemary and Lee they didn’t receive the loan. Though no reason was provided, this news upsets both Lee and Rosemary. But Lee isn’t going to give up without a fight. After Minnie and Joseph leave, Lee makes a phone call to his bank teller in Buxton, demanding he give Minnie and Joseph a loan. Toward the end of the episode, Joseph and Minnie tell Rosemary and Lee the good news, as they ended up receiving a loan.

When picking up some biscuits at the café, Elizabeth discovers Anna, one of her recent graduates, has started working there. Though everything looks fine on the surface, Elizabeth can tell something is bothering Anna. Later in the episode, Anna visits Elizabeth at the school. Anna confesses she and her mother are moving to Bellingham. However, Anna doesn’t want to move out of Hope Valley. In fact, she took the job at the café in order to earn money for college. Anna knows she has what it takes to look out for herself in town. After asking Elizabeth for help, Elizabeth vows to help Anna any way she can.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • At the Mercantile, Ned brings out a Menorah. He tells Florence he hasn’t used it since his previous wife passed away. Florence then says what is important to him is also important to her. I was surprised to discover Ned is Jewish. Faith/religion is only brought up a limited number of times, with Christmas and a baptism being the only religious specific events ever brought up on When Calls the Heart. With that said, Christianity has made more frequent appearances in the show’s script. A few days ago, I realized there has never been an Easter episode of the show. There also hasn’t been a Passover episode either. If When Calls the Heart receives a tenth season, I hope Passover and/or Easter appears in at least one episode.
  • While ‘Hope Valley Days’ is not a bad idea, I was really confused by its concept. If you’re going to create a new holiday, why not create a whole new reason to celebrate? Why take several pre-existing holidays and pair them together? It felt like the show’s creative team wanted to create holiday specific episodes, but never found the time or reason to write them into the script. In order to make up for lost time, my guess is ‘Hope Valley Days’ was the result of all those abandoned ideas.
  • When Elizabeth visits Rosemary and Lee at the Valley Voice, she compliments them on their costumes. For ‘Hope Valley Days’, they chose to dress up as Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Thinking back on this episode, I have to agree with Elizabeth. Lee and Rosemary looked amazing! Their whole ensemble looked so good, it appeared to come straight out of a Broadway show. Whoever was in charge of Pascale and Kavan’s wardrobe, make-up, and hair should receive an applause!
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What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any theories about Mei? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Enjoy the Compliment

At the Soda Fountain, Mike gives Faith a compliment on her hair, which was styled by Fiona in the previous episode. Faith then asks Mei what she should do about it, with Mei telling her to “enjoy the compliment”. While the advice itself is vague, both Faith and Mei bring up a good point. When someone gives us a compliment, we, more often than not, accept it. But once we’ve accepted it, what do we do with that compliment? Sure, we could use that to boost our confidence. Or we could “pay it forward” and give a compliment to someone else. But I feel there must be something more that could be done with any compliment. Sadly, I don’t currently have the answers to solve this dilemma. Until then, 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 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: 6

Name: Past, Present, Future

Major stories:

Henry, Lucas, and Fiona are still dealing with the woes of the petroleum plant deal. At the plant, Lucas asks Henry why he is against the new investors and Jerome. Henry reveals that, in the court hearing from the earlier seasons, the Pacific Northwest Mining Company was forbidden from re-opening the mines. With Jerome now on board, Henry fears Jerome will try to re-open the mines under a new company name. Lucas and Henry, along with Fiona, visit Bill at his office, in an attempt to remedy the situation. Because money has already exchanged hands, Bill says there isn’t much that can be done. However, he still thinks they should find a way to dissuade the investors without showing their hand. Bill tells Fiona, Lucas, and Henry to keep quiet about their conversation for the time being, especially since several Hope Valley residents lost a family member or friend in the mining accident. When Elizabeth visits Lucas at the saloon, he tells her how much her concern means to him. She then addresses Wyman’s interaction with her in an earlier ninth season episode, asking Lucas if he’ll sell the saloon. Lucas reveals that not only has Wyman left with no forewarning, but how he won’t ever be selling the saloon. Later in the episode, Fiona leaves for San Francisco again, attempting to fix the mess she made. But before she leaves, Henry apologizes to Fiona for how he treated her. This is because he realizes Mike placed Fiona in a situation she was ill-prepared for. Accepting his apology, Fiona agrees with Henry to start their business relationship over.

There have been several changes taking place in Hope Valley. One of them has been increased traffic. Even though some of the town’s residents have not been pleased about some of these changes, Lee has become the most vocal about them. He approaches Bill to see if anything can be done. After Bill reminds him how Mike is now Hope Valley’s mayor, Lee comes up with an idea. This idea is to write an editorial in the Valley Voice about the changes that have taken place. While Lee hopes some issues can be addressed in his editorial, there are some issues that have suddenly popped up. One day, at the Valley Voice office, Lee notices a group of men building something just outside of town. When Lee approaches the men in order to ask questions, one of the men is standoffish with him. As Lee tries to help him carry a plank of wood, the man pushes Lee, which starts a fist fight. Not only is Joseph able to stop the fight, but Lee was able to walk away with minor injuries. Before his article is published, Lee discovers the group of men were building a billboard to advertise jobs at the incoming foundry. But when Lee’s editorial is printed, it causes a buzz in the town. Rosemary warns Lee that even though his words are important, they might not be everyone’s “cup of tea”. Her words of wisdom encourage Lee to cancel additional prints of the new edition of the Valley Voice.

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:

One morning, Nathan decides to reacquaint Newton to their Mountie duties. But just as Nathan is about to put the saddle on his horse, Newton becomes skittish. The situation gets worse when Nathan and Newton arrive in town. Nathan is attempting to direct traffic. But the noise and commotion frighten Newton. So, Bill agrees to look after Newton during Nathan’s traffic directing. After the morning’s events, Bill informs Nathan that, for the time being, he has to get permission to ride Newton. This is because Newton’s current demeanor could put both horse and man in danger. Later in the episode, Nathan addresses what Bill told him to Mei. He says she shouldn’t have told Bill about Newton’s issues, as they were none of Bill’s business. But before this conversation, Nathan shared with Mei a past memory that has contributed to his current apprehension toward riding. When he was first learning to ride horses at thirteen, Nathan was thrown off a horse, which caused him to acquire a concussion. This recent apprehension led Nathan to take up Elizabeth’s offer, so he can learn how to drive a vehicle.

Mei is still secretive about her past and reasons for coming to Hope Valley. When Nathan asks Mei why she came to town, she tells him she wanted to see the world. She also tells Nathan Faith sold her on how great Hope Valley is. At the Soda Fountain, Faith asks Mei what happened between her and Jeffery. Mei simply says that her marriage with Jeffery was never going to work. Later in the episode, Bill arrives at the Soda Fountain to get some strawberry ice cream. While there, he wonders if Mei has anything to hide. Mei claims that she has been telling the truth the whole time. But Bill tells her that anyone who fears the truth is hiding more than they’re letting on. Meanwhile, Joseph and Minnie have been considering new steps in their careers. Joseph is still thinking about becoming a partner in Lee’s lumber yard. Minnie also wants to purchase the café from Bill. For now, though, they will continue to pray about it.

While showing Ally how the seltzer squirt bottle works, Robert unintentionally causes a food fight with some of Elizabeth’s students. Not only do these students have to clean up their mess, but Robert is also required to take care of Newton with little to no pay. Ally is proud of her throwing arm, as she claims she threw some ice cream right at Robert’s face. But she also claims the food fight was all meant in good, friendly fun. Later in the episode, Ally visits Elizabeth seeking advice. Even though she had a good time at her grandparents’ house, Ally now feels left out. She says her friends are either too busy interested in “childish” things or are moving on to graduation or taking jobs. Ally is also jealous of Angela’s new friendship with Robert, especially after hearing about their bike ride that happened earlier this season. Elizabeth tells Ally the same thing Nathan told her: to simply remain friends with Robert. She also tells Ally to find people who she feels comfortable with. That way, Ally will have a place to belong, no matter where she is.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the end of this episode, Elizabeth asked Joseph to build a book wagon. After seeing a notice on the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, Elizabeth became inspired to deliver books to neighboring towns in the summer. Not only do I like her idea, but I honestly wish this was the basis for When Calls the Heart’s spinoff show. The overarching story could have been similar to shows such as Highway to Heaven and Touched by An Angel: where a new person is helped each episode. Maybe if the spinoff show had a more unique identity, I would have a stronger interest in watching it.
  • As I mentioned in the introduction, Mike gives Faith a compliment. He then invites Faith to dinner at the saloon, with Faith accepting the invitation. Even though Mike is not romantically involved with Faith or Fiona, it makes me wonder if we’ll witness a second love triangle in the future? At this point, it’s way too early to speculate. But after the love triangle that took place from seasons six to eight, I really don’t like the idea of another one.
  • While looking back on Henry’s overarching story, I realize it has, more often than not, been unhappy. Yes, he’s come a long way since the beginning of When Calls the Heart. And we did see a happier side to him in season eight. But giving Henry basically one happy story in nine seasons is, honestly, disappointing. If When Calls the Heart receives a tenth season, I hope Henry catches a break. If he’s not ready to fall in love, that’s ok. As long as Henry is happier than he usually has been.
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What are your thoughts on this episode? How are you enjoying this season so far? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Braving the Storm

Life is filled with storms. Some are “category 5” and affect multiple people. Others are so small, they pass by in the blink of an eye. Whether these storms are literal or figurative, what matters is how you react to them. Storms have come and gone in Hope Valley. When the children of the town were left without a school, the men of Hope Valley came together to build a school that could also double as a church. As the settlers moved into Hope Valley, Rosemary donated her bridesmaid dress material in order for injured settlers to have bandages. These are just two examples of the “storms” that have taken place on When Calls the Heart. The way these characters have reacted allowed their town to remain standing. Speaking of Hope Valley, let’s begin this re-cap of the show!

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: 5

Name: Journey into Light

Major Stories:

Mr. Landis has, once again, returned to Hope Valley. This time, though, he has come to apologize to Elizabeth. Mr. Landis informs her he will find a way to figure out the credential situation. Meanwhile, Minnie stills does not like Mr. Landis. She does offer him a cranberry muffin as a peace offering. But Minnie feels there’s more that can be done. She comes up with a plan to invite Mr. Landis to dinner. Joseph is skeptical about the plan, but supports his wife. The night of the dinner is met with a rainstorm. Joseph, Angela, and Cooper wonder if Mr. Landis has left town. However, Mr. Landis arrives with a wet coat and a broken umbrella. During pre-dinner tea, Mr. Landis reveals that before he became the district’s superintendent, he was a music teacher. Upon hearing this information, Joseph and Minnie tell Mr. Landis of Angela’s musical talents. Angela and Mr. Landis begin to play the piano. This experience brings joy to Angela’s parents. Cooper was, at first, upset by this duet. Over time, he becomes proud of his sister’s recognition. The next day, Minnie tells Elizabeth the dinner went wonderfully. Elizabeth is just as surprised as the Canfields were by Mr. Landis’ musical abilities. Before he leaves Hope Valley, Mr. Landis shares with Elizabeth how he plans to return to music.

Fiona has returned from San Francisco. When she arrives, Henry finds her asleep in the carriage. Fiona attempts to tell Henry her news. But he suggests she go home and get some rest. Henry also has news to share with Fiona, that he’s staying with the petroleum plant. But the timing is never right. One day, Henry receives a letter about why Fiona went to San Francisco. While there, she found a group of investors to join the petroleum plant. Upset by this information, he visits Fiona at the barber shop. Henry shares how he feels with her, stating how he wanted to string these investors along in order to learn their motive. After hearing what Henry had to say, Fiona realizes she made a mistake. Also, in Hope Valley, Lucas and Mike were spotted talking with Wyman. This concerns both Nathan and Bill.

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Minor stories:

Ally has come home from her grandparents’ house. Though she had a good time, she missed Hope Valley. But Ally missed Robert the most, besides Nathan. The new ice cream parlor and Mei excite Ally. She’s also excited that Robert sometimes works at the ice cream parlor. What doesn’t excite Ally is Nathan’s moustache, which he shaves off after their heart-to-heart conversation. During this conversation, Nathan reveals the car crash that injured him and Newton. Understandably, Ally is upset that she wasn’t told this information sooner. She does forgive Nathan because he explains how he didn’t want to worry Ally on her trip. Their heart-to-heart conversation also provides a good opportunity for Ally to share her growing feelings for Robert. Nathan’s advice for Ally is to, for now, just remain friends with Robert. Later in the episode, Nathan and Lucas hold a race, with Lucas riding on his motorcycle and Nathan riding on Elizabeth’s horse, Sargent. This race was the result of a disagreement that started when Nathan learned Lucas bought Lee’s motorcycle. The event itself starts earlier than expected, with Mike accidently dropping the starting flag. During the race, Lucas runs out of gas. Nathan offers to help, but Lucas refuses, saying how he’ll walk the bike back to town. This mechanical difficulty allows Nathan to win the race. When Lucas returns to Hope Valley, Elizabeth is waiting for him at the gas station.

While things are going well at the Valley Voice, Rosemary worries she and Lee are growing apart. Lee has recruited Joseph’s help with a project. This has caused Rosemary to become suspicious. While moving some papers on Lee’s desk, Rosemary finds an unaddressed poem. She wonders if Lee wrote it for someone else. At Elizabeth’s house one evening, Rosemary shares her feelings and the poem she found. Elizabeth encourages Rosemary to be honest with Lee. The next day, Lee tells Rosemary how he wants to spend more time with her, as work has taken up so much of their time. This surprises Rosemary and debunks her concerns. Lee reveals the project he and Joseph were working on: a lawn chair set. These connected lawn chairs face in opposite directions. This is because Rosemary likes to look out at the garden and Lee likes to look at the hills. The lawn chairs also allow Rosemary and Lee to turn to each other. Lee then recites the poem Rosemary found on his desk, revealing how the poem was for her all along.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • It was such a pleasant surprise to find the Canfield family’s swing on the church/school grounds! Yet, the more I think about it, the more this decision makes sense. In season eight, Joseph built that swing for his family. After he became Hope Valley’s preacher, donating the swing to the church was likely his way of giving back to the community. The swing itself will be beneficial for church and school gatherings. I like how it didn’t get lost in the show’s shuffle of stories!
  • In the previous Sunset Over Hope Valley post, I said Elizabeth should face accountability for her actions. While I still think this is true, Elizabeth should also not receive credit for someone else’s efforts. Toward the end of this episode, Mr. Landis thanks Elizabeth for helping him rethink his priorities. But his musical passions were reignited because of his dinner with the Canfield family, which was Minnie’s idea. I know Mr. Landis was in Hope Valley because of Elizabeth’s mistakes. However, he ended up giving Elizabeth more credit than she deserved.
  • During the aforementioned heart-to-heart conversation between Ally and Nathan, Ally calls Nathan “dad”. Even though it was a simple comment said in passing, this is, actually, a big deal. For one, it maintains the consistency of this particular part of the show’s overarching story. It also shows how Ally has become comfortable enough to call Nathan “dad”. While everything seems well in Nathan and Ally’s world, it will be interesting to see who Ally calls “mom”.
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 have any predictions for the next one? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Growing Pains

Every show experiences “growing pains”. Characters come and go each season. Even when they stick around, characters change as the seasons go by. Stories begin and end, some of them taking longer than a season. But no matter how a show begins, its landscape is not the same as when the show ends/continues. This can be said about When Calls the Heart. So much has happened within this show’s lifespan. There has even been a lot going on in the ninth season, despite it not reaching the halfway point yet. Whether you’ve been watching When Calls the Heart since the very beginning or have just recently tuned in, we can all agree that this is not a stagnant show. With all that said, 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 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: 4

Name: Straight from the Heart

Major stories:

Mr. Landis has returned to Hope Valley. As he’s about to approach the Jack Thornton School, Elizabeth reminds him how she went to Hamilton and received her certification to teach Angela. Problem is, she was supposed to obtain that certification in her respective school district, which is not located in Hamilton. Because of this error on Elizabeth’s part, Mr. Landis claims her certification is invalid. He ends up sitting in on Elizabeth’s class because of this news. During a spelling test, Cooper accidently breaks his pencil. When he receives a new pencil, Cooper tells Elizabeth he doesn’t like Mr. Landis. While he didn’t state in that moment why he didn’t like Mr. Landis, Elizabeth believes it has to do with the superintendent causing Angela and her trouble. One day, during class, Elizabeth and Mr. Landis discuss the situation in private. Elizabeth feels that as long as the school is not officially a part of the Valley school district, she gets to control the school how she wishes. But Mr. Landis disagrees, saying her school will have to join the district sooner or later. Before Mr. Landis leaves, he discovers his hat was glued to a table. Even though the students think the prank is funny, both Elizabeth and Mr. Landis are not pleased. The next day, Cooper confesses to gluing Mr. Landis’ hat. In an after-school meeting, Cooper says he isn’t sorry for pulling the prank. But he is sorry for causing Elizabeth and his sister any trouble. His parents agree to have Cooper earn extra money to purchase a new hat for Mr. Landis.

Bill is still suspicious about Wyman. He continues to inspect Wyman’s gun, which was confiscated in the previous episode. When the gun doesn’t reveal any clues, Bill turns to Lee and Rosemary in an attempt to find answers. Rosemary says she has newspaper related connections in several towns, volunteering to find any information about Wyman’s whereabouts. With Rosemary’s help, Bill discovers Wyman was detained in Brookfield before returning to Hope Valley. He wasn’t held for long, though, because he didn’t receive any official charges. While Wyman was in Brookfield, he tried to take advantage of businessowners, similar to how Wyman tried to take advantage of Jesse in season eight. A businessowner was also shot, currently in a coma. Later in the episode, Wyman comes into Hope Valley with Julius Spurlock. When Nathan and Bill ask the men to hand over their weapons, Julius and Wyman conveniently don’t have them in their possession. Lucas even warns the men to stay away from Elizabeth and Jack Jr.

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:

 Toward the beginning of the episode, Mei visits Nathan at the jail. She wants to know if Nathan would like to work with Newton. Nathan agrees, with this decision working out in the long run. Through these interactions with Mei and Newton, Nathan is able to regain his connection with his horse. Mei reminds him situations like this one take time and trust. To thank Mei for her help, Nathan invites her to dinner at any restaurant of her choice. Mei accepts this offer, choosing the saloon as their destination. At the dinner, Mei arrives with an ointment. She claims this will help relax the muscles in Nathan’s shoulder, which is still in a sling. But before the dinner took place, Mei asked Bill for his help. She hires him as her attorney, claiming she’s a fugitive against her husband. This statement was never clarified in this episode.

Because Laura is sick with the flu, Elizabeth is left without a babysitter for Jack Jr. After overhearing a conversation between Florence and Ned, Lucas volunteers to help. Despite having little to no childcare experience, Lucas tries his best to make the most of his time with Elizabeth’s son. During the day, he takes Jack Jr. for a wagon ride in Hope Valley. They ride past Henry, who wonders where Fiona is. This is because Henry wants to tell Fiona he is staying with the petroleum plant, especially if the investors agree with his decision. Lucas and Jack Jr. also meet up with Rosemary. Lucas tells Rosemary Jack Jr. appears to be feeling down. When she suggests giving him ice cream, Lucas dissuades this idea, as Elizabeth told him not to give Jack Jr. any ice cream. Rosemary then suggests visiting Faith for help. Faith discovers Jack Jr. has inflamed gums, though the situation can be easily taken care of. She also reassures Lucas that he is doing the best he can looking after Jack Jr. Elizabeth is pleased with Lucas’ babysitting efforts. But she’s not pleased he installed a phone in her house without her permission. Over an ice cream date, Elizabeth explains to Lucas why she doesn’t want a phone. Lucas does apologize and explain the benefits of having this piece of technology. After this, Elizabeth reconsiders having a phone.

Joseph has accepted a bookkeeping job at Lee’s lumberyard. While discussing this new job with Minnie, he brings up the idea of purchasing half of the company. Joseph believes by doing this, he would have something for himself. This statement causes Minnie to consider her responsibilities at the café. They both agree to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Cooper’s behavior in school concerns both Minnie and Joseph. Their son’s attitude toward Mr. Landis also concerns them. While at the café one day, Joseph and Minnie discuss how to handle the situation. As a car drives up to the café’s porch, Joseph notices the car’s damaged front end. When he questions the driver how the car got in that condition, the driver runs away. Joseph not only chases the driver, but also catches him. It is revealed this driver is the one who hit Nathan and Newton. The driver is taken to jail, with his identity never being revealed in this episode.

Old fashioned telephone image created by Kues1 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage photo created by kues1 – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know Mr. Landis’ presence is meant to cause drama and conflict within the overarching story. However, it’s kind of a shame that he is portrayed as a villain. As far as I can tell, Mr. Landis is just doing his job. If anyone is to blame, it’s, in my opinion, Elizabeth. She spent the previous season avoiding the process to obtain the aforementioned credentials to teach Angela. Yet, during this same season, Elizabeth somehow found the time to maintain her love life and write her book. Even when she did obtain these credentials, Elizabeth didn’t seem to take the time to learn how to receive them properly. If anything, she needs to take responsibility for her actions.
  • I’m kind of disappointed the mystery of Nathan’s car accident was wrapped up so quickly. This story could have been drawn out for a little bit longer. The guilty party could also have been discovered by an unlikely character, leading to a shocking reveal. But the reveal in this episode was anti-climactic. We don’t even know who committed the crime. The mystery reminds me of Dylan’s arrival in season eight’s premiere.
  • In this episode, we learn a little bit of information about Mei. But by this point in the season, I was hoping we’d get more information about her. Granted, we’re not halfway through the season yet. So, there’s still plenty of time for Mei’s story to be told. I just hope her story isn’t drawn out for too long.
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? Which story has been your favorite so far? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

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