When Calls the Heart, Season One Episodes 10-11 (2014)




At the risk of sounding repetitive, I have to confess that each time I sit down to write these out I tell myself this will be the last week I gush about When Calls the Heart (it's coming to an end, readers - your patience is noted and I'm grateful) because I think we’ve established my enjoyment of it and yet each time I watch a block of new episodes somehow my mind convinces me to do a write-up. Last week’s episode deals with the aftermath of Jack (Daniel Lissing) leaving and the impact it has on Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and then builds to a climax that covers the conclusion of Julie Tatcher’s foolish insta-love saga when the Tolliver gang kidnap the Thatcher sisters and Julie’s sudden romance with ringleader Nate goes south. From there, things get dicey but happiness (of course) prevails! In episode eleven – ‘Rules of Engagement,’ Elizabeth rejoices in the return of Jack to Coal Valley only for her happiness to again be shattered when she comes face-to-face with the daring actress (Pascale Hutton), who incidentally happens to be Jack’s fiancĂ©e!


Elsewhere, Abigail (Lori Loughlin) is busy searching for the truth of the mine disaster and instead of squaring off alone with Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins), now she has the assistance of a Mountie inspector (Jack Wagner) to offer support and finally a man who listens to Abigail’s fears that the disaster was no accident. 

There is a lot of ground covered in these two episodes, not the least of which is more friction in the Elizabeth and Jack saga which frankly is tolerable (as a girl who sometimes grows weary of the back-and-forth romantic entanglements of television characters, this is saying a lot) because Erin and Daniel make their characters so likable to say nothing of the soul of this show being about this darling pair. There are definitely highlights and low points in this block of episodes, they were as follows.
 
+ Upping the excitement was something writers did well – episode ten (‘Love Comes First’) takes a very foolish girls “love” (really, I am sorry but I have to say it – Julie (Charlotte Hegele), what were you thinking?!) and turns it into an opportunity for some breath-catching excitement. The sort that families can still watch together without feeling uncomfortable or worried over what misfortunate will befall its captives.  

+ Elizabeth’s sighting of Jack upon his return to Coal Valley? Priceless.  
 
+ Much as her sassiness, girl-who-can-do-anything attitude may win over fans, I’m not overly fond of the worldly, Miss Rosemary LaVeaux. She’s one of those girls who fights for things she knows no longer wants her attention meaning she inserts herself into situations she has no business in – and really, she’s not the kind of character I’d have expected writers to pair with a certain hero.  
 
+ Excuse me, but inquiring minds want to know – where has Mr. marriage-and-Mounties-don’t-mix gone? Jack pushing Elizabeth away in the very beginning and his attitude in ‘Rules of Engagement’ don’t mesh though since this is about reviving his past, I’ll give him a pass – after all, we all change. *wink*  
 
+ Jack and Elizabeth may have stolen everyone's heart, however can we get a shout-out for Abigail…? Don’t you love seeing her maybe head towards a new kind of happy...

Edging towards the season finale – coming next Saturday! – means that there will likely be some resolution even if that comes in cliffhanger form. There is much to be decided in the final two hours and while some fans may again worry over all that happens in episode eleven, keep a good thought! Considering its source material and prior similar adaptations, writers have little choice but to leave fans smiling.

Share any thoughts you’d like about Hallmark’s newly arrived and much raved about series. Hearties, what are we thinking about all of these complications in Jack and Elizabeth's would-be courtship?
 
 When Calls the Heart, pilot filmWhen Calls the Heart, Episodes 1 and 2 

Catch episode eleven, ‘Rules of Engagement' on Saturday March 22nd on Hallmark Channel and see the promo video.

...and in case you missed episode ten, here's the 'Love Comes First' promo
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Rissi
27 Comments

27 comments:

  1. Rissi, so wonderful as always to hear your take on the episodes, and especially to get a little sneak peek of this upcoming dramatic episode! From press release lead sheets and pictures for both episodes 11 & 12 that I've seen I'll admit I was so upset to hear about this "love triangle" situation! Why can't we just see Jack and Elizabeth enjoying some romantic courting while working alongside each other to deal with the issues in Coal Valley! I guess that's why I'm not the writer though and I have never produced a successful tv show! Lol! I want everything to be portrayed through rose-colored glasses and just want to see Jack and Elizabeth together! Not sure if you've joined the official fan group (#hearties) on Facebook but there are all lines of speculations, discussions, spoilers, and even teasers offered by Brian Bird himself that keep usual l on the edge of our seats!

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    1. Hi, Angela! I'm glad you continue to visit and discuss the complications of this sweet show - it's definitely grown a lot in this short span and I'm glad it's enjoying all this success.

      We already had a love triangle so I'm not sure why we're walking through it again, but... I've got every confidence we'll get through. *fingers crossed* Plus I'm SO sure eventually Jack and Elizabeth will end up together. Here's hoping episode 12 ends reasonably well though I suspect writer's will give us something to worry over via a cliffhanger. LOL, we've often joked (myself and some friends) that we could write these shows better. I think if we put our heads together, we could dream up something awesome. ;)

      I've never used Facebook for various personal reasons but do follow all the #hearties awesome-ness on Twitter - any spoilers, teasers or fun is always most welcome! Glad fans have a fun place to hang out and discuss! :)

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  2. You know what?? I still haven't had a chance to watch this. But every time I see you doing a review on it, I do a "palm to the forehead" move and remind myself to hurry up and watch them. :)

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    1. Oh, dear! I'd love to know what you think if/when you watch this one, Melissa - though I am betting you're keeping super busy with books and such. ;)

      Hope you enjoy it once you try it - it's so refreshing to find wholesome entertainment.

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  3. I hate love triangles, so that fact they threw another one in the hat makes me not so happy. But, also we do have to remember that it IS Hallmark, so they pretty much have to make the audience happy by the finale. Even if there is some sort of a cliffhanger. I'm just not ready for it to be over yet!!!!!! Oh, and like someone said above I helped found and run a FB group for the #Hearties. Hallmark Channel has made it the OFFICIAL WCTH FB group!! :)

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    1. Exactly - thank you, Alyssa! I was looking for a way to say that about the conclusion, ultimately things will end happily because of this network's track record. And that's what I love so much about it. I know right? How fast have these 12 episodes gone by... here's hoping Hallmark listens and gives it a new season order. :)

      Aw, fun! I'm so glad there are people out there who have created a cool place for #hearties to hang out - and that it's getting great recognition from Hallmark Channel. That's awesome. :)

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  4. I have never heard of this series, I need to check it out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. It's super sweet, Missie - if you like wholesome prairie-like stories, you'd enjoy this one. :)

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  5. HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU ALREADY WATCH EPISODE 11?! I mean, isn't that the one when he comes back to Coal Valley?! I'm dying to watch it tomorrow!!

    Any news on a renewal?

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    1. Same method as the email I sent you about the movies - so much fun in episode 11, Ella - I will definitely want to get your thoughts, girl, please do share once you see it!!! :)

      ...no renewal news. Yet. I'm so hopeful it'll return! :)

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  6. I hate to be a party pooper, and I don't want to step on any toes here. But I'm genuinely curious...am I the only one struggling with this series? Every time I watch it, it strikes me as so corny. I'm a few episodes behind (just watched ep 6), and even though I keep hoping it will get better, it doesn't seem to. I feel like it's not cast very well (the movie Elizabeth and Jack were much preferable), and the writing seems extremely cliche.

    I grew up watching Little House reruns, and CBS Saturday night was a highlight of the week with Dr. Quinn. I loved Christy, and I liked the Little Men series as well. But When Calls The Heart? I honestly don't think it's in the same category as any of those.

    I know there's a lot of "heartie" fans here, and I honestly don't want to tear down the show. In all seriousness, I am honestly curious if I'm the only one noticing these things and having these feelings.

    I would love any and all comments!

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    1. You're not a downer in the least, Valerie. And far as I'm concerned you aren't stepping on any toes - you've written out a considerate, honest comment and I respect that. Thank you. :)

      I doubt you're the only one struggling with the series - I am sure there are plenty of people out there who aren't fond of the show (though in the circle I've been in, we're all fans). For me, the biggest attracter is its wholesome qualities and actually, I have to confess I prefer this cast over the movie. I liked Maggie Grace and Stephan Amell (who played the book counterparts Elizabeth and Wynn) but when it comes down to the niece Elizabeth in the film vs. Erin, I much prefer Erin and the chemistry between she and Daniel is so sweet! Plus the show has written out her movie love interest.

      Honestly, I understand what you mean about the writing - it's a mix of modern and old, dialogue, and sometimes it rubs me the wrong way though for the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.

      If you ever do decide to catch up, I hope it grows on you (I feel like it's MUCH better watching it as a "bigger picture" show rather than as forty-some minute mini stories). Sorry it doesn't work well for you though I'm glad you shared! :)

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  7. I have seen the movie and just tonight discovered the series. I loved it and want to see all the episodes. Are there any out there for free?

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    1. Lovely! I'm so glad you're enjoying what you saw of this series, Leigh! I agree, it is wonderful fun.

      I think you can view the episodes on hallmarkchannel.com so long as you have a cable provider - I'm not sure why but sites are requiring you give them a cable provider. Hope that helps! :)

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  8. I have truly loved this series until this week. But Episode 11 seemed to contradict just about everything we know about Jack. He - for the first time ever - seemed defensive to Elizabeth when they had their brief chat in the classroom. And their only other interaction was after the church service where he complimented her appearance. At the end of the episode he had not given her any satisfactory explanation at all. He showed her more tenderness and sought out her company much more often back in the episodes where he barely knew her.

    I felt that Jack's pursuit of his new post was more than enough of an obstacle to their love. Now, in the penultimate episode, almost everything that has built between them seems to have unraveled. A fiancee came out of nowhere. The previous completely honest Jack failed to disclose this. The previously honorable and tender Jack barely offered the briefest explanation. And he spent far more time this episode with Rosemary (even though he repeatedly made it clear to Rosemary that he wants Elizabeth) than he did with Elizabeth.

    I really hope this gets resolved satisfactorily in the finale. But honestly I don't know how they can possibly repair this in episode 12, after episode 11 seemed to unravel everything that had built so beautifully over the prior 10 episodes.

    I hope I am wrong and that things do get resolved satisfactorily. I don't just mean swept under the rug with a rushed romantic ending, but truly resolved. I don't feel like I know the Jack who was in epsiode 11. I can't foresee how the Jack of episodes 1-10 is going to return.

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    1. Hi, Jordan! Thanks for joining in our WCTH conversation. Glad you shared.

      You make very valid points. While this twist hasn't ruined how well I like Jack, it has certainly made us pause and wonder how he'd have ever been with a girl like Rosemary. Because of fans reaction to her, writers have undercut her both on a personality level and as a match for Jack. Actually, when I first read about someone else coming in to cause friction in this relationship, I thought perhaps it was Elizabeth's former Mountie friend (from the film). Imagine my surprise!

      Writers seem to take pleasure in throwing fans these kind of curveballs - a love triangle (technically, this is our second in as many episodes), when in fact what you say is true, Jack potentially leaving or his feelings about marriage in general were enough of a barrier for Elizabeth and Jack's would-be love. After all, the end result (the books) is a happily ever after, bumps and all. :)

      Enjoy the finale.

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  9. Rissi, I so wish I had found this site a while ago. Better late than never, I suppose!
    I really reading like your insights, as well as the varied opinions of all posters.

    The thing is, I really want to like this show as much as I did - I want to find an interpretation of Jack in Episode 11 that is not as negative as the one I had after watching this episode. Do you mind sharing a little more of how you took his actions from this episode? He didn't seem to try very hard to explain this very important information to her, and when he did it seemed brief and a little defensive. I like that he repeatedly, but politely, made it clear to Rosemary that he no longer had feelings for her -- starting with telling her this within seconds of their initial meeting. But his interactions with Elizabeth seemed uncharacteristically brief and far between (I think they talked only 2 quick times, and the timeline seemed as though Rosemary had been there at least 5-6 days.)

    Any additional thoughts?

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    1. Thanks, Jordan! It's nice to chat about a shared fandom so I'm glad you've joined in. :)

      I'm sorry that this episode ruined your respect for Jack - perhaps tonight's will redeem it a bit. *fingers crossed* I think really what Jack's reaction (or lack of explaining) to Elizabeth (in episode 11) boils down to is just writer's playing with us, wanting to keep them apart - to create tension, distance, a will-they-or-won't-they admit to their feelings scenario - so that viewers will fret about Jack and Elizabeth winding up together. Does that make any sense? I understand what you're questioning (Jack's attitude, lack of explanation) and my thought is simply that writer's like to toy with us - I've seen this time and again in favorite TV shows, and it's always a ploy to create excitement. I too respected Jack telling Rosemary right off he was no longer interested. That certainly helps his characters methinks.

      Glad you stopped by with more thoughts! :)

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  10. To Valerie, (I think I'm replying in the wrong place, but I can't get the "reply" button to your post to work.)

    I don't think you're a party pooper at all! I love discussing things when there are a variety of opinions. I see you weren't too impressed with episodes 1-6 when you posted. For what it's worth, I thought episodes 7-10 were the best so far. You might find them more to your liking. I hope so!

    I agree with you that some of it is a little corny. But I found so many things to like about this series that the corny parts seemed a very small price to pay for all the things I liked so much: Abigail's strength and leadership; the development of mutual admiration (and then romance) between Elizabeth and Jack; the sense of cooperation in the commmunity, and the respect that people from different walks of life had for each other.

    I do hope you give the later episodes a try. There is one particularly bright new beginning after the coal mining disaster that involves Abigail, and some pretty good suspense and weaving in of different story lines.

    I hope you'll post your thoughts again - whether you agree with me or not! I love a good discussion.

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    1. (Glad you replied to Valerie's comment, Jordan! I'll let her know - and as for the "reply" button, sorry about that. I think sometimes you have to refresh it before it'll work. Or that's what I've found.)

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    2. To Jordan, and Rissi too, of course! :)
      I actually am planning on finishing out this season of the show, at least. How fast I'm not sure, usually I watch one episode per week of the shows in my rotation, but I ran out of time and When Calls The Heart got skipped this week. So, I still haven't seen beyond ep 6.

      This commotion about Jack in the later episodes sounds interesting. I haven't read in detail, but I've skimmed all of the comments about the later episodes (I'm not huge on spoilers, but I'm not terribly concerned about it for this show, LOL). Still, I'm doubtful this new situation will change my opinion of him one way or the other. I know as a viewer I'm supposed to like him, especially since he's the leading male role...but...he just doesn't do it for me.

      The clean aspect of the show is certainly the biggest thing that draws me towards it. Though the writing does have corny-ness built in, I honestly feel like if the actors were different, I'd feel different about the entire show. Then again, maybe not. But Abigail just strikes me as a bit uppity...as does Jack.

      I'll need to watch another episode before I comment more. It's good to know that the later episodes may be better though. I really *want* to like the show, and it's not that I dis-like it... anyway, I'm just rambling now. But I'll keep checking in here and post back after I see ep 7! :)

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    3. Great to read your thoughts, Valerie - do let us know what you think if/when you see more episodes. I know in years past I've had to watch 3-5 episodes of a show before liking it. That's kind of my "rule" of TV watching and I just actually found it held up with another show. :)

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  11. Rissi, Thanks for your additional thoughts. I re-watched the episode and I do have a greater appreciation for Jack than I did after the 1st watching. I realized that some of my problems with Jack in this episode were due to his now confused timeline and storyline, rather than his character. (For example, if Rosemary left him only 2 years ago when he wanted to be a painter, when did he decide he wanted to be a mountie? How did a man who, at that time,saw marriage in his near future suddenly decide it was something he didn't want until he completed several years of life on the road? I felt he had a very clear timeline prior to this. Now it doesn't seem to make sense.) So, on 2nd watch, some of my problem was more a contradiction in his back story than any inconsistency in his character.

    I did, however, still see a defensiveness in his classroom conversation with Elizabeth. Parts of it were in his usual warm tone, but parts seemed a little cold. Nobody's perfect, that's for sure, but this seemed like a step back from the warm, friendly, and kind tone which he consistently exhibited thus far.

    Anyway, I am happy to have re-viewed this episode after reading your perspective. I am much more optimistic about the finale after having read your thoughts. (And now that I found this terrific site, I look forward to reading much more of what you have to say on various shows!)

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    1. Re-watching episodes sounds like a wonderful idea, Jordan. One of these days I’m going to do that as well – my mom may even enjoy watching this.

      Ah, I see what you’re saying. Absolutely, I understand your reservations about the storyline timeframe. It does seem unrealistic and as if writer’s should have taken more care with constructing Jack’s backstory. That is very true – how did Jack go from being ready to be a married to being adamantly against it in a mere two years? And how did he come away from being an artist to such a drastic turnaround and serving as a Mountie? Those are excellent observations and great questions to raise.

      Glad that a second episode cleared things up for you and answered some questions – that is always helpful. Hope you enjoyed the finale and thank you for your kind words as regards Dreaming Under the Same Moon. We do have fun here (thank to awesome readers) and you are certainly welcome anytime. :)

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  12. Hi, Valerie. I just found this site 2 days ago, and have so far read only this page. I plan to visit all the pages about "When Calls the Heart" over the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to reading Rissi's summaries and everyone's posts. I'll probably post my thoughts on some episodes.
    If you do decide to post again, I'll be sure to read your perspective. It's been interesting to read what you have had to say on this page.

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  13. I so enjoy your thoughts on WCTH; love this series! it has so many stories to tell about these wonderful characters in Coal Valley AND the banter and sweetness between Jack and Elizabeth is something completely missing from TV for more years than I can even count. many, many thanks for your reviews and the #hearties for their facebook page where we can all enjoy our love of this show until Season 2, 3 ... captivate our hearts once more.

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    1. Thank you, Delcia! I appreciate YOU taking the time to read and comment. I agree, this has a lot of wonderful stories to tell and the writer's have done a nice job expanding on that thus far - the surviving miner, the blossoming romance between one of the widows and a new miner, etc. So much potential still to come also - hopefully in a season two. :)

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