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When Calls the Heart, Season One - Episodes 8 and 9 (2014)


 
Since I missed out on watching episode eight last week (shout-out to Angela for the reminder to go back and watch it), I will be re-capping it briefly and also sharing thoughts on this weeks, ‘Change of Heart.’ Episode eight (‘Perils of the  Soloists’) begins just where seven leaves off, with a homecoming that opens up new wounds in the aftereffects of the mine disaster. The return of Adam Miller (Chad Willet) has the whole town anticipating the blessing of seeing the only miner to survive the tragedy come home to his family, only it’s with a secret he neglected to share with his wife which in turn causes tension and more heartbreak in their family – including putting fear in his two young children.

Meanwhile, Abigail (Lori Loughlin) is encountering trouble of her own. Her café is enjoying success but her business partner is demanding more of her that she deems proper. Coinciding with these events is the arrival of Julie Thatcher (Charlotte Hegele), Elizabeth’s sister who stumbles onto her own mystery and then there is the continuing playful chemistry between Jack (Daniel Lissing) and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) who are finally honest with themselves and each other about their attraction only for their understanding and feelings to be shattered with unexpected news.

With each new episode, what Hallmark continues to build on is good solid family entertainment and for that, even as an adult, I’m grateful to their producers and powers that be for continuing to put such gems on our television screens. From a production viewpoint, there are some things about the show that could be polished. For example while watching this group of episodes, it seems like the dialogue is a mix of contemporary phrasings and appropriate conversation for its era – what these modern phrases do is “stick out” a bit like a sore thumb though for me, it doesn’t in the least deter from the pleasure of the stories or characters. (Plus, I don’t think I’d even notice if Lissing didn’t lose his accent for the role of Jack Thorton – sigh. I’ll admit, it would have been terribly out of place. *wink*)  

Writers certainly do deserve credit for finding a groove that works – I think overall, the show is getting good at upping the intrigue in expanding to more than just the romance. Their format seems to be a one-two episode span for any “mystery” before they quickly wrap it up and for viewers who aren’t fond of the same plot threads dragging on for seasons and seasons (believe me, I’ve experienced this and after a while, it does wear thin), this is the better format. Episode eight works on an emotional premise of a family trying to adapt to a new normal and I was touched by many of the scenes in the episode – including a young girl’s innocent aptitude to overlook her father’s physical limitations just to have the pleasure of having him hold her again or sing to her, it was a well-acted and special installment and then, there are the thoughts on this week’s episode, ‘Change of Heart.’ 

Viewers will likely walk away from this episode with joy (Elizabeth and Jack actually taking steps towards courtship...?) only to then end with a bit of heartbreak though my perspective isn’t skewed as I am “confident” nothing too terrible will come of how things are left by the end. The script doesn’t shake out how the promo would have us think yet there are some charming moments that many “team Jack” fans will swoon over and of course, it’s amusing to meet Julie! Like her sister, she’s got spunk and will be a fun (hopefully) recurring guest star from time to time. 

If you’ve seen episode eight, share what you thought of it! If not, what do you think of the installments you have seen… or what are you anticipating most…?
 
Share any thoughts you’d like about Hallmark’s newly arrived and much raved about series.



Catch episode nine, ‘Change of Heart’ on Saturday March 8th on Hallmark Channel and see the promo video.
 
...and just in case you need to "catch up," here's the 008 video, too
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Rissi
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28 comments:

  1. I've been checking your blog multiple times a day to see your thoughts on the episode! I'm thoroughly obsessed with this show! So have you somehow already seen or read the script for episode 9 since you know about Julie uncovering a mystery??? I have been scouring the internet for clues and have found only tidbits about each of the upcoming episodes. I just HAVE TO KNOW that Jack and Elizabeth end up together! Ahhhh, I feel like a little school girl when I watch the chemistry and sweet love blooming between them! I keep telling myself, this is Hallmark...they will end up together but you never know how a series might end! Please give me some hope if you have any insight! ;)

    P.S. I believe I was wrong about the voice in the preview not being Jack's...saw a clip on Home & Family that showed him asking for her hand as he asks her to dinner! He better ask for her hand for real at some point!

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    1. Hi, Angela! Thanks - my apologies it took so long! :) I didn't get it watched to review for last Saturday then because of a slow connection, I had to wait far to long to download episode eight (loved the sweet story about the father returning to his family - aw!). Ah, technology! It's always something, right!?

      I'm really enjoying this series, too, and yes, I had a chance to see episode nine which is why I share thoughts on the episode that will air tomorrow night. Hallmark is doing a fantabulous job at keeping upcoming plots under wraps - and that's hard! Good for them; I think (if what I read serves me right) episode 10 involves more about Julie (getting herself into MORE trouble) and something about Abigail finding out a horrible secret, so get ready for more intrigue. :)

      I'm like you, because it's Hallmark, the likelihood of Jack and Elizabeth eventually getting together is very high. It'd be SHOCKING if they didn't - even if it takes until the end. All I know right now is for the short term, fans may be a bit brokenhearted at the end of episode nine BUT you'll be smiling again by the time 10 rolls around if the episode photos are to be trusted. ;)

      We both guessed wrong - Hallmark is sneaky... making us think Jack was actually proposing!

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    2. I love the fact that they were sneaky about it. It made me all giddy and then when he did ask for her hand and made his very special proposal, it was even more "romantical." He is quickly becoming the new Mr. Darcy and I love him for it!

      Sigh. I keep trying to comment with my Google Account, but for some reason, it isn't working as I intended it to do so. I subscribed to your blog earlier today as A Girl. My name is Sarah Leigh.

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    3. That's what good shows do, right, Sarah!? ;) Those sneaky writers.

      No worries about the Google account - usually people have their name linked with Google but it's just nice to know who I'm chatting with. Thanks for subscribing! Hope you visit anytime. :)

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  2. What a lucky girl you are to have already viewed episode 9! I just can't wait any longer to see it and to see that love between Jack and Elizabeth continue to blossom. I'm glad you shared some insight and have somewhat set my mind at ease about them ending up together. I think I may sob uncontrollably if they don't! ;)

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  3. And I agree with you...Jack could talk in an English, Australian, or whatever accent...even a foreign language and I would listen! Wow...

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    1. Right? I'll be shocked if they don't eventually end up together though if the series gets a second season, they will probably drag it out - this playful back and forth could be sticking around for a while. ;)

      Me, too! I guess Daniel was in a short-lived U.S. series called Last Resort also though I've yet to see it. Considering my enjoyment of this series, I may have to watch it just to see him in something else. ;)

      Thanks SO much for the blog follow, Angela (if you're the same Angela who is a new follower :D). Visit anytime.

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  4. These posts of your about this series makes me really miss having cable!! I'll have to get the series some other way because it sounds fabulous and definitely something I want to see!

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    1. We've never had cable Tressa so I'm constantly trying to find alternate ways of seeing programming like Hallmark because if they do release their DVD's it's a year or better later. Ah, well. With all this streaming, technology has made it easy. I forgot to add the links (I think they're in an older 'When Calls the Heart' review) but you can purchase the show on Amazon or iTunes if you'd be interested. (I'll add in the links.)

      If you liked Christy or Little House, you'd enjoy this series, Tressa. It's so refreshing to find a series that is wholesome and takes that title seriously. Love it. :)

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  5. I want to see this so badly! It looks so good :)

    walking in the air.

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    1. It's lovely, Hannah. :)

      You can purchase the show on Amazon or iTunes if you have the capability to watch it that way. :)

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  6. Question for you Rissi...with a show like this, awaiting the word from Hallmark on a season two, how do they end their first season? Most shows of course end the season with some kind of cliffhanger in anticipation of the next season. When they aren't sure there will be a second season and taping of first season has already completed, how do they end this season? You can't leave us with a cliffhanger if you're not sure a second season will come to solve that cliffhanger! As you can tell I'm still grasping for any ray of hope that Jadk and Elizabeth end up together at the end of THIS season! ;) And I really don't see how Hallmark could not go ahead with a season two with all the support this show is receiving.

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    1. There may have been a decision made already about a season two order and the executives just haven't announced it... I'm not sure. (I think we're over halfway through the S1... though I'm not sure if S1 just consists of 12 episodes... or more.) I just know that Twitter and FB are leading the way for a campaign to see it renewed. Writer's sometimes bank on their ratings being enough to inspire a S2 order also if they do choose to end on a cliffhanger (here's hoping they don't! It's good enough to get fans to return without one :D) then they're just trusting the network to renew. If they don't renew for a "seasonal" show, what Hallmark may do is produce films to wrap up the story, which wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a network like this.

      ...as for Jack and Elizabeth, we'll all keep our fingers crossed they'll be together by S1's end. Writer's could do that as in the books these are loosely based on, Elizabeth does marry her Mountie and the following books chronicles them moving to new posts and experiencing hardships while adjusting to rough frontier life. Like you say, a S2 seems inevitable given the fan base. *crosses fingers* ;)

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  7. Have watched episode 9 over and over and over and...you get the point! Soooo good, romantic, and sad at the same time! Counting down the minutes till episode 10! Look forward to your reviews of the upcoming episodes!

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    1. Aw, I'm glad you enjoyed episode nine, Angela - I though all of the fans would feel some sadness (thus I mentioned that in the review) but have every confidence things will turn out okay. :)

      ...and thank you! Hopefully Friday or Saturday they'll be a new review.

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    2. I didn't feel sadness. It was like reading a romance novel. They sparred, came together, now something is tearing them apart, but they'll reunite and their love will hold them even more closely together. I simply cannot wait until the next episode!

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    3. Yay! Glad you feel good about episode nice, Sarah. Usually fans are "worried" over such things (i.e., when there is a "break up" or as you say, writers tear the couple apart) so that's why I mentioned it. I agree - they will come back together. :)

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  8. I love this show! So grateful for some wholesome entertainment for a change. It reminds me a lot of Christy which is one of my all-time favorites. I just watched Ep. 9 and I have to say, Jack and Elizabeth better get married soon! Haha. ;) I love Jack (ever since Last Resort) and I agree about the accent. ;) Great review, Rissi!

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    1. Hi, Bekah. Glad you stopped by.

      I agree - I love this for its sweet wholesomeness; that is what makes it shine. Christy ended far too soon; I know we can read the book, but really... how could they leave us with such a cliffhanger!? ;) I expect if this show gets a S2, writer's will work hard to keep us in suspense with Jack and Elizabeth... but one never knows! I think there is an episode coming up in which someone arrives who presents Elizabeth with a new choice - between Jack or another man. That sounds interesting.

      Glad to know about Last Resort. I've been looking at that one and may have to try it; I mean, really, it has "Jack" in it! ;)

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    2. I know, right?! After the series I bought the last three Christy movies, but it just wasn't the same with different actors, except for the doctor. Oo...now that sounds interesting. I like love triangles...lol. As long as she eventually ends up with Jack!

      About Last Resort, I loved that show! You should definitely check it out. I was super disappointed when it was canceled. All of my favorites seem to get canceled. :( Hopefully we'll get a S2 for When Calls the Heart!

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    3. I saw those films too. They were entertaining enough (again it was nice to watch family-friendly programming) but missing the majority of the same cast was a huge set back. Kellie Martin IS Christy for me. Tyne Daly IS Miss Alice.

      I read somewhere that "someone" presents a complication for Jack and Elizabeth which led me to think love triangle but since they already have done that... maybe it's something else entirely. Perhaps someone from her family...?

      Glad to know Last Resort is good. It looks like my kind of show but considering it ended prior to a full season, I was nervous about its ending! Cliffhangers with no promise of more are the worst. I hear ya. I fell in love with Pushing Daisies and well, it only got two seasons. *sigh* Us "Hearties" (I guess that's what the fan club has been dubbed...?) will hope for more on When Calls the Heart! :)

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    4. That's exactly how I felt too! I kind of want to go watch it again now...lol.

      Oh! Well, that does interesting. Hopefully it's good.

      The producers knew that Last Resort was going to get canceled, so they didn't leave the show with a huge cliffhanger. It ended resolved, even though their was a bit of mystery just in case in got renewed. But it wasn't bad! Oo, I was thinking of watching Pushing Daisies. Maybe I'll try it!

      Hearties? Lol I love that!

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    5. *High Five*

      Hopefully this new plot WILL be good on When Calls the Heart. We can deal with anything along the way so long as Elizabeth and Jack wind up together, right!? ;)

      Oh, good! I'm so glad you approved of the end in Last Resort; a small mystery I can handle. It sounds great - and yes, Pushing Daisies is really adorable, especially if one doesn't mind a mainly quirky story. It's one I've re-watched episodes to here and there and still, it makes me smile.

      Right?! Who wouldn't like being a "Heartie"!? ;)

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  9. The stretch of episodes 7,8, and the first half of 9 was my very favorite part of a great season. I liked having Jack and Elizabeth taking their time developing their relationship without any obstacles.

    I thought Julie was a great addition, particularly how her story with Nathaniel ended up weaving into other parts of episode 9 (and 10). I think the writers presented her just right: she could, at times, be a little annoying to Elizabeth, for example, telling the students that Elizabeth was afraid of bugs, but she wasn't annoying to me as a viewer. I liked how much the sisters cared about each other's happiness. Julie was so happy for Elizabeth when she went on that date, and so terribly sad for her sister when Jack got transferred.And I thought Julie had a lot of spunk!

    One of those numerous little amusing moments was when Patrick O'Reilly moved his wife's picture into the 2nd jail cell, and hung his suits on the bars, as though moving into jail was the most natural thing in the world for a law-abiding constable to do.

    Although I was sad to see Elizabeth and Jack's happiness interrupted by his job transfer so soon after starting to officially court, I loved the scene at the end when they both planned to do what would make the other one happy. Very touching.

    Finally, everything about Abigail's cafe story line has been wonderful.

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    1. Watching a series break from putting obstacles in the life of their leading couple is refreshing, Jordan. I never like it when there are a barrage of things keeping them apart – it just doesn’t work well, this is especially true for those of us who have been with the franchise from the very beginning. This Heartie fanbase is a new one so we cannot complain TOO much. Yet. ;)

      Loved Julie! The only thing that bugged me about her was her claims to be “in love” with Nate a mere days after she rescued him. I would buy her being attracted to him and wanting to get to know him but claiming love… yeah, I don’t “get” that even in this time frame – talk about the ultimate “insta-love.” That being said, it was fun having her appear in the series and in future, I’d like to see her appear again.

      Abigail is a lovely character – so wise and always considerate of everyone’s feelings. I’m super happy with her storyline even with the bittersweet ending in episode 12 – something I suspect won’t wind up being what it looks like.

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  10. Rissi, I forgot to mention the scene in epsiode 8 that I thought was one of the most revealing of the whole season: when Jack talks about his father while trying to convince Adam Miller to return home.

    Up to that point it had seemed contradictory to me that Jack, who admired his father both as a family man and as a mountie, would think that the 2 things did not go together. But when he discussed his father's long absences, and his injury and early death, it all made sense to me. Yes, he admired his father, but evidently did not want to put a wife and child through long absences, nor the possibility of leaving them without a husband and father.

    Jack has had 2 versions of the "mountie and marriage don't mix" mantra: It seems the mounties told him that they don't mix at all, yet he stated that he would like to marry some day (presumably after field work was over). In episodes 9 and 10 he met 2 men who embodied these versions: Sam, who was about to retire alone after never marrying, and Patrick, who had had the excitement of field work, but who recently married and chose to switch to a more sedate (and family-friendly) post such as Coal Valley.

    I think meeting those 2 men helped him figure out his feelings. He seemed to definitley not want to be like Sam, for whom mounties and marriage never mixed. And he ultimately decided that he didn't even want to be like Patrick, for whom mounties and marriage didn't mix until field work was over. He was starting to realize that he wanted Elizabeth right now.

    I thought it was brilliant how the Tolliver capture gave him everything he wanted: in that one act, he already made a career achievement bigger than most men might have ever accomplished in a whole lifetime in the field. Thus, his desire for the excitement of field work seemed completed. And Sam told him that it was such a major accomplishment that Jack would get his pick of assignments. Thus, not only did Jack desire to return to Coal Valley, he no longer risked getting fired if he requested to do so.

    I really think this should have been the final obstacle of the season. It was superbly resolved, and made sense with what we saw all season. Unfortunately, it ended up being a mere side comment from Jack to Elizabeth during the penultimate episode during the whirlwind of the Rosemary obstacle. I think that's a shame. I think they had a wonderful climax to the season, and ultimately downplayed it as they threw in one more obstacle -- one that seemed to come out of nowhere, and was one obstacel too many.

    --- As to Julie. I agree with you that she was foolish to think she was in love. I think she relies too heavily on the romance novels that seem such a huge part of her life!

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    1. Glad you decided to share these thoughts, Jordan!

      I’m hopeful that both Adam and the miner courting the widow (cannot remember their names!) will return for a possible second season because there is definitely more “growing” there to be done in terms of writing. That being said, it was nice to use Jack’s own personal experience as a way to help a fellow Coal Valley resident. He turned his disappointments into something stronger for this man and it was also a chance to get a perspective on Jack’s childhood.

      Meeting those two Mounties was a huge reason Jack was able to find a new perspective on marriage. It was that conversation with Patrick who got him thinking that a family was possible while still being a Mountie and it was his perception of Sam that made him realize he didn’t want to walk through life without experiencing the joys of family – a wife, children. It’s really sweet how Elizabeth and Jack’s romance has blossomed and hopefully we’ll be able to continue to see it in a second series – though I’ll settle for movies, too.

      Honestly, I’m not too worried about Rosemary. Sure, she’ll present some “problems,” but ultimately, I’m confident Jack won’t want to be with anyone but Elizabeth and no matter what, he’ll honor that and her. Plus, while Hallmark may wait until the end of the When Calls the Heart run to bring them together for good, they will be a couple and that is enough for me not to be ruffled by this latest obstacle! ;)

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