Elizabeth and Jack’s relationship is touched by jealousy when a woman from Jack’s past unexpectedly arrives in Hope Valley. Then, just as Abigail decides to cast her concern aside and give in to her deepening attraction to Frank, the whole town becomes a target for Jake Garrison and his violent gang. While Bill grows overprotective of Abigail’s safety, Jack refuses to let the people of Hope Valley give in to their fear, leading to a dramatic conclusion that will see an unlikely ally willing to stand and fight-and the strength of this small town tested.
Potential Spoiler Alert: While I do my best to not give too much away, do not read any further if you are concerned about spoilers lest I tell you something either you didn’t know or didn’t want to know.
Okay, let’s get the “elephant in the room” out of the way first thing. As all Hearties have seemingly been dreading, Nurse Faith returns to the show in this episode. Yes, Andrea comes back to reprise her role, and she is as radiant and sweet as she was in the role last season. Jack is inadvertently the one who “welcomes” her to Hope Valley, and for both of them, it is one awkward meeting. That is, until she announces that she is engaged. Okay, Hearties, you can temporarily breathe a sigh of relief. If anything, she is a threat to Rosemary, but not romantically speaking (you will understand that later). Andrea has the ideal look for a polished, fresh, young nurse, but as far as I’m concerned, she poses no real threat. I mean, there is no real connection between Faith and Jack. If anything, Jack just wants to help Faith, and his intentions are entirely honorable. Faith’s reasons for coming to Hope Valley have nothing to do with Jack, and I honestly never was suspicious of either of them, at least for the duration of this episode. And as far as I’m concerned, she could be instrumental in helping to set up a proper medical clinic. Remember how we all detested Rosemary in the beginning–give the girl the benefit of the doubt. She is far too young and ingenuous for Jack’s tastes anyway. And with Andrea portraying her in the prim and proper way she does, I wouldn’t mind seeing her stay. After all, if Elizabeth is going to be jealous every time a pretty woman comes to town, she had better develop some thicker skin.
My concern is our beloved villain, Mr. Gowen. Yes, Martin is back at it again, but this episode, his character is not seemingly bent on stirring up trouble. He actually behaves as a mayor should, and he unites the town (with Jack’s help, of course) against a common threat. Oh, he attempts to gloat because we know he is not pleased that Pastor Hogan is still there. But I want you to take a good look at his face in this picture as he witnesses the arrival of the illustrious Nurse Faith. And when you do watch this episode, don’t take your eyes off this cunning devil. He recognizes that there is a history between Jack and this new girl, and it would not surprise me to see him tattling to Elizabeth. After all, she is not his favorite person, and she had the audacity to “teach him a lesson” last week. Per normal, Martin is fully immersed in this diabolical role, and his face will tell us exactly what is brewing in the brain of this nefarious man. While Martin has his character behave impeccably this episode, something about this particular scene causes me to wonder if the Hearties are in for a roller coaster ride due to his meddling in future episodes. I would love it if I could trust Mr. Gowen, but the past is the best predictor of future behavior.
Now Hearties, I warned you before the season even started about this character. I interviewed Matt (check out his interview here), and he revealed that this character would be arriving about mid-season. He is Lee’s new foreman, and at first, I didn’t even recognize him as he looked a little more rugged than I was used to seeing him. But as Wade, Matt is a perfect fit. In fact, I declare that he can remain in Hope Valley as long as he wants. His dealings with Elizabeth are minimal this week, and Jack expresses some concern, but it would appear that Elizabeth merely sees Wade as a means to an end. She is still assembling her new home, and since he lives next door, it’s much easier to enlist his help on menial tasks than always waiting for Jack who is often up to his ears in Mountie work. I didn’t notice a spark between Elizabeth and Wade this week, but I tend to think it will be horrendously one-sided should anything develop. I can see Wade taking an interest in the lovely schoolteacher who lives next door, but here’s hoping that Elizabeth will be astute and not unintentionally encourage his interest. Notwithstanding, Wade can stay as long as he poses no threat to Jack. Matt is a handsome addition to the cast, and the demeanor he has given this character is exemplary and suits Hope Valley very well.
After all, it is Wade and Hickam, who are quick to rush to the aid of the town when the Garrison gang has been determined to be an ever-present threat. Actually, it’s pleasing to see Ben’s character get the chance to be passionate about something. So often, Hickam is just Rosie’s puppet and gets no opportunity to demonstrate any genuine emotion. In this case, Wade and Hickam are a great match on the screen, and it is a veritable treat to witness more of Hickam’s nature and what happens when he gets incensed.
Unfortunately for Hope Valley, we have the imminent return of Jake Garrison as portrayed by the very talented and versatile Chris. Just like last week, his character is ever looming over the peaceful town, and he will do everything and anything to obtain his prime objective, Pastor Hogan, or Matt, as he knows him. To the pastor’s credit, he refuses to resist because he desires no harm to befall Hope Valley and especially Abigail. He is only hopeful that once and for all, Jake Garrison will be captured and placed in irons for his multitudinous crimes.
Of course, Jesse is still on the run. He has fallen for the delightful Clara, and he truly is searching for a way out of the gang. But that is easier said than done. With perfection, Aren depicts the conflicted young man who is permitting the love of a woman to transform him. I have been on his side since last week, and I do believe the viewers are going to see this change of heart in him.
After all, Clara believes in him. He nearly broke her heart last week, but this week, she is certain of the man who has begun to capture her heart in a very real way. Eva again is entrancing in this role as her acting skills and characterization seem to sharpen each week. I always think she can’t get any prettier or I can’t love her character more than I already do. And then, Eva surprises me by being even more phenomenal than the prior week.
This week’s story is immeasurably personal for Bill, and as viewers have come to expect, Jack again portrays this man who often wrestles with what is right and wrong to the point that he is sometimes a bit of a contradiction. In this episode, he has a personal score to set with Jake Garrison, and no one is going to keep him from meting out justice as he sees fit. He also has some jealous moments when he sees Abigail in danger due to her association with Pastor Hogan. I am not convinced he is completely over Abigail.
Finally, Bill has found the daughter of his old friend who had been killed by the Garrison gang. Lucy is played by Mackenzie, and the scenes with her character and Bill are some of the most touching in the episode. As Bill and Lucy lay to rest the memory of her father and then her mother, Bill seems to be burying some of his demons as well. Bill has a decision to make, and thanks to Jack, he is free to make that decision as it suits his fancy. While I won’t spoil it for the viewers, I was quite gratified to see the direction of Bill’s story. I believe we are going to see a much less troubled Bill in the future, but of course, Jack will depict him with the same matchless caliber that we have come to expect from his veteran skills.
Indubitably, we can be assured of seeing the darling children of Hope Valley. Two of them are featured here–Gracyn and Ava. (If you didn’t read my interview with Ava, check it out here.) You will see a precious scene or two with Opal, but just seeing her always makes me smile. And now that I know how protective Gracyn was of Ava and how she always watched out for her during the filming, I love watching the two of them together even more.
Jaiven as Robert–what a face! He is also featured in this episode, and again, he is so much fun to watch. It is always a sumptuous treat to see the wonderful children of Hope Valley.
Yes, we will see the couple who has taken my heart by storm. There is a tender story between Lee and Rosemary again this week. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, but they are matchless again in their respective roles. I still am crossing my fingers that we see wedding bells for these two this season. As far as the chemistry between them, they are one of the most unusual couples I have seen, which is why I think I adore them so much. Rosemary and Lee have grown together, and as far as Kavan and Pascale, those two are absolutely brilliant. They have a natural quirkiness in their chemistry, and they are able to infuse every emotion and thought into their characters and convey every message and emotion effortlessly. I find myself fully awestruck by their immaculate performances, and I am ecstatic to see their characters’ love story blossom.
As the one who is the consummate dreamer, Lee has to face some difficult obstacles that slow him down a bit in this episode. He has learned the secret of letting Rosemary discover the depth of her feelings–he never pressures her. While sometimes she is still too aggressive to overcome, he realizes and appreciates that her outlandish ideas are just her way of attempting to show Lee how much she cares about him. He has accepted her extremisms and often goes along with her–he picks his battles. Kavan has so immersed himself in the role of Lee that I often forget Lee is not a real person. Kavan has a unique way of demonstrating the human frailty of this entrepreneur who always dreams on a grandiose level and consistently presents himself as a stalwart man whose only weakness is Rosemary.
By far, this is my favorite Rosie/Lee scene. (You’ll understand why when you watch it.)
From that same scene is the gorgeous and amazingly talented Pascale. Her character has made the most significant changes of any of the other characters associated with the show. In the beginning, all of us Hearties were so ready to spew hatred at Rosemary. We loved Pascale back then, but her character was so snobbish, pompous, and rude. Now we see a Rosemary, who has been on a journey of self-discovery, and she has realized what true love is all about. While she is still meddlesome, bossy, and aggressive, Pascale has unveiled a different side of Rosemary. She has a gentle side, and although Pascale still portrays her as larger than life, she has masterfully begun to unmask the many layers of Rosemary with many more to go. Rosie is a testament to how true love honestly can cause one to become the best version of oneself. No longer does she have to hide behind the facade of her acting talent and her outgoing nature. She has bared her insecurities, and she is being accepted for who she is, flaws and all.
Without a doubt, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the central boy in this episode. Cody, as played by Carter, is quickly becoming my favorite Hope Valley kid. Cody has some highly emotional scenes as he learns what family really means in this episode. He has to deal with a bully and some frightening moments for Abigail. Additionally, he has to learn to share Abigail with Pastor Hogan—easier said than done. Cody tackles each scene with his infectious enthusiasm and his extraordinarily natural talent.
Carter is absolutely perfect in this episode, and he demonstrates exactly the depth of his ability through some very heartfelt and even heart-wrenching moments.
Thankfully, Abigail (Lori) is never too far behind.
There is nothing harder to watch than Cody’s demonstrative breakdown, but it is followed by sweet sleep. And what child doesn’t look sweet when sleeping?
However, it is also delightful to see Elizabeth and even Clara “pick up the slack” and fill in for Abigail when she is either otherwise engaged or in danger. Hopefully, Cody will soon realize that he is surrounded by love and he need never feel alone again.
Clearly, the primary couple in this episode is Abigail and Frank. As I mentioned last week, Frank finally won me over, and now I am fully on the side of this couple, complicated though their relationship may be.
As a couple, Abigail and Frank have had a toilsome time together. And this episode is no different. At every turn, there is danger, distrust, and jealousy. Gratefully, we have hope that things will improve for these two. While nothing is certain (I still think Bill has feelings for her), I believe that these two are being cautious and taking things slowly. And that is how it should be.
As I stated last week, I am now Mark’s champion. I have been impressed with his portrayal this season especially. He plays this rugged, simple man, who is a living reminder of the reality of redemption, with such effortlessness. He seems to have fully embraced Pastor Hogan and all that he symbolizes. While his character is a “tough nut to crack,” that is how Frank is supposed to be. He had a violent past, and he would rather forget it. He wants to move on, but he also has trust issues. He needs someone to “lean on” when the going gets rough, and he can only hope that Abigail is that person.
Abigail has had her own journey of discovery, and Lori is just impeccable and infallible in the role. When it comes to actresses, I still place Lori right at the top of the list. There is no character she cannot play, and she always makes it look so easy. Abigail has had her share of heartaches–a dead husband and son, a lying beau, and now a man who concealed his shady past from her. And that is only Abigail’s love life. That doesn’t even take into account the financial and business situations as well as family issues and even taking in an orphan.
This is a special scene in the episode. It is so rare to see Abigail smile, especially with a man. She and Elizabeth have shared their moments of joy, but all too often, Abigail is so serious. After all, she has the weight of the town on her shoulders. It appears that finally there is a man with whom she can truly enjoy herself. She never had that kind of relationship with Bill. If Frank can make Abigail smile again, I think he’s definitely a keeper.
Aren’t they just so luscious together?
In this day and age, we continually seem like we are in such a hurry. But in this time of impatience, it’s beneficial to be reminded of simpler times when men and women took their time in the realm of relationships. Furthermore, Frank and Abigail need time to heal and to learn to trust each other. But they will do it together. And as Hearties watch the masterful acting of Lori and Mark, those thespians will take us on an emotional journey as only they can. And I do believe the eventual payoff will be worth the wait.
Did I mention how ecstatic I was that Abigail has found her smile again? Lori has such a genuine and vivacious smile that illuminates the screen, and I, for one, am glad she lends her smile to Abigail Stanton. We are so blessed to have her as an integral part of the show.
Interestingly enough, this couple almost gets lost in the crossfires of this episode. Will Jack and Elizabeth kiss? No comment. But this is a romantic and deliciously funny scene. And, of course, Elizabeth is jealous of Faith, and Jack is jealous of Wade. But we can still relish the moments between this duo.
If you have missed Jack and his Mountie ways, rest assured that you will see plenty of action in this one. This ought to resonate with the men who watch this show, but honestly, I love seeing Daniel in action (who doesn’t?). Add in Jack and Aren (wow, I didn’t see that one coming), and I believe the action will be quite invigorating.
What can we expect from Erin as Elizabeth? Plenty of teacher and “babysitting” moments. She even cooks! It is so amazing to see the growth that has occurred in Elizabeth’s life, and Erin has done a superior job of allowing her character to mature at a slow but steady pace.
No matter what you are doing on Sunday, March 6, I highly recommend you set aside an hour and watch this show on the Hallmark channel. You will not regret it. For more information:
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