Abigail is reeling from the unexpected arrival of Becky and Cody’s aunt, who has already made plans to take the children home with her. As Abigail fights to stay strong while her heart is breaking, Jack and Bill find the evidence they need to arrest Gowen, before discovering clues that point to another suspect. And while Elizabeth encourages Becky not to give up on science despite her aunt’s new plans for the girl’s future, Rosemary is presented with the opportunity of her dreams in Hollywood, before being cast in the true role of a lifetime.[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohxWqUdAO88[/embedyt]
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: This is probably not as necessary as usual as I am reviewing after the fact, but do note that if you have not see this episode yet, you may not wish to read this review. I will not reveal everything, but some pictures might give away the story, or I may inadvertently say something that would disclose too much. Otherwise, please read on.
For those who have come to adore Andrea’s portrayal of Faith as have I, you may be disappointed to know that she is not featured in this episode all that much. But thankfully, Faith appears to be settling into Hope Valley, and I have a sneaking suspicion that should a season four of the show be ordered, Faith will return. Andrea has so crafted her character to become likable, and I believe that those who were against Faith’s inclusion this season have been won over by Andrea’s charm, grace, and wit. I, for one, am looking forward to more from her, including a potential romance for her character (maybe Dr. Burns or Hickam?).
Another glorious inclusion this season has been that of Edith, the young wife and mother whose young husband abandoned her. Ali has brought depth to this character, and although she infuses Edith with some harshness, I believe that is cumplsory to her character. Edith doesn’t have an easy life, and now she is a single mother who somehow has to provide for her young son. She does not necessarily appreciate the way Jack has butted into her story. The help is appreciated, but unbeknownst to him, his meddling got her hopes up. She is proud, scared, and distrustful of men in general due to this desertion and rejection from the one she thought she could trust and rely on. And in spite of her obvious displeasure, she can’t seem to stop Jack from stepping in. Ali has the ideal look and demeanor for a woman in her position, and the heartbreak just oozes out of her pores. What will be the end of her story? God only knows. (No spoilers from me.)
On the other end of the spectrum is Madison’s poignant portrayal of Roy, the husband who left his wife (without the knowledge that she was pregnant with his child). He is convinced he has done the right thing and that Edith would be better off without him. He righteous nature does compel him to offer her money (which Jack delivers and Edith refuses, as we saw in the last episode), but he is afraid that he will bring more harm to her than good. I don’t want to give away the story, but I do believe that Roy is misunderstood, and the way in which Madison plays him engendenders such sympathy for his station in life. Madison is a consummate, young actor who has immersed himself completely in this small but powerful role. As you watch his character grapple with his ultimate decision, the emotion is restrained but genuine. Madison has found the perfect balance between masculinity and tenderness as his character wrestles with his choice. Will he come back to Edith and try to mend the bridges he thought he burned? You will have to watch in order to find out. I can only hope that we have not seen the last of Roy as Madison’s characterization has caused him to become one of my favorite new actors. Sensitive actors who give such inspired and infallible performances as he (in spite of the brevity of the role) deserve a significant place in a heavenly show such as this.
Unfortunately, Clara faces some horrendous truths during this episode. We know the old adage that “a leopard cannot change its spots,” and Clara sees the ugly truth this week as she witnesses this man make a potentially harmful decision that could ruin all he has accomplished thus far. Clara had hoped she could turn him to the side of the right by just loving him unconditionally. While it is unclear what Jesse is up to, worry begins to find its place in her heart. She has begun to fall for this former criminal, but now trouble seems to be brewing in paradise. As viewers watch the conflict of this sweet character who has suffered much in her young life, Eva just makes us love Clara even more with her heart-wrenching and exquisite portrayal. As I have said for weeks, Eva continues to become more and more immersed in her character every week, and every time I see her, her beauty illuminates the screen even more than the last time. Because of her dynamic depiction, viewers will believe right along with her forlorn character that somehow Jesse will make the right decision in the end, but whenever one associates with a blackguard like Gowen, it’s arduous to keep the faith.
And we had such high hopes for Jesse! Because Aren is such an accomplished actor, the viewers cannot help but persevere on the roller coaster of emotions his character has experienced this season. We were certain that we knew his heart and that Clara could turn him to the good side. Sadly, money is a potent weapon, and Gowen knows just how to wield it. Aren’s portrayal is such that we can see the obvious contention in his eyes and throughout his entire body, but we can also sense that his character believes he has no alternative. More than likely, he has convinced himself that he is doing nothing wrong, and he probably even thinks this will conclusively guarantee Clara’s love since he is only doing this to get the money he needs so that he can officially court her. No one else understands why he is doing this, including Clara and Pastor Hogan, but in the end, they will understand, and he will have that much-coveted money. Mournfully, he may be walking a path from which he cannot be rescued. We can only hope that he will realize before it’s too late.
Frank does not appear in this episode overly much, but every time he does, it is pivotal. Whether he is comforting Abigail or trying to talk some sense into Jesse, Mark keeps his demeanor quiet, unshakeable, but sincere. His character has become a pillar of faith in this community, and he has completely divorced himself from his former life. He remains a true testament to the power of redemption.
This season, the powers that be have gifted us with many views of Rip, and this episode is no exception. While Rip never seems to be very active when seen on camera, he continues to be popular with the viewers, and one just cannot help but smile when you see him–no matter what the scene entails. So be sure to watch for him. He definitely has his moment in the limelight!
As for this picture? Well, let’s just say that this is a portion you need to watch if you haven’t already. Wade and Tommy have returned this week, and they are played by Matthew and Tommy respectively. Wade has been one that the viewers have complained about regularly since he was introduced, and Matthew’s depiction has been spot on. I severely longed to find Wade agreeable because I was hoping Matthew might have a future with the show. Notwithstanding, his character has become increasingly a nuisance, and many viewers have begun to point the finger at him for the “accidents” that have virtually shut down the mill. The investigation has continued, but discovering leads that don’t lead to the assumption of Mr. Gowen’s guilt have been rather difficult. In this scene, you will note that Tommy has returned from the previous episode, and there could be no one further above suspicion. Seeing these two together is a moment when a Heartie’s heart may cease its beating as the situation spirals out of control. I won’t tell you the ending lest I spoil it, but it is worth a watch.
Of course, Mr. Gowen is up to his old tricks, and he continues to be a suspect in the lumber mill debacle. In fact, it would appear that evidence has been unearthed, and Gowen may be the one responsible. But as in murder mysteries, the most likely suspect may not be the one responsible.
Martin resumes his role as the man you never can trust as you never know his true intentions. What do they say–the best predictor of future behavior is the past. And Martin has infused Mr. Gowen with every bit of greed and evil in that maniacal smile of his. He effortlessly plays the charming charlatan who wouldn’t hesitate to steal from his mother’s grave if it would get him ahead somehow.
But the newly divorced Nora continues to be his veritable weakness. It is clear that he longs to rekindle what they evidently once had, but can he be trusted? When with the beautiful but sometimes disconsolate Nora as played by Kristina, it’s hard to detest him. But then you wonder–is he attempting to court her for his own underhanded reasons? Together, these two have a certain chemistry that makes Gowen almost pleasant.
Almost from the moment she entered the story, I loved Kristina’s depiction of Nora. I do occasionally wonder if the character is in her right mind as she struggled a bit last season. It would be so much better if she didn’t let Gowen get his clutches on her as he is a dangerous personage. But when Nora is with Gowen, she seems at ease and very hospitable. Kristina plays Nora in such a way that it is next to impossible to read what her character is really thinking. Does she truly have confidence in this man who took advantage of her so long ago? In truth, it’s hard to say. I am not convinced that these two should be a couple. Or at least, Henry needs to come clean with what he is really having Jesse do for him. If he hurts that boy, he is going to have some incensed Hearties knocking at his door, equipped with mace and stone-filled purses . Likewise, if he harms Nora. Only time will tell.
As the misunderstood, but upright and wealthy Aunt Caroline, Anne gives an amazing performance. Many viewers called her “mean” and “heartless,” but I never saw her that way. As we learned at the end of the last episode, she is the only living relative of Cody and Becky. It would make sense that she would come and attempt to do what she feels is the right thing by whisking them away to live with her and her husband. In most cases, the court would concur with her decision and award her custody. And in her mind, she could give those children things that this little hick town never could.
The mistake she makes is that she doesn’t abide by Abigail’s wishes. Abigail is doing the best she can to work with this woman, but there is a definite discord because Abigail is thinking with her heart, while Caroline is thinking with her head. Unfortunately, head and heart do not often agree.
Caroline is so convinced about her actions that not even the resourceful and resolute schoolteacher of the community can get through to her. I never saw Anne’s depiction of this character as unkind. I merely saw her portraying this character as one who is so persuaded of what she feels is right that she would not listen to anyone else. She comes from a different world, and she is attempting to understand how on earth what was ingrained in her head from the time she was small would not be the correct course of action. Family is always better off with flesh and blood family, right? Then why are Abigail and Elizabeth attempting to convince her otherwise?
We can only hope that in the end, Caroline determines that she has a heart that speaks louder than her head. Only time will tell–I refuse to comment.
As this issue weighs heavily on her heart, Abigail turns to Elizabeth for support. In some ways, I find this ironic. In the past, Elizabeth has leaned so intensely on Abigail that it was incredible Abigail could still stand erect afterwards. Now, it’s Elizabeth’s turn to be that friend who will be there for her no matter what the future holds. If those children are taken from her, Elizabeth can anticipate many midnight cry sessions with her friend as she comforts Abigail and tries to work through the grief of losing these children who have become Abigail’s life. To witness the tower of strength which Elizabeth has become is truly a testament to the way that Abigail has affected her life for the better. Lori and Erin are always flawless together, but seeing Elizabeth as the stalwart one who attempts to solve the issue rather than the other way around is an intriguing turn of events and demonstrates what I have claimed all this season–Elizabeth has matured beyond her years. And Erin has demonstrated that process in the way in which she has played her this season. Elizabeth knows who she is, and indeed some of Abigail has rubbed off on her.
And what do the children think of their aunt? Well, safe to say, they have different views as they have never known wealth nor prestige. Cody and Becky have simple tastes, and they do not necessarily see eye to eye with their affluent aunt.
As we saw last week, the children are preparing to enter projects into a science fair that may lead to a prestigious scholarship.
In what has become her typical fashion this season, Ava steals a couple scenes with her darling portrayal of Ava. We know she is obsessed with bears, and as we see her interest sparked in the science project (at Miss Thatcher’s bidding), Ava delivers her lines in her signature, uncomplicated way.
But it is Becky who has the unbelievable gifts that are certain to woo the visiting dignitary. That is, if she is allowed to compete and can get past her disappointment and disagreement with her aunt.
Thank God, indeed, for teachers like Miss Thatcher. As we see both Erin and Ali in these roles, we cannot help but champion their great work for the future of womankind. Elizabeth continues to encourage Becky as only she can, and being the extraordinary teacher she is, Becky listens to her true advocate. Elizabeth speaks to Becky as an equal, and she does what only a true teacher can–inspires Becky to believe the impossible and shoot for the stars.
As everyone anxiously awaits the results…
…it’s easy to tell who is undeniably shocked. Safe to say, this is a momentous juncture for Caroline, who cannot comprehend how her niece could have won a competition like this. After all, it challenges all she holds dear or ever was taught as a girl.
No doubt, Becky is pleased. Thankfully, Miss Thatcher did not let her give up.
Again, little Opal is a scene stealer. I will not give away what she says to Becky, but it will melt your heart.
Isn’t it amazing what can happen when one believes and attempts what many would call preposterous? I cannot thank this show enough for the way in which it empowers women. And the fact that men fully support these strong women makes me love the show even more. Byron makes a small appearance in this episode as the judge, and even his character demonstrates his surprise at a simple girl’s competence, but he does not bat an eyelash when he declares her the winner.
As Caroline prepares to whisk the children away with her after the competition, Ava’s character says what I believe is the absolute sweetest line all season. (Although Cody (Carter) runs her a close second with the simple gesture he performs for Miss Thatcher before leaving.)
Now the moment of truth is upon Becky and Cody. Will they be forced to leave?
Let me pause here and just mention something very special about Lori. As I watched his episode, I was literally in awe of Lori’s acting. Right in the middle of an emotional scene she shared with Carter, I just uttered, “That woman is an amazing actress.” Lori is an absolutely consummate and purely infallible actress. There is absolutely no role she cannot tackle and no scene she cannot perform with precise timing, emotion, and heart. Furthermore, she always seeks to bring the best out of each of the people with whom she shares a scene. Never does she upstage an actor,whether young, old, inexperienced, or not. She makes everyone in the scene better by just her very presence. I cannot explain nor express it adequately in words, but her acting is something rare, and there is nothing in which I would not watch her prowess. Additionally, she is humble, pragmatic, and genuinely cares about and makes connections with all. I have never in my life seen such an unbelievable person as she, and in my book, she can do no wrong.
As the goodbyes are said, the words that Abigail whispered to Caroline just prior to this departure haunt the audience and Caroline herself. I will not spoil the scene by saying what happens, but those words are pivotal in determining the outcome.
This scene is unmarred and emotional, and the outcome will possibly flood your heart with tears. I won’t say why, however.
Not to be forgotten is Jack and Bill as they work to uncover the lumber mill mystery. Daniel is again the caring, considerate, and hard-working Mountie. He puts other’s needs above his, and he takes a special interest in Edith as well as bringing to a close the mystery. Oh, and if you are looking for distinctive moments between Jack and Elizabeth, you will not be dissatisfied. Plenty of romance between the two of them.
However, their romance is not the focus of this episode. In many ways, they are doing their own specific things during this episode, and it is not until the end that we see some sweet sparks flying. As to anything else between them, you’ll have to watch for yourself. But not to fear–there will be plenty of chemistry-laden moments.
And what about these two? Honestly, Bill and Dottie make a striking and unusual couple. It’s delectable to see Dottie happy for a change, and it seems that even Bill is ready to move on, at least romantically-speaking. Jack is the perfectly rugged former Mountie who uncovers the truth in whatever manner he must, and Erica is the woman who has never had a man care for her and put her needs and desires first until the handsome Bill came along.
In many ways, Rosemary hijacks the show, as far as this episode goes. And as usual, it is her story that injects some levity into the storyline. However, there may just be some unexpected sentiment as well.
As we saw last week, James has plans to make Rosemary into a big movie star. He recognizes her talent, and he is ready to take her to Hollywood and make all her dreams come true. Pascale is so radiant and unblemished in the role of Rosemary, and she takes the audience on the winding path of various emotions her character experiences throughout the episode. After all, Lochlyn’s character is almost impossible to resist. What actress wouldn’t want to make it big in Hollywood? And Lochlyn portrays James as the handsome, vibrant, and persuasive film executive that he is.
In fact, except for Lee, the decision would be easy. Kavan and Pascale make the perfect couple, and the very idea that they may be separated makes it exceptionally difficult to watch. We want the best for Rosemary, and so does Lee. When she tells him, “You’re not making this any easier,” his response is, “I’ll try not to make it any harder.” Lee and Rosemary are perfect for each other, but what will be Rosie’s decision?
I refuse to spoil the story as it unfolds, but be sure you watch to the very end. Rosemary makes the only decision she could if she follows her heart. And Lee makes the right decision, too, for he is listening to his heart. The end will probably have you cheering and crying, and these two never look so perfect as they do at the end.
In conclusion, although this episode aired last week, if you have not seen it, I hope you will. It is one of the finest of the season (or possibly show history), and I greatly anticipate the next two episodes. If you would like more information: