Jack welcomes an unexpected visit from his mother Charlotte, while Elizabeth struggles to find common ground with a woman who is so different from herself. Rosemary enlists help from the townspeople as she plans her perfectly over-the-top wedding to Lee, before worrying whether they are compatible after all. And as bad weather moves in, it threatens the surrounding land of Hope Valley, and the hard-working settlers and their families could face a terrible fate.[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0N1zBZIkg0[/embedyt]
Potential Spoiler Alert: While I promise not to reveal the cliffhanger ending of this episode, you may still learn something that you didn’t know or didn’t want to know. For that reason, if you are worried about spoilers, please read no further. Otherwise, let’s jump on in.
Let’s start with a pivotal small character. Mr. Jenkins has been in the cast, but this week, he has a dilemma. As Milo infuses much concern into his character this week, we see him coming to Mr. Gowen (of all people) with anxiety in his mind. Now, I won’t tell you what disquiets the brain of this businessman, but you will definitely notice Mr. Jenkins this week!
Any Rip lovers out there? Well, of course, and you can anticipate seeing Oscar in a couple scenes. This is from his first which is an absolutely hysterical scene that will resonate with viewers. The second is a time where Rip actually is on the move for a bit with the kids, and that is just so precious. I can’t thank the writers enough for featuring our beloved canine friend more this season than last.
Although Cody is in this episode (Becky is not–she is at the science fair), the times we do see him are short and sweet. In fact, the children have some appealing scenes during this episode since they spend an abundance of time interacting with the settlers and their children. Cody won’t break your heart this week, but he will make you wonder if Abigail and Frank should make a match of it. As potential parents of this boy who has developed remarkably quickly this season, they seem like such a family unit, and only time will tell if his dreams of a real family come true. Again, Carter exudes all the joy and wonder of childhood with plenty of energy to boot, and his scenes continue to exhibit the kind of solid acting we have come to expect from him this season.
As mentioned above, there is a copious amount of time spent with the settlers at both their settlement and in Hope Valley itself during this episode. And because of this, we see some new characters featured. As the mothers who only want the best for their children, Natasha and Eliza play Nancy and Wilma respectively. Both are unequivocally cast as these women who don’t want grandiose ideas pumped into their heads by some affluent, idealistic schoolteacher who can’t begin to understand their lot in life. As the hapless children, Jaime and Christian play Maggie and Timmy respectively. They are so eager to learn to read and to interact with the children (and Rip). I simply adore the fact that the writers are choosing to include even more children into a show that is brimming with heart and excitement while not forgetting that difficulties are compulsory in life, too. Finally, Christian joins his sister, Ava (who plays Opal), on the set, and he demonstrates that he has every right to be there as his skill is readily apparent.
As seen here, the children beseech Miss Thatcher to read a story, and the mothers reluctantly capitulate. While this story is read, it is up to Elizabeth, Jack, and Charlotte (I’ll mention her a bit later on) to convince these settlers that learning to read can only improve their lives. I’ll let you discover the outcome of that little talk.
And it looks like Miss Thatcher’s vision is mounting with youthful exuberance. Emily and Hattie want to help, too. (Hattie? Really? Isn’t it refreshing to know that Elizabeth’s investment in Hattie truly paid off with dividends?) As two who reach beyond themselves to consider those children who live a far cry from Hope Valley, Gracyn and Imogen give a stirring performance.
Yet again, Ava is the ultimate scene-stealer. (I tell you, that girl is going to break some hearts when she grows up!) As Opal, she delivers one of the most darling lines of the entire episode. And Jamie as Maggie gets a chance to interact with this talented girl, thus fixing her place in the minds of the Hearties. After all, anyone who plays a scene with Ava can never be forgotten.
After the tender reunion last week, Edith is back for more. Ali infuses just the right amount of grace and concern as her reclaimed husband goes off to work in the mine for a spell. The weather seems to be a cause for distress throughout the entire episode, and it is safe to say that even Edith worries that something may happen to her beloved. Although her screen time is brief, Ali’s striking features and depiction cannot be overlooked.
And for those who have grown to love Madison in the role of Roy, you’ll see him briefly in this episode. Thankfully, he is doing the right thing. There are potential pitfalls with regard to the mine due to the impending inclement weather; regardless, viewers can look forward to his masterful interpretation of this young, reformed husband who is now on the straight and narrow and attempting to the do the right thing. I can only hope that the writers will bring him back next season with a more substantial role as he has more than earned the accolades this season.
I realize I have been overlooking the character of Katie Yost this season in my reviews, and I finally figured out who she is. Sometimes supporting roles can be difficult to ascertain, but I noticed her character, and I am pleased to state that Larissa is a lovely, young actress who has brought this minor character to life throughout this series. Sometimes she only has a line or two, but this was the first scene where I finally determined her identity! And all I can say is bravo and kudos to a budding actress who has made the most of her time on the screen, and maybe she will have a bigger role next season. But for now, Larissa deserves an honorable mention at least.
Don’t they just look alluring? Thankfully, we have caught some stellar performances from both Loretta and Johannah in their respective roles of Flo and Molly this season. Flo is always prominent and memorable due to her feisty, meddlesome ways. And Molly’s fiery hair and flawless complexion always capture attention on screen. As always, Loretta and Johannah have given outstanding performances that have given us more insight into who they are. Now, I believe the viewers yearn for the day when one or both find love, but until that day comes, Flo and Molly can console themselves with Rosemary’s wedding preparations. It is always a sheer delight to see them both, and here’s to even more adventures with these two next season.
Lamentably, viewers will see very little of Nurse Faith, as played by Andrea Brooks, in this episode, but she is has become a fixture in the town, and there is no way that she could possibly be omitted next season, right? I have become enamored with the independent, self-sufficient, capable nurse who cares so for anyone who needs her services. And Andrea is so fan-friendly that there is no doubt she absolutely must return.
Unfortunately, there is trouble in paradise. As we witnessed last week, Jesse decided to work for Mr. Gowen because it was easy money, and the mill was shutting down. Clara was very apprehensive about him and tried to dissuade him, but he wouldn’t listen. This week, you can imagine Clara’s agitation. Remember–Mr. Gowen was responsible for the death of her husband and father-in-law, although he never went to prison. She knows what happened. And now the man she is falling for is working for the enemy. Only time will tell what will happen with these two. However, Eva and Aren are exemplary in their respective roles, and I mean that genuinely. Aren was able to take a man who was an abhorrent criminal and turn him into a much-loved, regenerated suitor for Eva. All one has to do is watch Aren’s depiction of this conflicted man to know that he is certain he is doing the right thing, and he cannot comprehend why Clara will not support him. And when viewers watch Eva portray the forlorn widow who is wise beyond her years, she pulls at our heartstrings with precise and heartfelt sympathy. We have loved Clara from the beginning, but every week, Eva makes us revere her character that much more. We want to step in and make everything right for her, but there is no doubt that even in her pain, she is committed to doing the right thing and making Jesse tow the line.
In this episode, viewers will be treated to the various sides of Mr. Gowen’s character, courtesy of Martin’s phenomenal acting. Henry is a contemptible man, but it’s clear that his heart is drawing him closer to Nora. And Kristina is never more convincing as the divorcee who just desires a new life where all the old is obliterated and everything is new. She is still naive and fully unaware of Mr. Gowen’s dark side. Or maybe she believes he has changed, as she saw that fiendish side of him at least once. He always appears to treat her with respect, and maybe she will turn him to the right pathway. At least, I would like to think so. What I will say is this. The cliffhanger of this episode does involve this couple, and I will say no more lest I spoil it. Be prepared for a heart-palpitating and possibly unforeseen ending to this episode, and I think it will make us all that more intrigued for next week’s. Additionally, I can divulge that they are only one part of the cliffhanger.
And what about this couple? You will definitely see them featured, but Abigail has much less drama this week, and for that we can thank our lucky stars. Pastor Frank has a delightful moment with Lee and Rosemary as he prepares to counsel them on their upcoming nuptials–absolutely side-splitting scene! Again, both are growing together as a couple (Charlotte even notices that), and it would appear that the courtship is increasing in intensity between them. Mark is absolutely spot on in every scene this week whether it is sober or frivolous, and Lori effortlessly brings everything we love about her to every scene in which she appears. Indeed, a testament to both actors’ incredible abilities.
For those who have missed Dottie, be prepared to see many facets of her character featured in this episode. Indeed, since her husband’s murder and her subsequent freedom from Gowen’s clutches, she has become a reformed woman. One wonders if perhaps she was but a pawn attempting to navigate the game of survival into which she was cast. She is a woman, and typically women had very little say in anything during this time period. I am certain she was raised to believe that she had no choice but to unquestionably follow the man in her life, and working for Gowen was a mere position for monetary profit and a means to an end. It is season three in which Dottie has finally had the opportunity to discover who she is, and with Erica’s infallible rendering of this complex woman, viewers couldn’t be more contented.
She has a supreme opportunity to demonstrate her seamstress prowess as Rosemary dictates exactly the type of dress she wants her to fashion for her bridesmaids. And in typical Rosie fashion, they are intricate and complex to make, and she continues to change her mind as to how many dresses she will need. But no worries as I am certain Dottie is up to the task.
However, it is her dealings with Bill where she truly gets an opportunity to make herself effective and turn from her formerly wicked ways. Remember, she used to work for Gowen, and she knows a thing or two. And it doesn’t take much persuasion from Bill for her to reveal exactly what Bill needs to know. Indeed, she has fallen for the charms of the handsome and charming one-time Mountie, and every week, these two appear to get closer to making whatever is brewing between them official.
Of course, the humorous focus is on the massive wedding plans of Rosemary and Lee. Yet again, the viewers can look forward to the banter between these two, and Kavan and Pascale are definitely at the top of their game. From the moment they began to interact last season, we knew that Lee was the only man in the universe who could ever hope to tame this veritable firecracker known as Rosie. Kavan and Pascale seem to have so much fun together in their respective roles that sometimes I wonder what star smiled upon whomever it was who made the choice to cast these two in their respective roles. The chemistry between these two is something rare and wonderful that is often only found in storybooks. In their case, these actors play off each other in such a way that we never know whether they are going to make us laugh with their antics or cry with their tenderness. Kavan can take his portrayal of Lee from laugh-out-loud humor to full-blown romance in the space of thirty seconds flat (or less), and Pascale always responds as if she can read his mind and know his every move before he makes it. Together, their acting is absolutely uncanny!
As Rosemary begins to plan the wedding of her dreams, she begins to face the seriousness of the step she is about to take. While she has lived most of her life vicariously on the stage, she is about to flesh out a girlish dream, and she may just be starting to count the cost of her decision. Is she truly ready to become Lee’s wife and embrace all that entails?
With Pascale’s complete immersion in the role of Rosemary, her acting has come to a level I never would have imagined during season one. In Pascale’s indomitable style, she has been able to portray the little nuances of Rosemary’s personality and reveal to us in every episode just a little more about who Rosemary truly is. We see Rosemary’s insecurities, her heart, and her passion through the immaculate eyes of Pascale, and we finally feel like we understand who and what Rosemary is. The facade has been ripped away, and what Pascale has revealed to us about Rosie is so much more glorious than we could have ever envisioned.
Kavan has shown us incredible depth through his characterization of Lee as well. When he came into town, we only saw the driven workhorse that he was and his appreciation for the beauty that Rosemary displayed. As time has gone on, Kavan has revealed the kind heart and limitless patience this man has, which has caused me to connect with his character on a richer level than I first would have supposed. Hope Valley would be a bit humdrum without the boundless magic he and Pascale both flaunt, and I don’t believe I’m alone in stating that. What they both bring to this show is a quality that injects the much-needed levity when things gets tense, but they also bring a gentle understanding that many of us understand, especially for those who go through life as misunderstood or feeling like no one appreciates us and our contributions to the world. So many of us play a part just like Rosie does, and we are afraid to share our true selves. That is, until someone like Lee bursts into our lives and shows us that we can be accepted and loved, foibles and all, for who we genuinely are.
Of course, she still has her bossy nature, as Hickam will definitely attest to. Hickam, as portrayed by Ben, has become a much-beloved character this season as we have watched his progression from season one and into this current season. His character still tends to fade into the background, but he has become a trusted worker of Lee’s, and that certainly counts for something (especially in light of Wade’s betrayal). Notwithstanding, he still has not learned to say “no” to Rosemary, and I doubt he ever will.
At least we know that he was not responsible for the lumber mill debacle, but we can only hope for a love interest for him in the future. Ben always gives an admirable performance no matter how brief his appearance is. His expressions are always unerring, but I think we are all waiting for the day when he’ll finally relax and smile, as his character typically looks rather glum, or at least in deep contemplation. I would venture to say a good woman could change that for Hickam–maybe next season?
For those who anticipate every romantic scene between Elizabeth and Jack, you won’t be disappointed. There are so many affectionate scenes between them, and we even see them working together to reach the settlers outside of town. There is no doubt that their hearts have become so entwined with each other that an engagement should be forthcoming before too long. At least, in my opinion.
Just like everyone else in town, Elizabeth is hard at work preparing for Rosemary’s impending wedding. Of course, Rosie is so particular that Elizabeth, no matter how meticulous, will probably never measure up to Rosemary’s standards. Actually, no one will, when it comes down to it. That’s a given.
Of course, Jack and Bill also have more investigations to do thanks to some information that has come to light regarding Mr. Gowen. I simply adore the pairing of these two–kind of like the dynamic duo of the Old West. One has to go by the books, and the other can be a little more creative in his interpretation of the law. Together, they are invincible as they solve whatever crime or perceived crime comes their way. As Bill, Jack is handsome, rugged and certainly committed to justice at any cost. He is the Bill of season one with a bit of edge and hopefully a side of real romance. And as Jack, Daniel is infallible as the Mountie who may have finally decided that he may be able to fit a wife into his sometimes dangerous way of life–especially if that woman is a stalwart and idealistic teacher like Miss Thatcher.
In addition to their time at the settlement, where Jack has nothing but good things to say about Elizabeth, it seems that Jack is finally making his dreams come true. Could that be his land? Was he finally able to purchase it before that snake Gowen snatched it up?
Time will only tell. But one thing is true–Daniel and Erin have truly come full circle with their characterizations of Jack and Elizabeth. Before, it was hard to think of them as ever coming together. Elizabeth was wealthy, and Jack was a commoner. Elizabeth couldn’t handle life on the prairie, but now it seems that she has found her life here. And Jack is definitely the center of her universe. While Erin and Daniel have always been able to bring that deep and incredible chemistry to the screen, there is much more comfort between the two of them this season, as though they have definitely found their rhythm together. It only makes sense that in this the third season of the show, they would be able to bring so much more depth to their respective roles, and they do just that in the heavenly extreme. There were the days when I grew weary of their character’s romance and questioned the veracity of it, but Daniel and Erin have made me love every scene in which they are together, whether embracing each other or not. They are an inseparable team, and it only makes sense after seeing this episode that the next logical step is a proposal. I’m not saying it will happen, but I cannot see that it will be far off.
And I think it is because of the introduction of this character to the story. I know that many people were concerned about Brooke joining the cast as Jack’s mother. Many claimed she was too young. The fact of the matter is, it makes no difference, and I genuinely mean it. As Charlotte, Brooke is impeccable. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say as much as I like her in the Flower Shop Mystery series on the other Hallmark network, this role is one that is absolutely written for her. From the moment she appeared on screen, I didn’t see Brooke–I saw Charlotte.
With Charlotte as his mother, a whole new level is introduced to the show. Jack’s mother is completely nontraditional, and she is certainly not a wilting flower. She keeps Jack on his toes, and she is constantly mothering him and everyone else around her. She always means well, but she does have a tendency to have the mindset that it is her way or the highway. Jack loves her like crazy, but he also knows that with her around, it is a challenge to not go back into the obedient son routine. He has to continue to break away from her control. And he sometimes does have to make apologies for her outlandish behavior.
Attempting to get along with the unique Charlotte is a genuine challenge for Elizabeth. She wants Jack’s mom to like her, but she really grapples against her “control freak” tendencies. Charlotte is very stubborn and exceptionally opinionated. Elizabeth has become a strong woman as well, but she is attempting to get along with a woman who might become her future mother-in-law. It is obvious that Elizabeth is contemplating that possibility.
But she does find an unlikely confidante in Rosemary as Rosemary and Charlotte go way back. I actually cherish Rosemary’s description of Charlotte. “When God made that woman, He broke the mold.” And nothing could be truer.
Not only is she comfortable riding with the men on a duck hunt…
..but she is equally at home with the men playing cards at the saloon. She is not a shrinking violet.
But no matter her faults, the topmost thing on Charlotte’s mind is the happiness of her son. She is never cruel, and viewers will be delighted to see the drama and comedy play out. And since she was a teacher, and the settlement appears to need a teacher, well, one never knows if she may just become a permanent part of Hope Valley.
Throughout the episode, the weather is a major consideration. Rain, mudslides, roads washed out–I honestly don’t know what to expect next week.
But no matter what the finale brings, we know that it will be well done and probably leave us hanging on for dear life. Enjoy the fact that this week’s cliffhanger is emotional, but involves none of the major players. But whatever happens next week, we know that we Hearties will labor as hard as possible to ensure a season four, as this season has been the best ever, in my opinion.
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