In this past episode of When Calls the Heart, entitled “The Heart of the Community”, we find Hope Valley dealing with new changes tied to the progress being made in the town. Elizabeth is having a hard time keeping up with all the new students in her class, Abigail is still dealing with Ray Wyatt and the railroad, and Jack and Bill receive troubling news that the Tate brothers have escaped from prison. Even though new hardships are plaguing the town, in an attempt to raise funds for the school, Hope Valley comes together to host a carnival and enjoy a beautiful day filled with games, candy apples, and even a fortune teller!
With the saw mill growing and more and more people arriving to Hope Valley, Elizabeth’s classroom is quickly filling up. In this episode we are introduced to Shane and Phillip Cantrell, father and son, who have just moved to town. Elizabeth quickly bonds with Philip when she realizes that his father is too preoccupied with work and leaves Philip to care for himself. Not only is Elizabeth concerned about this relationship, but she’s also facing new struggles in the classroom. With so many news kids arriving, they’re running low on school supplies and the town doesn’t have the funds to help. After expressing her frustrations to Rosemary, they realize a fundraiser is needed and decide to throw a carnival!
Clearly the majority of the town was excited for the carnival, however some kids were disappointed because their fathers were having to work at the saw mill. Elizabeth tries speaking with Lee to give his workers the day off, but under a tight schedule to meet the railroads demands he’s unable to. Faith is also concerned with the amount of work the men at the saw mill are putting in because she’s seeing more and more of them at the infirmary injured. Both ladies speak to Ray in hopes that he could extend the deadline, allowing the men at the saw mill to have a day off. I thoroughly enjoyed this scene because where Elizabeth couldn’t make him budge, he immediately listens to Faith and extends the deadline. Not only was it fun to see Faith use some of her charm, but it’s also nice to see a potential new romance! Though, I am still wary about his intentions.
The entire carnival portion of the episode was incredible! We saw Jack taking pictures of people at the photo booth, Cody and Robert selling cupcakes, a three legged race, a kissing booth, and fortune telling done by none other than Rosemary! It was great to see the town come together and share in a fun afternoon. We also saw a bit more flirting between Ray and Faith, where he buys all the tickets at the kissing booth thinking she’ll be doing the kissing. Instead, he’s surprised to find Florence inside the booth! This scene was one of my favorites and left me crying from laughter, along with Rosemary and her fortune telling scene! There was also a tender moment between our new father and son in Hope Valley. Deciding he had to work, Shane sends Philip by himself to the carnival. Realizing that his son needs him and wants to share these childhood moments with him, Shane takes a half day and arrives just in time for candy apples with his son.
Jack and Bill receive some unsettling news when they hear that the Tate brothers have broken out of prison. Aware that they’re most known for stealing payrolls, Jack and Bill go to protect the payroll that is coming into Hope Valley. Seeing that he’s familiar with their ways, Pastor Frank accompanies them and ends up coming in handy. He’s able to knock out the sharp shooter that was planning on shooting both Jack and Bill in order for them to accomplish their robbery. However, this worries Abigail seeing Frank revert to his past by chasing outlaws and forces them to rethink their relationship.
Rosemary may also be having some new career changes in her future! Dottie Ramsey has decided to open a dress shop in Hope Valley, and of course Rosemary began drawing sketches for her immediately. Clearly distracted by this exciting news and new possibility for herself, Rosemary begins to slack off at the cafe. She’s leaving dirty dishes everywhere and isn’t giving people what they ordered, so Abigail decides to alleviate Rosemary of her responsibilities at the cafe so that she can focus on what she wants to do.
This episode was filled with laughs, sweet moments, new faces, and opened the door to new challenges Hope Valley will begin to face. Next weeks episode looks to bring some more danger close to home, as well as an old friend of Jack’s, a heroic drifter, and a heartfelt conversation between Abigail and Frank. I would love to hear from you Hearties! What were your favorite scenes from this episode?
*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media