Romance and Heartbreak Fills Hope Valley

Where do I even start? This past episode of When Calls the Heart, entitled My Heart Will Go On, was one of the most beautiful yet heartbreaking episodes of a television show I have ever seen. I shed both tears of joy and sadness, and truly felt every emotion the actors expressed. The Hearties finally got the proposal we have been waiting for, but it came at a terrible price. Before I go into the recap, I just have to say how incredible Erin Krakow and Daniel Lissing were in this episode. Their performance was out of this world! The writers did an amazing job taking the viewers on this rollercoaster of emotions. Not only were Dan and Erin amazing, but truly every cast member that appeared in the episode were incredible. Everything from the sweet moment between Lee and Rosemary, Abigail being the amazing friend that she is, the Hope Valley kids who never cease to amaze me, and even Rip did a great job!

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The episode starts with Elizabeth and Abigail walking down main street discussing Elizabeth’s new position as a tutor for the kids. She explains how it doesn’t feel right for her just being the tutor, and that she misses being a teacher. During this time, Jack is away attending Doug’s funeral. Elizabeth expresses her concerns for Jack and how he’s grieving. The entire funeral scene is completely heartbreaking. Doug is honored with a traditional farewell for a Mountie. There are many other Mounties in attendance, along with Jack and Doug’s mother. Once Jack arrives back to Hope Valley, Jack and Elizabeth are in the jail when Doug’s mother arrives to give Jack a gift. It’s a Saint Christopher necklace Jack had given Doug when he graduated from the academy. Jack accepts it and expresses the pain he has of knowing he should have been fighting in the Northern territories, and that he could’ve done more to protect Doug. The exchange between Jack and Doug’s mother was beautifully written and performed.

Ever since Doug’s death, Jack has been torn and blaming himself for what happened. In this episode we really see Jack having this sort of internal battle as to whether he should follow his duty or not. There’s a great exchange of dialogue where he tells Elizabeth that just like God called her to teach, God is calling him to go fight the good fight. While speaking to Pastor Frank about his decision, Elizabeth interrupts their conversation and Frank leaves the two alone. Jack tells her that he has decided to go fight in the North. Of course Elizabeth doesn’t want him to go because it’s too dangerous, but Jack explains that he has to. Unfortunately, the posting is indefinite and he doesn’t know when he’ll be back. This leaves Elizabeth completely devastated and runs out of the church crying.

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Later that night, Elizabeth is talking to Abigail about everything that is happening with Jack. When Elizabeth is about to go talk to him, Abigail gives her a card from Jack that says, “Take a walk with me.” As she opens the door of the cafe, a candlelit path is awaiting her. Candles and roses light a path leading her to the church where Jack is waiting for her. He tells her that he knew from the moment they met that God had sent him an angel. He understands that it’s not fair for him to ask her to wait for him, but before he can continue Elizabeth interrupts him and says she would wait an eternity for him. Jack gets down on one knee and asks Elizabeth to marry him. Through the tears of joy, she says yes!

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Afterwards, an engagement party is held in the saloon for the happy couple. It’s of course difficult because Elizabeth knows Jack has to leave in the morning, but Abigail comforts her by saying she can look forward to planning the wedding. Abigail offers the new couple a toast, saying she’s never seen two people more in love than Jack and Elizabeth. Shortly after, we find Jack and Elizabeth at the church. They spend the night sitting on a pew, holding each other until morning. The entire town gathers to say goodbye to Jack. As he begins to ride off, Elizabeth runs after him and calls out to him. He turns his horse around and walks over to Elizabeth where they share one more passionate kiss before he leaves.

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Later that night the music recital is held at the church. Elizabeth has not arrived yet even though she promised Timmy she would sing with him, but they decide to go ahead and start. Bill, Robert, Cody, Emily, Opal, and Philip start by singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Timmy is up next and as promised, Elizabeth arrives just in time. Timmy plays the piano while Elizabeth sings the most heartfelt and beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy,” which is also Jack’s favorite song. (This would be the point where I completely lost it!) As she sings, a video montage of moments shared between Jack and Elizabeth begins to play. The first day they met, their first kiss, the Mountie ball, and the proposal is shown. Once she finishes the song, there isn’t a dry eye in the audience and the kids rush to give her a group hug.

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Another very important moment was when Francine shows up to help Elizabeth set the record straight with what Mr. Higgins was accusing her of. Elizabeth and Francine show Gowen the letters Mr. Higgins would leave Francine to prove that the handwriting was the same in Elizabeth’s letter. Realizing she was telling the truth, Gowen reinstates Elizabeth as the teacher once again. As Mr. Stoneman is leaving, he thanks Elizabeth for teaching him that each student is unique and that we need more teachers like her. Elizabeth then asks Francine what made her change her mind to speak out. She shows Elizabeth the photograph that she received in the mail of Elizabeth with all the kids. However, it was the inscription on the back that spoke to her. It said, “Bad things happen if good people do nothing.” After she leaves, Elizabeth finds out that Abigail was the one that sent her the letter.

Other tender moments included the kids writing letters expressing their love and gratitude for Miss Thatcher, and the moms offering to start their own school where Elizabeth could teach if her name did not get cleared. There was also a very sweet moment between Rosemary and Lee where Rosemary can’t sleep and Lee comforts her. She is worried about Elizabeth, Jack’s safety, how the town will cope without him, and her fear of change. It was great to see this more vulnerable side to Rosemary. There was also a cute scene where Jack is saying goodbye to Rip and tells him to take care of Cody and his new dog, but more importantly to take care of Elizabeth.

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Overall, I think this episode will go down as one of the best and most talked about episodes ever. I thought it did a great job of portraying what life was truly like in those days, especially for women with loved ones in the military. I know many Hearties are worried for Jack and when he’ll ride back into Hope Valley. All I can say is that Hope Valley is founded on faith, hope, and love. So I say have faith that he will return soon, because there is always hope when it comes to true love. It will be different not seeing Jack in Hope Valley, but we will continue to watch and go through this journey with these characters that we love so much. What do you think is in store for us next week, Hearties?

*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media
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