A Doctor’s Redemption and a Young Boy’s Fight for Life

The season finale of When Calls the Heart, entitled Heart of a Fighter, gave viewers the perfect amount of drama, emotion, faith and hope. Season 4 was filled with great new characters who brought powerful new storylines to Hope Valley, along with new hardships faced by our familiar faces. We witnessed beautiful moments of romance, friendship, conflict, community, and joy. This finale delivered on bringing us everything we love so much about our dear Hope Valley.

The episode picks up with Cody, who has been rushed to the infirmary due to his stomach pain. Nurse Faith believes he has appendicitis. However, since she is not a surgical nurse, she can’t perform the surgery. Faith explains that the closest doctor in town is Dr. Strohm, but it would still take him at least a day to arrive. In need of bringing someone sooner, Elizabeth and Abigail decide to try to find Carson knowing he can’t be too far. Bill rounds up a search party to find Carson and convince him to come back to help Cody. Elizabeth ends up finding Carson and explains the situation to him. He is clearly hesitant, due to his past experience, but he agrees to return to Hope Valley to check up on Cody. Carson immediately arrives to the infirmary and diagnoses Cody with appendicitis seeing he has all the symptoms. He believes Cody will need surgery to remove his appendix as soon as possible. However when Dr. Strohm arrives, he ignores Carson’s diagnosis and decides to perform his own check-up on Cody.


Back at the cafe, everyone is waiting to hear what Dr. Strohm has to say about Cody. He comes in and explains that he believes Cody only has a stomach flu and surgery won’t be required. Carson is clearly upset knowing that Dr. Strohm is wrong. Torn between two different opinions, Abigail decides to wait until the morning to see how Cody is doing and determine whether or not he will need surgery.

During this, Rosemary and Lee are having some issues of their own. Rosemary realizes that Lee is not his usual self. He’s tired, not eating, distant, and is clearly troubled. She tries talking to him about what’s bothering him, but he can’t seem to open up about it. After receiving some encouraging advice from Elizabeth, Rosemary decides to take her advice and try again. She’s able to get through to Lee and he explains what has been bothering him. In a very vulnerable and emotional scene, Lee tells Rosemary about his brother Patrick who died when they were kids. When his brother got sick, Lee would read his favorite book, Tom Sawyer, to him every night. One night, he was too tired to read and told his brother he would read to him in the morning. Lee never got the chance because his brother didn’t make it through the night. He says how Cody reminds him a lot of his brother, and now going through a similar situation is hard for him.


Later that night, Carson finds Dr. Strohm at the saloon drinking. When Carson tells him that might not be the best idea, in case he has to perform surgery, Dr. Strohm tells him he doesn’t need advice from a former doctor who lost a patient in surgery. Carson tells him he did everything he could to try to save his wife, but it was out of his control. The two continue to exchange words until Carson gets physical with Dr. Strohm and Bill is forced to separate the two. Afterwards, Carson goes to check up on Cody and finds him doing worse. He tells Faith to go get Abigail because if surgery isn’t performed, Cody will die. Abigail gives him permission to operate, and immediately Carson and Faith go to work. Several hours later Carson arrives to the cafe. He’s pleased to say that the surgery was a success, but Cody is still unconscious, he lost a lot of blood, his heart rate is low, and still has a fever. Dr. Strohm finds out Carson performed surgery and begins to threaten him, but Abigail defends him and says she stands by her decision of allowing him to proceed.

At the mercantile Elizabeth overhears Marlise Bennett, Carson’s sister-in-law, asking to send a wire to the medical board in Cape Fullerton. She’s clearly upset he performed surgery and wants to make him pay for what happened to her sister. However, Elizabeth steps in and advises her to rethink her decision. She tells her that if it wasn’t for Carson, Cody would’ve died and that maybe it’s time for her to forgive him.

Back at the infirmary, Abigail is at Cody’s bedside begging him to keep fighting. Meanwhile, the town comes together to hold a prayer service for Cody and share a moment together reciting the Lord’s prayer. Personally, I’ve always loved when the town comes together in a moment of crisis. It’s part of what makes Hope Valley so special, and this was one of my favorite scenes. The next morning, Carson is checking up on Cody and tells Abigail that everything is back to normal. Still holding Cody’s hand, asking him to wake up, Cody squeezes Abigail’s hand and she is moved to tears knowing her son made it. A huge sigh of relief is expressed.

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As Carson leaves the infirmary, he runs into Marlise. She begins to tell him that she’s decided to move on and forgive him. She realizes it wasn’t fair of her to blame him for her sister’s death, and that he should continue to practice medicine because clearly he’s a talented doctor. Later, Carson and Abigail share a heartfelt conversation in the cafe. She tells him that he’s meant to be a doctor, not a cook, and thanks him for saving Cody. However, Carson tells her that Cody saved him. The whole town saved him.

While this is happening, Gowen is still being held in jail. When he finds out about Cody, he is clearly concerned. In a very powerful moment, we see Gowen rest his head on the bars of the cell and close his eyes when he hears the news, as if he were praying for Cody. He was meant to be taken to his arraignment, but he asks Bill if he could stay one more day until there’s more news about Cody. Finally, when it is time for him to leave, Abigail and Gowen share a sweet moment during their final goodbye. She tells him to take care of himself and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Though we didn’t see much of Gowen in the episode, in the scenes that we do, you can really start to see the change he is experiencing, the regret, and you feel for him. I thought these were great additions.

Several weeks pass, and we find Elizabeth writing a letter to Jack catching him on everything that happened. In the cafe, decorations are hung and everyone is celebrating Cody’s birthday. He receives a baseball bat from Carson, whom we hear has been offered a position to stay in Hope Valley to continue practicing medicine. He receives The Adventures of Tom Sawyer from Lee and Rosemary, and when he opens the book he finds Patrick Coulter written on the inside cover. Finally, Abigail gives Cody a large envelope and tells him it’s also for Becky. Inside are the official adoption letters! In one of the most heartfelt scenes of the season, Abigail tells them they can start calling her mom and as Cody goes outside to play he turns to her and says, “I will, Mom!”


I truly thought this was the perfect ending to this incredible season. It was a great representation of everything Hope Valley stands for. Lori Loughlin, Carter Evancic, and Paul Greene were absolutely outstanding in this episode! The entire cast is some of the most talented actors and we’re lucky to have them! A huge thank you to the producers, the writers, the cast and crew, and Hallmark for creating this beautiful show that fills all of our Heartie hearts with so much love! We will all be anxiously awaiting season 5 next year, and looking forward to experiencing new storylines with our favorite characters!

*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media

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