Review of When Calls the Heart episode 2: Cease and Desist
By Amy J. Falk on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 9:50pm
Review of When Calls the Heart episode 2: Cease and Desist
Hello again Coal Valley residents! Today we’re talking about the second episode of When Calls the Heart entitled Cease and Desist. If you have not seen this episode, there are spoilers ahead, so do not read any further!
You may have already noticed, just looking at this blog, that there is just a bit more detail to it than the last one. As promised, I’ve done more research! I wanted to make sure that the Fans of Believe Pictures had all the information they could possibly want in one place. :-) So please enjoy, and if there’s too much information or if you think I missed something, don’t be afraid to let me know…
As this episode opens, we see the new teacher, Elizabeth Thatcher, played by Erin Krakow, struggling to keep her students enthusiastic about their lesson on inertia. A personal side note, this is one of those things that I thoroughly enjoy about the show: they truly do add lessons in with their episodes - like vocabulary and science lessons for the younger children. These are things that I wouldn’t mind my godchildren watching and learning right along with the Coal Valley children. So, on some levels, the show can become educational because it makes you want to research to find out more information (at least it has on my end, anyway). It is during this time that Elizabeth quickly realizes she’s not only fighting to keep her students attention, but to impress Jack who has come downstairs from his boarding room above the bar and is watching her very intently. It is only after she finds herself showing the children an experiment that she realizes she has truly attracted his attention, but once Jack notices that Elizabeth sees him watching, he quickly straightens up and leaves the school/saloon. In my opinion this is when we first see that our hero in red may have a soft spot for Miss Thatcher.
Notices are nailed to the homes of all the widows. Abigail and the widows arrive at the mine, pleading to make a deal to save their homes: We clear a tunnel that you need cleared before the new miners arrive, and we keep our homes; if not we leave peacefully. The executive director of the mine, Mr. Gowen (Martin Cummins), grants them this impossible task, but will not let any of his men assist the women - for the men’s safety, of course. He never expects that they have a chance at clearing the tunnel where their husbands died. The widows fear they will never be able to complete the task and keep their homes, despite their best efforts. But with no other choice - they know they have to try… Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) leads this charge into the coal mine.
It was during this portion of the show that I saw some things that did not add up for me. I would love your feedback, to see what you guys think about the following inconsistencies:
#1. Where did the mothers/widows get the mining equipment/clothing so quickly with so many mouths to feed at home and so little money to spare?
Being a writer myself, here is my speculation on what the writers might have been thinking:
It is possible that the clothing that the women were wearing was supposed to be their husband’s or son’s extra work clothes that weren’t lost in the mine. The second problem I have with this theory is that the clothes would not fit them as well as it appeared. For instance, the safety hats and boots would probably be too big. They might have been able to pin their hats on since they were cloth. And where were their work gloves? The clothing would be just mis-matched. As it was, the clothing that the women wore seemed to fit quite well. How is that possible? Would they even have had spare outfits?
#2. Were there any superstitions about women in the mine when it came to coal mining?
From discussions I’ve heard with relatives who were miners, there were many superstitions about women entering a mine - especially red-headed women! Women were never, under any circumstances, allowed in the mine because it was considered bad luck (at least among my Irish relatives).
Okay, now we will turn back to the review until we hit inconsistency number 3.
One of my favorite moments in Episode 2 is when Elizabeth gets a shipment from her family. During this part of the story there isn’t much dialogue. It is more of what is seen that is so intriguing to the viewer. The way this little window into Mountie Jack and Elizabeth’s relationship was written by Brian Bird was phenomenal. Jack at first watches Elizabeth struggle with the crate and studies her carefully without her noticing. Once she notices his presence nearby, he is careful to stand strong and offer his assistance. In this scene there is very little verbal interaction, yet their body language says so much! In my mind, to those people out there who think you always need dialogue to get a great point across, this scene is proof that they are wrong!
Then a few moments later we are back to the push and pull of the relationship when Jack is quick to remind Elizabeth that she is still tied to her father’s apron strings and is not standing on her own two feet like she had claimed she wanted to be in the beginning of the first episode. Looking rather insulted, Elizabeth does not have much to say before the children appear, so she turns her full attention to them. As Elizabeth begins class, she realizes how deeply the children are hurting by the fact that many of the mothers are in the mine. She tells them to write an essay on how Coal Valley is their home. As the children got up to give their speeches one by one, you could instantly feel the emotion they were trying to portray, and you wanted to reach out and hug them.
Mountie Jack seems torn by wanting to help the widows and yet fulfilling his role as Mountie. Jack goes to visit Henry Gowen, who is the executive director of the mine, and expresses his concerns that he has let the women work in the mine. These are the only parents these children have left. Henry is quick to remind Jack to keep his nose out of it simply because Jack is the law and cannot interfere, especially if he will end up having to enforce the eviction notices for the widows of the coal mining row houses. Jack informs Gowen that he knows what his job is and will do what is needed, but then Jack questions the mine’s safety protocol.
Frustrated with her incapability to assist the widows, Elizabeth is desperate to find a way to help out and tries to make Abigail dinner, but as we will continue to find out, Elizabeth’s cooking skills leave somewhat to be desired. Abigail assures her that the children need their teacher more than anything else, and she will hear no more about it. Elizabeth agrees but goes on searching for a solution. As she is thinking, Elizabeth sees Jack through the window and decides to go take her frustrations out on him. He explains that he can’t get involved, which is not accepted well by Elizabeth, and he tries to subtly hint that Elizabeth use her educated mind to find another way to help out.
More frustration on Jack’s end of things is not evident by dialogue, but again by facial expression - which is another brilliant move by Brian Bird and Michael Landon Jr. Elizabeth takes this to be an insult, marches in the house and writes in her journal. Later she realizes what he has said and goes to the library (in the saloon) to do some research. She fails to find anything during her night-long reading and falls asleep. Jack gives her another helpful nudge by writing a note and sticking it to her forehead, while she snores away. Gathered around her before school, the children stood in amazement as their teacher drooled on a stack of books. Side note: this scene brings back a lot of personal memories. :-) With that said, back to the review… With the children’s help, Elizabeth thinks she has found a solution to the widows problem - performing maintenance on the row houses by painting them, using the Domain Act found in the Old Farmer’s Almanac of 1901. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work, and Elizabeth is forced to find another solution.
When her first plan to help the widows fails, Elizabeth is desperate to help the children around her. Many of the children are afraid they are going to lose their homes and their mothers, the only parent they have left. After receiving a precious lump of coal from a student, she does the only thing left she can do.
This is where dilemma three begins…
Elizabeth comes downstairs in Abigail’s house fully dressed and ready to go into the mine, headlamp included. The question is: where did she get the clothes and equipment?
Well, here is my theory:
The viewers are supposed to believe that they were Abigail’s son’s clothes. But here again we run into the same problem as above - they fit Elizabeth. If she purchased them at the local store, nothing was mentioned. Since she has money to purchase these things, you’d think this would have been mentioned somewhere.
It is after Elizabeth decides to go into the mine that the town’s women realize that if she can do it, a woman who was brought up in a wealthy family and has barely worked a day in her life, then they can all certainly lift a hand to help the neighbors they love. This is where Henry Gowen gets bested in the end. With the town’s help, the widows save their homes.
Aside for those three inconsistencies, the episode was all together written beautifully and followed without anyone scratching their heads, wondering if they had missed something. Once again Brian Bird and Michael Landon, Jr. have brought back morals and values to family television.
Written by Amy J. Falk
Fans of Believe Pictures Productions
In my opinion here are the top four characters for this episode:
Jack Thornton: the constable/ Canadian Mountie.
Elizabeth Thatcher: the new school teacher in Coal Valley.
Mr. Gowen, a.k.a. Henry Gowen: the owner of the coal mine company
Abigail Stanton: who is seemingly the leader of the town’s women and the Coal Valley coal miner widows.
Jack Thornton is played by Daniel Lissing.
He is our Canadian Mountie. Daniel Lissing is well known for his role in the Australian film The Cure. He is also known in the United States for his role in the television drama: The Resort. Other Australian series that Daniel Lissing can be found in are: The Cronies, the Australian feature film John Doe and Australian television series Packed to the Rafters. This information comes from IMDBPro. I have not been able to get my hands on any of these films or TV series here in the US, but I am anxiously trying to acquire them. I’m curious to see what his other work is like. Through other sources I’ve also heard that Daniel was involved in a short film in Australia called Intertwined, but so far all I’ve been able to find is the trailer for that and nothing more.
Elizabeth Thatcher is played by Erin Krakow.
Before When Calls the Heart, she was best known for her recurring role on Lifetime Television’s “Army Wives,” according to IMDBPro. Krakow graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL and continued her studies at Juilliard in New York City. She also had a guest starring role in the television drama, Castle. Her newest work, other than When Calls the Heart is A Cookie Cutter Christmas, released in November 2014.
Henry Gowen is played by Martin Cummins.
Martin Cummins was born in North Delta, British Columbia. He is a Canadian actor who, according to Wikipedia, is best known for his role in a show called Dark Angel, which I have never heard of… For me I guess Mr. Cummins would be well known in his role in the sci-fi Family Channel show Kyle XY and the sci-fi CBS show V. This information comes from IMDB and Google. I have never seen Mr. Cummins play a role that was not devious or as a scoundrel in some way or another, but I can say this much: he is very good at what he does, and for all the roles I have seen him play, I wouldn’t want to see any of his characters in a dark alley - that’s how well he plays them!
Abigail Stanton is played by Lori Loughlin.
Lori was born in Queens, New York on July 28th 1964. She began her career at the age of 12 by being a print model (advertisements, etc.), then at the age of 15 Lori was cast in the ABC soap opera The Edge of Night. It wasn’t until 1988 that Lori became our beloved Aunt Rebecca on the family sitcom: Full House . This information comes from IMDB pro. To read more information about Lori, please refer to my review of episode 1.
The US casting director for this episode was Penny Perry, and the Canadian casting director for this episode was Candice Elzinga.
Producers of the show are:
[This information comes from IMDB]
Michael Landon Jr.
Nicole C. Taylor
This information comes from the beginning credits of the episode.
This episode was written by Brian Bird and directed by Michael Landon Jr.
Let’s talk wardrobe!
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