Review of When Calls the Heart, Season 1, Episode 3: A Telling Silence

Hello everyone. It’s that time again where we imagine we are in our favorite place, a little town called Coal Valley. Today we will be discussing Episode 3: A Telling Silence. First off, I would like to mention the music. The music in this episode, as well as the previous two, is very artfully done, and I for one wouldlove to see a soundtrack done of this entire season! Composers for this episode were Lee Holdridge and Robert Irving. Excellent job!

While I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, there are a few inconsistencies that I will note throughout this review, one main one being: the coal mining families seem to have a supply of clean clothing, without any signs of coal dust or wear which would be impossible in a coal mining town, especially with the dirt roads.

Here are the top 3 characters I have chosen for this episode:

  • Elizabeth Thatcher, who was played by Erin Krakow

(Please check my previous reviews for more information on Miss Krakow’s acting career.)

  • Then we have our Canadian Mountie, who is played by Daniel Lissing.

(Please check my previous reviews if you would like to learn more about Mr. Lissing’s career.)

  • The third, and final pick for this episode for most important characters is

Rosleen Sullivan, played by Mamie LavrockReview of When Calls the Heart, Season 1, Episode 3: A Telling Silenc. Other than her current role, she is known for her role in the movie, This Means War (this information comes from IMDBPro). Since having an opportunity to get to know Mamie through social media, it has been a blessing to see that her caring personality on screen seems to be true to life. If she wants to continue this career, I believe the young Miss Lavrock will go far. She has already won the Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series at the 2014 Joey Awards in Vancouver (IMDBPro).

When the episode first opens, we join the Coal Valley residents for an outdoor Sunday morning church service that is being led by resident Cat Montgomery (Chelah Horsdall). It is towards the end of this service that Gowen’s Pinkerton guards are noticed by Mountie Jack. Soon after, the viewers are brought into Gowen’s office to share in the conversation between Rev. Anderson (Adrian Hough) and Gowen (Martin Cummins) concerning the reverend’s role as shepherd of a dwindling flock. Gowen’s body language says more than his words as he reminds the preacher of who pays his salary.

After receiving this warning from Gowen, Rev. Anderson pays a visit to the Montgomery home, in hopes of convincing Cat to tell his flock to return to his weekly service. The accusation is that Cat is stealing his congregation. Cat’s body language changed from subdued to defiant as she firmly told the parson that she felt the families were looking for comfort - comfort that it seemed he could not provide, and that she would continue to serve the town as needed.

Mute since the mine accident where her father died, Rosaleen Sullivan (Mamie Lavrock) is a young student who has wrapped herself around Elizabeth’s heart. After a dinner discussion with Rosaleen’s mother, Mollie (Johanna Newmarch), Elizabeth takes it upon herself to find the key to unlocking this young child’s voice and mentions to Mollie the fear that she saw in Rosaleen’s eyes when encountered by the town’s drunk, Wendall Backus (Duncan Ollerenshaw). Mollie was not as concerned about Wendall as her daughter’s inability to communicate.

The next day we see the reverend entering Jack’s office, asking him to start an investigation into the arson of his church that happened six weeks previous, during the night of the vigil of the deceased minors. The reverend, fueled by the fear of losing his paycheck, shares with Jack his suspicions of Cat Montgomery being the arsonist. Soon the viewer sees Mountie Jack’s always clean boots among the charred remains of the church as he begins his diligent investigation. While searching through the ashes, Jack immediately seems to know right where to find the evidence. This scene ends with an amazing aerial view of Jack standing among the burnt remains of the church. Back in town, we learn through the not-so-helpful Ned (Hrothgar Matthews) that the burnt can contained whale oil, a substance that had not been used in decades by local people.

While taking extra time to help Rosaleen after school, Elizabeth and her student again encounter Wendall Backus, where Rosaleen’s reaction instantly confirms Elizabeth’s suspicions about the man. It is after this latest encounter that she approaches Jack with her concerns about Wendall. The constable encourages her not to jump to conclusions, but lets her know that he will check into it.

While little girls in very white tights and petticoats are playing jumprope in the dirt road, and boys with exceptionally clean shirts are getting into a fight, Backus drives by in his wagon. A frantic teacher looks immediately where Rosaleen had been sitting, only to find that she is has disappeared. Elizabeth then burst into Jack’s office and interrupts his meeting with Rev. Anderson. Elizabeth announces that Rosaleen disappeared, and that she suspects Wendall for this possible crime. Rev. Anderson backs up Elizabeth’s fears by agreeing that Wendall Backus is indeed a broken man, and this comment sparks a search for the little girl. We then see Jack bursting into Wendall’s row house, in search for the missing Rosaleen. When she is nowhere to be found, Jack grabs Backus in a fit of desperation and anger - demanding to know where the little girl is or what Wendall knows of her disappearance. A still drunk Wendall then admits that he had scared young Rosaleen, but had no idea where she was.

A town search then ensues. This is where you see lanterns floating all over Coal Valley and Rosaleen’s name floating across the wind. It is during this time that Elizabeth chooses to go back to the school and pray for Rosaleen’s safe return. It is after her silent prayer that her eyes fall upon a picture at the young girl’s school desk that depicts a young girl standing outside of the mine, with a lunchpail in hand. Without telling anyone where she was going, Elizabeth then decides to take her own lantern and go to the mine in search for the young girl… the only part of the valley that the lantern lights have not yet touched. Miss Thatcher, herself, then stands at the mouth of the mine… hesitantly calling out Rosaleen’s name, as she makes her way through the dark mine shaft. Hearing muffled sobs, she finds Rosaleen sitting against the filthy coal wall and immediately embraces her as they share tears together. Miss Thatcher informs the little girl that the whole town has been looking for her. This is when we first hear Rosaleen speak and tell us what truly happened the day when the “Boom” came. Then Rosaleen is safely carried back to her mother’s arms, where Elizabeth (still wearing a very clean dress) puts the little girl on the ground. Jack smiles in admiration at Elizabeth as her love for the town begins to show.

Then next day we see Elizabeth in the classroom teaching the children a new Latin phrase, “Sol omnibus lucet” (the sun shines for everyone). After dismissing the class, Jack offers Elizabeth his apology for misjudging her when he got into town. Then he whispered the Latin word for “mistaken” (erro), and then goes on to say, “bella” (beautiful) and Miss Thatcher finds herself speechless. He finished with the phrase, “wake up”, which I am not able to spell (one of the older students is sound asleep at his desk).

Rev. Anderson, feeling guilty of accusing Cat of burning down the church, goes in for a meeting with Gowen. Instead of listening to the reverend’s confession, Gowen goes on to explain how pleased he is with how the investigation is proceeding, and that once the perpetrator is found, a new church will be built by the mining company. Gowen again reiterates how important it is to get everyone’s minds off the disaster, and when the preacher interrupts, he repeats his initial threat of telling the reverend to do what he is told in order to get his paycheck from the company. It is then that Anderson finally takes the blinders off, and once again wants to become a shepherd to his people - without the companies backing, even if he doesn’t have a place to worship.

Soon after that we see Jack riding out to the row houses to return the coal bucket that he had borrowed from Cat Montgomery. Jack leaves his horse with Gabe (Mitchell Kummen) and heads behind the house where he finds Cat working in her garden. She tells him to go ahead and put the coal bucket in the shed. This is where the mountie finds a box of the rare whale oil - just like the one from the burnt church. The mountie suspiciously eyes Cat out in the garden, where he seems to ponder, “Is she guilty or innocent?”


  • Director Michael Landon Jr.

  • Writers Janette Oke (Novel) | Ken LaZebnik

  • Producers Greg Malcolm | Vicki Sotheran

  • Composers Lee Holdridge | Robert Irving

  • Cinematographer Robert Brinkmann

  • Editor Bridget Durnford

  • Production Designer Brentan Harron


Written by Amy J. Falk

Fans of Believe Pictures Productions