Review of When Calls the Heart, Season 1, Episode 6: These Games

 

Welcome back my dear friends and neighbors in Coal Valley. A few months ago producer and writer from When Calls the Heart, Brian Bird, mentioned he has a favorite writing snack and asked his fellow writing friends if they had one; so I am going to invite you to join me as I sit down to write this review, to grab your favorite snack and choice of beverage as we discuss the continuation of Episode 5, and the problems that Billy Hamilton (Andrew W. Walker) brought into the small town of Coal Valley. In case you weren’t with us for our last coffee chat, let me bring you up to speed.

New miners rode into town and the widows were all abuzz. Florence (Loretta Walsh) was up to her usual gossip, of course. She also accused someone of stealing her late husband’s gold watch and cuff-links. Jack (Daniel Lissing) suspected this to be Billy Hamilton, but he had not told anyone yet as he was still investigating. When the last review ended Jack had his suspicions confirmed that BIlly was a liar. Who is the thief? And who is Billy?

 

We found out that Mary Dunbar (Laura Bertram), and a new miner, DeWitt Graves (Derek Hamilton), have affection for one another, but not without problems like her son feeling like his deceased father is being replaced.

There, now you are caught up to speed on where the last review’s main points ended - so let’s get started and see how, or if, Mountie Jack finally gets his man!

 

In this episode we start our evening in Coal Valley right after the Miners’ Dance where Billy and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) are taking a moonlit stroll in the woods. This is quickly brought to a halt when Jack rides up to them, asking to speak with Elizabeth privately and making his request too stern as he looks right at Billy. Elizabeth, giving him a stubborn, yet reluctant glare back, agrees to this private conversation. They moved back by his horse leaving Billy standing alone. This is the first time that Jack informs Elizabeth about his investigation into Billy and the falsity he found in Billy’s story. She is angered at the fact that Jack singled Billy out and ignores the warnings, once again leaving Jack standing alone in the woods. Jack seems perplexed as to why Elizabeth does not understand that he is trying to protect her, not hurt her.

 

It is a lovely Sunday morning when we see all the residents gathered in the woods for church. The service is just ending when Billy thanks Elizabeth for letting him worship with her. [Again this makes my stomach churn, his words sound so disingenuous to me as he asks her out for the afternoon. She agrees after checking in with her friends.] This is also when we get a chance to hear Mary and Dewitt discuss the night of the Miners’ Dance. She thanks him for being so understanding about Caleb’s interruption the night before, but she hopes her son will soon change his mind. Dewitt admits that he has never been a patient man, but he will be for her. This is a sweet interaction between the two, and it makes me smile. He is such a gentleman!

Later on that morning we see Jack, in an official capacity, approach Abigail while she is doing laundry. He warns her about the burglaries going on around town saying that she may want to lock her doors, and that he has been warning everyone to do so. She notices then that something else is bothering Jack and asked him if there’s anything that she may help him with. He hesitates at first, but asks if she has any advice on how to get someone to listen. Abigail guesses that it’s Elizabeth, and basically tells him that instead of acting like he is telling her what to do, just be nice about it and give her advice. [The way she goes about this, is quite hilarious! You have to see it for yourself! I think Lori Loughlin does an absolutely fabulous job in this scene. She reminds me of a mother figure, especially since neither Jack nor Elizabeth have parents in town to guide them through these trials.]

In the afternoon we see Billy and Elizabeth taking a stroll in a buggy down a wooded path. They are talking about geology and poetry when they are approached by Jack who himself is running down the path. They both stopped to greet one another, and Elizabeth noticed Jack’s kind behavior as they moved on their way. [What she does not realize is that Jack was trying to take Abigail’s advice from earlier and doing his best not to be so harsh - more honey-like as Abigail put it.]

Later on we see Jack and DeWitt in the saloon having a little guy chat about their frustrations. It is during this conversation that Jack gives the same advice to Dewitt about Caleb that Abigail gave to him about Elizabeth, except in his own way. He suggests to Dewitt that if he does something kind for the boy maybe he’ll help himself breakthrough to Caleb and make him realize that he is not such a bad guy.

It is not long after this conversation that Dewitt finds Caleb out at the watering hole where Dewitt tries to connect with him over fly fishing, but is quickly shut down and asked to leave. [In my opinion, the role of Caleb is played brilliantly by young Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh - whose facial expressions instantly show his pain and frustration, without having to use his words as he endures the company of this strange man that his mother has grown affection for.]

A foggy night has brought Jack to Cat Montgomery’s (Chelah Horsdal) house to alert her and others of another robbery and to once again lock their doors. This alerts Cat and prompts her to look for her grandmother’s brooch which is still hidden away in a safe place. Later Jack encounters Billy in the saloon and again sizes him up as he sees him handling a suspicious monogrammed pocket watch that does not have his initials. He then goes on to tell Billy about the robberies in the area . Billy responds by goading Jack about the time he has been spending with Elizabeth, how he intends to steal her heart, and the fact that he knows that Jack has feelings for her. Billy then adds, “I hope you catch your thief,” and walks away.

Well after bedtime we see Jack at Cat Montgomery’s where Cat and Jack work out an agreement to help Jack catch the thief with her grandmother’s brooch.

Early on the day of the Miners’ Games, Dewitt runs into Caleb again, playing stick ball with the boys and tries to connect with him while teaching the kids how to throw a knuckleball. He seems to connect with Caleb. Although he resisted, this is the first time we see Caleb smile. Not long after, during the Annual Miners’ Games, we see Mr. Graves persuade the young Caleb into doing the egg toss game with him. At first, Caleb believes it is only for fathers and sons. Dewitt convinces him that this is not so, and Caleb agrees, but then he is distracted by another father and son team having fun together. Egg splats on Caleb. This angers him and he storms off. The small connection that had been kindled is now burned out, to Dewitt’s disappointment.

Next we see inside the schoolhouse/saloon where Jack hopes to catch the thief by enticing him with a brooch. In the same room, there is a cake auction and it appears that Jack may be trying to capture Elizabeth’s heart by bidding on her cake.

After Elizabeth gives both Billy and Jack a lecture about their bidding war over her sad looking cake, Jack and Billy decide to take their frustrations out on a game of tug of war with the rest of the miners. Once the tug war game has been lost (Jack and Dewitt’s team lost to Billy’s team) Caleb makes a point of telling Jack and Dewitt that he’s happy to see that the red team won. This causes Mary to have a conversation with her son where Caleb tells his mother that he just wants to be left alone by Dewit.

Later on that afternoon Billy and Elizabeth are taking a stroll down the road in the front of the row houses as Billy asks Elizabeth about her family, her plans for the future, and how he hopes to become a part of them. This declaration stunned her, you could see it in her body language, and although she expects to be spending more time with him - he politely excuses himself for the day, which flatters her even more.

A thief in the night is caught when Sam [we’re still searching for his real name - he is not on the cast list] is seen by constable Jack crawling through Cat’s window, trying to steal the brooch she had been showing off earlier in the day. With all the commotion, it seemed like everyone came out to see what had happened. Elizabeth is angered and devastated to hear the news that Jack mistrusted her judgment enough to truly think that Billy Hamilton was the thief and quickly leaves to go back into the house.

 

It’s a new day in Coal Valley and DeWitt attempts one last chance to explain himself to Caleb. He apologizes to him for acting like a father when he has no idea how to be one, but begins to tell the young man about his own childhood and how lucky Caleb is to have had a father who loved him… and how much Dewitt would give to have a family of his own some day.

The same afternoon some of the widows and Elizabeth are all gathered at Abigail’s house as they prepare for Carla (Jill Morrison) to have her baby. During this time we hear Abigail humming a song. Elizabeth asks Cat what song it is; it is during this conversation that Elizabeth realizes that the song she is hearing is the poem Billy claims he had written for her. Soon we see Jack at the front door with hat in hand as he quietly apologies to Elizabeth - admitting that he was wrong about the thief being Billy Hamilton, and whatever he had done yet was only done to protect her.

The connection has finally been made between Caleb and Dewitt! We see Mary, Caleb’s mother peeling carrots in their home just as Caleb and Mr. Graves arrive for a piece of pie! Mary is surprised to see them together, but just as happy as Dewitt is to be there!

He might not the thief, but this man was caught in another lie!

Later that same afternoon we see Billy pacing in front of the Stanton home waiting for Elizabeth to greet him outside. Billy asks if Carla’s baby has yet been born. Elizabeth told him no. Still thinking about the earlier lie, she starts to tell him that she’s wondering if this is the place for her. [I believe that she was setting Billy up from the moment she walked outside.] She catches him in a second lie, when he starts talking about Elizabeth’s sisters - whom she had never told him about. She then tells him her “plan” that she wants to run away to a desolate and wild area and teach the children. To her surprise, he goes along with this and says he wants to run away with her. She then adds that her father has cut her off, because of her wanting to be a teacher. I believe she says this, thinking that if he is a con-man he would get up and leave right then and there. There was surprise on Elizabeth’s face when he agrees to go with her, once she finds her replacement.

Finally, that night we see Elizabeth sitting on Jack’s front porch explaining to Jack what she has learned about Billy, and basically telling him that he had been right all along. The bartender, who is also the owner of the livery stable, runs over to report a possible burglary and we see Billy riding out on a horse. Jack confronts Billy about his late night exit from town. Hamilton tries to tell Jack that there is nothing untoward about it - just out for a late night ride. Jack tells him that he knows the truth about Elizabeth, and Billy tries to ride off but is stopped when Jack pulls him off the horse. Our Mountie is a hero once again, when he finally catches his second thief - as well as a heartbreaker!

In conclusion:

There is new love budding in Coal Valley when it comes to Mrs. Dunbar and Mr. Graves. Heartbreak has begun to heal as Elizabeth learns lessons on her own about not taking advice from others as she realizes she should have. I believe Mountie Jack is starting to see that he could lose what’s right in front of him if he’s not careful.

So here’s my question to you my friend: if you were Elizabeth would you have been taken in by the handsome stranger? Or would you have fled from the snake?

Written by Amy J. Falk

Fans of Believe Pictures Productions

https://www.facebook.com/groups/fangroupbbp/

http://bppfans.tumblr.com/

Where you can find Amy:

Twitter

https://twitter.com/WalkOfFaith1

From IMDbPro:

Filmmakers

Director: Anne Wheeler

Writers: Janette Oke (Novel) | Sheryl J. Anderson

Producers: Greg Malcolm | Vicki Sotheran

Composer: John Sereda

Cinematographer: Robert Brinkmann

Editor: Nicole Ratcliffe

Production Designer: Brendan Harron