Review of When Calls the Heart, Season 1, Episode 10: Love Comes First
Hi everyone! As we near the end of the year with our Coal Valley friends, here’s what’s happened so far:
Jack (Daniel Lissing) left to take his new post at Cape Fullerton.
Mountie Patrick O'Reilly (Ken Tremblett) has taken the post in Coal Valley.
Julie (Charlotte Hegele), Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) younger sister, has come to Coal Valley for a visit, and while there she found herself in the woods with a mysterious stranger - who she then brings to town. Little does she know that she has brought trouble with her… The Tolliver gang, a group of bank robbers, is looking for their leader, Nate (John Reardon).
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s check on our friends and see what they’re up to:
Our day begins with what seems to be early morning in Coal Valley where Elizabeth is talking to Rip, Jack’s dog. She tries to convince herself of how brave and noble it was of Jack to take a new post, and how selfish it was of them (meaning her and Rip) to miss him so much.
We soon see our brave Mountie Jack riding over a sunny hillside as he heads towards his new post. Jack meets three other Mounties searching for the Tolliver gang. They ask him where he is coming from and where he is headed. He told them he was coming from Coal Valley and heading to his new post, and that he might be joining them in their search. One of the older Mounties then asks Jack his name and says that he used to work with Jack’s father.
Back in Coal Valley, Julie is upstairs in Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Elizabeth’s living quarters where Nate Tolliver is just waking up. Julie insists on “cleaning him up” as she calls it; he agrees. She continues to talk to Nathanael and encourages him to make a fresh start in his life. Nate plays on her feelings, that are visible in her body language and expressions, and says that with her help - he is convinced that he can turn himself into a new man.
We soon find ourselves in the acres and acres of forest lands and woods that border our little town where we can see the Tolliver gang still desperately searching for their leader - wondering if he has been “taken by the Mounties.” One of the gang members tells the others that Nate would never let the Mounties take him alive. Soon they ride off together. One of them grumbles that if he does not get his money, people will die soon.
Sometime later that afternoon, we are brought back to the school room where Elizabeth is giving the children a lesson on inertia, illustrating it with eggs. [As I have said before in many of my reviews/articles, I love when Elizabeth gives examples to the children! This happens to be one of my favorite parts of this television show!] Elizabeth is such a “hands-on” teacher. She explains to the children about the laws of inertia by doing an experiment with a raw egg and a hard boiled egg. She spins them on a plate, then asks the students why one egg stops before the other. Emily (Gracyn Shinyei) raises her hand and answers that she is sure it is magic. Elizabeth smiles and then gives the children the definition of inertia. [So for all you science geeks out there, here is Google’s search on the definition of inertia: http://www.yourdictionary.com/inertia].
It is not long after our afternoon lesson with the Coal Valley children that we find ourselves in the mountains where Jack rests by a fire and tries his best to write his thoughts down in a letter to Elizabeth back home in Coal Valley.
As afternoon continues to pass by, we are brought back to Coal Valley, and Abigail is going for a walk. She drops by Mr. Gowen’s (Martin Cummins) office, telling his Pinkerton men that she has to drop off that week’s pay and some baked goods. When they tell her that he is not in, Abigail says she still would like to drop the things off and leave him a note. They agree, and let her into his office. Alone in the room, Abigail begins her second search for possible evidence to help Jack in his investigation. [This was the help she had promised him in the last episode.] Unfortunately, her time spent searching makes the Pinkerton guards somewhat suspicious. One of them pokes his head inside asking her if everything’s alright and if she’s almost done. Luckily she was able to hide away the file that she had found just before he enters, so she tells him everything is fine as she leaves the office - without any further suspicion… or so she believes.
Upstairs at Abigail’s, Julie flirts with Nathaniel and tries to serve him breakfast just as Mountie O'Reilly comes in for a visit to the sick stranger who has arrived in their town. The Mountie offers his assistance in helping him. Nathanael goes on to tell Mountie O’Riley a very similar story to the one he told Julie and assured him that as soon as he is well enough to ride, he will be on his way. Feeling antsy about the Mountie’s presence, Nate secretly grabbed a razor that is nearby.
Downstairs, outside the school/saloon, Elizabeth is people watching. [I’m guessing it is recess because it looks like mostly children running around, but don’t quote me on that!] When Abigail approaches and asks her how she is doing, Elizabeth said she is doing fine. Just as Abigail always seems to do with Elizabeth, or Jack for that matter, she gives her a motherly look. Then Elizabeth admits to how much she misses Jack. The two women look across the road and see Julie helping Nathanael walk around outside on the walkway. They then share their concerns about the strange man that has come into town and Julie’s attachment to him. This is when Elizabeth and admits that her sister is naive, full of romantic ideas and may be influenced very easily. Abigail tells Elizabeth that she asked the new Mountie to look in on Nathanael to see what he thinks and make it very clear that this town is protected.
Soon after this conversation we see Mountie O'Reilly headed to the General Store where he talks to Mr. Yost (Hrothgar Matthews), saying he needs to send a telegram and it’s a matter of urgency.
Not long after Mountie O'Reilly disappears into the store to send the telegram, we see Abigail close her cafe and open the mysterious file that she stole from Gowen’s office. As she begins to read, she is startled by someone coming inside - she had just put the closed sign on the door. [So why didn’t she lock the door?] It is Gowen with one of his Pinkerton men. He asks her if there was any other motive to bringing the baked goods to his office. When she says she can’t think of anything, he then goes on to tell her that he knows of the missing file. Then he questions her about her time alone in his office. After asking his Pinkerton man to leave them alone in the cafe, he told Abigail that if the file is not returned - she might learn that her late husband was possibly aware of the problems with the mine before the disaster. Then Gowen left the restaurant.
We are back in the mountains with Jack as he comes upon another group of Mounties. Jack did not believe that the Tolliver gang was still in the area. The other Mounties had searched the area, but they went on to tell Jack that they found Nate’s horse just west of there, near a coal mining town. Jack realizes they are talking about Coal Valley and takes off towards the town he once called home - without any further explanation to the Mounties around him.
As our hero is riding off as fast as he can to protect the woman he loves, we are brought back to Abigail’s where Nathanael weaves yet another tale. [You are oh-so gullible, yet lovable Julie!] Nathanael tells her that he wants to straighten out his life before he comes back for her. [Why does he have a Southern accent?] Then he asks her to please draw a map to where he was found when he was delirious so can collect his things. After all, he left a photo of his mother in his bag. He then kisses her, and she tells him that he may borrow her horse. Before he rides off to the cabin, he turns to Julie and requests that she wait for him. She agrees, all moony- eyed. As he rides off, Julie walks away. We see Constable O'Reilly (who had been hiding around the corner on his own horse) carefully following Nate out of town.
After Nathanael makes his departure from town, Julie finds her sister grading papers in the saloon. Seeing that Elizabeth is still having trouble with Jack’s absence. Julie over dramatically tries to cheer her up by talking about romance, but Elizabeth quickly tells her to be quiet. Julie then begins to tell her sister about her affection for Nathanael, and how she is in love with him. Elizabeth shares her concerns about the young man, and shares her own shame of what had happened with Billy Hamilton (Andrew W. Walker). She requests that Julie investigate more about Nathanael. Julie feels compelled to tell her sister the truth about the hunting accident, which was not the real story - although what she doesn’t know is the most recent tale of Nathanael being a logger and not wanting to be part of his brother’s gang is not the real story either! Elizabeth writes the story down for Mountie O’Riley, according to her sister’s account; despite Julie’s pleas to give Nathanael a chance because she loves him - even though Elizabeth tries to tell Julie that Nathanael is a complete stranger whom she knows nothing about. Just as the two sisters enter the cafe while arguing, the rest of the Tolliver gang arrives in town.
Back at the saloon the Tolliver gang questions the barkeep about a stranger that may be in town. As they look to find their leader, telling the barkeep that they are missing a friend - this is when the mayor gets involved - saying that he knows everyone in town and telling him that there is indeed a stranger and that they will find him at Abigail’s cafe. The men thank him politely, as to not arouse suspicion, and head over to the cafe.
Meanwhile at the cafe, as Elizabeth and Julie begin to tell Abigail the real story of Nathanael (as they know it), Tolliver’s men come bursting in, demanding to know where Nate is. Truly unwilling to believe that everything Nathanael said was a lie, like Elizabeth and Abigail have been telling her, Julie tells the men to leave Nathanael alone and that he has has no interest in being in his brother’s gang any longer. The men laugh not recognizing the name Nathanael. Then they say that Nate does not have a brother. They pull out their guns on the three women. One of them told the others to kidnap Julie and tie up the other two. As they get ready to take Julie with them in order to find Nathaniel, Elizabeth convinces them to take her too.
Shortly after this we see Nathanael in the woods with the map, making his way through the darkness toward the cabin where he had been found by Julie. He looks behind him is if he notices that he is being followed, but then we are brought back to Coal Valley where we are in Gowen’s office
While there, a Pinkerton man and Gowen are mysteriously burning files and discussing their concern over the file that Abigail took from the office earlier that day. The Pinkerton man then questions if Abigail does indeed take action, what will happen next? [The burning of the files is never brought up anymore this season. The burning question is: what is Gowen so afraid of that he is burning those files? Well other than what the obvious reason is of course, that Noah Stanton was not involved in the mining accident. Will we find out in the season premiere?]
Soon we find ourselves back in the woods. This is where we find out that Nate was correct in believing that he was being followed, because we see him knock out the unsuspecting Constable O'Reilly. Not long after that, our hero - Mountie Jack hears muffled yelling in the woods. He finds his colleague, gagged and tied to his horse. He is no more hurt than a knock on the head and bruised pride. O’Reilly tells Jack about the Tolliver gang, and Jack tells O’Reilly that he was afraid of that. The two of them head back to town hoping to find Elizabeth and get some help.
Soon the rest of the Tolliver gang find Nate at the cabin, as they drag along Elizabeth and Julie. Nate tells his men to tie up the two women in the cabin so that they can dig up the money. Later we see them counting it on the table in the cabin, but the two women are tied up behind them. Julie continues to be in denial over what is really happening. Elizabeth tells her younger sister that it is time to grow up as Julie yells at Nate for doing this to her. Nate just laughs and continues to taunt her emotional state.
Meanwhile back in Coal Valley, it’s Mounties to the rescue! Mountie Jack and Mountie O'Reilly carefully converge on Abigail’s cafe not knowing whether the Tolliver gang is still in town. Jack’s worst fear is realized when they find Abigail tied up all alone upstairs in the cafe, and she tells them that the gang has taken the two women… Although Abigail does not know where they have been taken Jack figures out that they probably went back to where Julie first found Nate, and he asks his colleague, Mountie O'Reilly, to take him there.
As the two constables head out of town, they stop at Gowen’s office in hopes of him agreeing to let them deputize his Pinkerton men to help catch the Tolliver gang and rescue the Thatcher sisters. When Gowen refuses, they realize that they quickly have to come up with a plan.
Back at the cabin, Nate continues to taunt Elizabeth about the fun he had with her sister, Julie - about the “fun” he could have with her. Julie begins to yell at Nate about her disgust for him and warns him that Elizabeth is dating Mountie. It is not long after her warning that you hear Jack shouting outside for Nate to give himself up. We see a quick flash of Jack barricading himself behind a tree after he shouts. He has concern written all over his face…
The gang members run to the windows with their guns to quickly assess the situation. When Nate believes that there is only one Mountie, he quickly grabs Elizabeth and drags her to the door… Nate announces to Jack that he has “his girl.” Jack comes out from behind the tree telling the Tolliver gang that they are surrounded. The gang have all come out on the porch of the cabin, along with Elizabeth who is at gunpoint. Nate tells his worried gang that the Mounties will not shoot or take action as long as they have the women. Jack agrees and surrenders his own weapon. You can see the shock on Elizabeth’s face as Jack lays down the gun. Jack uses a flashlight and shows red serge surrounding the area. The gang sees and believe that they indeed are surrounded. Nate tells his gang to hold fast and reminds them that the Mounties will not take action, but then there is a gunshot from Patrick. Jack takes this chance to push Elizabeth out of the way when everybody is preoccupied by the gunfire, and tackle Nate - warning him again that the “men” have them surrounded.The Tolliver gang were told to release Julie and lay down the guns. As the men are being handcuffed, Nate Tolliver realizes that he has been had when one of the horses steps out further from behind the trees and there is only a red tablecloth over the saddle. He attempted to attack even though he was handcuffed by grabbing a knife in his boot - luckily Elizabeth warns Jack just in time to defend himself. Everyone is able to ride safely back into town with the robbers in tow.
Later at Abigail’s, Julie is flushed with embarrassment and says she will never be that foolish again and says how thankful she is for the Mounties. Elizabeth agrees as the three of them drink tea after their ordeal. It is during this time that Julie tells her sister quietly that she is convinced that Jack came back for her, not just because it was his duty. Elizabeth reminds her that he will now be escorting the Tolliver gang to prison; and then, more than likely, going on to his new post.
Soon we see more Mounties ride into town as they come to pick up the criminals. The older mountie that worked with Jack’s father, that has yet to be named, commends Jack for his hard work. He then adds that taking this group in will finish his career on a high note, as he will be retiring. Jack then asks the old Mountie, who he now calls Sam (Duncan Fraser), if he has any regrets about his life as a Mountie. The older man explains that there is no way to go back; it’s the path they have chosen, but he also adds that he felt that Jack’s father was a lucky man for having a wife and son that loved him enough to grieve over him when his life was over. He shares that he only wishes he will be that lucky when his time is done.
A few minutes later all the Mounties except Patrick escort the Tolliver gang outside to Main Street. As they get ready to leave, the towns’ people watch - including Julie and Elizabeth. Julie decides to walk up to Nate as he steps out of the jail in handcuffs and slaps him across the face in front of everyone; then she calmly goes back to her sister. Jack sees Elizabeth and excuses himself, telling the others that he will catch up with them. Sam nods in agreement and salutes them as they ride off.
Jack gets sidetracked by Abigail who is waiting by the steps of the jail, looking at him somewhat impatiently. Jack approaches her only to find out about the file that she stole from Gowen. Mountie Jack told her he does not agree with stealing, but he will take the file to some people he knows and see what they can do with it. He thanked her for her help, then heads to the school/saloon where Elizabeth wandered off.
When Jack gets to the there Elizabeth is surprised to see him. He tells her that when he heard that the gang was in Coal Valley all he cared about was her safety. He then goes on to say that he has to go back with the other Mounties, take the Tolliver gang back to Cape Fullerton, and do the necessary paperwork. After that he is not sure what is going to happen, but he promises that he will see her again soon. With that, she smiles and he leaves to do his duty.
The Thatcher sisters are getting ready for bed as they discuss all the events that have happened. Julie tells a story of how safe Elizabeth used to make her feel as a child. Then as Elizabeth watches Julie fall asleep she writes in her journal about how she felt so safe in Jack’s arms.
What evidence did Abigail find against Gowen ?
The Tolliver gang was brought to justice; Julie found out how naive she was in the process.
Will Jack figure out that love is more important than duty?
Here is one last question for this article:
If you were in Elizabeth’s shoes, standing with that crowd of people on Main Street when Jack came out of the jail….when he looked in your direction, would you have walked away?
Written by Amy J. Falk
Fans of Believe Pictures Productions
Where you can find Amy:
Director Neill Fearnley
Composer John Sereda
Cinematographer Michael Balfry
Editor Nicole Ratcliffe