When Calls the Heart, Review of Season 1, Episode 11: Rules of Engagement
Hello everyone, I hope you had a great date night, last time we met! Jack (Daniel Lissing) and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) went on their first date, and then he left for his new assignment at Cape Fullerton - leaving Patrick O’ Reilly (Ken Tremblett) in charge. The Mounties had apprehended the Tolliver gang, rescued the town - including Elizabeth Thatcher’s mischievous younger sister Julie (Charlotte Hegele) . Before leaving on his new assignment, Jack made it clear to Elizabeth that he cared for her. Now let’s see what’s comes next for our Coal Valley friends…
We find ourselves at the school/saloon where Elizabeth is reading an article to the school children about Mountie Jack’s heroic deeds in capturing the Tolliver gang. Soon a precocious student (Mitchell Kummen) asks if, or when, Mountie Jack returns - will he be “court-shipping” her. Miss Thatcher scolds him for not using the correct verb tense while she blushes at the question. Another student named Gem (Rachel Pawluk) asks properly while Elizabeth continues to blush amid the children’s laughter. Elizabeth is rescued by the appearance of a new student named Wyatt (Ty Wood) and his two younger brothers. She soon finds out that Wyatt is there just to make sure that his brothers adjust, even though he is finished with school. As they settle into the class, Miss Thatcher continues a lesson on sound waves. She asks the question of how the sound waves move through the phonograph. Wyatt answers the question under his breath, much to Elizabeth’s amazement.
That afternoon we see Julie packing her belongings, ready to leave the small town of Coal Valley, saying she is longing for the comforts of home. She tries to convince Elizabeth to come back with her, but to no avail. She even tries to entice her by reminding her that Jack may not return from Cape Fullerton, but Elizabeth stands by her decision to stay in the small town of Coal Valley.
Soon we watch Elizabeth help get Julie on the stagecoach. Just as Julie steps aboard, a stranger wearing fancy red clothing gets off. [On the internet this character, who we now know as Rosemary LeVeaux (Pascale Hutton) has been dubbed as the “Red Dragon.” As for me I just call her “this generation’s Nellie Oleson! :-) Move over Alison Arngrim - you have some true competition! Well come to think of it…did Pascale take lessons from you? lol Just kidding. Anyway back to our story.] Rosemary gets off the stagecoach and grabs her bag. She sees Elizabeth and introduces herself as she asks if this is all of Coal Valley. Elizabeth says yes and asks her what her business is in town. Rosemary informs her that she is there to be with her fiance. Just as the two women are talking, we notice Jack in the background - riding up on his horse with a smile on his face as he watches Elizabeth laughing and talking. With the bright smile that Jack has, it has you wondering what he is thinking - at least I did! He soon catches Elizabeth’s eye, despite the conversation going on between the two women. Elizabeth quietly says his name underneath her breath. Jack’s name catches Rosemary’s attention, and she turns to see him - excitedly implying that he is her fiance that she has been talking about! [The shocked look on Jack’s face, and Elizabeth as well, is almost comical. Although I would have to admit I would have liked to have had them here to see the look on my face when I first saw this episode air, because it probably matched their faces!] Jack rides up and awkwardly greets the two women, as Elizabeth excuses herself - unsure of what else to do or say after Rosemary practically jumps in Jack’s arms.
After Elizabeth makes her way across the street, we see her peeking through the window of the front door of Abigail’s Cafe. Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Elizabeth watch Jack and the stranger, Rosemary, who calls herself Jack’s fiance. They both try to figure out why Jack has kept this secret. Abigail tries to assure Elizabeth that Jack had been nothing but a gentleman, and there must be a reason.
Not long after this we see Rosemary and Jack in the saloon asking the barkeep if there are any empty rooms. It is this question, this back and forth witty banter between Jack and Rosemary about how long she will be staying, and how lonely and quiet Coal Valley can and can’t be, that Jack leaves exasperated. [This little section was written wonderfully by our When Calls the Heart writers.]
As Rosemary gets settled in her room above the saloon, we see another stranger ride into town and enter the Mountie office to wait for Jack. As Jack walked over to his office, we meet the inspector Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) who just came in from Capital City at Jack’s request. He’s an old friend of Jack’s from his academy days. Jack thanks him for coming. He then asks if there is a place to eat. Jack is more than happy to direct him to Abigail’s Cafe.
A few moments later the inspector enters the cafe, introducing himself to Abigail. She is intrigued by his introduction, and asks him if they have met before. He says no and tells her that he is an inspector. Explaining that he is there at Jack’s request to open an investigation in the mine disaster, he asks if she is willing to help him. Abigail agrees without hesitation.
Jack is going for a nighttime walk when he sees Rosie, a.k.a. Rosemary, in the window of the saloon showing off her piano playing skills to those around her. After watching her in the window for several moments, he continues on his walk until he finds himself outside Elizabeth’s open bedroom window. He starts to try to explain the situation to the open window when he gets interrupted by Rosemary. Elizabeth peaks outside and slams the window shut. Jack’s disappointment is evident as he is being dragged away by Rosemary. Soon we see him in the office with his dog, Rip, telling his dog that he feels much safer with him at the moment than anywhere else. [Did anyone else notice the candle sitting on the floor by the edge of Jack’s bed as he was laying down? Fire hazard.]
The next morning the investigation begins as we see Inspector Bill Avery make his way with Jack to the mining accident site. The Pinkerton men keep a watchful eye on the stranger. As Jack leaves on his rounds, leaving Bill alone in the mine to do his investigative work, the Pinkerton men go get Gowen (Martin Cummins). A few moments later the Pinkerton men and Gowen are in the mine demanding to see Bill Avery’s paperwork and his reasons for being there. Avery does not seem intimidated by these men.
During Jack’s rounds that morning we see him timidly enter the school house/saloon as he reminds Elizabeth that she cannot continue to avoid him. Although she busily works while he talks and hesitantly glances at him, her body language is permeated with hurt and anger throughout this entire scene - not to mention the words she writes on the blackboard, one of them being “perfidy” [which by definition, according to Goggle, meanshttp://i.word.com/idictionary/perfidy]. She reminds him that school will be starting soon, and he promises that he will talk fast. He then begins to tell her that he was engaged once, but that seems like a lifetime ago. He apologizes for not being more open with her, but then says he thought there was no need to open an old wound. Elizabeth then realizes it was Rosemary who hurt him and not the other way around. He finishes by telling her that he hopes she can get back the faith that she is lost in him in time. It is soon after this that the children start entering the room, and he asks her one last time what the definition of perfidy means; she tells him to go look it up for himself. [This makes me think of Brian Bird: Look it up.] As Jack takes his leave, we see Elizabeth loaning college-level books to the new teenage Coal Valley resident, Wyatt, just as he is finishing up a conversation Gem, a young lady in Coal Valley who has caught his eye. [Just where did he put those book when he got to the mine?]
Soon we see Bill at Abigail’s Cafe as they begin to discuss details of the case that he is building. It is during this time that Abigail hands over a list of methane and oxygen levels that she found in her husband’s belongings, not knowing what it could mean for the case. She is nervous to do this, but knows that she has to. Bill agrees and thanks her. Then he offers to walk her to the new neighbors house to give the neighbor a welcome basket. Across town we see Gowen nervously pacing in his office after he peeks out the window, realizing that Abigail has been speaking to the investigator. He writes a note to the head of the mining company so that they may send their best lawyers. He hands it to his assistant so the telegraph can be sent.
Later that afternoon we are in the General Store where Dottie Ramsey (Erica Carroll) meets the flamboyant Rosemary LeVeaux for the first time. [Ok, I gotta say it: Mrs. Olsen meets Nellie Oleson! Oh brother! lol!] They began talking about Rosemary’s exploits in New York as well as her childhood with Jack. Elizabeth walks in. [Have you ever met one of those women who can be catty without actually being catty? Yeah well, this is one of those moments. I felt sorry for Elizabeth. Really sorry for Elizabeth, and I didn’t blame her for wanting to get out of there as fast as she could!] Rosemary kept throwing little jabs about knowing Jack better than Elizabeth the entire time. To top it all off, the store clerk commented on how beautiful Rosemary was after and Dottie and Rosemary left. [Ugh. I know I’ve been there once or twice!]
The next afternoon Wyatt returns the books that Miss Thatcher so kindly borrowed him. We find out more about Wyatt’s story: how his father had abandoned the family, and that is why Wyatt has taken over being the head of the family, so there’s not much time for studying and books. Abigail meets Elizabeth as she is leaving school and asks if Wyatt is the student she has been talking about. Elizabeth shares that he is, and that she is not going to let another student be swallowed by the mines if she can help it. Then the two women spy Jack and Rosemary who are out on the porch of the Mountie office. They seem to be flirting. In consolation for spotting them, Abigail offers Elizabeth a cup of tea as the two women head for the cafe.
Abigail and Elizabeth sit down with their tea as they talk about the different qualities Elizabeth has versus the qualities that Rosemary has. Abigail is still convinced that Rosemary is just something shiny and new; and her newness will wear off, but Elizabeth on the other hand is someone steadfast and true. Elizabeth is still unsure of this and tells Abigail of the letter she has received from her father offering her a position at a prestigious school back home. It is during this conversation that Rosemary approaches the outside of the cafe and eavesdrops on the two women’s conversation. [A question for the writers on this one is: could you really hear that entire conversation from all the way outside? I wouldn’t think so.]
The next morning it is Sunday and Elizabeth is looking in the mirror preparing for church, trying to find the right thing to wear. This is the first time we’ve really found her nervous about the appropriate clothing to wear in Coal Valley. [Okay here’s another question for the writers: if this is Sunday School, as Cat (Chelah Horsdahl) has called it in previous episodes, why is Cat still teaching? If the pastor has been forgiven, shouldn’t he be teaching? And where is the pastor? We have not seen him since he drug in the sooty costume box, then nothing since then.] It is a sea of red in the Sunday School class as everyone seems to have been infected by Rosemary’s personality in the little town of Coal Valley, including Elizabeth. In Elizabeth’s defense her choice of red was just an attempt to impress our favorite Mountie, not imitate the irritating Rosemary [thank goodness!]. After the Sunday School service is over a Mountie appears with a commendation for Jack, as a reward for his service in capturing the Tolliver gang. After he received some congratulations from town members, Jack heads straight towards Elizabeth hoping to speak with her, ignoring Rosemary’s smiles and gazing eyes. He compliments Elizabeth’s clothing as he tells her he found out from Wyatt what “perfidy” means, and hopes she no longer feels that way about him. [Did you laugh about the situation?] Rosemary interjects herself into their conversation - asking Jack what he is going to do with the reward money he has just received and revealing more bits of his past that Elizabeth did not know. Jack tries to escape by saying he needs to do his rounds, but just when he thinks he has found a way to escape, Rosemary invites herself along and leaps onto the back of Jack’s horse. [You think she would get a clue by just his facial expressions and body language, but she doesn’t, and it’s almost too painful to watch. If I were Elizabeth, I would have needed to bite through about three pencils by now the way she’s been gritting her teeth.]
After church Elizabeth heads to the Weaver house to have a chat with Mrs. Weaver (Kirsten Robek) about Wyatt and his future. Elizabeth tell Mrs. Weaver that she would like to apply to a university back east on Wyatt’s behalf. Wyatt, who is coming down the stairs, explains to her that he is the only man in the family at this point who can bring in a paycheck for them. Because of her wealthy upbringing, she doesn’t understand this circumstance; but she willingly borrows him more of her books.
Later we see Abigail sifting flour in the cafe as she sneaks a peek of herself in the mirror after some flour goes awry. [I believe this is the writer’s way of showing that Abigail’s finally ready to let some of her grief go as she slowly lets her hair down and lets things change little by little in this episode and the next.] It is after this long look in the mirror that Gowen appears in the cafe and attempts to intimidate Abigail to scare her off from testifying or bringing any charges against him or the mining company by threatening her livelihood. She is quickly rescued, not that she needed it, from Gowen’s intentions when Bill Avery pops into the cafe to see what she is up to.
Later we see Rosie and Jack shooting at some cans as Jack does his best to convince Rosie that Elizabeth is now his future, and she is in his past. Unfortunately the persistent Rosemary sees this as a competition rather than a conclusion. Then we see a flash of Elizabeth in the school/saloon as she is writing in her journal, and we continue to hear a voice over of what she has written in the journal as she walks down Main Street and watches Rosie and Jack shoot up the cans. During the end of this journal entry she says that perhaps she has misjudged Rosemary and maybe they could become friends; but when she sees Rosemary holding Jack’s hands over a cup of coffee - she says maybe not. We are brought back to the shooting range so that we can hear the conversation, and Rosemary reveals to Jack what she has overheard about Elizabeth’s teaching position - only she tells Jack that Elizabeth is going to take it.
Julie has left for home.
Jack has decided where he belongs, but has Elizabeth?
Rosemary has arrived in Coal Valley
The coal mining investigation has started. Will Mr. Gowen and the company finally get what they deserve?
My last two-parted question for this article is:
I realize as a Mountie, especially in that time period, it was your duty to be a gentleman; but if you were in Jack’s position would you be that lenient with Rosemary and her appearance in Coal Valley? as well as her behavior?
Director Neill Fearnley
Composer John Sereda
Cinematographer Michael Balfry
Editor Charles Robichaud
Written by Amy J. Falk
Fans of Believe Pictures Productions
Where you can find Amy:
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