When Calls the Heart, Season 1, Episode 9: Change of Heart
Well hello again friends! I hope you brought your special someone, and if not - please join us as well, because tonight is date night in Coal Valley! So put on your favorite dress ladies, and gentlemen put on your favorite suit, because we are going to Abigail’s Cafe; and we are going to be flies on the wall as our favorite Mountie and favorite school teacher begin their courtship! But first, in case you weren’t with us during the last discussion, let me catch you up: Adam Miller (Chad Willett), the only surviving miner from the the accident, has returned home to his family and with Jack’s (Daniel Lissing) help, he realized that he is no less of a man - even though he is missing his leg. Jack and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) have quietly, but continually flirted with one another. Also, Abigail’s Cafe is open for business.
Now that everyone’s caught up, let’s see what they are up to in Coal Valley…
Our bright, sunny morning begins in the schoolroom/saloon where Elizabeth is handing out school papers that she has graded. She tells the students that as a reward for doing so well, they will be spending some time out of the classroom the next week - studying entomology. Then she asked the students what entomology was, and went on to explain that it is the study of insects. Soon after the school children are let out for the day, we see Mountie Jack enter the saloon. Even though he is dressed in his uniform, he tells Elizabeth he is there in an unofficial capacity. He’s startles her by asking for her hand [from what my grandmother said, in her mother’s day (around 1900) requesting a woman’s hand usually meant that the man was going to propose, so those few words… at the time…caused us all to hold our breath. Trust me - I know I was one of them! We were all fooled by the commercial. lol - sneaky Hallmark! :-).] Anyway, he then proceeded to ask Elizabeth out on a date. She laughed a little, and asked Jack why he was being so formal. He explained that he felt that he messed up the first time he asked her out, and he was determined to do it right this time. She accepted his invitation to dinner, but then explained that she will not look at it as an act of courtship because he has made it clear that Mounties do not marry. Jack shutters a little as his own words are being repeated back to him. He shakes Elizabeth hand, gives her a smile, kisses her hand and says “do consider this an act of courtship.” He then leaves the classroom with a contented smile on his face… only to be stopped by the incoming stagecoach.
As the stagecoach pulled into town Jack stopped to see who would emerge from it. He is surprised to see another Mountie step onto Main Street of Coal Valley. The Mountie asks him if he is Jack and introduces himself as Patrick O'Reilly (Ken Tremblett), that both salute one another as Jack asks where Patrick’s horse is. Patrick explained that a woman wanted to make an entrance, turning to a woman who was riding into town on his horse. Jack asks who she is, but before Patrick can explain - Elizabeth comes out of the school house and screams, running toward the woman on the horse.
Elizabeth excitedly approaches the woman and she asked what she was doing in Coal Valley? The red haired woman then answered that their father gave her her own personal Mountie to come out and visit Elizabeth, and she couldn’t let Elizabeth have all the fun out in the Wild West. Then the red haired woman smiled mischievously, looking at Jack and said, “But then again, I’d much rather hear about your Mountie.”
Julie Thatcher (Charlotte Hegele), Elizabeth’s sister [who we have not yet actually been introduced to] continues to prattle on about things, wanting to experience the Wild West. As they head toward the two Mounties, Julie is not watching where she goes and step’s in horse manure. Elizabeth laughs at this; Julie shrugs it off. Elizabeth then goes on to introduce her sister to Mountie Jack. As Jack greets her, Jack and Elizabeth share a sweet glance at one another.
That night, above the cafe, Julie is introduced to Abigail (Lori Loughlin) for the first time. As they get her settled in to their new home, Abigail welcomes her to Coal Valley .
After a while Abigail leaves the two young women alone to finish getting settled and Julie questions her older sister about her relationship with Mountie Jack - over dramatically stating the romance she felt between them, to Elizabeth’s dismay. After a short while of trying to convince her sister there is nothing going on between her and Jack, Elizabeth finally gives in and tells her that Jack asked her to go out for supper, explaining that this was his first clear offer of his intentions.
The next day we see Julie at Abigail’s Cafe. As Julie gets up to leave, Abigail asks her how her Bakewell pudding is. Julie said it was the best she had ever had. [I have never heard of Bakewell pudding so I had to actually look it up and see what it was. Here’s what I found on Google in case you are interested;
Julie then thanks Abigail for the meal, wishes her a good day and leaves the restaurant. Soon Jack appears and orders his usual. Abigail smiles saying she is thankful that she has a customer that has a “usual” [to me this indicates that Abigail’s cafe has now been open for a while, but this has not been said out loud in any form of a timeline.] While Abigail is preparing Jack’s usual, she assured him that everything was ready for his Saturday night date with Elizabeth. Jack thanks her as Gowen (Martin Cummins) appears in the restaurant with one of his Pinkerton men. Abigail hands Jack his cup of tea and then goes to greet the men and hand them some menus. A few minutes later she returns to where Jack is standing, spouting off her frustrations about Gowin’s recent, growing flirtation with her. [Funny, Gowen didn’t hear her comment…because he wasn’t that far away!]
We are brought to the school/saloon that afternoon as Elizabeth is giving the lesson on entomology (the study of bugs) to her students and reminds them that the next week they will be going out and taking a trip to study these bugs. Julie, who is sitting in on the class, teases Elizabeth’s students - basically saying good luck with that, since their teacher is terrified of those very creatures! Elizabeth stands there mortified as her sister reveals this information and quickly tries to change the subject. The students break out into laughter.
What I believe to be that evening, we are brought to the constable’s office where Jack is having a conversation with his colleague, Patrick O'Reilly, about what made him take a post from North Burlington and Elwood Ridge and then downgrading to an escort for an heiress? It is then that Patrick goes on to explain that he has found a wife and has done enough “rounding up the bad guys” and it is Jack’s turn to do so. During this time O’Reilly hands Jack the transfer papers - something Jack is not expecting. Jack said that he had put in a transfer request at the beginning of his time in Coal Valley when he was frustrated at his assignment. With the shock of the transfer papers in front of him, now he has to decide whether to do his duty as a Mountie and report to his new post, or ask if he can stay in Coal Valley, the place that has become his home. He slaps the paper on his desk and sits down thoughtfully.
The moment fades and it is Saturday - the day of the big date. It is evening when Elizabeth comes down the stairs in the dress that all of When Calls the Heart fanclub is desperately searching the internet for patterns of - for sewing patterns that is! As Julie gushes about how gorgeous her sister looks, Elizabeth remarks that it smells so good. Julie replies that Abigail must be experimenting for the cafe. Elizabeth wonders out loud why she is so nervous as they hear a knock at the door. Jack enters and gives her a corsage, then leads her the back way to Abigail’s Cafe to surprise her, when she was expecting to go to the saloon. Several students are waiting to serve them. It is so very sweet that Jack involved her school children in this plan! [Okay, now that we have seen the full dress as she walked to the back door of Abigail’s cafe I have to say it: I want that dress! I know you’re all thinking the same thing. I’ve seen the comments, so don’t deny it! :-) I want that dress for my wedding dress! Who am I kidding? Okay so back to our story…] So what’s a perfect date without dancing, right? [Although I have to admit, being disabled - I wouldn’t know much about the dancing part, but I do like to watch it. :-) I feel so sorry for Jack in this part when he tries so desperately to tell her his news of a transfer, but can’t seem to spit it out as Elizabeth searches for the words to tell him how happy he has made her.]
It is late into the evening when a swooning, dreamy-eyed Elizabeth comes walking into the bedroom where a wide awake Julie is awaiting news of her older sister’s date - wanting to know every possible detail there is to know. [To me, Julie Thatcher comes off as a doe-eyed teenager rather than an adult, but that is what’s endearing to me about her character.] She asks Elizabeth what is next for her and Jack. Elizabeth states that the relationship has definitely changed, and that he has asked her to go out on another date. Elizabeth also says that Jack has said he has something he wants to tell her that is very important. Julie hears this and lets her imagination run wild, telling Elizabeth that she feels Jack just may be asking for her hand in marriage! Elizabeth is doubtful, but then begins to dream herself…
At that same time, the Mounties are having a discussion at the office. Patrick asked how the evening went, and Jack informs him that they had a great evening. Patrick then asks if Jack told her the news, but Jack says, “No.” Patrick reminds him that he will have to do it soon, because Jack is due at his new post by the end of the week. Patrick then says that Jack could refuse his post, but it would more than likely mean the end of his career as a Mountie.
The next day Jack comes in to Abigail’s to thank her for the wonderful evening she helped him put together. She says that he is very welcome and asks if they had a good time. He confides to Abigail about his transfer orders, but asks her to keep it a secret. She urges him to tell Elizabeth immediately. Gowin again emerges from Main Street with one of his Pinkerton men and enters the cafe. Abigail rolls her eyes, and Jack asks her if she wants him to talk to Gowin for her. She says no; she’s perfectly capable of warding off any advances he makes. Jack hesitates for a moment, Abigail immediately sees this hesitation and concern on Jack’s face and asks him what is wrong. Jack pulls her aside and tells her about the coal mining investigation he had started when he entered Coal Valley and asks her for her help.
Two Mounties ride up as Julie, Elizabeth and the Coal Valley children are running around the woods looking for bugs on their promised school outing. Elizabeth pawns Julie off on Patrick O'Reilly to try to get a break from her whining about being out in the woods with the bugs and the wrong shoes all day long. Jack tries once again to tell Elizabeth about his transfer, but they get interrupted by Gabe (Mitchell Kummen) who tries to show Miss Thatcher one of his bugs that he has found. Jack left at this and tells her that she better get back to her slimy bugs, and they will have plenty of time to talk on their picnic tomorrow after school.
Then we are brought along on the trail with Patrick O’Riley and Julie, where Patrick is asking Julie where she is going on the horse. She bravely announces that she is going into the woods, Patrick tells her that that’s not a good idea and that there may be a bear, but then she makes the excuse of having to go to the bathroom and leaves Patrick to go into the woods, despite his warnings. Julie leaves Constable Patrick in the dust, as one might put it, as she goes in search of a proper place to go to the bathroom [and I use the term “go to the bathroom” loosely, since she is mainly looking for someone or something that has adventure in it, so it seems to the audience.] It is during this search for adventure that the naive Julie starts yelling hello and steps inside a cabin when she thinks no one is there, but a man comes up behind her.It is odd that Patrick didn’t hear her, because her yelling was pretty loud!] The man is bleeding severely and pointing a gun at her. Julie cowers in the corner, telling the man that her money is in her saddlebag [Why would she be carrying her money on a trail ride?] The man looks at her surprised, saying that he is not there to rob her. She said she just assumed, because she’s never had a gun pointed at her face before. The stranger in the cabin then tells her, it is her fault for sneaking up on him the way she did. The frightened Julie then notices that he is bleeding and asks about his injuries. He replies by saying that he got caught up in some barbed wire while running away from some criminals. She tries to convince him to come back to town without any luck, but she does convince him that she will be back later with some supplies and food, but he does not want her to tell anybody of his existence for his safety and her own.
According to Jack, it is nearly an hour later when we are brought back to town to the Mounties office where Patrick is telling him about the afternoon’s events and how Julie could not find a place to go to the bathroom and left him alone for all that time. Jack just smiles as he tells him that he has met his match in the Thatcher sisters. The two men sit down with a cup of coffee and continue to talk about Jack ‘s transfer, so Jack will know what he will be going into when he leaves Coal Valley. This includes the latest crime wave caused by the Toliver Gang.
Gowen appears in Abigail’s cafe after it is closed, wanting to discuss their first week of business and their partnership. [The timeline seems a bit off here. I would think that the cafe has been open for at least two weeks due to the earlier comments made by her patrons.] Abigail feels it is inappropriate for them to be alone at the cafe at that hour. Gowen excuses himself and Abigail tries to politely dismiss his advances once again, but when that doesn’t work she agrees to have lunch with him. She seems remember that she offered to help Jack in his investigation into the mine disaster.
Not long after this, possibly a day or two later we see Julie back at the cabin by herself with the rough and tumble stranger who we now know is Nathanael (Keenan Tracey). He had introduced himself just before she left the last time. [I had already deducted that this was Nathan Toliver, but then again that’s my writers brain - sometimes it does not let me have any fun when it comes to trying to figure things out :-).] When Nathanael lifted up his shirt so Julies could clean his wound, it was obvious that it was a bullet wound. [Even before then, I was sure Julie was in for much more than she bargained for! I haven’t been around a lot of wounds in my life, but I could tell that that wasn’t a barbed wire wound - so not only did his name match the leader of the Tolliver gang, but that sure looked like a bullet wound to me! What did you think when you saw it?] As Julie herself realizes that it is not a barbed wire wound, she begins to question things and asks Nathanael if he would like her to get the mounties involved. Nathanael begins to squirm and starts to weave the tale of truth and lie about his “brother” being a bank robber and having to stand in between bullets, trying to save lives while his brother and his gang does these crimes. Julie seems to buy his story.
Not long after this we see a Pinkerton men escort Abigail to go into Gowen’s office for their appointment saying that Gowen will be back soon. As soon as the Pinkerton man leaves, Abigail begins to spy in Gowen’s desk for materials that may pertain to the mining incident. As she is going through his things, he pulls up to the office. She manages to compose herself as he enters the room.
We are soon swept away to a beautiful hilltop where we see Jack and Elizabeth. We can assume that they have already finished their picnic lunch. Jack is explaining to her about the camera that he is been given to use when needed for evidence, but this is the first chance he’s had to use it. He then started taking photographs of her. She encourages Jack saying that they should take a picture together, and when he tells her to smile for the picture she says she hasn’t stopped smiling since their date the other night. Jack looks sheepish for a moment then takes the photograph. After the photograph is taken he turns to her and regretfully tells her about the news of his transfer. [Part of this I don’t understand…] She asked him if his dreams have changed and he does not answer this question. [If he would have answered this question, I feel it would have softened the blow a little… unless the writers were thinking that Jack still hasn’t figured that out yet.]
Later on we see Elizabeth blaming herself as she’s talking to Abigail, saying that Jack told her what his dreams were and she should have never fallen for him in the first place. Abigail tells Elizabeth that she truly believes that Jack loves her, and if it is meant to be - it will happen.
Early the next morning on the way to school, Gabe passes a very pensive Mountie Jack who is sitting on the porch of the Mounties office. Jack then calls him over to thank him for his help with the date the other night. The two of them get into a short conversation about love at first sight. This young man’s wisdom helps Jack realize how he feels about Elizabeth, and he bursts into the schoolroom unannounced to find Elizabeth crying over her school books. He tells her that he is not taking the post, no matter what the cost. She urges him to do what he is told and to follow his dreams - no matter what it may cost them. [The emotion between Krakow and Lissing is explosive in the scene, between the facial expressions, the intimate tenderness, their tone and even the way they look at each other. The actors, directors, and writers made everything fall into place just perfectly.]
Soon we see Julie with a delirious Nathanael as she is faced with the decision of how she is going to get him back to town before he loses consciousness, despite his pleas not to take him into town and just to get him some medicine. It is not long after this that we get our first look at the infamous Tolliver gang as they start to wonder if their leader has taken off with the money or if something has gone horribly wrong. During this argument, they decide to look for their leader, Nate, because whether he has taken off with the money or something has happened to him, he has the money, and part of it belongs to them.
To match the mood of our favorite Mountie in Coal Valley, it is raining the day Jack leaves for his new post. As he gives Patrick the last update on the coal mining investigation, saying that he can trust Abigail to help him out with it, Patrick wishes him well and tells him that he will watch over the town and Elizabeth. Jack rides off as Elizabeth watches from Abigail’s cafe window, tears in her eyes and a hankerchief in hand.
It is late in the evening. Abigail is busy working in the quiet kitchen as she hears a thump on the back door, then Julie screaming for help. Julie has brought trouble into Coal Valley - more trouble than she knows. She has brought the stranger, Nathan to the door. The doctor announces that the man has sepsis from his bullet wound. Abigail and Elizabeth both question Julie’s story of the young man, which Julie fervently defends. She then says, a little too bubbly, that whether it is true or not - Jack will figure it out. Elizabeth bursts into tears and tells her sister that Jack is taking a new post.
The episode ends at the general store the next morning, from what it looks like, where Mr. Yost (Hrothgar Matthews) is opening up the mail - featuring a photograph of several men, with Nate Tolliver right in the middle. Little do they know that that man is right down the street…
We always knew Mr. Gowen was odd, but now he’s flirting with a Abigail. What’s next? Why is he doing this? What is he up to? You know he’s got to be up to something? Jack got transferred. Yes, we agree he could have handled it better, but let’s be honest - he is a Mountie and duty does come first!
Julie. Julie. Julie! The younger sister of Elizabeth Thatcher. I’m starting to wonder if her money has taken place of her brains :-) I love her endearing character, yet she can drive me crazy! She makes the show fun just because she jumps in head first without thinking. What’s going to happen with that tall, dark and rugged stranger? Despite what everybody tells her, will Julie still buy his story? Or will she trust the wisdom of her sister and her sister’s friend?
Here are more questions for this article:
If you were in Mountie Jack’s position would you follow your dream like Elizabeth requested, then leave for your new post? Or would you tell Elizabeth that your dreams have changed. That you love her, and you are staying in Coal Valley?
Written by Amy J. Falk
Fans of Believe Pictures Productions
Where you can find Amy:
Director Anne Wheeler
Composer John Sereda
Cinematographer Michael Balfry
Editor Nicole Ratcliffe