Hope Valley is just like anywhere else.
People are living and learning along the way. Mistakes are made, and promises are broken, but through the spirit of community and relying on one another, they find a way to forgive and move on.
When Calls the Heart Season 10 Episode 8 suggests a more significant story coming as Rosemary hopes to make Hope Valley an essential stop on the political campaign trail at the same time Mr. Montague’s team is tearing up the countryside, and a large trestle bridge begins production outside of town.
Hope Valley is growing, and Rosemary recognizes that their voices have a right to be heard just like everyone else’s.
Part of her plan to lure the governor to Hope Valley to hear their voices is to make them heard musically.
Through their brief experience with tourism, they’ve learned that you have to make your little slice of heaven seem as wonderful to those outside of town limits as it is from the inside.
If they can open Hope Springs and add activities to lure and retain tourists, maybe expressing more of their local flavor will be the ticket to get a little attention from their public officials.
Any reason to get a large swath of Hope Valley folks in one place enjoying each other’s company is always a win, and while we’ve seen individual talents celebrated, we’ve never seen anything like the choir.
I’ve never been in a choir. My voice is tenuous at best, and fear of embarrassment ensured I’d never put myself out there.
I applaud Mei Sou’s strength.
If I had felt the stink of Rosemary’s stink eye in my direction as my voice wavered, it would have taken a team of horses to keep me on that stage, making my way from warbling uncomfortably to finding my voice.
Mei was a reluctant participant, but her voice shined when she was given the support she needed.
In our real world of cutting people down instead of opening our arms to welcome others into our orbit, the goings on in Hope Valley are a wonderful reminder of what could be.
It’s too bad that Madeline St. John didn’t lean into Hope Valley’s enveloping embrace.
Earlier in When Calls the Heart Season 10, when we discussed what she was hiding, I worried that the men she spoke of as handling her husband’s estate were holding something over her, and their threats would cause her to act out of character.
Now that we have gotten a glimpse of what Montague is doing at Bill’s old cabin, we can no longer believe that it has anything to do with his readying the place for his bride-to-be.
It wouldn’t be shocking if we never saw Madeline again if only Bill hadn’t taken such a liking to her and remained concerned about her wellbeing.
Elizabeth needed a side project, and seeing Bill’s pain only made her more eager to discover what was happening further up the road.
For my nosey, meddling, suspicious bride to be.
Henry just stopped the old mine from being reopened, but doesn’t it seem like Montague got wind of something worth digging up under Bill’s property?
Hope Valley has proven to be a wealth of natural resources from the mine and with oil, so people on the outside see it as fertile ground to begin digging for more.
Elizabeth Thornton was concerned about how they were excavating, utilizing horses and wagons for something far more extensive than a well, especially since Bill had recently dug a new well for the cabin.
What piqued my interest was when Richard and Lee were looking over plans for a project they were supplying with wood.
A large trestle bridge is being raised nearby, and its positioning was of some interest. We’ve seen how badly they need to work, so Lee was willing to let it slide so they could supply lumber no matter its purpose.
Elizabeth is already on the case, and Rosemary’s a nose for news. Between the two of them, I’d expect they will uncover just enough to get others involved in solving Montague’s mystery.
Nathan is already concerned, and although Lucas initially felt uncomfortable with Elizabeth’s poking around, given that Montague is a guest, he’ll use the close proximity to do reconnaissance on the man.
We know Montague’s up to no good, or he’d be more forthcoming and wouldn’t be employing what amounts to a bunch of goons on the mountain to bring it together.
His smarmy smile and determination to meet and greet every soul in Hope Valley reeks of ingratiating himself in their world before he shifts the narrative and tries to sell them on a good deal for nobody but himself.
Henry Gowen was once such a man.
He would find the best angle for himself and hope everyone else would get on board. The critical difference was that he didn’t use charm and good nature to accomplish it. He accepted what was coming without complaint as long as he got his way.
Henry has been a very enigmatic character. He took the blame for the mining disaster, but years later, we learned he was a cog in a wheel like everyone else, and his biggest mistake was fearing for his job and not forcing ownership to see how unsafe the mine was.
In the wake of that, with a giant chip on his shoulder, he became more nefarious, but there was also a caring man hoping to find redemption he never thought would come hiding under his coat.
Every step he has taken to atone for his mistakes also allowed him to dig deeper into the idea he’s a lone wolf who will never be accepted or forgiven.
Elizabeth was the first to see the man he could be, and others began their journeys of friendship with Henry, but he’d been unable to forgive himself, and without that, he’d be lost forever.
It’s not a coincidence that Rosaleen returned to town as Henry has found humility and grace. He’s done all the work he can do inward to change. Now, he needs a level of forgiveness that very few ever receive.
Rosaleen’s arrival sets Henry on edge and puts Molly Sullivan on alert.
She’s been where Rosaleen is but never left Hope Valley. She has seen the many incremental shifts in Henry, and along with the rest of Hope Valley, she’s arrived at peace with what happened and Henry’s place in why it did.
He did awful things. He was a terrible man, but I promise you, he isn’t anymore. He paid for what he did, and he’s done good for this town. There is something even more powerful than acceptance, Rosaleen. Forgiveness.
It’s hard to imagine how it must look to Rosaleen, who has a certain picture in her mind of Henry, seeing him working alongside children in a community garden.
It must be surreal to return to the man you blame for your life’s most significant loss only to see him embraced by others who were equally affected.
Particularly lovely about this story is that Rosaleen didn’t need urging. She worked it through herself and came to a place we may never fully understand that allowed her to reach out to the man she’d hated for so long.
It was as if the weight of the burden she’d carried for so long became enough, and to begin a new journey in life, she had to shift her perspective, and forgiving Henry was the only way to do it.
Didn’t seeing her make room for Henry in the pew to listen to the choir create the tiniest knot of tears and release in your throat? If only we could all similarly release our burdens to begin again.
Some burdens aren’t quite as monumental, but they still hold weight.
Through parenting, Elizabeth and Nathan’s bond grows, even if it’s not how he would probably prefer. They look to each other for parenting advice, and he’s even comfortable enough to share his feelings that he cannot seem to find someone to settle down with despite his deepest desire to do so.
Elizabeth has found a twice-in-a-lifetime love with Lucas but still hasn’t figured out how to honor her life with Jack.
Was this the first time she has visited Jack’s grave on screen? Does talking with Jack mean she’s also willing to let go of what was for what will be?
I’m reminded of her desire to stay at the house she had with Jack when Lucas brought it up on When Calls the Heart Season 10 Episode 5. It seemed like she was tethered to her life with Jack and using proximity to her best friend to prove her point instead of recognizing it for what it was.
It seems Nathan won’t find his love this season, but I hope there is love on the horizon for him as much as I hope Elizabeth and Lucas find their path, accepting each other 100% as they are.
Lucas: I’ve been meaning to talk with you about yesterday regarding Mr. Montague.
Elizabeth: There’s something about him that just seems off.
Lucas: Perhaps, but didn’t you feel the same way about me when I first arrived in town?
It was hard not to remember how far they’d come when Lucas compared himself to Montague. With Lucas and Henry, we see switches are flipped all the time.
Remember to keep our hearts open and use what we learn through When Calls the Heart in the real world.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been thinking. If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch When Calls the Heart online and then come back to join us in the comments. Let’s spread the love!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.