For those viewers new to “When Calls the Heart” for the recent tearful Season 5 finale, or for stalwart fans of the family drama there from the first episode, Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time to have a stroll through some special “When Calls the Heart” memories that live on forever, even long after characters may depart. Memorial Day is a time to honor those in sacrificial service, family, and higher purpose, and “When Calls the Heart” reflects family, community, military service in the form of the red serge, and love and faith through every episode.
“When Calls the Heart” is set to return for a sixth season in January, and both leading stars, Erin Krakow and Daniel Lissing have an archive of dramatic roles to review, along with their castmates In the Hallmark Channel family.
Preview snippets have already surfaced for Krakow’s “Marrying Father Christmas” debuting this holiday season. While immediate, specific artistic ventures for Lissing are not yet available, look for the Australian actor to turn up in some future Hallmark projects. June is much closer than January on the calendar, and Canada‘s scenery might bring a welcome sense of cool while romance warms the heart.
This weekend makes the perfect time to revisit some warm moments of the drama, filmed in rainy Vancouver, BC, in between splashing in the pool and assembling hotdogs du jour. Here is a selection of “When Calls the Heart” episodes warm as apple pie, and tastier than ice cream for the spirit.
Beginnings and blossoming love
“Lost and Found.” The initial episode depicts not only harsh conditions of the Canadian Northwest territory of the time in the Janette Oke book series but moreover, the unity and faith of families on that frontier.
Despite the doubt and protest from her privileged family, Elizabeth Thatcher arrives in Coal Valley, where every family has endured unspeakable loss on some level from a mining . Most have lost husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers.
Elizabeth endures her own loss when she unintentionally burns down the teacher’s cabin and must borrow the dress for her very first day of teaching from her compassionate friend, Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin), who takes the new educator in with an open heart. Having to cope with outhouses, doing laundry, her own cooking, and holding class in a saloon doesn‘t daunt Elizabeth, and Mountie Jack Thornton arrives to assist in a case of a wooden board carved by one of the dying fathers, leaving last words for his son.
“Second Chances.” This episode will strike a chord in the heart of any teacher who has committed himself or herself to reaching a student not just to learn, but to believe that he or she can learn. When Elizabeth is confronted with the challenge of teaching Beau, a student with dyslexia, she commits herself to convince him and his family that he can read and learn.
She first gives him an oral intelligence test, but when his father protests that a future in the mine is what awaits him, she resorts to alternative methods, using dough from Abigail. Beyond the beautiful themes of learning and instilling confidence, Jack overcomes some bumbling to assure Elizabeth that he will be there for her, even in the “smallest care,” and pledges a proper date in the future.
First and forever
“Prelude to a Kiss.” For those romantics who keep a log of every “first” in a favorite series, this episode marks the first kiss for Jack and Elizabeth. A teaching offer is tempting Elizabeth to leave Coal Valley, but Jack takes her on a secluded walk and confesses that she is his “only one,” after presenting her with his hand-drawn portrait of the two of them. His honesty dismantles Elizabeth‘s defenses and she promises that she is “not going anywhere” before they share the heartfelt moment. Another kiss doesn’t come until the Season 2 finale, “With All My Heart.”
“A Gentle Heart.” Viewers who thrive on character interplay will surely appreciate this episode of the evolution in the character of Rosemary LeVeaux Coulter (Pascale Hutton) from her unexpected arrival in town as Jack‘s ex-fiancée to becoming the ever-supportive if sometimes over-involved, friend to everyone she encounters. Not even Jack‘s beloved beagle, Rip, could stand Rosemary when she arrived, but her willing spirit and nosy but never mean-spirited nature won everyone over, including sawmill owner, Lee Coulter (Kavan Smith). In this episode, Lee is hurt, and Rosemary pours out her heart to him, telling him how deeply she loves him, and in the next episodes, her dreams of acting, theatre, travel, and big cities all pale to her love for Lee, and her design talents are perfectly suited to a dress shop.
“My Heart Will Go On.” By all means, anyone who hasn’t experienced the heartfelt of Elizabeth and Jack in Season 5’s “My Heart Is Yours,” complete with vows written by the actors themselves for their characters, should make haste to have a viewing party with plenty of tissues. A moving second to that culmination of their relationship is Jack‘s proposal to Elizabeth in this installment from Season 4. Taking heed of a nod from Abigail to “go,” Elizabeth walks a path guided in candlelight and flower petals to her waiting Jack. She pledges that she would wait an eternity for him, before accepting his ring. In the new season, Elizabeth will bear their child and raise him or her as the living legacy of eternal love, and find , as Jack expressed in the letter he left her.
The new journey through motherhood will make cozy comfort in winter, but a remembrance of romance is fine summertime storytelling fodder.