‘I need tissues’ was the text I sent while watching the last few minutes of episode 9 of When Calls the Heart season 5 – and then again the need arose in episode 10. Really, when don’t we need tissues when watching this heart-touching series? These two episodes, however, certainly took the story to a whole new level.
If you haven’t caught up on the episodes yet, it’s probably best to leave this recap until you have, as spoilers are involved.
It seems that, while this is ‘just a show’ (which is what I kept telling myself while tears sprang from my eyes), the WCTH team have managed to reel us in and wind us up to the point of heartbreak, causing us to grieve alongside one of our favourite characters, Elizabeth Thornton, over the loss of her much loved husband, Mountie Jack.
Having followed their relationship through five seasons of uncertainty and challenges, we were finally able to witness Jack and Elizabeth join in marriage to at long last become Mr. and Mrs. Jack Thornton – a definite highlight of the series and where all roads have been leading.
This week though, fans of the show were stopped in their tracks when, in the short weeks following the wedding, news is received that Jack will not be returning to the waiting arms of his beloved wife from a ‘safe’ training assignment. Erin Krakow’s incredible performance in the scene where Elizabeth hears word of Jack’s tragic accidental death (season 5, episode 9) is heart-breaking, and this devastating turn has ‘Hearties’ in an uproar.
Reading through the comments on the social media platforms following the North American screenings, there has been a great outpouring of emotion. Hearties were looking forward to viewing episodes of Jack and Elizabeth in married life, living out their hopes and dreams in the house they would build together and raise their family.
While the outcry of grieving fans is overwhelming, I can’t help but think what an amazing job these writers have done creating such an impacting series that has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of fans around the world.
I can understand why, because I too am a fan, and though the town has seen many tragedies, and conflict is a regular visitor, the light-hearted beauty of this show takes us to a charming utopia of old-fashioned values where hope wins and friends and neighbours love each other despite their squabbles.
Hope Valley is a place where the citizens work together for the greater good, where wisdom prevails and where love is always there to pick up the pieces. And though season five came to a sad ending, the people of Hope Valley have not let us down.
In this, the greatest heartache of the series, we see the citizens of Hope Valley gather around our beloved Elizabeth, each dealing with their own grief of losing Jack but seeing the need to reach out to look after the one who has been affected the most.
As the widowed women of Hope Valley gather around Elizabeth, it is not with empty sentiment. Having lost their own husbands in a mining disaster, these women are able to use their experience to stand alongside Elizabeth. They know her pain firsthand having gone through it themselves. Just as Elizabeth has helped the townsfolk throughout numerous tragedies, now it is their turn to gather and support her.
All is not lost. Surrounded by her loving students and with new information coming to view, we are given a couple of reasons to hope and look forward to season 6.
In episode 10 of season 5, Elizabeth has a flashback to when Jack gave her the typewriter. Here she recalls typing ‘You are my inspiration’ and handing the paper to Jack. Perhaps Elizabeth’s writing career is about to open up?
Jack’s one dying wish which he communicates in his last letter to Elizabeth, is that she would promise to open her heart to love again. Though we don’t like to think of it now while Jack’s passing is still so raw, we’ll look forward to the beginnings of perhaps a new romance in the coming seasons.
And the most obvious and exciting promise of hope – a baby on the way! Will Elizabeth’s baby be a girl or a boy? Will she name it Jack or Jacqueline or something else? Will the baby follow in its father’s footsteps to become a Mountie?
We can only continue to watch and see where this wonderful series will take us next.
I must say, congratulations are in order to Hallmark for creating such a beautiful series that has connected so many loyal fans with the characters in such a strong way that the emotions felt in these episodes has been so real. And also for the care they took in reaching out to their fan base post the finale. You can see Hallmark’s first ever Post-finale chat here: https://www.facebook.com/hallmarkchannel/videos/10155197211891050/
There are great things ahead for Hope Valley and I encourage you to look out for season 6 with excited expectation. And as we wait for the next installment, devoted followers can carry the wise words Elizabeth Thornton left with us in episode 10: “Even on our darkest days, if we help each other we can overcome anything.”[activecampaign]