During the most recent episode in season four of “When Calls the Heart”, a few things stood out. During “Heart of a Teacher”, Jack faced both a personal and professional crisis and Hope Valley realized they have a mayor who is more beholden to the railroad than the town’s citizens.
Elizabeth learned from Mayor Gowen that after reading an accusatory letter from what he considered a reputable source, she wasn’t fit, in his opinion, to continue to be the town’s school teacher. The accusation came from a Mr. Higgins, the superintendent of schools at Elizabeth’s former place of residence. He ran the teacher training program at the time, making it a he-said/she-said situation.
Did Elizabeth Thatcher’s family try to influence Higgins to get her a job? If they did, she never took it, choosing to come to what was then Coal Valley. Then why was the letter written? The superintendent came on to Elizabeth, she spurned his efforts and he decided to burn her.
What’s a girl to do? Travel to confront the man, who not only didn’t back down but shamed her by propositioning her again in exchange for clearing up the problem. Here’s a question for you: did young, unmarried women in the early twentieth century travel on their own, even with another female friend, staying overnight someplace other than with family? Abigail supported Elizabeth with her presence, asking others to care for Cody and the cafe. Just asking…
The ladies’ plan was to ask other women who were trained alongside Elizabeth about their experiences with the superintendent. Would any come forward with similar stories? If so, they could discredit him helping Elizabeth clear her name. It should help her return to teaching her students. No one budged, but Jack has hope that his lady love will be successful.
The Hope Valley school children ended a few bad days with Mr. Stoneman, the new teacher by walking out of the classroom during an exam. He was nasty to Emily who didn’t hold her pencils correctly, breaking all she had and making her cry. Elizabeth was swarmed upon her return to town, asked by the kids to teach them without them returning to school. Particularly in danger is young Phillip who was expelled for falling too far behind. Elizabeth had tutored him on the side to keep him up with the class, which Stoneman won’t do. As you’d expect, Elizabeth was thrilled with the love they showed, but only agreed to be with them after school, if they went back and behaved.
Speaking of Jack, once he got the news that his young Mountie friend Doug was killed in action, his burning desire to go to the northern territories returned with a vengeance. That brings us to a question that has yet to be addressed in season four. When are he and Elizabeth going to make this thing official and get married? They smooch all over town, he’s at her place for dinner most nights, so what’s holding up the works? It also seems out-of-place for a drama set in the pre-World War I years for a couple like that to be unmarried.
Wyatt, all sweetness and light until he was able to oust Abigail from her post as interim-mayor, is showing his true colors on two fronts. First, there’s his cozy backroom deals with Gowen on getting the railroad out from under any tax burden and then there’s his predatory moves on the young nurse in town. When his offer to walk her home and perhaps get to courting her was spurned, he got physical with her.
Up popped Carson Shepherd, the new guy in town to rescue her. His thanks was a threat from Wyatt. Speaking of Shepherd, he chatted it up with Jack about why he was working at the cafe. “I go where life takes me,” he told Jack when asked about why he was no longer with the railroad. “Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would,” he said as Jack began that sad face, pondering whether or not he’s ready to go “where life takes” him.
In sneak peek scenes of next week’s show, it sure looks like Jack has set up a field full of candles to have a talk with Elizabeth. Here’s the big question: is he putting a ring on it, finally, or is he begging forgiveness for choosing to go and fight up north?
“When Calls the Heart” airs its new episodes in season four, Sunday nights on Hallmark Channel at 9 p.m. ET Image credit: Crown Media U.S. Used with permission