Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” has returned for Episode 3 of Season 9. In this episode, titled “Turn of the Page,” Elizabeth struggles with negative reviews for her book, but eventually learns that the true successes come when her book makes a difference in someone else’s life. But as she finds deeper meaning in her work, Lucas becomes embroiled in a new investigation involving Walden Wyndam.
This episode’s MVP was undoubtedly Erin Krakow and her portrayal of Elizabeth, from struggling with negative reactions to her book to the ultimate epiphany she had at the end. But the rest of the cast also came together to tell a delightful story that is sure to touch fans’ hearts.
This story is a review and synopsis for When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 3 so there will be SPOILERS below.
Elizabeth’s book served as the basis for this week’s story
Elizabeth’s book served as the basis for this week’s story, weaving the journeys of all the other characters into a seamless story.
At the beginning of the episode, Elizabeth announces that her novel has just arrived in Hope Valley, and she is both excited and nervous about how her friends will react to her stories and those that may reflect. It could be a bumpy ride.
From the beginning of the episode we can see that Nathan is getting his sense of humor back. He jokingly tells Elizabeth to autograph his book “to the one who escaped.” Allie had mentioned last season that Nathan used to be a lot more easygoing, and I think we’re starting to see his genuine, easygoing personality showing through. Some viewers don’t like his sarcastic sense of humor, but I think it’s a big improvement over the cranky Nathan we had in Season 8.
Meanwhile, Molly isn’t so sure what she thinks of Elizabeth’s book. There’s a character called Juliette who’s interested in the bachelors in town, and Molly’s pretty sure the redhead “flirty” is modeled after her. But as it turns out, Juliette was actually modeled after Elizabeth’s sister!
Unfortunately, many reviews of Elizabeth’s book are simple not Good. As Elizabeth reads them, she feels really bad.
“These reviews are mean, they’re personal,” she says. “These are fictional characters. I was just trying to tell a story.”
I can’t help but wonder if this is a message from the show’s writers about all the criticism they’ve received about last season’s breakup of the love triangle. Especially when Elizabeth later admits that some of the reviews were not only unkind to her writing but also to her personally. That’s exactly what happened to the writers when they were dealing with some very angry fans.
Meanwhile, Lucas plans an adorable surprise party for Elizabeth. The salon is beautifully decorated and filled with amazing food and drinks. He really gave it his all and the whole town joins in to celebrate her. It’s funny to see how uncomfortable Lucas is when Elizabeth says she doesn’t want to socialize or even go inside where the surprise party is waiting. In the end he just has to come out and tell her about the party to get her to come in. Excited, she promises to pretend she’s surprised and has no idea.
I really love the dynamic between Elizabeth and Lucas. Bringing these two together was a perfect choice.
In a later scene, Rosemary reads Elizabeth a letter from a widowed mother, who makes a touching remark about the difference Elizabeth’s novel has made in her life. The letter reveals that after reading Elizabeth’s book, the mother felt calmer and less alone. That means more to Elizabeth than all the bad reviews in the world.
“Being able to comfort others…is a gift,” says Rosemary. “That’s the kind of assessment that matters.”
Isn’t that a lesson for all of us?
The development with Gustav is entertaining
It looks like Gustav could get a bigger role this season! At the beginning of the episode, he doesn’t have the best attitude towards Lucas or the party. Turns out he’s Lucas’ cousin! How could we all this time without knowing?
He reverts to his old self in a later scene, and I can’t help but hope the writers continue to develop his character this season.
Henry still doesn’t know if he’s staying
Lucas asks Henry if he will stay with the oil company if the sale to Jerome goes through. Henry says he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but Jerome tells him Lucas didn’t want Henry pushed out. It looks like the two are getting along well again, but we can’t say the same for Jerome and Henry.
Henry is really struggling with whether or not he wants to stay with the company.
“A part of me still regrets that I didn’t continue when I left here,” he admits.
I honestly have no idea where Henry’s story is going to go.
Wyman Walden is back
Wyman Walden is back in town which brings back all my theories about Walden or the Pinkertons involved in Nathan’s accident. He represents the company development of the foundry, which suffered some setbacks in the winter but is now “full steam ahead”.
Nobody trusts Wyman, including Mike. Of course, Wyman tries to persuade the new mayor, and Bill is worried sick that Mike will turn his head. But I think people in Hope Valley have a bad habit of underestimating Mike.
“I can do this job,” assures Mike Bill. “I’m pretty smart.” He later tells Bill that he needs to move out of the mayor’s office as he quickly adopts more assertive behavior.
The next day, Lucas asks Wyman why he’s back in Hope Valley, and Wyman insists he should mind his own business. Lucas replies that Wyman is someone who knows when he needs a partner. So… that was an awkward way of gaining his trust. Hmmm.
Later, when Elizabeth comes into Luca’s office, he tells someone named Janette on the phone that he needs more time to gain someone’s trust. Looks like Lucas is going undercover.
“You have to listen to me,” he says. “Wyman Walden. Wyman Walden! I can help you stop him, but I can’t do it alone. Do you hear?”
I wonder who is Janette? And why doesn’t Lucas put Nathan on this undercover operation?
cooper still fighting
Last week we learned that Cooper is struggling with his faith and no longer wants to go to church. At Minnie’s suggestion, Joseph takes Cooper to work so they can spend more time together. And he stops insisting that Cooper go to church.
This is enough to get his son to open up. He admits to Joseph that he’s really struggling with his sister being blind from measles while he’s recovering well. Joseph later tells Minnie how the doctor refused to treat Angela and he doesn’t want Cooper to face that kind of hatred at such a young age. It looks like this is going to be quite a difficult story. There will be no easy answers for Cooper, and he will face a lot.
Nathan & Mei Sou got off to a rocky start
While Nathan was quickly captivated by Mei Sou, things get bumpy this week.
Newton is very nervous after the accident and won’t let Nathan near him. Bill comments that Newton only seems to trust Mei Sou these days. Nathan visits her at the lemonade store while she fills his prescription. She tells him that Newton is doing better, but Nathan admits he can’t see it himself. She says she would like to show Nathan her approach.
“It starts with patience,” she says.
But Nathan for some reason is annoyed by this answer and just goes rude. Mei Sou later approaches him and asks why he is so upset. Nathan admits she isn’t, and the accident really hit him harder than he expected. Mei Sou encourages him not to blame himself and take the inability to remember the accident as a gift. This makes me wonder if there is something in her past she don’t want to remember.
Nathan apologizes and she suggests they have a drink together at Yost’s.
At Elizabeth’s party, Bill expresses his concern to Nathan that Newton may never recover. I find this idea really sad, and so does Nathan. This encourages Nathan to be more open about Mei Sou’s advice. He approaches her again, but this time she insists that she must work alone with Newton. It’s the complete opposite of what she said to Nathan before, which really baffles him. And after how Elizabeth was back and forth with him before, I can’t blame him for driving away afterwards. Mei Sou has her own problems and reasons for not wanting to develop anything with Nathan. It looks like this love connection is going to last some time.
lee & rosemary are still adorable
Lee has a hard time adjusting to newspaper life. His first article is pretty far from what Rosemary wanted. She has to explain to him diplomatically how “unusual” his play is, which ends up being quite a comedic scene. She explains that Lee’s flair is energetic and brash, but “I’m not sure I can publish your article.”
Criticism is never easy. And just as Nathan initially struggled with Mei Sou, Lee struggles with Rosemary’s criticism. But Rosemary later relents and says she wants to publish his article, which surprises me.
“Like it or not, the world has become more blunt and unvarnished,” she explains.
It later turns out that Lee’s “Clickbait” headline was so well received that all of her copies sold out!
All in all, this was a really sweet episode. It had a nice lesson about the real things that matter in life and enough intrigue to have fans wondering what to expect next. The episode ended with Lucas’ phone confrontation about Wyman, which will no doubt become a big storyline in future episodes.
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