When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 11 Review & Recap

When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 11 Review & Recap

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When last week’s episode of Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” ended, Elizabeth had a heart-to-heart with Nathan, letting him know she didn’t blame him for Jack’s death. But Lucas, looking out the window, saw them holding hands and was unsure what that meant. Now as season 8 episode 11 begins, Elizabeth is drawing closer to finally making a choice, but things are about to get even more confusing for Hope Valley.

This was quite possibly one of the best episodes of the show’s season. The mystery with the Pinkertons and Wyman Walden was an intriguing and welcome change from the love triangle that’s dominated this season. But it was Chris McNally who stole the show in the very last scene, when he portrayed Lucas’s sacrificial, but heartbroken love with painstaking clarity.

This is a review and recap of “When Calls the Heart” Season 8 Episode 11. The article will have SPOILERS. 

Elizabeth Is Drawing Closer to Nathan & Hurting Lucas in the Process

The love triangle left fans even more confused in the latest episode, with Elizabeth seeming to be more drawn to Nathan than ever before. Lucas could no longer ignore the signs right in front of his face.

As the episode begins, we start out with Lucas driving by Elizabeth’s house to visit, but he sees Nathan’s horse outside and drives on, a hurt expression on his face. The last time he saw Elizabeth, she and Nathan were holding hands outside the wedding reception, so this latest encounter isn’t leaving him with a good feeling. This man has the patience of Job, as they say, but at some point he has to acknowledge what’s right in front of his face.

Nathan is in Elizabeth’s home (which, by the way, we’ve never seen Lucas in yet), and he gives her Florence’s bridal bouquet. She invites him to spend some time inside because he looks cold and she has a kettle warming. She even offers him a pair of Jack’s old gloves if he can’t find his own, and tells him to take off his serge so she can warm it up before he goes to work. This is a whole different level of intimacy and comfort than we’ve seen between Lucas and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth seems to be quickly falling into a caretaker role with Nathan, now that the secret between them is gone. I can’t help but wonder if her feelings toward him are changing and causing her feelings toward Lucas to grow colder.

Nathan says that Florence asked him to give her the bouquet since Elizabeth had left the wedding reception early. So at least we know that she didn’t leave with Nathan.

“I guess she thought that you were the next to be married,” Nathan offers.

Elizabeth is just a little uncomfortable at that statement, and Nathan suggests that he needs to get back to work. But the two exchange quite the look before he leaves. I can’t help but wonder if Elizabeth decided that Nathan is the one who has her heart, but she can’t bring herself to tell Lucas.

Rosemary steps outside and sees Elizabeth with Nathan, and she looks really upset about the whole thing. Considering how tense things were between the two of them, I can’t really blame her.

In Elizabeth and Lucas’s first scene together, at the schoolhouse, we learn that she didn’t even say goodbye to him before she left the wedding after talking to Nathan. She’s acting distant when he offers to take her to lunch or to help her with decorating the school. I’m just not sure how many times he can get the cold shoulder before he decides it’s not worth it anymore.

Minnie interrupts their conversation with news that the school inspector is in town. To be honest, it just isn’t looking good between them. Elizabeth seemed annoyed to see him, and even was watching Nathan almost longingly through the window while Lucas was right there. She seemed really distracted, and it’s just not a good sign.

She later sees Nathan, and her eyes light up in the way they used to when she’d see Lucas. Nathan thanks her for what she said about not blaming him for Jack’s death, and the two exchange a laugh over an inside joke about his gloves. But Lucas sees the whole thing, and once again, he looks really hurt. Elizabeth’s inability to make up her mind is tearing him apart, and it just doesn’t seem fair. If you check social media, you’ll see that even Team Nathan fans are feeling bad for Lucas.

After getting the bad news from Bill about her school, Elizabeth goes to the saloon to see Mr. Landis and, once again, doesn’t seem too happy when she bumps into Lucas. She didn’t even have a desire to talk to him about the situation, like she used to.

Later, Lucas has a heart-to-heart with Carson about how Carson is feeling that things just won’t work out with Faith. Lucas appears to be seeing the same thing for his own romance.

He visits Elizabeth at her home that night and gives her a heartbreaking speech.

“I’m sorry for stopping by so late,” he begins. “Elizabeth, you’ve always maintained that love is worth fighting for. And that includes when it needs defending. … I appreciate your telling me that you took Nathan aside to assure him that he wasn’t to blame for Jack’s death. But I have to admit, I witnessed the discussion. I also noticed his horse here the other day. And while I’m not resentful, from what I’ve seen and from what you’ve told me, I believe that you and Nathan, still…”

He pauses, and doesn’t finish the sentence, and instead lets it hang between them.

“Love is not just an emotion,” he continues. “It’s also an act of will. It can’t be demanded. It can’t be forced. I want you to find your true love. And in order to do that, I want … I need … to set you free.”

She looks heartbroken as he walks away, but she doesn’t run after him.

Lucas’s speech was a selfless act of love. Only time will tell how it plays out.

Chris McNally portrayed this scene beautifully. Lucas’s words were measured and cautious, but you could see every bit of the emotion on his face and in his eyes. Elizabeth looked devastated, but it may not be enough.

It Looks Like Carson & Faith Are Over

Carson tells Henry that all he’s ever wanted is to be a surgeon, and he really can’t choose to stay in Hope Valley or he’d feel like he settled. This is an interesting insight, since just last week Carson seemed determined to stay in Hope Valley and give up his opportunity so he could be with Faith. He still wants to propose to Faith, but he wants her to come with him so he can have the best of both worlds.

However, Faith’s been pushing back every time he tries to find a way to stop them from breaking up. In her scenes with Clara, Faith obviously isn’t excited about the idea of a proposal and is hoping it doesn’t happen. It’s like she’s already decided she doesn’t want to be with Carson, but she wants Carson to be the one to make that final decision.

When Carson’s ring goes missing, he ends up seeing it all as a sign. He tells Lucas that he’s pretty sure it isn’t meant to be. And Faith confirms the same with Fiona – that she knows she needs to stay and not leave with Carson. So I’m expecting a breakup next week. Does this mean Paul Greene is leaving the show?

Fiona Is Ready for a Love of Her Own

In a heart-to-heart with Faith, Fiona reveals that she was once engaged, but they broke up. He’s the reason she went home, she said, because he had been asking her family about her. But the spark wasn’t there and she ended things for good.

Fiona says she’s open to finding love now. This could be the beginning of a big storyline for Hope Valley. Of course, my first thought goes to her and Mike. But I also can’t help but wonder if whoever Elizabeth turns down might end up developing a connection with Fiona next. I could see her being a good match with either Nathan or Lucas, for different reasons.

After being run out of town for stealing Jesse and Clara’s savings, Wyman Walden actually shows back up, this time at Fiona’s barbershop. He’s acting super creepy, and he informs her that he knows she doesn’t own the shop.

Standing up for herself, she says, “I don’t like being intimidated, so I’ll ask you to leave.”

He tells her that he plans to buy the shop from Mr. Weaver, and she can continue working for him if she wants. This really isn’t sounding good. And Fiona isn’t one to be intimidated, like she told him. So she immediately finds Nathan and insists that he go to the saloon with her, where Walden is now, to get to the bottom of what’s happening.

They find Walden having a town meeting at the saloon, and Nathan ends up putting him in a prison cell for a short time while he tries to get to the bottom of things.

Fiona, meanwhile, has a plan of her own. She calls San Francisco, and I’m betting she’s going to ask her family for a loan so she can buy the store.

There’s a Ned & Florence Mystery

In a strange twist, it turns out that Florence came home from her honeymoon early after just a day. Clara thinks something is wrong, but Florence insists that Ned stayed to take care of business.

Later, however, she’s having a tough time getting hold of him and seems worried. They don’t do much with this storyline, but I’m a little intrigued about what’s going on between the two of them.

Christopher Is Doing Well

We also get a brief update on Christopher, and I’m glad the show didn’t forget about his storyline altogether.

Henry gets a note from him. Christopher says that he’s in Bellingham, working for Rachel’s family’s furniture store. And while he prefers Hope Valley, he’s glad to be with the woman he loves. He signs the letter, “I love you” and it warms Henry’s heart. I wonder if this is the last we hear about these two?

Trouble Is Coming for Elizabeth’s School

As soon as Elizabeth gets around to resolving her love triangle decision, she’s going to have another big issue to face: the future of her school.

Mr. August Landis, the school inspector, is back in town. When Minnie sees him at Abigail’s Cafe, she rushes away to tell Elizabeth, so she can be prepared. Elizabeth assures Minnie that Landis just likes to bother her at the beginning of the school year so he can feel important, but he has no real power. Sadly, this doesn’t end up holding true this time around.

In their next scene together, Elizabeth tells Landis that she doesn’t want to be part of the Valley school district. She says her schoolhouse can accommodate another 12 students, but he drops a bomb on her: there are actually 100 new students expected. He says it’s in the county’s board of education report.

Elizabeth brings the report to Bill to get his input. He says the county could be issuing eminent domain due to the town’s projected growth, and they’re redistricting.

“The county can shut you down,” he says. He adds that it will be a while before that happens, but she has a bigger, more immediate issue. She’s required to be credentialed to teach any student who is blind. If she starts the school year with Angela in her class, she could be removed and replaced with a different teacher, or they might close the school down.

This storyline is intriguing and disheartening. Angela finally opened her heart up to being in school again, and her opportunity is already about to close down. Minnie’s found a job at Abigail’s Cafe and Joseph is starting out nicely as the new pastor, but this sweet family is already facing trouble.

Elizabeth’s going to fight for them though. She later seeks out Mr. Landis to talk to him about everything. She says that if someday the school has to come under the district’s control, she wants them to start working together now for all the students’ benefits, including Angela. But he tells her that he’s worried about Angela holding back the rest of the class. However, he’s happy to talk to her about it all more tomorrow. Elizabeth considers this a good sign, and feels a little hopeful.

Her hopes are quickly dashed. Landis is determined to shut her school down if she’s going to teach Angela in her class without credentials.

It’s interesting, because she could resolve these issues by getting credentialed. However, that won’t happen until the group that handles that is back in her region again, and it sounds like that won’t be for some time. It’s interesting to remember how different things were back then, and you couldn’t just go online and get credentialed wherever you live.

Rosemary’s Investigation Uncovers Her Own New Career

Rosemary is playing detective, trying to figure out what’s going on with those mysterious surveyors and Wyman Walden. She asks Lee how far the Canfields’ old cabin is from town, and Lee estimates about two to three miles. She’s trying to figure out what’s going on with all the business and real estate transactions, so she decides to do a little investigating of her own.

But when she gets there, someone fires a gun, startling her horse. She gets bucked off the horse and she lands on the ground, hard. A mysterious man appears, looking quite foreboding.

“I apologize on behalf of my officer,” he says. He tells her she’s on private property, but won’t reveal who owns the property now. Rosemary later reveals that the men were Pinkertons.

When Nathan goes to visit them, the detective introduces himself as Special Officer Spurlock. He says they were hired to look after the private property and asks Nathan if they’re headed for trouble.

“You can count on it,” Nathan replies, just as unwilling as Fiona to be intimidated by the new people in town. (If Elizabeth doesn’t pick Nathan, he and Fiona would complement each other nicely!)

We later see Spurlock and Walden talking, and it doesn’t seem to be a pleasant conversation. So this leaves me wondering if there is more than one player involved, including someone who is Walden’s rival and hired the Pinktertons to work against his plans.

Through all of this, Rosemary realized what she really wants to do with her life: start a newspaper! Lee is thrilled, and as a viewer, so am I. I can picture a lot of interesting stories happening based on Rosemary’s new career. It’s really going to open a lot of doors for some intriguing plots in future seasons.

When Elizabeth visits her later after she learns what happened, she’s happy to hear about her new career. But things are still really tense between the two of them, and I have no idea when they’re going to resolve it all.

Jesse’s Missing

There’s one especially troubling development that isn’t resolved when the episode ends. Jesse took Lee’s car earlier for a trip, but a storm hit and he hasn’t come back yet. Clara’s worried sick, but Nathan assures her that he’ll be fine in the woods, and he’ll send out a search party in the morning after the storm has passed.

Walden, meanwhile, offers to refund Jesse’s investment in his plans for the town, so that’s one good thing. But it’s probably the only good thing that Wyman will be doing.

Meanwhile, Jesse’s still missing. The next day, they find Lee’s car but Jesse’s nowhere to be seen. Eva Bourne portrays Clara’s heartbreak poignantly when she tells Lee that all she wants is her husband back. You can just feel her pain.

The episode ends with a lot of mysteries still to be solved. Where is Jesse? Where is Ned? Will Elizabeth’s school get shut down when she tries to teach Angela? Will Walden’s plan to take over the town succeed, or is he going to run into problems with whoever hired Spurlock?

And of course: what’s going to happen with the love triangle? Is Elizabeth going to let Lucas get away?

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