Hallmark’s new series, “The Way Home,” has been outstanding during its first season. Episode seven continued the main mysteries while adding a new twist involving the grandfather, Colton. We finally got to see Kat and Alice open up to each other. But the star of this episode might have been Alex Hook as Young Kat, navigating the conflicting emotions a teen feels after such a major tragedy hits her once safe home.
This article will have spoilers for Episode 7.
Jacob’s Mystery Deepens
Last week’s episode exceeded all expectations, as Kat tried to save her Jacob but things went strangely amiss. She found Jacob and escorted him safely home, thinking that he would be safe now. But somehow, her intervention didn’t change a thing.
Aww Kat @chy_leigh lost her job at the newspaper. Do you think she is getting closer to finding out what happened to Jacob #RemySmith? #TheWayHome pic.twitter.com/iCdt6wpaLa
— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) March 6, 2023
This new episode was partly about Kat dealing with the aftermath of that heartbreak. She was fired after neglecting her job to pursue saving her little brother, and then all those attempts blew up in her face. Chyler Leigh did an amazing job in this episode, where each step forward ends up being nothing but simply walking in place.
However, the mystery of just what happened to Jacob has deepened. And when Alice returns to the pond, only to end up on New Year’s Eve rather than the night of Jacob’s disappearance, the family’s ability to save Jacob seems less and less likely.
What happened to him? My personal guess is that he went back outside after Kat saw him enter the home, and ended up falling into the pond somehow. I think he’s still alive, but living in a different time period entirely.
Sadie Laflamme-Snow said on Twitter that she won’t even tell her closest friends how the mystery resolves.
“Just to be clear – i don’t even tell my closest friends if their theories are close or not. My boyfriend thinks jacob is trapped inside the body of the dog 💀💀 i let him think that…” she tweeted.
A New Mystery with Colton Emerges
The episode also showed that Colton and Del didn’t have a perfect marriage after all. The stress of losing their son caused a huge rift between the two. Colton felt like Del was moving forward too fast, and Del felt like Colton was shutting her out.
In the present day, Del confesses to Kat that she thought Colton was cheating on her at the end. He spent all their life savings on something that Del never learned about, but she assumed involved pursuing other women. (She didn’t come right out and say that, but it seemed to be the case.)
However, Kat learns that a mysterious note in Colton’s shirt points to a motel that is now shut down. Did he perhaps buy the motel to try to start a new business venture and distract himself? Or was he caring for someone who was living there? We’re left wondering.
Teen Kat Was a Standout in This Episode
Alex Hook, who plays Teen Kat, was a standout in this episode. She brilliantly portrayed a grieving teen who’s not only heartbroken over the loss of her brother, but the loss of her relationship with her parents as well. The show did a great job of drawing an interesting parallel to how Del felt shut out by Colton, and how Teen Kat (and adult Kat) felt similarly shut out by Del. And Hook really sold the scene where Teen Kat suffered her very first panic attack and had no idea what was happening. Watching Alice help Kat through that moment, based on seeing her mom deal with it over the years, was a nice touch.
I’m so grateful we got to show what it looks like when someone has a panic attack. I’ve had them throughout my life. I felt seen when I watched this. Beautiful work ladies @sadielsnow #AlexHook #TheWayHome
— Chyler Leigh (@chy_leigh) March 6, 2023
On Twitter, Chyler Leigh wrote about the scene: “I’m so grateful we got to show what it looks like when someone has a panic attack. I’ve had them throughout my life. I felt seen when I watched this. Beautiful work ladies @sadielsnow #AlexHook.”
Y2K party bts #TheWayHome @TheWayHomeHC @hallmarkchannel @evan_m_williams @chy_leigh pic.twitter.com/rg5RgareCx
— Sadie Laflamme-Snow (@sadielsnow) March 6, 2023
Before the panic attack happened, the Y2K party was a fun break from the heaviness of the plot (and any viewer who was a teen during that time period likely felt a bit of nostalgia watching those scenes.) The crew paid attention to every little detail when setting up the props for this party, even down to a whiteboard where everyone voted on what would happen at midnight — and young Elliot voted for “nothing happening.” That was absolutely perfect for his character.
Romantic Relationships Are Growing Without Drama
It’s nice to see the main characters developing their own love interests. Alice and Spencer had a really sweet moment where he made a meal for her and helped her out of her depression, even while she’s still pining for her 1990s boyfriend.
Del and Byron seem to also be progressing nicely. There’s not a lot of drama between these two, and Byron’s very understanding of what she’s dealing with. I was glad that they didn’t show Del getting upset at Byron for not telling her that he fired Kat. They seem to have a lot of respect for each other.
Chyler Leigh and Evan Williams were the romance stars in this episode with their portrayal of Kat and Elliot’s growing fondness. Their scene in the car together was perfection, as you could really feel that these two have a lifetime of friendship that they’re building upon.
BTS: The scene where we’re singing in the car was one of the most fun days of filming with @chy_leigh . We’re like children the vast majority of time, so nice to just let it loose on screen. There were way more outrageous takes. 😂🥰#thewayhome @hallmarkchannel @TheWayHomeHC
— Evan Williams (@evan_m_williams) March 6, 2023
Evan Williams shared on Twitter that the scene in the car was “one of the most fun days of filming with @chy_leigh.”
And of course, then there was the scene where they almost kissed. I personally think that Elliot should have gone ahead and kissed her right then, but it makes better TV to delay the moment.
Overall, this was a great episode, which has become the norm for “The Way Home.” All of the stars present an authentic, nuanced take on their characters, and it’s never quite clear where the storyline will go next. This definitely shines as one of Hallmark’s better series, and the show’s renewal for a second season is widely welcome news.
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