Fans faced a potential bombshell when they watched the preview for When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 4 on Hallmark. Did Nathan and Jack have a connection in the past? A look back on exactly what Nathan told Elizabeth about Jack in Season 6 could reveal if Nathan has ever lied to her.
This article has spoilers through the preview for Season 8 Episode 4 of When Calls the Heart.
In Season 6, Nathan Told Elizabeth That He Never Served with Jack
Here’s the scene where Nathan and Elizabeth first met in Season 6 Episode 4. Elizabeth was really intimidated about talking to him, because he brought back so many memories of her beloved Jack.
She introduces herself as Elizabeth Thornton, and Nathan immediately recognizes the meaning behind that name.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he says. “I never served with your late husband. But by all accounts, he was…he’s an excellent Mountie.”
Elizabeth agrees. “Jack was an excellent man,” she gently corrects him.
“Yes, of course,” Nathan acknowledges. “I have something for you.”
He hands her Jack’s pension. She said she’d forgotten about it because she filled out the paperwork almost a year ago.
“Bureaucracy at its best,” he replies.
She tells him that she hopes his experience will be just as good as hers in Hope Valley, and he will find that this is a true home for him too.
In the Season 8 Episode 4 Preview, Elizabeth Asks Nathan if He Ever Knew Jack
But things are a little different in the Season 8 Episode 4 preview. In Episode 3, another Mountie — Andrew — says they’re opening another internal inquiry into the shooting last year that ended with a Mountie dying. The inquiry will take place in Hope Valley, with Nathan’s role (and any mistakes he made) being closely reviewed. Andrew has an ax to grind with Nathan because their paths crossed once before in the past. But neither will reveal to Bill what happened between them.
Then we get this preview for Episode 4:
Elizabeth is showing telling Rosemary: “He was stationed at Fort Clay three years ago.” And Rosemary says, “Nathan Grant?”
Then Bill tells Nathan: “You must know that Fort Clay was Jack Thornton’s last assignment.”
And then we see Elizabeth asking Nathan point-blank: “Did you ever meet Jack?”
Of course, the preview cuts off before Nathan can answer.
Some fans have thought for some time that Nathan and Jack might have been connected in the past. In Season 5, it was explained that Jack led a group of recruits through a mountain during a training assignment, when a landslide happened. He died a hero, pushing two men out of the way and sacrificing his life in order to save theirs. However, Nathan has been a Mountie far too long to have been a recruit when Jack died.
Kevin McGarry (Nathan) told Entertainment Tonight before the new season aired: “It’s unveiled this season why there is awkwardness between the two of them. There has been something that Nathan’s been holding on to that gets revealed. Why there’s been so much distance.”
So this is where it all gets confusing. Nathan was stationed at the same location where Jack was stationed, with their assignments possibly overlapping. However, Nathan also told Elizabeth that he never served with Jack. Is it possible that Nathan investigated Jack’s death? Or that Andrew did an internal inquiry into Jack’s death that somehow involved Nathan back then?
I’m going to guess that Andrew’s anger toward Nathan has something to do with Jack’s last assignment. However, I can’t imagine Nathan just lying to Elizabeth. But if he even lied by omission (such as if he didn’t serve with Jack but did meet him), even that might leave Elizabeth very angry that he held it back. This is something so big, it could either drive them apart forever and end Team Nathan, or it could drive them together in a way that leaves no room for Team Lucas.