‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 8 Episode 2 Review: A Confusing Twist for Team Nathan

When Calls the Heart

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It’s so great to have When Calls the Heart back on Hallmark. This latest review and recap looks at how Elizabeth navigated the awkward end to her date with Nathan, after seeing Lucas’ mother unexpectedly appear in Hope Valley. The title, “Honestly Elizabeth,” reflects pretty much what I said when the episode ended.

This review has spoilers through When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 2. 

The episode begins with Elizabeth sharing how she doesn’t normally worry, but she’s concerned after Lucas’ mother Helen arrived. Baby Jack is looking at a picture of his dad, Jack, and it’s quite nostalgic. I appreciate that they bring Jack back up several times in this episode, acknowledging that Elizabeth has to face her memories of him before she can move forward.

Lucas’ Mom Throws a Wrench in the Relationship, But Not in the Way I Expected

Helen is exhausted after her trip and not in the mood to talk to Lucas or Elizabeth. Something’s on her mind, but she’s not giving away what it is to her son. This worries Lucas, so he turns to Elizabeth and asks if she might visit his mom. Elizabeth agrees, but says she’s a little intimidated by her. The two joke about Helen’s bark being worse than her bite, and honestly, I just see so much more potential with Lucas and Elizabeth than with Nathan and Elizabeth. Things are much less tense between these two, and Lucas opens up to Elizabeth rather than hiding issues from her.

Later, feeling a little nervous, Elizabeth stops by to visit Helen. Helen also turns down Elizabeth’s offer of muffins with an odd look, just like Rosemary did, and I don’t get it. I mean, what is wrong with Hope Valley residents and muffins?! Elizabeth tells Helen that she really appreciates what Helen and Lucas have done for her, but she still has to keep her teaching as her first priority. Helen still talks down to Elizabeth, and that worries me a bit about Lucas’ prospects. But in her next scene, Helen tells Lucas that she’s going to like Elizabeth, so maybe I read that scene wrong.

The good news is that Elizabeth and Helen end up getting along well. :) So maybe that’s a good sign for Lucas after all! Helen says she really appreciates how honest Elizabeth is.

“Most people, they’re uncomfortable and afraid and as a result they wind up hiding behind a character they’ve created for themselves,” she says.

That’s when Helen drops a bombshell… Her husband left her and that’s the real reason why she showed up unexpectedly in Hope Valley.

I didn’t see that revelation coming.

Helen doesn’t want Elizabeth to tell Lucas about his dad, so that’s troublesome. :(

Lucas invites Elizabeth to dinner with him and his mom, but Elizabeth says she can’t, clearly uncomfortable with turning Lucas down. But even more so, I think she’s uncomfortable with not being honest with Lucas, considering what Helen just told her about how honest she is. So Elizabeth asks Lucas for help with a project. She then shows up with some delicious food for Lee and Rosemary, so they can have a nice, relaxing evening after Lee’s injury. It looks like she and Lucas worked together to help Rosemary and Lee. That’s a positive development in the Lucas-Elizabeth side of the triangle.

I know people say that Nathan is more prepared to be a father than Lucas, but it seems like Lucas is more prepared to be a husband. He puts Elizabeth’s feelings first and he’s not afraid to let her into his inner thoughts and feelings. Their romance has grown slowly over time, step by step.

Henry’s Having Issues

Henry asks Lucas to reconsider their oil business partnership, since Lucas isn’t doing much better without Henry. Lucas says he likes Henry, but “no thank you.”

Henry tells him that the oil business is cutthroat. “I’m willing to get my hands dirty, meaning whatever you want it to mean,” Henry says, and I have no idea what he means. “I will double your crude output in the next year or I’ll walk away…”

But if he does double the output, he’ll be the majority owner at 60%.

This doesn’t seem like a super great deal, but it’s an interesting twist.

In a bit of a mysterious moment later in the episode, Henry gets a letter sent back to him that was opened. Ned didn’t open it, so Henry’s left wondering who did. He can’t stop accusing Ned though and making himself look really foolish. All of this stress is getting to him though, and it looks like he’s still having a lot of health problems. So I’m not certain what’s going on here. If Henry knows his health is bad, why is he trying to get the business back? And who is he writing?

The Episode Had Some Much-Needed Moments of Levity

Thankfully, there were quite a few moments of levity to balance out the other parts of the episode.

Lee gets a delivery from South America, but he injures his back trying to help carry the large delivery into his home. Thankfully, it ends up just being a minor sprain, due in part to Lee ordering more than 200 pounds of coffee from South America! That was a fun twist. 

What wasn’t so fun was when Rosemary mentioned hearing Baby Jack laughing sometimes late at night. It’s obvious that they are still struggling with not having a child of their own. :(

Crown MediaIntroducing Joseph Canfield.

The man who helped deliver Lee’s package (Joseph Canfield), tells Rosemary that he will be praying for Lee after he helps drop him off with Carson. Rosemary’s pleased by that statement, so it seems that Joseph has already made a new friend. In a later scene, Joseph and Bill talk about how their last town pastor left to become a missionary. Joseph says he’d like to settle down in Hope Valley with his family. So he’s looking into the gas station that’s for sale and he ends up buying a home from Henry. At least something went right for Henry today!

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Fiona, meanwhile, is opening her new barbershop: “Nichols and Dimes.” But no one is willing to be Fiona’s first customer and take that risk. It doesn’t deter Fiona, though. She’s not going to let anyone’s hesitation mess with her excitement.

Mike, meanwhile, lost a bet with Jesse and is the first to get a haircut from Fiona. (Considering that I just bravely cut my own bangs earlier today, I get his trepidation, haha.) Fiona says she opened a barbershop because the store owner already had a lot of customers, plus men’s hair is easier to cut. But while she’s talking, Mike got scared at the idea of being given a shave and Fiona accidentally cut his ear. Not the best start to her business, but Mike, Jesse, and Carson later return for haircuts. So I think Fiona’s going to be OK.

Molly’s Mini Romance

Molly, who’s obviously smitten with Bill, seems troubled to find out that Bill and Helen are having dinner.

“You seem to have a fan,” Helen comments. Bill admits that he had no idea that was the case. But later when he approaches Molly, she covers for herself and says she’s not romantically interested in Bill, leaving him very confused. It’s about time Bill gets a romantic storyline of his own, don’t you think?

Nathan Has a Big Confession for Elizabeth

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Earlier in the episode, Elizabeth runs into Robert, Allie, and Opal taking a walk around Hope Valley, when Nathan shows up.  He says that Allie has “hit that age” when it comes to boys. We later see Robert trying to impress Allie by taking Elizabeth’s horse for a ride, and Elizabeth has to rescue him. So I’m betting we’re going to see a miniature Allie romance in the future.

But first thing’s first, and that’s Nathan and Elizabeth’s romance. Nathan says that he and Allie feel bad about missing dinner, and Elizabeth says it would have been fun. Nathan’s not ready to give up on her yet despite how she ran away from their meal together, and says they should try again. Elizabeth looks happy about the invitation, but her expression quickly melts into a look of confusion as he leaves. I don’t think she’s ready for this.

Nathan seems to be settling down in more ways than one: he’s buying land and getting ready to adopt Allie. Bill tells Nathan that adopting Allie might stir things up with the rest of her family, but Nathan wants to get moving while her dad’s in jail. He admits he got the money he gave to her dad from Lucas. But that’s when he looks at Bill’s map and sees that Bill owns some land where he was thinking of building a cabin.

“Would you consider selling it?” Nathan asks. Bill wants to know if Nathan still has some of the money that Lucas gave him to buy it. They exchange a smirk, and I’m sitting here hoping it’s a joke. Nathan shouldn’t use Lucas’ money for a different purpose without permission. But I doubt he would… Right?

In a later scene, Nathan is heading out to Bill’s land to consider buying it. Elizabeth seems surprised to learn that he’s settling down, and tells Nathan that she’d like to get together with him when he’s back from his trip. The next day, when Elizabeth is out sitting by herself pondering everything, Nathan rides up after returning from his trip. She seems more troubled than happy to see him approaching.

He says that Bill’s land is perfect for him and Allie.

Elizabeth says she has to tell him something she’s known for a while, but couldn’t say.

“You mean a lot to me, you and Allie both, but I sense that you’re hoping for something more than friendship,” she begins, completely out of the blue. “And I appreciate your honesty, but Nathan when you were almost shot… You want more than I can give you. It would just hurt too much if I lost you the way I lost Jack.”

So Elizabeth has been thinking about this a lot. She realized she had deeper feelings for Nathan when he almost got shot, but she also realized that she couldn’t take a Mountie life again.

Nathan says he would quit the Mounties for her, but Elizabeth says absolutely not. And I don’t blame her. She doesn’t say this, but Nathan might resent giving up his career for her down the line.

Nathan tells her that he knows she feels the same way he does, but Elizabeth tells him that she can’t. Some viewers are pointing out that Elizabeth didn’t say she doesn’t feel the same way, but that she can’t follow through. So maybe she does have deep feelings for him.

“I’m in love with you,” Nathan says, but that just makes Elizabeth more upset and she rides away.

She’s very distressed, and Nathan’s experience obviously brought back a lot of memories about what happened with Jack. I’m not sure, though, if that means she loves Nathan more than Lucas. It could be her old feelings for Jack flooding in and confusing her. She and Nathan haven’t been growing a relationship slowly, step by step, like she and Lucas have. Instead, Nathan jumped quickly to proclaiming his love when he thought he was going to lose her.

I guess one big question is if what she told Nathan was more of an excuse to help her move on with Lucas — a kinder way of saying no. Does she care for Lucas more, but thought she could let Nathan down easier? Or does she care for Nathan more, but can’t face that potential pain?

At this point, it’s really impossible to tell. Things could go either way for Elizabeth’s ultimate decision.

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