‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 8 Episode 8 Review: Open Hearts & Closed Doors

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Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 8 marked one of the big episodes that fans have been waiting for all season. The episode preview indicated that this might finally reveal the truth about Fort Clay that Nathan had been hiding from Elizabeth — and fans were not disappointed. On top of that, we get to learn more about just what makes Christopher tick, and we saw some couples mend fences while others faced the beginning of the end. There were quite a few big steps forward, but heartbreak was found along the way too.

This is a When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 8 review, so this article will have spoilers. 


Nathan Finally Revealed the Truth About Fort Clay, While He Refuses to Give Up on Elizabeth

The episode began with Elizabeth telling Nathan that she wanted to talk about what happened at the adoption ceremony, when Allie only invited her to the event.

“I didn’t know that you were going to be the only one invited,” Nathan quickly explains. “And may I add that I was probably just as uncomfortable as you were.”

He says that when he saw the list, she was the only one who wasn’t on it.

“Well now you’re just being hurtful,” she responds.

“Elizabeth, if that’s what you think of me, you don’t even know me,” he says curtly.

Then he tells her he needs to leave because there’s been an escape at Grandville Penitentiary. As he rides away, leaving Elizabeth looking upset, he passes Lucas who’s standing outside his saloon.

Lucas calls out, “Constable Grant.”

Nathan calls out, “Save it!” and just rides on. That’s pretty uncharacteristic of Nathan, but some fans (especially Team Nathan ones) like that Nathan is standing up for himself. Others think he was being a little too rude about the whole thing, especially considering how kind Lucas was just a few weeks earlier when Nathan needed a loan.

In a later scene, Elizabeth and Minnie talk a bit about how Elizabeth lost Jack in a training accident at Fort Clay. This is a subtle way to refresh viewers’ memory about what happened before Elizabeth’s big scene with Nathan.

In an awkward scene later, Nathan stops Lucas to inform him that he’s not giving up on Elizabeth. It’s a weird conversation, and I think it’s clear that Nathan’s really struggling with Elizabeth rejecting him. He can’t take “no” for an answer. Lucas simply tells Nathan that he better make sure he has Elizabeth’s and Allie’s best interests at heart when it comes to not letting go of her.  When Nathan tries to say something in reply, Lucas just says, “Save it!” He gives right back to Nathan what Nathan gave to him.

Allie later apologizes to Elizabeth for surprising her like that at the adoption ceremony. Elizabeth wants to make sure Allie knows that she’s seeing Lucas, and Allie says that she does. It seems hopeful, but it quickly takes a turn for the worse. Allie gives Elizabeth an invitation to have dinner with her and Nathan! Elizabeth tells her that she can’t accept, and Allie angrily tears the invitation in half.

Nathan really needs to have another talk with that girl. But when Elizabeth pretty much tells him just that, he tells Elizabeth that Allie is afraid to talk to her without him. He adds that no matter what he says, Allie won’t believe that Elizabeth shouldn’t be blamed for them not being together.

The whole scene is a little uncomfortable because the town’s trying to have a celebration for Bill, and Elizabeth insists on talking to Nathan right there, even yelling over the band. At least she pauses so Bill can have his moment. But when Bill rides away, they start up again. Nathan tells her that he turned down a promotion to be Inspector, despite really wanting to leave Hope Valley, because Allie’s made roots here.

And then he finally reveals what he’s been hiding about Fort Clay and should have told her a long time ago.

“At Fort Clay, I was the one that was supposed to lead the training mission, not Jack,” he reveals. “I was disciplined for an earlier incident and your husband… Jack replaced me. I’m sorry Elizabeth, there was never the right time to tell you. I wanted to…”

Elizabeth walks away in tears. This was definitely the wrong time to tell her, and Nathan had plenty of opportunities before. It’s heartbreaking that she found out this way, but Nathan was too nervous to let her know any time before he was backed into a corner.


Elizabeth & Lucas Made Big Steps Forward, But Nathan’s Shadow Haunts Every Move

Elizabeth visits Lucas in his office for the first time, giving viewers another glimpse into the mysterious Lucas’ inner life. Elizabeth stopped by because she wanted to talk about how she ended up being the only person invited to Allie’s adoption ceremony. It gave us another look at how educated and worldly Lucas is, as he spoke in French about a gift he wanted to get for his parents.

He told Elizabeth that he really wanted to give her his full attention, so he invited her to dinner, which she accepted with a smile. Later, while he and Elizabeth were talking, Elizabeth saw Allie sitting alone, looking really sad. Lucas advised her that he’s perfectly OK with her and Nathan being friends, but he’s not sure that Nathan can accept that. It was an astute observation, and he was later proven correct.

Elizabeth stops by his office later to check in on him after Christopher blew up at him, and to let him know that Henry will be OK. She wants to know if he still wants dinner, and Lucas says he might need an excuse just this one time. He seems pretty shaken up by what happened earlier. Lucas tends to keep his composure really well, so being just a little shaken up hints at what he’s feeling deeper down.

Elizabeth invites him to sit next to her and talk about what’s going on, and Lucas accepts. It’s obvious in this scene that the two truly care for each other, and she’s not just pretending to flee her feelings for Nathan. (That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have feelings for Nathan too, but she obviously has true, authentic feelings for Lucas.)

She takes his hand – which is a big deal for Elizabeth – and it looks like they’re about to kiss. But Lucas tells her that maybe she should go because he’s trying to be patient and wait on her timeline. He wants her to be fully confident and comfortable when they finally do kiss. It’s a really sweet scene, and you can tell that Elizabeth is blown away by his kindness. He kisses her hand before she leaves, and she fans herself outside his office, overcome by their moment together. It seems that Lucas stirs up feelings of love and security for her, while Nathan stirs up feelings of fear and memories of Jack. So far, Lucas is winning the most points as far as making a positive impression on her.


Christopher Is Struggling in This Episode

For Christopher, the episode starts out innocently enough. He asks Rosemary and Lee to show him and Rachel around town. Rosemary’s very protective of her niece and a little worried about her interest in Christopher. Christopher sneaks back to the dress shop later to surprise Rachel, and Rachel confesses to him that she knows he stole the pocket watch. She’s not afraid of him at all, and they share a quick kiss before he leaves the dress shop.

Henry and Bill are talking in the next scene, because Bill’s concerned that Henry’s son stole the car. Henry immediately gets defensive and wants nothing to do with this conversation.

“This cannot be guilt by association,” Nathan reminds Bill. He says he knows that Bill is prolonging turn in his uniform, and that can’t be helping things.

But a few minutes later, Christopher runs from Henry’s office, calling for help for his dad. Faith tells him that Henry has really high blood pressure and they’ve been trying to get it under control. But when Christopher sees Lucas, he freaks out and yells at him, telling him that if anything happens to his dad, he’s going to blame Lucas.

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Henry later meets with Carson, thanking him for staying after him to get healthier. He tells him that Christopher called him “dad” for the first time when he saw Henry was ill. “Today I found out that my son cares for me,” he says, and that’s renewed his excitement about life in general. This is a really big turnaround for Henry.

But meanwhile, Christopher can’t bring himself to have dinner with his dad. Rachel tells Christopher that the closer someone gets to a person, the harder it is to lose them. “Take a chance,” she tells him. “Like when you stole Uncle Lee’s watch.” She hands him his handkerchief and asks him to stop by the store the next day. They share another kiss.

I’m glad to see something good happening for Christopher. He has a lot of problems, but needs something positive in his life too. I just hope Rachel doesn’t get hurt by getting involved with him. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Rachel has to return home briefly for her mom’s birthday, and she’s worried her mom won’t let her go back to Hope Valley.

Rachel’s waiting for Christopher to stop by like he said he would, so she can say goodbye. But it turns out, Christopher is busy digging a trench at the oil well and doesn’t want to leave, even when Lucas encourages him to visit his dad. Instead, Christopher is very snarky to Lucas, hinting again that those two have a secret past together.

But his obsession with avoiding his dad causes him to miss out on Rachel’s departure too, leaving them both despondent. 😔


Ned & Florence Continue Being the Cutest Couple on the Show

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Ned and Florence are pretty much the cutest part of this show, and I adore every scene they’re in. Florence is busy fussing over him while he recovers from his surgery, and Robert is going to step in for him on a lot of his duties.

Later, Florence picks up on how unhappy Ned is feeling about how she was taking care of him and bringing on Robert. She tells him that no one can replace him and she was just inviting Robert on to help.


Hope Valley Residents Are Trying to Figure Out Their Next Steps & Their Next Career Choices

Pretty much every character in Hope Valley is trying to figure out their place in this world, in one way or another.

Rosemary confesses to Elizabeth that she still doesn’t know what type of career she wants to try next. She admits that she misses being as excited as she was when she first started working at the dress shop.

“I need to find that again,” she shares.

But in a surprise turn, Dottie sends a letter announcing that she’s not selling the dress shop after all! That’s really exciting news, but Rosemary has mixed feelings.

A lot of people are making career changes. Carson doesn’t want to reconsider the surgery fellowship, but he wants to renovate the clinic so that they can have an operating room and a recovery room now. But the next day, he’s already changed his mind about all those plans. Faith tells Carson that after Ned’s surgery, she realized that Hope Valley is where she belongs. But Carson’s realized he wants to take the Baltimore fellowship so he can grow the infirmary as the town grows. They’re on two separate pages.

Angela, meanwhile, is taking steps of her own. She’s ready to learn Braille and Elizabeth promises her that if she does learn to read, she’ll rarely ever feel lonely again.

And Jesse, taking a step at ending loneliness himself, visits Clara and asks if she wants to talk for a while.

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Bill, meanwhile, is still struggling with having to turn in his red serge. He feels unappreciated. Later, Lee lets Mollie know what’s going on with Bill, and Mollie’s intrigued. She stops by to wish him a good trip, and encourages him to try on the uniform for old time’s sake. She said that because the uniform means so much to him, it means a lot to his friends too. “The uniform doesn’t make the man,” she tells him.

Bill steps out, in his uniform, to find all his friends waiting for him and a ceremony in place. He gets on his horse and wishes everyone goodbye, to great fanfare and applause. It’s exactly what he needed.

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