Fans of Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” were surprised by an unexpected storyline in season 10 episode 8. A few key scenes, coupled with a scene in the trailer for next week’s episode, seem to be hinting that the show may be reviving a contentious love triangle. While Team Nathan fans hope it’s true, Team Lucas fans think it’s long past time to leave the past behind. The scriptwriter for the latest episode dropped some hints about what all those scenes might mean.
Note: This article will have spoilers for the newest episode and the preview trailer.
The Episode’s Screenwriter Said Elizabeth’s Journey with Grief Isn’t a Straight Line
The rumors of a rekindled love triangle began circulating after Nathan and Elizabeth had some interesting scenes in episode 8 of season 10, and Elizabeth was shown desperately worried about Nathan’s safety in the episode preview for next week. Some fans say the scenes are simply depicting the two as developing a close friendship outside of Nathan’s previous attraction to Elizabeth. But others think the two might be rekindling a flame, even though Elizabeth is now engaged to Lucas and planning their wedding.
Derek Thompson, who wrote the most recent episode of “When Calls the Heart,” talked about Elizabeth’s scenes during a recent YouTube interview. He explained that some of her scenes touched on how she’s dealing with feelings of grief popping back up while she’s planning a wedding.
“There’s no formula to how you navigate life after what she’s been through,” Thompson commented.
He said they want to authentically show how grief works and that it’s often not just a “straight line.” But, he acknowledged, fans will read into those scenes and have questions.
“When we were trying to figure out what to do with Elizabeth this year… (we thought) let’s not make it such a straight line,” he said. “Let’s just explore how she gets there. There are no wrong answers. Of course, the fans will read into everything that happens with her, but … she’s an interesting character… Without giving anything away… (that’s) the journey that we’re on with her.”
Thompson Said It’s Good If Fans Have Big Questions in the Middle of a Season
Thompson added that it’s good if fans have big questions in the middle of a season.
“I think it’s good, we’re sitting her mid-seasonish and there’s questions,” Thompson said. “As writers, we feel like we’ve succeeded if mid-season there are questions about everything, about everyone.”
In answer to one of the interviewer’s questions, he said there wasn’t a plan to make her relationship with Lucas more lukewarm, but both characters needed lives outside of each other.
“They (Elizabeth and Lucas) are also getting pulled into other stories and now there’s bad guys in town…” Thompson said. “…It goes back to what we were talking about. There’s no right way to do this for Elizabeth… And relationship stuff sometimes kind of takes a back seat for a little bit and then you jump back and you focus on that… A show works best when you have a bunch of interesting stories that all the characters sort of flow in and out of them and are tied to…”
Thompson Added That He Hopes Fans Will Support Elizabeth When the Season Ends
Thompson said that he hopes when the season concludes, fans will support Elizabeth’s choices and her unique journey.
“I hope it ends up in a position where everyone is supportive of Elizabeth and happy for her and excited about the future,” he said. “…And I think the resolution…is the right way, and hopefully the fans are happy too… Again, we’re mid-season, we’re trying to create questions…”
In the episode, Allie babysat Little Jack and couldn’t find him when they were playing hide-and-seek. So Nathan came over to help. When Elizabeth got home from a date with Lucas, she found Nathan waiting at her home. They had a heart-to-heart chat, where Nathan admitted that he and Faith had “broken up” (even though they hadn’t officially dated) and he wasn’t sure if he would ever find a woman who’s right for him. Elizabeth was shown looking at a photo of Jack after Nathan left, and later visiting Jack’s grave.
Thompson said the episode showed a strong friendship between the two that’s survived a lot of rough times.
“She’s just had a very honest conversation with her friend and neighbor, and … it’s given her stuff to think about,” Thompson reflected. “…I think Nathan being there at that time… It was a reminder of a fear that she had… Their story was that it just didn’t work out because that’s what she went through. She went through losing a Mountie in Duty and Nathan is a reminder of that, even though he … probably shouldn’t deserve that. But that’s what he is. So then they have this interesting chat, and he’s there for her to help Allie and everything else. They trust each other and that’s OK. And then it just sort of transitions into, ‘I have a lot to say out loud to Jack.'”
Thompson comemnted on how valuable their friendship is, and Nathan was smiling as he left her house because he was thankful for their friendship.
“He is just a reminder of the realities that Elizabeth’s going through…” Thompson added. “Which is why I think it’s cool that they can remain friends and close and everything, because a lot of people just wouldn’t want to go there… In his mind, he’s at fault for Jack…even though it’s not his fault, it was a random thing. So the fact that she can still be friends and honest with him… He’s clearly special to her, just like many of her friends are, but to add that extra level of Mountie…”
Fans Are Divided on How to Interpret the Recent Episode
Fans have very different opinions about what the latest episode means in terms of the resolved love triangle.
In a discussion on a public “When Calls the Heart” Facebook group, one fan wrote: “In my personal opinion, I think Kevin and Erin have the best chemistry (even over his real life fiance) so it makes it hard to see them just a ‘friends’ onscreen. The best ever love story would be to see Elizabeth over come her fears of being with another mountie and learn that love overcomes all. Nathan has been the ultimate underdog for FIVE seasons, so it would make an epic love story to see him finally win Elizabeth’s heart…”
Another fan wrote, after seeing the episode: “They are putting Nathan and Elizabeth together the story is a school teacher and a Mountie they are making it right.”
But other fans still believe Lucas is endgame. In another discussion on a public “When Calls the Heart” Facebook group, one fan wrote, “Elizabeth and Lucas are perfect!!! Love them and they would be such an asset together for Hope Valley. She has had her Mountie and he died. She moved on! Nathan needs to move on! I don’t think his love has come to Hope Valley yet!”
In fact, in a public Hallmark Fans Facebook group, one fan started an entire discussion about how unhappy they were about the latest episode, writing: “In reference to WCTH. Please don’t say they are gonna start that whole Lucas, Nathan, and Elizabeth thing up again. Maybe they can bring dead Jack back, throw him into the mix.”
One fan replied, “Agreed!!!! Hopefully not…put Nathan with Fiona!!!”
Next week’s trailer shows Elizabeth overhearing that “the constable” (Nathan) was taken hostage in a standoff in a nearby town. We see Elizabeth going to Nathan’s office looking for him, and Henry showing up while she’s very distraught. She cries and tells Henry, “I can’t do this again.”
In a discussion on a public “When Calls the Heart” Facebook group, one fan expressed dissatisfaction with all the romances this season, writing: “Feeling bad for Nathan?! It’s like the new show runner has decided to make most of the men single and miserable this season! Enough already!”
While some fans do hope for a rekindled love between Nathan and Elizabeth, others would be thrilled if he ended up with Fiona, Mei, or Faith. Only time will tell which fans’ dreams come true.
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