The halfway point is usually a fair place for viewers to know if a show is going to suit them. From personal experience, I find a 3-5 episode commitment is fair to judge a show by. Here in this, When Calls the Heart, season one episodes 4 & 5, we’re at that mark with Hallmark’s latest adaptation. Episode four opens with Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) pursuing his suspicions about Cat Montgomery (Chelah Horsdal). Much to the horror of Elizabeth (Erin Krakow), Jack arrests the widow leaving her children in the hands of Elizabeth. While caring for them, she manages to ruin dinner on more than one occasion!
Since the death of the miners, Coal Valley struggles to upkeep its successful mining industry. The next big stir to divide the townspeople is the arrival of new miners who take up lodgings in the rooms above the saloon. This interrupts Elizabeth’s school days, and it turns out, also gives her a reason to turn her mind to a possible romance when the charming Billy Hamilton (Andrew Walker) sweeps into her life.
So many of the topics of this series are lessons that can apply to life today. Everything from a young boy crushing on his schoolteacher to a brooding gentleman looking longingly at the woman who steals his heart, writers hit all the right highs for this romantic frontier drama while also tangling with some lows.
Before saying anything else, bottom line, this series has been delightful. It earns points for just being something that families can watch together. However I will say that the supporting cast is a disadvantage. The leads are really quite, perfect. Some of the momentary glances between Elizabeth and Jack say more than a million words; in a world that tries to shove off love as nothing more than a “physical” reaction, it’s refreshing to watch a burgeoning romance that isn’t physical passion while still dishing up plenty of chemistry. Meanwhile, some of the supporting cast just doesn’t deliver their lines well. I’m not really sure how to describe it but it’s as if they’re “timid” to deliver their lines.
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Up to this point, this is my favorite block of episodes. Romance blossoms in more than one corner of Coal Valley and I adores the character, “Pockets.” Also beautiful us the episode, ‘The Dance’ and of course, it doesn’t hurt that we get to watch Jack give Elizabeth’s companion a smoldering stare of (*cough*) jealously. Despite my aversion to love triangles, the brief instance it appears in this series is full of mirth, plus it’s fun to see a bit more of the would-be feelings between Jack and Elizabeth spark. If you’ve enjoyed the series up until this point, you’ll find more treasure in these episodes. One mystery is solved though naturally by episode five writer’s find another reason to keep us in suspense. Such teases, they are!
Here ends my thoughts on When Calls the Heart, season one episodes 4 & 5.