After a long wait, When Calls the Heart is finally back on The Hallmark Channel . But it looks like fans are going to have to wait a little longer to find out whether Elizabeth chooses Lucas or Nathan. The episode had some tense moments, but overall life is good in Hope Valley. And considering how tough things have been lately in real life, that’s a very welcome feeling.
This article is a review of When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 1, with live reactions written as the episode aired. It will have spoilers for the new episode.
Nathan Is Ready to Try for Elizabeth’s Heart, But She Still Seems Drawn to Lucas
The episode began with Elizabeth talking about how spring is her favorite time of year, and then she and baby Jack get an unexpected visit from Nathan! Of course, Team Nathan fans will immediately be happy about this moment.
Nathan asks Elizabeth if she’d like to join him for dinner — a dinner they were never able to have before. But Elizabeth doesn’t accept his invitation right away, and asks him if she can let him know later. So once again, Nathan is waiting on Elizabeth.
Elizabeth shares that Lucas left unexpectedly and didn’t seem too happy when he left. She said that she wasn’t sure why he left, “but it seemed clear that things had changed between us.”
That was an unexpected twist right out of the gate.
But, Elizabeth added, she hasn’t seen Nathan much either over the winter. She hasn’t spent much time with either man, but she knows she must make a decision soon. That’s when Lucas shows up at her door, putting my concerns to ease. Looks like he’s still in the game too.
He apologizes right off the bat for leaving without explanation. He said that when he saw her reaction to Nathan almost dying, he felt like she had made her choice and was overwhelmingly jealous. But he said with some time to himself, he realized that he made the wrong choice and would like to talk to her about that soon. It’s just my opinion here, but it feels like Elizabeth was drawn more to Lucas than Nathan, at least in that particular scene.
Clara & Jesse Are Having Marital Issues
After the introduction, we see Clara and Jesse having a bit of a spat. It looks like things aren’t great between them right now and they’re suffering some newlywed issues. (Sure, in the timeline it’s actually been a few months since their wedding, but they’re still newlyweds compared to everyone else in town.) Clara later confides in Rosemary, and she’s really upset about their issues. Jesse also confides in Lee, but says he really doesn’t want to talk about it. I have a feeling Lee and Rosemary might be helping this couple. 🙂
Carson, meanwhile, isn’t too happy either. He hasn’t heard from Faith since she left from Chicago and he’s worried. She’s running several days late and Carson’s not sure why. But then she when she finally does arrive, she seems to be having the time of her life with Brett, who drove her stagecoach. Things feel just a little bit odd. In a later scene, Faith tells Carson that all she wanted was to get back to him faster when she was stranded in Falls Creek. Carson admits that he was worried when she started writing him less and less while she was gone. But it seems both of their feelings for each other remain the same.
Nathan’s Brother-in-Law Causes A Lot of Trouble
Nathan gets an unexpected and unwelcome visitor — his brother-in-law. And apparently, this man is Allie’s dad! I wasn’t expecting that, to be honest.
He hasn’t been in Allie’s life for a while and there’s quite a bit of tension between him and Nathan. He says that if Nathan will pay him $1,000, he and Allie will never see him again. But Nathan just insists that he leaves town. He’s not playing these games. I mean, anyone who knows Nathan would know he wouldn’t go for that!
Oh wait, I typed that too soon, because Nathan agreed to pay him just a few minutes later. Oops!
Rosemary and Lee come back to Hope Valley early because they were so homesick, and Elizabeth is just thrilled.
In a later scene, Nathan tells Allie that he’s going to talk to Judge Avery about adopting her! That’s pretty exciting, but also a little odd considering that he’s also paying her dad to leave town. I feel like this may have unexpected negative consequences, but I’m still really happy for them both.
Elizabeth asks Nathan if something’s wrong, and he says no, refusing to confide in her. She asks him who the man was that she saw him with, and he won’t tell her. He’s not confiding in her like Lucas does, which seems like a bad move to me. I don’t see that playing well for him in the long run. Confiding builds intimacy, and at this point playing the mysterious card isn’t going to win points with Elizabeth.
Bill Avery is working on a new chili recipe, and everyone seems to just placate him and tell him it’s good but Molly. She tells him that he really needs to keep the recipe a secret, haha. I think maybe we’ll see some sparks between Molly and Bill in the future. What about you?
In a later scene, Carson is shown singing to Faith, which is pretty sweet. (Did you know Paul Greene sings every week on Facebook live streams?) Carson admits he was a little jealous of the “cowboy” who showed up with Faith. But she assures him that she’s just happy to be home.
And here’s a shocker! Nathan comes to Lucas for a $1,000 loan! Wow. Lucas just loans him the money without a question, telling him that he knows it must be important if Nathan needs that much money. OK, that’s more points for Lucas, isn’t it? I know some fans question Lucas’ ethics, but he really comes through for people again and again.
Elizabeth tells Rosemary that she finally finished her book. She also confides in Rosemary that she recently realized she cares more for Nathan than she thought, but she still also cares for Lucas. Elizabeth’s inability to choose between Nathan and Lucas reminds me of how much I struggle to pick what I’m going to eat for dinner, haha. Even tonight before writing this, I changed my mind between a sandwich and pizza five times. (Sandwich won!)
Nathan Puts Himself in Danger for Allie’s Sake
After the commercial break, Nathan and Bill are having a serious conversation. Bill’s warning Nathan that his idea of confronting his brother-in-law is bad and he shouldn’t go alone.
Meanwhile, Henry and Lucas are discussing whether they should “shoot a well.” It’s dangerous, but might be necessary. So it looks like maybe both Nathan and Lucas will be confronting dangerous situations soon?
Fiona invites Clara and Faith over to a barbershop that she just bought! Yes, she’s starting a new business and it looks pretty fun. I’m glad Fiona’s finding her place in this town.
Next, Lee and Rosemary are brainstorming how they can help Clara and Jesse get over their newlywed issues. Lee finds something in a magazine that he says they can pick up for the two of them that will help. I don’t have a clue what that might be!
In the next scene, Nathan rides out of town to meet his brother-in-law and he gets lassoed off his horse. Allie’s dad kicks him and leaves him lying in the dirt. “Take care of my little girl,” he calls out as he rides away.
While Nathan is continuing his quest to keep Allie safe, Lucas and Elizabeth have a heartwarming scene. He tells her that he left and helped rebuild a school that was leveled by a hurricane. Helping others gave him some perspective, and now all he wants is for her to be happy. While this is a good and mature move, I fear this is paving the way for her to choose Nathan and for Lucas to be OK with it. What do you think?
Meanwhile, in the Marriage Counseling Storyline, Rosemary says she’s going to suggest that Clara give Jesse some space to unwind every day when he first comes home. Lee, meanwhile, takes Jesse for a walk and asks him to picture Clara on their wedding day and how excited he was to marry her. He takes Jesse to where he and Clara had their first kiss, and reminds him that love isn’t just a feeling, but it’s a choice too. “Your marriage is a commitment you choose to renew every single day,” Lee wisely tells Jesse. That was a good scene. 🙂 Jesse and Clara both apologize to each other, and Rosemary and Lee present them with a tandem bicycle. It looks like everything’s going to be OK between those two.
Nathan tracks down Allie’s dad, Dylan. He said he let Dylan ambush him earlier so he’d have grounds to arrest him. And he brought Mounties with him so he’d have the upper hand. Good for Nathan! After his successful journey, he comes to visit a very worried Elizabeth. Nathan still wants dinner with Elizabeth, but he’s OK if it includes baby Jack and Allie too. Surprised, she agrees. But she looks a little uneasy while he rides away.
Later she’s walking in town with Nathan and Allie, and they’re all looking a little too “happy family” for a couple who are still just casual friends. She sees Lucas welcoming his mom into town, and suddenly looking like a happy family seems a little odd. She’s introduced to his mom, Helen Brouchard, in an incredibly awkward moment. Feeling pretty bad about the whole thing, Elizabeth bails on her dinner with Nathan and decides to go back home. Right now, it seems apparent that her heart is with Lucas, but will that change?