As Helen Brouchard would put it, Brava!

When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 12 had a lot to address, and they did it with heart-swelling feelings.

The biggest achievement is that the long-gestating love triangle was brought to a close honestly and compellingly.

But, as usual, we're going to start slow, building up to the largest story coming out of Hope Valley on a day their stories finally found a voice again.

Ned's awkwardly timed out-of-town trip finally ended, and there is a potential windfall in Ned and Florence's future.

No, historically, a man named Ned from the fictional town of Hope Valley didn't create the adhesive bandage. But it sure feels authentic to the Ned we've come to know that he did.

Whether he'll get that patent, we don't know. It's possible that the story will find Ned a step behind creator Earle Dickson, but I don't know how patents work around the world, so this is a fun story adding more life to the couple who has already started delivering the mail door to door.

They are dreamers in every sense of the word.

Hickham, too, has a dream, and he's sharing it with Fiona. Their hope to bring a pipeline to Hope Valley should find no opposition now that Henry has left the business in Hickam's hands.

And the tongues continue to wag when it comes to the entrepreneurial couple, but I wonder if their friendship will ever blossom into something more after a tiny comment Fiona made raised an eyebrow.

When Fiona said offhandedly that Hickham had a new bow, it seemed like Hickam might have heard the double entendre "new beau." Could Hickam be the first LGBTQ representation in Hope Valley?

Fiona and Hickham are very close, sure, but nothing about them is remotely flirtatious or romantic. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Hickham struggled with his sexuality during When Calls the Heart Season 9.

That will also leave Fiona open to other possibilities, and we'll be discussing what that means a little later.

Elizabeth's concerns over the Jack Thornton School are over. For now, at least. When it comes to Angela's education, Mr. Landis was wrong. Surprise!

Of course, if there is a time for the town to come together, Hope Valley never disappoints.

Minnie was very concerned with Landis, even though Elizabeth chose to stand by Angela come what may. It sounds great in theory, but as a mother, Minnie had to worry about how Angela would react to being in such a tight spot between the town and Landis.

Minnie, it's just like you told me it's time to stop runnin' and take on this church, but now I'm tellin' you, it's time to stop runnin' and take on anyone who tries to hold back our daughter from being and doing her very best.


When Angela asked, though, Minnie addressed her fears warmly, possibly surprising even herself when she so adamantly proclaimed that Angela was as deserving of an education as her friends.

Minnie, who has had her faith rocked in the past, chose to believe that the people they've met in Hope Valley would think differently than people she'd encountered elsewhere.

Minnie revealed that Angela's blindness came as a result of a doctor refusing to treat her, and she was very thankful that Carson restored her faith in medicine.

Hope Valley is restoring their faith in humanity. The whole town converging on their tiny home to walk with them in solidarity to the school spoke volumes.

None of this speaks to the potential influx of new students, but it seems unlikely that any hurdle put before this town cannot be met.

I still can't help but wonder if Jesse and Clara will regret getting their money back from that fellow who was swallowing up Hope Valley.

Nobody believed that Jesse was gone for good, and I'll be darned if I can even recall if his story was explained other than being rescued.

It was all to set their marriage back on track and send them out of town for another vacation. It was probably the single most uneventful event of the entire finale!

Carson's departure isn't unexpected, but it is unfortunate that he'll be leaving Hope Valley for John's Hopkins. Could a spinoff be in the works?

It never seemed as if Paul Greene got stories strong enough for his talent or popularity, and it might be kind of fun to follow him to New Jersey to discover the world of medicine in the 1920s.

Anybody who watched The Knick on Cinemax knows how far the medical profession has come since the early 20th century. While that show was dark and dismal, something similar from a more hopeful standpoint would benefit the TV landscape.

Carson's departure leaves the door open for Faith to assume a leadership position in town as the local doctor, and at that time, it's quite an achievement.

It also leaves her open to healing her broken heart and finding someone more suitable to her needs and desires. And, of course, we have ideas on that front, too.

Another departure was more shocking. Christopher's visit to town had changed Henry's perspective on a lot of things.

He opened his heart and realized that there is more to life than work. Since he often let work get the best of him, choosing a lighter path will do a world of good for Henry.

It's just too bad that we won't see more of his journey in that direction. Or will we? His parting glance at the cafe suggested that Henry has considered moving beyond letter writing with Abigail.

Maybe Henry will join her, and someday, they'll return to town. I can't help but think that the latest chapter in Hope Valley life will move well beyond Abigail, though, and that even the cafe will see a name change.

Bill has been running the cafe for quite some time, and he's asked Clara to partner with him. Minnie, too, has shown interest in the cafe. It could be time.

Opening the doors to others within the cafe would also give Bill and Molly time to get better acquainted, and they could prove quite entertaining as a couple.

Getting coffee together is just the first step.

It would also give Bill time to launch head-first into his run for mayor.

It's been a while since Abigail left, but the town is only now beginning to fill the mayoral vacancy she left behind. Bill, Hickam, Fiona, and Lee are all in the running.

Any one of them would make a great Hope Valley mayor. But the way Lee realized that he'd like to run leads me to believe he will be the next mayor.

He's so thrilled that Rosemary found her calling that he couldn't help but feel jealous. Rosemary is passionate and excited for the Valley Voice's future. She's got a knack for it in the same way that Lee has a knack for ensuring the town has what it needs when anyone comes calling.

Lee: You really have found your calling haven't you?
Elizabeth: Thank you for being so happy for me.
Lee: Of course, I'm happy for you. Truth is, I'm a little jealous, though.

Rosemary's nose for news would work well in conjunction with Lee as mayor. But would it lead to any conflict of interest? With them, it's unlikely. Their unwavering support for each other would benefit everyone all around.

Content in many aspects of her life, Rosemary didn't hesitate to offer forgiveness to her best friend when Elizabeth asked.

Thank goodness they're on speaking terms again. Elizabeth really needed her friend to help her make sense of what she's been feeling.

If you read my interview with Pascale Hutton, then you know how deeply Rosemary felt about Elizabeth's grief and how Elizabeth needed to experience it.

For too long, I've drifted between two good men, who I never meant to mislead. And so I've come to the realization that by being untrue to them, I've been untrue to myself. But I no longer wish for it to be that way.


Elizabeth had put her grief on hold to be a mother, and before she came to terms with her loss, she found two wonderful men vying for her hand. As she began experiencing love again, she got very confused, and that led to what became a love triangle, with Elizabeth at the center.

Elizabeth: I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that Lucas let me go. He just knows me so well. He could sense there was something happening with Nathan.
Rosemary: People come into our lives, some for a reason, others for a season, and some for a lifetime. Jack was a season, and it was glorious. Now it's up to you to decide who might be here for a reason or perhaps even a lifetime. And once you've settled that in your heart, you'll be able to throw yourself into that person's arms with all of your being.

Rosemary's advice was beautiful and helped Elizabeth to understand what she's experienced with Nathan and Lucas.

It could have taken Elizabeth a long time to find her way, but with Rosemary's guidance and understanding, Elizabeth realized who she loves and with whom she's in love.

After letting Elizabeth go, Lucas was in pain, so much so that he considered selling the saloon and leaving town.

Lucas, what you said the other night about love? You were right, and I wanted to thank you. I hadn't realized how you letting me go would help me. [they're interrupted]


Every time he saw Elizabeth, the pain was sprawled across his face, and when he saw her with Nathan, it was almost too much to bear.

But Elizabeth had made a choice, and she needed to talk with Nathan before she went to Lucas.

Now, I know how difficult it will be for Team Nathan fans to accept Elizabeth's decision, but When Calls the Heart went to great lengths to make it as natural and kind as possible.

Elizabeth: I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that Lucas let me go. He just knows me so well. He could sense there was something happening with Nathan.
Rosemary: People come into our lives, some for a reason, others for a season, and some for a lifetime. Jack was a season, and it was glorious. Now it's up to you to decide who might be here for a reason or perhaps even a lifetime. And once you've settled that in your heart, you'll be able to throw yourself into that person's arms with all of your being.

Elizabeth's encounter with Nathan on When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 11 found her warming Nathan's surge and caring for him in much the same way she did for Jack.

It became clear that Elizabeth was looking for Jack in Nathan.

When I said it just happened to be you that Jack replaced when he was killed, what I didn't say is how thankful I am that it was you I couldn't have asked for a more courageous, selfless, good man to watch over and care for me. But I also realized that I have been trying to find Jack in you. I've been trying to replace him with you, and that wasn't fair to anyone. Nathan, I do love you. It would be impossible not to, but I'm not in love with you. I'm just so sorry. Tell Allie that I'll always think you're impeccable.


When Elizabeth told Nathan that she couldn't love him on When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 2, she made it clear that she was concerned that he thought there could be more than friendship but that losing him would be too much to bear.

She didn't want to lose someone again how she lost Jack.

If you watch When Calls the Heart online, you know that even in saying that, she was admitting that Nathan reminded her of Jack.

She hadn't fully realized how much she was looking for Jack in Nathan, though, until Nathan admitted he came to Hope Valley to care for her after Jack's tragic accident.

As Rosemary said, Nathan was there for a reason -- to help her process her grief for Jack and accept love in her heart again. Unfortunately for Nathan, he fell in love with her in that process.

Nathan had a reason for being in my life, but he wasn't my lifetime, nor was I to be his, but I hope we can build a new relationship, a deep, abiding friendship because he'll always matter to me.


Kevin McGarry nailed his performance as Nathan accepted Elizabeth's words. Nathan's pain was palpable, and it brought tears to my eyes as he choked back his anguish with tears of his own and a painful gulp.

What made that scene even better was how Nathan went to Lucas.

It was an unexpected olive branch held out to Lucas, knowing fully well that Lucas had won the girl, and to keep her friendship, he'd have to accept Lucas, too.

Nathan: Elizabeth came by to see me this afternoon. She told me she loves me. She's just not, she's not in love with me. I don't know if that surprises you. I can't really say it surprises me. What Elizabeth and I share is not the same as what it seems you two share. I think that her heart has always been with you, Lucas.
Lucas: At the moment, I'm not sure what she and I might actually share. I received an offer on the saloon. A good one. I'm inclined to take it.
Nathan: I can't tell you what to do, but if I were you, I'd consider stickin' around. [gets ready to leave] Oh, and if you have any trouble with Pinkertons, I have your back.

There have been other suggestions during When Calls the Heart Season 8 that there is a potential for friendship between Nathan and Lucas, but this was an extraordinary gesture of kindness and acceptance.

Nathan's words went a long way toward keeping Lucas in town.

When he was racing out of it, I'd like to think he was returning the unsigned paperwork and turning down a deal that would have allowed him to leave with a tidy sum of money in his pocket and a hole in his heart.

Seeing her book in galley form was another nudge that Elizabeth needed to move on. A Single Mother on the Frontier no longer suited her. One of her finest achievements was not writing the book but persevering in the face of tragedy, raising Jack on her own.

With her story already written, she was ready to move onto the next chapter in her life. That's why she removed her wedding rings. That's when she realized she was ready to open her heart wide to the love she shared with Lucas.

Lucas: I hadn't heard from you; I thought perhaps...
Elizabeth: No. I just needed time to find my way back.
Lucas: I told you I would wait as long as I had to.
Elizabeth [chuckles]: You were ready to leave!
Lucas: And that would have been the biggest regret of my life. You're all that matters. You're all that's important. [glances at her hand] You've taken off your ring.
Elizabeth: Thank you for waiting for me.

Elizabeth was at their spot on the bridge when Lucas returned; he'd given her quite a scare. They'd been searching for one another, and they finally found their place in each other's hearts.

That was no chaste kiss between the couple. They abandoned any illusions that they were not destined for a future together and leaned into a passionate kiss.

At Lucas' reminder that he promised he would wait for her, she countered that he had been ready to leave town. But there was malice in her words; instead, there was a comfortable banter that agreed with their happiness.

Erin Krakow teased in our interview that Elizabeth was moving on to the next chapter, and it beautifully played out as she transformed the library she and Lucas created into a romantic evening in which she began their story together.

Elizabeth: Well, I would like to thank you for coming to tonight's very special reading. You may know me from my previous work, A Single Mother on the Frontier, which I have here in galley form, due to be published something next year, thanks in large part to the very handsome man down front. But tonight, I'd like to read from my heart. It's a love story and one that I've only just begun to write about a woman who has fallen deeply for a man who is patient and kind, thoughtful and adoring. Yes? Question?
Lucas: Yes. Will we get to hear about his side of the love story? Because he's fallen deeply for a woman who is true, selfless, and sweet, beautiful, and endearing.
Elizabeth: Well, I am sure we will be hearing more from him and from her, but for now, I'm afraid she's all out of words.

Their playful repartee suggests that their life together will be flirtatious and warm. They've only just begun their journey and watching it unfold promises many treasures ahead.

Was I the only one delighted with their playfulness? It was so cute when Elizabeth called on the handsome gentleman in the front row, and Lucas turned around to the empty room, pretending to wonder if there might be another fellow who wandered in while he wasn't looking.

There have been hints of this kind of behavior in their previous dates, but it's so exciting to imagine how their love will grow.

It will be so much fun watching this new couple interacting as such with everyone from Hope Valley. How will Elizabeth introduce Lucas into little Jack's life?

Finding each other has been an odyssey, and the best is yet to come.

And while Erin noted that they don't want to cheapen what Nathan felt for Elizabeth by moving on too fast, Fiona and Faith, who is also nursing a broken heart, are not too far away.

Faith: So, how'd you do this, Nathan?
Nathan: I cut it on some barbed wire.
Faith: Chasin' cattle rustlers?
Nathan: Chasin' my hat. It flew off in the wind.

Faith was nursing Nathan's physical wounds, and we've already discovered how much Fiona has in common with the handsome Mountie some episodes past.

Moving on too fast doesn't make sense, but there's a big difference between moving on from a broken heart, as Nathan, Faith, and seemingly, Fiona, given her talk about her ex-fiance, will do and Elizabeth moving on after the tragic loss of her husband and father of her child.

Elizabeth's reawakening comes after the belief that she found her one true love, and the others had their journies interrupted before they ever felt that kind of safety.

I'm open to the possibilities!

With the renewal and When Calls the Heart Season 9 on the books, there are so many exciting prospects ahead for the characters we love.

I hope that everyone came away from the finale feeling the potential for these stories to grow, further capturing our hearts in the process.

Please share your joy and sorrow about the finale in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading along with me all season. I can't wait to see you next year!



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