Hearties were thrilled to return to Hope Valley during the Season 9 premiere of When Calls the Heart. Some fans who had been counting down the days responded on social media with enthusiasm to the new plot developments.
“What a great first show of the season,” one fan wrote on the show’s Facebook page. “Already lots of interesting storylines. Those who said it was disappointing must have been watching a different show. Looks like there will be many plot twists and mystery with some of the new characters.”
Some Hearties focused on the growing romance between Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Lucas (Chris McNally). Others were excited to see what happens to Lee (Kavan Smith) and Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) this season. But for the most part, the discussion focused on the new faces in town, which included a new character, Mei Suo (played by Amanda Wong), and a new actor for the part of Elizabeth’s son, Jack.
“It’s nice to have the show back! Little Jack is absolutely adorable!” wrote a fan, referring to Hyland Goodrich, who took over the role on the show.
But some When Calls the Heart fans noted that even the returning characters looked slightly different.
“I was a little bit distracted by the hair—Faith’s is blonder, Molly’s is orange-er, Henry’s is longer, and Nathan and Ned grew it on their faces!” one wrote on Facebook.
“Love this show,” wrote another fan. “Why are all the Hallmark men growing facial hair? Not a fan. They look so much better without it. I’ve noticed it in so many movies too.”
The episode touched on some developments in Season 8, including the end of a love triangle between Elizabeth, Lucas, and Nathan (Kevin McGarry). In one scene, Elizabeth and Nathan came face to face on the street and made awkward small talk. He then asked if Lucas could teach him how to drive a car, something he needs to do for his job.
In another scene, Dr. Faith Carter (Andrea Brooks) is comforted by her friends, who know she is still reeling from the departure of Dr. Carson Shepherd (Paul Greene).
When Calls the Heart Mayoral race
Another theme of the When Calls the Heart Season 9 premiere episode was the town’s mayoral race, which has pitted Bill (Jack Wagner) against Lee (Kavan Smith) and Hickam (Ben Rosenbaum). Lee was upset that his wife wouldn’t endorse him in the race, but she said she needed to stay impartial as the editor-in-chief of the town’s newspaper. Hickam was furious when he found out someone had defaced his campaign posters.
Also in the episode, Elizabeth gets a taste of what it means to be romantically involved with a businessman. Though Lucas was attentive to her at the start of the episode, by the end, he had abandoned her and their plans for dinner at the saloon to work on a deal.
When Calls the Heart airs Sundays at 8/7c on Hallmark.