It's hard to determine whether Lucas and Nathan have the best poker faces or the worst.
On When Calls the Heart Season 7 Episode 5, the two men were unwittingly at the center of an exciting town mystery, and neither of them gave away their postion easily.
But in the end, it was Elizabeth who held her hand close to her chest when she admitted she wasn't sure whether she was ready for romantic advances.
But, before we get to all of that, there was a whole lot of other shenanigans going down in Hope Valley, most notably in preparation for Clara and Jesse's impending nuptials.
Is anybody out there a fan of bachelor and bachelorette parties?
They've never made much sense to me. Even when I had a large circle of friends, the thought of one last night of debauchery (whether nefarious or not) seems unfair.
Bill: I think we just keep it simple.
Leland: Yes, Bill, normally, I would agree with you. But Rosemary's got so much stuff planned for Clara's party, I really think we need to, you know.
Nathan: Sorry I'm late.
Unknown fellow: We're trying to think of ideas for Jesse's bachelor party.
Nathan: Well, how about a baseball game?
Bill: Have you ever been to a bachelor party?
In Hope Valley, the parties are a novel idea and still quite innocent, but what's missing is the person you love the most.
It seems odd that Lucas would rent the saloon to both the men and the women, but his motivations are clear. Keep Elizabeth as close as he can.
But in the spirit of competition, Bill provided the food for the guys while the chef prepared delicacies for the women.
Rosemary wins for the most competitive person in town, as she always wants to be the height of modern society. It was very important to her to usher in the first bachelorette party and to make it a success.
That Lee wasn't as interested in providing anything out of the ordinary for Jesse surprised her, and despite her urging, he failed to ignite the evening with any sense of excitement.
Which brings me back to spending the evening with the people you love the most. In many cases, friends can mean everything to a night like that.
But the whole purpose of a wedding is to celebrate love. The love the bride and groom share and their love for all of their friends and family.
And darn it, it's contagious. Everyone who hasn't found their match has love on their minds. So what better way to express all of those feelings than to spend the night together with one big party?
Leland: Well, sweetheart, I have to admit that your party is way better than my party.
Rosemary: Well, now it's everyone's party.
When Calls the Heart is onto something. THAT's the novel idea. It's not two separate nights celebrating the last vestige of singledom, but rather celebrating all that you both bring to the table, including your beautiful friendships out of which new love can be born.
No, it's not like that in the real world, but Lucas, at least, found the notion of joining in the frivolity he witnessed across the saloon irresistible.
There's a lot we can learn from the hour, and I wonder if any other young lovers will consider foregoing the traditional separate parties for a combined night of games and friendship.
Wasn't it funny that we got our first look at a successful couple weathering the storm of being a one-car household?
It wasn't too long ago that there were no cars in town at all, but introducing one has made the convenience essential. The same goes for the telephone.
So when Bill's phone went down and Rosemary needed lace to complete Clara's wedding gown, it meant the need for a car was more imperative than ever.
The most unexpected thing happened when Henry agreed to loan his car to Fiona. Fiona has the only driver's license in town, and she handled the vehicle masterfully, but Henry failed to tell her she was driving off with a finicky choke.
That allowed Fiona to turn to Kevin for help. Of course, it was highly unlikely that a blacksmith was going to know how to repair a car, but it was sweet that Fiona thought of him when she needed assistance.
And I couldn't help but wonder if the experience might lend itself to Kevin realizing that black smithery is going to go by the wayside in light of car repair. At least, he's gotten his hands dirty one, so maybe cars will inspire him.
He finds Fiona's story inspirational, and if a woman can tackle telephony as she has, then he should certainly be able to jump headfirst into his next profession.
With Fiona seemingly off the market, that makes the fight for Elizabeth's heart a lot more urgent.
The entire town was enthralled with the bouquet that Elizabeth received, and Bill even began an investigation to determine whether it was Lucas or Nathan who dropped the flowers on Elizabeth's doorstep.
Bill: You know, I noticed that you don't put out flower. Are you a fan?
Lucas: As much as the next man.
Bill: I was at Elizabeth's this morning, and she has this beautiful bouquet on her table. Quite stunning.
Lucas: Is that right?
Bill: Somebody left them at the door. No card. No tag.
Lucas: Interesting. Did she like them?
Bill: Very much. Any idea who might have left them?
Lucas: I really couldn't say.
Bill: You couldn't say, or you don't know?
That Bill so quickly narrowed down the suspect list to two innocents is concerning, but at least he's a judge now and not actively involved in solving crime any longer.
To be fair, both Nathan and Lucas played it very cool. After Nathan told Elizabeth that as a parent, he should do something special for her, I was sure it was him but that he was unsure enough of her feelings that he sent them anonymously.
Lucas seemed quite distressed at the notion of someone else sending Elizabeth flowers, so it made sense that he used the news to hatch his plan of purposefully delivering a bouquet to her.
That Nathan was only steps behind had me very confused. Does the rabbit or the turtle win this round? Will Elizabeth remember the first bouquet or the last? Is Lucas stuck in the middle of three bouquets?
Because yes, people, these are things that occupy my mind while watching When Calls the Heart. Trying to determine the path taken by the series by the clues laid before me means I analyze everything by fractions!
I saw Mrs. Thornton earlier. She really liked those flowers that someone left at her door.Allie
Elizabeth has been harboring her heart after losing Jack, but Jack's growth spurt and her suitors showing their hands has made everything very real for her.
Rosemary: Your heart is open again, isn't? And now it's being pulled in two directions. Well I, for one, am thrilled for you!
Elizabeth: Don't be. Besides, I fear I misread both of them, anyway.
Rosemary: What do you mean?
Elizabeth: This morning, someone left flowers on my doorstep. I assumed it was one of them, but then tonight, I just. What?
Rosemary: The person who left the flowers for you cares about you very much.
Elizabeth: They were from you?
Rosemary: I am so sorry. You seemed so down the other night, and I thought they might cheer you up. So I came over to your place and I knocked on your door, but you didn't answer. So I left them there. We barely spoke all day. I just simply forgot. Please forgive me.
It was both easier and more difficult when she discovered it was her best friend's attempt to brighten her day that got the tongues of town wagging in appreciation of Elizabeth's love life.
Opening her heart again is one thing, but to share it with another is an entirely different prospect. She got to relish her relief for about two minutes before the reality of life and love set in again.
The best news about this for us is that we'll get to see these guys pursue her openly. It will be fun to see what they offer and how she responds.
Other Calls of the Heart:
- Clara finished her gown before Rosemary arrived with the lace. She managed to create the gown she wanted, after all. It's going to be simply elegant.
I hope that you all have a love as pure as Clara and Jesse. Pre-wedding jitters are unpleasant, but they're beautiful when your worry is that you want to love someone so well you hope you live up to expectations. Sweet Jesse.
Just when it seems Henry has fallen back into old ways, he does something nice again by lending his car to Fiona.
No other character so perfectly straddles the line like Henry.
- That is not to say that Florence and Molly don't give him a run for his money! Molly is quite the admin, but she's not a nurse. And on a day I was googling a health issue during a freakin' apocalypse, I fully understood her immersion into Carson's medical books. Bless her.
Are you ready for the wedding?
How do you expect Clara's dress to look?
Are you on board with Fiona and Kevin?
Did your analysis of the Lucas/Elizabeth/Nathan situation lead to any foregone conclusions? What were they?
If you need to catch up with all things Hope Valley, you can watch When Calls the Heart online right here via TV Fanatic.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.