Things just got very real for Elizabeth on When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 2, and the same should go for viewers who have chosen one or the other suitor for our fair lady.
We'll talk about that and so much more below in our review.
Fiona is so darn clever. Hope Valley citizens might have been confused over the name of her new barbershop, but it got tongues wagging.
I love the pun used to prove her place in the world in spite of the shoddy treatment by her former boss, and even more, I love that her best friends understood her reasoning behind Nichols & Dimes immediately.
As much as I enjoy a good romance, there is nothing better in this world than good friends, and Fiona has found her place in Hope Valley with supportive friends like Faith and Clara.
Being a new business owner is exciting, but it also creates anxiety. Clara's reception as Hope Valley's first female barber wasn't what I would have hoped for in a small town that had already embraced a female physician.
Mike had to lose a bet to be Clara's first customer, and he juked when she was dancing around his head with scissors in her hand. He should have expected to lose an ear!
His overreaction was priceless, making a beeline to see Carson (screaming for Carson directly and not Faith, praise be for his sanity).
Mike: Nicols and Dimes. That sure is funny.
Fiona: Mmm-hmm. No need to keep humoring me. I'll be more careful this time.
Clara's friends had her back, though, and brilliant timing as both Faith and Clara shoved their husbands into the door as Fiona's next customers.
The only thing I wanted that we didn't get was to see the satisfaction on their faces as both men left looking quite handsome. A few compliments from passersby about their nice new cuts would have made the victory oh, so sweet.
Although When Calls The Heart Season 8 has just begun, and When Calls The Heart Season 9 isn't yet on the books, all of the real estate activity suggests that Hope Valley will expand.
And if I'm not mistaken, with 250 pounds of coffee delivered straight from South America (along with a Gaucho outfit for Little Jack), Lee might be opening the town's first Starbucks! Haha!!
There will be a bustle of activity as Joseph Canfield, his wife, Minnie, and their two children move into the area. They already need repairs on the cabin Joseph purchased from Henry, and Joseph also foresees a great future for the automobile, as he's considering purchasing a gas station.
Joseph: Lively little town you have here.
Jesse: [laughs] Yeah, we try!
Is it possible he'll also act as the town's new pastor? That seems strange as he's given no indication of taking up that line of work as of yet, but his interest in the chapel and his casual comment to Rosemary that he'd pray for Lee suggests he might be a soulful man to whom the community could look for inspiration.
It's sometimes hard to move into a new community, but hands were outstretched all over town, and their kindness snagged a new resident who will likely offer his hand in welcome to the next new family to arrive.
We don't know too much about the family yet, but we can definitely use some more kids in the area to give Allie, Robert, and Opal a rest from each other.
Henry was in quite a state, making it seem as if Ned or Florence would open his returned mail for a peek. If he's tossing around accusations like that, he's got something going on.
Carson reminded him about his high blood pressure, but when Henry's in that state, it's usually business-related, and nothing will calm him other than making plans.
Henry's plans include getting back into the oil business, working with Lucas again to turn around his well. I'm not going to lie -- this has me very concerned for many reasons.
Lucas might be in for a one-two punch when he learns about his father's status and if Elizabeth rides back to Nathan, which I think is the ultimate reality of the love triangle.
Lucas was thrilled to see his mother, but Helen wasn't herself. Lucas asked his favorite person to intervene even after Helen said she didn't want visitors, but it worked. Helen and Elizabeth bonded, and Helen shared that she's getting a divorce.
Family means a lot to Lucas, and it's going to rock his world that his father has left his mother. And he said quite pointedly that he chose to stay in Hope Valley because of Elizabeth. Although he wants her happy, his heart is bound to hers. If that one-two punch occurs, how will he react?
Well, now we know that Henry is there, willing to play dirty pool to get that well pumping. On When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 1, we learned that they're using dynamite to rattle the oil and force its hand. Yes, I'm very worried.
Henry: Look, the oil business is a relentless, cutthroat thing. You know that by now. I'm willing to get my hands dirty.
Henry: Meaning whatever you want it to mean. But I think you understand. So, here's my proposal. I will double your crude output in the next year. or I will walk away.
Lucas: And what happens if you do double production?
Henry: Then I become majority owner at 60%, and you let me handle it how I like.
Helen, though, is quite lovely. Elizabeth was so frightened of her, but even when Helen disapproved of Elizabeth's approach, her eyes were alive, and her face flirted with a smile.
Helen: I think between her writing and the way she presents herself, I am going to like Ms. Thornton.
Lucas: She does have that effect on people.
However, it was disappointing when, just moments after Elizabeth shared how important honesty is to her, Helen asked her to keep the secret about her divorce from Lucas.
That was unfair, and it doesn't bode well for Lucas and Elizabeth.
Bill recognized what a feat it was for Nathan and Lucas to work together, and I still have high hopes for the two of them to be friends one day. But it's not going to be easy.
Nathan has also decided to settle down. With Allie's adoption and his love for Elizabeth, he's looking forward and purchasing land.
He's also expanding the valley, and he hopes to take Elizabeth with him.
And just like that, Elizabeth made a decision about love. By the end of the episode, she didn't know it, but she's chosen Nathan.
When Nathan professed his love for her, even promising to quit the Mounties if she'd walk by his side, she was beyond confused.
Elizabeth: Nathan, I don't know where to begin.
Nathan: Well, I can...
Elizabeth: No, no, no, no, please. I need to tell you something that I've known for a while, but I haven't been able to say. You mean a lot to me, you and Allie both. But I sense that you're hoping for something more than friendship.
Nathan: I wasn't trying to hide it.
Elizabeth: And I appreciate your honesty, but Nathan, when you were almost shot?
Nathan: Elizabeth, just listen to me.
Elizabeth: You want more than I can give you. It would just hurt too much if I lost you the way I lost Jack.
Nathan: I wouldn't let that happen.
Elizabeth: You can't say that to me. You have no right to promise me that.
Her first instinct was to say no. Nathan told her he loved her after she rejected him because she's afraid of him dying. She cannot lose another man like she did Jack, she said.
Well, Little Jack was staring at his father's photo, and that was all I needed to know that Elizabeth would choose Jack, but she even went farther by admitting how closely she holds him to her heart.
Nathan: Elizabeth, I know that you feel that same way that I do.
Elizabeth: I can't.
Nathan: Elizabeth, I'm in love with you. Elizabeth, I love you.
Her reasoning isn't sound. If you watch When Calls the Heart online, then you know that Elizabeth, too, is a hero, often dashing into unsafe conditions to save a life. She did it during When Calls the Heart Season 7 in the fire, and she did it with Robert when he jumped onto a horse he couldn't ride.
She cannot hold against Nathan his public service when she has the same nature. That's what they have in common. It's not necessarily the best situation for both parents to be so daring, but it connects them in much the same way Elizabeth connects with Lucas over literature and education.
Both men offer her something that she cannot live without. But now I'm sure that Nathan holds her heart, while Lucas holds her mind and intellect. One of those scenarios is better for a sustained friendship, and it's not the mind and intellect (not in entertainment, anyway).
Elizabeth isn't a cruel person, so I don't expect she'll take long to realize it all, and I sure hope she doesn't take a momentary detour, believing Lucas is better suited for her. It's not fair on Lucas. He deserves someone willing to give their whole self to him, and that's not Elizabeth.
As kids often say these days when they take a stand on an issue, "fight me." I'd love to know how you interpreted the interactions between all three of those principal players.
And while we're on the subject of matters of the heart, Molly's manipulation of Bill's is amusing to watch. Helen sensed Molly's interest in Bill straight away. It was hard to miss!
Yet, Bill missed it. And hilariously, when he thought he sussed out that Molly was holding a candle for him, she brilliantly snuffed it out to keep him guessing. There is nothing like playing coy to keep a man interested.
The song and dance of love can be just as worthwhile as the more straightforward approach we're seeing in the love triangle.
Thank goodness there is a whole lot of love and friendship to go around in Hope Valley.
OK, it's your turn! Please drop into the comments to share your thoughts about everything happening in the valley.
You've got to have something you want to get off of your chest!
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, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.