Summer has arrived on When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 5, and with graduation and moving up day at the Jack Thornton School comes all kinds of considerations of the future.
Whether romantic, financial, or professional, everyone is thinking about the future in one way or another.
At least one person wants to move onto the next phase of their life slowly. As for everyone else, only time will tell.
When Rosemary learned that the dress shop was up for sale, it seemed like a normal time for her to consider buying it.
It never dawned on me that she was ready to move onto something different entirely.
But thinking back, Rosemary wound up at the dress shop because of her interest in designing, not because she was eager to run the place. But once there, it all tumbled into place.
It is time for me to do something new with my life, something more meaningful, something I love.Rosemary
And as much as she's enjoyed being the dressmaker in town, she's never seemed passionate about her work. It keeps her occupied and engaged in the community, but without those outside influences, it's unlikely she'd be there.
I can't imagine what she'll do next, but after she helped Elizabeth with her dress, it wouldn't be surprising if she aims for something more personally fulfilling that allows her to impact others directly.
Lee: Well, lucky for us, I make a pretty decent living so you don't HAVE to work.
Rosemary: What if I WANT to work.
Lee: [sucks in air] Well, [chuckles] then you would work, of course!
Rosemary: You're being terribly cavalier about the way I spend my days, and I don't like it, Lee Coulter! I don't like it one bit!
Lee: Sweetheart, don't you think you're being just a tiny bit...
Rosemary: Tiny bit... unreasonable?
Lee: YES! Unreasonable!
Rosemary: [throws the letter in his face] Go stuff your trout!
Of course, reading what comes next for Rosemary and Lee has always eluded me, so take that with a grain of salt!
Her ability to nurture was on display as she helped Rachel through her rough days.
Change is rarely easy, and Rachel was reeling from it. Learning that what she loved in Hope Valley might be ending so soon after her arrival threw her for a loop.
But getting the opportunity to mingle with others in the valley at graduation perked her right up again.
Carson's future is up in the air now, too. It was another instance of the mail throwing a wrench into someone's day. While we still don't know what was eating Henry, Carson's news was welcome.
So many people have landed in Hope Valley without believing small-town life was for them. Lucas admitted as such, and we know Rosemary dreamed of a long life on the stage and possibly in motion pictures.
Carson: Say, when you were a kid, what did you dream you would be?
Lucas: That's easy. Robin Hood.
But love blossoms in Hope Valley and that often stops world travelers right in their tracks.
Faith was eager to go to Chicago for her training and return to a practice in Hope Valley. Unless there is significant growth on the horizon, Carson's dream of being a successful surgeon will take him elsewhere longer than it would take to complete his surgical fellowship.
Faith: Carson, a relationship needs to be built on trust and honesty.
Carson: Doctor Rizzoli offered me the surgical fellowship in Baltimore.
Faith: Johns Hopkins! Oh my gosh! I can't imagine what you must be feeling!
Faith: You're a surgeon. It's all you've ever wanted to be. And you'd be working with the best hospital in the country. How can you possibly turn him down?
The couple shares so many of the same goals and values, but Faith didn't imagine herself practicing medicine anywhere but Hope Valley. With Johns Hopkins on the table, Carson has a lot of soul searching to do.
Nobody wants to pick a career over love or vice versa. By remaining in Hope Valley with Faith, Carson will never know if his surgical dreams can come true. But if he leaves, he might not ever know love as pure as that he shares with Faith.
And dreams matter, as does their fulfillment. That was evident when Bill was asked to turn in his serge since he's no longer an active Mountie.
Bill's life has changed a lot since he came to Hope Valley. Once a Mountie, now part-owner of a cafe and a judge. Nothing he does is without merit or reward, but the pride he felt being a Mountie still claws at his heart.
Hopefully, he'll realize that he can still have that feeling with his legal work, which is quite a responsibility, making a huge impact on others' lives.
And maybe, just maybe, love will give him purpose, as well. Because he's going to fall for Molly. Hard.
She's trying so hard to catch his eye, but she doesn't need to cast her net too far. He sees her, even when she's under a barber cloth. And everyone hears her when she's screaming bloody murder at the state of her hair after Clara got done with her.
I'm old enough that I recall curling irons that were too strong for anyone's good. Hair dye, too! Melting hair was a thing far too often.
But dang, Clara has no business sitting in for Fiona when she's away. She just doesn't have the talent for it.
She felt overwhelmed at her prospects with the dress shop up for sale and her less-than-stellar hairdressing skills.
But she has been growing at the cafe. Her recipes are tastier, and Bill thinks she has a knack for it. It's no surprise that the idea of buying into the business would be thrilling for her.
But what came next took her breath away. She went from feeling insecure to having hope to having both wiped away in an instant.
If Jesse wasn't already on everyone's naughty list, it's going to be hard to keep him off those lists now. We don't have the full story yet because he's not forthcoming with the truth -- much like someone else we know.
It wasn't the time to be truthful with Bill in the room, but when Jesse pulled Clara aside to chastise her interest in partnership with a chat about tightening the purse strings, that was a very poor move.
I went by the bank today to confirm the amount of our savings. What did you do with our money?Clara
Clara has trusted her husband with their finances, and that trust was broken. He claims to have invested every penny of their savings into something without discussing it with her first. And I can't help but wonder if Henry was involved in some way.
That letter and his reemergence in the oil business seems like he, too, was involved in risky business. Could he have led Jesse to his downfall?
After everything they've gone through during When Calls the Heart Season 8 so far, it's hard to see a clear route ahead for Clara and Jesse.
Henry, though, is back in his office again, and Lucas hopes that it's not something he'll regret. Henry didn't even mind the soft insult. He agrees that he's not always easy to work with.
One of the biggest indicators of change in the town came from Ned delivering the mail door-to-door. Soon, they'll need another employee at the mercantile to deliver the news. And as more people get phones, another receptionist.
And what's fun about that is how Ned and Florence have grown together. Ned dared to get flirty with Florence, and as their prospects expand, so will their relationship because they'll have more time together.
Speaking of time together, Elizabeth adorably called Lucas' name in the street, leading to a sweet exchange in which they planned a date.
Lucas: If anyone can figure out Henry Gowan, he is a better man than I.
Elizabeth: Oh, he's not so hard to understand.
Lucas: I said better man. Then again, I used to be able to read people, and I am having a hard time figuring you out.
Elizabeth: I'm not so hard to figure out.
Elizabeth: [laughs] I'm not! Try me.
Lucas: Alright. Would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow night to celebrate the end of the school year?
Elizabeth: I'd be delighted.
Lucas: Delighted. Delight how?
Elizabeth: To join you ... on a date.
Lucas: Would this be an actual date?
Elizabeth: [chuckles] An actual date. How hard was that? [Nathan rides into the picture]
With the news that he's free to court Elizabeth, Lucas is taking full advantage of the situation. From early morning horseriding to romantic dinners in the evening, he's giving it all he's got.
And Erin Krakow is acting the heck out of it. She remained rather impartial, never allowing Elizabeth to fully embrace a romantic notion with either of the men hoping for their shot with her.
But now, Erin's eyes sparkle as she embodies Elizabeth's girlish notions of dating, enjoying the attention and excitedly going outside of her comfort zone with a special dress for dinner.
Krakow even played Elizabeth with less expectation around Nathan. Not that Elizabeth doesn't still desire him, but more that she's resolutely decided against considering him.
When Nathan didn't show for his parent-teacher conference, Elizabeth got worried. But her worry, as she told it, wasn't about Nathan; it was about Allie.
Elizabeth: You didn't attend the parent-teacher conference today, and I was wondering where you were.
Nathan: Allie and I went fishing.
Elizabeth: Oh. I was hoping you had a good reason why you missed it.
Nathan: Well, we really haven't spoken since you told me how you felt, so I just thought it was best for both of us.
Nathan had no idea that Allie, a brilliant student, began to experience problems with her schoolwork the more Nathan drifted away, especially during the court proceedings.
After his discussion with Elizabeth, the full nature of having a daughter finally hit him.
Who he is will determine who Allie chooses as a husband in the future, and if he's not fully present in her life or doesn't properly address his feelings, then those are traits she'll think are OK, not only because of his influence but because she loves him.
I'm sorry I didn't go to the conference. That was selfish and hurtful for everyone involved.Nathan
Acting selfishly from a broken heart is natural, but it sends a poor message to Allie, and he's got to be better than that now. I expect we'll see Nathan changing and stepping up in many areas as a result.
If Lucas pushes Elizabeth too hard, it won't be difficult for her to pull away, giving Nathan another chance to prove himself and win her heart.
Because Lucas wants it all, and he wants it sooner rather than later. Sure, he says they've got all the time in the world, but she's breathless with his courtship. It's the definition of whirlwind.
Lucas: As much as I'd enjoy attending the ceremony this afternoon, I don't think I will. I'm sure that you and I spending time together could be difficult for Nathan. Today's celebration should be about him and Allie, and I, I wouldn't want anything overshadowing that.
Elizabeth: You are being very thoughtful.
Lucas: Besides, I do have you all to myself tonight at dinner at the Saloon.
Elizabeth: I'm looking forward to it.
Still, Lucas is also being very empathetic, and he's offering to spend time with Elizabeth doing things she loves. Horseback riding offered them precious alone time, but moving his romantic dinner to her location at the drop of a hat was admirable.
His concern for Nathan's well-being went over well, too, not wanting to flaunt their time together when Nathan could still be feeling the pain of her pulling away.
We have no idea whether she'll accept everything Lucas has to offer, especially since we know there is a story about Jack lurking in Nathan's past and their future.
As a Lucas fan, it's hard watching him push so fast and even harder seeing Elizabeth happy while I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. So as much as they're doing everything right on screen, it's hard to enjoy if it's only short-term.
Elizabeth: This feels like the first time in forever I haven't had something weighing on me. No papers to grade, no lessons to plan, and soon, I will be sending your mother, hopefully, the final edit of my manuscript.
Lucas: You have no idea how happy I am to be here with you. [reaches his hand out to her]
Elizabeth: [taking his hand] Lucas, I will need us to take things slowly.
Lucas: We have all the time in the world.
But Elizabeth has other things on her mind, too, which will likely take up her time this summer.
She's going to continue working on her book, and she'll work with Minnie Canfield so that Angela will one day be able to attend the Jack Thornton School.
Minnie wasn't eager to consider the notion, but witnessing the students' respect for Elizabeth at graduation gave her peace of mind. Elizabeth is the kind of teacher children gravitate toward and respect.
And Robert calling his classmates up to share his spotlight was indicative of how Elizabeth mentors her students. How could Minnie not be impressed with students like that?
But it wasn't all rosy since Mr. Landis of the school board dropped by to be a nuisance. His interactions were rude on a day that should have been celebratory.
I'm sure there's a time to remind her that the educational system would like to come into Hope Valley and how that would affect the independent Jack Thornton School, but that wasn't it.
It seems like the Canfields' arrival will coincide with that storyline and may make or break the school's future.
Well, Hearties, there is no shortage of things to talk about this time around.
If you haven't seen the episode, you can watch When Calls the Heart online here via TV Fanatic.
Then, I hope you'll share your thoughts on the latest Hope Valley happenings by dropping down below and getting the conversation started!
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.