Where do you start with an episode as packed as When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 11?
There are juicy stories for many Hope Valley residents, and they fluctuate wildly across the feels spectrum.
So, we'll start with a bit of romance.
Has Mei become a topic of conversation for Faith and Nathan because they have her in common? It sure seems that way. They may start a conversation about Mei, but there is so much between them that remains unsaid.
Teasing things that aren't going to happen is a mainstay on many shows, and When Calls the Heart is no exception.
They had fans going for a long time with the Lucas-Elizabeth-Nathan love triangle that was really never a triangle in the first place. When Mei returns, will that kick into gear a Mei-Nathan-Faith triangle with the same veracity?
I have a feeling that Mei was Nathan's transition point.
Faith: How do you sleep?
Nathan: Lying down.
Faith: Is that another one of your corny jokes?
Nathan: Well, not if it's not funny.
He wasn't overly upset about her leaving, and as Bill and Nathan and Molly and Faith all talked about new possibilities, it sure seemed like the writing on the wall would finally find Bill and Molly exiting the friend zone and Nathan and Faith opening their hearts for something fresh and new.
What do you think? Are they going to be the new couples to watch next season?
Well, if there is a next season, of course, and if Bill is around to enjoy it.
The man is too stubborn. The way he was riding indicated severe pain that he could no longer cover up with a curmudgeonly attitude and a sarcastic remark. Molly is in tune with him, and if she really cares for him, she needs to interject herself for his good.
She knows enough from working with Faith to be able to help him make an informed decision. He really needs someone to care for him since he won't do it himself.
Does anybody fully understand what is going on with Minnie and Joseph?
She appears to come from money, and it makes Joseph uncomfortable when her dad wants to help.
It's weird that she returned with a letter from her father to Joseph and that they kicked it around without really talking about it. All I could tell was that it made Joseph bristle. They have a loan for Minnie's portion of the cafe, but perhaps they're still struggling financially.
Meanwhile, Ned is setting the gold standard for love in Hope Valley.
He's so understanding and supportive of Florence, and as she's thrust back into the pain of losing her husband, she needs it. Ned knows her so well that he nudged her back to dance, which was her passion.
I'm glad they revisited his beekeeping and Florence's love for dance because it gives them a more layered existence outside of keeping the town retail businesses up and running.
It turns out that Henry was right on the money. He didn't believe that Jerome was interested in the mine's safety before reopening it, and Jerome paid off the inspector for a positive result.
Jerome hasn't changed, but Henry has. He's not willing to sit by and watch tragedy strike again. So, he blew the damn thing up with as much dynamite as he could find.
Henry, I can't condone what you've done, but thank you -- from all of us.Bill
It's not going to solve the problem indefinitely, but there isn't a need for increased local coal production without the foundry. Hope Valley provided the one-two punch that shut down the foundry and the mine, at least for now.
Lucas is still out of the oil business, though, and we can expect someone new to come in to run it.
Jerome: Henry, I'd like to discuss Miss Miller. We both know she's not up for running the oil company. Not yet.
Henry: She is bright and capable.
Jerome: Perhaps, but until I'm convinced, I'd like to bring in someone else.
Jerome has little faith in Fiona's ability to do it. He had no problem taking advantage of her to gain access, but now he's got issues with her running it.
I'm not sure what that means for Fiona, but we sure don't have to worry about her.
Arthur is interested in her as more than an employee, but she knows her place and refuses to be taken advantage of again.
And I'm not really sure what to make of Arthur. It would be wonderful if Faith could fall in love with a worthy man, but she can't put aside her convictions to do it.
He presented well when he admitted he had no idea Jerome paid off the inspector. That's a point in his favor. But it's so easy for businessmen to lie that it's hard to take his word at face value.
He wasn't very impressive in how he handled the situation with the Valley Voice.
Lee: Arthur, you have an uncanny ability to stop by whenever my wife is out.
Arthur: Actually, I just saw her leave, and I intend to be gone before she returns. I don't want to create any kind of trouble between you two.
Arthur: While I am in town as an investor in the coal mine, I'm also here as an employee of the Hearst Newspaper chain, with an interest in The Valley Voice.
Lee: Well, then I really do think that we should wait for Rosemary.
Arthur: There's mild enthusiasm for some of your paper's features, the word puzzle, perhaps even the etiquette column. But it's you we're after.
As an editor, I know how writers get scooped by the competition. Of course, Lee and Rosemary have a connection far beyond business.
Without Rosemary, there would be no Valley Voice, and Lee wouldn't have taken his stab at editorials. He would have also not drawn the attention of Hearst if she hadn't carefully helped him hone his pieces.
But Lee is still flattered by the proposal that he write for a major newspaper. It would require them to leave Hope Valley, and I don't think even he would consider that seriously.
Rosemary is in a terrific mood because of the possible miracle inside of her. She'd be a little disappointed at how Arthur presented his proposal, but she'll also be thrilled for Lee.
Oh, isn't today simply splendatious?Rosemary
She's thrilled for herself, even if she's skeptical about the pregnancy.
Elizabeth: Rosemary, how can I help?
Rosemary: Oh, Elizabeth. You know how long I hoped for a child, and when it became clear that that was never going to happen, my heart changed. It had to. Lee and I grew to accept and, hmm, or even appreciate the life that we had.
If Lee takes the proposal to Rosemary, she might feel like it's the right time to tell him about her secret. He'll shut down any dreams about leaving the valley because raising a child in Hope Vally will mean everything.
It's finally time to talk about Lucas. He's struggling and cannot find his center after quickly losing so much.
He's shutting down and pulling inside of himself, which worries Elizabeth. Taking Rosemary's advice, Elizabeth addressed why she didn't receive her birthday present.
Lucas: I apologize if I led you to believe I was going to give you a ring.
Elizabeth: These are beautiful.
Lucas: After your extravagant gift, I felt mine sort of paled in comparison. I was worried it would disappoint you. Saying that out loud, I feel silly.
Elizabeth: We know each other better than this.
Lucas: I love you.
Elizabeth: I love you.
They're not quite ready for an engagement yet with so much in the air, but keeping the line of communication is essential. Even after that chat, Elizabeth still seemed unclear about what was going through Lucas's head.
It's so easy to filter and process information incorrectly. Lucas is doing the right thing by repeating that nothing else matters as long as they're together.
But enough other things are going on with him that she's questioning whether he's hiding something about his feelings for her.
Lucas is going about things wrong. But he's unable to see that at the moment.
Elizabeth: You really enjoyed yourself, didn't you? You're in much better humor than before you left.
Lucas: I think we should ride up there sometime. The view is almost as spectacular as from the air balloon. I think you'll enjoy it.
Elizabeth: I think so, too. Let's do it.
When he talked about his past explorations, it was easy to infer that he was looking for an escape. But his escape was merely outside of Hope Valley proper, not far away and not without Elizabeth and Jack.
Lucas: I'm used to exploring big cities. Paris, Madrid. Maybe it was just needing to be away from everything going on here, or maybe I simply hadn't considered all of my possibilities. I found myself imagining what it might be like to live someplace remote like that.
Elizabeth: And leave Hope Valley?
Lucas: No, that's not what I mean.
Lucas: Hey, as long as we're together. [kisses her hand]
But why did he leave without talking to her? My thought is that he's buying property for them to build a house. He surely loves the ideas of marriage and fatherhood. You can see it in every action with Elizabeth and Jack.
But if you put enough fear into the person you love, it's sometimes hard to right that 'ship again, so hopefully, Lucas will return with good news and a change of attitude.
It's time for the finale, so watch When Calls the Heart online to be ready for whatever comes.
A lot is hanging in the balance before the season wraps, including a renewal. My gut says that Season 10 will be announced during the finale and that it will be their last season.
What do you think? I'd love to hear from you, so drop below and share your thoughts in the comments.
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.