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'When Calls the Heart' Creates Beauty from Ashes with Christmas Movie

The long-running series doesn't miss the mark.

By Rachel CarringtonPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

When Calls the Heart, the long-running series from Hallmark, returned on Christmas Day for a movie that fans (or #Hearties) have been waiting for since the emotional end of Season Five in April 2018.

Though fans had been privy to behind-the-scenes pictures and promotional photographs, we received little information on the movie itself with the exception of the brief clips offered on Hallmark's own website. Hallmark's series, Home and Family, also offered a glimpse when stars Erin Krakow and Lori Loughlin appeared on the show a few days before the movie premiere. The brief scene between Abigail and Elizabeth brought tears, and it ignited the fans' impatience.

The Season Five finale brought heartbreak and turbulence with the confirmed death of Constable Jack Thornton, the Mountie of Hope Valley and Elizabeth Thatcher Thornton's new husband. Star Daniel Lissing, who portrayed the beloved character, had opted not to return to the series after his five-year contract ended—a decision that left fans heartbroken and devastated.

After the character's death, fans were given a glimpse of hope at the end of Season Five with the revelation that Elizabeth Thornton was pregnant. Still, many fans avowed they would not return to the homespun drama because they simply could not watch it without Jack Thornton. In fact, a storm of fans announced their departure with hashtags such as #missinglissing and #notwithoutJack.

But fans were encouraged to hang in there, that what was coming up next in Hope Valley would be both beautiful and hopeful. And with those words of encouragement came the promise that heartbreak and sadness would not continue to color the town. So the long wait to December 25th began.

And the series based upon books by Janette Oke did not disappoint as evidenced by the trends on Twitter that began shortly after 8:00 PM eastern standard time and continued until after the movie concluded.

A pregnant Elizabeth Thornton captured fans' immediately, drawing them into her emotional turmoil. She faced a life of raising a baby without her husband at her side, and she was scared. But When Calls the Heart writers didn't miss the opportunity to show fans that Jack would always be with Elizabeth as he'd promised in a letter he'd left for her when he'd departed to the Northern Territories in Season Four. And they showed that Elizabeth would never truly be alone.

Touching moments abounded in this limited commercial premiere like Elizabeth's friends, Abigail, Rosemary, Florence, and Molly, rallying around her to set up the nursery, and Rosemary keeping her promise to take Elizabeth to buy a baby buggy in spite of her crammed schedule. And just when Elizabeth, though she couldn't do this without Jack, when she whispers, "I wish you were here," she hears the words he'd spoken to her often. "Take a walk with me." The simple phrase came from a father to his daughter, but Elizabeth took it as a sign that Jack was still with her. What a beautiful way to remind fans that Constable Jack Thornton would never be forgotten.

And as the movie wound down, and Elizabeth became a mother with Rosemary and Abigail at her side, When Calls the Heart restored hope. Though fans were given a simple preview of what is expected for Season Six, what Elizabeth had been expecting set the tone for the years to come.

Hope Valley has another, although miniature, version of Jack Thornton, and his birth opened up the possibilities of heartwarming and captivating storylines. But most of all, it has drawn fans back to the town and reaffirmed the faith in those that never left.

While the stars thanked the fans for watching, the fans came out in droves to express their love for the movie and renewed anticipation of Season Six as well as hope for even more seasons. Though Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) will always be missed, When Calls the Heart has many more stories to tell, and they'll do it with his son, the mother of his child, and the friends that make up the town of Hope Valley.

Season Six premieres February 2019 on the Hallmark Channel.

#WCTH

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About the Creator

Rachel Carrington

I'm an avid writer and reader. I've had over 53 novels published and over 2,000 articles. Here I review movies, TV series/episodes, books, and write about entertainment. www.rachelcarrington.com

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    Rachel CarringtonWritten by Rachel Carrington

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