The May 26 “When Calls the Heart” Episode 8 of Season 6, “A Call from the Past” brought something to Hope Valley that loyal fans and viewers don’t often see in the strong and faith-filled community—fear. Just as the saloon owner, Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally), was demonstrating his pure civic motives in donating the building for the new library, and looking beyond Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) outer beauty in his affections, a call from far away endangers everyone.

Before the ominous situation unfolds, Elizabeth is overjoyed that baby Jack (Lincoln and Gunnar Taylor) is about to be baptized by a visiting pastor. The new mother is preparing for her son’s sacred day at the same time that she and her students are preparing the library for its grand opening. She invites Lucas to be the primary ribbon cutter, but he suggests that they both do the honors together.

Lee and Rosemary (Kavan Smith and Pascale Hutton) are welcoming Grace (Jocelyn Hudon) back to Hope Valley and into their home, along with a young guest, Spencer (Brenden Sunderland). The last time that Grace was in Hope Valley was in the “When Calls the Heart” 2018 Christmas movie, “The Greatest Christmas Blessing.” She and her sister, Lillian, were delayed in Hope Valley by a broken wagon wheel, along with a group of orphans destined for the new home that the sisters hoped to start on their own.

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Jocelyn Hudon and Morgan Kohan will star as the devoted sisters in the Hallmark Movies Now video-on-demand series, “When Hope Calls,” slated for August. The characters of Grace and Lillian grew up in orphanages themselves, so they are uniquely equipped to handle children who have been especially traumatized. In the case of Spencer, he is the sole survivor and his family after a fire.

Urgent danger

Dr.

Shepherd (Paul Greene) is concerned about Spencer's nutrition after a checkup, and it's no wonder that the young boy doesn't have an appetite. Grace and the doctor do their best to playfully comfort and build trust in the new patient. Grace decides that she and Spencer will stay for the Founder’s Day Festival. Rosemary and Lee are delighted to host their company.

In another beautifully touching scene of this “When Calls the Heart,” Elizabeth asks Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) to be little Jack's godfather in honor of her late husband.

In a perfect cinematic capture, the baby puts his tiny hand on Bill's arm, creating such a tender moment. Of course, Bill accepts, saying he'd be honored.

Nathan and Elizabeth brush hands over a book at the library, but both quickly excuse themselves following the exchange.

While urgency is no issue for Spencer, it is amplified for Lucas after the call comes from Cape Fullerton, from a woman, saying, “They know you're in Hope Valley.” Lucas responds only with “I'll figure it out,” before hanging up. Fiona (Kayla Wallace) hears the exchange and shares her concerns with Elizabeth.

Flapjacks and falling into a trap

Elizabeth shares her concerns about Lucas with Nathan (Kevin McGarry) who rides to intercept Lucas en route on horseback. Bill simply suspects that Lucas is “hightailing it.” Elizabeth warns that Lucas has a gun and is riding straight into trouble.

Nathan finds Lucas still 100 miles away from his friend, Janette, who made the terrifying call. He persuades him that the safest way to protect her is to return to Hope Valley, and let Nathan call by telephone to assign three Mounties in Cape Fullerton to protect her. Lucas can't argue with that logic, so he agrees.

On the way back, Lucas explains how he became involved with Amos Dickson (Aaron Douglas). Dickson was a loan-sharking businessman who raised rates exorbitantly on the widow for her business. Lucas made a bet with the contemptible crook that if he beat him at cards, Janette’s business would be paid off. If Dickson won, Lucas would pay double. This gambit was the “once” that Lucas cheated, as he explained to Nathan before. He tried to stack the deck for the sake of his friend.

Dickson “has a lot of people in his pocket” as Lucas affirmed, and probably paid his way out of jail early. What Lucas doesn't know is that Elizabeth has walked into a trap that may cost her life and more in Hope Valley. She walks into the saloon, calling for Lucas, and is soon surrounded by Dickson and his henchmen. They plan to keep her there until Lucas returns.

When Lucas does return, he goes to the saloon, just as Nathan orders. At gunpoint, he is ordered to retrieve $10,000 from his safe. He immediately says “I'll give you everything I've got,” if the bandits agree to let Elizabeth go. Of course, they verbally consent to those terms, until the Constable knocks at the door.

Lucas tries to pull a gun on Dickson, but he is no gunslinger, and no killer, either. Dickson commands that he slide the gun away. Bill intercepts Dickson’s men while Nathan enters the saloon from a back passage. A shootout ensues when Dickson is surrounded. Elizabeth and Lucas are safe, but Elizabeth has lost the trust she was beginning to find in Lucas. When he offers his coat, she retorts: “No, thank you!” with a strong hand.

Grace and Fiona decide that pancakes are a perfect dinner for the evening, and Spencer even asks for seconds. Lee comes home totally demoralized after Mike Hickam (Ben Rosenbaum) tells his boss that he has decided to work for Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins) in his oil-drilling business. Jesse (Aren Buchholz) considers doing the same until a talk with Clara (Eva Bourne) clarifies his perspective. He goes to Lee, telling him that loyalty means more than money, and he will be staying at the lumber mill.

Lee is alarmed when he comes to bring pancakes to Elizabeth, and Laura (Genea Carpenter) tells him that Elizabeth has not come home. He sends Laura home, but the whole town becomes alarmed by the dangerous situation.

Fiona and Rosemary make a “swell” team (to use one of Fiona’s favorite words), and the lady from the big city has big ideas for the Hope Valley festival.

The townspeople rush to make certain that everyone is all right after the deadly encounter, Dickson and his men are in a cell when Lucas comes by to ask Nathan about Janette. Nathan tells Lucas that she is safe. He probes for answers on why Lucas did not tell anyone about Amos Dickson earlier. Lucas replies that he didn't know who to trust. The two shake hands on having no further secrets and moving forward peaceably.

The biggest trust issue for Lucas will be replanting seeds of trust again with Elizabeth, and learning that Hope Valley has people in whom he can trust, too. In life, and on “When Calls the Heart,” the truth does a lot of good.

Next week is the Founder’s Day finale for Season 6, and it's bound to be special for many reasons.

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