It’s Friday! And we are OFFICIALLY less than a month away from the return to Hope Valley! I am, of course, very tearful at the fact that we won’t be seeing Daniel Lissing in said town; but I truly am curious, and, dare I say it: excited! I’m excited to see where they’re going to go with the turn of events, as well as the new characters. And in this Heartie’s opinion, if The Greatest Christmas Blessing is any indication, Jack will not be forsaken or forgotten in memory, nor will his death be harped on too much for comfort.

That actually brings me to my topic for today. I’ve touched on this subject before, but not with the same point of view. My dear friend from college, who is also a Heartie, has just finished Season 5. She watches the show on Netflix, so I have to be careful what I say around her. I’m sharing all this with her permission. When she sent me this text, I was completely torn on my next move:

“I am finally watching season 5 of When Calls the Heart. It has made me laugh, cry, and everything in between already. I had forgotten how much I liked it.”

What do I do? I couldn’t tell her, and ruin it! Then again, I didn’t want her to come crashing down. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to answer her. A few days later, she sent me this message:

“I really wish you would have warned me that Jack dies! All my memories and emotions came flooding back until I was crying my eyes out…It was as bad as Matthew Crawley [a main male character on Downton Abbey who also met with a tragic demise]. How could you stand it?”

You see, friends, this darling friend of mine is a young widow. She lost her husband in a car accident four years ago. Her son was 6, and her daughter was only 5 months old! She lived through, in real life, what our characters experienced in Coal Valley; and she faced the frightening prospect Elizabeth did of raising a child who would never know their father. I told her my reason was I wanted her to fully enjoy the wedding, as well as not getting the chance to answer. Thankfully, she seemed to accept that, and doesn’t hate me now.

But the real reason I wanted to highlight this painful point in the series is to, once again, praise Erin Krakow’s acting skills. However, this time, we’re looking at it with fresh eyes: the eyes of someone who JUST watched the finale for the first time, and a true widow who lost her husband far too soon.

We all know Erin is an exceptional actress, but she’s never lost a spouse. So how would she know how to act, except for sad and depressed? I don’t know if she did it on instinct, research, or personal experience with a family member or friend, but my friend says she was “spot on. That’s how I acted.” She went into detail of how full Erin’s performance was. She first mentioned her walk. The slow, stiff way Elizabeth carried herself was how she moved; just trying to put one foot in front of the other. She then talked about the blank look that plastered itself on her features, as if she couldn’t see or hear anyone, she was only walking in a personal fog…that’s when I started to tear up. What struck me most about what she described, was the way Elizabeth crossed her arms over herself, holding herself since there was no one else to do it now. That had never even crossed my mind!

The most in-depth answer she gave me was her interactions with other people. I was in Texas, and she was in Idaho, so I could only talk to her on the phone…when she felt up to it. So I didn’t see her around people. But she said the way Elizabeth was silent around people, even around her friends and students, was very accurate. She was cold and silent, conveying that she was not ready to talk to people. And the first time she met with Molly, Florence, Clara, and Abigail, her expression said, “I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s not going to make me feel better.” That’s how my friend act around people too, or so she tells me. Conversely, when Elizabeth IS ready, and she receives that beautiful quilt, her face tells us that although she no longer has her ROMANTIC love in her life, she is surrounded by love nonetheless.

And then, the real clincher; something that really put one of my own opinions to rest for good! When I talked to my friend, I told her I was severely on the fence about Elizabeth having a baby. On the one hand, her baby grows up without his father, she’s another widow of Hope Valley, and she has to raise this baby almost totally alone. On the other hand, the baby is a piece of Jack to keep with her always, a symbol of hope and life moving on, and the whole town is there to support her. I couldn’t decide which story I would have liked better. Then she offered her insight. She told me that her son was pretty independent at age 6, and didn’t need much. But her sweet baby girl, so new to this world, was completely dependent on her. “If I hadn’t had [her] to take care of, I never would have gotten out of bed in the morning.” So Elizabeth is forced to take care of herself, since she’s caring for another life. That set my mind to rights.

She did have one criticism: the peace Elizabeth achieved by the end of the episode took her about a year to grasp herself. Of course, (since we met in the theatre department,) she understands that TV magic, passage of time, and consolidation is in order. I think she was just slightly jealous of Elizabeth. 😉

Well, my dears, here’s where I leave you. I hope you have a marvelous weekend as we crawl closer to the Season 6 premiere at what seems to be a snail’s pace. But “if we promote it, it will come.” 😀 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

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