Is Elizabeth Thornton finally ready to make her choice? For nearly a year, Hearties have been wondering whether the widowed schoolteacher (played by Erin Krakow) would decide to pursue a romance with saloon owner Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) or take her chances with another mountie, Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry).
While it’s clear to everyone in Hope Valley that Lucas and Nathan both have eyes for Elizabeth, she’s avoided singling one man out for her affections. But it seems that might be changing in the April 5 episode “Heart of a Writer,” when Elizabeth’s friendly relationship with Lucas appears to take a big step forward.
Lucas invites Elizabeth to go on a trip
In the upcoming episode, Lucas makes a bold move. After learning that the writer Virginia Woolf will be giving a reading in a nearby Union City, he gets two tickets — one for himself, and one for Elizabeth. But going to the event means Elizabeth will have to be away overnight and leave baby Jack behind.
In a preview for the episode, she seems to be on the fence about accepting Lucas’s offer since it would require her to be away from her son. But that’s not the only reason she hesitates.
“I’m worried if I say yes to Lucas he’ll get the wrong idea,” she tells Rosemary (Pascale Hutton). “And then there’s Nathan,” she adds.
Rosemary tells her that she and Lee would be happy to watch Jack. And she urges Elizabeth not to worry so much about other people and do what she wants, which is to go to the reading.
The trip seems to cause friction with Nathan
Elizabeth might insist that she and Lucas “are going strictly as friends,” as she tells Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) in the preview. But it’s clear that Lucas has other ideas from the way he tells Elizabeth she looks beautiful — and Elizabeth’s expression seems to suggest she’s realized this isn’t just an outing between friends.
But what about Nathan? In a scene from the upcoming episode that appears to take place after the trip, Elizabeth passes Nathan on the street. “Welcome back,” he cooly tells her before walking on without saying another word.
Hearties are divided over who Elizabeth should choose
Hearties have long been divided between #TeamNathan and #TeamLucas. And as Elizabeth gets closer to making her choice, social media debates about who is the right man for her have gotten increasingly heated. The official When Calls the Heart Instagram account even had to step in and remind the normally polite community of fans to play nice.
“We love that you’re passionate about your teams, but we do ask here on the #Hearties page that your comments remain respectful,” @wcth_tv posted. “Differing opinions are always welcome when stated in a respectful way.”
Many fans are firmly on Lucas’s side, especially because they don’t want to see Elizabeth get hurt again by falling in love with another mountie. (Her first husband Jack died in a tragic accident in the line of duty.) Others think Nathan is the best choice, even though he has been a bit more reluctant than Lucas to make his true feelings known.
While Elizabeth and Lucas’s outing looks like a major step toward a romantic relationship, some Hearties are convinced that it will actually end up pushing her in the opposite direction.
“She should go with Lucas but realize that she wants Nathan!” one person wrote on Instagram.
When Calls the Heart “Heart of a Writer” airs Sunday, April 5 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel.