‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 9 Episode 11 Recap: Gowen Makes a Move, Lucas Makes a Declaration

There’s just one episode left before the When Calls the Heart Season 9 finale. In the season’s penultimate episode, Lucas and Elizabeth have a breakthrough moment in their relationship and Gowen takes drastic action to prevent the mind from reopening. Plus, Lee receives a surprising offer from Arthur Gilchrist in the May 15 episode of the Hallmark Channel series. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 11, “Smoke on the Water.”]

Elizabeth and Lucas struggle to communicate in ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 9 Episode 11 

RELATED: ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 9 Episode 11: Will Lucas Propose to Elizabeth?

Lucas (Chris McNally) sold his share of the oil company and was cleared of any wrongdoing in last week’s episode of When Calls the Heart. But he’s been discouraged and withdrawn ever since, and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) is concerned. “I’ve never seen the man I love so unhappy,” she says. 

Lucas’s moodiness is causing tension between him and Elizabeth. She can’t stop thinking about what’s inside that small red box he was about to present to her for her birthday. She suspects it contains an engagement ring, she confesses to Rosemary (Pascale Hutton). But the longer he waits to give her the gift, the more she’s beginning to fear that his feelings for her have changed. 

Her doubts only grow when Lucas mentions imagining what it might be like to live somewhere that’s not Hope Valley. Eventually, she confronts him. “On my birthday, I thought you were going to propose,” she says. He presents her with the box, but inside is a lovely pair of earrings, not a ring. Lucas admits that he feared his gift was going to be a disappointment in comparison to the engraved watch she gave him. “We know each other better than this,” she says tearfully. 

“I love you,” Lucas replies. Elizabeth says she loves him too. It’s the first time they’ve said those words to each other. Lucas might not be getting down on one knee right now, but there’s little doubt that an engagement is in their future. 

Florence struggles after learning the mine is reopening 

Florence and Ned in 'When Calls the Heart' Season 9 Episode 11
Loretta Walsh and Hrothgar Mathews in ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 9 Episode 11 | ©2022 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Lucas isn’t the only one who’s dealing with some difficult emotions in this week’s When Calls the Heart. Florence (Loretta Walsh), who lost her first husband in the mine collapse, is understandably upset that the mine might reopen. 

When she sees fliers advertising jobs for new workers, she angrily tears them down. But soon she channels her energy in a more positive directive. She spends some quality time with Ned (Hrothgar Mathews). He suggests she take up a hobby to distract herself from bad memories, which leads her to rediscover her love of ballet. Florence also gets some much-needed support from Molly (Johannah Newmarch), Fiona (Kayla Wallace), and Faith (Andrea Brooks). 

Gowen takes drastic action 

Gowen may have teamed up with Jerome Smith (Dean Paul Gibson), but he’s working behind-the-scenes to throw up roadblocks to prevent Smith and the other investors from bringing coal mining back to Hope Valley. He’s hired an engineer who he believes will confirm his belief it’s too risky to reopen the mine. But Smith pays off McCorry (Derek Green), who then backs Smith’s plan, saying there are ways to make the mine safe. 

An outraged Henry takes matters into his own hands. He blows up the mine, causing it to collapse in on itself. He knows that might not permanently deter the investors. But digging out the mind will be expensive. That, combined with a steelworkers strike that will probably put plans for foundry on hold, means that the mine will remain shuttered, at least for now. 

However, Henry’s actions will have consequences. Bill (Jack Wagner) orders him to get out of town while he tries to figure out a way to defend Gowen. 

Gilchrist offers Lee a job

Arthur Gilchrist (Matthew James Dowden) came to Hope Valley on mining business. But he also has a proposal for Lee (Kavan Smith). Gilchrist works for the Hearst chain of newspapers, and he offers Lee a job as a columnist. But taking the position would require moving to Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles. 

Lee’s obviously flattered. Such a job would give him the kind of purpose (and recognition) he’s been craving. But it would also mean leaving Hope Valley – and upstaging Rosemary. The Valley Voice is her passion project, and seeing Lee get all the glory would be tough. There’s also the matter of her possible pregnancy, which he doesn’t know about yet. 

Lee doesn’t mention Gilchrist’s offer to Rosemary in this episode. But now they’re both keeping something from the other. Will their secrets be revealed in next week’s season finale? 

Fiona and Nathan have a moment 

When Calls the Heart has been dancing around the idea of a Nathan-Faith romance all season. While Mountie Nathan (Kevin McGarry) seemed to be developing feelings for newcomer Mei Sou (Amanda Wong), she recently left town, and it’s not clear if she’ll be back. That hasn’t stopped Nathan from pining over her, even though she’s a “mystery” to him, as he tells Faith at one point in this episode. 

While Nathan’s thoughts are occupied by Mei, he can’t see what’s right in front of him: Faith has a serious crush. (She even laughs at his corny jokes.) He comes to see her about his headaches, which leads to some prolonged eye contact — and possible sparks — as she checks out his vision.

Later, Faith and Molly talk about love, in a scene that’s intercut with Bill and Nathan also talking about relationships. Both pairs also reflect on moving on after loss. Neither woman mentions who they’re speaking of specifically, but Molly appears to be talking about Bill, and Faith seems to be talking about Nathan. Meanwhile, Nathan admits he’s hesitant to take another chance after Elizabeth broke his heart. Bill urges him to not pass up an opportunity with Mei if one is there. But is Nathan thinking of the pharmacist or the doctor? 

What else happened in this episode of ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 9 

Elsewhere in this episode of When Calls the Heart

  • Another invention from the creative mind of Ned Yost: The pop-up toaster!
  • Elizabeth gets a makeover from Rosemary and ends up looking just like her best friend.
  • Joseph should have known better than to try to rearrange Minnie’s spices while she was out of town. Meanwhile, he doesn’t take too kindly to her father attempting to interfere with his family’s affairs. 
  • Allie (Jaeda Lily Miller) helps Robert (Jaiven Natt) with his mail delivery route.

The When Calls the Heart Season 9 finale airs Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel. 

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