Change is in the air in Hope Valley.
Modernity is slowly making its way to the valley with telephones and even a moving picture.
With When Calls the Heart Season 7 Episode 1, it's hard not to imagine how much longer the town can remain an isolated and charming haven.
The streets are still relatively devoid of automobiles, but stories about the fruitful nature of the citizens of Hope Valley are making their way across the country.
Henry's success in the oil business, especially in light of his past, sparked the interest of a magazine.
A reporter in town is entirely new, but it wasn't ultimately Henry and his two-telephone business that wound up getting the cover.
Haven't you been yearning for Fiona to get more story? She's a delightful character, and the reporter, Mary, recognized how Avante guard she is, too.
Fiona has single-handedly introduced telephony to Hope Valley. Just short of strapping a tool belt around her waist, she's responsible for connecting the town with the rest of the world.
That she picked up and moved to the area from San Francisco is a feat in itself, but to bring with it the future of communication deserves recognition.
If her story can grow from here, that would be wonderful.
Henry, of course, wasn't pleased that his story wasn't told, but he benefitted from the experience, too.
He's been a bit of an outcast for a long time, but when Mary prodded his peers for dirt, all she got were messages proving that Henry's presence in the town is very good for Hope Valley.
He might have once been a little too interested in himself and self-promotion to the detriment of the town and himself, but he's done quite a turnaround to become one of the region's largest employers. He also treats people fairly.
The realization that his efforts have paid off has to be a lot more comforting than getting his face on the cover of a magazine.
When Rosemary first arrived in the valley, she was a lot different than the average resident, too. Cultured and sophisticated, it took her a little while to warm to the charm Hope Valley offered.
But now, she and Leland help the entire town move further into the 20th century. Leland had the first car, and Rosemary began creating affordable but stylish dresses.
Their anniversary could have been spent well away from their friends while they enjoyed a bit of culture in Los Angeles, but instead, Leland wound up bringing a bit of the outside to Hope Valley.
Their relationship is admirable, and it's especially sweet that he incorporated the entire town into their anniversary celebration. After breaking her heart by postponing their vacation, he had to take a big swing to make up for it.
Her artist's heart was looking forward to seeing and being seen in Los Angeles, as well as getting to see some of the latest moving pictures.
Leland: Mr. Simmons can only meet with me next week. But don't worry, we're still going to go to Los Angeles. Life is too short. I don't need his business.
Rosemary: No, Lee. His business is important to you, so it's important to me.
Leland: You are the most important thing to me.
Rosemary: I know, you show me all the time.
Leland: You sure?
Rosemary: Mmm hmm.
Leland: I'm going to pay for this, aren't I?
Rosemary: [chuckles] You have no idea.
Leland: I think I do!
Leland ensured that her anniversary celebration would please her not only by watching a moving picture but because she's instrumental in sharing them with the whole town.
Really, what's better than talking about the magic of motion pictures? Showing one to everyone so you can talk about it together.
And since they're not the only cultured citizens of the valley, their celebration inspired Lucas to get in on the fun, too, and they can look forward to a monthly night at the pictures.
Like Rosemary and Leland, Lucas is doing what he can to help advance the valley. He is imperative in curating books for the library, and he's also hired a chef at the saloon so that the town can experience some different cuisine.
It's no surprise that the beef stew was more well-liked than the bouillabaisse, but at least people can say they've had a taste of it.
Curating books also revealed that Lucas' mother was an editor. That fascinated Elizabeth, whose heart has yearned to be a published writer.
But I was surprised that she took Lucas up on his offer to preview her work and provide some feedback. It was also surprising that she gave up on Frontier Stories after only two rejections. Many authors get many more than that and still get their book published.
Elizabeth, your stories are good, but they could be great. My mother always used to tell me that the best writing comes right from the heart.Lucas
What Lucas said about her writing landed poorly at first, but Elizabeth eventually realized that she could write something far more personal.
And was she as proud of her short stories as she thought if she gave up trying to get published to quickly? If her heart were in those stories, she wouldn't have been able to let it go so easily.
What she had experienced before writing them was interesting, but losing Jack and raising baby Jack on her own with only her new friends for support is something else entirely.
What I can't help but wonder is how she'll portray the character's romantic interests in the story, and if writing about it might give her some clarity about her situation.
Her heart seems to be with Nathan, while her mind is with Lucas. They each inspire in her something different, and because of that, I wonder if either of them is the right man for her.
A combination of the two would be ideal, but life isn't ideal, is it?
She's skittish and confused around Nathan. Nathan makes assumptions about Elizabeth that are often untrue, and that doesn't help matters.
He lacks confidence, and that lack then bleeds onto Elizabeth, who cannot understand why he pulls back. No doubt, a part of her knows that he's interested in her, but he keeps throwing a flag on the play when he assumes something between her and Lucas, especially.
Those hesitations on Nathan's part allow Lucas to get closer to Elizabeth. Lucas is a confident man in his knowledge, his charms, and in his abilities.
He's very interested in Elizabeth and will use every opportunity to show her how he feels about her without saying it.
But I cannot help but want him to take note of Fiona, the other learned and kind woman in town. Nothing good can come from him getting his heart broken by Elizabeth, but Fiona has a lot to offer him.
While Elizabeth continues to dance around Nathan because he's not confident enough to make his feelings known, Lucas is hanging on to Elizabeth because he's getting enough of a reaction that it gives him hope.
Nathan got a little gumption and told Elizabeth to let him know when she makes up her mind, which came right out of the blue. We didn't get much of a reaction from Elizabeth with that statement, but I'd love to know what she's thinking.
Elizabeth: Apparently, the best writing comes right from the heart.
Nathan: So, what's in your heart? You let me know when you figure it out.
It seems to me that the writing is on the wall for her to take up with another Mountie, especially since he's also raising a child. But it also seems like their interactions aren't as natural as what she experiences with Lucas.
If there's one thing I know about fictional romance, though, the more anxiety you have about a potential romantic interest, the more likely you are to believe it's real love.
I recall Clara and Jesse flirting, but not being as anxious around each other when they began to show interest. The same with Rosemary and Leland. I'm not sure who the best choice is for Elizabeth, but I know there are two factions rooting for their favorite fellows!
While Clara and Jesse are busily planning the wedding of her dreams, another romance has finally found solid footing, too.
The teaser language going into the episode promised something might threaten Carson and Faith, and it wasn't an exaggeration. Faith's time away not only got her reacquainted with her father but netted her a job offer, as well.
I can't remember the story that brought Carson to Hope Valley. Why did he choose small-town medicine over working in a hospital?
Working together has meant a lot to them and has given them a beautiful relationship. It seems unlikely that Faith will choose to take the job as head nurse, but it is sure nice to have the option and to be appreciated for your skills.
They've been faced with a lot as a young couple, and they've spent a lot of time apart. But not until the possibility arose that it could be more permanent did Carson decide to lay his cards on the table.
Carson: There's something I need to tell you that I haven't said yet. I want you to hear what I have to say loud and clear.
Carson: I love you, Faith Carter. You have to choose what's right for you, but I just hope that choice includes me.
Faith: I love you, too!
They've never said I love you before, but their actions have been screaming it from the rooftops for quite some time. They go to the ends of the earth for each other, and what more could you want from a relationship?
As the town grows, maybe they'll consider expanding their medical practice. With more industry comes more citizens and with more people comes the need for more prosperity of all kinds.
The future of Hope Valley is very bright!
What did you think of the premiere?
If you could have other historical references in addition to motion pictures and novels, what would you like to see making its way to Hope Valley?
Who is the right man for Elizabeth, or does she need another candidate that spans the divide between Nathan and Lucas?
Share your thoughts with me. I'd love to hear them!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.