Spoilers for Hallmark’s mainstay series below.
We’ve known for a while that Hallmark made the decision to halt production on When Calls The Heart for a while in order to write out Lori Loughlin. Well, the show was finally back this weekend and it wasted no time in cutting out Abigail Stanton.
During the opening minutes of the show, lead actress Erin Krakow thoughtfully gave fans voiceover while penning the narrative that revealed what happened to Abigail and her foster son Cody. Per the character of Elizabeth Thornton, we learned in the opening moments that we won’t be hearing from Abigail or Cody anytime soon:
We never know how life will turn. It’s been a week since Abigail got word that her mother had taken ill back East. True to her nature, Abigail wasted no time in rushing off to care for her. Abigail is much more than a friend. She’s family and I will miss her and Cody deeply. We all will. But we must get by as best we can.
What’s fascinating to me is not how swiftly or quickly the whole thing was accomplished, but the words that were used to reveal Lori Loughlin’s exit.
It’s one of those moments where you can totally read Elizabeth’s commentary in two ways. Sure, she’s talking about Hope Valley missing the character, but I can totally get on the conspiracy theory train and read this as a nod at how Loughlin’s own life has taken an unexpected series of twists, also noting that it will be hard but that When Calls The Heart must go on without her.
This whole double meaning stuff can be read into again when Krakow’s characters notes,
Bill has taken over some of the responsibilities in the café. Clara, as busy as she is, has agreed to help out when she can. We all keep Abigail and her family in our prayers and wish her Godspeed.
Obviously, no one would ever confirm this seeming nod to what is actually going on in Lori Loughlin’s personal life regarding her fall from grace on TV and her alleged role in the college admissions scandal. Regardless, Hallmark has been very clear that Lori Loughlin is cut out not only of When Calls The Heart but also her other Hallmark original movie work. But I still enjoy reading it as intentional, whether or not that’s accurate.
As it stands, after the opener, which also confirmed that Bill and Clara have taken on café duties in the near future, the rest of the episode was devoted to a robbery and more discussions about technology, as cars and the telephone are both newfangled inventions in Hope Valley!
Hallmark is trying to appease fans following the When Calls the Heart hiatus and we got a double episode here with the second part of the episode airing last night, but we’ll have to wait and see if the rest of the season goes off without a hitch down a mayer and also the most prominent male child actor on the show. (By the way, tough break for that kid.)
On the bright side, at least the show is back now and moving forward with its storyline. There was a brief period of time when the whole show felt on uncertain footing, despite the fact When Calls The Heart had already been renewed for Season 7.