What a wild ride. When Calls the Heart wrapped up its landmark 10th season on Oct. 15 with a finale episode designed to leave the show’s loyal fans wanting more. While “Starry Nights” left us with some major questions about what’s next for Elizabeth and Hope Valley, the good news is that answers should be forthcoming in When Calls the Heart Season 11. 

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers for When Calls the Heart Season 10 Episode 12.]

‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 10 ends on a cliffhanger  

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When Calls the Heart ramped up the drama in a major way in the final two episodes of season 10. 

In “Long Time Running,” Lucas (Chris McNally) stepped to save Hope Valley by running for governor. But that choice cost him the woman he loved when Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) realized she could not leave her beloved home to become a politician’s wife. She ended their relationship in a heartbreaking scene at the train station in the final moments of episode 11. 

Election Day arrived in the finale, with Lucas pulling out of a narrow win over the corrupt governor Bixby Balfour. But his victory may have put a target on his back. As he exited his campaign headquarters on a rainy night, someone confronted him in the street. “What are you doing here?” Lucas asked the unseen stranger.  

Meanwhile, Elizabeth was in a better place after calling off her engagement to Lucas. The door was now open for her to pursue a relationship with Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry). When the two met outside of town in the final moments of the episode, both seemed to be on the verge of declaring their feelings for each other. Then, Bill (Jack Wagner) rode up with some disturbing news. Something had happened to Lucas, though he didn’t say what. 

Another surprising development in the finale involved Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins). After some encouraging words from Elizabeth, the redeemed villain visited Abigail, the long-missing character who left the show mid-way through season 6. Abigail didn’t appear onscreen, but the scene suggested she and Gowen might have a future together. 

‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 11 is coming to Hallmark Channel 

So, what happened to Lucas? What’s next for Elizabeth and Nathan? Will Abigail – and Lori Loughlin – finally return to When Calls the Heart? Fans want all those questions, and the good news is that they are coming. Hallmark has confirmed that When Calls the Heart Season 11 is in the works. 

The feel-good network announced the renewal back in February 2023. When Calls the Heart Season 11 will have 12 episodes and is already in production, thanks to a SAG-AFTRA waiver that allows the cast to continue working despite the actors’ strike. 

“I’m so thrilled, proud, and grateful to Hallmark that the show has been renewed for Season 11. We have so many more stories to tell,” Krakow said at the time (via Variety).   

Chris McNally is looking forward to what’s next for his character 

Elizabeth standing next to Lucas at the ball in 'When Calls the Heart' Season 10
‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 10 | ©2023 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Dolsen

While we’ll have to wait to find out what’s next for Hope Valley, one thing is certain heading into When Calls the Heart Season 11: Everything has shifted for Lucas. Showrunner Lindsay Sturman, who joined the show in season 10, addressed the decision to break up Elizabeth and Lucas in a conversation with The Edify After Show (via YouTube).

“We really wanted to do a hero’s journey for [Lucas],” she said. He and Elizabeth “were on different journeys. Elizabeth and Lucas had different destinies … it sort of revealed itself to be a Casablanca story.” 

McNally, who was also an Edify After Show guest, said the painful end of his character’s relationship opens up new paths for Lucas moving forward. (In a separate conversation with the Official Hearties Admin, Sturman confirmed McNally would return for season 11.)

“I think it’s a good storyline all across the board,” the actor said. “I think it allows for a lot of shifts and changes to happen. And through those shifts and changes we get to follow the characters and explore more stories in Hope Valley. And from Lucas’s point of view, this whole venture into government and what not, it’s not something that could have been explored had he and Elizabeth gotten married.”

“I understand and am empathetic to the audience members and the Hearties and fans who were really gunning for this and really wanted a wedding in season 10,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a massive disappointment. I also feel that sometimes characters are ripped apart and things change. And that’s part of life.” 

Sources: Official Hearties Admins via YouTube

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