Is Jack going to return?

Hallmark/Heavy Is Jack going to return?

Hallmark’s hit series “When Calls the Heartended on a major cliffhanger. And while fans are still processing the bombshell that dropped, showrunner Lindsay Sturman is already spilling about what to expect—and not to expect—about season 12, including whether Jack might return.

Warning: This post will have major spoilers for the season 11 finale, and some spoilers about season 12. 

The Showrunner Revealed Jack’s Future on the Show

The season 11 finale spent a lot of time celebrating Nathan and Elizabeth’s new relationship. In the previous episode, Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Nathan (Kevin McGarry) professed their love for each other. Then in the season 11 finale, the two shared a number of romantic moments together. They told their children about their relationship, and Elizabeth let Lucas know that she and Nathan were going to Mike and Mei’s wedding as a couple.

But things took an unexpected turn when they were sharing a kiss after the wedding, and Superintendent Hargraves interrupted them. Hargraves was Nathan’s superior officer at Fort Clay, where Jack was also stationed. After Nathan was temporarily suspended for disobeying orders, Jack was sent on a mission in his place and died. Hargarves was last seen in season 8.

Nathan thought Hargraves was there to see him, but Hargraves corrected him and said that he needed to speak to Elizabeth privately.

“Mrs. Thornton,” Hargraves said. “It’s about your late husband.”

Those last words of the episode had the fandom buzzing. What could Hargraves possibly have to say? Could Jack be returning?

In an interview with TV Guide, Sturman officially put the rumors about Jack returning to rest. When asked about what went into deciding on that cliffhanger, Sturman said: “Jack is not coming back, but we did want to keep his memory alive.”

She went on to say that there’s a “complexity” about keeping Jack alive for Little Jack, even while Elizabeth’s embarking on a new relationship.

“It was a way to complicate [Elizabeth and Nathan’s] new situation, which ends on a sweet note and then, oh no, there’s this new complexity,” Sturman said. “It can’t always be simple.”

However, not all fans will be satisfied with this answer and convinced that Jack really isn’t returning. The showrunners and creators said in the past that Elizabeth and Lucas were meant to be together, and then later changed their minds and decided the story was evolving differently. So some fans are, understandably, not quite sure what to think.

She Said the Cliffhanger Won’t ‘Upend Everything’ & Elizabeth & Nathan Will Still Be Dating

Sturman told TV Guide that mentioning Jack’s name at the end “adds to the cliffhanger and creates a challenge, but it’s not meant to upend everything we’ve built… As Nathan and Elizabeth settle, this complicates the two of them going to the wedding together and being together. There is history that Elizabeth always has to grapple with.”

Sturman went on to say that season 12 will focus on Nathan and Elizabeth’s romance, hinting that they’re going to weather whatever’s next.

“The themes of Season 12 will focus on romance as we follow Elizabeth and Nathan’s relationship that has been years in the making,” Sturman said.

The Showrunner & McGarry Aren’t Promising Elizabeth & Nathan Are Permanent

Interestingly, both Sturman and McGarry aren’t promising that Elizabeth and Nathan will always be together. In her interview with TV Guide, Sturman was asked if Nathan is “the one” or if there might be another love triangle.

“One can never say, but I think that they are,” Sturman said, being careful not to make any promises. “They have found each other. And now we’re excited to see what that looks like and unfold that going forward.”

McGarry also said in a separate interview with TV Guide that he was “leery” of calling Nathan and Elizabeth endgame.

“I think that’s a safe thing to say, but you never know what will change,” McGarry said. “I think it’s safe to say we’re going to see them move forward as a couple. I’m leery of throwing around ‘endgame,’ I know it’s out there. I think they are, but you never know.”

In an interview with TV Insider, Krakow promised that season 12 will pick up right where season 11 left off.

“Our scripts are still in flux as we’re moving toward filming,” she said. “I will leave it at that. It’s a juicy enough cliffhanger on its own.”

READ NEXT: ‘The Way Home’ Cast Tease Major Developments in Season 3

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