Episode 11: Rules of Engagement
Original Airdate: Saturday, March 22nd
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A new day in Coal Valley brings new students to Elizabeth’s classroom. Like all the families in Coal Valley, the Weaver’s arrived to take up work in the mine. Wyatt, the eldest of the three Weaver boys, is joining class for the day to keep an eye on his younger brothers. When Elizabeth invites him to take part in the lessons, Wyatt reveals that he finished school at just 12-years old. Wyatt also reveals that he will be starting work in the mine the next day. Sensing that Wyatt is more than he appears Elizabeth offers him a two university level books to read on his own. Two days later, on his way to the mine, Wyatt returns to Elizabeth, having read both books cover to cover. Recognizing that Wyatt has an obvious academic gift, Elizabeth resolves that he will not see his fate swallowed by the mine.
In the mean time, it’s also time for Julie to return home to Cape Fullerton. After an exciting visit in the wilderness Julie longs for the creature comforts of the big city. Before leaving she makes one last attempt to convince Elizabeth to return home with her, but Elizabeth remains steadfast in her decision to stay in Coal Valley. The sisters make their way to the stagecoach and embrace before saying their goodbyes. At the same time that Julie boards the coach, a beautiful, blonde, and seemingly worldly woman steps off. The woman, who introduces herself as Rosemary Leveaux, has an air of confidence about her and Elizabeth can’t help but stare. As the stagecoach takes off, Elizabeth and Rosemary are left together on Main Street. Rosemary looks around before asking if she’s in Coal Valley? When Elizabeth responds that she is, Rosemary responds by asking “Where’s the rest of it?" Sensing that Rosemary is out of her element Elizabeth makes small talk and inquires as to what has brought Rosemary to Coal Valley. Rosemary immediately exclaims that she’s in town to be with her fiancé. As Elizabeth digs deeper into whom Rosemary’s fiancé is, she catches a glimpse of a Mountie riding into town. Immediately recognizing Jack, Elizabeth smiles a smile that could light up Main Street. Her smile turns to horror as Rosemary exclaims that he, Jack, is her fiancé.
A stunned Elizabeth stands and watches as Rosemary bounds into Jack’s arms. For his own part, Jack seems stunned and slightly annoyed at Rosemary’s appearance. Elizabeth announces that she will let them catch up as she walks off in despair. Meanwhile Jack scolds Rosemary for suddenly appearing after leaving him two years prior to pursue a life in the theatre. Rosemary believes that her past with Jack is all water under the bridge, but it’s clear that the feeling is not mutual. Jack escorts Rosemary to the Saloon where she’ll stay while in Coal Valley, and after a few choice words, he quickly leaves for the comfort of his room in the jail.
On his way to the jail Jack encounters a well-dressed man approaching on horseback. The man, Bill Avery, is a forensic investigator sent to build a case against the mining company. To get his investigation started, Bill immediately heads to meet with Abigail. Upon entering the café, Bill and Abigail’s eyes meet and there’s an instant attraction. For her part, Abigail is overwhelmed with relief that the disaster is being investigated and is determined to do everything she can to assist Bill. Mr. Gowen, on the other hand, is less than thrilled with the pending investigation. Gowen first attempts to question Bill’s authority before conceding that even the company will answer to the Mounties. Gowen then decides to confront Abigail over her giving the incriminating file to the Mounties. Having taken no heed to his previous threat, Mr. Gowen tries to more forcefully persuade Abigail against her current course of action. Gowen again threatens her reputation and the reputation of her late husband. He also insists that Coal Valley is a company town and that he wields all the power, but before he can finish his thought, Bill walks in and orders him to leave Abigail alone. Carrying the weight of the law, Bill threatens Gowen with charges of intimidating a witness and impeding an investigation. Left with no choice, Gowen leaves, but not before telling Abigail that he will destroy her.
In the saloon before class, Jack attempts to make amends with Elizabeth. He explains that Rosemary left him broken hearted and that he didn’t want to open an old wound by talking about his relationship with her. Jack assures Elizabeth that he has no feelings for Rosemary and that he will do whatever is takes to regain her trust. Emotions continue to run high when Elizabeth runs into Rosemary at the General Store. While gathering supplies for her students Elizabeth runs into Rosemary making small talk with Dottie, the mayors wife. Dottie and Rosemary make thinly veiled mockery of Elizabeth’s relationship with Jack before heading off for lunch at the café. Annoyed, Elizabeth gathers her thing to leave, but not before one of the shop attendants hands her a letter. It’s from her father, and he’s writing to inform her of a prestigious academy in Cape Fullerton that has selected her to be the first female teacher on their staff.
A wash with emotions, including an obvious irritation towards Rosemary, Elizabeth opens up to Abigail over a much-needed cup of coffee. It’s now that Elizabeth reveals the job offer back home. Rosemary manages to eavesdrop on the conversation from outside before smugly walking off with the emotional ammunition she needs to steal Jack’s heart. She finally gets her opportunity when she catches up with Jack, whose shooting targets near town. An expert shooter herself, Rosemary is obviously flirting with Jack, trying to win his attention. When her attempts get her nowhere, Rosemary tells Jack that Elizabeth is going home to take the job at the academy. Jack is obviously devastated, while Rosemary hides her grin.