Recap: Stronger Together - Season 11 - Episode 5

Hickam and Lee clash with the mayor of Benson Hills, and Gowen suggests a solution with huge implications for the town. Elizabeth and Nathan clear up a misunderstanding.

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As Nathan and Allie walk in town, she asks him what’s going on between him and Mrs. Thornton. He says they’re just friends. Allie tells him that Elizabeth is amazing and very important to her, but she doesn’t want Nathan to get hurt again. He reminds Allie that that was a long time ago and a lot has changed. Nathan tells Allie that she has nothing to worry about.

Elizabeth walks with Toby as they discuss upcoming tests and she tells him to visualize success. She reminds him that he should try not to answer the problem like everyone else, because he is unlike anyone else. Elizabeth spots Lucas and walks over to him.

Lucas says he owes Elizabeth an apology. He’s sorry that Jeanette ambushed her and that he didn’t tell Elizabeth about his history with Jeanette. He tells her that he and Jeanette talked about getting engaged, but there was never a ring and his heart wasn’t in it. She says there’s nothing to worry about and she isn’t bothered about it. Nathan again sees Lucas and Elizabeth talking from afar. He’s discouraged as he sees Elizabeth put a hand on Lucas’s arm while they speak.

In the fields, Henry tends to the hazelnut trees as Lucas approaches. Henry says that if Lucas is there to ask him to join his team again, he’s wasting his breath. Lucas says he needs Henry’s help to solve the land dispute with Benson Hills so that the resort can be completed. Lucas pleads for Henry’s help, but Henry says that he promised himself he'd take a different route.

Elizabeth enters Nathan’s office with a bone for Scout from the soup she made, but Scout isn’t there today. Nathan keeps working and curtly says he’ll take Scout the bone. Elizabeth asks if everything’s ok, and he tells her that he has to get paperwork done.

Mike and Lee meet with Maisie again to review Benson Hills’ long list of requirements for their involvement in the new resort. They want Hope Valley to build them a new train station, a railroad extension, and a town dump amongst many other things, all to deal with tourist influx. Lee and Mike are at a loss.

At the Canfields’, Minnie enters with a letter for Joseph from his brother Jacob; Angela and Cooper watch him open it. The letter says that Jacob is open to a visit, and Joseph wonders how he got their address. Joseph reads that Jacob got “his letter” and that he’s looking forward to Joseph’s apology. Joseph is angry because he doesn’t know how he’s supposed to apologize when he doesn’t know what he did wrong. Joseph storms out.

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Bill and Rosemary enter Nathan’s office bursting with news that they found something. In Pike’s confession, they read that Pike claims to have shot Lucas from a distance. But this doesn’t add up with the angle of the bullet in Lucas’s leg. Nathan reviews the evidence as well, and they surmise that the shooter and Lucas could have been in a struggle with the gun. They think Lucas had to have seen the assailant’s face, but he unfortunately still cannot remember.

At the schoolhouse, Elizabeth surprises the students with a visit from Anna, who came back from teacher’s college in Capital City to participate in a practicum at the school. The students are excited to see her and have her in their classroom.

At the Saloon, Lee and Mike discuss their difficulties reasoning with Mayor Maisie Hickam as Mei joins them. Bill asks to speak with Lucas about his shooting, but Lucas says he has bigger problems. Bill and Lucas join Lee, Mike and Mei to ask about how it went with Maisie. Lee tells them that he agreed to meet with her again later that afternoon, but he doesn’t think she’s taking these negotiations very seriously. Mei suggests that pitting Mike and Maisie against each other won’t achieve the outcome they’re after. Bill says Hickam is the only Mayor they have, as he himself was just acting Mayor when Mike was absent. Bill, Lucas and Mike suggest that Lee step up as Mayor since he only lost by a few in the election anyway. Mike resigns and they appoint Lee as temporary Mayor until the next election.

At the schoolhouse, Elizabeth and Anna catch up about teacher’s college as the students play outside. Elizabeth tells Anna that there’s a difference between what they teach you to teach, and what you learn by actually doing it. Anna feels like she’s behind, but Elizabeth tells her she’ll feel much more confident at the end of all of this. As they head inside to grade quizzes, a concerned Elizabeth spots Nathan from afar riding on his horse.

At The Voice, Lee enters as Rosemary works and tells her that he has news. Lee says that before he tells her, he wants her to know that he isn’t going to let this get in the way of their family life. He explains the news, and he thinks he can make a difference. Rosemary kisses him and assures him that he was made to be Mayor. She’s so proud. Rosemary also thinks she’d make a wonderful political wife, holding salons, debating issues of the day, and driving conversation towards a better world. They share another kiss.

At the schoolhouse, Anna helps Elizabeth pass out quiz results to the students. Toby looks thrilled with his results. Elizabeth hands Anna the school bell to ring to dismiss class. Toby thanks Elizabeth, who says she always knew he could do it.

Cooper and Angela tell Allie about their dad’s reaction to the letter that their uncle sent him. Cooper says their dad is going to be even more angry when he finds out what they did, sending the letter to Joseph’s brother from him. Allie asks what they’re going to do, and Elizabeth overhears. When Angela, Cooper and Allie reveal the truth, she agrees that they overstepped, but their hearts were in the right place. Their father will understand and they wonder if they should tell him; Elizabeth thinks they already know the answer to that.

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At the Saloon, Henry asks Joseph if he can sit with him. Joseph asks what’s bothering Henry, and Henry tells Joseph he wants peace, but business is war. He tells Joseph about Lucas’s request for him to help with the resort, and Joseph asks if business excites Henry anymore. Henry says that the person he becomes when doing the business isn’t good. Joseph reminds him he’s grown and changed, but Henry doesn’t think he’s any wiser. Joseph says he’s been called upon to share his wisdom and it’s up to him if he wants to.

At the salon, Mei tends to Maisie with a ginseng facial. Maisie tells Mei she gets pain in her shoulder and wishes Mei had something for that. Mei offers to make her a salve or try acupressure, which Mei has studied in her grandmother’s journals. Maisie takes her up on it, so Mei gets to work. Maisie explains that she wants Mike and Hope Valley to forget about this resort plan, and Mei wonders why she doesn’t just say “no.” Maisie knows that people don’t agree with her and thinks that Lucas has dazzled the people of Benson Hills with the resort. As Maisie lets her guard down, she falls asleep in the chair as Mike enters. Outside of the salon, Mei tells Mike about what Maisie has disclosed in making things harder for them with the resort. Mei tells him to talk to his sister and heads back inside.

In town, Elizabeth sees Nathan and smiles at him; he walks away without addressing her.

Outside of Elizabeth’s house, she and Rosemary have tea as Rosemary asks about Lucas. Elizabeth tells her they’re friends and that in looking back, there was love, just not the love that she had with Jack, or that Rosemary has with Lee. Elizabeth wonders if it’s too much to want that kind of love again, but Rosemary says it’s written in the stars and waiting for her. Rosemary asks what’s going on, and Elizabeth says it’s hard to know what’s going on in people’s minds and hearts. Rosemary guesses it’s Nathan she’s speaking of, and tells her that hearts and minds don’t always agree.

At the Saloon, Lee, Mike and Lucas have a drink at the bar. Mike relays the information he heard from Mei about Maisie and the negotiation, and Lucas asks if Henry has anything he could help with around this. Henry says maybe Maisie has a point, but she’s trying to paint them into a corner; they need to take the paintbrush away from her. Lucas tells Henry that it seems like he’s on board, but Henry leaves and says they’ll talk tomorrow.

Lucas sees Nathan playing darts at the Saloon and asks if he wants to play a round for a small wager. Nathan tells Lucas he seems upbeat, and Lucas says that some things have worked out in his favor, like clearing up the misunderstanding with Elizabeth. Lucas says Elizabeth barely batted an eyelash at the Jeanette news, and he believes she’s really and truly moved on. Nathan asks if he’s okay with this, and Lucas says he’d rather have Elizabeth as a friend than not at all.

At the Canfields’, Angela and Cooper ask if Joseph wants some pie. He sits and joins them, and they tell him about the letter they wrote to their Uncle Jacob. They explain that they thought he might be taking his relationship with his sibling for granted and they wanted to help. He tells them that they may be right, and that it’s okay.

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At the schoolhouse, Opal shows Anna a drawing of what she imagines the resort could look like. Elizabeth sees it too, and Opal says she created it after they visited the resort site with Governor Bouchard and saw his grand vision. Elizabeth and Anna tell Opal she has the makings of an architect or an engineer. Opal asks if Elizabeth can show the Governor, which Elizabeth says she will.

Mike, Lee, Henry and Lucas meet with Mayor Hickam. Mike tries to tell her the recent news of the new Hope Valley Mayor, but she insists on their business first. Henry tells Maisie that they accept all of her demands, and they feel they have an idea that can benefit both towns. They suggest merging the towns, and Maisie thinks they are doing this to push her out of office. Lucas suggest co-Mayors, and Maisie wonders what would happen if one of these Mayors convinces the other to oppose the resort. Lucas says they can’t move forward without the support of at least one Mayor. Maisie agrees, and they finally tell her that Mike is no longer Mayor; Lee is. Lee shakes her hand as Mike tells Maisie he tried to tell her.

In town, Nathan stops Elizabeth and asks to talk with her. He tells Elizabeth he owes her an apology for yesterday; he thought there was still something between her and Lucas. Elizabeth tells him that there’s nothing going on, and Nathan now knows that. He asks Elizabeth what he is to her and if they’re just friends. Elizabeth doesn’t answer. Henry interrupts them as there’s an emergency meeting with the town council; both Nathan and Elizabeth head to join the others.

At the Saloon, a group of townsfolk discuss the merging of the towns. Lucas tells them that they all have to be on board, or the towns remain separate and the resort is killed and will be moved to Jamestown or Buxton. Lucas reveals that one downside to merging towns is that their school will lose independence and will now fall under the school board. They’ve had their issues with the board in the past, but they agree that it could lead to more resources for the school and students. Elizabeth shares a glance with Nathan.

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Lucas, Henry, Lee and Mike meet with Maisie again; she says she agreed to the merging of the towns before she knew all of the information. Lucas says they want to work with her and promise to compromise on her demands in good faith, but it is complete. Maisie says it’s a terrible idea that will bring trouble to this valley, but Lucas says he promises that that won’t happen. Maisie says she may be a lone voice but she will fight against this “monstrosity.” Mike tells her that her own council agreed; Maisie tells Mike he’s being fooled, and Mike tells her she’s wrong. She says this isn’t over as she leaves. Lucas tells Henry that that was well-played and welcomes Henry aboard to his team.

Elizabeth enters Lucas’s office; he apologizes about the blindside today with the school board. Lucas says he will do everything he can for the school to maintain independence. Elizbeth gives Lucas Opal’s drawing as Opal believes in Lucas’s grand vision, and Elizabeth says she believes in it too. As she leaves, he tells her that he means what he said, that their friendship means a lot to him. Lucas also asks her to promise him that if she has the opportunity to be truly happy, that she’ll jump in with both feet because she deserves that. She agrees that she will.

Outside of the café, Minnie sees Joseph looking at his brother’s letter. She reminds him that the kids were only trying to help, and that he used to be so close to and happy with Jacob. Joseph tells Minnie that Jacob is stubborn, but she reminds him what he always says: nothing is more precious than family. Joseph has nothing to lose but everything to gain.

At Lucas’s office, Bill and Rosemary tell Lucas how his shooter was inches away from him. Bill says they’re concerned Pike didn’t act alone or maybe wasn’t even there. Lucas appreciates their concern, but notes that it’s been five months since the shooting; whoever this person was has had ample time to finish the job, and they haven’t. Bill and Rosemary are just trying to keep him safe, and if he remembers anything, to tell them. As Lucas looks at a picture that fell out of the case file, he has a fuzzy memory of a gun being drawn. He tells them that he grabbed the gun just before it went off, but that’s all he recalls. Lucas says he’s tired and it’s been a long day, but he then remembers more; a dark figure holding a gun, an umbrella on the ground, and headlights.

Allie joins Nathan as he sits on their porch with a beer. She brings up their conversation yesterday about Mrs. Thornton and apologizes, but Nathan knows she was just looking out for him. Allie asks what he’s going to do, but it’s complicated. Allie sees Elizbeth approaching and heads inside. Elizabeth tells Nathan that she didn’t get a chance to answer his question earlier. She says to Nathan that friends don’t look at friends this way. With that, she tells him goodnight and leaves.