During last week's episode "In Perfect Unity," Clara and Jesse got married.
At one point in the episode, Clara alluded to the people who weren't able to attend her wedding — and many assumed she was talking about Abigail Stanton, once played by Lori Loughlin.
Loughlin was fired from the When Calls the Heart following her involvement in the college admissions scandal.
Saying goodbye to Abigail Stanton on When Calls the Heart wasn't easy for Hearties, especially given the circumstances. Once it was revealed that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged in the nationwide college admissions scandal in March 2019, Hallmark quickly cut ties with the actress, causing her character (Abigail) to leave Hope Valley for good.
Abigail's fate was revealed last May when the top-rated Hallmark drama returned after a month-long break: She fled Hope Valley to care for her mother, and it's unknown whether or not she'll ever return. "We all keep Abigail and her family in our prayers in her absence and wish her godspeed. In her absence we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley," Elizabeth, played by Erin Krakow, said.
Now in its seventh season, the town has more important things to talk about, including Elizabeth's complicated love triangle, Faith's new beginnings, and Clara and Jesse's future. In the most recent episode titled "In Perfect Unity," the town came together for Clara and Jesse's wedding — but a few key characters were noticeably absent.
At one point during the episode, Clara and Bill share an emotional moment at Abigail's Cafe. When Bill questions Clara's behavior, she comments that she's "thinking about everyone who can't be at the wedding." While he assumed he was talking about her parents, Hearties thought this was a subtle way to mention Abigail:
— Gia Villanueva (@giavillanueva) March 30, 2020
— Lee Coulter's Pants (@LeesPlaidPants) March 30, 2020
But one eagle-eyed fan pointed out that Abigail may have been there all along. While Clara was panicking about how they'll carry on with an outdoor wedding ceremony during a torrential downpour, her bridesmaid Fiona calms her by saying that rain is good luck in some cultures. Apparently, Abigail said something similar in a previous season:
#Hearties I remember that when Abigail was working on opening the cafe it was raining and the roof leaked. She said something about r as in being good luck at that time 😉
— sjbobo (@sjbobo58) March 30, 2020
Although the chances that Abigail will ever come back to Hope Valley are slim, the show's creator isn't ruling it out just yet. "Some of the fans have asked what will happen to Abigail’s character, and shared their opinion that Hope Valley should be an example of forgiveness and grace. As Lori’s friend, I could not agree more," he told From the Desk in 2019. Still, he did go on to say that he thinks "having a heart of forgiveness does not mean that justice can be ignored." So, it sounds like Hearties will have to keep on watching to see what's ahead for Abigail and the rest of Hope Valley.
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