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'When Calls the Heart' Fans Are Convinced Lori Loughlin Is Returning to the Show Next Year

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Hearties aren't giving up on Abigail Stanton just yet.

Two seasons back, Hope Valley's mayor fled town to care for her ailing mother in wake of actress Lori Loughlin's involvement in the college admissions scandal. Even in her absence, Abigail has been ever-present in the show: Bill is now in charge of Abigail's Cafe, but everything she built remains. Understandably, there have been moments throughout the last few years when fans have wondered if Abigail would ever make a return — and now, they're looking to Erin Krakow's latest Instagram for answers.

In the early days of filming season 9, Erin posted a photo of Abigail's Cafe with Abigail's late husband's painting front and center. The caption, "🥧," is still up for interpretation, but it's safe to say that fans are convinced that this post is intentional — perhaps, Abigail is back to baking pies in her cafe? One fan certainly thinks so: "Pleeeeease let Abigail be back making pies in Hope Valley in season 9!!!"

Another fan called back to a pivotal scene between Abigail and Jack in the first season. "This is the picture Abigail’s husband painted. Am I right??!! Jack was looking at it in season 1. Maybe a clue??? 🧐 Is our beloved Abigail back at the Cafe," they asked.

A few days later, Erin returned to Instagram to post a birthday tribute to her dear friend and costar, Lori. Unlike previous years, Erin referenced Lori's character on When Calls the Heart, saying that she has "a heart twice the size of Abigail’s."

Some of the When Calls the Heart cast, including Andrea Brooks, Pascale Hutton and Martin Cummings, responded with heartfelt messages of their own. But really, the fans were the ones doing the talking: Most of them shared their wishes to "bring her back home" to Hope Valley.

Her return has been top of mind for the cast and crew. Ahead of the season 8 finale, Erin told Good Housekeeping that she thinks Lori would be welcomed back on the show with open arms. "I love Lori and would be so happy to see her back in Hope Valley sooner than later. She’s obviously always in my heart, so that would bring me a lot of joy."

Previously, the show's creator Brian Bird revealed that he believes Hope Valley "is a place of second chances" — and that should apply to Lori. "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.

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