When Calls The Heart's Kevin McGarry Knows The Wait For Elizabeth And Nathan Was Brutal For Fans: 'Just Kiss Already! My Lord!'

 Erin Krakow and Kevin McGarry share dreams while laying on hay in a barn, When Calls The Heart Season 11.
Credit: Hallmark Media. Photographer: Kailey Schwerman

Some spoilers about the penultimate episode of Season 11 of When Calls The Heart can be found in this story ahead of the finale hitting the 2024 TV schedule!

Man, When Calls The Heart has been an absolute saga over the past few seasons, starting with its intense love triangle in Season 8 and most recently giving fans the gooey moment they wanted from the very beginning when Elizabeth kissed Nathan on the series. Listen, Kevin McGarry knows it’s taken a long time.

To get why the Elizabeth and Nathan kiss is a pretty big deal, you need to know a couple of things. First, that Elizabeth lost the love of her life Jack earlier on in the run of the show when Daniel Lissing decided to exit for other roles. That happened in Season 5, and it took some time for Elizabeth to want to move forward and date again. Secondly, when she did, she got involved in a love triangle with Nathan and Lucas and ended up with the latter, which honestly upset some of the When Calls the Heart fanbase, who had been watching Nathan and Elizabeth get close since he entered the picture in Season 6.

Obviously, stuff with Lucas hasn’t worked out this season, giving Nathan his first window of opportunity in a while, and ultimately, finally, he took it. McGarry knows the movie was “six seasons coming” and in an interview with TV Guide he explained he knows why it's been so brutal for the fanbase to stick with this storyline for so long.

It's six seasons coming. Some of the fans are like, ‘Just kiss already! My lord!’ Their relationship was definitely elongated and stretched out to this season. A lot of the fans make great edits on Instagram and I just watched one — it was all the almost-kisses this season. I was like, ‘wow, we really did a lot of those!’ I think it's time that we move this relationship into a new place. There's always been something very special about those two characters. It's taken a couple seasons for them to kind of figure it out.

To me it feels natural that Elizabeth would want to stay in Hope Valley with her son and be with someone that gave her a similar lifestyle to her first husband. But that didn't seem to be the path the show wanted to go down for several seasons.

Why Did Nathan And Elizabeth Take So Long To Become Endgame?

To understand why it took so long for Nathan and Elizabeth to kiss, you guessed it, we have to go back to Season 8. That year when Elizabeth was being pursued by both Nathan and Lucas, she’d had more baggage with Nathan. They’d known each other longer, and their relationship had not always been 100% copacetic, thanks to Nathan being a Mountie like Jack and that drama over where he’d been stationed previously. McGarry also mentioned that Nathan had told Elizabeth that he wanted to be with her and she’d instead run off with Lucas, so there’s been “baggage” there for his character.

Nathan declared his love in the eighth season, so he had some baggage he was holding onto. Elizabeth had a lot of things she had to figure out for the first few seasons Nathan was on the show. Now they're both at this great place where they're able to be vulnerable and open with each other. This relationship has been built on a solid foundation of trust, friendship, and love, and now that we get to do all the fun stuff, it's that much stronger, that much more special.

That’s why this time around it had to be Elizabeth who decided to take the step forward and make the choice to be with him.

He did [make the first move] in Season 8 and it didn't go over the way [he wanted]. It really was up to her to open the door and say, ‘Let's do this.’ And I think he's been waiting for that. It has been slowly creeping over Season 11, but the final push is all from Elizabeth. And Erin fought for that as an actor. They had it in some earlier drafts where it was Nathan, but she was like, ‘I think Elizabeth has to explain a couple of things first,’ and I think she was right.'

That last tidbit about Elizabeth and Nathan's motivations coming straight from the brain of his co-star Erin Krakow is a gem of a story. It's hard for Krakow to be the lead on a long-running, long-filming show like this, but it's honestly cool that these characters have stuck with the show as long as they have. Now we're at the point where they can help to shape the narrative in a meaningful way. And with that kiss out of the way, hopefully new episodes will continue hitting the Hallmark schedule for years to come so we can get more of these great BTS stories.