For anyone who is a fan of Hallmark’s ‘When Calls the Heart,’ Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) is a highly beloved character. Her heartwarming friendship with Elizabeth has been one of the pivotal points of the storyline, so naturally, the viewers were saddened when she leaves Hope Valley in season 6. Since then, everyone has been hopeful about Abigail’s return, and with the arrival of the tenth iteration of the drama series, speculations are rife that Lori is rejoining the cast list. Well, let’s find out if there’s any truth to the same, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Happened to Abigail Stanton?
When Elizabeth arrives in Hope Valley, Abigail is one of the first to extend her a helping hand. Having lost her husband and son in the coal mine accident, she is coping with immense grief and lives with her widowed daughter-in-law, Clara. Abigail is respected as a somewhat leader among the widows in town. She rallies the women against Henry Gowen’s atrocities and encourages them to save their homes by working in the mines themselves. Not just that, Abigail takes it upon herself to investigate how the coal mine explosion occurred and stands up against Henry’s mistreatment of the widows.
Eventually, Abigail opens a cafe in town with Elizabeth’s support, which she manages with Clara. With Bill Avery’s arrival in Hope Valley, she finds a partner for her investigation, and soon they warm up to each other. However, their potential romance gets cut short when his ex-wife comes and stirs up trouble in Hope Valley. Later, Abigail connects with Pastor Frank Hogan and helps the townsfolk accept him despite his past. During this period, she adopts two young children, Cody and Becky, and he helps her look after them.
However, when Frank is appointed the pastor of a children’s hospital in another town, he decides to leave Hope Valley, leaving Abigail behind. After his departure, she briefly becomes the mayor, helps introduce the telephone in town, and helps save the bank from crisis. Furthermore, Abigail even fends off the railroad company, preventing the townsfolk from exploitation. However, she proves to be the most genuine friend to Elizabeth, becoming her biggest support following Jack’s untimely death.
Besides, Abigail even forgives Henry and helps him get a chance to make amends for his past deeds. Sadly, she has to leave Hope Valley with Cody unexpectedly and move to Brookfield when her mother falls sick. Though Abigail leaves town abruptly, it is later revealed that Henry has still kept contact with her and even visits her at the end of season 8. In addition, even though she is not in Hope Valley anymore, her friends remember her lovingly and stay in touch with her.
Is Lori Loughlin Returning to When Calls the Heart?
Unfortunately, Lori Loughlin’s exit from ‘When Calls the Heart’ amid season 6 was permanent, and there is currently no chance she’s returning to the show. Abigail’s character was abruptly written off the storyline due to the actress’ involvement in a college admission scandal in 2019. Following accusations of bribery, Loughlin had to complete a 2-month prison sentence. Eventually, she returned to television, but not in ‘When Calls the Heart,’ as many fans were expecting.
Instead, Loughlin reprised her character in the show’s spin-off ‘When Hope Calls‘ and continues to do so as of writing. While many viewers have been hoping to see Abigail return to Hope Valley, neither the actress nor the makers have made any announcements indicating so. Although, since Abigail is still occasionally mentioned in ‘When Calls the Heart,’ one can only hope that there could still be a slight chance she could make another appearance in the show sometime in the future. But as far as season 10 and the current story arc are concerned, Loughlin, and consequently, Abigail, will not be returning to the show.