Even though Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins) is initially despised by everyone for his evil deeds in the Hallmark drama series ‘When Calls the Heart,’ he eventually decides to turn things around. However, his attempts at reforming himself seem to land him in grave trouble, especially after he takes a drastic step to stop Jerome Smith from reopening the coal mines in Hope Valley in season 9. This puts Henry on the wrong side of the law, and despite the townsfolk supporting him, he finds himself facing a criminal trial. This has made worried fans wonder if Henry is going to prison, and we are here to discuss the possibilities for the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Will Henry Gowen Go to Prison?
In season 9, Henry Gowen is forced to face a traumatic chapter from his past when he encounters Jerome Smith — the same man who ignored his safety concerns regarding the coal mines all those years ago. This led to the death of 47 miners, pushing him into a lifetime of remorse. Accordingly, when Henry realizes the investor Lucas has brought in is none other than Smith, he sets out to investigate the man’s true motives. He soon realizes something seems amiss despite the latter’s claims that the coal mines are safe.
Hence, Henry investigates the coal mines independently and learns that they still are dangerous to work in and fights tooth and nail to ensure they aren’t reopened again. As his and Bill’s efforts to stop Smith fail, it makes the townsfolk suspect that he has returned to his old ways. Weighed down by the guilt of being partly responsible for the miners’ deaths all those years ago, Henry then takes matters into his own hands. In a shocking moment, he takes some explosives down to the mine and blows them up, leading to the entrance caving in.
While this makes Henry a hero in the eyes of Hope Valley residents, an enraged Smith files a lawsuit against him for damage to property and improper conduct. Consequently, the former faces a minimum 6-year jail term, so Bill, Lee, and Lucas team up to help prove his innocence. Yet, Henry seems to have his own plan, as he refuses their assistance and insists he must go to prison to atone for his past sins. He cannot let go of his guilt and decides that accepting punishment by the law is the only way to get rid of it.
Thus, Henry voluntarily locks himself up in jail and even seeks Joseph’s help to turn to God, making Bill worry about his mental state. In season 10 episode 2, he makes matters worse for himself by not showing up for strategy meetings with Bill, Lee, and Lucas to discuss how to go about his trial. Not just that, he impulsively pleads guilty in from of the judge in the preliminary hearing and walks out, leaving Bill in distress. Thankfully, the latter convinces the judge that Henry is not in the right mind and requests some time to consider his decision.
As a result, Henry is granted a week before he should enter his final plea, and his friends try to convince him to rethink his decision. Given his adamant behavior and refusal to be helped, his imprisonment seems somewhat inevitable. Sadly, it’s Henry himself who wants it, and even Bill is unable to talk him out of the same. However, since Joseph visits him regularly, there is a bleak chance he could influence him to get rid of his stubbornness and take a more practical path to make amends for his past actions. Nevertheless, what happens to Henry in court is still to be seen, as he is very unpredictable about his plans.
Is Martin Cummins Leaving When Calls the Heart?
For now, fans can heave a sigh of relief, as Martin Cummins has not made any such announcements of leaving ‘When Calls the Heart’ yet. Even though Henry is facing a considerable prison term in the show, it is unlikely the makers would suddenly write off a pivotal character like his from the upcoming storyline. Besides, given Henry’s story arc since season 9, the character has received much love from fans and could even be saved from going to prison in a last-minute twist.
Furthermore, season 11 has already started filming, and there has been no news yet of Martin exiting the show. Therefore, we can safely assume he will also return for the next season. Although, there is a likelihood that the actor may be seen a little less frequently in the upcoming storyline, given some unfortunate developments in his personal life. Apart from rumors that Martin has been struggling with some health issues, he lost a dear one in November 2022.
So, it is possible that the actor may wish to dedicate more time to his family and shall consequently appear less in the coming episodes. Nonetheless, all of this is just speculation, as neither Martin nor the makers have given any indication about him quitting ‘When Calls the Heart’ anytime soon. Also, with so many people rooting for Henry both in the show and real life, the viewers can be assured that he shall still be seen around Hope Valley in the days ahead.
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