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Erin Krakow gave a shout-out to a When Calls the Heart guest star for perfectly embodying a deeply unpleasant character in the show’s May 12 episode. Fortunately, actor James Kot is the exact opposite of creepy Superintendent Thomas Higgins in real life, she said. 

Elizabeth crossed paths with a figure from her past on ‘When Calls the Heart’ 

In the latest episode of the Hallmark Channel drama, Elizabeth (Krakow) was stunned when a figure from her past unexpectedly arrived in Hope Valley. 

Higgins (Kot), the territorial superintendent, was in town to discuss the merger of the school where Elizabeth teaches into the larger district. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time that he and Elizabeth had crossed paths. Years ago, he tried to get her fired from her teaching job as revenge for rejecting his advances. In “Believe,” he proved that he hadn’t changed his ways. After Elizabeth expressed reservations about the new curriculum, he implied he would only address her concerns if she went on a date with him.

A troubled Elizabeth eventually opened up to Nathan (Kevin McGarry) about the situation with Higgins. When she and Higgins met up again at the school, she informed him that it would not be appropriate for them to spend time together. Higgins replied that other women had benefited from being “nice” to him. 

As Higgins threatened and harassed Elizabeth, Nathan emerged from a back room. He’d overheard the entire conversation and told Higgins he’d crossed the line by abusing his authority. Later, Higgins appealed to Lucas (Chris McNally) for help. But Lucas had already spoken to Nathan and Elizabeth and discovered that there were other women who backed up her claims. Not only did Lucas believe Elizabeth and the other women, but he also suspended Higgins and told him he’d have to stand trial for his crimes.

Erin Krakow thanks ‘When Calls the Heart’ actor James Kot

Elizabeth, with her back to the camera, looks at Anna and Thomas Higgins as they stand in her classrooom in 'When Calls the Heart'
Kadence Kendall Roach and James Kot in ‘When Calls the Heart’ | ©2024 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

After “Believe” aired, Krakow took to Instagram to comment on the episode and praise Kot for doing such as good job of bringing the villainous Higgins to life. 

“Thank you @kotjameskot for helping us tell a difficult and emotional story tonight with the integrity it deserved,” she wrote, “Higgins is an absolute creep, but you are not – and everyone should know that!”

Kot responded to Krakow’s kind words in a social media post of his own. 

“Thanks @erinkrakow!!” he replied. “You were wonderful [to] work with and I appreciate the kind words! Higgins was such a snake but I’m grateful to be a part of such a conversation starting episode! The #Hearties rule.”


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While the return of Higgins was an unwelcome surprise for Elizabeth, she’s far more pleased when a different figure from her past arrives in Hope Valley in the May 19 episode, “Facing the Music.” Her late husband Jack’s brother Tom decides to pay her a visit, much to Elizabeth’s delight. He’s also scouting choirs for an upcoming festival, which could mean an exciting opportunity for the Hope Valley’s choir. 

When Calls the Heart airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Hallmark Channel. 

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