Season 2, Episode 5: Starting Over
After admitting she had read his letter, Luke and Justine have a heated argument at the docks. During the argument Luke reveals that his best friend Frank wrote the letter. Luke and Frank met during basic training and immediately hit it off. Luke was the best man at Frank’s wedding and later became godfather to his son. The best friends also served in the same Navy SEAL team in Afghanistan. Both Frank and Luke also wrote letters to their loved ones in case something happened while in combat. Unfortunately Frank was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan. After his death, Frank’s wife Caroline and son moved to Cedar Cove. Racked with guilt over Frank’s death, Luke has been unable to face Caroline and deliver the letter. Justine tries to convince him that Frank’s death wasn’t his fault, but Luke insists she has no idea what he’s feeling. Justine then tells Luke that her brother Jordan’s death tormented her, but she eventually realized that the way to cherish his memory was by living her life for the both of them.
At the diner, Eric talks to Moon about his financial troubles. Moon understands Eric wants more money, but Moon’s already giving Eric extra shifts. Feeling that he has no options, Eric decides that it’s time for a different job. Having given many of Cedar Cove’s professionals their first job, Moon is very understanding of Eric’s decision. However Moon can’t hide his surprise when Eric reveals that he is taking the job Warren Saget offered. The decision is one that Eric has not yet shared with his father.
Along the waterfront, Jack and Olivia chat about who has the more irritating day ahead of them. Jack is dreading an interview he must do with Warren Saget. While Jack dreads the prospect of spending any time with Warren, he also knows that his boss is one of Warren’s personal friends.
Meanwhile Olivia is preparing to head to court for Grace’s hearing with her ex-husband. Olivia is confident she can prove Dan is in contempt of his and Grace’s divorce agreement. What’s more, Olivia’s sure the judge will side with Grace and force Dan to pay the lien on their home. The only plus that either Jack or Olivia can see is that they get to spend the evening together on a romantic date.
At the courthouse, Grace, Olivia and Dan all arrive at the same time. Dan tries to exchange pleasantries but Olivia is having none of it. She tells Dan she’s never been moved by his charms and that isn’t going to change today. While Olivia is even more determined, the confrontation makes Grace nervous and she considers leaving the courthouse all together. Olivia stays strong and insists that together, they’ll win the fight. Grace agrees and they head into the courthouse to get the justice they deserve.
Back at the Captain’s Galley, Jack patiently waits for Warren. Late for his own interview, Warren finally saunters into the restaurant. He arrogantly walks past Jack, who’s sitting at a small table for two, and takes a seat at a much larger table in the center of the room. Already annoyed, Jack moves to the larger table and begins his interview. Since Warren makes clear that his “false arrest” is not up for discussion, the interview centers on Warren’s view of himself not as a developer, but a “visionary.” While Warren insists that he is working to preserve Cedar Cove’s small town charms Jack is revolted by his presence.
Back at the courthouse the judge hears testimony from Grace and Dan regarding the status of their divorce and their finances. While Grace insists she didn’t know about the lien, Dan produces documents Grace signed suggesting that she was fully aware. The move is stunning, but during the recess, Grace reveals that because she trusted her ex-husband she signed the document without realizing what she was signing. The gravity of the situation is finally apparent as Grace realizes that Dan had duped her throughout their marriage and divorce. Sensing the need for a change in course, Olivia compels Grace to ask for a continuance. The judge grants Grace and Olivia 24 hours to find any new evidence that may compel the judge to rule in their favor. On the way out of the courthouse Grace confronts Dan, accusing him of lying to his former wife and the mother of his children. Dan responds by saying that Grace needs to move on.
Back in Cedar Cove Justine has convinced Luke to finally face Caroline. As Luke nervously approaches the home, Caroline catches a glimpse of him. She immediately recognizes him, runs over, and gives him a much-needed hug. As Caroline, Justine, and Luke sit and talk Luke nervously hands Caroline the letter from her late husband. Sensing the difficulty of the moment, Justine offers to read the letter out loud. As Justine tearfully finishes reading the letter a voice calls out, “Uncle Luke.” Breaking the somber moment, Frank’s son Jake comes bounding onto the porch. His excitement and energy are all that are needed to change this sad moment into a joyous reunion. Adding to the special occasion is the gift Luke has for Jake, his Navy Cross.
After leaving Caroline’s, it’s clear that a huge weight has been lifted from Luke’s shoulders. He and Justine talk about the future and despite liking Cedar Cove, Luke is out of money and has no place to stay. Luckily for Luke, he’s got Justine on his side. Justine has managed to convince Bob and Peggy to offer Luke a job and place to stay at the Thyme & Tide. A Vietnam Vet himself, Bob knows all too well what Luke is going through. But he and Peggy may also be in for a long journey with Luke. While helping Jack with a small project, Luke gets frustrated and flies into a rage. While Peggy remarks that Bob was the same way when he returned from war, it’s also a sign of how much time Luke will need to reacclimate to civilian life.
In his office Jack struggles to write a flattering article about Warren. While he knows what he wants to write, he also knows what his boss is expecting. He does get a break in his work when Eric stops by unexpectedly. Hoping to talk with Jack about his new relationship with Warren, Eric senses that Jack is stressed. As Jack vents about his distaste for Warren Eric develops a severe case of cold feet and leaves without saying anything. Meanwhile, Jack pushes forward to finish his article on Warren.
On his way to work the next day, Jack is pleasantly surprised to see how many of the townsfolk are reading his article. Holding onto his journalistic integrity, Jack wrote an unflinching expose on Warren’s questionable morals. Even Bob exclaims that the article was so good he read it twice! The praise comes as a relief after Jack’s boss, a friend of Warren’s, expressed his displeasure with the article. Jack shakes this off and pops into Moon’s Café for a quick bite to eat. After talking to Moon for a bit Jack asks where Eric is. Surprised that Eric didn’t already tell him, Moon reveals that Eric quit and is now working for Warren.
Confused and angry, Jack heads over to the construction site where Eric is working. Shocked, Eric tries to explain himself, but before he can get a word in, Warren bursts from his office and gleefully greets Jack. Beaming at the awkward family moment Warren tells Jack that he sees big things in Eric’s future. Adding insult to injury, Warren tells Jack, “What you lack in talent, your son more than makes up for. Must get that from his mother.” Devastated, Jack can only look on as Eric walks away with Warren. Eric glances back at his dad, the feeling of guilt written clearly on his face.
Back at the courthouse, Olivia arrives early for a one-on-one confrontation with Dan. Dan smugly scoffs at Olivia’s attempts to stand up for her friend. But Olivia has a trick up her sleeve. Knowing how Dan duped Grace into signing important documents, Olivia guessed he was probably doing the same thing to his current girlfriend. Building on that hunch, Olivia dug up corroborating evidence that will not only force Dan to pay the lien, but could also send him to jail. With no other choice, Dan immediately agrees to pay the lien. Olivia’s stunt also opened the eyes of Dan’s current girlfriend, Katie. The two argue as they walk out of the courthouse. And before Dan can leave, he and Cliff have a man-to-man chat. Cliff tells Dan that where he comes from, “This whole thing could have been taken care of in a different way. And it would have hurt.”
As the day comes to an end, Justine and Luke wrap up a wonderful meal together. The two laugh and smile as they walk out of Captain’s Galley. As they exit, a man inadvertently bumps into Justine. He apologizes and excuses himself but the gesture is not enough for Luke. Justine assures him that it’s okay, but he refuses to let it go. The man, who’s with another friend, makes an offhand comment, instantly sending Luke into a rage. Luke attacks both men as Justine yells, trying to bring him to his senses. Unable to hear anything, Luke becomes completely lost in his rage. Standing in shock, a concerned and frightened Justine is left to wonder what to do now.