Season 2, Episode 6: Trials and Tribulations
Justine is still stunned by Luke’s sudden violent attack. Unable to comprehend how a decorated war hero could so viciously attack an unarmed stranger, Justine keeps the incident secret from everyone including her mom. Visiting him in jail, Justine offers to help Luke get a lawyer but Luke refuses the offer and says the safest place for her is far away from him. As the sheriff escorts her from the cell he echoes Luke’s plea suggesting too that Justine stay away from Luke. But he also knows she wont listen and instead of pushing the issue agrees not to call Olivia and tell her what’s happened.
Meanwhile Jack and Eric are at odds over Eric’s decision to take a job with Warren Saget. While Eric tries to convince Jack to see the job as a good opportunity for him, Jack is unable to put aside his personal animus towards Warren. The issue threatens to derail all the work Eric and Jack have done to repair their fractured relationship. And worse, Jack’s attitude threatens to push Eric closer to Warren.
Meanwhile Grace, having won her case against her ex-husband, is uncertain about her next living situation. Knowing that selling her home will put her in need of a new place to stay, Cliff offered to rent her the cabin on his ranch. While his offer seems generous, Grace is totally put off by the idea of living in such a ‘rustic’ home. She is so against the idea that she won’t even set foot inside the cabin. Her response so offends Cliff that it appears his and Grace's relationship is in trouble.
At the Marina, Justine looks to Cecilia for advice on how to handle the situation with Luke. Cecilia assures Justine that Ian will be able to get through to Luke. Cecilia then reveals that despite having already lost a child, she again wants to get pregnant. Although she is dropping hints right and left, Ian seems oblivious. In reality, Ian is not ready to have children and after a heated argument, he admits it to Cecilia. But Cecilia is determined to do whatever she must to have the family she wants.
In them meantime, Warren gives Eric his first taste of responsibility. Warren’s current project is running behind schedule and neither he nor his partners are interested in losing money from delays. So Warren decides that Eric will be responsible for pushing the crew to make up for lost time. But while Warren has every faith that Eric can handle the job, they crew is not so sure. When Eric first tries to assert himself they simply laugh him off. Discouraged, Eric heads to Moon’s for some coffee and a pep talk. As expected, Moon gives Eric some useful words of wisdom and sends him back out, ready to face down the burly workers.
When Eric arrives back at the worksite the men are laughing and enjoying their extended lunch break. Fed up, Eric again asserts himself as Warren’s point person. But this time, as the men again try to blow him off, Warren appears and throws his full weight behind Eric. Having seen Eric’s moxie, Warren takes him to the side and congratulates him a job well done. The experience has a clear impact on Eric’s confidence and maturity. The change doesn’t go unnoticed by Jack, who finally apologizes for letting his personal feelings get in the way of Eric’s happiness.
Later in the day Jack stumbles across the report on Luke’s arrest in the local crime blotter. He immediately calls the sheriff for more details and learns that Justine was with Luke at the time of the incident. At the same time that Jack is making his calls, Luke makes his first appearance in court. And, as luck would have it, the presiding judge is none other than Olivia Lockhart. Still unaware that Justine was involved, Olivia can only sit in shock as Luke willingly goes back to jail without requesting an attorney. It’s only later, while eating lunch with Jack, that Olivia learns that Justine was with Luke at the time of the assault.
At the Thyme & Tide Justine brings Bob and Peggy up to speed on the situation with Luke. As Justine explains Luke’s odd behavior, Bob nods and suggest that Luke may be suffering from PTSD. The disease is one that Bob, a Vietnam vet, is more than familiar with. Bob has seen close friends take their lives as a result of PTSD. And his own battle with the disease led him to seek comfort at the bottom of a bottle. He is resolved that he will do everything he can to save Luke from the same fate.
Back at home Olivia confronts Justine over the situation with Luke. Olivia first chides Justine for not coming to her sooner. Justine explains that Luke may be suffering from PTSD and that he needs help, not prison. Olivia then explains that a judge in Coopertown may be able to help. Thanks to a program called Veteran's Court, Luke can clear his record as long as he agrees to undergo treatment. Olivia offers to hear the case and recommends a lawyer who’ll take the case pro-bono.
Shortly after her fight with Cliff, Grace notices that a rental listing has been placed for the cabin. Recognizing that it was her own attitude that pushed Cliff away, Grace decides to at least go inside and see Cliff’s cabin. While still not her style, Grace does recognize that by shutting out the idea she was also shutting out Cliff. As she walks through the cabin Cliff arrives. Grace apologizes for offending him while Cliff thanks her for her honesty. While their styles may be different they can’t deny their feelings for each other. They share a kiss and make up.
While so many people in Cedar Cove are pledging their support for Luke, he still seems intent on running from his problems. After learning of his incarceration, Ian went to the jail and paid Luke’s bail. Now free, Luke grabs his belongings and heads back to the docks so he can skip town. While it seems like an easy solution, running will force Olivia to issue a warrant for his arrest and only compound his legal problems. When Bob learns of this he decides to take action and heads out to find Luke.
Knowing that he wants to try to leave town, Bob tracks Luke down at the docks. While Luke insists that he has to run Bob assures him that what he really needs to do is to get help for his problem. Bob also confides in Luke that he is not alone and the he also suffered from PTSD. He reminds Luke that unless he gets the help he needs it won’t get better. Bob’s words break through and Luke tearfully agrees to seek help. After meeting with counselors on the base Luke goes in person to thank Justine. While he fumbles with his words he finally gets his gratitude across and the two head off together.