With Jack heading off to his new assignment, Elizabeth is left to put on a brave face. Although she tries to convince herself (and Jack’s dog Rip) that Jack’s departure is for the best, his leaving has left a palpable hole in Elizabeth’s heart. Jack too is having difficulties moving on from his life in Coal Valley. Less than a days ride away from Coal Valley, Jack clutches a photo of Elizabeth and struggles to write her a letter.
Jack is not alone in the wilds surrounding Coal Valley. Teams of Mounties are combing the area in search of the infamous Toliver gang. With information that Nate Toliver may have been wounded during their last bank heist, the Mounties are hopeful that this will be their chance to round up the violent criminals. Unbeknownst to the Mounties, the remaining members of the Toliver gang are also combing the woods for any sign of their leader Nate. Having split off during their escape, Nate is the key to the stolen money and the other gang members are anxious to receive their ill-gotten gains.
Abigail too is engaging in her own acts of deception. Her partnership with Mr. Gowen provides her with the perfect opportunity to gather more information on the mine explosion. While Gowen is off at the mine Abigail drops by his office to drop off his share of the café profits. His absence provides Abigail the perfect opportunity to do more digging into Gowen’s personal files. During her search, Abigail stumbles upon incriminating evidence that corners were cut, potentially leading to the disaster. Unfortunately, Abigail’s efforts do not go unnoticed by Mr. Gowen. Gowen confronts Abigail about the stolen file and implies that her own husband may have been culpable in causing the disaster.
In the meantime, Jack continues to come across other Mounties searching for the Nate and the other members of the Toliver gang. During his travels, Jack learns that Nate Toliver’s horse was found outside Coal Valley. In obvious concern for Elizabeth, Jack speeds off towards Coal Valley. But as Jack makes for town, the other members of the Toliver gang arrive and learn that Nate was being treated in Abigail’s Café. Inside the café, the men question Abigail, Elizabeth, and Julie for information about Nate’s whereabouts. When Julie tells them that Nate wants out of the gang, the men chuckle, brandish their guns, and take Julie and Elizabeth hostage.