Recap: We're Gaining a Daughter - Season 1 - Episode 5

As Kevin remains missing, Mick, Nell and the rest of the O'Brien family nervously wait for more news, while Abby goes to New York to fight for custody of her daughters.

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In the aftermath of the news that Kevin is missing in action, the O’Brien family does their best to cope. The military is still providing very few details on what happened to Kevin or where he may be. Adding to the family’s worries is Abby’s court hearing to determine custody of the girls. Elsewhere, Bree has taken a short trip back to Chicago, while Jess has agreed to help Nell watch the girls while Abby and Mick are at the hearing in New York.

Arriving in New York, Abby nervously prepares to enter the courthouse. Through the divorce and custody hearings, things between Abby and Wes have never been as bad as they are now. As Abby turns to walk into the courthouse, a voice calls out to her and she turns to see her mother running towards her. Abby is surprised to see her mom and even more surprised to learn it was her father’s idea that both he and Megan should be at the hearing to support Abby. As mother and daughter embrace, they hear a loud voice exclaim, “I’m crossing here!” Abby and her parents turn to find Connor yelling at a passing car. Dressed for court and looking to gain some real world legal experience, he smiles and eagerly escorts his family inside.

Back in Chesapeake Shores, Trace is loading his truck for work when Leigh pulls into his driveway. She’s there for one last attempt to convince Trace to return to Nashville and to his music career. She believes that Trace can put what happened before behind him and, with her help, return to making music and heal the wounds of the past. But despite Leigh’s pleas, Trace is unmoved and convinced that the path he’s chosen is the one he must follow.

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Later in the day, Nell drives out to the church in search of some spiritual guidance. Before walking into the church she pauses at the headstone of her late husband. In her pocket she removes the antique ring Trace had found days earlier. Nell holds the ring to her heart before kissing it tenderly and placing it on top of the headstone.

Inside, surrounded by the scaffoldings and drop cloths used for the renovations, Nell takes a seat in an empty pew. In front of her sits Pastor Hayden, who turns to face Nell. As they talk, Nell confesses that her heart and spirit are heavy for her grandson Kevin. Attempting to reassure Nell, Pastor Hayden tells her that they’ve prayed for Kevin and that she must now trust and let the situation be. His answer is unacceptable. She points out to the pastor that when her husband died 17 years ago, she prayed and let it be. She then tells pastor Hayden that she has no intention of repeating the process for her grandson.

Back New York, as they head into the hearing, Abby’s lawyer preps her on what to expect. She explains that despite their attempts to be amicable, in this situation, Wes is her enemy. Abby’s hopes that they are able to come to a shared custody agreement but with Wes petitioning for full custody, Abby could lose her rights all together.

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Inside the hearing, Abby and her attorney sit across from Wes and his attorney. The hearing starts and the judge begins to pepper Abby with questions about her decision take the girls to Chesapeake Shores without telling Wes. Abby’s lawyer argues that Nell’s sudden illness was the reason for Abby’s abrupt departure, but both Abby and Wes know Nell got sick after Abby was already in Chesapeake Shores. Abby tries to explain the situation but the judge is interested in facts and not explanations. Sensing Abby’s angst, Wes, against his best interests, offers his own assessment of the situation saying he’s sure that Abby didn’t intend to violate their agreement and that the situation helped him realize how much he wants to be a part of his daughters’ lives. Before the final ruling can be delivered however, Abby’s lawyer has one final card to play. She hands the judge a petition that would grant Abby full custody. Unhappy about this last minute maneuver, the judge adjourns the hearing while she prepares her final ruling.

Back in Chesapeake Shores, Trace and Maggie, a friend and local real estate agent, walk through the grounds of an abandoned warehouse in town. Trace had spotted the property several days ago and has been thinking about putting in a serious offer. Unfortunately for Trace, a nearby microbrewery is also interested in the property and has begun negotiating the sale. Maggie can tell that Trace has a plan for the location but time is not on his side. As his friend, she feels obliged to tell him that with no income, even with a down payment, it’s not likely that the bank would approve Trace for a loan. Not even with his father working for the bank.

Meanwhile, in her Upper East Side apartment, Megan, Abby, Mick and Connor anxiously wait for the judge to issue her ruling. While they sit, Mick frantically calls anyone he knows that can give him any information about Kevin. Finally, one of Mick’s contacts calls him back and is able to tell him that Kevin is alive. Mick then relays to the family that Kevin was injured but they still don’t know the extent of the injuries. They do know that Kevin is being transported to a hospital in Afghanistan. Once Kevin’s stabilized he will be transported to Germany and then returned to an American hospital. The news is a welcome relief and the timing couldn’t have been better as Abby gets the call to return to court.

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In her chambers, the judge gives both Abby and Wes the opportunity to make a final statement before she issues her ruling. Abby speaks up and acknowledges her mistakes before revealing that being together with her family, something that hasn’t happened in some time, has shown her what she and her daughters would be missing if they didn’t stay in Chesapeake Shores. Abby then promises not to do anything to keep Wes away from their daughters. Abby finishes her comments and the judge then prepares to give her ruling. She first admonishes Abby for her behavior and her decision to leave the state without notifying Wes. She goes on to say that Abby’s plan to move to Chesapeake Shores is a sufficient change in circumstances to trigger a new best-interest hearing. In the meantime, the girls will remain with Abby in Chesapeake Shores for the summer and both she and Wes will return for a new hearing on permanent custody in the fall.

Leaving the hearing with her family, Abby and her lawyer discuss the next steps. Barring Abby and Wes working out the situation together, they will have another hearing in the fall to determine which parent will get full custody. Stepping into the elevator, a voice calls for them to hold the door. Mick holds the door open as Wes and his attorney walk inside. The discomfort quickly rises in the small space of the elevator. Standing face to face with Abby, Wes explains that he wants to be a father and have a family. Since things didn’t work with Abby, Wes would like to try with his new girlfriend Gabrielle. The news hits Abby hard for all the right and wrong reasons. As everyone walks out, Abby stands in the elevator taking a moment to process all that’s just transpired.

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At his cabin in Chesapeake Shores, Trace is upbeat as he roughhouses with Axel. Leigh arrives, confused and excited about a text message she received from Trace. Despite all the lingering pain from his time in Nashville, Trace has decided to team up with Leigh to make their long-awaited duet album. Leigh is thrilled, but Trace does have conditions. He’ll need the money upfront and he won’t record any of the songs he wrote on his own. Leigh loves the songs he’s written, but she’s willing to make that sacrifice. Lastly, Trace commits to working night and day with Leigh to make the album but this project will be the last project that he and Leigh do together. Hearing this Leigh throws a look at Trace, grins and tells him, “We’ll see about that.”

With the agreement, Trace tells Leigh that he’ll need a few weeks before he can return to Nashville. He then reveals to Leigh that while he’s in Chesapeake Shores, he wants to turn the warehouse into a music venue, complete with a recording studio upstairs. Leigh then leans in and kisses Trace. As her lips touch his, Trace pulls back and tells Leigh that this is about meeting their obligations and finishing the album. Leigh smiles and gives Trace an “uh-huh” before leaving him to contemplate the deal he’s just made.