On a brisk Hope Valley morning, Rosemary storms up to Jack, waving two 5-dollar bills. She explains that a man passed the notes in the Saloon and, as luck would have it, he is waiting for the next coach. Jack approaches the man asking where he got the bills. The man, Dirk, says he cashed a check at the bank and, when Jack asks if he has any more, moves to grab money from his pocket. But instead of removing money the man pulls his fist and punches Jack in the jaw. The two men tussle and a shot is fired. A gun flies across the ground and Jack wrestles the man into submission.
Meanwhile, in the café, Pastor Hogan is struggling with his breakfast. His eggs are crunchier than usual due to a few errant shells. When told about it, Abigail apologizes and explains that she’s been distracted. Since refusing to sell, Gowen’s hit Abigail’s with a notice of required repairs. Not only are the repairs extensive, but without them Gowen can force Abigail to close. Noticing her predicament, Pastor Hogan offers to pitch in to make sure that Abigail meets her deadline.
And at Mountie Headquarters in Hamilton, Bill Avery is engaged in a tense conversation with his superintendent. After Jack’s daring arrest, the Mounties feel confident that the counterfeiting case is solved. Bill is not convinced and demands to at least interrogate the suspect. His request is denied and instead the superintendent would like to know about two missing printing plates that had been recovered from the criminals. Bill says he knows nothing about the plates and brushes off the superintendent’s suspicions.
Back in Hope Valley, Elizabeth heads to the jail to talk with Jack. Their time in Hamilton showed how different their lives are and has driven them apart. Before returning to Hope Valley Jack refused to ride in Elizabeth’s first class cabin, saying he needed to think about some things. Now back in town, Elizabeth takes her chance to ask what he had to think about. The experience with Elizabeth’s family has convinced Jack that he can’t ever fit into her upper class world. Chafed by the accusation, Elizabeth insists that her world is in Hope Valley, with her students and Jack. Jack responds saying Elizabeth isn’t being honest with herself. His accusation incenses Elizabeth, but before the argument escalates, Molly Sullivan approaches, welcoming them back to town and asking about their plans for an upcoming dance. Molly’s intrusion provides the perfect cover for Jack and Elizabeth to part ways and end their fight.
Back in Abigail’s café, Pastor Frank Hogan is busy finishing up the repairs. Abigail brings him a drink and pointedly asks why he’s helping her. Pastor Hogan reveals that when he first arrived, he learned about the painful tragedy that befell the town. And as he got to know the townsfolk, they all said that the one thing that helped them through the dark times was Abigail. Her stalwart attitude helped so many of Hope Valley’s residents that Frank felt it was his duty to give return the gesture.
Meanwhile, Bill Avery arrives back in Hope Valley to interrogate Dirk, the counterfeiter Jack arrested. Bill tells Dirk the only way he’ll avoid spending life in prison is to cooperate. As Bill talks to Dirk, Jack arrives at the jail. Bill’s presence comes as a surprise to Jack, who had been told by headquarters that the counterfeiting case was closed. Bill nonchalantly tells Jack he’s just wrapping up a few loose ends with the case. Despite his close relationship with Bill, it’s clear that Jack is skeptical of Bill’s true motives.
In the Saloon, Rosemary is busy working on the latest installment of her column. As she does, she overhears Molly Sullivan telling Florence about the new man in her life. It appears that after Rosemary rebuffed his advances, Lee approached Molly Sullivan and began courting her. Molly appears quite smitten with Lee, while eavesdropping Rosemary is left fuming.
As Jack arrives at the café, Elizabeth is hard at work on repairs. The tension between them has only grown since the morning’s confrontation. Elizabeth demands to know why Jack said she wasn’t being honest with herself. Jack says Elizabeth stayed in Hamilton, not because of her mother, but because of Charles. Elizabeth responds, making a similar accusation about Jack and Faith. The argument quickly returns to Jack’s feelings about Elizabeth’s family and their upper class world. The two are at a clear impasse and, instead of continuing to fight, decide to again go their separate ways.
In Hamilton, the lovelorn Julie has become emboldened to challenge her parents and their traditional views. Eager to break out of her societal bonds, Julie accuses her parents of looking down on Tom and Jack because of their simple background. Later that day, Julie has a similar fight with Viola, who has no qualms about looking down on the Thornton brothers. Julie responds by questioning if Viola is in love with Sir Lionel or his social status.
As a storm swirls into Hope Valley, Elizabeth heads into the jail to talk to Jack. Finding only Jack’s dog Rip, she decides instead to leave a note. Thunder rumbles in the distance, frightening the poor hound. Elizabeth gives him a passing glance and continues to compose her note to Jack. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, she’s left the jail door wide open and Rip, who’s terrified of thunder, takes the opportunity to slip out.
As the storm clouds churn, Henry Gowen and Dottie Ramsey make their way through town. As they talk, a familiar voice approaches calls out to Henry. Surprised, Henry sees the voice belongs to Nora Avery. Frantically she tells Gowen that Bill is quite taken with Abigail. Gowen responds, saying, “I'm sorry I had to be the one to tell you.” She insists that despite Bill’s recalcitrance, she will stay in Hope Valley until he changes his mind. She then mentions that she doesn’t have much money for the hotel. Surprisingly Henry offers to find her a place to stay in town. As the two walk off, Nora thanks him for his kindnesses through the years, to which Henry replies that he will always be kind to her.
As the storm grows closer Jack nervously calls for Rip. Elizabeth approaches, saying she saw Rip when she was in the jail earlier. Putting two and two together, Jack now suspects Rip ran off while Elizabeth was in the jail. Through Elizabeth’s apologies Jack gathers himself and heads off to Rip’s hiding place in the abandoned mine.
In the driving rain, Jack and Elizabeth make their way into the now old mine. Inside Elizabeth notices an abandoned campsite, probably left by prospectors. Elizabeth heads to a makeshift fire pit, grabs two sticks, and begins rubbing them together to start a fire. Unfortunately her reading a book on camping has not adequately prepared her for the real thing. Noticing this, Jack offers to grab the matches from his saddlebag. The amusing moment is the first sign that despite their differences, she and Jack still care deeply for each other.
In the jail, Bill uses alcohol to help ease Dirk’s interrogation. Bill’s investigation revealed that the gang had the resources to print about 1,000 fake bills. The Mounties have already seized about half the bills and are under the assumption that the gang hid the remaining loot. Bill decides this is the time to strike a deal, offering Dirk 10% of the take in exchange for his freedom and the name of the ringleader. Dirk initially declines the offer, but Bill is willing to give him time to think the deal over.
With the fire now roaring, Jack and Elizabeth are alone and forced to discuss their current problems. While they have argued around the issue, Jack finally admits that he cannot reconcile the Elizabeth he saw pumping water on a homestead with the image of her in all the finery of Hamilton. Elizabeth too admits that when she saw Jack confront the armed counterfeiter, Elizabeth realized that Jack’s job could kill him, just like his father. And while she admires his bravery and sense of duty, she also admits to herself and to Jack that she may not be strong enough to live her life with someone who may never come home from work.
As the rain washes down onto Hope Valley, Elizabeth and Jack sit teary eyed in the old mine, pouring out their emotions. Elizabeth’s revelation that she fears losing Jack has brought into focus their feelings for each other. As they talk, they hear barking in the distance. Following the echoing barks, Elizabeth walks down an abandoned shaft. As she does, a support beam breaks loose and pins her to the ground. Jack runs to Elizabeth and pulls her from the rubble. As he does, the roof gives way, forcing Jack to grab hold of Elizabeth and roll them both to safety. Her knee injured, Elizabeth insists that they continue the search for Rip, but Jack will have none of it until he is certain that she is ok. They head back to fire to warm up and tend to Elizabeth’s injury.
Earlier in the day, Nora cornered Abigail in the Mercantile and begun hurling more accusations at her. Beyond embarrassed, Abigail now confronts Bill outside of the Western Union. Puzzlement comes over Bill’s face as Abigail recounts the story. Bill is surprised at Nora’s persistence, but also that Nora was able to find him in Hope Valley.
On the rain covered street Bill Avery spots the man responsible for the drama with Nora. Unknown to Hope Valley, Gowen, Bill, and Nora have a shared past. In fact, Henry and Nora had been an item. Their relationship ended when racketeering charges against the mining company led to Gowen’s transfer to Hope Valley. Bill led the investigation and, although the charges were eventually dropped, Gowen lost Nora.
Back in Hamilton, Viola escorts Charles into the drawing room to wait for William Thatcher. They make small talk that eventually leads them to the topic of Elizabeth. When Charles asks about her, Viola snidely tells him that she’s back “playing teacher in the wild west.” Clearly fed up with Elizabeth’s headstrong ways, Viola uses this opportunity to enlist Charles into convincing Elizabeth to abandon her dreams and come home. Viola tells Charles that if he doesn’t tell her how he feels, he’ll regret it for his entire life.
As the rain clears, Jack and Elizabeth are finally able to leave the mine. Jack finally finds Rip and all three are united. Elizabeth realizes that throughout the difficult stretch they’ve been given a second chance at a future together. And while the future is uncertain, Jack assures her that together they can overcome any obstacle. Jack looks deep into Elizabeth’s eyes, puts his hands to her cheek and tells her he loves her. She says the same to him and the two share a tender kiss.
Outside Hope Valley, Bill Avery frantically digs through a disturbed patch of ground. With the threat of a long prison sentence, Dirk finally gave up the location of the counterfeit money. As Bill digs he strikes a metal lockbox that contains the bundles of counterfeit notes. At the same time and unbeknownst to Bill, a telegram has arrived at Mountie headquarters, alerting the superintendent of his activities in Hope Valley.
Back in town, Rosemary confronts Lee about the ‘misunderstanding’ between them. Since Lee began showing interest in Molly, Rosemary has been forced to confront her own feelings of jealousy. As she explains to Lee, she only brushed him off to avoid racing into a relationship. She’s made that mistake before and hurt someone she loved. Lee instantly knows that she’s talking about Jack. Having accepted losing Jack, she doesn’t want to do the same with Lee. Through his smile, Lee agrees to renew courting Rosemary. But unbeknownst to Rosemary, Lee’s relationship with Molly was a farce in order to bring Rosemary around.
Back from an afternoon at the club in Hamilton, William and Grace Thatcher enter the parlor and find Julie reading alone. Julie’s recent disinterest in the normal trappings of high society comes much to the chagrin of her parents. Grace does her best to pique Julie’s interest in returning to the Hamilton social scene, but Julie is unmoved. Angered by her parents’ meddling, Julie tells them she no longer belongs in Hamilton or with her parents, who care more for outward appearances than her actual feelings. As William tries to object, Julie throws Elizabeth’s leaving in his face. Julie envies Elizabeth’s tenacity to dream of a life of her own and her strength to go out and do something about it. The fight culminates with Julie telling her father, “The world is changing, Father. And you had better start changing with it.” The next day Viola, checking in on Julie, finds only a note that says she's run off, for good.
In the café, Abigail and Frank Hogan sit and enjoy a cup of tea. While they sit, Abigail decides to learn more about Pastor Frank Hogan. To Abigail’s surprise Frank is less than forthcoming about his past. Abigail knows he had a near death incident but Frank is reticent to give details, saying only that he made a mistake in his past and paid dearly for it. Abigail presses for more and Frank hesitates before saying “I guess you could say I didn't always work on the right side of the law.” He then reveals that he almost died after being shot. The revelation takes Abigail aback. Sensing the change in her demeanor Frank continues saying that after the shooting, he “made a promise to God that if he would let him live, he'd dedicate his life to doing his good work.” Still stunned, Abigail struggles to compose herself. Frank asks her to keep the information to herself and abruptly leaves, ending the awkward conversation.
The next day Jack receives an urgent telegram from headquarters ordering him to arrest Bill Avery. In Bill’s room, Jack finds the plates and counterfeit bills stuffed in Bill’s belongings. Jack angrily confronts Bill who insists that the items are just part of the investigation. Bill then tells Jack that he has reason to believe that someone on the inside is working with the counterfeiters. Bill assumes his long friendship with Jack will convince Jack to give him leeway, but duty bound, Jack disarms Bill and takes him into custody. As Jack escorts him to the jail both Henry Gowen and Nora are on the street, witnessing the Bill’s downfall.
Back in his room, Jack stands in front of the mirror, rehearsing his lines and trying to pick out the perfect suit. Earlier Jack was spotted in the Mercantile receiving a small gift-wrapped box. Both he and Mr. Yost were very excited, but the boxes contents were not immediately clear. Now, in his best suit, Jack and his little box head off to the schoolhouse. Inside, Elizabeth is finishing her lesson when the door opens. She turns and surprise overcomes her as the small box opens, revealing a stunning diamond engagement ring. Unfortunately for Jack, Charles arrived at the schoolhouse first to propose on one knee to Elizabeth. Behind them, Jack enters the open door of the schoolhouse to witness the proposal. Unsure what to do, he turns, leaning against the door and closing himself off from Elizabeth’s line of sight. In silence, Jack stands outside the schoolhouse, struggling to understand what he has just seen.