Episode 6: Free Spirits

Original Airdate: Saturday, August 24
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Seth is finally coming home after finishing up a job on a fishing boat in Alaska and Justine is eager to see him. She leaves work early to set up a surprise homecoming on Seth’s boat, however Seth never arrives and Justine quickly becomes concerned.

The next day at Moon’s, Justine shares her concerns about Seth with Grace and Olivia. Grace is sure there is a logical explanation for why Seth hasn’t been in touch. Olivia points out that with Seth’s job; this sort of thing is bound to happen, but Justine isn’t satisfied.

Jack arrives at the coffee shop and tells Olivia that he has a freelance assignment covering a Seattle Mariners game. Jack can tell by Olivia’s reaction that she is worried that more assignments like this might take him away from Cedar Cove permanently. He assures her that he is committed to their relationship and invites her to go along to the game and stay overnight.

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Maryellen meets with handsome photographer John Bowman at her gallery. He has brought more than the usual amount of photographs because he lost his job as a chef in Tacoma. Maryellen assures him that his pictures will sell, but John is not very forthcoming with any details, despite Maryellen’s eagerness to help him. Maryellen talks to Grace and Justine about John losing his job and Justine tells her that The Captain’s Galley is looking for a new chef. Justine suggests that might bright John around a little more often, much to Maryellen’s embarrassment, and Grace immediately picks up on her daughter’s romantic interest in the man. Maryellen is disheartened, since she’s pretty sure John doesn’t feel the same way about her.

Justine gets a call back from Seth’s employer saying that Seth left the boat, got his pay and hasn’t been heard from since. When Olivia hunts Grace down to talk about Jack’s invitation to go away with him, Grace inadvertently spills the beans about Seth’s mysterious absence. Cliff runs into the pair downtown, meeting Olivia for the first time, but Olivia makes herself scarce, heading to see Justine right away to discuss the news. On Seth’s boat, Justine is very worried, confiding her fears to her mother, who tries to calm Justine down. But Justine does not want to be placated, and accuses Olivia of not being supportive. Olivia explains that whatever she wants is enough—she only wants her daughter to be happy.

At the library, Cliff Harting shows up and asks Grace to visit his ranch for lunch and a horseback ride. Grace tells him that she just got out of a long marriage and isn’t ready to date. Cliff explains that it is just a visit and a ham sandwich, not a date. “I’m not ready for a ham sandwich,” Grace explains with a smile, and Cliff accepts her explanation.

Jack and Bob Beldon head out onto the lake to do some fishing. They chat about Jack’s hopes about turning the Mariners coverage into something more permanent, and also about Olivia’s uncertainty about going with him to Seattle. Jack is in search of the secret to relationships; he’s worried about his future, and hurting over the mistakes he’s made in the past. Bob doesn’t have a “secret” though, and he’s been through his own struggles with drinking. He offers what he’s learned over the years: that marriage is work, and that life is long--you never know what might be around the bend.

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Olivia tells Grace about the proposed getaway with Jack. Grace encourages her to go, but Olivia is skittish about moving so fast in their relationship. Justine arrives to tell her mother she is going to Alaska on her own to look for Seth. Olivia is unsettled at the idea of Justine in Alaska and tries to change her mind, but Justine is determined to go. Jack uses his connections to see if he can find out anything about Seth. Olivia is worried about Justine and confides to Jack that Justine has been overly fearful and cautious ever since she lost her twin brother. Her departure for Alaska is out of character.

Maryellen tells John about the open chef position and he gets the job. She suggests celebrating together, but he is once again standoffish. Despite her attempts to learn more about him, Maryellen discovers almost nothing, and is left feeling awkward and embarrassed. Grace suggests that maybe John doesn’t want to be chased and advises Maryellen to back off and play it cool.

While Justine is away, Olivia lies awake, worrying. Fortunately, the next day Justine calls home to say she made it to Alaska, but has to drive three hours to Seward. Thinking of Justine driving on the unfamiliar Alaskan roads only makes Olivia more anxious. She tells Jack that she cannot go away with him with things so unsettled in her life right now. Jack notices how upset Olivia is, and gets insight from Grace about it. Grace tells him that it wasn’t only Justine who was affected by her brother’s death but Olivia became fearful as well. The experience left Olivia always on guard, waiting for the next crisis.

Justine stops her car on a lonely Alaska road to look for directions, but when she tries to head off again, the car won’t start. Her cell phone doesn’t get service in the area, and she has no idea what to do. Luckily, a friendly female truck driver passes by and is able to help her start the car. She listens to the woman’s words of wisdom and takes them to heart: “You’re never more alive than when you’re scared half to death.”

In the middle of the night, Grace arrives at Olivia’s, knowing her friend would be unable to sleep. Olivia tells Grace she can’t even think about leaving town with Jack while she is so worried about Justine. Grace tells Olivia that there will always be some element of risk in life, especially with relationships. She is going to have to take a leap of faith.

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Justine makes it to Seward. It is a new place with a lot of unfamiliar faces, but she plucks up her courage to talk to some of the locals. A brawny, gruff fisherman tells her that he knows that Seth went out on a charter for a few days and was expected back that afternoon. He gives Justine the pier number where the boat will return, and Justine heads there.

Olivia’s worry over Justine starts to have an effect on her work and Jack notices. He talks to Grace, who thinks she might just know what Olivia needs to shake her up and get her back on track. She takes Olivia to Cliff’s ranch and they go horseback riding. Olivia proves to be a natural and, as Grace had hoped, finds horseback riding brings her peace.

Back in Alaska, Justine is waiting at the pier as Seth’s boat arrives. Seth is surprised and happy to see Justine. He tells her that he sent an email to explain but it must not have gotten through. He is impressed that his usually cautious girlfriend would make such a trip just because she was worried about him.

Refreshed from her ride, Olivia goes to see Jack and tells him that she will go away with him after all. She is still feeling peaceful and happy when Justine calls her later to say she found Seth, and that they are heading home.