Little Joe finds true love in newcomer Alice Harper. Following a courtship, the two are engaged. Unlike most of the Cartwrights' previous girlfriends, Alice makes it to the altar. Joe and Alice are starting their new life together, and she soon becomes pregnant. Alas, their life together is doomed. Alice's indolent brother owes money to a ruthless professional gambler named Sloan and has not repaid him. One day while Joe is gone, Sloan and his gang - with John at gunpoint - visit Alice to collect the money. When she refuses to cooperate, Sloan's hired muscle, Mr. ...
Ben helps ex-convict John Dundee re-adjust to society. However, Dundee's boorish attitude complicates matters, and it may have to do with his former business partners framing him for a crime he didn't commit.
Jamie joins an elite club and endures the initiation rites. However, when a classmate dies from cardiac arrhythmia during the initiation (touching a piece of ice to his chest, after getting him to believe it was a hot branding iron), the club's president Ted Hoag is blamed. A posse forms to track down Ted and hold him responsible for the hazing. Blood almost sheds, but then Jamie reveals he and the other boys were just as responsible for their friend's death.
Ben becomes horrified while inspecting living conditions at the Nevada State Prison. So are the frustrated inmates, who take Ben hostage and make a series of demands to improve conditions. One of the inmates - Griff King - decides to act as a go-between to communicate the prisoners' demands with the state prison board. In the end, Griff is paroled to Ben's custody.
In this sequel episode to "Riot," Ben helps parolee Griff King adjust to life outside of prison, giving him a job as a ranch hand. At first, Griff resists the Cartwrights' attempts to rehabilitate him, but he soon grows to appreciate their help and tries to change.
Dr. Will Agar is Virginia City's new town doctor. He's exceptionally gifted and can bring many new procedures to Nevada Territory. However, Dr. Agar is addicted to morphine, which results in trouble ... and in the end, tragedy.
Griff's friend, widowed farmer Jonathan May, wants to adopt two young orphans, one of whom is unable to talk. When Jonathan is told he cannot adopt the boys, Griff decides to set the adoption agency folks straight on what a loving father is.
Jamie forms a bond with an Irish setter he names April. However, April was a runt and - according to its rightful owner - should be put to sleep because it is a disgrace to the breed. When April competes in a field trial, the dog's owner soon learns that it's not the size of the dog that matters, but the size of the fight in the dog.
Jamie becomes friends with Kelly Edwards, who is abused by her husband, Dan. The catch: the husband happens to be the new teacher at the Virginia City School, and he quickly becomes unpopular because he belittles the students. Soon, Jamie helps Kelly come out of her shell, which sets none to well with Dan, who orders an end to the friendship.
A man posing as Candy robs one of Ben's elderly business associates; during the robbery, the woman suffers a fatal heart attack. Candy is quickly arrested and brought to trial. While Griff scrambles to track down the witness - a young woman with a checkered past of her own - who can prove that Candy is innocent, Ben has serious reservations about Candy's rookie defense attorney.
Unknown to the Cartwrights, Griff is asked to be a government witness in helping to bring a gang of war criminals to justice. Griff is asked to pose as the husband of beautiful Theodora Duffy, whom the Cartwrights think Griff had abandoned years ago.
During a delivery run, Joe meets Cpl. Bill Tanner, who turns out to be a war-deranged madman who enjoys stalking down his helpless victims before killing them. After stealing Joe's wagon and his supplies, the psychotic Tanner explains that Joe just became his latest "prey," and that he intends to stalk him down and brutally murder him. With no help in sight, Joe must rely on his wits and intuition to defeat Tanner.