The Virginian relates the history of Trampas coming to Shiloh as he tries to calm a boy on a rampage. Trampas was raised by a gambling father who tried to reform him and Trampas' effort for revenge for the killing of his father by Garth.
Garth is asked by a friend to put on a defense for a son who has already been hung. The community fights it but Garth plunges ahead with the aid of a judge. The outcome uncovers several unpleasant facts about the community and the truth.
The Virginian is in the southwest to collect for a bad check. He gets his money from the man's dad but when he is killed, The Virginian's old flame is convicted of it and he has to protect her while hoping Garth can prove her innocence.
Trampas is the focus of a bounty hunter when Trampas is involved in the accidental death of a man who knows the identity of a man in Medicine Bow with a $5000 bounty on his head. Problem is that Trampas believes he might be the one wanted.
Garth takes on a parolee that The Virginian has an interest in who has been in an orphanage or prison since he was a baby. He has trouble adjusting to life outside prison and Garth is worried about Betsy's growing interest in him.
The Judge's friend asks him to take on one of his sons as a hand to straighten out his attitude. The Judge learns why the son fights with his dad but too late to stop the experiment from ending with tragic results for the son and Trampas.
Brother Thaddeus with a bad reputation as Willy Kane returns to Medicine Bow to help at the mission. When a friend of his and others rob a payroll, he is suspected of helping them so with the help of Trampas he has to prove his innocence.
The Virginian has dinner with a woman who disappears. He learns she is involved with a criminal element therefore the police are reluctant to help find her. A he traces her history he uncovers a tragic past, corruption, and her death.
Steve helps a deaf mute who was once jailed for fighting. With Steve's help he learns to fit in at Shiloh but when two men kill a gambler and he is seen with the body, everyone assumes the worst. He finds a second friend in a lonely woman.
A cowboy becomes infatuated with an eastern society girl he meets on a train. Against The Virginian's advice he courts the spoiled girl but is forced to turn to rustling to pay for it. In the end she learns the serious cost of her actions.
The Virginian plans to propose to Molly but four men ride into Medicine Bow emptying their pistols into the newspaper office killing her. Although the posse is forced to turn back, The Virginian continues on for revenge but is captured.
Garth recognizes singer Elena as a close friend from his early days as a lawyer. The two rekindle their old relationship but Garth is forced to defend her against murder charges which ultimately forces him to uncover the unsettling truth.
Trampas returns to a town to repay debts and see the girl he left but she is married to the Marshal. The family Trampas had lived with is killed by Comancheros caught by Trampas. Only he and the Marshal are willing to stand up to them.
After his uncle is killed in Texas, Trampas chases the killer into Apache country off limits to whites where he found gold. Trampas is forced to take along multiple companions including the man's wife, a gold seeker, and a drunk doctor.
Garth's rival from Texas buys a ranch near Shiloh with an eye to expand it. Trampas has an eye for his daughter adding to the friction when the rival puts pressure on small ranches to sell out and cuts the water supply to them and Shiloh.
Steve volunteers to hunt a killer mountain lion alone. After losing his supplies, he is helped by a lonely couple. They lost their son to the cat and maimed it. The husband helps Steve who soon learns the cat is not his only enemy.
J. Jimerson Jones is on the same train to Chicago with Garth and Betsy where Garth helps him adjust to city life. Betsy has her first love with a cub reporter and Jones is taken in by a beautiful woman while another tries to protect him.
A failed British rancher returns to Medicine Bow a wealthy man but conflicted by his cowardice in the Army. After learning he won't die from a dog bite and Trampas is taken captive by Indians he is given a second chance to prove himself.
The Virginian recalls his arrival at Shiloh when he went to work for a neighboring ranch that was close to a range war with Shiloh. He is caught in a feud with the foreman causing the fight and falls in love with the girl engaged to him.
Randy, a lonely, distrusting drifter comes to the aid of a child, only to be accused of killing her father. Only Betsy's faith in him prevents harm from coming to him and the young girl he tries to protect from the killers.
Trampas appears to be in the lead for a local girl until an eastern meat packing tycoon who comes to Medicine Bow to take over his new ranch catches her eye. Trampas is the only one against him until the ranchers learn he has tricked them.
An injured Trampas is thought to be a stagecoach robber according to a Sheriff and is reported dead to Shiloh. He is forced to rely on a young Chinese woman for help until a grieving Steve arrives to find he must help rescue Trampas.
Betsy's Chicago visitor has a shaky visit starting with Garth ignoring his wire. Garth wants the ranch deserted to host a secret meeting with an Indian Chief but intruders invade to kill the Chief and further impede the couple's visit.
The Virginian tracks the man who killed a young friend in a bank robbery. He finds the man's wife and young son alone on a run down ranch. Finding they need help, he stays on as a ranch hand but soon finds himself in a misguided situation.
Steve takes the job of foreman at a ranch with a new female owner against the advice of his friends. The job gets rougher after he is forced to shoot a stranger. He then learns why he was hired when he faces murder charges from his boss.
A storm forces Randy to stay with Betsy and three of her friends at a mansion where they spent time in their youth. The host's daughter was killed two years earlier in a fire. The host has gifts and other surprises that put them on edge.
The Virginian helps a neighbor lady when her son is claimed by an actress as her own son. Her friends in Medicine Bow are upset by the actress and her detective friend with their actions but it appears they have an ironclad case.
Trampas wins the job of bringing an injured neighbor's bride to him from Laramie. However, the trip back is filled with problems including a bride with a mind of her own, Indians, potential outlaws, and a surprise at the end for Trampas.
A horse thief's daughter staying at Shiloh is drafted to help an injured Randy who can't walk due to a spinal injury with therapy. Their frosty relationship changes when Randy gives up and her father escapes jail looking to kill Steve.
News that Betsy and Randy found over $900 in gold in a cave on Shiloh brings two men to Shiloh ranch looking for money. One is a government agent looking for a buried cache of bearer bonds. The other is Randy's older brother with a past.