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When vital deliveries and services for Paterson's Ridge become mysteriously disrupted, Rachel ("Frances O'Connor") suspects that her husband Thomas MacAlister ("Shane Briant") is making good on his threatened vendetta. People think she is being paranoid, until confirmation comes when word arrives that MacAlister has bought the local hotel, and shortly thereafter moves into town and begins implementing his plan to take over everything of importance in the area. Things become critical when it is discovered that MacAlister has the stagecoach service cancelled and the railroad tracks torn up, effectively cutting off the town. Faced with commercial ruin or worse, suddenly the town is not quite as unified in its support of Rachel and Matt ("Andrew Clarke") takes it upon himself to make practical arrangements and keep morale high. He works on a plan to stand up to MacAlister, but isn't aware that Tyler Morgan ("Shane Feeney-Connor") is now working for the tyrant banker, and is secretly feeding information about the town's retaliation strategy back to his employer. Matt sends Rob ("Guy Pearce") and Montana ("Gabrielle Fitzpatrick"), along with a waggon train, to Blaine's Ravine for supplies, but when they get there they have to deal with an old adversary, Hardwick ("Tony Barry"), who gleefully tells the visitors that he has already sold all the supplies they ordered to someone else, who turns out to be Thomas MacAlister. However, determined not to be outwitted, Rob threatens Hardwick, and the businessman gives in and honours his original deal. Back in Paterson's Ridge, MacAlister manages to sidestep Herbert Elliott's defiance ("Greg Parker") of him by telling the young banker that he has bought a controlling interest in the bank, and that Herbert now answers to him. Furthermore, MacAlister now owns every mortgage and loan in the town. He instantly puts up interest rates by 200 percent, and then continues buying up or closing down as many other local businesses as he can, in a bid to systematically take over the whole town. Rob cuts the telegraph wires to isolate MacAlister from his source of funding, giving the town a temporary reprieve. Montana gets cold feet about her relationship with Rob, prompting him to propose marriage to her, but she rides off without giving him an answer. In another retaliatory strike, the whole town starts a run on the bank, everyone closing their accounts and withdrawing all their funds in cash, forcing the closure of the bank. Tyler Morgan rebels against MacAlister, choosing to stand with his friends and neighbours. The banker finally admits defeat and leaves town. Rachel departs too, having secured a teaching position in Sydney. Rob and Montana sort out their differences when Monatna says that she is not yet ready to settle down, but wants to continue their courtship. In a final happy twist, Emily ("Sheryl Munks") discovers that she is expecting a baby.


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