At the Lexington office, Art offers Raylan his sincere condolences over Helen, despite the fact that he is still deeply hurt and angry over Raylan’s betrayal. Raylan asks for another week‘s leave, adding a request for Art to recommend him to Glynco. Art reminds him that Glynco is a promotion, and tells Raylan he needs to think about it.
Doyle rolls up to Mags’ store announcing that Boyd Crowder wants a parlay, a peace talk in a safe, neutral location. Despite Dickie’s arguments for war, Mags agrees to the sit-down.
Boyd secretly meets with a new partner, Nick Mooney, one of Doyle’s deputies, now embittered by the Bennett betrayal of their land with the Black Pike deal. Boyd hands him a wad of money in exchange for his cooperation.
In Lexington, Loretta’s foster family goes to church while Loretta opts to play sick and stay home. As the family pulls out, Loretta notices beat-to-hell car, parked opposite. In the drivers’ seat, a shady man sits, watching her…
At Raylan’s motel, Winona questions Raylan’s commitment to returning to Glynco, unexpectedly dropping the bombshell that she is pregnant. Raylan, blown away by this news, promises they will go to Glynco, or at least do whatever is necessary to escape this violence.
Doyle and Mags roll up to a local church, where Boyd and Arlo wait inside for the parlay. A nervous minister checks them for guns or other weapons, then leaves them alone to discuss business. Boyd says one thing is clear: bloodshed is bad for business. Mags retorts that besides money, business is built on agreements and trust, and Boyd broke trust with Mags when he stole their pot money. Boyd agrees, and apologizes by returning all the money he stole from Dickie. Mags says it’s a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, as the parlay continues, we see Ava and Devil, armed and waiting inside Ava’s house, while across town, Johnny Crowder rolls his wheelchair up into his house.
Back at the parlay, Mags‘ tone changes: one of these days, she says, Boyd is going to want more, and she’s sure he will try to take it...
Back at Ava’s, three armed gun thugs approach Ava’s house, while two more roll up on Johnny’s place in a pickup. They exit the pickup and approach Johnny’s front door, guns at the ready. But no sooner do they enter, than an explosion rips the house apart, killing both — while Johnny looks on from across the road.
Ava is not so lucky. While Devil is distracted in a firefight, Dickie appears behind Ava, and when she turns, shoots her in cold blood. Ava goes down, bleeding from a chest wound. Dickie races out of the house, jumps into his truck and peels out, abandoning his last man to the mercy of Devil’s rifle.
At the parlay, Doyle gets a desperate call from Dickie: things didn’t go as planned; Boyd somehow knew they were coming. Boyd, seeing the look on Mags’ face, knows that he’s turned the tables on the Bennetts, He might have underestimated her before, but now, he thinks they understand each other.
Loretta’s foster family has returned home to find Loretta missing. Local police have been called, and the officer, finding Loretta‘s cell phone, dials the last outgoing call. The phone is answered by Raylan, who is driving Winona to work. Learning that Loretta is missing, Raylan tells Winona he needs to make a short detour.
At Ava’s house, Boyd rushes in to find Ava laid out on the couch, weak and bleeding. Enraged at Devil for letting her put herself in harm’s way, he demands to know who shot her. Devil tells him that it was Dickie. Boyd takes out his phone and calls his new informant, Deputy Mooney: “I need you to find me Dickie Bennett.”
While Winona waits in the car, Raylan listens incredulously to Loretta’s foster parents give a police statement. When the police leave, Raylan presses the foster father until he gets the truth: there was a handgun and $300 cash hidden in the house yesterday which have gone missing with Loretta.
We discover Loretta at a gas station with Wade Messer, the shady man who was watching her earlier. He’s a Harlan local whom Loretta has hired for a ride back down to Mags’ place. When Loretta pulls out cash to pay for the gas, the man notices the handgun in her bag. He confronts her over this, telling her she’ll endanger both their lives if she rolls into Harlan with a gun asking questions about what happened to her father. When he threatens to take her back to her foster home, Loretta turns the gun on him and jumps out of the car. She’s going to see this through; she owes her father that much.
Outside the foster home, Raylan returns to his car to tell Winona that he needs to drop her off and go to Harlan. Winona, freshly home from a funeral in Harlan where Raylan just killed a man, begs him not to go. Raylan promises he will be safe, and she can see in his eyes that he has to protect Loretta. Resigned, she lets him go, but says she can’t promise to be there when he gets back.
Doyle and Deputy Mooney roll up on the Bennett house, where Dickie and Mags wait for battle with a ragtag group of thugs. Doyle tells Mags that there is a police BOLO out for Wade Messer, who is heading their way with Loretta. Raylan, apparently, is not far behind them. Mags orders Dickie to wait for Loretta at Messer‘s place, and to bringthe girl back to her, safely. Mooney watches Dickie as he goes...
At Ava’s house, Arlo ushers in a local doctor, willing to treat Ava, off the record, in exchange for a generous gift to his free clinic. Boyd tells him to fix Ava as if his life depended on it – because it does.
Back in Lexington, Winona tells Art that Raylan went down to Harlan and begs Art to send marshals down to back him up. Despite the tears in Winona’s eyes, Art has to turn her down: Raylan’s gone to Harlan on his own time. He understands the risks he’s taking. Sometimes you just can’t help.
Raylan rolls up on Wade Messer’s property, and finds Wade repairing a fence, but no sign of Loretta. As Wade explains that he left Loretta at a gas stop, Dickie appears from behind Raylan, and knocks him cold with a baseball bat.
Raylan awakens to find himself hanging upside-down, tied up by one leg, swinging from a tree limb. Dickie sends Messer to go find Loretta, then turns his attention to the helpless Raylan. Taking his time, Dickie whacks Raylan with the bat, promising to maim Raylan’s leg the same way Raylan maimed Dickie’s leg 20 years ago. As Dickie winds up for more torturous fun, Boyd appears, gun drawn, and makes Dickie drop his weapon and cut Raylan down. Raylanpicks up his hat and gun, and is about to leave Dickie to Boyd’s unforgiving vengeance when Dickie pleads to Raylan: Dickie is the only person who can help Raylan get past Doyle’s gun thugs to save Loretta. Raylan, realizing this is true, convinces a very unhappy Boyd to let Dickie come with him.
Loretta walks up to the heavily guarded gate at Mags’ place. Despite the threat of war with Boyd, Mags is overcome with happiness at seeing Loretta again. Once they’re alone in the house, Loretta’s sweet tone changes to one far more serious. Mags is not surprised: it’s time to talk about Loretta’s daddy. She is, however, surprised to see Loretta pull out a gun...
Outside the house, Raylan rolls up on Doyle and his thugs, with Dickie in tow as a human shield. He demands to see Loretta, but Doyle puts him off with a shit-eating grin.
Inside the house, Loretta aims her gun with frightened hands, as the calm and fearless Mags nears her, trying to talk the gun away from her. Loretta appears on the verge of giving it up, when she suddenly shoots Mags in the leg. The sound of the gunshot sets off the itchy trigger-fingers of the gun thugs, and a suddenly hail of gunfire drops Raylan to the ground, as Dickie dives for cover in the car.
Lying helpless and wounded on the ground, Raylan looks up to see Doyle standing over him with a pistol: “This bullet’s been on its way for twenty years.” As Doyle is about to shoot, a rifle cracks nearby, and Doyle’s head blooms red. He drops like a stone, as Raylan hears Art‘s voice over a loudspeaker: “Drop your weapons!” The entire marshal squad descends from the woods, as Art walks up to his estranged and wounded friend. Raylan, with appreciation and remorse filling his eyes, tells Art that it’s good to see him. He then goes inside to rescue Loretta.
Flanked by Rachel and Tim, Raylan finds the wounded Mags at the other end of Loretta’s handgun. Mags confesses to Loretta that she was the one who killed her father, realizing it might be the last thing she says. In an emotional moment, Raylan and Mags together talk Loretta into giving Raylan her gun, finally breaking the cycle of murder and revenge. Tim and Rachel escort Loretta outside, leaving Raylan alone with Mags. Raylan informs her that Doyle is dead, and Dickie in custody. Mags, realizing her family legacy has died for good, offers Raylan a drink – some apple pie, to ease the pain….
In a sinister replay of Mags’ murder of Loretta’s father, Mags sets out two glasses of moonshine. She and Raylan drink, then Mags offers Raylan her hand – time to end this feud, once and for all. Raylan grips her hand, but quickly realizes something is amiss: what has Mags done? She shrugs: “Same thing I did to Loretta’s daddy.”
But moments later, Raylan realizes that, this time, the poison was in Mags’ own glass. Dying, Mags tells Raylan that this is how she’ll end her life, and see her boys again. Then her hand goes slack, and she slumps back in her chair. Raylan pulls his hand free. Mags is dead. Her troubles are ended. And Raylan’s….?