After discovering the truth about the father of Shelly’s baby, Olivia asks Jack to meet with her. Jack does so reluctantly, and he is stunned to find out that Eric is going to become a father. He has not been able to get in touch with Eric for a while and Olivia tries to help him though the shock. The more they talk about the situation, the more Jack sees what he is about to give up. When Olivia reminds him that she loves him, he replies in kind, and they share a kiss. Soon Jack calls Eric and leaves a message that he knows about Shelly, but that he will be there to support him as well.
Meanwhile, the mysterious federal agent asks Justine for her help building a case against Warren for some very shady business dealings, including money laundering. Justine is reluctant to believe such bad things about the man she once planned to marry. However, the agent tells her the marriage could never have taken place, and reveals that Warren is already married.
Later, Justine recounts to Seth everything the agent revealed to her about Warren’s dirty dealings, including a fire that destroyed one of Warren’s recently sold buildings. The agent also revealed how Warren got to take the credit for saving the old lighthouse when it was really Olivia who saved it. The agent wants Justine to simply talk to Warren and see if he says anything incriminating. Seth is against the idea, thinking it may be too dangerous, but Justine points out that all of their money is now tied up in escrow with Warren and they have to protect themselves.
Jack and Olivia talk to Shelly, who admits that Eric is the father of her baby. She came to Cedar Cove thinking that Eric might be with his father, and now she doesn’t have any idea where he is. She tells them that Eric was thrilled about the baby at first, but as it became more of a reality, he worried about his ability to be a good father and told Shelly that they should give the baby up for adoption. Shelly told him he could leave instead, so he did. He sends money, but other than that, she hasn’t heard from him. After he had been gone for a while, she started to think that he was right about adoption and that her baby deserves parents who could provide her with everything.
At Cliff’s ranch, Grace is taking riding lessons and has managed to improve dramatically with such a great teacher. They are very comfortable together, and she continues her pursuit, asking him to dinner again. This time she’s finally worn him down—he accepts. They’re on for Friday night at 7.
Jack has to put in a call that he doesn’t look forward to making: to his old friend Mike, who got him the job in Philadelphia. Mike is frustrated by Jack’s quick departure from the new position, telling him that no one will ever hire him in his old hometown again. Jack doesn’t mind—he’s got a new hometown now. He gets back to work at the Chronicle, beginning a new piece about life is in a small town.
Jack and Olivia visit her chambers, talking about Justine’s new investment in the restaurant. But Jack has something else to talk about too, giving her an early Christmas present. It’s a charm bracelet with two charms, a miniature scale of justice and a tiny canoe. It represents their relationship, and Jack hopes to add to it over time. Olivia is thrilled with the gift and pulls Jack into a passionate kiss.
Shelly and Moon are closing up shop when she suddenly asks him if he thinks she is horrible for giving up her baby. Moon thinks quite the opposite and confides that he was adopted. He tells her that he has heard that we pick out parents before we are born and he likes to think that he picked out one woman to carry him and another to raise him.
At the Thyme & Tide, Bob continues his quest to decorate the B&B in the most spectacular fashion, Peggy notices someone in Shelly’s room. Armed with a baseball bat, Bob goes to check and finds a worried Eric looking for Shelly. Bob contacts Jack, who comes to talk with a defensive Eric. Jack is still trying to convince Eric that he wants to help when Shelly arrives. Jack leaves them alone and the two quickly fall into an embrace. Despite everything, they truly love each other.
Justine is working on her own in the new restaurant when Warren comes to see her. She is suddenly wary of him, realizing she never really knew him at all. When he talks about how much he hates liars, Justine sees this as a veiled threat and knows she has to be careful.
Grace carefully prepares for her dinner with Cliff and goes a little overboard. She prepares too much food, uses her most elegant place settings and dresses to the nines. When Cliff arrives, he is overwhelmed and Grace realizes she may have overdone it. She quickly tones everything down, much to Cliff’s delight. After dinner, Cliff helps with the dishes, which impresses Grace, as her ex–husband never helped out. She manages to maneuver Cliff under some mistletoe for a first kiss.
At Moon’s, Shelly serenades the crowd with a beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night.” Soon after, Shelly suddenly starts feeling painful cramps. She thinks it will pass, but it only gets worse and Moon calls for help. At the hospital, Olivia, Jack, Charlotte, Grace and Cliff all wait nervously for news. Eric is with Shelly, and he’s devastated by the fact that he has nothing to offer her. Jack assures her that just being there is enough, and that he can be a good support, and a good father to their child.
Justine decides to up the ante with Warren and, trying to get a reaction, tells him that a Federal Agent was asking questions about him. Warren doesn’t rise to the bait and tries to play the investigation off as a routine thing. However, when Justine mentions that the agent was specifically interested in any partners he might have, Warren becomes nervous. As soon as Justine departs, he gets on the phone. Seth does some research and tells Justine that if Warren is arrested, all of his assets might be seized. As escrow has not gone through yet, that could include the restaurant. They stand to lose everything if that happens.
At a seedy hotel in Seattle, Maryellen finally manages to track down John. He is not in good shape, but is determined to keep running from his past. Maryellen apologizes for pushing him so hard, but tries to convince him that a life on the run is no way to live. John, however, is sick of being judged by his past and his time in prison. She tells him that he needs to forgive his family but he says this has nothing to do with his family and she needs to leave him alone. He adds that he cares about her and wants to keep her safe, but the only way he can do that is by keeping her out of his life.
At the Thyme & Tide, Bob plugs in his Christmas decorations for the first time for Peggy, and she is thrilled. It turns out that all of his work has resulted in something beautiful, but Peggy is still a little sad. Bob’s biggest competition in the town’s Christmas lights contest is Edna Stanton, an older woman who lives alone, who looks forward to competing in the contest each year. He takes that in, and when he hears that the judges are on their way to see his days and days of preparation, he unplugs his lights. When Peggy asks what he’s doing, he says, “Giving Edna her one shining moment.”
Seth and Justine confide in Jack and Olivia about the agent’s investigation. Olivia is surprised that Justine didn’t tell her anything, and Justine is equally surprised that Olivia never mentioned investing in the lighthouse property. Their conversation is interrupted by the sounds of sirens, and they all realize that Seth and Justine’s new restaurant is on fire. The next morning is Christmas, and Justine and Seth are sifting through what the fire has left behind. The restaurant is badly damaged and it definitely looks like arson. The two of them have little doubt who was behind the fire.
Justine and Seth hunt down Warren, who seems genuinely surprised by the news. The conversation is brought to an abrupt halt when the federal agent appears and arrests Warren. Warren protests to the agent that he didn’t start the fire. The agent surprises him by saying he knows he didn’t, but he doesn’t care. Seth and Justine head back to the restaurant, determined to do what it takes to get back on track. When they arrive, they find Jack, Olivia, Grace, Cliff, Charlotte, Peggy, Bob, and many more have already started the clean-up. Justine is overwhelmed by the generosity and love of her neighbors and friends.
Outside the restaurant, they’ve set up a beautiful Christmas tree, and everyone helps decorate it, coming together as a community. Back at the hospital, Shelly awakens to find Eric holding her hand. He has brought her some pink baby booties, but before he can give them to her, she suddenly winces in pain. Shelly passes out as monitors go off, and the room fills with medical personnel, who usher a terrified Eric out of the room.