Because Marin has been away from New York for awhile now, people there are beginning to forget her and are starting rumors she could be dead. When the Elmo town elder passes away, Elmo's sister city breaks its ties with the town just before the New Moon Festival, and Marin sees an opportunity to be useful by finding a new sister city for Elmos.
Marin wants to find out if you really can be friends after you've spelt together. She asks Jack to take her to Anchorage so she can get a dose of culture. Patrick begins to wonder if there is a problem in his relationship with Annie, because she always asks him to leave right after they've been intimate. Meanwhile, Ben gets tired of having to sneak around with Sara, and he asked Theresa to move out.
Marin is surprised not only by the birthday party that the people of Elmo are throwing her, but her younger sister shows up as well. Her sister immediately has the hots for Jack and wants to marry him. Marin is left feeling insecure by her sister, because all the attention is now on her. Buzz informs Patrick that he found a plane on the mountain while he was out flying. The plane belongs to Patrick's dad and it went down over 26 years ago. Patrick starts to wonder if it is possible that his father survived the crash somehow and is still out there. Sara is officially dating Ben now, and that makes Theresa mad.
Marin tries to help Patrick and Buzz build their relationship, but things go haywire when Celia reveals they are actually related to one another. Marin and Annie need to unwind and go to a beauty salon. Sara begins to feel nervous about taking her EMS exam as she thinks about the future. Marin and Jack head out in search of friends who have been trapped by an avalanche caused by minor earthquake tremors.
After Jane leaks an excerpt from Marin's new book on men to The New Yorker magazine, Marin is forced to defend her career to Jack. Elmo receives a special guest singer-songwriter Jewel, whose car has broken down. She runs into her former bandmate, Theresa, in the Chieftain. Meanwhile, Celia and Patrick's new stepmother, Mai, face each other in an alpha showdown for the role of "top mom."
When Marin goes back to New York during Thanksgiving week to meet with editors regarding publishing her new book, the emotions between her and Jack escalate. Although she is happy to be back in a more familiar environment, she misses her life back in Elmo.Meanwhile, Jack has decided it's time for him to make his move concerning his "friendship" with Marin, but an unexpected event changes his plans. Thanksgiving week is a headache for most of the Elmoians. Patrick must choose between spending Thanksgiving with Annie in New York or with his new family, and Ben is hoping Theresa will help him prepare for their annual Orphan Thanksgiving.
While Jack is waiting for Marin to return from New York, he receives an unexpected visitor who has arrived in Elmo with a secret. In the meantime, the relationship between Annie and Patrick hasn't gotten better after he neglected her at Thanksgiving dinner. Theresa and Ben ponder their future, Jane and Sam ("Plow Guy") spend a romantic time together in New York.While everyone is busy with their own lives, Buzz faces a medical crisis.
While Marin is waiting for Lynn to leave Elmo and Jack, Annie thinks that Patrick can't have a relationship until he can survive without his mother. Meanwhile, Celia gets a visit from her out-of-town boss, Sarah comes back to Elmo and gets a surprise when she sees Ben and Theresa back as a couple. Back in NY, Jane wonders if she wants to keep a long-distance relationship with Sam "Plow Guy."
While Marin moves into her rustic mountain cabin and finds some unexpected visitors, Jane unintentionally neglects Sam ("PlowMan"). In the meantime, Sara fills in at the Chieftain while Theresa takes care of Ben. Patrick is concerned he will not be able to give Annie the wedding of her dreams, and Celia admits to dating her boss, Richard.
Marin receives an invitation from Stuart to join him on an overnight ski trip. Jack accompanies Lynn to the doctor for a sonogram, and Patrick tells Annie that he once made a donation to a sperm bank. Jane and Sam ("Plow Guy") teach each other some of life's secrets, while Buzz meets someone from his past.
Marin meets Cash, an attractive loner, who is the local handyman, when she can't get her construction crew to do what she wants on her cabin. Buzz's attempts to be supportive are thwarted when he learns George's secret. Meanwhile, Marin is torn as she tries to decide if she should attend Lynn's baby shower, and Jane tries to establish her New York business in Elmo so she can spend time with Sam.
Marin gets lost in the woods while looking for a special root for a stew and is found by Jack, who is filming a documentary. Lynn becomes envious of the passion she sees in other couples and wants the same kind of affection in her own relationship. Meanwhile, Patrick wants to change his surname and Sara's ex-husband wants full custody of her son.
After Lynn's departure, the everyone assumes Marin and Jack will be reunited. Annie and Patrick are having problems planning their wedding, as Celia wonders about the future of her relationship with Dick after she learns he is younger than she is. Meanwhile, Mai's cousin, Lucy, pays a visit to Elmo. But when it's time for her to return to China, Mai wants her to stay. When George offers to marry her, he doesn't realize it could prevent someone else from taking his chance.
In the first of a two-part story, a heated fight between Marin and Jack is the result of an invasion of wild wolves in Elmo. Annie's mother arrives in town as a series of unfortunate events could ruin Patrick and Annie's wedding. Meanwhile, Ben's new hockey team causes problems and the church elders of Eric's church attempt to stand in the way of his relationship with Sara.
Marin becomes concerned when she hasn't heard from Jack, and with good cause as she soon finds out. In his absence, she is wooed by two suitors, one with whom she has a history and another who is a complete surprise. Meanwhile, Sam and Jane attend a snowplow convention and develop an unusual living arrangement, and Sara's relationship with Eric begins to show promise.
Cash brings a shocking secret with him as he returns to Elmo, and Sara and Eric work together to rebuild his church. Buzz tries to help Patrick regain his memory, but his efforts result in disastrous consequences. Sam learns more about Jane's personality after she throws away one of his favorite shirts.
Jack and Marin decide to move in together, but the happy couple doesn't anticipate the difficulty of merging their different lifestyles. Meanwhile, Jane is on a mission to get her marriage to Sam announced in the coveted New York Times; Patrick gets an adrenaline rush while flying Buzz's plane and wants to experience more, much to Celia's chagrin; and after doing a favor for Sara, Theresa has a surprise announcement for her unsuspecting husband, Ben.
Jack is feeling very amorous towards Marin, but she fears that it may be for the wrong reasons. After Patrick's adventure-seeking stunt, Celia throws him in jail and he takes full advantage of his "right to remain silent." Marin, Jack and Jerome are off to New York to celebrate Sam and Jane's wedding. And Sam is surprised when he learns the truth about Jane's parents.
Upon Marin and Jack's return from New York , they discover Cash is in the hospital and needs a kidney transplant. Terri still feels guilty for Patrick's being struck by lightning because of the bobby pin he put in his hair at the wedding. Patrick continues to be upset with Celia for putting him in jail, and Celia is having issues with Dick's smothering ways. Meanwhile, Ben's sexy, young, new hockey player, Ivan, arrives in Elmo and is immediately enamored with Annie.
Morgan Fairchild guest-stars as herself when she arrives in Elmo to sing the national anthem at the opening game for Ben's hockey team, and then decides she wants to buy the rights to Marin's life to be made into a movie. Meanwhile, a kidney donor for Cash is found and Sara discovers Eric's band has a fan club.
Marin wants Cash to recuperate in her home after he is released from the hospital. Patrick gets a job in New York with Jane's company as Jane pursues another client who also writes relationship books. Meanwhile, Mai moves in with Celia, and Buzz steps in for Patrick at the inn so he can earn enough money to pay off his gambling debts.