New Bern's dictator Phil Constantino shows that his threats toward Jericho's perceived prosperity are real. By way of a hand-delivered radio, he demands that six productive farms be ceded immediately or else they should be prepared to be invaded. When Gray refuses, two mortars hit the center of town, resulting in twelve injured, including Gail Johnston.
Darcy Hawkins re-thinks her relationship with Robert and realizes that he does really care for her. They seek refuge in the basement of the home he bought. Robert promises not to keep any more secrets from her.
In desperation, Gray dispatches about twelve men, including Stanley, to mount an attack on the forward mortar-launcher that has Jericho under attack. Lacking good intel and military training, all but four are killed in this ill-advised counter-attack. Stanley is visibly shaken by this narrow escape and witnessing his friends killed.
After another mortar hits Jericho, several residents offer to give up their farms in order to placate Constantino. Johnston Green's faction is adamant about refusing, but Gray wants to make peace. Johnston gets Gray to "do what he does best" and stall Constantino with negotiations, while they mount a better attack on the mortar base.
Johnston and Jake, along with Hawkins, Emily, and others, decide to take action. As they are searching for where the mortars are coming from, they unexpectedly run into Jonah Prowse and his gang as they raid a truck. Emily convinces her father and his men to help Jericho fight in exchange for half of all the food and ammunition they capture from the New Bern forces. Emily and her father seem to briefly reconcile their long-standing differences when they both acknowledge Emily's survival skills and her ability to broker a deal. Eventually, after it is known to Anderson that Jonah's men are now siding with Jericho's forces, Gray agrees with Johnston on military action. Dale, the teen-age proprietor of the town's general store, raises a small independent militia composed of various refugees. The purpose of his force is to defend a farm that was promised to him if he is able to hold and secure it from New Bern's forces. After a speech to the refugees promising each a portion of the farm, many are converted to his side. Briefly, it appears his forces may act independently of Jericho's and pursue their own agenda, but he later decides to join the fight against New Bern. Johnston's group comes upon the mortar base. Several members of Jericho's militia hide in the back of a box truck in order to surprise New Bern's men. Johnston holds a gun at the side of one of New Bern's men, who is ordered to drive the truck, in order to gain access to the location of New Bern's militia forces that are launching the mortar attacks. Once they arrive at the camp, the New Bern troops start to line up to unload the supply truck only to find guns pointed back at them. While the Jericho troops lock up the hostages, the driver runs off and warns the remaining troops of the ambush, leading to a firefight. During the fight, Jonah Prowse's group of 30 men attack the New Bern troops from behind. Jericho's forces prevail and every member of New Bern's militia detachment is killed in a brutal massacre. This temporarily ends the mortar attacks on Jericho. Jonah's dark side is revealed again as he mercilessly executes the driver who warned of the ambush as he lay wounded on the ground. Johnston tries to stop him. His daughter, Emily, is shocked and horrified after watching him this murder. Despite the brief harmony between Emily and her father, and the successful operation against New Bern's forces, Jonah reneges on the agreement to split the vehicles, weapons, and gasoline equally with Jericho. He decides to take everything. In return, Jericho's militia gets to leave unharmed by Jonah's gang. Again, friction erupts between Jonah and Emily as he tells her to stay away from him. The shock of watching him execute a wounded man, the reversal of the deal, and his shunning of her leaves their always fragile relationship in tatters. Phil Constantino radios Anderson that negotiations are over and to say that New Bern forces are on their way to Jericho. Anderson turns off the radio and full hostilities get set to ensue. Hawkins reveals to Jake his secret arsenal of guns and ammunition stowed away in a large storage locker. They are retrieved, loaded on the back of a pick-up truck, and every able-bodied person 16 or older takes a gun to prepare for New Bern's arrival. By now Johnston's position as a military counterpart to Anderson's civilian authority is sealed with a handshake, as an acknowledgment of trust between the two men. Johnston Green climbs onto the back of the pick-up truck and delivers a brief but inspirational speech telling Jericho that it is no longer merely the land that they are fighting for; but that they are fighting for their very existence. Then Jake and Hawkins hand out weapons to every able-bodied person who needs one. They are dispensed slowly and with much emotion, particularly when Jake hands weapons to his father and to Emily. When Hawkins gives his daughter a weapon, the two share a moment. Meanwhile, a reconnaissance team led by Stanley discovers a large war camp.