Yates and Favor argue over giving the drovers time off but Favor has a herd lined up to leave the next day. Rowdy quits but on Favor's word is offered a herd of his own. He vows to beat Favor but will skill or luck be the deciding factor?
When Favor hits a man looking for a job, the man hits a fence killing him. Favor is faced with several men wanting revenge at an inquest and the man's young and poor but pretty widow with kids wanting Favor to take her with him.
Favor hears Piney Kinney wants to join the herd thinking it will solve his need for drovers. However, Piney who lost his herd and most of his ranch, is working with a gang to rob the bank and use Favor's herd as cover for their escape.
Favor sees his herd destroyed after he takes a calculated risk in taking a dangerous short cut to get the herd to market ahead of a rival. Favor and the owners have to decide if he is up to bossing another herd.
At trails end, Mushy is embarrassed and denounced by Favor for being conned out of the drive's wagons and supplies by a band of Gypsies. Dejected, Mushy wanders off alone in the desert to be followed by Favor and Rowdy.
Storied hired gun Gurd stalks an Hispanic cattleman, while Gil's drovers join the Don's peasants to celebrate. Gurd's young wife pleads with him to drop the assignment, & retire to her family plantation, but the aging Gurd's reputation won't let him, so she seeks Gil's help.
Damon is broke and needs workers to finish his railroad into Oxford. The 28 men on Favor's crew are the ticket to do the work. Damon concocts a fight with the drovers while Favor is charged with abducting his girlfriend to trap them.
Favor breaks out of jail and gets the unpaid railroad workers to demand their jobs back by lying to them that Damon has had their pay money all along. A workers battle is averted with a first fight between Favor and Damon.
A fugitive convinces Rowdy to bring him to the sheriff and hand over the reward to his wife. But the fugitive is murdered on the way to the sheriff, no wife can be found, and three friends of the fugitive are out to kill Rowdy.
When a officer dies, Cpl. Dasovik is forced to take over the mission but he has no control over the men. The men pick up Favor when they take some of his cattle. Dasovik soon learns he is alone but he is determined to carry out his orders.
Mathew Brady's ex-assistant uses the drovers as his models, so Gil's thrilled to let the frontier paparazzo go, to snap pix of Shoshone, who Gil knows have moved on. Because Rowdy let lens-man Taylor Dickson subvert the drive, Gil orders his ramrod to accompany the grandiose photojournalist on the bogus shoot. But instead of a nice empty canyon, the mismatched pair run into the Bad Skin Gang, a fearsome collection of under-publicized killers, on a rendezvous to divvy up the loot from a huge bank heist.
The drive reaches Junction City so the men are ready to blow off steam. They want hotel rooms, good food, and baths. Their reception in Junction City is icy at best including the livery stable and Favor seems to be ignoring their plight.
Favor and another trail boss are taken by force to a remote cabin where they are held by some of the West's most wanted outlaws, who have been summoned there by a man who plans to use them, and the trail bosses, in a grandiose scheme involving the nation's beef industry.
Smooth-talking Pop Starke tries to talk Rowdy and another drover into working with him participating in traveling "shooting contests". What Starke is actually looking for is his next gunfighter to place bets on when he squares him off against a legendary veteran gunman who is getting weary of killing.
At the end of a drive, Favor fed up with bad luck takes it out on old Josh. When a potential inheritance turns out to be a dream, Josh's pride gets in the way of realizing he must bend sometimes when others want to help him.
Rowdy had given testimony against his friend Capt. Ballinger, resulting in a death sentence. Now Ballinger has called on Rowdy to witness the possible execution unless a way can be found to escape that punishment.
Marshal Shaw arrests Reed McCuller known by locals as a type of Robin Hood but in fact he is a murderer and thief. He tries to use Favor's herd as cover to get out of the area but the locals lead by his brother are on to Shaw's plans.
Pete Nolan (Sheb Wooley), who'd been out scouting for the Army for the last couple of years, is back working for Favor starting in this episode, only to find himself falsely accused of rustling and murder. The local sheriff and some cattlemen, who've been victimized by the rustlers, are too willing to hang him quickly without any real trial. Favor and Rowdy try to find the real rustlers and save Pete from the gallows, though the trail may lead too close to a friendly rancher Favor respects.
Clete Bonner and his grandson Will are taken in by Favor and his men. Bonner is actually checking up on Cable, one of the drovers, who is really Bonner's son and Will's father, though the boy doesn't know it and Cable doesn't recognize his own father anymore. Unfortunately Cable is plotting with two other drovers to steal some horses Favor intends to purchase.
In Apache land Rowdy is sent to recover cattle taken by them. The Chief agrees to return them but the agreement is messed up by some of the drovers. A wounded Rowdy discovers the Apache have white captives increasing the tension.
An Army deserter has left stolen Army property at Favor's camp (leading to Favor's arrest by an Army detail), and the deserter is intent on stealing money from a father and daughter who have recently left the drovers' camp alone.
Wishbone is supposed to be bringing a dead friend's herd to join the drive while Favor is faced with a raging prairie fire that threatens the herd. However, Wishbone learns his friend's ranch hands have a different plan for the herd.
Army Major, commander of his post, feeling denigrated by the Army, steals the Army's cash on his last day and packages it for Favor to mail to the Major who plans to abscond, but new information causes him to try returning it to Army.
When the herd refuses to drink or cross a river, Favor sends for a vet and a one-armed man shows up wanting a drover job. Rowdy learns the cattle need salt and the new hand knows where to find it nearby. However, he doesn't want to go there.
A wounded man wanders into camp with the strong box from a stagecoach robbery. Favor decides to hold the money till the next town but when two of the robbers enter camp and one gets away, the drive is hit with dangers from the robbers.
Wishbone quits the cattle drive because he falls in love with a family of three boys and an abused wife. The wife shoots her drunken husband when he starts beating Wishbone, who takes responsibility for the shooting to protect her.
Two calf women picking up calves drives don't want join the drovers. Rowdy comes to like the older dowdy sister but when a member of a buffalo hunt is killed by her for attacking her younger sister, Rowdy is threatened by his brother.
A group of men searching for old Spanish treasure stubbornly refuses to let the cattle drive come through the area of their diggings, even though the herd desperately needs the water in the area. When Wishbone is injured, Favor needs to rely on the leader of the group, a former doctor, to save him.
A group of Mexican federales meet Favor on the trail and tell him they are looking for a revolutionary known as El Hombre Bravo. Later, Favor and Mushy meet a schoolteacher leading a group of children across the border---who admits that he is the man the federales are looking for.
Several of Favor's men are sick with a mysterious illness. Favor and the sick men make it to the abandoned Gray Rock Hotel where they are protected from the cold and wind. They find a beautiful but strange woman with dangerous past.