It’s that random first (of 700) summers, when the twins worked at the newspaper. Everyone keeps talking about the upcoming mayoral race, which Jess finds completely boring. She’s rooting for Russell Kincaid, a guy who seems shady, but is also super hot and rich. The other guy is a good local man that Liz and Seth are both pulling for.
The newspaper is hosting a huge picnic at nearby Ronoma County and Liz decides to invite Nicholas Morrow. He’s been super down lately, mainly because of Regina’s death. Forget that the series lasted so long that he rarely mentions her towards the end of it. Jess doesn’t really want him there, but Liz invites him anyway and kind of pressures him into going.
Nicholas pretty much keeps up his downer act while at the picnic. He tells the twins about these nasty dreams he’s been having, where Regina calls his name. Then he decides to take a walk and Liz goes with him. They come across this girl named Barbara, who lives in her dead grandmother’s house, with a housekeeper and her uncle, who’s actually her cousin. She has a cute dog Rory, but they both notice that she’s wearing an old-fashioned dress. She reveals that he’s super strict and treats her badly, plus he makes her walk along the huge cliffs by their house, even though they freak her out. Uncle John calls her and she runs off, before he can get her number.
Nicholas runs back to the house again, but John answers and slams the door on her. He hears Rory and finds Barbara in the woods. She tells him that he can’t go up to the house or call her because John is way too protective and won’t even let her date. If they want to see each other, then they have to meet in secret. Nicholas is completely in love and agrees to the conditions.
The internship for the twins is finally coming to an end and they’re both given a special assignment, to write a feature for the paper. Liz gets put on the mayoral race assignment and she thinks she can finally reveal Kincaid as an asshole. Jessica gets to write about a dead local artist Paul Lazarow and how a new art show featuring his work is opening. On the way home, the twins stop by Nicholas’s house and he asks them to go out to Barbara’s with him.
They see a fancy Jaguar parked at the end of the driveway and Barbara explains that it belongs to a friend of John. She keeps talking about how much it freaks her out that the visitor comes over all the time. Nicholas wants to take her home with him, but she’s worried about Josine, her uncle’s housekeeper. They hear John and Barbara warns them to run. They hear him yelling at her and her trying to distract him, so he doesn’t see them.
Seth discovers that Kincaid wanted to be an artist at one point, but Jessica is coming up empty on her story. Nicholas talks to Barbara and she reveals that her birthday is coming up. Conveniently, she shares the same birthday as her grandmother, who died under mysterious circumstances up at the cliff. She also tells him about these weird nightmares she keeps having and how Josine keeps talking about some Jack guy. She also reveals that her dad and grandfather were artists. After her mom died, some artist took her in, though she doesn’t know why.
Nicholas and Barbara go out together for a special dinner. Someone at the gas station calls her by name and acts like he’s seen a ghost, but she’s never seen him before. The same blue car is parked outside the restaurant and a familiar looking older man keeps staring at her in shock. She doesn’t notice him and Nicholas is too worried to tell her. Later he sees the same car outside her house. He finally realizes that the guy is Kincaid and then finds a note warning him to stay away from her, stuck on his car.
Their next “date” doesn’t go so well, especially since Rory disappeared and Barbara is freaking out. They go out looking for him and find his dog collar and leash sitting on the edge of the cliff. After flipping out a little more, she tells him that Josine is bringing Jack up again. She finally asks him to stay away for awhile. When he leaves, he finds that someone shattered his windshield and slashed his tires.
Nicholas meets the twins at the art gallery and check out some of the paintings. They find one that looks exactly like Barbara and the title is Artist’s Daughter. They discover that she died on her 21st birthday and rush off to the archive/morgue at the newspaper office. It turns out that Kincaid studied at his artists colony. Then they rush back to her house and see her with Josine. Josine keeps talking about Jack and a baby, which freaks her out and tells her to watch out. Barbara then tells Nicholas to stay away for good.
Liz investigates some more and discovers that Kincaid was questioned in Barbara’s grandmother’s death. Then she gets a phone call, warning her to stay away. She and Jess investigate the archives even more and find a misfiled article. It says that Jack Pearsall was the best student there and constantly fought with Kincaid. They meet up with Nicholas and come up with a plan to save Barbara.
Liz is supposed to go up to the house, ring the doorbell and distract John. Liz hurts herself, so Jess has to do it. John catches Liz and reveals that he’s Kincaid’s brother. They were in business together and Russell screwed him out of a ton of money. He brought Barbara in and made Kincaid think she was the ghost of the original Barbara, who he actually killed. He smacks her in the face with a gun and carries her away.
Jess and Nicholas get together and find Barbara fighting with Kincaid on the cliffs. Kincaid goes over, but they manage to save Barbara. They find Josine, who tells them that she saw Liz with John. They track her down in an old outbuilding and find Rory too. They call the cops and Nicholas notices that the blue car is missing.
The cops show up and Liz gets taken to the hospital. They reveal that Kincaid’s body washed up and they find John too. He was never Barbara’s uncle, but played the role to get her out there. The whole story is that Russell was obsessed with the original Barbara, but she secretly married Jack and had a baby. He pushed her off the cliff when he learned the truth. Josine fills in a little too, like how her grandma went off to Europe to have the baby without anyone knowing it. Jack was so upset over her death that he couldn’t function, so he sent the baby to live with friends.
Jack now lives in an institution somewhere and Barbara asks Nicholas to go with her for a visit. She also announces that her parents want her to fly back immediately, so they only have a little bit of time left together. She meets Jack and he’s shocked that she looks so much like his lost love. He then decides that he’s lived in the past too long and wants to meet his daughter.
Nicholas feels horrible that she’s leaving and she finally scolds him because he’s acting exactly like her grandfather and living in the past, instead of looking to the future. He gives her a locket and she promises that she’ll be back soon, even though she never will. The twins get their photo in the paper, along with a huge story about how they helped bring down a master criminal. Yeah because we just couldn’t leave them out of it…Oh and Jack gives Nicholas a portrait of the original Barbara because she looked so much like Barbara 2.0. Nice.