Will and his family arrive just before news breaks about a devastating earthquake in Caracas. Elizabeth has arranged an interview at Walter Reed for him as an attempt to create the stability needed to keep his marriage from falling apart. She is immediately drawn into the crisis, but Will clearly resents having to stay home instead of heading to Venezuela to help. Sophie and Annie hit it off with the McCord girls, but Will is not overly excited when he gets the job. He and Elizabeth get into a fight when he expresses his desire to go back into the field, and he reveals to his sister what we learned in a flashback. Although their father died instantly in the wreck, their mother survived. Young Will was unable to help her, and headed to get help when he couldn't stop her bleeding. He lied to Elizabeth to spare her, and has carried guilt over not saving their mom for decades. Elizabeth gets called to the White House and asks him to not make any decisions until they can speak again. When Elizabeth gets back, she finds out that he headed out to catch a flight despite her remonstrances, and she goes to stop him. She gets to the airfield and finds out that the flight has just taken off, but then Will walks out. He tells her that he was all set to go, but he couldn't stop thinking about how Annie reacted when he told her he was leaving. Her blase attitude disturbed him and made him think twice about leaving.
The earthquake in Caracas effectively wiped out the Venezuelan government, as the President had called the National Assembly to order and the building collapsed. The constitution only named two successors, both of whom died. There is no clear leader to communicate with in regards to getting aid into the country. When early aid responders land in Caracas, they are taken hostage by a notorious gang. The gang has aligned itself with the late president's son, who is now claiming the presidency himself, despite any previous experience or inclination. The state department team and the White House work to find a legitimate successor, but the man they settle on is injured and cannot be moved without being treated first. The late president's son is demanding that the United States recognize his authority before releasing the hostages he has taken. Elizabeth comes up with a plan to fake him out--the US ambassador pays him a visit and delivers footage of Dalton acknowledging him complete with opponents Evans and Reynolds making statements.
Nadine was surprised by a visit from the late Secretary of State's widow. Arabella want Nadine to see what she could find out about the property manager of the family's Venezuelan ranch, but Nadine worried that she might also be there to confront her about the affair. In the end, it turned out that Arabella was beating herself up about being blind to another of her husband's faults--his involvement in the conspiracy that he ultimately died to stop.