Even obsessive “finders” can make a mistake every once in a while. Walter is called to a museum by a former client who commissioned him to find a stolen Winslow Homer painting. It turns out the painting Walter found was a fake. It’s a very good fake, but still a fake. They want 85% of the finders fee back, but Walter’s policy is that will return the entire fee if he doesn’t find the painting. When he and Leo get back to Ends of the Earth, Walter’s brother Langston is there waiting. Their father is dying and Langston promised to bring Walter to him. Walter is preoccupied with the stolen painting and his next step to get it back. He wants to find the art thief who stole the painting before Walter stole it back. With a little pressure from Leo, Walter shifts focus to matters of family and agrees to go with his brother.
It turns out that Papa Sherman’s reasons for wanting to see Walter have something to do with finding things as well. He wants Walter to find his mother. He says she was the love of his life, and he needs to see her again. Walter has some residual hostilities towards his father for trying to have him committed after his accident, he’s not ready to let it all go. His feelings for his mother aren’t much better, she drank a lot and dumped them for a rich guy. Walter leaves without agreeing to anything.
Isabel isn’t happy to learn Walter’s mother is in witness protection. The man Walter’s mom abandoned them for gave up evidence about a cult, who now wants them dead. Isabel can be no part of trying to find Walter’s mother. She can’t violate witness protection and it could put his mom in danger. Walter shrugs it off, he’ll just work on the stolen painting, he doesn’t want to see his mom anyway. They have a lead on the location of the art thief, so Walter and Leo go to check on it. On the drive, he tells Leo a bit about the resentments with his father. His dad liked the Walter before the accident, the Walter who was like him. He couldn’t accept that Walter has changed now. Leo manages to get through to Walter, who tells him to turn the car around, they will work on finding his mom.
Walter uses a balloon model to narrow down where the marshals may have placed his mother. Isabel refuses to take part, she took time off work to help find the painting, but she can’t get involved in this one. Walter manages to narrow it down without her, and by process of elimination he determines his mom is in Memphis, Tennessee. He heads there to find her, and sends Isabel and Leo to talk to the art thief. The thief doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone connected to Walter. Because of Walter, every law enforcement agency out there has him on watch. He loves art more than anything and now can’t get anywhere near it. He doesn’t believe the painting was a forgery, but when Isabel offers to get him into the museum to look at it, his resolve weakens. All he wants is to be near art again.
Walter and Langston start their search at an AA meeting. They tell the story of how they need to find their mother, whom they haven’t seen in 15 years or more. She was a singer and piano player, and Walter gives a little insight with details of a sons memories of his mom. As people leave the meeting, one man slips Walter an address.
Timo and Uncle Shad visit Willa at the bar, and bring her an invitation. It’s to her wedding, and it’s scheduled for the next week. Shad still won’t let them out of the wedding, and he wants it done immediately. He tells Timo to kiss his bride and come with him. Timo does as he’s told, and Willa is bewildered that he is giving up and going along with this.
Leo brings the forgery to the art thief, or at least what’s left of the forgery. The museum shredded it. Walter instructs him to have Willa put it back together. He wants to talk to Isabel, but Leo tells him she was called away on an emergency. Walter gets off the phone, and he and Langston go to the address given them at the meeting, but the place is pitch dark when they enter. When the lights come on, they find the man who gave them the address standing there, as well as some agents from the US Marshals office. When they take Walter in for questioning, Isabel is there. Leo counsels Walter as to what can happen to him if he keeps looking for his mother. He promises to stop searching for her, and based on that the agent in charge lets him go.
On the drive back, Isabel tells Walter something that she isn’t supposed to. His mother left her new husband a few years ago, she’s no longer in Memphis. She knows he’s going to keep looking for her, it’s his father’s dying wish.
Willa goes to her probation officer and begs her to put her in jail for a few months. The probation officer tells her that it won’t help, Shad would just be waiting for her when she gets out. She counsels Willa that the best thing for her to do is stand up for herself and separate herself from her criminal family. Even stealing her wallet doesn’t persuade her to lock Willa in jail.
The art thief feels certain that the painting must be real, but the museum representative insists that the computer found evidence that it was a fake. The thief says that if Homer didn’t paint it, his clone did…same height, weight, strength, temperament, proclivities, etc. If she can show him how that’s possible, then he will believe it’s a fake.
Walter goes to see his brother and father. Langston tells Walter he likes the new version of him. The old Walter never laughed, this Walter does. Walter confesses the problem he has with finding things, and feels something bad will happen if he doesn’t find what he’s looking for. He doesn’t know what yet, because it’s never happened. Their dad wakes up, and it seems the are about to bicker about the person Walter is now versus who his father wants him to be. Walter stares at an old family photo as his father talks, and something in it gives Walter an idea as to how to find his mother. He takes the photo and leaves.
Leo is surprised to learn Walter is buying him a weather vane. The artist who will make it is already there checking out the roof where it will be placed. When Walter describes how he wants it to look, it sounds very familiar to her. It needs to have a mermaid, which is her specialty. It would also have two boys, one flying a kite and the other straining to carry a bucket. She tells Walter she has made that design twice before, for the same lady. Walter has found a way to get to his mom.
Willa goes to Shad and tells him she doesn’t want to marry Timo, and Timo wants to marry someone else. Shad tells her he’s not a mean man, he’s doing what’s best for her, Timo, and the family. He thinks Willa is important to the family, and this is a way to make sure she stays. His mind is made up, and it’s not open for discussion. Willa leaves.
Walter and Langston are bound for Naples, Florida, where the weather vane artist shipped the last order from his mother. Leo, Isabel, and Willa continue searching for the painting. Willa locates a thesis online about a man who believes he is Homer, and paints exactly like him. He’s a patient at a mental institution. There is a sample of the mans work in the thesis, and it looks just like the fake they have in their possession.
Walter and Langston find the weather vane they seek. Walter doesn’t think their mom is really what their dad is looking for, but he’s determined to find her as asked. They approach their mom, she cries when she recognizes them and welcomes them both. Walter is apprehensive at first, but gives in and embraces her. She’s shocked to learn their father sent them to find her, but she gets in Walter’s truck with them and they head back to Mr. Sherman’s hospice.
Walter calls his crew during the drive, and Leo tells him things are coming together in the search for the painting. Willa tells Leo she has to meet with her probation officer, then hugs him before she leaves. Isabel tells him she believes he’s really getting through to Willa, and he beams with pride.
Walter and his family are stopped before reaching their destination. The cult that’s after his mom has been following them all along. In fact, one of them had been at the AA meeting Walter and Langston crashed. Walter stops to confront them, and they threaten him. A fight ensues, and Walter kills all three of the men. He takes a bullet to his arm, but he says it’s no worry as long as it stays inside him. He gets his mom and brother back in the truck and they go see his father. As his mother hugs his father, the man can’t take his eyes off the boys. Walter tells Langston she was not what their father really wanted, he didn’t shut his eyes when she hugged him, he was watching them the entire time. When she talks to the boys afterwards, she tells them that it was Walter who was really his dying wish, he just used her as an excuse. He wanted to say goodbye to Walter. She takes Langston and walks outside, leaving Walter to talk to his dad. His dad tells Walter he’s done enough, he can go find his forger. Walter tells him he’d like to stay there, and he holds his dad’s hand as he passes away. He then wakes Langston to tell him their dad is gone, and the brothers stand together to say goodbye.
Willa’s probation officer shows up at the bar looking for Willa. Leo is surprised to learn their appointment was today, not last night as Willa had claimed. He goes to Willa’s trailer and finds a note addressed to him on the door. She’s gone.
Agents show up at the hospice to arrest Walter. Isabel is asked to turn over her badge and gun as Walter is dragged out in handcuffs. Elsewhere, Timo delivers news to Shad that Willa is gone, and Shad strikes him. Willa is last seen on the highway, trying to hitch a ride. She’s running away.