The Ryan family prepares to celebrate Frank's campaign for city councilman. Mary Ryan meets Jack Fenelli, who asks to interview her about her brother's campaign. Delia arrives at the Ryan's pub where the celebration is to be held, and tells matriarch Maeve Ryan that she was almost run down by a taxi. Frank Ryan falls down a stairwell to a motionless slump at the bottom. Dr. Bucky Carter is reprimanded by charge nurse Ramona when he tries to do blood work on a Spanish speaking patient that tries to tell him that she's already had her blood work done. Faith Coleridge comforts Bucky, assuring him that the charge nurse intimidates even her father, the head of neurology.
Jack Fenelli questions Mary Ryan about her brother Frank's involvement with Nick Szabo, a reputedly local criminal type. Mary introduces Bob Reid, Frank's partner at the police department, to Jack. Maeve enlists Bob's help to try to comfort a shaken Delia. Pat Ryan takes Bucky Carter to his family's celebration for his brother's campaign. Pat tells Bucky that Faith Coleridge isn't worth his effort and tries to persuade him not to pursue her romantically. Roger Coleridge discovers Frank Ryan at the bottom of the stairwell and examines him.
Jack Fenelli continues his interview with Mary Ryan as they walk through the streets of New York City. Mary tries to convince Jack that her brother Frank is all about making a contribution to society, but Jack is skeptical. Bucky Carter's aunt Nell arrives in town and tells Bucky that she plans to get a job at Riverside Hospital. Clem tells Pat Ryan that his brother has been in an accident. Pat joins Roger Coleridge in OR, where Roger is running tests. The charge nurse finds $6,500 in an envelope in Frank's jacket pocket.
Faith arrives at the Ryan's pub and tells Johnny and Maeve about Frank's accident. Father McShane conducts last rites for Frank. Maeve and Johnny decide to tell the family about Frank, but no one knows where Mary is. Jack and Mary continue their interview, winding up with Jack falling off of the side of the wharf into the river. Nell tells Bucky that her life isn't happy with her husband Seneca, who has seemed indifferent to her and her career while his has flourished.
When Mary and Jack go to Jack's apartment so that he can change out of his wet clothes (from falling off the wharf), Jack tries to seduce her. They are interrupted by the phone with the news of Frank's accident. Pat gives the news to Delia and tries to convince her to go to the hospital. Delia is frightened and hysterically insists that she doesn't want to go. Nell agrees to Bucky's request that she not let people at Riverside Hospital know about his familyâ€¦he doesn't want to be liked for his money. Seneca tracks down Nell on the phone, and she tells him that she's left him. Delia tries to repress hysteria when she arrives at the hospital. When Jack and Mary arrive, Mary goes directly to Frank's side and whispers his name.
Ed Coleridge gives the Ryans Frank's diagnosis, which is a hairline fracture of the skull and a displaced fracture of the third cervical vertebra, with hemorrhaging. Ed operates on Frank, with Roger assisting. Bucky comforts Faith, who is upset about Frank's condition. Jack comforts Mary and she tells him stories of growing up with Frank as a big brother. Bob tells Mary about the $6,500 that was found in Frank's pocket, which is now missing.
Jill Coleridge arrives at the Ryan's pub, and J.P. apprises her of Frank's accident. Jack comforts Mary at the hospital and then leaves, telling her he'll check in with her tomorrow. Jill goes to the hospital and visits Frank. When she steps outside of the room, she remembers happier times with Frank. Delia talks to Pat and questions if he thinks Frank will ever wake up.
Bob Reid begins questioning people about the events leading up to Frank's accident. Ramona tells Bob that Frank met with Nick Szabo before the accident. Nell meets with Ed Coleridge, who tells her that he doesn't have the money in his budget to give her a job. Afterwards, Nell meets with Marshall Westheimer and threatens to use her family that has contributed a great deal of money to Riverside to assure a position. Marshall assures her that he will set Ed Coleridge straight. Roger meets with Nick Szabo, who tells him that now that he's paid his debt, his credit is good again. Bob questions Roger about the $6,500.
When Pat suggests that Mary put Frank's campaign on hold for a few days, Mary explodes. Ed is outraged when Marshall insists that he offer Nell a position. Bob questions Nick Szabo. Ed offers Nell a job, but admits that he hopes it won't meet her expectations and that she'll use her connections to find another position elsewhere. Nell is infuriated and asks that Ed spare her his moral lectures and let her get on with her work.
Faith overhears Nell complaining to Bucky about Ed Coleridge. Jill and Maeve take comfort in each other as they discuss their worries about Frank. Jill claims that she doesn't know why Frank's accident has hit her so hard. Bucky makes dinner for Faith on his houseboat. Delia takes pleasure in Jill's discomfort when Delia speaks of the love she and her husband share. Nell returns to her hotel room to find Seneca there.
An angry Seneca learns why Nell has left him. Johnny seeks reassurance from Ed that Frank will be his old self again - but does not get it. Faith confides in Bucky that she became a doctor to earn her father's approval and to annoy her brother. Nell makes it clear to Seneca that her future does not include him and asks him to leave. Ed admits to Faith that he is concerned about Frank. Unnoticed by anyone, Frank's eyelids flicker.
Roger is impressed with Nell as he gives her a tour of the facilities. Bucky attempts to divert Pat's concern for his brother by asking for advice about Faith. Just as Roger and Nell begin to get close, Seneca shows up. Nell makes introductions. Seneca makes a last effort at reconciliation, but Nell says there is nothing he can do to change her mind. Ed finds Nell crying after she has said her final goodbyes to Seneca.
Roger tells Mary and Delia that Frank's color is looking better, but Delia takes a negative attitude. Mary and Delia exchange words, and Delia leaves. Bucky leaves flowers for Faith. Ramona admits to Jack that Frank met with Nick Szabo on the afternoon of his accident. Bob comforts Delia as she tells him that Frank makes her a better person. When a reporter arrives at the hospital inquiring about Frank, Jack tells the reporter that he's on the story and to stay out of his way.
When Faith gets her flowers from Bucky, she tells him that he has misunderstood her intentions, and that she only wants to be friends. Bucky tells Faith that her honesty has only made him like her more. Delia tells Maeve that Mary is mad at her, and Maeve asks Mary to apologize for the sake of family harmony. Mary's apology inspires a small smile of satisfaction from Delia. Jill visits Frank and flashes back to a time when they were planning a future together. As Jill watches Frank, he murmurs Delia's name.
Jill reacts to Frank's calling for Delia, and sends the nurse for her father. Nell and Bucky comfort each other over their problems with Seneca and Faith. Ed examines Frank, only to have Frank slip under again. Nell reviews Frank's first set of x-rays and indicates to Ed that she doubts the possibility of a favorable outcome for Frank. Frank recognizes Mary and says, ""Push?""
Frank repeats the word ""pushed"" to Mary, but then lapses again into unconsciousness. Ed warns Mary that she shouldn't get too optimistic, but seems more hopeful. Jill talks to Ed about their family compared to the Ryans. Mary tells Bob what Frank said to her and he asks her not to tell anyone else. After Nell hangs up on a call with Seneca, Ed tries to comfort her and asks her to dinner. Nell refuses, explaining that she has things to take care of that evening. Mary tells Johnny, Maeve and Delia that Frank said her name, and Delia presses to know if he said anything else.
Jill tells Delia that Frank murmured something else to Mary, but that she is unsure what he said. Delia seems pleased when Jill leaves upset after Delia talks about her love for her husband. Bucky is ecstatic when Faith gives him a picture of a sailing ship. Jack asks Nick about his relationship with Frank. Bob walks in during Jack's questioning and asks him outside to tell him that if he does anything to upset the Ryan family, he'll take him apart. Bucky asks Faith to dinner and she accepts. After Bob questions Delia, she tells Pat that she thinks Bob believes what happened to Frank wasn't an accident.
Nell tells Ed that Frank's x-rays indicate early pneumonia in both lungs, and that she will do more x-rays the next morning. When Bucky starts to make more plans for Faith and him, she tells him that he is moving to fast, and that she just wants to be friends. After Ed talks to Pat about Frank's condition, Pat has a flashback to a moment when Frank cheered him up about his pre-med classes. Ed walks in at the end of Clem and Nell having an argument. Clem tells Ed that if Nell isn't straightened out, that the neurology department will suffer. Faith worries that there is something wrong with her because she doesn't have stronger feelings for Bucky.
Mary warms to Jack and decides that she can trust him. She tells him that Frank said, ""push"" to her. Bob is upset to see Mary with Jack again. When she tells Bob that she confided in Jack, he angrily tells her that it was a stupid thing to do. After Nell has a run in with Ramona, she complains to Ed. Ed tells Nell that he can no longer accept her disrupting his staff. Nell comes back to Ed's office later with bad news about Frank's x-rays.
Delia questions Mary about Frank's murmurs, and Mary tells her that she isn't sure what he said, because he wasn't making much sense. Mary tells Pat that Frank said, ""pushed,"" but that they can't tell anyone, including Delia and their parents. Ed shares the bad news with Faith that Frank definitely has pneumonia in both lungs, and that it's developing rapidly. He admits that he doesn't think Frank will live. When Maeve and Johnny encounter a happy Delia, they get optimistic about Frank. After Ed tells Pat about Frank's condition, Pat goes to the pub and tells his family.