July 1975 Daily Recaps
July 7, Episode 1
The Ryan family prepares to celebrate oldest son 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 Ryans'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 who tries to tell him that she's already had her blood work done. Faith Coleridge comforts Bucky, assuring him that even her father, the head of neurology, is intimidated by the charge nurse.
July 8, Episode 2
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.
July 9, Episode 3
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.
July 10, Episode 4
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.
July 11, Episode 5
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 family…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.
July 14, Episode 6
ORIGINAL OUTLINE FOR THE BREAKDOWN WRITERS -- UNEDITED
CAST: MARY, JACK, MAEVE, JOHNNY, PAT, DELIA, FRANK, BOB, ED, FAITH, BUCKY, 2 NURSES, ORDERLY
SETS: NEUROLOGY, FRANK'S HOSPITAL ROOM, MAEVE AND JOHNNY'S BEDROOM, STAIRCASE (pre-taped)
ACT ONE - NEUROLOGY- AROUND 6 PM
CAST: MARY, JACK, MAEVE, JOHNNY, FRANK, PAT, DELIA, BOB, NURSE
Frank is wheeled off the elevator by a nurse and orderly. Mary is at Frank's side, her hand on his arm. Maeve and Johnny follow with Fenelli, Pat, and a distraught Delia. Nurse stops the cart, moves with chart and papers to nurses' station to consult with nurse in background as Maeve and Johnny join Mary. Mary puts her arms around her mother and whispers fiercely that Frank is going to be alright. Delia recoils from the cart and clings to Pat. Frank is so still. How do they know he isn't dead or dying right in front of their eyes? Pat tries to calm her. Nurse rejoins Maeve, Johnny and Mary to say Mr. Ryan is going directly into surgery now. His room will be 419 and Dr. Coleridge will meet them there momentarily. Maeve reaches out to touch Frank's shoulder before the cart moves away. Johnny puts his arm around Maeve and Mary. The elevator door opens and Bob bolts into the hall. He sees the Ryans - and Frank's stretcher moving away from him down the corridor. Bob's face is anguished, his voice hoarse as he says Frank's name. The Ryans turn; Maeve moves to Bob and puts her arm around him.
ACT TWO - NEUROLOGY/FRANK'S HOSPITAL ROOM -IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING
CAST: MARY, JACK, MAEVE, JOHNNY, PAT, DELIA, BOB, ED, FAITH, BUCKY
Delia has left Pat an is now clinging to Bob as he tries to ask coherent questions. Johnny suggests Pat tell Bob and Mary and Delia what happened. Johnny wants to take Maeve into Frank's room so she can sit down. They go; Pat tells Mary, Jack, Bob and a shaking Delia what he knows. Roger Coleridge found Frank at the foot of the staircase at the end of his corridor. They got him down to ER immediately; Roger handled the situation skillfully. Frank has not regained consciousness and is paralyzed. X-rays made; surgery to be done immediately, Pat suspects to find out what's causing paralysis. Ed will explain fully any minute. Bob, appalled, disbelieving. Did anybody see it happen? Not that they've heard. Pat adds one strange aspect is that Frank had $6,500 in his coat pocket. They're all taken aback by that; Bob asks Dee if she knows anything about it. She doesn't. Jack is listening attentively to entire account. Elevator opens and a grave Ed and Faith emerge. Ed is sympathetic but businesslike, heads into Frank's room to Maeve and Johnny. Mary, Jack, Delia and Pat follow to hear what Ed has to say. Faith has quick moment of love and support for Mary. In Frank's room, Ed gives them diagnosis; hairline fracture of the skull, but without depression or bone chips, and with no resulting brain damage. There is, however, a displaced fracture of the third cervical vertebra, with hemorrhaging. They can't tell yet whether the absence of reflexes in the extremities is due to pressure of blood clot on the spinal cord or to actual damage of the cord. They will go immediately into surgery, aspirate the clot, try to see what's happened. Ed will perform the surgery himself and Roger has volunteered to assist. It should take about two hours, with another hour or two in the recovery room. He suggests they wait right here. He promises not to leave Frank. Johnny and Maeve thank him, Mary gives him a quick hug and he goes. Johnny sits next to Maeve, beckons Mary and Pat to join him; Bob and Delia stand nearby. Johnny does steady, loving reinforcement of his family. Play strong sense of family unity. Fenelli watches from the door. Faith, upset about Frank, feeling on the periphery of the family, goes out into hall; is startled as anxious Bucky, in street clothes, appears by her shoulder. What's going on?
ACT THREE-NEUROLOGY/STAIRCASE - FEW MOMENTS LATER
CAST: BUCKY, FAITH, BOB
Faith has explained to Bucky what's happened to Pat's brother, and Chucky is extremely upset
for his friend, Pat. Recaps bar that afternoon, with festivity and expectation of Frank's party. Is there anything Faith thinks he might do? Not yet; Ryans have closed ranks in there at the moment. Faith, who's known them all her life and is close to them as anyone who isn't a Ryan, felt as if she were intruding. Bob, looking very grim, comes purposefully out of the room and moves past them down the hall. Bucky asks who Bob is and Faith explains: Frank's best friend and alter ego, Delia's brother, detective on police force with Frank. Faith's heightened emotional condition and sense of isolation has broken down some of her natural reserve. Bucky is friendly and concerned, and she finds herself able to talk to him. She explains that she understands Bob's feelings about the Ryan family because they mirror her own. Each of them saw the Ryans from the perspective of a very different family background; at one time or another, she and Bob each desperately wanted to be a Ryan. Bucky is puzzled, having some sense of Faith's admiration of her father. She does brief, pungent analysis of her family's relationships: herself to Roger, Roger to Jill, herself to Jill, and all of them vying in different ways for Ed's attention. She sounds cynical, miserable, and depressed. Bucky asks if she's had anything to eat; she hasn't. Will she go to dinner with him? She refuses, but then is touched by his disappointment and concern. She would like to go have a cup of coffee. Bucky, considerably cheered, takes her off down the hall. Dissolve to Bob, standing at the top of the staircase, looking thoughtful and very troubled.
ACT FOUR - NEUROLOGY/MAEVE & JOHNNY'S BEDROOM - LATER
CAST: MARY, JACK/FRANK
Mary and Jack emerge from Frank's room; Mary takes a deep breath, leans against wall, relishing the quiet and a moment away from Delia's emotional outpourings. Jack expresses admiration for Mary's self-control and that of her parents. Mary straightens, finds herself saying that things could be worse, and then is half-amused, half-tearful at sound of that familiar phrase. It is one of her mother's standbys, and something of a family joke. Jack questions it; Mary explains. Seriously, in the current situation, things could be worse: Frank is alive, he survived the fall, Roger found him quickly, treated him competently, Ed himself was on hand to supervise his care: things could be worse if not one of those circumstances were the case. "Things could be worse" is actually a very comforting philosophy. Fenelli, trying to divert her, tries it out. Things could be worse: he fell in the river this afternoon - he could have been ploughed under by a tug, etc. Mary is able to smile; she's got the idea. She remembers an instance when Frank's application of "things could be worse" rescued her and averted family schism; graceful lead-in to flashback, Maeve and Johnny's bedroom, and a fifteen-year-old Mary Ryan in tears of rage and despair in the middle of her parents' bed. Frank comes into the room, learns the cause of the Maeve-Mary Donneybrook which has just rocked the apartment. Maeve has forbidden Mary to wear makeup to the school dance that evening, and further, she has made her swear she will not put makeup on once she's out of the house and Maeve's line of vision. Mary is strangling with fury and mortification; she cannot believe her mother is so incredibly out of it. Frank says it could be worse; Maeve could have her in black to her ankles with black lyle stockings and laced up shoes and buttons up to her chin. He leads her through an increasingly absurd series of alternatives to her present situation and finally addresses himself to the problem at hand. He agrees with Maeve. Mary fairly howls in agony at the prospect of her freckles exposed. Frank protests. Mary Ryan doesn't need makeup. She can walk into the gym with her face scrubbed clean, the most beautiful girl in Riverside. Frank is, within the context of their relationship, making love to Mary, and in the process he relieves her anxiety, restores her self-confidence, and leaves her looking forward to the dance. In the Neurology waiting area, Fenelli hears the end of the story, how Mary went to the dance and had a wonderful time and no one noticed that she was the only girl there without makeup, and how she did indeed feel as if she were not only the most beautiful girl in Riverside, but also the bravest. At this point, the orderly and nurse emerge from Frank's room, pushing his empty bed. Mary and Fenelli exchange a look and rise..
ACT FIVE - FRANK'S HOSPITAL ROOM/NEUROLOGY - LATER (AROUND 10PM)
CAST: FRANK, ED, MARY, JACK, DELIA, PAT, MAEVE, JOHNNY, BOB, NURSE, ORDERLY
Frank's bed (with him in it) is wheeled into position in the room. Maeve and Johnny move to the foot of the bed, Mary to the side; Delia stays on the other side of the room. Has he woken up? Has he said anything? Pat is reassuring her as Ed enters; it went smoothly, but there still isn't much definitive he can tell them. They removed the hematoma from the area surrounding the fractured vertebra and got a good look at what happened. There is an area of marked softening in the spinal cord, and this means that damage has been done. However, how critical the damage is, they won't really know for another few days. Once the swelling has gone down and pressure is relieved, and once Frank regains consciousness, they'll have a much clearer picture. Delia begins to cry again. She wants to go home. Ed thinks that's a good idea. It's highly unlikely that Frank will come around tonight; much better that Delia get some rest. Delia wants her baby. Maeve reinforces; Pat take Delia out. Ed, Maeve and Johnny accompany them to the elevator, leaving Mary to have moment alone while she struggles with grief and fear. Fenelli comes quietly up behind her and puts a hand on her shoulder. Bob approaches and he gets a brief recap from Ed in the hall. Before Maeve and Johnny return, he tells Mary that something is very wrong. He went to the staircase, looked around carefully. It's broad and well lit; there was no trace of grease or water; nothing to cause an accident. He then went down to the ER and checked Frank's shoes; nothing there. He did, however, cause some commotion in the Emergency Room: when he asked to see Frank's things, the $6,500., supposedly found in his coat pocket, was missing.
July 15, Episode 7
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.
July 16, Episode 8
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.
July 17, Episode 9
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.
July 18, Episode 10
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.
July 21, Episode 11
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.
July 22, Episode 12
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.
July 23, Episode 13
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.
July 24, Episode 14
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.
July 25, Episode 15
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."
July 28, Episode 16
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.
July 29, Episode 17
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.
July 30, Episode 18
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.
July 31, Episode 19
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.
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