The First Episode
(July 7, 1975)
Act I: Ryan's, Outside and Then In
(The show opens on a Manhattan street. The camera then pans to Mary, who is walking down the street carrying a big bag and wearing Frank's campaign button.)
BYSTANDER: Hey, Mary! Mary Ryan!
(Mary smiles and waves.)
(We go to the inside of Ryan's, where the phone at the bar rings and Johnny answers.)
JOHNNY: Hello, Ryan's. Who? Oh, yes he is, I'll tell him. (puts down the phone) Hey, Steiner!
STEINER: (from his table) Yeah?
JOHNNY: Hey, you've got a patient on her way to delivery. They're saying it's triplets! (smiles)
STEINER: Oh my gosh, that's [I can't make out the patient's name]. She isn't due til September!
JOHNNY: Hey, good luck to the both of you!
(On Steiner's way out, he passes Mary, who is coming through the door.)
JOHNNY: Mary Ryan, the light of me life, where have you been?
(She passes by Jack, who is sitting at a table and takes note of her.)
MARY: I've got a surprise, Da! Where's Mother?
JOHNNY: She's in the kitchen, she's been trying to call you all day.
MARY: I've been to the printer's. Wait'll you see!
(She starts to unwrap one poster and Johnny comes out from behind the bar.)
JOHNNY: Oh, you've got the posters!
MARY: They are sensational! You know what? Martin only charged us for the plates. He ran off one thousand posters as a campaign contribution! He said, "Mary, having your brother on the city council for Riverside will be the best thing that ever happened to this city, and what's good for Riverside is good for Martin the printer."
JOHNNY: Of course!
(Maeve comes out of the kitchen.)
MAEVE: Mary? Where in the world have you been... (she suddenly sees Mary holding the rolled up poster) Oh, you've been to the printer's!
MARY: (laughing) Are you ready?
(She unrolls the poster and holds it.)
(Maeve and Johnny beam.)
JOHNNY: Will you look at that? He's the spitting image of me when I married your Ma!
(He hugs Maeve.)
MAEVE: And he's going to win, by a hundred thousand votes, or me name ain't Maeve Ryan!
(They laugh. Maeve hugs Mary.)
MARY: Look out, Mother, you are crushing the councilman!
JOHNNY: Here, here, give it to me. I want to put it up in here somewhere.
MARY: I thought one by the window, Da, and another behind the bar.
JOHNNY: Right-o, right-o.
MAEVE: Oh, there's some tape in the drawer, John.
(Mary goes up behind a patron who is sitting at the bar drinking beer.)
MARY: So, Mr. Crizwell, you coming to the party tonight? We're having a little get-together for Frank, and all the people who helped in the primary.
MR. CRIZWELL: Well, I'm not about to miss a party, even though I wasn't able to help much this spring, due to my bad (coughs exaggeratedly) bronchial tubes.
J.P. (behind the bar) Don't worry about it, Alfred, she'll give you a second chance.
MARY: (to Alfred) You know, there is one thing that you could manage better than anyone else.
ALFRED: What's that?
MARY: The sanitation workers' picnic this Labor Day.
(She starts pinning Frank's campaign button on him, without asking.)
MARY: Do you think you could arrange for Frank to say a few words?
ALFRED: I think I could handle that!
MARY: Aww, thanks very much, Mr. Crizwell.
(The camera cuts to Jack at his table, drinking his beer and watching Mary operate, clearly intrigued.)
MARY: Why don't you just stop by campaign headquarters when you're collecting the garbage and we'll talk about it, okay?
(He walks away, probably afraid Mary will rope him into something else, and Mary sees that Maeve and Johnny have hung the poster behind the bar.)
MARY: Oh, Da, that looks elegant!
(Johnny smiles, proudly.)
MARY: Hey, listen, has anybody heard from Frank?
MAEVE: I've been meaning to ask you the same question.
JOHNNY: I called him at campaign headquarters and he wasn't there.
MAEVE: No, and he's not at home, because Delia left the baby here and went shopping.
(Mary rolls her eyes.)
MAEVE: And he's not with Bob because Bob's been looking all over for him too.
MARY: (looking at a pocket calendar) Well, he was supposed to be at the board of elections until noon. Frank Ryan, where are you?
(The camera cuts to Frank's likeness on the campaign poster, and then we see Frank tumbling down the hospital stairs in slow motion as cheesy '70s background music creates "suspense." Then they cut to the opening.)
Act II: A Hospital Room and The Hallway Outside It
(In a hospital room, Pat is preparing a syringe, while Bucky is standing at a patient's bedside. The patient is protesting something quite loudly in Spanish.)
BUCKY: Look, if you won't let us take the blood, we can't do the tests.
(She continues to resist, again in Spanish.)
BUCKY: And if we can't do the tests, we can't find out what's wrong with you!
PAT: (tapping him on the shoulder) Bucky?
BUCKY: Pat, can you figure out what she's saying?
PAT: She says somebody took blood already. Have you checked her chart?
BUCKY: Good grief!
(He goes to look at the chart while Pat tried to calm the woman down. Meanwhile, Ramona comes into the room.)
PAT: Si, Mrs. Santos. Ya lo se(?). He understands now. We're very sorry. Lo sentinos mucho(?). Are you feeling better this afternoon?
(She says something in response. Ramona approaches Bucky.)
RAMONA: (sharply) Dr. Carter!
(Mrs. Santos summons Ramona and, I guess, recounts to her what Bucky did.)
RAMONA: I'll have a word with him. (to Bucky) Dr. Carter!
(She walks out of the room, and Bucky fearfully follows her.)
PAT: (to Mrs. Santos) Mrs. Santos, are you registered to vote? (He repeats it in Spanish.)
MRS. SANTOS: Si.
PAT: Well, let me give you one of my brother's campaign buttons. (holds the button up) My brother, Frank Ryan.
(Out in the hall, Ramona is chewing Bucky out.)
RAMONA: Dr. Carter, I understand that interns are inexperienced; I understand that this hospital and our procedures are new to you; and I know that you're confused and frightened and exhausted, but what you have just done is inexcusable!
BUCKY: Yeah, well... Yes, ma'am.
(At this point, Faith walks off the elevator.)
RAMONA: A degree from medical school is a fine thing, Dr. Carter, but it's no substitute for common sense! The first rule in this or any other hospital is that you never treat a patient without consulting his/her chart!
(Faith overhears while picking up a chart, and is clearly empathetic.)
RAMONA: On my station, you don't even look at a patient before looking at his chart!
BUCKY: Yes, ma'am.
RAMONA: In fact, you don't even step into his room without...
BUCKY: (nods) ...checking his chart.
RAMONA: Right. And when you don't know what a patient is trying to tell you, find someone who does! It might be important!
(Pat suddenly comes out of Mrs. Santos' room and Ramona turns to address him.)
RAMONA: Also, Dr. Ryan, it's against regulations to wear jewelry of any kind on your whites. That includes campaign buttons!
(She storms off, and Pat and Bucky look at each other apprehensively. Faith comes over.)
FAITH: Hi, Pat.
(Bucky stares stupefied when he sees Faith.)
PAT: Hey! You two have met, haven't you? Faith Coleridge, Bucky Carter.
BUCKY: Yeah. Hi.
FAITH: I just wanted to say, don't overreact to Ramona. My father's been in neurology here for thirty years. He says in all that time, she is the best charge nurse he has ever had on his service.
BUCKY: (shrugs) Well, that's...quite a recommendation.
FAITH: (smiles) Yeah, but he's terrified of her, and he's acting head of the department. So you're not alone, okay?
BUCKY: Okay. Thanks.
FAITH: See ya. Bye, Pat.
PAT: So long.
(She walks away and Pat stares at her as she does.)
BUCKY: That was so nice of her!
PAT: Yeah, well, Faith is a nice girl.
BUCKY: Do you know her very well?
PAT: We grew up together.
PAT: Our fathers have been friends since they were kids.
BUCKY: She sat next to me at orientation and I have spent the last seven days following her around - whenever I had the chance, at a discreet difference.
PAT: (looking at him like he's crazy) Faith?
BUCKY: Well, you just said she was nice!
PAT: Well, nice is nice, but you don't follow it around for seven days.
BUCKY: I do. I think she's beautiful.
PAT: Bucky, listen. (puts his hand on his shoulder) Believe me, it isn't worth it.
BUCKY: Worth what?
PAT: The effort.
BUCKY: What isn't?
PAT: Faith isn't.
BUCKY: Well, maybe not to you.
PAT: But there's nothing there. I mean, after the effort, all you've got is: nice.
BUCKY: What else do you want?
(Pat looks like he's about to answer than, then pauses, then leads Bucky away.)
PAT: Uhm, look, I've been doing a little survey of some of the younger members of the nursing staff, and I think there are six or seven real possibilities that deserve immediate attention. So why don't we take this stuff down to the lab and look for some company for our coffee break.
BUCKY: Pat, I understand what you're doing, and I appreciate it. I really do. But if you're gonna go to all that trouble, do you know what I'd really appreciate more than anything else?
PAT: (wheeling a tray into an elevator with the two of them) I'm afraid I do.
BUCKY: The person I'd really like to have coffee with is Faith Coleridge.
(Pat closes the doors while looking at Bucky apprehensively.)
Act III: Ryan's
(Johnny has his arm around Maeve as they proudly stare at Frank's poster over the bar along with J.P.)
MAEVE: How could you look at that face and not vote for him?
J.P.: At least twice!
JOHNNY: (handing Maeve the other poster) Hey listen, take this and put it up in the window, so as not to disturb your plants.
MAEVE: Ah, you're a good and thoughtful man, John Ryan.
(Mary, who is talking on the phone behind the bar, hangs up and goes over to Maeve and Johnny.)
MARY: Frank's not at the clubhouse. I don't know where he is.
(Jack, in the background, begins to watch them again.)
MAEVE: Delia thought he'd be here before she got back. She wanted him to take the baby home.
MARY: Where is Little John?
MAEVE: Aww, asleep in the kitchen in his crib, bless the child. (smiles) At least I hope he is.
MAEVE: Will you take a look?
MARY: (still laughing) Sure.
(She heads for the kitchen and Jack approaches Johnny.)
JACK: Mr. Ryan?
JOHNNY: That's right. (shakes his hand)
JACK: Do you remember me? Jack Fenelli.
(Johnny's face drops.)
JOHNNY: Ah, yes. Yes.
JACK: I haven't been up in Riverside in about five or six years, I guess, but I've seen Frank around town.
JOHNNY: Yes, he's mentioned that.
(In the background, Maeve asks that Alfred guy to go outside and see if the poster is hung properly.)
JACK: Congratulations, I hear it was a very effective primary.
JOHNNY: He won.
JACK: Look, Mr. Ryan, I'm not up here to put the knock on Frank. Frank was a good cop. Nobody knows better than I do what this city owes its good cops. I've been interested in your son ever since I wrote that story about your son and his partner - what was his name?
JOHNNY: Bob Reid.
JACK: The sniper on the hospital roof. And I've been following his career off and on ever since. So I was interested when he quit the force to run in the primary up here, and I was interested when he won, and I'd be interested in writing a story about his campaign.
JOHNNY: I see.
(Mary walks out of the kitchen.)
JACK: You think he'll be around this evening?
(Mary takes a sandwich from on top of the bar and starts eating it, and overhears what they are saying.)
JOHNNY: Yes, he'll be here later. We're having a celebration here for him. Nobody seems to know where he is right now.
JACK: I'd like to arrange an interview.
JOHNNY: Well, why don't you just call his campaign headquarters in the morning?
JACK: It would save time if I could get some background.
MARY: (piping in) About Frank?
JACK: About his campaign.
JOHNNY: Mary, this is Mr. Fenelli, you may remember him, on the Courier? My daughter, Mary Ryan.
MARY: I remember.
JACK: Did we really know each other?
MARY: I've seen you around here, occasionally, with Jill Coleridge.
JACK: You must have been one of those little guys.
MARY: Not so little. Why do you want to write about my brother?
JACK: Now look, the two of you, I've written some stuff that's been critical of the police department. That doesn't mean I can't write an unbiased article about an ex-cop. Frank Ryan has himself an interesting issue up here. It's gonna be a good campaign. I'd like to write about it. Until I can talk to Frank himself, it'd be a help if somebody could answer a few simple questions.
(Mary and Johnny look at each other, and he nods at her.)
MARY: I can tell you whatever you need to know. I've been working with Frank since February.
JACK: Thank you very much.
(She comes out from behind the bar and goes to pour some coffee.)
MARY: The whole thing started with Mr. Joseph Balladino, who's seventy-two years old and runs a dry-cleaning store on the bottom floor of one of the tenements on the avenue. Sugar?
(Mary hands him a cup of coffee.)
MARY: Frank was his delivery boy for a while in high school, and he once stopped a robbery at his store - an off-duty arrest. So, Joe was one of the people in Riverside who really loves Frank a lot. Last fall, the hospital tried to buy Joe's building, and four others adjacent to it, to put a high-rise in there: a medium-to-high-income apartment building for the staff.
(They sit down at a table.)
MARY: Well, it would have meant that a lot of people - most of them elderly, all of them poor, some of whom had spent their whole lives in those buildings - were going to lose their homes. Joe was going to lose his home and his store, so he asked Frank to do something about it.
JACK: Why Frank?
MARY: Because he thinks Frank can do anything, which he can, and he did. (smiles) He organized the tenants, got them to picket the hospital, proposed an alternative site, and got the owners of the new site to talk to the hospital administration - cooled the whole thing down, for the time being, anyway. And two weeks later, Phil Carmady, who was the city councilman from Riverside, died.
JACK: I assume Frank didn't arrange that.
MARY: (rolls her eyes) Frank was through law school; he didn't see any reason to wait. He was organized, he had a direct line into the community and a lot of goodwill going for him. He planned to go into city politics all along. So he resigned from the force and announced for the special primary for Carmady's seat.
JACK: What sort of deal did he make with the district leader to get the party endorsement?
MARY: (annoyed that someone would dare to question Frank) No deal, Fenelli. Frank Ryan doesn't make deals.
JACK: Then what's he doing in politics?
MARY: I don't think I can talk to you.
JACK: Why not? You're doing fine.
MARY: Because you're cynical and sarcastic and I get the feeling you're trying to set me up for something.
JACK: Well you're hostile and suspicious, and don't you know that nobody gets elected to anything by abusing a member of the press?
MARY: (shooting daggers at him) Okay, Fenelli, I don't know whether or not I can make you understand Frank Ryan. But I'm gonna try.
(They fade back to the stairway, where Frank is apparently just hitting the bottom. The fact that it took two whole acts for that to happen, I think, proves that the first Frank was, indeed, dead weight.)
Act IV: The Doctor's Lounge at the Hospital/The Nurses Station
(Faith is sitting at the table alone, reading a medical book, when Bucky and Pat come in behind her. Bucky is hesitant, but Pat encourages him. Bucky goes over to Faith while Pat stands by the door.)
FAITH: (barely noticing him) Hi.
(Bucky stares at Pat in confusion, and Pat nods.)
BUCKY: (clearing his throat and straightening his tie) If you're not busy - I mean, I know you're reading, but if it isn't urgent - would you like to go for coffee?
FAITH: Thank you, Bucky. I really want to get through this.
(Pat looks at Bucky, who motions for him to sit down. He straightens out his tie again.)
BUCKY: What you got there?
FAITH: Acute surgical treatment of skull fracture.
BUCKY: Oh. (nods) Why?
FAITH: Well, my brother handled an emergency skull this afternoon, five hours in the O.R.
BUCKY: No kidding.
FAITH: Yeah, I'm trying to understand what it's all about.
BUCKY: You wouldn't like to take a fifteen minute break, hah?
FAITH: No. Thank you.
(Bucky looks to Pat for help. Pat comes over to them.)
PAT: Faith, that's really alarming.
FAITH: (looking up) I beg your pardon?
PAT: Did mother ever tell you about Shannon? [he accentuates the second syllable, instead of the first]
FAITH: I don't think so.
BUCKY: What's that?
PAT: Who. Shannon was a beautiful young girl with a terrible thirst for knowledge. And a sad, strange thing happened to her.
FAITH: (smiling, in spite of herself) And you're going to tell us why, right? (closes her book)
PAT: (in an Irish brogue) In her part of the country, you see, there was a magical circle of trees with red berries, and, in the middle of the circle, there was a well, deep beyond no end, and famed far and wide for the great silver trout that swam in its waters. They swam up from the center of the earth to eat the red berries that had fallen into the well from the encircling trees, and after they'd eaten...
(Pat takes a chocolate out of a box that is sitting there on the table and feeds it to Faith.)
PAT: ...their sides were marked for a day and a night with the red stains of the fruit. Now, the truth was that if a man caught one of the trouts with the stain still upon it and cooked it and ate it, he was filled with all knowledge. So, needless to say, a lot of men spent a lot of time fishing at the well. But no woman was allowed. (He feeds her another chocolate.) It was whispered that something terrible would happen if a woman ever ate the flesh of a very stained trout. So, along came Shannon - a quick, bright girl with her nose in a book morning til night - and she wanted knowledge more than anything else in the world. So, she waited until the evening when the men had left and she lit herself a fire and fanned its coals, and then walked over to the well and dropped in her line. Clever girl that she was, she caught a trout straight away and popped it into the coals and cooked it. But she'd no sooner opened her mouth to take a bite (suddenly gets very loud) when there was a terrible clap of thunder...
PAT: ...and a great shaking of the earth, and up from the heart of the well burst a torrent of water...
PAT: ...and it swept up poor Shannon and carried her down to the sea, and she was never heard of again. The water, however, still flows in the path that carried her, and it's called by her name: the river Shannon! [this time he stresses the first syllable, as it is usually pronounced]
(Bucky and Faith stare at him in disbelief.)
FAITH: You know, that is really a terrible story. Keep us little girls illiterate, right?
PAT: Well, well, that's not entirely the point...
FAITH: Well, it makes me sad. Bucky, thank you for the invitation. Some other time, okay?
BUCKY: Oh, sure.
PAT: I'm sorry, old man, I tried my best.
BUCKY: No, I loved it. (throws up his hand) I think she just wanted to read.
PAT: Bucky, it isn't worth the effort. Are you off-duty now?
PAT: Good, I'm due for a break, and I want to catch up with my brother. Come on.
(Pat turns to leave.)
BUCKY: Where are we going?
PAT: Come on!
(They leave the lounge and go over to the nurses station, where Ramona is on duty.)
PAT: Ms. Gonzalez, I'm off-duty til six o'clock. I'm gonna take Dr. Carter across the street to my parents' place. We'll be back in a half hour or so.
(He hands her a chart.)
RAMONA: Yes, Dr. Ryan.
(They head for the elevator.)
PAT: There's always somebody over there to have coffee with. You can meet my parents.
(Pat waves to Ramona as the doors close.)
Act V: Ryan's
(Maeve is waiting tables and Jack and Mary are still talking together.)
MARY: In the beginning, the only endorsement Frank had was from the family.
JACK: What family?
MARY: (peeved) The Ryan family, Fenelli. Don't be smart. Charlie Ferris is our district leader, and he's known Frank all his life, so Frank went around as a courtesy to tell him that he was trying to get signatures to put himself on the ballot.
JACK: Was Charlie surprised?
MARY: Charlie is never surprised. (laughs) But, he was non-committal. Frank wanted Charlie's backing, but he didn't want to have to make a deal to get it, so the question was how to make Charlie want him. You need 750 signatures to be on the ballot.
MARY: Some are always disallowed, so it's wise to collect about 500 more. Frank came home one night with a map of Riverside, and we stayed up until four in the morning planning how to collect 3000 signatures in five days.
JACK: And how many did you get?
(Jack sighs, and behind them, we see Delia walk through the door.)
MARY: Half an hour after Frank's petitions were filed, the phone rang. Good old Charlie wanted to buy Frank a drink.
(In the background, Maeve sees that Delia is shaking and goes over to comfort her. Delia is doing her scared little girl routine, and looks like a strung-out Courtney Love.)
MAEVE: Delia, are you alright?
MAEVE: Oh, darling, what is it?
DELIA: (clearly hiding something) I think I'm gonna be sick.
MAEVE: (escorts her to a table) Come over here. Sit down. Oh, you're shivering like a leaf. Should we get the doctor?
(Johnny comes over.)
DELIA: No, it's not that, I just...
MAEVE: Oh, Delia!
(You can just see the lie formulating in Delia's head.)
DELIA: ...I almost got run down by a taxi.
MAEVE: Merciful heaven!
DELIA: At the corner.
JOHNNY: Did you get his number?
MAEVE: Oh, of course she didn't get his number!
DELIA: (staring away) Sorry.
JOHNNY: Well, there's nothing for you to be sorry about!
DELIA: I didn't mean to!
(She looks away, very guilt-ridden, while Mary continues talking to Jack at their table.)
JACK: So, no deals, just old fashioned hard work and initiative?
MARY: That's right.
JACK: Who collected all those signatures?
MARY: (getting up) Oh, we had volunteers of every age and size.
(She sees Delia and is taken aback.)
JACK: What's the matter? Who's the blonde?
MARY: Frank's wife, Delia. Something's wrong.
(Delia is staring off as Maeve and Johnny hover.)
MAEVE: Don't, darling, don't. You're alright now. Nothing bad has happened. You're safe and we're with you and your babe's in his crib and Frank will be here soon.
(The camera zooms in on Delia and she flashes back to Frank falling down the stairs. The show ends with Frank lying unconscious at the bottom of the stairs.)
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