The Flanagan family is gathered at Delaney's for Bobby's birthday party, all except for Mike and Veronica. Everyone misses Mike more than Veronica, and Jeannie is full of recriminations for her daughter, both for being late and breaking Mike's heart. Ryan blames Sands, who is having a great time at the moment, in bed with Dr. Gillian Jelani. Afterwards, Gillian hurries to get ready for another shift, and Sands asks her on a date for a sushi dinner in Manhattan.
Sonia finds Veronica in the locker room, crying, and tries to talk her into going to Bobby's party. Veronica knows her family likes Mike more than her, but how can they not think she loves him, too? He won't answer her calls anyway, so what's Veronica supposed to do? Advising Veronica to give it some time, Sonia persuades her to go to the party. When they arrive, Jim is standing on chair, weaving as he toasts Mike. Veronica wants Jim to get down, but he claims that he's been standing on chairs with a drink in his hand since he was 12. Blinking absently, Jim blanks on the name of the birthday boy, then takes a header into the cake.
The next morning, Angel presses Chloe for details of her hot date with fireman Petey. Over the moon, Chloe admits she doesn't expect to see him again, then freaks out when she spies Petey escorting little patient Evan Kowalick to the ER. Before long Chloe and Petey are all hot and heavy in a supply closet. Before heading back to work, Petey puts his number into Chloe's phone and tells her to call him sometime. Meanwhile, Sonia reluctantly puts Nick's gift of a cactus on her desk. She hates it, but she knows Nick doesn't make a lot of money, and his intention was to cheer her up.
Wearing a C-Collar, Jim sits impatiently in a hospital bed as Gillian checks him over. Last night's MRI didn't show any fractures, but radiology needs to double check, despite the fact that most of the department is out with a stomach bug. Jim tries to have a serious talk with Veronica about Mike, but his gown rides up, exposing his man parts. Veronica's relieved when Sonia pulls her out of the room. Sonia wants Veronica to take her patient, Dana Harper-McPherson, a high school rival who unscrupulously beat out Sonia for Homecoming Queen. Veronica points out the rabble that is her family, and Sonia realizes she doesn't want to trade patients after all.
Upon entering Dana's room, Sonia notices an enormous bouquet and $1000 Louboutins tossed in a corner; Dana's obviously married well, but time hasn't made her any nicer. After her husband Mitch lovingly excuses himself, Dana explains that she broke her arm by falling off a horse, and she's more embarrassed than in physical pain. When she asks what Sonia's been up to since high school, Sonia claims to love her nursing job. At that moment, Harris pokes his head in the door to ask Sonia to take care of a colostomy overflow situation. Dana smiles nastily.
Veronica has her hands full when the Flanagan family crowds into Jim's room. Jeannie demands another pillow and the brothers play keep-away with Veronica's clipboard. Veronica threatens to kick everyone out, winning the return of her clipboard, which she uses to smash Tim in the face on the way out. Veronica bumps into Harris who reminds them of their pact -- no more death. Meanwhile, Sonia complains. Dana has $1000 shoes and a bouquet that's bigger than her apartment, and all she has is an ugly cactus. Dana has the life that Sonia was supposed to have, rich and living it up in Manhattan!
Suddenly, Sonia's hit with an incongruity: why would Dana be wearing $1000 stilettos while horseback riding? She grabs Dana's X-rays and consults Jillian, then proceeds to Dana's room to ask what's up with all the broken bones? Dana lives in Manhattan, so why is she crossing the river to come to Mercy? Pale and sweaty, Dana sarcastically fends off Sonia, who explains that she has to report any suspected spousal abuse to the police. Dana passes out and Sonia yells for help.
Officers Shea and Davis report to Sonia. Dana won't talk, despite the fact that her husband Mitch almost killed her with a Stage-4 liver laceration. Sonia's pal at Mount Sinai checked Dana's records -- she's been in and out of their ER 15 times in the last two years. The cops are mildly sympathetic; they've seen this movie before and know how it ends. There's nothing they can do until Dana's ready to talk. Sonia has a talk with Dana. The Dana she knew in high school was fierce and would never put up with abuse. Dana finally breaks down, admitting that she's not sure she can continue living as she has been.
Sands bumps into Gillian in the hallway. He's got a reservation for sushi tonight; are they still on? Busy, Gillian mentions that she's been caring for Veronica's father, and rushes off to deal with another patient. Sands peeks at Jim's MRI and is instantly worried. Meanwhile, Chloe sits with little Evan during a consult with Harris. Harris scares the bejeezus out of little Evan, then explains his creed to never let another patient die. Evan is lucky. When Harris leaves, Evan begs Chloe to keep him away from Dr. Scary; he wants fireman Petey. Chloe has a bright idea, and picks up her phone to call Petey.
Exhausted, Veronica lays her head on Jim's pillow at the nurses' station, spying Mike as he exits the elevator. He's come to see Jim, and still doesn't want to talk to Veronica. When Sands pokes his head into Jim's room and asks to see Veronica, Mike figures out who he is and quickly starts a fight. In a few seconds the whole family is involved as the brawl spills into the hallway. Throwing her hands up, Veronica calls security, but it's ultimately snooty Harris that puts an end to the fight. Veronica rushes to Mike's side, but he barks at her to leave him alone and stalks off.
Sands pulls Veronica into the Crash Room for a talk. Veronica admits that Mike found out about the affair and kicked her out, but she doesn't want to talk about it. Sands urgently changes the subject: do Veronica's parents have good insurance? Veronica has to get on it right away, because Jim's MRI is presenting brain contraction, and it looks like he may be in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Sands will try to keep it off the charts until Veronica gets the insurance situation shaped up, because things will get real expensive, real fast.
Outside the hospital, Jeannie smokes as Veronica tries to explain what's happening to Jim. Jeannie refuses to believe anything's wrong, but Jim admits that sometimes he finds himself walking at night and doesn't remember how he started. Jeannie blames it on his drinking and the same old argument over their mutual alcoholism flares up. Finally, Jim explodes. The truth is, he's losing his mind, and there's no point pretending anymore. Jeannie hands Jim her cigarette and starts to cry.
Jillian teases Sands about his battle scars. She admits to feeling extremely awkward, having just heard the story of why Sands moved to Newark. Veronica and Sands were at war together; how's Gillian supposed to compete with that? She's just a chick from New Zealand, a nation of pacifists. Last night was fun, but Sands is officially absolved of all responsibility. There's no need to go through an awkward dinner date. Gillian shakes hands with Sands, wishes him good luck, and moves on.
Petey shows up for a visit with little Evan. When the hero worship gets to be a bit much, Chloe pulls Petey up to the roof for a little tAte-A -tAte. Sonia informs Dana that her husband Mitch has arrived and offers to call the cops. Dana insists that she's fine and wants to talk to Mitch. Meanwhile, Jim goes missing. Veronica and the family are running off to search the hospital when Sonia hears a scream. Mitch staggers into the hallway with the plastic spear from the giant bouquet jammed in his neck -- it's penetrated his carotid artery, and there's a ton of blood.
Veronica sends her mother home to wait for Jim, then drives around the city with Mike, searching. Veronica admits that she messed up big time. Mike is her real family, her home, and she doesn't want to lose him. Mike points out that she should have thought about that before she let Mike dance around like a monkey while Sands was chasing her around the hospital. They might have fallen in love in fifth grade, but now all these years later, they're just a couple of cheaters. Mike figures it's time to stop killing themselves, sell the house, and call it a day.
Despite Veronica's warning that firemen are just for fun, Chloe is smitten with Petey. Snuggling on the roof, Petey asks Chloe to accompany him to a conference in Niagara Falls, and she eagerly agrees. Later, on his way back to work, Petey takes a call from the wife and kids, who remind him to pick up milk on his way home. Meanwhile, Mike pulls his truck into a strip club, shocking Veronica. Mike admits that when she was in Iraq, he came here a few times and ran into Jim.
Back at the hospital, Officers Shea and Davis question Dana. Did Mitch hit her to prompt her attack? Dana claims that Mitch had "that look" on his face, and she knew he was about to. When Shea asks if there were any witnesses, Sonia comes forward, claiming she saw Mitch come after Dana, who merely tried to defend herself. Warning Dana to leave her house, the cops leave, allowing Dana to thank Sonia in private.
Inside the strip club, Jim introduces his new friend Destiny. When Veronica sends her away with a snarky comment, Jim scolds her to be nice. Destiny's kid is deaf, and she's had a hard life. Jim apologizes for driving everyone crazy, but he had to feel like his own man one last time. Mike promises that they'll get through it together, prompting Jim to get teary and emotional. Mike and Veronica can work anywhere; they should move to Oregon where it's nice and start over. On the way out, Destiny gives Veronica her condolences on Jim's situation. Devastated, Veronica hugs Destiny.
After work, Sonia hugs Nick at Delaney's, giving him heartfelt thanks for her cactus -- she no longer envies Dana's life. Gillian is just leaving the hospital when Sands drives up. How about some sushi? If they hurry, he can take her home first to get changed. Gillian's starved and ready to go now, prompting Sands to admire her for being "easy." Gillian asks if Sands means that she's easy as in low maintenance, or easy as in slutty, and he jokingly admits to a little bit of both. Thoroughly enjoying each other, Sands and Gillian drive off for their dinner date.
On the drive home, Jim concocts the story of his night's disappearance for Jeannie's benefit: Veronica and Mike found him sitting at a bus stop, confused and disoriented. Wanting the best for his daughter, Jim offers a little advice. Veronica and Mike should start over, move to Oregon. Getting a taste of things to come, Veronica tells her dad to buckle up.