Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot Light

Faced with a serious debt to the mob, Dion tries to convince his best friend Tommy to rekindle their dream of opening a restaurant in the Bronx.

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Wearing an orange jumpsuit under his apron, Dion Patras expertly prepares seafood orzo for a table of appreciative guards in the Whitestone County Jail kitchen. Another guard enters and tells Dion that his lawyer has arrived.

At Tommy Moran's run-down warehouse in the Bronx, his son, TJ, makes a cappuccino in their industrially equipped kitchen and brings it upstairs to his sleeping father. Tommy checks the time and jumps out of bed.

On the way to school, Tommy tries to make small talk with TJ, who smiles but doesn't respond.

Dion retrieves his belongings and praises his lawyer, Marisa Gallo, for getting him out with eight months still left in his sentence.

In the changing room, Dion takes a bump of cocaine. When Marisa enters, Dion suggests celebrating his early release. She locks the door and unbuttons her blouse.

Tommy walks through a wholesale food market. He buys a bouquet of pink peonies and tells the vendor they're his wife's favorite.

Dion and Marisa have sex on the table as she recites his parole terms. Afterwards, Marisa asks when she'll see him again. Dion says he's always getting into trouble, but knows "where to find a good lawyer." He kisses her and leaves.

Dion walks out of jail and spots a black van across the street. The van lurches towards him but is cut off by a garbage truck. Dion disappears from view. The van forces the garbage truck to the side of the road and a pair of goons order the driver to empty the truck. The driver initially refuses, but obliges immediately once he realizes it's Patrick Woijchik's van. Patrick's goons stomp through the garbage pile looking for Dion but find nothing. After they drive off, Dion peeks out of a nearby storm drain.

Tommy replaces the bouquet of pink peonies at his wife Rie's gravesite.

Doing his job as a wine rep, Tommy samples a glass with a shop owner who purchases only four cases instead of the usual ten. Tommy takes another large swig.

At school, TJ draws a flock of birds in his sketchbook. A classmate grabs the book and teases him.

Dion greets his uncle, Stavros, at Stavros's brothel. Stavros opens a hidden wall safe and hands Dion an envelope with a fake passport, money and a plane ticket to Paris for the following day. Dion asks to crash at the brothel, but all of the rooms are booked. Stavros notices Patrick's van pull up outside.

Dion races upstairs through the brothel. Meanwhile, Patrick enters, looking for Dion. Stavros says he's still in jail. Patrick orders his goons to search the building. Stavros reminds him that he pays Patrick for protection. Patrick flashes a pair of pliers. "You do know why they call me "The Tooth Fairy," don't you?" he threatens. The goons return empty-handed.

Waiting to pick TJ up after school, Tommy drinks wine from a travel mug. TJ's school counselor, Anna, approaches Tommy's car. She invites him inside to make up the appointment he missed.

In her office, Tommy criticizes Anna's lack of experience. Anna accuses Tommy of "deflecting" and reminds him that TJ is failing, getting into fights and hasn't spoken after witnessing his mother get killed in a hit-and-run. She knows about Tommy's drinking problem and warns him that she'll have to contact Child Protective Services "if this continues to go downhill."

Outside school, TJ watches a flock of birds in flight.

Dion shows up at Marisa's apartment and says he misses her. She blocks the door, keeping their relationship "strictly professional," but secretly watches him walk out.

Dion is waiting in the parking lot when Tommy and TJ arrive home. He hugs Tommy and asks to stay there overnight before leaving for Paris.

Inside, they talk about the changing neighborhood. "The Bronx is the new Brooklyn. It's coming up," Dion says, eyeing Tommy's crumbling walls. They bicker about Tommy not visiting Dion in jail and Dion's absence after Rie died. "You got coked up and burned down the restaurant," Tommy argues. "So not only did I lose my wife, I lost my best friend and my job." Dion, emotional, apologizes.

TJ watches, fascinated, as Dion makes pasta from scratch. Before they eat, Dion insists that Tommy present a wine pairing. Tommy, assuming his sommelier identity, pours Chianti and talks through his pick. Dion and TJ smile.

That night, Tommy and Dion drink wine in Tommy's living room upstairs. Dion wants Tommy to come with him to Paris and open a Hellenic-Mediterranean restaurant. He pulls out the design "bible" for Thirio, the restaurant they were planning to open downstairs before Rie died. Tommy says he could never do it without Rie.

Tommy's father, Aidan, eats breakfast in his office. The sign on the door says Moran & Son Scaffolding, though the words "& Son" have been scratched off. Aidan gives a racist history of the neighborhood while his attendant, Jensen, listens silently. When he's done, Jensen hoists him into his wheelchair and rolls him out.

Tommy wakes up with a hangover. Meanwhile, Dion snorts cocaine in the bathroom.

Tommy hugs Dion goodbye and takes TJ to school. Looking for coffee, Dion discovers Rie's cell phone in its charger.

In a flashback, Rie smiles as she plates pasta inside the kitchen of Ottavio's, an upscale Italian restaurant. Dion, the executive chef, adds finishing touches and hands it to a waiter, who passes by Tommy pouring wine for customers in the dining room. The waiter serves Rie's dish to Patrick Woijchik.

At a grief group meeting back in the present, Pilar Herrera introduces herself to Tommy and says her husband died in her arms of a heart attack. Tommy tells Pilar about Rie and mentions his job as a wine rep. Pilar excitedly says she manages her sister's restaurant and they're often looking for wine. She suggests exchanging numbers.

In session, the leader asks Tommy to role-play and pretend that Pilar is Rie. Tommy stares into Pilar's eyes. "We were supposed to do this together," he says tearfully. "You're like a phantom limb." Pilar melts.

Patrick's van is waiting outside the door when Dion leaves Tommy's place. Patrick has Dion searched and finds the plane ticket. As Patrick burns Dion's fake passport, he recounts how Dion burned down Ottavio's -- which Patrick and his father owned -- and got caught, so they received no insurance payout. Dion promises to pay the $600,000 owed and claims the Paris trip was to source equipment for his new restaurant. Dion takes Patrick inside, while a man watches them from a distance.

Dion walks Patrick through the unfinished space, explaining his vision for the restaurant. Dion promises it will double the profit Patrick was making from Ottavio's while functioning as "a laundromat for your money." Patrick agrees, then reveals that he's the one who got Dion out of jail early and threatens to kill "everyone who means something" to Dion if the restaurant fails. Before he leaves, Patrick pulls out his signature pliers. He decides to crush Dion's pinky finger instead of yanking a tooth.

Tommy waits for TJ after school. When TJ doesn't show, Tommy drives to a sidewalk memorial for Rie. He watches TJ place a drawing near photos and candles.

Dion walks through the marketplace and tells the butcher he needs a favor. The butcher slides him a small package.

That night, Dion breezes into Tommy's place and opens his package, revealing a lamb shank. Confused, Tommy notices Dion's bandaged pinky (which Dion blames on a cab door) and asks about Paris. Dion answers by preparing Thirio's signature dish. "I didn't go to Paris because our dream was to open a restaurant right here," Dion declares. He says Tommy's "wallowing" and "stuck," but Tommy doesn't believe Dion can understand his loss. Tommy again refuses to open Thirio without Rie.

Tucking TJ into bed, Tommy hears a loud crash in the kitchen.

Tommy runs downstairs and sees Dion trying to lift the huge espresso machine from its station. Dion screams that Tommy doesn't deserve it and starts throwing plates at the wall. The two tussle until a ringing interrupts them. It's TJ, calling Rie's cell phone to hear her voice on the outgoing message. Dion says Tommy's place is like "a tomb of Rie's dream" and Tommy needs to find his passion again -- to save both himself and TJ. Tommy wonders where they'll get the money for a restaurant. Dion shoots him a knowing look. Tommy shakes his head: "I haven't talked to him in 10 years."

Jensen helps Aidan out of a car and wheels him towards his house. Tommy watches, unseen.

Outside the warehouse, Dion imagines a "Thirio" marquee lighting up the roofline. Detective Giordano, the man watching Dion and Patrick earlier, drives up. He notes Dion's early jail release, courtesy of the Woijchiks, and threatens to send Dion back if he doesn't provide "intel" on the Tooth Fairy. Dion asks why Giordano cares -- he already put Patrick's father away. Giordano removes a fake front tooth. "I am Ahab," Giordano snarls, and the Tooth Fairy is his "white whale." He re-breaks Dion's pinky and drives off just as Tommy pulls up. Tommy lies about Aidan not being home.

Tommy and Dion look out onto the street as police cars scream by. "A restaurant in the Bronx," Tommy muses. "Living the dream," Dion adds.