The general gist of this show is that Jason Cole is a highly respected neurosurgeon who is only awake from 8:25 in the morning until 8:25 at night. After that, his alter ego Ian comes out. It's your typical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, now wrapped up in a pretty weekly series with a lot of weird specifics that make this show more needlessly complicated than, say, the British series Jekyll.
In the pilot episode, we open on the streets of Philadelphia at 8:24 in the morning, just before Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale) wakes up for the day. Some might call him lazy. OK, I'm going to come right out and call him lazy. Before he gets out of bed, we see him rifling through a drawer full of syringes. If we hadn't had the luxury of watching this episode already, we'd maybe think we were getting a new Dr. House, only with injectable drugs instead of pills.
Jason goes into work and someone makes a comment on his very expensive looking digital watch, which has a countdown to 8:25 on it. Then as he steps into surgery, we see him having to test his blood sugar level before he's allowed to operate. Either he's a diabetic or he's using diabetes as an excuse to hide his other issue, but what's weird here is that someone also comments on how odd it is that he gets tested before picking up a scalpel and heading in. Did these people all just meet him?
Anyway he starts trying to save the life of his patient, who has some brain problems (Jason's a neurosurgeon, after all) and this douchey doctor (Michael Esper) is giving Jason shit about wasting time on patients who are just going to die and generally just being an asshat. This is how we know we're supposed to hate him. Jason largely ignores Doctor Dickhead and saves the life of the poor guy under the knife.
Phylicia Rashad is his boss and she has a name (Dr. Young) but honestly she's always going to be Phylicia Rashad or Mrs. Cosby to us. She and Jason banter about them hooking up, though it's all just playful fun to establish that he has a boss who adores him. So much so that she hands him pricey tickets to a Phillies game as a birthday present. He demurs and she says that while his diabetes conveniently prevents him from working at night, it shouldn't keep him from enjoying America's favorite pastime. Most games start around 7 and would be over past his 8:25 bedtime, and his alter ego might go all crazy tossing around Cracker Jack or something, so it's likely for the best that he hands the tickets off to a janitor. His only request is a play-by-play, saying that while he loves baseball, he can't enjoy night games because he's "not himself." Ugh. How many of these thinly-veiled references are we going to have to hear each week? My bet is: a lot.