A bunch of people (nine, to be exact) are just going about their normal daily routines when they are involved in a bank robbery/hostage situation. The titular nine include bank tellers/sisters Franny and Eva. Eva is a single mom who is looking forward to getting a date with regular customer Nick, a second-generation loose-cannon cop with a gambling problem. Jeremy is a surgeon who is dating Lizzie, a hospital worker. She's pregnant with Jeremy's child, but hasn't told him yet. Kathryn is a hard-nosed lawyer who comes to the bank when her mother claims some jewelry was stolen from her safety deposit box. Egan Foote is a schlubby loser who wants a boat loan, but his wife won't approve, so he decides to kill himself. The group is rounded out by Malcolm, the bank manager, and Felicia, his teenaged daughter. We see the very beginning of the robbery, committed by two brothers, one of whom is ex-military. And then it flashes to the end, when the SWAT team crashes in. We learn a few things about what happened in the interim. A security guard was killed. Nick the cop hatched a plan to end the whole thing early on, and feels that the hostage negotiator screwed it up and prolonged the event. Jeremy did SOMETHING HORRIBLE that led to Lizzie's deciding she wanted him out of her life afterward. A hank of hair was cut from Kathryn's head. Eva was shot, and later died in surgery. And Egan the schlub did something heroic. In the aftermath, the nine try to keep in touch. Jeremy and Franny end up sleeping together at Eva's wake. Nick and Kathryn seem to have a special connection. One of the robbers is shot, but pulls through. The other one goes to jail. And Felicia claims to remember nothing about the whole ordeal. So why does the last scene of the episode show Felicia going to the jail to visit one of the robbers?
We open with a crash cut to a close-up on a young woman's face, lit up like she's in an interrogation room. She seems distraught and disheveled as she explains that it was just a regular day, but somehow she ended up in there (flash of the exterior of Fidelity Republic Bank) with those people, and that they didn't know each other, but that they went through something together, and now she doesn't know what to think. We see flashes of a car pulling up outside the bank, and someone putting a clip into a gun.
Flashback! As you know if you watched the show, or probably guessed if you read any of the bajillion articles written about it, this show uses a nonlinear storytelling format. I'll try to describe the chronology, but I'm not making any guarantees; some are deliberately obscure, and there's also the fact that I'm not very bright. Anyway, this scene is P.H.S. -- Pre-Hostage Situation. The young woman from the opening scene, Lizzie Miller, is talking to a family in a hospital waiting room. She is a social worker of some sort, probably assigned to counsel the families of the sick and injured. She assures the family that Dr. Keats is a top surgeon. The aforementioned Dr. Jeremy Keats, played by Scott Wolf, struts up like The Todd and announces that the patient is stable. Lizzie calls him a stud, and he says that he really wants to kiss her right now. Um, there are family members right there? Unprofessional! Keep it in your pants, people. What is this, Grey's Anatomy? The family members thank Lizzie and Jeremy, and then head off to see their loved one. Lizzie and Jeremy walk off, bantering and giggling the whole way. She mentions lightly that she needs to talk to him about something. Jeremy thinks that he's in trouble, and Lizzie promises to tell him over lunch. She seems quite happy about the whole thing, so it must not be bad news -- or she doesn't think it is at the moment.
A cop, Nick Cavanaugh (played by Tim Daly), is telling a story at the station house about some sort of transvestite situation. He's interrupted by his boss, Pete, who wants a word.
Once they are safely in Pete's office, Pete says that Nick hasn't been attending his Gambler's Anonymous meetings. Hmm, Tim Daly as a guy with a gambling problem? Where have I seen this character before? Nick says that he did what the department mandated -- six meetings -- and hasn't laid a bet in three months. Pete makes a reference to Nick's "history," and Nick snaps that Pete should leave his father out of it. Nick points out that he had the most collars in the department last month, and wonders what happened to the promotion he was promised. Pete says that they were going to give him the promotion until the gambling problem cropped up. Nick realizes that he's not going to win this battle, and announces that he's going to deposit his paycheck in his savings account. I didn't get why he made such a big deal out of that (aside from the gambling thing) until I realized that the character needed a reason to be in the bank. See above re: not so bright, me being.