When Lou recognises an old friend on the street, now living hand to mouth, he decides to have a series of articles made about life on Skid Row. Rossi finds it hard to accept this assignment, for personal reasons.
After Rossi's encounter with a young terrorist threatening to blow up the city, the reporters look into the likelihood of someone actually being able to build an atomic bomb in their garage, and end up getting followed around by federal agents.
The Tribune staff has an exhausting day covering a tunnel collapse, a "human fly" trying to scale a skyscraper, predictions of an alien UFO landing, and Art mulling over an offer to go to work for the governor.
The senior staff, attending a newspaper convention in Palm Springs, are informed by authorities that any of them could be the target of a terrorist kidnapping attempt. Meanwhile, Billie gets an interview with the terrorist group's leader.
Both Billie and Lou are confronted with the problems of senior citizens. Billie goes undercover in Lakevale Nursing Home to investigate possible neglect. While jogging, Lou befriends a retired hat maker who desperately wants to be useful to society.
Rossi meets a woman who is still trying to solve the hit-and-run death of her son two years ago, and is so impressed by her determination that he ignores his regular assignments to help her.
The Tribune starts receiving a new series of letters from a serial killer called "Samaritan" who threatens to resume a reign of terror that everyone thought ended 5 years ago.
After Animal risks his life to get a photograph, Lou discovers that he is a Vietnam veteran who is still haunted by his experiences. Lou commissions more stories about the difficulties faced by Vietnam vets, and tries to get Mrs. Pynchon to reach out to hire more of them at the paper.moreless
A friend of Lou's angers the fire department by revealing information from an internal investigation that a series of fires are being set by an arson-for-profit gang that includes two officials. One of the fires occurs at Animal's apartment building.
A visit from Lou's daughter Ellen reveals that she is in denial about her son's progressive deafness. Meanwhile, Rossi is disgruntled about being told that his story about faulty building construction doesn't have enough documentation, and he gets in trouble by giving the story to a rival reporter.
Billie and Rossi pose as wife and husband in order to investigate a black-market baby ring. During their investigation they find out personal things about each other.
Lou takes an instant dislike to a new media consultant who wants the Tribune to do more "sexy" stories in an attempt to widen the paper's audience. The reporters investigate various dating services, but the young man Billie meets refuses to leave her alone.
While on vacation, fishing with an old friend who now runs a small-town newspaper, Lou helps expose the cause of a mysterious illness plaguing the area's cattle, but a quarantine could ruin many of the local farmers.
Visiting a school guidance counselor to help pick a group of Tribune scholarship winners, Lou learns about the eruption of violence in such inner-city schools, but is shocked when she is beaten and raped by two students. Billie and Rossi work on a background story.
Donovan refuses to accept the fact that his terminally ill mother is dying. Meanwhile Lou sends Rossi to do a story on a rich woman who takes out an ad in the Trib, advertising for a husband; and Charlie sells his used car to Animal.
Billie gets upset when her story of the murder of an 'ordinary' African American mother gets buried on page 26 opposite the shipping news, while Rossi's upbeat feel-good story of an elderly white lady who beat up some attackers gets front page treatment.
When Lou and Rossi visit a resort to set up the newspaper staff's annual tennis tournament, they discover that it is a mob haven heavily populated by organized crime figures, as well as a Senate candidate.