October 1977
Jack finally teaches his wife that there will be no happy ending
Jack (Michael Levin) went to see his new daughter, but couldn't face the Ryan clan, who welcomed Mary and baby Ryan home with a piper and a party. 
Mary (Kate Mulgrew) always believed Jack would eventually come through, but is beginning to lose hope.

For Mary Ryan Fenelli, it had taken almost ten months to kill the hope that a lifetime of trust in the power of love had created. She had been brought up in a family where the miracle of love happened every day. It could calm worried minds, soothe testy tempers, even stitch a broken heart or two, Mary believed, so when she ran up against Jack Fenelli, she never doubted for an instant that her love was strong enough to save a man who’d stood a lonely vigil against it for 38 years. But she was wrong, and Jack was a mean and uncompromising master who would teach her whether she liked it or not that not every dream comes true.

In the wee hours of the morning of his daughter’s birth, after Johnny Ryan had alerted Jack that Mary had gone to the hospital, Fenelli stumbled out of bed and went down to the Gennaro social club where his friend Jumbo Marino sat drinking.

Now, Jumbo was the last man Fenelli wanted to see at this moment because his old friend was beginning to sound like his own guilty conscience. What are you doin’ here? You should be with Mary and the baby! the big man boomed. A few more shots of whiskey and Jack would drown out Jumbo’s reproaches, only the more booze he put away, the more his old pal’s needling seemed to shoot holes in Jack’s bizarre philosophy that breaking Mary’s heart was the best way to love her. Why, maybe he could make a go of family life, Jack decided, and with his buddies urging him on, he staggered into a taxi and headed uptown to Riverside Hospital. Lurching onto the maternity floor, though, Jack looked more like a Bowery bum than a prospective father—at least that’s what the night nurse thought when she kicked him out. Too smashed by now to even remember why he’d come, Jack passed out on a bench in Riverside Park.

When the sun came up the next morning and Mary greeted the day with her brand new daughter in her arms, she never knew of Jack’s pitiful attempt to be with her the night before. She never knew that once he’d roused himself from a drunken sleep he’d gone to the nursery and seen his baby. Only later did Jumbo tell her that Jack had seen Ryan, and that after another night of soul searching he had gone to see her as well. But while he was standing outside her door he’d gotten cold feet when he heard her praising her father to Tom Desmond. Jack felt he couldn’t be the dad Johnny Ryan was, Jumbo said, so he wasn’t even going to try.

Convinced that if Jack didn’t bring Mary to his home when she left the hospital the marriage would truly be over, Jumbo, Maeve and Sister Mary Joel waged an all-out campaign to shame him into facing his responsibilities. Surprisingly, though, it took only a few verbal skirmishes to bring him around to their way of thinking.

But while his son-in-law debated the pros and cons of this commitment, Johnny Ryan took matters into ‘his own hands by planning a little party to take Mary’s mind off her sad homecoming. So when she came down to the hospital lobby, there was the happy wail of bagpipes and assorted Ryan clansmen and friends to dance her across the street to her parents’ place. What Mary couldn’t see was Jack, shrinking behind a doorway and mutely allowing his wife and daughter to be taken from him.

When Jumbo told Mary that Jack had watched her go without protest, Mary’s heart hardened for the first time. She rushed to the Weehauken Street apartment to confirm that he had indeed let her go to her parents’ when she should have been with him. Mary begged Jack to come to Ryan’s baptism and the party Maeve and Johnny were throwing, but Jack’s determination was stronger than ever now. Brutally he told her that she must give up her dreams of a life with him, that he would have the annulment and divorce, that he didn’t want Ryan. Somehow she must stop loving him! But how do I stop loving you, Jack? Mary demanded. If you can show me, I’ll give you your freedom.

It didn’t take Jack long to dream up a way. He telephoned Christine Venest—the sexy little physical therapist Tom Desmond had thrown in his way weeks before—and asked her to a “very special” party the Ryans were having in their bar. So a week later when Mary and her family returned from the baptism, there was Jack, cuddled up in a booth with the unwitting Christine, showing Mary exactly how to stop loving him.

While Johnny Ryan sputtered and fumed in the background, Mary martialed every ounce of her self-control and tried to be polite, explaining to the embarrassed Christine that this was just another ploy of Jack’s to prove that he cared not at all for her or their child. But Jack laughed in the face of her explanation and remained coldly disinterested in the baptismal toasts and celebration. Finally, the Ryans could take no more and Frank Ryan informed his sister’s husband that he could either leave under his own steam or be thrown out. The humiliated Christine flounced out of the bar, followed by a surly Jack Fenelli. The other guests gathered round and tried to lighten the mood with songs and good cheer but it was obvious that Jack’s plan had worked. The beginning of the end of Mary’s love for him was there in her pain-filled eyes. No price was ever too great to pay when Fenelli wanted to prove to the world that he was rotten and that Mary deserved better. Jack graduated first in his class from the school of hard knocks, and that afternoon, in her father’s bar, he handed Mary a diploma of her very own.

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