Leeanne Rosser (Kate Elliott) a strong but world-weary 20 year-old solo mother, sits on a hot train with her one-year-old, half-Samoan son Sam (Jamal Spellacey). It's her mother's birthday and Leeanne and Sam put up with the heat to visit her in Wainuiomata. But her mother (Miranda Harcourt) is feeling the pull of the church, and refuses to accept Leeanne's baby born out of marriage. Leeanne's father (Tim Lee) is helpless to bring them together. Unknown to all of them, Leeanne's brother Brent (Jared Turner) is out creating mischief. He pretends to be a student or a bible salesman, and then robs houses when their owners are absent. Today an unsuspecting victim, Ulla (Jennifer Ward Lealand), returns home during his robbery. Brent panics and sends Ulla plummeting down the steps with a sickening crack. For Leeanne and her family, and Ulla and her family, from that moment on, everything is changed. Ulla is paralysed, her neck broken. Ulla has a 15 year-old daughter Olivia (Alicia Fulford Wierzbicki) and an estranged husband Athol (Michael Hurst), who still lives at home and buries himself in his rental properties. Her husband's mother Gwen (Liddy Holloway) lives next door, having divorced Howard (John Noble) after a 40-year marriage. Gwen is the only person who can take responsibility for Ulla. For Leeanne, too, things reach a breaking point, after Danny brings home another girl to live in the flat. She returns to Wainuiomata to seek shelter with her parents, but her mother refuses them again. Brent sees a composite drawing of himself in a newspaper, as the man who is wanted for the crime. He realises that his fingerprints will be found on Ulla's banister. He attempts to unload some of Ulla's stolen jewellery on Mrs. Ponder (Brenda Kendall), an antique/junk dealer who acts as his 'fence'. But she is too smart, and soon knows Brent is wanted by the police. Brent is left with nowhere to turn but inward, into his own paranoia and fears. Mrs. Ponder puts pressure on Brent to leave the country. When Leeanne visits his flat to ask if she and Sam can come to live there, he loses his temper and sends them away in tears. One day as Leeanne is watching Sam on the swings at a waterfront park, a helicopter comes swooping out of the sky, almost knocking them to the ground with its downblast. Howard and his potential investors step out to survey the site, and Leeanne lets loose on them. It is a chance interaction that makes him realise he must re-evaluate his life. Two policemen are getting closer to Brent. But he has vanished. Leeanne, forced out of her home by a bullying boyfriend, ends up at Brent's flat with Sam, only to find it empty and trashed. It isn't long before the police swoop in and claim that Leeanne is implicated in her brother's crimes. Both families are now at breaking point. Brent's fate may lie in his own hands, but it will be Leeanne's strength and dedication to her child that will carry hope for the future.