God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of A.I.D.S. In Manhattan, Prior Walter ( Justin Kirk ) tells Louis ( Ben Shenkman ), his lover of four years, he's ill; Louis bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Louis. Joe Pitt ( Patrick Wilson ), an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn ( Al Pacino ) toward a job at the Justice Department. Pitt and Cohn are in the closet: Pitt out of shame and religious turmoil, Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper (Mary-Louise Parker) is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage. An angel invites Prior to be a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize (Jeffrey Wright), a close friend, help Prior choose.