Episodes are not necessarily listed in the order in which they were filmed or exhibited, but rather (in some cases) in the order the scripts were commissioned.
At a glance:
SCHEDULE ONE | CULTURE CLASH | DISENFRANCHISED | SORRY, RIGHT NUMBER | ROLE CALL | THE ZEALOT | REVENGE | MARATHON | RITES OF PASSAGE | FAVORS | AHEAD OF THE GAME | EASY DOES IT | RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT | THE RAPIST - PART II | WASTE DEEP | COST OF LIVING | TO SIR WITH LOVE | DIVINE COURIERS (aka HEAVENLY MESSENGERS) | SPECIAL TREATMENT | HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN | TURN. TURN. TURN - PARTS I & II
Cagney and Lacey are told by a junkie that one of their own is scooping heroin; the informer points out Isbecki. Cagney, Lacey and Samuels decide to investigate, keeping it to themselves. They plan to set Isbecki up.
When they catch him red-handed, he tells them it is for his mother (his only family) who is dying of cancer and in terrible pain. She is allergic to anything the doctors can prescribe. She begged Victor to kill her; what else could he do? Cagney, Lacey and Samuels must decide among themselves how to handle the situation.
They unanimously agree to cover for Isbecki, even though they might be risking their own careers. The morning they are to tell Isbecki his fate, he is two hours late. Samuels begins to explode when Isbecki tells them his mother just died.
Subplot: Harvey and Lacey are getting ready for their move. Lacey is working long hours due to the Isbecki situation and Harvey is left to do the packing with his own complicated numbering system. Lacey’s secrecy about Isbecki creates tension between them. They finally move to their dream house.
Cagney and Lacey respond to a series of calls from an Afghani immigrant, about his younger sister. First a poisoning, then a rape, finally a kidnapping. During their various interviews it becomes apparent that the young immigrant and his older sister are not adjusting to life in their new country the way the younger sister has.
The younger sibling has become thoroughly Americanized while they cling to the old ways. They fear for her soul and want the American police to teach her respect for her heritage. It becomes clear that the young girl has run away, but then is found brutally murdered. Her brother confesses to the crime, abiding by the laws of his new country. He “had” to kill her because, according to their religion and tradition, she had “lost her soul.”
Subplot: Cagney and Lacey are recommended for an armed robbery task force. They do not get the promotion because Cagney’s interviewer is an old partner of her old nemesis, Hennessy.
The Laceys attempt to settle into their new house and brave a neighborhood barbecue.
Isbecki is overcompensating for the error of his ways in SCHEDULE ONE. No one knows what to think. Finally Petrie manages to bring back the old Isbecki.
A thirteen-year-old child claims her five-year-old sister is being molested by their father but due to insufficient evidence the case is dismissed. Cagney and Lacey are deeply involved, feeling that children can get no justice as they pull out all the stops to go after the father. The mother reveals, to their disgust, that she knew what the father was doing all along.
The children are taken to a shelter where Cagney learns that when the older girl, Jenny, was young, he “did it to her.” This opens the case back up, and Cagney and Lacey approach one of Jenny’s teachers who refuses to help even though she knows there was a problem in Jenny’s past.
In court, Jenny accuses her father of raping her and he falsely accuses her of being sexually active with several boys. Finally the teacher comes forward to offer testimony and as a result of the trial, the two children are separated and sent to different foster homes.
Cagney and Lacey plead with the judge to keep the children together but the judge tells them her hands are tied by laws that are unjust to children.
Subplot: Charlie has applied for a job as a security officer. They turn him down because of his age and he goes off the wagon. Cagney fights with him about his drinking.
The Laceys are still settling in and Michael has a persistent stomach ache that disappears once he feels more confident and comfortable in his new school.
SORRY, RIGHT NUMBER
It’s hot and the city seems on the verge of a blackout. Cagney and Lacey are investigating a series of burglaries, all uptown Fifth Avenue, all doctors or therapists of some sort. Meanwhile, Petrie and Isbecki are investigating a homicide in the same building as one of Cagney and Lacey’s burglaries.
Lacey and Isbecki are trapped in an elevator on their way to their respective crime investigations. Isbecki is claustrophobic. They talk about his mother, western movies and finally, their cases. Lacey realizes another common factor: all the burglaries and the homicide used the same answering service.
Lacey and Isbecki are saved from the elevator and Lacey tells all that Victor has solved the cases.
Subplot: Cagney is planning for a long weekend away from the city with Keeler, against her better judgment.
Harvey buys Lacey a microwave but they just can’t seem to get it right. Lacey vows they’ll use it to make things better for themselves, somehow.
Cagney and Lacey differ on how to deal with a sexy TV star who rides along with them for research. Cagney feels she is making fun of police work in her television show and of women in general, while Lacey is delighted to find she is very real, a working single parent.
In the end, Cagney realizes that she isn’t that different from herself. They are both women who have struggled to gain respect in their different fields.
Subplot: Petrie invests in a Black community real estate project and Isbecki feels that he has been left out, discriminated against because he isn’t Black. Ultimately, Petrie’s dreams of success are shattered when the deal falls through.
Cagney and Lacey are working closely with a charismatic D.A. on a big kiddie porn case. Cagney feels a special bond with him because they both share a passion for their work.
When he is murdered after a dinner date with Cagney, she and Lacey enter the gray world with which he was obsessed in order to find his killer. Cagney has a hard time coming to grips with the fact that he may have become too deeply enmeshed in this world especially after they learn that he had been seeing a prostitute on a regular basis.
Eventually they find the murderer, the prostitute’s ex-pimp, and discuss how difficult but necessary it is to leave your work at the office and not take it home. Cagney has a tougher time with this and struggles at the end with whether or not she should bring her work home.
Subplot: Lacey finds a porno magazine belonging to Michael and talks with him about respect for the person inside the body.
Isbecki is intimidated when an older woman asks him out on a date. As it turns out, they have a lot in common.
Note: Episode features an appearance by Oscar winner, Kathy Bates
Petrie recognizes a crucifix around the neck of a perp as one his sister used to wear before she was raped and murdered fourteen years earlier. He is convinced he is the one who was her killer and begins harassing him to get a confession.
When the perp turns up dead, Petrie becomes a suspect, leaving Cagney and Lacey to try and prove his innocence. Eventually he is cleared and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Subplot: A brash freelance journalist romances Cagney to get the inside scoop on what a woman cop is really like.
Lacey is stuck needing a babysitter and grandfather-to-be, Samuels, steps in.
Assigned to protect a white South African marathon runner, Cagney and Lacey are confronted by the woman’s obsession to remain apolitical despite her becoming the focal point of the struggle against apartheid during a corporate sponsored marathon.
Cagney and Lacey have differing opinions on the matter. Cagney believes not everything, especially sporting events, has to be political, while Lacey, a la Harvey, believes that not only action, but lack of action is a political statement.
Cagney and Lacey investigate the apparent suicide of a college girl discovering the real cause to be sorority hazing. Between Cagney and Lacey this brings up issues of ambition and the urge to “belong” at any cost.
Subplot: At home, Lacey walks in on a heavy necking session between Harvey Jr. and Tiffany. This sparks concerns by Lacey that her son be aware of his responsibilities in a sexual relationship.
She asks Harvey to tell his son about responsibility and “condoms”, and when he doesn’t, in a moving scene she tells Harvey Jr. for the first time about her own teenage pregnancy and abortion. As far as she’s concerned he should “wait”. But if he chooses not to, he should be smart and use proper birth control precautions.
Cagney has a handsome new neighbor, Tony. She’s very attracted to him until she finds out that he’s gay. They resolve to be friends.
Michael tells Lacey that his new friend smokes marijuana and it’s okay with the friend’s parents. Despite a promise to Michael, Lacey feels compelled to confront the mother.
Samuels stops drinking, but only Cagney knows that he puts tea in his whiskey bottle.
The Fourteenth Squad puts together a major sting operation to catch a loan shark and lands a judge up for reelection in the process. A major problem develops for Cagney when it comes to light that this same judge-on-the-take is an old pal of her father. Their dispute about all of this pulls Charlie off the wagon and puts an inordinate amount of pressure on her partnership with Lacey. None of this is at a good time, as David Keeler keeps trying to get back in touch and Cagney - as the senior officer under Lt Samuels - is given the assignment of putting together the annual performance evaluations for the entire Squad.
Subplot: Michael tells Lacey that his new friend smokes marijuana and it's okay with the friend's parents. Despite a promise to Michael, Lacey feels compelled to confront the mother.
Samuels puts tea in his whiskey bottle as a way to stop drinking. Cagney will, of course, keep his "secret."
When Cagney and Lacey investigate the untimely and seemingly drug-related death of a young basketball star, they discover the involvement of steroid usage in high school athletics. Subplot: The Lacey house is burglarized and Lacey loses her only heirloom, a gold candlestick.
When it is finally located, Lacey is faced with owing some future favor to a crooked gambler or standing on principle and losing it forever.
Subplot: Cagney is crushed when Charlie gets drunk and embarrasses her at the annual Irish policeman’s ball.
EASY DOES IT
Cagney and Lacey go undercover, investigating robberies at AA meetings. The more Cagney hears and sees the stronger her denials become about her own problems with alcohol.
Making things worse, Charlie’s girlfriend, Donna LaMarr, has broken off with him, prompting a binge of drinking on his part. Cagney, in a pivotal scene in “The Jane” with Lacey, finally accepts that her father is a drunk and there is nothing she can do about it.
Subplot: Meanwhile, Harvey has gotten a large payment on a remodeling contract and is spending like crazy, which throws Lacey completely. She worries about the future and is uncomfortable with “Diamond Jim”.
They compromise with Harve toning down a bit and Lacey doing a little spending of her own. (She gets a new hat and a new washer and dryer).
RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
Lacey narrowly avoids shooting a teenage female perp, who’s suspected of killing a drug dealer. Lacey’s guilt is heightened when it is revealed the girl is deaf. Cagney attempts to keep Lacey objective about her guilt and the evidence against the girl, but each step in the investigation only fuels Lacey’s misplaced emotions.
Lacey’s relieved when the deaf perp is released for lack of evidence, but her mistaken judgment is quickly confirmed when the girl kills again. Lacey recognizes her mistakes and in an emotional scene, interrogates the girl like the criminal she is.
Subplot: Isbecki is embarrassed to reveal he is dating Ginger, an older, plain looking,”
Sara Jones (THE RAPIST) goes to trial. Cagney is torn between the department’s order that she be a witness for the prosecution and her own feelings of guilt and obligation to Sara. But when Sara asks Cagney to commit perjury on the stand to get her off, Cagney comes to grips with just how much she owes her former temporary partner and refuses.
While dealing with her own responsibility in missing cues regarding Jones, Cagney overcompensates for her loss of control, pulling rank on Lacey. Together they confront the issue of “rank” in their partnership.
Subplot: Lacey goes back to college one night a week, ecstatic to be learning again.
Cagney and Lacey investigate a clever robbery scheme.
Cagney and Lacey bust a young woman who’s vandalizing a factory as a publicity stunt for her cause.
Tension between Cagney and Keeler reaches a damaging pitch when he joins the defense team for her old nemesis, Mansfield. The result of the trial sets Mansfield free in the Federal Protection Program after he reveals the name of a bigger “fish”. Cagney and Keeler are left at seeming irreparable odds.
Subplot: Lacey feels threatened when a perp who’d sworn revenge on her years ago is seen working near the station house. She gets up the courage to confront him and puts such a scare into him that she has to go back and reassure him that she is not going to send him back to jail. Cagney learns that Charlie has been less than honest when he told her he was on the wagon.
When David Keeler attempts to repair his relationship with Cagney, he finds her with Tony Stantinopolis. It results in a macho standoff between the two that Cagney secretly enjoys.
Samuels has been challenged to the annual contest for the precinct with the highest clearance rate. Inspector Knelman blackmails Cagney into being chairperson for the annual division dinner by telling her Samuels will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Between the clearance rate and the dinner, Cagney nearly loses her mind, not to mention all her friends.
At the last minute Knelman says they need entertainment. The 14th decides to put on a show. In their spare time Cagney and Lacey are working on the “case” of a couple who are breaking up. He has her ring, she has his five—speed food processor, etc.
By the time Cagney and Lacey finish the “fives” on all the misplaced property, the 14th is in contention for the clearance trophy. Samuels is happy and surprised with the Distinguished Service Award and the show goes on.
Subplot: In the midst of all the hubbub, Lacey gives Alice Christine a very special first birthday party.
In a scene very reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel, Chris and Mary Beth attempt to make cannoli in Lacey’s kitchen.
DIVINE COURIERS (aka HEAVENLY MESSENGERS)
Note: Episode features Emmy Award Winning Actress, Lois Nettleton
A con woman, appropriately named Faith Dewey, sends messages to the dead by hiring terminal patients to memorize and carry the messages “across.” Although Cagney and Lacey take turns being outraged by this scam and the woman’s behavior, they can’t seem to pin a crime on her nor find any dissatisfied customers.
The messengers have been given hope and a purpose in dying, along with $50.00 per message. Their main concerns are how to locate the addressees.
When a man comes in to complain that he has given all his money to Faith Dewey sending messages to his dead wife, Cagney and Lacey resolve to put an end to her activities but they are stumped until Isbecki comes forward to say he has paid Dewey to send a message to his mother.
Subplot: After sixteen years, Harvey’s mother needs more time for herself and Lacey and Harvey have to find a day care center for Alice Christine.
Charlie wants Cagney to intercede with Donna who has left him because of his alcoholism. Donna confronts Cagney and tells her that not only is Charlie a drunk, Cagney better watch out for herself, too.
Coleman, facing his high school reunion, tries to decide what he should “go as.” After much soul searching, he decides to go as himself with spectacular results.
Lacey is arrested during a peaceful anti—nuclear demonstration. She winds up in the precinct of her old nemesis, Detective Dupnik who would like her to walk away quietly. Lacey, however, wants no special treatment and demands her “ticket.” Dupnik decides to teach her a lesson by locking her up which he goes through a painfully slow ID and booking process.
Meanwhile, Cagney is preparing to be the spokesperson for the 14th Precinct at a hostile Community Board meeting when Peter Gates, of Heavenly Gates’ Mortuary and President of the Community Board, has his favorite hearse stolen. Through a series of mishaps, the hearse becomes lost forever and the Community Board meeting is a debacle.
Subplot: Cagney’s stress due to Lacey’s incarceration and the Community Board situation is multiplied when she bets Charlie she can go for a week without drinking.
Esposito is involved in an EST-like seminar program which wreaks havoc with the boys in the squad room.
HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN
A gun collector’s museum piece handgun is stolen by two street punks. One of them uses the gun in a robbery, shooting the cashier. Cagney and Lacey go after the kid. When they find him, Lacey is wearing her bullet-proof vest but Cagney has left hers at Charlie’s. Lacey gets shot but thanks to her vest, only suffers a cracked rib.
The shooting triggers an emotional examination of her partnership with Cagney and they are forced to reveal, feelings about their jobs, themselves and each other.
Subplot: An off-duty Brooklyn cop is killed and the 14th joins in the manhunt to find his killer. Because he was carrying an unauthorized gun, Knelman wants a gun inspection and Samuels has Cagney make the inspection. The inspection uncovers some unusual practices.
TURN. TURN. TURN - PARTS I & II
Note: Multiple award winner: including Sharon Gless as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series; Scott Newman Award
Director: Sharron Miller
Written by: Georgia Jeffries
Lacey saves a baby from a burning car seconds before it explodes. The father dies in the explosion, the mother is not around. The media goes wild naming Lacey, “Hero of the Month,” complete with newspaper and TV coverage, ceremonies, citations, medals and commendations, but no promotion…yet. Cagney and Lacey begin the tedious process of trying to track down the mother with only an Iowa license plate to work from. They hope the media coverage will bring out the mother but it only brings false leads. They get a name but still can find no trace of the missing mother.
The baby’s mother finally appears but Lacey questions her until she admits she and her husband kidnapped the baby. Samuels announces that Lacey’s promotion has come through, Detective Second Grade Mary Beth Lacey. Lacey throws the traditional bash at Flannery’s, the only dark spot being the absence of Cagney. At the party the baby’s real mother shows up to thank Lacey.
Meanwhile, Charlie’s alcoholism is progressing, he is being forgetful and cantankerous, preying on Cagney’s time and energy. She tries to talk to him about his drinking but it does no good. Charlie, alone in his apartment, falls and hits his head. Too drunk to get up, he bleeds to death.
Cagney is devastated. She begins to drink more heavily than ever, trying to deny her feelings but always on the verge of breaking. She makes it through the funeral and barely through the wake where she gives Charlie a moving, drunken farewell toast.
Cagney shows up at the precinct drunk after a celebration lunch with Lacey and has a fight with Samuels and then with Lacey. She leaves on the verge of cracking. When she comes back the next day she has another fight with Samuels and Lacey, not remembering the fights of the day before, and she is gone.
Cagney goes on a final binge, insulting Tony, abusing Keeler and reaching the lowest point of her life. Lacey finally intervenes and convinces her that she is loved but that she needs help and takes her to an AA meeting where Detective Cagney finally stands and says,“My name is Christine, and I’m an alcoholic”.
All Episodes - Bibles Episode Guide - Characters Season 1 (1982) Season 2 (1982-3) Season 3 (Spring 1984) Season 4 (1984-5)Season 5 (1985-6) Season 7 (1987-8) The Menopause Years (1994-5)