Cagney and Lacey: Rules of the Game

    Before we get started, here are two useful pieces of information from the 30 second preview at the beginning of this episodes.

  1. Christine Cagney is in line to become 1st woman Chief of Detectives (or Chief of D’s as they say in every episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent)
  2. The guy who is her superior (or Captain, if you will) is also a major creep. He’s now trying to make her feel like she “owes him one.” But like if “one” was sex. He’s very creepy.

cagney-and-lacey1_2693110kAlso, can I just say that the theme song to Cagney and Lacey is just so enjoyable. It makes me want to skip down the streets of midtown Manhattan and say to the passersby, “I’m a New York City detective and I chase perpetrators down while wearing this wool tartan skirt and my thigh high dress boots!” But like if you can actually chase down a perp while wearing thigh high dress boots and a wool tartan skirt, then I’d argue that you’ve totally nailed the undercover thing.

bio_tmb_1Uh, no one told me that Sensei from The Karate Kid is a regular cast member in this. I’m now way more excited for this than I ever thought I could be. I’ve got to be honest, I thought I was going to phone it  in for letter “C” but here I am dedicated 100 words to the opening credits alone. This is the benefit of a blog challenge! I would NEVER have watched this otherwise! And now I have a new favorite skipping-down-the-street song!

Okay, so back to the Creepy Captain (or CC for short). He calls Cagney a “prima donna” and temperamental. But he also says she’s talented (and attractive) and that people called him temperamental when he was making his way up the ladder too. He asks her to dinner and says he “won’t take no for an answer.” My, how charming. (That’s sarcasm for any dudes out there who are erroneously taking dating advice from this blog.)

CC insults one of Lacey’s ideas on a case by telling her it’s just “woman’s intuition” and not actual detective work. He then calls Cagney into his office and is all like if you’re seeing someone else then I’ll just give you more work so you can never leave the precinct. Ughhhhh.

Let’s take a moment for some comedic relief: Lacey’s accent. What is going on here? She’s talking like she’s auditioning for a bit part in The Public Enemy. Am I supposed to believe this is Brooklynese? For reference:

Okay, CC tricks Cagney into going to a fancy restaurant under the guise of meeting a suspect. Cagney leaves as soon as she realizes that it’s just a roos. But she doesn’t have enough money to take a cab home, so she ends up at Lacey’s apartment to borrow the additional fare. Lacey’s kind of sympathetic but then she tells Cagney that she’s probably not being clear enough with the CC. You know, the good old blame the victim.

The next day at work the CC is pissed, so he starts giving Cagney a hard time. (I went through HR training at work a couple of months ago and this situation has red flags all over the place.) So she goes to her lieutenant, who tells her that with all of her professional experience she should “know already how to handle a guy who’s uh trying to work his way into the good graces of a good looking woman like yourself.” Barf.

mv5bmtg3oda5mzi4mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndm2mtk0mje-_v1_uy268_cr870182268_al_But Cagney points out that this isn’t just an idle flirtation. On the one hand, I’m super glad I wasn’t a lady cop in the 80’s. But on the other hand, this all seems fairly familiar even though this episode is 30 years old. The lieutenant is ultimately sympathetic. He’s also incredibly unhelpful. He’s just kind of like hm, what a bad situation.

Once again, Lacey tells her to ignore him. AGH LACEY WHY??? YOU’RE HER PARTNER! Where is the support? I feel like Lacey is just naive because she’s not in this situation and so she thinks it’s easy to get out of and that’s so infuriating. Finally, Lacey gets on board. She tells Cagney to keep a diary of all of the times he came on to her. Lacey says that she and her husband can testify about the time Cagney ended up at their house looking for cab fair when she was trying to get away from CC.

Cagney is worried about getting a bad reputation for “busting one of [her] own.” Being a cop on this show sounds a lot tougher than the theme song implied.

The CC tries to work out a deal with Cagney. He’ll recommend her for the job she wants as long as she drops the complaint. But she sticks to her guns because she’s not going to be manipulated by a creepy dude.

Uh, and then roll credits.

What? You’re just gonna do me like that Cagney and Lacey??

I’m not going to let this be a repeat of the Baywatch incident. I’ve scoured the internet and we actually have to wait FIVE WHOLE EPISODES to find out how this works out! According to, in “Con Games,” Cagney manages to track down another woman that CC sexually harassed. She agrees to testify and this seals the CC’s fate.

Very Special Lesson: I mean, my real life advice here is to always have a good basic knowledge of employment law and a great attorney.
But like this episode made me sad and I’m sorry that Cagney had to deal with all that.
So maybe the very special lesson here is that I should pre-screen episodes before committing myself to a blogging challenge.

However, I’d like to say that the start of the A to Z Challenge has been very serious. And for that I blame the alphabet. But tomorrow, I promise you an episode of Dragnet and plenty of giggles.