An uneven season but some of the show's most memorable episodes air. This is the final season for LaGuardia. Highlights include: Lacey's cancer, Cagney's sexual harassment case, and the Sergeant's exam. 21 Episodes
80's satin jackets, awesome!!
4x1Child Witness October 15, 1984 After being molested by her babysitter a young girls father does not want her to testify or cooperate with the investigation.
Critique: Harsh subject matter but solid. B Collar: Child Molestation
4x2Heat October 22, 1984 It's really hot, oh and Lacey is taken hostage by a killer at a rail yard.
Critique: Super good, story good, Tyne Daly good, all good except for Boyd, he was not good. I did expect Lacey to be even better at talking with Boyd, "knowing people" is her specialty. A
4x3Insubordination October 29, 1984 Cagney's ex Dory is back and she and Lacey are assigned to work with him on a narcotics case. Dory spurns Cagney's attempts at reconciliation. A old nemesis of Samuel's disrupts the squad room.
Critique: Dory is such a great match for Cagney their episodes are always good. B+ Collar: Naroctics Trafficing Bad Cop: Lectured by Samuel's on disobeying order to go through the task force leadership before making an arrest.
4x4Old Debts November 5, 1984 A cop killer newly release from prison is murdered while in the protective custody of Cagney and Lacey, they try to solve the case to absolve themselves of blame. Dory finally reconciles with Cagney.
Critique: Nice change of pace on this one. B+ Collar: Homicide Doesn't add up: Why would you keep the guy in the same city as all the cops who might want to harm him?
4x5Fathers and DaughtersNovember 12, 1984 A mother confesses to the murder of her husband and then her daughter also confesses. As the investigation ensues grim details come to light.
Critique: Great performances by the guest stars, it's much easier to watch these grim storylines with adults rather than children, but still not going to wind up in the favorites list. B Collar: Homicide
4x6Taxi Cab MurdersNovember 19, 1984 Lacey's family is upset that she is going undercover as a cab driver when cabbies are the targets of a serial killer.
Critique: Troy Slaten does a great job in this as Michael. For as much as they focus on the Laceys, it's a bit odd they don't have more conflicts with the dangers of Mary Beth's work. B Collar: Homicide Undercover: Cab drivers Bad Cop: How can Cagney and Lacey bring in the wrong guy? Guess our heroes don't always get their man.
4x7Unusual OccurrenceNovember 26, 1984 Cagney shoots a juvenile and must battle the fallout of the Hispanic community.
Critique: This is so topical for today and really shows the disconnect the public has for what police face when they only read the headlines. A-
4x8 Thank God It's Monday December 3, 1984 The squad races against the clock to arrest a man before it's too late and salvage their respective weekends.
Critique: It's nice to see the whole squad work together, it gives the episode more depth. B+ Collar: Assault
4x9 Hooked December 10, 1984 After doing a raid on a shooting gallery, evidence points toward a friend of Dorys as a distributor, creating friction between Cagney and Lacey.
Critique: Nice. It's always good stuff when these two fight and this one is a doozy. A Collar: Narcotics Possession and Narcotics Distribution Undercover: Shooting gallery customers Bad Cop: Lacey gets an official oral reprimand for her evidence handling. Cagney avoids following up on leads. Doesn't Add Up: Is the evidence bag never sealed or later opened? Samuels clearly says the seal is broken, which would mean tampering, so how would that be on Lacey? Huge bust for Lacey, why no promotion?
4x11 Out of Control December 31, 1984 Guns in the home is carefully tackled when a homeowner is shot by his own gun during a robbery. Meanwhile Harvey Jr. is caught with his mother's gun. Critique: This is well done with fairly good subtlety. I miss the old medical examiner with his inappropriate puns, I guess they had to make it a little more professional since an acutal autopsy was used for dramatic purposes. B+ Bad Mom: Time to invest in a safe Lacey, I mean who would think boys would be interested in a gun? Collar: Burglery, Homicide
4x12 American Dream January 7, 1985 An arsonist is at work to put the heat on business owners in the garment district who don't use a certain trucking company.
Critique: Sleepy A story but nice B story with Harvey and his new job, normally the Lacey family drama can be a bit of a snooze but this was heartbreaking for poor Mary Beth. B- Collar: Arson, Extortion
4x13 Happily Ever After January 14, 1985 Cagney struggles with accepting Dory's marriage proposal. A store employee uses love as his defense for stealing from thousands of shoppers at a department store through a computer program.
Critique: Cagney is wonderfully awkward out of her element and Lacey is fully in hers. This is the same computer trick used in the movie "Office Space" like 20 years later! A Doesn't Add Up: Anti-Marriage Cagney later is married in the reunion movie. Girly Sidebar: Second most girly episode ever, I wanted to see Cagney in that dress, it would be like looking at a cat wearing clothes. Collar: Petty Theft
4x14 Rules of the Game January 28, 1985 Cagney gets unwanted attention from a captain who heads the task force to which she and Lacey have been assigned.
Critique: This was a hot topic in the eighties and they handle this well, but even Lacey was insinuating she led him on. Harsh Lacey. A- Doesn't Add Up: Lacey cracks another one all by herself, again (see 4x9), why no promotion? Collar: Homicide
4x15 Stress February 4, 1985 A suspect who intimidates, and even kills witnesses is released on bail and Cagney is his target. Meanwhile a mandatory stress encounter group is required for the 14th squad.
Critique: Encounter groups, that was a thing in the 80's, watching those scenes was as awkward as being in an actual group (I can imagine), but Cagney unhinged episodes are always an ... A Collar: Homicide, Intimidation Undercover: Does it count if they are themselves but acting? Hazard Pay: Cagney gets punched
4x16 Who Says It's Fair February 11, 1985 Fearing cancer, Lacey puts her head in the sand as Cagney and Harvey try to get her to see a doctor. Meanwhile a boy's disapearance brings up questions about his home life. Critique: Lynn Whitfield is excellent as Kevin's mother for both parts of this two parter, as is Tyne Daly, of course. I love the addition of a special musical theme for Lacey's journey. A
4x17 Who Says It's Fair part 2 February 18, 1985 Lacey seeks an alternative to a radical medical procedure. It's finally time for the Sergeant's exam, and Cagney is called to testify against Mrs. Tagert in a custody hearing. Critique: An important and powerful episode about a pivotal moment in womens health done with realism, sweetness and understated drama. A+ Collar: Narcotics
4x18 Lost and Found February 25, 1985 Cagney's car is stolen, while Lacey considers not returning to work. Critique: It's nice having connected serial episodes, it's also nice to see Cagney admit how good Lacey is. You know she's coming back but when she finally says it, it's hard not to cheer out loud. (I totally cheer out loud, like every time, nerd!) A- Doesn't Add Up: In the last episode the doctor says her treatment is outpatient and she can continue to work. Yet she takes 5 weeks off. Bad Cop: I love the montage with Cagney sleeping on the steak out. Collar: Grand Larceny Auto
4x19 Two Grand March 4, 1985 Albert Grand returns and carries off a heist that makes the whole squad look guilty. Critique: Love this guy but they kind of ruin it by having her catch him, seriously? Cagney is good but this guy is one of the best ever, there would be an amount of fame that, at the very least, would give her a promotion. B Doesn't Add Up: Isn't jewel theft a federal crime? Collar: Grand Theft.
4x20 Con Games March 11, 1985 Cagney's sexual harassment hearing gets underway while she and Lacey go undercover with the bunco squad.
Critique: I wonder if this kind of questioning still happens, sadly probably does. B- Doesn't Add Up: In episode 3x4 Burdinsky does not give info to Cagney in an exchange for a date like they say he does in the hearing, he gets a date because he calls her intimidating, they already had the info they came for. Collar: Theft by False Pretenses Undercover: Housewives
4x21 Violations March 18, 1985 A juvenile boy is mistakenly put in an adult jail where he is attacked by fellow inmates.
Critique: Meh, a bit of a snooze. C Collar: Rape
4x22 Organized Crime April 8, 1985 A nun is killed and a head of organized crime is interfering in the investigation. Meanwhile the station awaits the results of the Sergeant's exam.
Critique: Another mediocre episode C- Collar: Homicide
The season of Lacey's pregnancy, and, aside from season one, the weakest season of the series.
Somebody got a new Sergeant's badge!
5x1 On the Street September 30, 1985 A teen prostitute witnesses her pimp committing a murder, Cagney and Lacey use any means necessary to keep him in lockup much to the chagrin of Cagney's new boyfriend, a civil liberties lawyer.
Critique: Pretty good. I like calm cool Lacey to the rescue. I dislike Kristy Swanson, she's one of those actresses where I can never figure out how they get work. B Bad Cop: Cagney busts out the tail light to bring him in, that's just plain dirty. Collar: Homicide/Pandering Longtime background "Detective Aspermonte" gets his first line!
5x2 Ordinary Hero October 7, 1985 An illegal immigrant is decorated, after helping stop a homicide suspect, but then gets taken in by Immigration.
Critique: So sleepy. C- Collar: Homicide Undercover: Clothing merchants
5x3 The Psychic October 21, 1985 A missing woman's case is complicated when the family brings in a psychic and the department forces Cagney and Lacey to work with her.
Critique: Better than the previous effort but these episodes seem to be getting off course. C Collar: Homicide
5x4 Lottery October 28, 1985 5 winners show up to claim a prize with only 3 possible winners.
Critique: Fake lottery tickets, a chase at a dog show? What show is this? D+ Collar: Fraud New Characters debut: Newman and Al
5x5 Entrapment November 4, 1985 Cagney puts pressure on Lacey to lie about the circumstances around an undercover investigation of a high profile drug dealer.
Critique: The judge is so good but I wonder how realistic this is, Cagney did give false testimony, would her punishment really just be an oral reprimand? B+ Undercover: Pharmacy owners Bad Cop: This is an easy one. Cagney with perjury and entrapment. Lacey, unlike in the episode with the vigilante shooting, goes along with Cagney's lie instead of giving her own version of events.
5x6 The Clinic November 11, 1985 A man is killed when an abortion clinic is bombed.
Critique: A bit controversial back in the dayseems so mild now but the reversal with Cagney teetering with her position is a nice touch. B Collar: Homicide
5x7 Mothers and Sons November 25, 1985 A mother keeps providing alibis for her son. Meanwhile Lacey struggles with not believing Harvey Jr.'s innocence in a petty crime.
Critique: I love that every time Cagney is at the Lacey house it's drama, other than that, a snooze fest. C- Collar: Robbery
Great shot, brilliant way to convey where she is in her head without a word.
5x8 Filial Duty December 2, 1985 After a grandmother is murdered by a member of her family, Lacey and Cagney, whose father is hospitalized, both struggle with it's affect on their own lives.
Critique: The case is a sleeper until the end but anything with Christine and Charlie is gold. B Collar: Homicide
5x9 Old Ghosts December 9, 1985 Cagney is suspended after she receives a citizen complaint for her handling of a robbery and Lacey must come off maternity desk duty to investigate.
Critique: This seems familiar, reminds me of Cagney's last shooting of a guy in an alley. Still good though, especially the sweet ending of Lacey talking about not retiring. B+ Collar: Armed Robbery
5x10 Power December 16, 1985 Cagney is in charge while Samuels is on vacation, problems arise when she thinks Isbecki's murder suspect, a known hitman, is innocent. Lacey starts her official pregnancy leave.
Critique: Interesting. Everyone thinks Cagney is on a power trip, she even seems convinced of it by the end. I don't see it. She didn't overreact at all, she removed a detective from a case for insubordination and incompetence, why would he get to share the collar? A- Collar: Homicide
5x11 Play it Again, Santa December 23, 1985 Two Santas are missing and Cagney must work with Newman to investigate.
Critique: Ug, what's going on? Never mind I don't care, it's dumb, even the B story of Lacey obsessed with swimming is dumb. D- Collar: Homicide
5x12 Rebukes (aka The Rapist) January 6, 1986 Jones, a uniformed officer, convinces Cagney to let her assist with the case of a serial rapist but her overzealous approach causes suspicion of her motives.
Critique: This one gets creepier and creepier with each act. A little reminiscent of when a new female detective was assigned to work C&L but done much better. A lot of parallels with Cagney on this one with her overzealous nature, would have made a good "season 8" episode of Cagney on the crazy train. B Collar: Rape
5x13 Act of Conscience January 13, 1986 A department whistle blower is unwelcome where ever he goes, so when he is assigned as Cagney's new partner it makes investigating their case difficult.
Critique: The parallel storylines of Henesy and this guy is a good idea but we never see where her case was a problem for Cagney. It's also a dull episode, even though there is Lacey, it's just getting so old not having her back. C Collar: Homicide, Larceny
5x14 DWI January 20, 1986 Lacey's neighbor's child is hit by a drunk driver, she enlists Cagney who is filling in on overnights, to take on the case.
Critique: A nice way to introduce future drinking issues a certain Sergeant may have. Gless is effortlessly comedic and dramatic. I should have done some kind of category in this guide for whenever one of the ladies pisses off the other one and then must apologize for going too far, because this is 2 episodes in a row. B- (Gless gets an A) Collar: DWI
5x15 The Gimp January 27, 1986 A mugger is targeting people in wheelchairs and Cagney goes undercover with help from a handicapped activist.
Critique: Nice job with an under explored subject matter, then add on sad Cagney in dumped town, aww, he didn't want to have a relationship with you, just a weekend. Even guys in wheelchairs are jerks. B+ Doesn't Add Up: Isn't Cagney seeing David Keeler? Are they still doing that non exclusive thing? It seemed like Cagney couldn't handle it. Collar: Larceny Undercover: in a wheelchair
5x16 Family Connections February 10, 1986 It's Lacey baby time! Even hospitalized Isbecki is questioning his bachelorhood in the episode highlighting people's need for the connections of family.
Critique: They could have easily just done the standard mad dash to maternity but this was a well thought out script. A- Doesn't Add Up: They did the mad dash and yet had like 4 more hours before Alice Christine debuted.
5x17 Post Partum February 17, 1986 Lacey's estranged father is trying to meet with her. Cagney teams up with David to clear a West Point Cadet accessed of a drug charge.
Critique: Lacey's story line definitely eclipses the lame cadet story. C Doesn't Add Up: Lacey asks for her badge from the desk but in episode 5x14 she shows it to the cops in her apartment.
5x18 The Man Who Shot Trotsky March 3, 1986 Cagney is back on the trail to get Mansfield, but this time she's using an informant to help.
Critique: While the end is dramatic there is a lot of lag time. Normally it would have been filled with the Lacey voice of reason talking Cagney out of obsession, besides the one scene of this, but Lacey was busy trying to get laid the whole episode. B- Collar: Narcotics
5x19 Exit Stage Centre March 10, 1986 Lacey can't accept suicide as the cause of a famous actresses death.
Critique: I was dreading having to watch this one again. It's like they let in a horrible guest writer from some show like Hart to Hart or Murder She Wrote, it's just not the right style for the show. It's under the guise of perhaps a tribute to old movies/ books where there is a set of obvious suspects but that's just so not realistic for life or this show. F
5x20 Capitalism April 7, 1986 The Laceys are stressed as Harvey's construction project faces delays. A Cambodian lawyer appears to be a helpful resource for fellow immigrants but when he is murdered the truth comes out.
Critique: The lawyer story is a snooze butI love the realism of Cagney trying to comfort Lacey (only after Samuels tells her to do so) saying platitudes anyone would say, and in saying "being there for him is all that really counts" while true, saying it multiple times is perhaps her way of telling Mary Beth she is there for her, without actually having to say it. C+ Collar: Homicide
5x21 Extradition May 5, 1986 Cagney and Lacey must go to L.A. to bring back a bail jumper.
Critique: I get that this is supposed to be a comedic poke at Los Angeles but it's just cliche, and I'm tired of every time Lacey is out of her normal surroundings they turn her into some kind of idiot who doesn't know the difference between a bathtub and a hot tub. D+ Doesn't Add Up: Cagney says they don't have waves on Long Island yet she grew up in Connecticut (3x1)
5x22 A Safe Place May 12, 1986 Plutonium is stolen inadvertently, and the thieves are in danger of exposure. Meanwhile Cagney is out of sorts over an upcoming birthday.
Critique: Rough, Lacey's upset at the end seems to come from nowhere and is out of place adjacent to Cagney's sweet birthday gift from the guys. The writing staff is not sophisticated enough for a story idea as large as the world issue of black market plutonium. The vanity problems of women at this age is only hinted at and not explored in any meaningful way, opportunity lost. D+
5x23 Model Citizen May 25, 1986 Drug dealers kill a seemingly clean businessman. Meanwhile Cagney's niece comes to New York but to Cagney's dismay it's for more than a visit. Critique: The stuff with Cagney's niece is pretty good, it was all I could do to pay attention to the other storyline. C+ 5x24 Parting Shots March 26, 1986 The precinct scrambles to find the shooter of one of their own as Samuels leans on Cagney to handle the grim details.
Critique: A good episode, it's been awhile, welcome back. I'm still confused about the last scene. On the surface she's upset because she didn't like him and feels guilty she never told him he was a good cop, but is she really missing him even though she's telling herself she's not going to miss him? Sneaky subtext. A I like Nelman's classification of the Santa case as "street mission nonsense", I agree. Collar: Homicide