Cagney and Lacey Fan Fiction. Based on characters created by Barbara
Avedon and Barbara Corday. Let me know what you think:
At Number One Police Plaza - the conference room in Major Cases Squad
Lieutenant Christine Cagney is speaking before a large white presentation
board. A street map and building plan are displayed on the board. Cagney
has marked red location X's and paths of entry arrows on the map. Several
detectives and uniformed officers are taking notes and asking questions.
Among those present are Sergeant Mary Beth Lacey and Lieutenant Lliam
That is the general plan for sting: operation powder. All units will meet
at 0400 hours tomorrow in this parking lot. (pointing to the location on
the map) Teams will then move to their designated locations; co-ordinate
by radio at 0430. Be ready to move at 0500 precisely. Is everyone clear
on these two details? (waits) Fine. Here are the team and location
assignments. (Chris flips over a large display sheet of paper to reveal two
lists of names.) You will now review location and duty assignments with
your team leader. I will be leading this team (pointing to the first
list): the team that enters from the front of the building. Sergeant Lacey
will be leading the outside team. The outside team will be responsible for
covering all outside entrances. Both teams will remain in radio contact.
Remember: Lacey's outside team waits outside to apprehend anyone running
from the building entrances or roof. My inside team are the only police to
enter the building. No one from the outside team leaves their position
unless I give express orders to do so. Everyone clear so far?
Lieutenant, what exactly is my role on the outside team?
Cagney has been anticipating trouble from Donnelly, so her answer is more
terse than the question seems to merit.
Your role, Lieutenant, is to accompany team leader Sergeant Lacey as an
(Donnelly makes no attempt to hide his look of disgust.)
Donnelly is a very handsome young man in his late twenties. A graduate
degree in forensics, extreme confidence in his own abilities and his
relationship to his uncle, Inspector O'Brien, have all contributed to his
rapid promotion to Lieutenant in Major Cases Squad. Donnelly has spent
more time behind a computer, however, than he has apprehending felons. His
relationship with Lieutenant, Cagney, second in command to Captain Hong, is
hostile. She stands in his way to promotion; he merely gets in her way.
Cagney's style of command definitely rubs Donnelly the wrong way: a man not
accustomed to taking orders from women. Cagney seldom resorted to
appeasement when a direct order sufficed. Donnelly didn't expect to be in
major cases squad for long, however. He had grander plans.
Perhaps we can discuss your assignment later, Lieutenant. If there are no
other questions, we will now discuss the details of tomorrow's assignments.
Captain Hong's office.
Captain Hong heads up the Major Cases Squad. She is in her early 40's,
extremely ambitious and an astute commander. She is sitting and listening
patiently to Lieutenant Donnelly.
(Sitting in a chair in front of the desk, one leg over his knee, leaning
back in the chair with his hands behind his head.)
.a complete waste of my time and skills Captain I feel that I should be
given more responsibility in this case. Perhaps as leader of the outside
team. My rank would certainly warrant such an assignment, Captain.
Lieutenant Cagney is in charge of this operation. She has assigned duties.
I have no intention of going over her head. Have you spoken to her about
your concerns, Lieutenant Donnelly?
No, Captain but.
Cagney and I reviewed the assignments. I fully support her decisions. You
are being given an excellent opportunity to learn a great deal about field
operations from an experienced and skilled detective, Lieutenant. I highly
recommend that you participate in this operation, Donnelly - as an
observer and Lacey's partner.
Hong returns to her work, ignoring Donnelly. She eventually looks up,
shows surprise that he is still there and says
Is there anything else, Lieutenant?
No, Captain. (just short of slamming the door as he leaves).
Later the same afternoon in Hong's office
Cagney, listen to what I am saying. I am not criticizing your duty
assignments. I support you fully in your management of this operation. I
am merely suggesting, Lieutenant, that had you pulled Donnelly aside before
the project briefing, and perhaps given him prior notice of his observer
status (hand up as Cagney is about to interrupt) before letting him learn
about his assignment as an observer in front of the rest of the squad, that
there would be more.cohesion in your team.
With respect, Captain, I don't believe it is necessary to cater to
Donnelly's over inflated ego to make this operation effective. If
anything, his inexperience is a detriment to the operation. And -his
attempt to go over my head and to undermine Lacey's assignment as team
leader is only an indication of his inability - or unwillingness- to work
as a team member, Captain. It is my opinion that his behaviour has
warranted his removal from the project.
Your opinion, is it Lieutenant? I still run the squad, Cagney. Donnelly
stays on the project - as an observer. Difficult personnel are part of the
job. Work it out, Lieutenant, you are the superior officer.
4:45 next morning. Mary Beth Lacey is ready. She checks the chambers in
her gun one more time. Her team is in place. She and Donnelly are waiting
outside the west side entrance. All radios are functioning. All that
remains is the wait. She keeps her hands warm under her arms, and watches
her breath come out as a cloud in the dark. Honestly, if anyone had told
her how many early mornings and nights she would spend trying to stay awake
and warm, she would never have become a cop. And Donnelly. Not a word the
whole morning. Just standing by and watching with that superior look of
his. Just like a sulky kid. She hoped he behaved. 4:50. Not much longer
4:55. Chris checks her gun again. Her team - both crews, is ready. All
indications are that the raid will be a success. The trucks had arrived
two nights ago. The interior of the building is fully lit and she can see
people moving around preparing to ship the newly refined powder. Almost
time. She loves this moment. Everything is ready and it's all about to go
down. She rarely feels as alive as she does now: the risk, the danger -
the adrenaline rush. Only a moment to savour the moment, then she moves to
the locked entrance of the building. Two uniformed officers move with her
carrying two sledge hammers. Cagney stands ready, gun in hand and signals
to the officers. On 5:00 precisely they break the door down and Chris
bursts into the building followed by a swarm of detectives and uniformed
Police - get down on the floor! Now!
It's going down. Lacey and her team have every exit covered. No one who
makes it out of the raid inside will get past her team.
The radio crackles:
Lacey - anyone get outside?
Negative, Lieutenant, no one has left any of the covered exits.
Roger. We have everyone we apprehended in custody. Smithers is missing.
Keep your people in place. We'll start a search in the building. Lacey -
Do you copy?
Roger, I copy Cagney. (Switching channels): Outside team: maintain your
positions. I repeat, maintain positions. Keep your eyes open.
Smithers was the head of the drug refining operation and his apprehension
was one of the main objectives of the raid. He always supervised lab
operations himself, according to informants. Chances were Smithers was
still in the building.
A truck engine roars in the loading dock. Lacey had a clear view of the
loading dock but she couldn't see the cab of the truck that had been
started up. Damn. She had people at the loading dock. Someone had either
slipped by, or had been in the sleeping compartment of the transport cab.
That made no sense - unless something had tipped him off at the last
LACEY on the radio to her team
Maintain positions! I repeat - maintain positions - Get the plate number
and id of that truck.
The license plate number and number on the side of the cab come over the
Switching channels: all band alert - be on the look out for a Mac transport
truck number 94 - Kwik Haul Shipping- license number, apple john temple
four seven seven - do you copy central?
Copy Sgt Lacey - apple john temple four seven seven - Kwik Haul 94 - all
Maybe Donnelly saw an opportunity to be a hero and make the big collar of
the operation; maybe he thought direct action was preferable to the certain
- and safe - apprehension of an armed fugitive; or maybe he acted out of
frustration and a need to be the main player on the stage. Whatever his
reasons, he bolted from Lacey's side without a word. He stood directly in
the path of the huge truck as it swung fully into view around the other
parked trucks. His legs were planted as he pointed his gun at the cab of
He unloaded the rounds in his automatic directly at the driver. The driver
ducked his head and headed directly for the cop blocking his only route
out. One of Donnelly's bullets hit home, just before the truck went out of
control. Sergeant Lacey wrenched the door of the cab open and hauled the
driver out, falling with him to the pavement as the cab kept moving. Among
the other things no one will ever know is whether Donnelly felt the impact
as his head hit the grill on the truck- just before the truck came to a
stop against a pile of crates.
Lacey was shocked. What on earth did he think he was doing?
Donnelly, get back here!
The idiot! He didn't know how many fugitives there were, or whether they
were armed. All they had to do was wait. The local precinct units would
pick the truck up in a matter of minutes.
Mary Beth realized with horror that Donnelly expected the truck to stop -
even if he shot and killed the driver. Oh my God. Lacey acted in the only
way she could - she acted to help Donnelly out before he was killed. She
sprinted the distance to the truck as the driver was hit by Donnelly's
bullet. She had the driver on the ground and cuffed before the truck
stopped. She had no idea where Donnelly was.
Sergeant Wentworth watched Donnelly rush out like a madman and saw Lacey's
attempt to save the young detective. Wentworth was at Donnelly's side as
Lacey handed Smithers over to waiting officers and came over to check on
Donnelly. Wentworth shook his head at Lacey as he called in the 10-13.
Christine Cagney is co-ordinating a room by room, crate by crate search
for Smithers. Suspects are being loaded into waiting vehicles making more
officers available to aid in the search.
Voice of Sergeant Wentworth -
10-13 - officer down. Suspect wounded. Medical assistance needed. -
Location- operation powder.
Christine Cagney's stomach tightens.
Into her radio "Lacey! Sergeant Lacey! Do you copy?"
I copy. Donnelly is down. Dead. Smithers is wounded - under custody.
Cagney felt that an eternity had gone by before she heard Lacey's voice.
Thank God. She instantly felt guilt. Donnelly was - had been -a jerk -
and a liability, but he didn't deserve to die. Still, Chris felt relief
when she realized it wasn't Lacey in trouble. Cagney pushed her feelings
aside. She was heading outside.
I'll be right there Sergeant. (Switches channels.): Inside team: Search
over. Outside team: operation over. All uniformed officers and detectives
report to Sergeant McIlvey.
Cagney runs to the back of the building. Mary Beth Lacey is crouched
beside Donnelly. His body is covered with a jacket. Several officers and
detectives are giving statements to Sergeant Wentworth who has anticipated
Cagney's orders to take their statements. Cagney places her hand on Lacey's
shoulder and starts to speak as Lacey looks up. Cagney hesitates when she
sees the grief in Lacey's face. The ambulance and Incident Investigation
Unit arrive and the moment passes. Lacey stands up as the paramedics start
to examine the body. Cagney tightens her grip briefly on Lacey's shoulder
as the departmental investigation unit descends upon the officers.
That night in an interview room at Internal Affairs. Sergeant Lacey is
seated in front of a tape recorder with Lieutenant Rendall, a special
Yes, Detective, I do need to ask you again. And again if necessary. So,
one more time. Did you order Lieutenant Donnelly to apprehend the
fugitive, Sergeant Lacey?
No. No, I did not. Lieutenant Donnelly acted directly against my orders
and against the very clear orders of Lieutenant Cagney. He was there as an
observer. He chose to charge the truck. He gave no prior warning that he
was going to rush out into the path of the truck. I most definitely did
not order him to take the action he took, sir.
You do agree, however, Sergeant, that had Donnelly had appropriate backup,
his actions would have resulted in the immediate apprehension of an unarmed
I cannot answer that, Lieutenant. We didn't know whether the fugitive was
armed. We didn't know how many fugitives there were. Donnelly had no back
up because his actions were totally unexpected and directly against orders.
Mary Beth is exhausted. Trying to explain her actions is like treading
water and barely keeping afloat. No matter how often she repeats the
facts, this man keeps trying to trip her up. There seemed no end to the
Tell me again why you chose to let the truck go, Sergeant, making no
attempt to apprehend the fugitive.
LACEY (carefully and slowly)
All units in the area were on alert. I knew that a bulletin giving info
identifying the truck would result in the apprehension of the suspects
without danger to the members of my team. The mobile units were much
better equipped to apprehend a truck, - and an armed fugitive, Lieutenant
This fugitive got past your team, Lacey. How do you explain that?
I can't explain it, Lieutenant. Maybe the fugitive was in the truck when
our raid started, and he stayed there - maybe he thought he'd been found.
I don't know sir. I do know that the people in my unit did their jobs, and
did them well.
How do you answer charges that your actions in removing the driver caused
the truck to go out of control and kill Donnelly?
The driver lost control when Donnelly shot him. I chose to remove the
driver to give Donnelly the opportunity to get out of the way. He didn't.
Maybe he slipped. I don't know.
In your opinion, Sergeant, was Lieutenant Cagney clear in her orders to the
members of the operation?
Very clear, sir. Both in the briefing room and in the field. The other
officers will verify all of this, sir.
Did you get along with Donnelly?
He had been with the squad for only 2 months. We didn't work together
often, but our professional relationship was effective, sir.
How about Donnelly and Cagney? Was there any conflict in their
I saw no reason to question the professionalism of either detective's work,
He reaches over and snaps off the recorder.
We will finish interviewing tomorrow. I will file my report by Monday,
Sergeant. I'll make sure Captain Hong gets a copy.
The same night in a different interview room. Cagney too faces a tape
recorder - and a Captain Gomez.
Again, Lieutenant Cagney. Why did you place Sergeant Lacey in charge and
relegate Lieutenant Donnelly to observer status on this raid?
Sergeant Lacey is a very experienced officer. Her participation in raids
and in commanding teams far exceeded that of Donnelly's. He was assigned
observer status so that he could learn from Sergeant Lacey.
Describe your relationship to Donnelly.
As I've said. We were colleagues. I was his superior officer. What else
do you want to know?
Was there a history of conflict between you and Lieutenant Donnelly?
I knew the man for 2 months. Hardly enough time for a history of conflict,
And your relationship to Sergeant Lacey? How long have you two been
My partnership with Sergeant Lacey has been extremely successful. She is a
very reliable and talented cop. I would trust her with my life - and have,
for eighteen years, Captain.
So, there was no favoritism in your assignment of Sergeant Lacey as team
leader and Donnelly as a mere observer?
If anything, Cagney had felt guilty assigning Donnelly to Lacey. It made
sense to assign a troublesome hotshot to an experienced, steady detective,
but Cagney had known she was asking a lot of Lacey, maybe even putting her
partner in danger. She voiced none of these concerns now.
Much later that night, back at major cases squad room, Cagney rests her
head on her desk. A check of the time told her it was too late to call
Lacey. Besides, she had already tried to phone: the Lacey machine and the
phone were turned off. Chris had had no opportunity to talk to Lacey after
the incident. Lacey had left Internal Affairs before Chris had been
finished and since then, Chris had been here in the squad room, briefing
Hong and fielding phone calls. Chris never found it easy to talk about her
feelings, but this talk with Lacey was going to be very difficult. She was
very worried about how Lacey was feeling. But Cagney was also feeling
tremendous guilt. Not for putting Lacey in charge, but for feeling such
satisfaction in making Donnelly realize he wasn't considered up to the job
of team leader; guilt for assigning Donnelly to Lacey rather than baby-
sitting him herself; guilt for putting her partner in a dangerous position
- and guilt for feeling such relief when she heard that Donnelly had been
killed and not Lacey. Worse: she felt sick knowing that, given the
opportunity to change things, she would still make the same decisions.
The Laceys were in bed. Harvey was holding Mary Beth tight enough to make
her feel safe.
He wasn't much older than Harvey Jr. Young and cocky, sure he knew
everything there was to know. He wouldn't listen to anyone, Harv.
Certainly not to me. Just ran right out there, in front of that truck,
shooting like he was in some damned Clint Eastwood movie.
Harvey nods and kisses her on the head.
I know Babe. It's Ok, Babe. Give it a rest now.
And then I grab the driver, Harv, trying to give Lliam a chance to get out
of the way, ya know. I don't know what happened. He was just lying there.
No real marks on him, but as dead as if the truck had run right over him.
Hit his head hard enough to kill him. All he had to do was wait - we'd of
got the guy! No one would have gotten hurt. All he had to do was wait
Harv. Why didn't he wait?
We'll never know, Mary Beth. But it's not your fault, Babe. You did what
you could to keep everyone safe.
I was in charge, Harv.
She is sobbing now.
Mary Beth! You didn't let anyone down. You made a decision with no time
to think - a good decision. You couldn't predict that Donnelly would pull
a crazy stunt like that. Give it a rest, Babe, please. Just go to sleep
for a while. I'm right here.
Harvey bends down to kiss her on the forehead and gently rocks her back and
forth as she sobs.
Saturday, major cases squad room.
Christine Cagney has been at work all day. The incident has created major
paper work and major reports to various departments. She has been to see
Donnelly's family to pay her respects and she dealt with his effects in the
squad room. She picks up the phone, starts to dial, then puts the phone
down again. She has phoned Mary Beth several times, sometimes leaving a
message, sometimes hanging up before the machine picks up. She's worried
about Mary Beth. She wants very much to talk to her, but is very reluctant
to actually speak with her. Chris picks up the phone. She puts it down
again. She'd see Mary Beth tomorrow. Cagney turns back to her paperwork,
but her mind isn't fully on her work.
4 AM Sunday
Sleepily from under his pillow
I don't understand. At all.
Pulling on a sweater and reaching for her keys on the counter.
You don't have to.
Chris leans over, pulls the pillow from over his head, kisses him, and
drops the pillow on his head again.
See ya later.
She loved this time to herself. The nets were set up; the pylons were on
the ice; and the girls were in the change room getting ready. She had the
ice to herself for another fifteen or twenty minutes. She felt the cold
air bite at her lungs as she skated and she could see her breath as she
wheeled by the net at the far end. She let loose and skated hard. The
puck danced at the end of her stick and her skate edges bit the ice as she
lengthened her stride and sped around the rink. She could imagine herself
a kid again, with Charlie up in the stands cheering as she put the puck in
the upper corner. She still felt joy when she remembered his pride.
Chris had always loved skating. She could share that joy with these girls.
She couldn't commit the time needed to be a coach, but she could spend
Sunday morning practices with them as assistant coach. Chris could show
them it was great to play hockey. It was great to sweat, and grunt and
yell and to play a sport seriously - that it was great to have fun.
Mary Beth hated Sunday morning practices, but Alice Christine loved playing
hockey. Harvey and Mary Beth had been reluctant to involve their kid in
organized hockey, but had reluctantly agreed to let Alice play if Chris was
involved. They had to drive the kids in one week out of four. Other
parents shared the driving other weeks. Harvey had been so tired from
working and from running his campaign for school trustee, however, that she
had gotten up without waking him. She also came because she needed a break
from her own thoughts.
Go on ahead, honey. See you when you're done.
Lacey gave Alice a kiss and sent her on her way to the change room. Mary
Beth climbed into the stands and settled down with her thermos of coffee.
Mary Beth watched Chris out on the ice. Chris had such style - she could
have been born on skates. Lacey seldom saw her partner like this. Chris
was flushed and her eyes sparkled.
Chris looks up, suddenly aware that someone is watching.
Chris skates up to the glass in front of Mary Beth with a wide grin on her
face. She was very glad to see her partner. The girls - the early
dressers - were coming out onto the ice.
Want to go out for brunch after practice?
Oh, Chris, I can't. Louise needs to get right back - her father is meeting
her at her mother's after the practice.
Right, I forgot, the carpooling thing. Enjoy your coffee! Gotta go.
This as a group of girls pile on top of another girl - to much giggling and
Chris! What are you doing this afternoon?
David and I are ordering in and watching old movies.
Chris turns and waves at Mary Beth as she heads over to retrieve order from
Mary Beth regrets losing the opportunity to talk to Chris, but in truth,
isn't sure she's ready to talk. She hasn't sorted out all her feelings.
She isn't sure she can face Cagney. A man had died. Mary Beth felt her
failure and the guilt keenly. At one level she knew Cagney wasn't blaming
her, but on another level, Lacey was blaming herself. She settled down
with her coffee to watch her daughter practice and she tried to enjoy the
Next morning in the squad room after Donnelly's funeral.
HONG (to all the detectives and uniformed officers)
I have been informed that Lieutenant Donnelly will be awarded the police
medal of honour for courage under fire posthumously for his bravery. I am
sure you all join me in expressing our sorrow to his family, and our pride
in his bravery. I have also received the report from the Internal Affairs
Special Incident Investigation Team. No one in this or any squad was found
to be responsible for Lieutenant Donnelly's death. As your commander, I
wish to express my respect for the professionalism and dedication shown by
the members of this squad. We will all miss Lt. Lliam Donnelly.
Hong turns to go to her office. Inspector O'Brien has been observing,
unnoticed at the rear of the squad room. He follows her into her office.
A moment of your time, Captain.
HONG (stands up to shake his hand)
Of course, Inspector. May I again express my deep sorrow at your loss.
Lliam was a bright young man with a promising future.
Thank you Captain. I appreciate your condolences. However, I came to
speak to you about the Inspection team's findings. I don't agree that there
was no culpability in Lliam's death. In fact, upon my review of the facts,
I cannot imagine how the investigators could have missed the unsuitability
of Sergeant Lacey to the task of team leader and the bias of Lieutenant
Cagney in placing her there. It is obvious to me that Lliam died pulling
together an operation that went dreadfully wrong. Am I not right, Captain?
I strongly disagree, Inspector. I reviewed the operation plans and
verified Sergeant Lacey's leadership role. The sting was well-planned and
well executed. Lieutenant Donnelly died because he didn't follow orders.
(O'Brien attempts to interrupt, but Hong is very good at holding the floor
with a mere look). That is the truth, Inspector. I believe the testimony
of detectives Cagney and Lacey and of the other members of the team.
Donnelly was a bright young man, Inspector, but he never learned to work
well as a team member. Forgive my bluntness, Inspector, but I will not
allow two of the finest officers under my command to be maligned with
charges of negligence.
You have made up your mind, Captain? You are ambitious, eh, Captain? - as
are. certain of your detectives. I have a long memory, Captain Hong. I
won't forget this incident.
HONG (deliberately misinterpreting his threat)
As it shouldn't be Inspector. We can all learn a lesson from this tragedy.
Someone is going to break the glass in that door someday, Hong thought to
herself as O'Brien stormed from her office.
Inspector O'Brien glares at both Cagney and Lacey as he ploughs his way
through the crowded squad room. Hong appears in her office door.
Cagney, I'd like to see you in my office, please.
Cagney saves the work on her computer, looks at Lacey and turns to go into
Hong's office. Lacey watches her walk away, wishing she had time to talk
to Cagney. Promising herself it would be this afternoon.
CAGNEY (shutting the door behind her)
HONG looks at Cagney and chooses her words carefully.
Inspector O'Brien was not happy with the findings of the Inspection Team's
Investigation. He prefers to see his nephew as the hero in a botched
operation. An operation Donnelly managed to salvage despite his death. It
appears O'Brien may have a long memory.
I want you to know I support you and Lacey fully. I have expressed my
support to the appropriate channels and made sure my support is documented
clearly in your jackets. If any difficulty results from this incident in
the future, you and Lacey can count on my testimonial, Lieutenant.
Captain, I have never doubted your support. Why are suggesting that we're
going to need it?
Come on Cagney. You are no stranger to departmental politics. I giving
you a heads up to who your friends are. and aren't. Now, have you had a
chance to talk to Lacey yet about the incident?
No, Captain. I have tried, but I think she needed some time on her own.
(Cagney feels this explanation is lame, but at least partly true).
HONG looks at Cagney and waits. Cagney has nothing more to say,
Cagney, how are you feeling? Any guilt or regret?
Cagney hates feeling ambushed. She clears her throat.
I, well, I regret Donnelly's death, of course. Guilt? Maybe if I had kept
him up front with me he'd be alive, but I felt he could learn more with
Lacey, this time around. No. My decisions would be the same Captain.
I didn't ask if you made the right decisions, Lieutenant I asked how you
felt. You made the decisions and someone died. You will have to make
decisions again. How do you feel?
Cagney's eyes reflect her pain as she looks at Hong and gives it up.
I wish I could find a way to step back from the pain, Captain. - a way to
clean my hands. (quietly) Isn't that how you feel?
Yes. (also softly, looking down at her hands and then up again)
The pain doesn't go away, you know. It just hides in places where you
don't always expect to find it. But you do. find it again.
Hong breaks her train of thought and regards Cagney solemnly.
You could have lost your partner. You need to talk to her Cagney. Today.
(As Cagney gets up to leave.)
Send Lacey in here first, Lieutenant
Thank you, Captain.
(lightly) Any time, Cagney..and Cagney? (Chris turns and looks at her)
Let me know if you ever find a way to clean your hands.
Cagney smiles wryly and leaves the room.
Sergeant This is the first opportunity I have had to tell you how impressed
I was with your conduct during both the sting operation and during the
emergency circumstances within that operation. You showed true leadership
and courage. As your commanding officer, I am proud of you. I have
clearly expressed my pride in your file, Sergeant. (Hong holds out her
hand) Good job, Lacey.
Genuinely honoured and almost in tears.
Thank you, Captain. I don't know what to say.
How are you feeling? Sometimes officers feel a need to take time off after
a death in their command, Sergeant. I will support any request for time
off if you feel the need.
I may consider that, Captain. I am not sure how I feel, ma'am.
If I can be of help, Sergeant, let me know. The death of a fellow cop is
never easy to deal with, but it is almost unbearable when you are the one
Yes. Ma'am. Thank you.
HONG (sensing the awkwardness and wanting to end the interview painlessly
Again - Good job, Sergeant!
Cagney grabs Mary Beth as she comes out of Hong's office. Both detectives
are in the car and Chris is driving.
Yes, now, Mary Beth. While it is still light!
But I don't have skates!
Yes you do. Happy Birthday! I want to give them to you now!
Folding her hands on her chest.
I don't want to learn to skate.
Sure you do, Mary Beth. You'll have a ball. Trust me!
Mary Beth sits back for the ride. That's usually the option when Chris is
this enthusiastic. But she is far from confident that she will have a
The outdoor rink is a riot of colourful scarves, hats, hockey jerseys and
winter jackets. Musak is being pouring from overhead speakers. A sign
(dented by many pucks) reading "no hockey sticks or pucks allowed' is
displayed prominently by the entrance. Chris already had her skates laced
and was helping Mary Beth lace hers, chatting happily about how to properly
choose, lace and care for skates. Mary Beth just wanted this to be over.
She just knew she was going to fall and break. everything. Fifty years old
was too old to learn to skate -far too young to die.
Take the skate guards off first. There you go. (as Mary Beth makes her
wobbly way from the bench to the ice) That's it! Now, wait for me! Just
wait for me. OK, now take my hand.
They both step onto the ice, Mary Beth holding Chris's hand in a death
grip. Despite all her fears of doom, Mary Beth isn't ready for her skates
to shoot out from under her. Mary Beth pulls Chris down with her as she
She is laughing, brushing the snow from her cloths and pulling Mary Beth
back up onto her feet.
Com'on Mary Beth. Slowly (as Mary Beth stands up - grabbing Chris and
pulling herself up bit by bit by adjusting her death grip on her partner),
that's it. Now take both my hands. Good. I'm not going to let you fall.
There we go. (Chris and Mary Beth are now standing, facing each other
holding hands). Now, I am going to skate backwards while you skate towards
me - NOT YET! Just wait. I want you to push outwards with your right
skate - good! Do that a few times. Great! Now the left foot. Again.
See how that feels? That's how it feels to skate!
Starting to panic again.
Where are the picks? How do I stop? There are no picks, Chris!
No problem! Picks just get in the way. Trust me! Just head towards
something soft when you want to stop. Warn me first.
Mary Beth pushes out her right foot, then her left foot and quickly starts
careening out of control as she loses her balance. Chris keeps up with
her, holding her steady until Chris bumps backwards into two kids playing
tag among the adults.
Ohhh. Hold on!
This time Mary Beth lands on top of Chris. Among the tangled legs, scarves
and skates both women are seized by laughter.
Chris, are you sure you want to do this? Really?
(effusively and gesturing dramatically) Of course! Never let a few bruises
stand in the way of true accomplishment and great fun, Mary Beth! Up!
Onward Mary Beth!
By the end of an hour, Mary Beth is skating around the rink, one hand
holding on to Chris' hand - the other holding onto the rink boards. Both
women are flushed with cold and exertion and smiling broadly. They are
also laughing very loudly.
Wow, Mary Beth! That's great! You're skating!
Almost Chris. Oh, I'm going to be stiff tomorrow! I didn't think I could
still bend in that many directions!
Let's go out for Italian, Mary Beth - my treat. Just you and me. Harvey
can join us later. What do you say?
Sure. Good idea, Chris. Just help me off this rink and out of these
skates. Oh, my lord, don't these kids know how easy it is to break when
you're my age? Hey you! Kid! Slow down!
So. Mary Beth. You've been avoiding talking to me (catches Lacey's raised
eyebrows and pointed look). OK we've been avoiding talking about
Donnelly's death. After a pause. OK. I'll go first. (clears her
throat). Mary Beth. I have been feeling guilty. Guilty that Donnelly
died. Guilty that my decisions could have gotten you killed. Guilty that
I was so relieved when I heard that it was Donnelly and not you who was
killed. But you know the hardest thing Mary Beth? I would make all the
same decisions again.
Chris pauses to drink her soda water. Mary Beth is watching her intently.
You're more than my partner, you're my friend. As partners, we can look
out for each other. As your superior officer, I may be the one who asks
you - orders you to risk your life. That's a very hard thing. I've been
..reluctant to talk to you. I need you to understand.maybe forgive me.for
making decisions that put you at risk. (puts her head down before looking
up at Mary Beth) I don't know how much I can forgive myself, yet.
Chris pauses. Her eyes are full of tears.
Oh, Chris. You've felt guilty? Smithers could have escaped. Donnelly did
die. I still see him running out in front of that truck. In my dreams I
reach out for him and just miss catching him as that enormous truck runs
him down. I know I have no reason to feel guilty. Like you I made
decisions. Like you I would make same decision again. But I am still
haunted. What would have happened if I had made a different choice? (after
a pause) I couldn't talk to you either. My feelings were so confused.
And, I guess, because I was afraid you'd blame me too.
Blame you! Mary Beth, you were amazing out there! You made a critical
decision when there was no time to think and you acted with incredible
bravery to save that fool! It's you who deserves that medal of honour, not
Cagney reaches over the table and touches Mary Beth's hand.
I am so grateful you weren't killed.
Chris. You have tough decisions to make as a boss. So do I, sometimes.
We can't forget that I are cops, and that we signed up knowing the risks.
We've worked together for eighteen years. I still trust your judgment.
There's another pause as both women think their own thoughts. Mary Beth
looks up at her partner first.
As long as we keep talking, partner.
Yeah, as long as we keep talking.
It's tough, eh, this making decisions that affect other people's lives.
Did you ever dream it was this tough for Samuels when we were back at the
Sometimes. Like when Newman died. Or when one of us was shot. You forget
when you're charging out there that your actions have an impact on other
people. You learn soon enough that you owe it to your partner to be
responsible, and she owes the same to you. But I never thought about how
tough it would be to be the boss. I guess I wasn't very sympathetic when
Samuels put a muzzle or a leash on me.
Wasn't very sympathetic?
Ignores Lacey's editorial comment.
I never saw it might be for my own good. (musing as she toys with her
cheesecake). I should give him a call and thank him. You know, for
looking out for me.
Yeah. He was a good cop and a great boss. I wonder if he was happy
retiring as a Lieutenant after all those years on the force. I can't see
him being happy making those political decisions the higher-ups make. He
was at home heading up a squad of detectives. I think he was smart enough
to know when he was happy.
Hm. You're probably right. I should ask him if he ever learned how to
get his hands clean.
Cagney's explanation is cut short by Harvey's arrival. He kisses Chris on
the cheek and plants a big kiss on Mary Beth's lips. Chris will explain
her cryptic comment to Mary Beth some other day. Maybe when they are out
skating. Chris smiles and offers to share her cheesecake with Harvey, over
Mary Beth's mock objections.
The scene ends with the three friends eating cheesecake - Harvey happily
eating his own slice.