"You call this plain clothes…?" (Re)watching Cagney & Lacey

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Mel O'Kalikimaka, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It's certainly a thing in TV shows. ;)

    This is also the episode where Mark St Claire (Joseph Chapman) suddenly appears as a reporter. I remember being quite startled the first time I saw this face looming at me on screen but this time around I knew it was coming up (although not which episode) so it was more a matter of, "Oh here he is". Nice to see Janet MacLachlan reprising her role as reporter Lynn Sutter in the same scene. It's so brief she almost needn't have bothered but the continuity adds to the feeling that this is a real workplace.
     
  2. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Newman. The "new man", get it? :hats:

    That I remember.
    As I've said before, I see Coleman's expanded presence as La Guardia's replacement - a move softened by the fact that he was a pre-existing character. By contrast, and in hindsight, I think Newman's introduction as a major character was done intentionally to intensify the aforementioned spoiler.
     
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  3. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    It is in the US. The Justice Department even has guidelines for the use of psychics in law enforcement. It consulted with some 11 police agencies, and reported that the majority favour consulting psychics as soon as a case was seen to be difficult or unusual (over the more conservative path of holding back until all other avenues had been tried without success) – because that would help them decide whether to narrow down or widen the scope of the investigation. I suspect though, that they have a very, very short list of go-to psychics they’d rather use, who are tried and true and know the kind of detailed info the cops require Vs the 400-500 psychic strangers who hound them on every case with vague descriptions of everything and anything.

    I’ve just watched a Portuguese talk show on YT that’s a few years old, about the Maddie McCann case. ….After the show hostess had screened a short clip from another Portuguese show that had featured 2 male Canadian psychics trying to locate Maddie’s remains, she remarked that Portugal didn’t use psychics, they relied on facts. She made a point of it: that the use of mediums was uncommon on the continent, but not in Anglo-Saxon countries. ….Her guest on the show was Gonçalo Amaral, the retired Portuguese police chief who’d been removed as lead investigator in the case. He revealed that the FBI had been very keen to assist in the case (but hadn’t because of the prior involvement of British police). Apparently, the very first form of assistance the FBI had offered was the services of a female psychic!
    Edited to add: Apparently the US law enforcement agencies tend to prefer women psychics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  4. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    This is the one I've been waiting for. The introduction of Cagney's true nemesis, her Moriarty if you will. I'm surprised it happens this late in the series. I thought I remembered both him and David being around for longer than this. I didn't remember that his first name was Bruce. Strangely enough, Bruce Mansfield was the name of a well-know radio and TV personality here.

    I'm not sure I would have noticed if I hadn't seen the credit first but I thought I saw some odd angles in scenes that he himself was in. I wonder if that was by choice or because he was not behind the camera at the time.
     
  5. Treeviewer

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    Another episode which remains as timely as ever, though I'm sure they would rather that it not be so.

    Yes, I felt that. It's all explained quite well but the first presumption would be the other way around.

    Yes, almost out of character as we've seen him so far but, as we've seen, even Isbecki is not as shallow as he first seems.

    I actually felt that that was bordering on the tasteless more so than Mary Beth/Tyne's pregnancy being juxtaposed with the abortion story. It almost got to the point of playing for laughs which conflicted with the emotion of the father & son encounter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  6. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes. And somewhat more true-to-label this time.

    Also, Newman is being built up further, being more than a match for Cagney at the poker table and keeping a relationship with Charlie secret until it was useful to spring it on her. Interesting that at the same time Paul Mantee has been introduced under the radar, so to speak. As with Coleman, his character doesn't even have a name yet.
     
  7. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Also resonates with "Fathers and Daughters" and "Mothers and Sons".
    It's kind of startling when he tops her one-liners. No one has really been able to keep up with her that way before.
    I'm surprised that Brian's appearance is coming so far into the series. And so far David has made only one appearance. I thought I remembered both of them being far more prominent than that. Goes to show the impact they made with the relatively few appearances they did make.
     
  8. Treeviewer

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    I liked the callback to the earlier alley shooting. Much to the irritation of Chris who thought she had done the right thing to avoid a repeat, she here finds herself in the reverse situation.
    I think he was supposed to take after their mother.

    I thought the waiter was saying "coq" meaning chicken, which Mary Beth would misunderstand as "Coke".
    But Mary Beth was clearly enjoying the opportunity to boss Chris around for a change. :)

    Presumably he doesn't realise that it's only the Irish form of John, so it's not so special really.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  9. Treeviewer

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    The thing that puzzled me most about this episode was the very concept of the "second whip". Samuels has called her this a number of times already but here it really counts as she takes (temporary) charge of the squad. Did the squad have a second whip before? If so, who was it? Not La Guardia, I assume. His rank was only Detective. Was there a previous Sergeant we never saw, or one that was in the background but never referenced? Or did they just get by without one?

    He's proving to be the only one that comes close to challenging Cagney. Petrie is a nice guy but never really a rival as a cop or a detective.

    Yes, her going in there alone was quite moving.
     
  10. Treeviewer

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    Oddly, there's no Casablanca reference in the episode.
    I had assumed that it was an original song and the songwriter credit seemed to confirm that.

    Diane made the same correction on Cheers once. I don't know who said it first but I've heard it a number of times since then.
    While watching it suddenly occurred to me for the first time that if they had married she would have been Christine Keeler, though that may not have meant as much to the American audience as to a "British Empire" country.
    That was something I didn't remember and didn't see coming this time. David was always my favourite of her suitors but more exploration of Newman's softer side might have been interesting.
     
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  11. Mel O'Kalikimaka

    Mel O'Kalikimaka Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd still like to track down a copy of that song.

    I love that there are some characters (and writers) out there who are willing to enlighten.

    Great spot. The mind well and truly boggles.

    That's a rewarding moment as a repeat viewer. It's great when that happens.

    Agreed. The energy between he and Chris was really good, though even without a romantic entanglement I liked the little frisson to their otherwise sibling-like bickering.
     
  12. Treeviewer

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    Yeah, she's a great character. It's a shame she wasn't given a longer arc like Newman before the big reveal.

    The actress Julie Fulton seemed very familiar to me but I've checked her entry on IMDb and there's nothing there that would explain it. She must be reminding me of someone else but I can't think who... :think:
     
  13. Treeviewer

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    Where do those alternate titles come from? IIRC they are in the episode guide in Barney's book but are not used on the DVDs. They usually seem a bit more obvious and heavy-handed than the one which seems to be "official". Since there are usually no onscreen titles I wonder which were used in the TV guides at the time?
    This is starting to get a bit like Murphy Brown's secretaries. Each week Chis has a new partner who somehow fails to measure up and is sent on their way after a single episode.
    I think for me this was more powerful. Newman, who usually gives the impression of not caring what people think, succumbing like that.
     
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  14. Mel O'Kalikimaka

    Mel O'Kalikimaka Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As I recall, I used the official C&L website as my source when finding the titles.


    I'm not sure. If I had to guess I'd say the alternative titles were working titles that changed along the way, but it could quite easily be the other way round.


    Yes - it's a really ugly moment for him, and I appreciate the series being brave enough to go to these extremes.
     
  15. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes, that makes sense.
     
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  16. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Cagney's partner of the week syndrome reaches both its nadir - a pair of Abbott & Costello wannabes masquerading as the night shift - and its apex, with ... Harve? But somehow it all works.
    For me, Knots is still the gold standard. The Lacey family interactions often seem to me to have a point being made or a lesson being learned. It's not like when Mack throws out his breakfast cereal and pours himself a fresh bowl because he doesn't like two kinds mixing, which serves no narrative purpose whatsoever.

    I'm surprised that it wasn't replaced and relegated to aka status like "The Fink". But on the other hand Peters does at one point say it's his preferred term, although I think he meant it ironically..
     
  17. Treeviewer

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    I know it was Harv's place but the first time I saw this I couldn't help thinking it was a little unfair that Chris had to leave at the last minute like that.

    I still rate that image of Christine Cagney standing in the middle of the road facing down the truck with nothing but her badge as the single best moment of television I've ever seen.
     
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  18. Mel O'Kalikimaka

    Mel O'Kalikimaka Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You're completely right, but I kind of liked the unfairness of it. I think it kept an edge and kept things from feeling too perfect or contrived. It also felt right for Chris's character - and I'd go as far as saying it added to it.


    It's a classic. The look on her face is priceless.


    The dialogue in the car is brilliant also.

    MBL: "Where is the seat belt?"
    CC: "On my list to buy."
    MBL: "Perhaps you should do that tomorrow, Christine. You are in violation of a state law."
    CC: "Yes Mary Beth."
    MBL: "Can we put the top up, please?"
    CC: "It's in the garage. You want me to go back and get it?"
     
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  19. Treeviewer

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    I have to say my response was somewhat muted at first because I was distracted by the actor's resemblance to Cesar Romero - in fact I thought it might be him for about half a second. Later it occurred to me that he also had a superficial resemblance to John Karlen - with all its unstated psychological implications.
     
  20. Treeviewer

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    Unusual choice for the title to refer to the B-plot.
    I can't say that Hector made much of an impression on me first time around. I'm not sure I remembered him at all. But it was a nice touch to connect, as you say, the previously unconnected. I wonder how the idea came about.
     

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