I'll Be Home for Christmas
Original Airdate: December 20, 1982


(the duo is in the toy department looking for presents. Mary Beth is looking at a portable TV)
TV ANNOUNCER: ...This is what we've all been waiting for, Santa and his reindeer. Merry Christmas, Santa. Good night folks, there'll be no snow this Christmas.
MARY BETH: Wouldn't this be terrific, huh?
MARY BETH: Six hundred dollars.
CHRISTINE: Hey Mary Beth, look at this. Command-attack submarine. Shoots off missiles, lights up in three different colours, has eight removable crew. Hey, what do you think? Would he like that?
MARY BETH: He won't like it.
CHRISTINE: Oh. ...OK. What time is Samuels gonna let us off? Seven thirty? Eight?
MARY BETH: Eight o'clock the latest. Dory coming over?
CHRISTINE: Yeah, we're gonna cook dinner together. Mary Beth, the man makes me ...crazy!
MARY BETH: Harve and I are gonna wrap presents with the kids and trim the tree, get the turkey ready for tomorrow.
CHRISTINE: You call that fun?
MARY BETH: Yes I do. (sees a helicopter being demonstrated) Oh, there it is. ..It's perfect. ...Oh, look at that. It's great.
CHRISTINE: Electric rescue chopper. Do you think it's him?
MARY BETH: (picking up one) It's him.
CHRISTINE: All right. (looking across the store at a pickpocket, Willie Boxer) Hey Mary Beth, that guy over there...
MARY BETH: Don't look.
CHRISTINE: I can't help it.
MARY BETH: Don't look! He's gonna do something. I can feel it, and then we're gonna have to arrest him and then we're gonna spend all of Christmas Day... Don't look!
WILLIE BOXER: (dipping woman's pocket) Excuse me.
MARY BETH: I told you we shouldn't have looked.

[Detectives' Squad room]

ISBECKI: You gotta be crazy! Eighty bucks for Handel's Messiah.
LA GUARDIA: It's a very special date, ...if the Lieutenant ever gets back to let us go.
ISBECKI: Oh, he'll get back. Come nine o'clock, Isbecki and the twins head southwards to Old San Juan for a week of sun, sand and... who-knows-what.
PETRIE: You gentlemen seem to take Lieutenant Samuels goodwill for granted. There's no law that says he's gotta let us go early.
ISBECKI: Lighten up, Petrie, your baby is gonna be born soon. I've got thirty bucks on a Christmas baby.
LA GUARDIA: How many days is Claudia over?
PETRIE: Today makes eleven. It's too long.
(Petrie goes off)
ISBECKI: It must be tough waiting like this.

[Precinct front desk office]

(Petrie gives Coleman some papers)
COLEMAN: Thanks Petrie. Any news about your kid?
PETRIE: Not yet.
(as Petrie turns he sees Samuels with a Father Christmas, Ralph Barbinski)
PETRIE: What's that?
COLEMAN: He made a collar. Can you believe it? The guy was posing like he worked for a charity. I hear he took Samuels real good.
PETRIE: I can't believe he threw away a Christmas.
COLEMAN: He is a lieutenant. Strings can be pulled.
SAMUELS: Hey, Petrie! ...Is your baby on it's way yet?
PETRIE: Not yet.
SAMUELS: It'll come soon, trust me. What do think of my collar, huh?
PETRIE: Not everyone can say they collared Santa Claus.
SAMUELS: Hey! Felony. Larceny. Worse kind of louse, preying on people's goodwill. Listen, I already took care of the paperwork. Do you wanna run this clown in the holding cell for me? I'm gonna go up and talk to the Brass, do a little bragging.
PETRIE: (to Barbinski) How much did he clip him for?
BARBINSKI: Five bucks.

[Detectives' Squad room]

BARBINSKI: ...Hey, you know, my first kid was nine days late. Second one was a week early. These things happen, you know.
PETRIE: That's what people keep saying.
(Petrie puts him in the holding cell)
BARBINSKI: Yeah, well...(to a drunk detainee) Hi, how ya doing? (to Petrie as he removes the cuffs) I guess you live and learn , ya know. My oldest is a girl. Hope you get a girl too. They're terrific.
PETRIE: It'd be nice.
BARBINSKI: So, do think it'll snow?
PETRIE: That'd be nice too, but they say no. Merry Christmas.
BARBINSKI: Yeah, you too. (to the drunk) He's a nice guy.
(the drunk passes out on the bench. Barbinski takes his red coat off and makes a pillow for him as he begins to snore)
BARBINSKI: Have a good one.

[Precinct yard]

(Mary Beth is getting the pickpocket out of the Squad car)
MARY BETH: Hey, what am I gonna tell my kid's, huh Willie? Come on. Hey, watch your head here. Do you have any idea what it's gonna be like, spending Christmas without my kids?
WILLIE BOXER: Can I help it if I've got what you call seasonal employment? Tonight can be a big grosser for me.
(a uniformed officer, Bates, approaches)
BATES: Detective Lacey, good hunting, huh?
MARY BETH: Hey, Chris, how much do you want this guy?
MARY BETH: (to Bates) Hey Bates, come here.
BATES: Do you need help with this guy?
MARY BETH: Yeah, we got this guy dead to rights and we'd rather not spend the rest of tomorrow in court.
CHRISTINE: Be a man, Bates. Take one step closer to being detective and take this nice collar for us. It's a simple pickpocket, (to Boxer) no offence.
BATES: How much?
WILLIE BOXER: I can't believe this, like a piece of bad meat I can't be given away.
MARY BETH: You, you hold your tongue.
CHRISTINE: How much?
BATES: A piece of your next murder, multiple homicide if possible. Something with a little headline potential.
CHRISTINE: You got it.
MARY BETH: It's a deal.
BATES: Let's go.

[Detectives' Squad room]

MARY BETH: Hey Isbecki, is the Lieutenant here?
ISBECKI: No, he's upstairs pulling eggnog with the Brass.
MARY BETH: Petrie, any word about the baby yet? (Petrie is miles away) ...Guess not.
LA GUARDIA: Telephone message for Miss. Cagney.
CHRISTINE: Thank you. Did your wallet show up yet?
PETRIE: What wallet?
CHRISTINE: Guess not.
LA GUARDIA: The wallet. You remember, fake from Internal Affairs.
MARY BETH: (with the phone to her ear) Anybody know how long he's gonna be up there?
PETRIE: Another two minutes.
MARY BETH: (into phone) Harve...
ISBECKI: I don't know where these guys are coming from. tempting guys with a loaded wallet to take the money.
LA GUARDIA: You'd think they'd have imagination and try something new. They've been using a wallet every Christmas for the last sixteen years. The same wallet!

[Chris's loft/Detectives' Squad room]

(Chris is on the phone to Dory)
CHRISTINE: Been there long?
DORY: I've only been here a moment. I thought I'd get a head start on that duck stuff.
CHRISTINE: I can't wait. Now listen, eight o'clock's the latest.
DORY: Well, that's not too soon. I'm very hungry.
CHRISTINE: There's a bottle of Gavey de Gavey in the fridge. Have a glass. Have two.

[Detectives' Squad room]

LA GUARDIA: Mark, there's a call coming through from your wife. (Petrie jumps up and rushes to the phone) She just wants to know what time you'll be home.
UNIFORMED OFFICER: I've got a release form here for your prisoner, Renhol Banyon, public drunkenness.
MARY BETH: All right.
LA GUARDIA: Keys are on the hook.
MARY BETH: (passing a Christmas card to Chris) Sign this, huh?
(later Samuels comes down the stairs with Marquette. They are drinking eggnog)
MARQUETTE: OK. OK Bert, well I'm telling ya, if this guy isn't eight feet tall, I'm gonna call ya a liar.
SAMUELS: How often does a desk jockey get out there to prove he can still handcuff a prisoner. Am I right?
MARQUETTE: Not often enough.
SAMUELS: You know, my chest still hurts from where this guy shouldered me. I've got a bruise here, it must be the size of a basketball.
MARQUETTE: Happy holiday, er, Isbecki, ...Cagney.
LA GUARDIA: La Guardia.
MARQUETTE: La Guardia, ...Macy
MARY BETH: Lacey sir.
(Samuels spots that only the drunk is in the holding cell)
SAMUELS: Where's Santa?!
(later the whole Squad is assembled)
MARQUETTE: The accidental release of a prisoner is inexcusable. This sort of error demands a disciplinary hearing. Now what if that guy goes out there and kills someone?! ...The Department is responsible! ...Financially and morally. I don't care if it was an accident and I don't care if no one individual is at fault. Bert, you are in command. You have the final responsibility, and believe me, you will answer for it. Merry Christmas.
(Marquette leaves)
SAMUELS: I wanted to be a nice guy. I wanted to let everybody go early. Maybe I'm just too lax. ...You will find this maniac, hopefully before he commits other crimes. You will find him or nobody's gonna leave here, ...ever!
MARY BETH: Sir, can I say how sorry we are...
SAMUELS: Oh, that's terrific, Lacey, that's terrific. I can use that as a defence at a trial, can't I? ...Get outta here!!

[Samuels' office]

(the duo knocks at the door)
SAMUELS: Come in! ...What do you two want?
MARY BETH: Sir, we got back that file on the prisoner, on the ex-prisoner, sir, and he's... And we wanted you to know that things are not as bad as they might seem.
SAMUELS: Who are you kidding?
CHRISTINE: No sir, not kidding. Here, look at the file. ...Right there.
SAMUELS: Ralph Barbinski. Hm. He told me his name is Rolly Henshaw.
CHRISTINE: Well, prints gave back the right file here. Er, priors. Gambling, possession of stolen merchandise, petty fraud. It's very plain to see we're dealing with an extremely small time operator.
MARY BETH: Sir, the man's last arrest was six years ago. And he had two months at the work farm, two years on parole. Look at that record, sir, it's as clean as this place.
SAMUELS: Until tonight!
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant, we just want you to know we're gonna be breaking our necks to nail this guy. Isbecki is pushing back his flight. La Guardia, poor thing, is...
SAMUELS: Arrears! Traffic violations!
MARY BETH: Well, you see, we're not talking about public enemy number one here, sir.
(his phone goes)
SAMUELS: (into phone) Samuels. ...Yeah. ...What? ...Right. ...Yeah.
(he rings off)
SAMUELS: Well, I'm certainly be very glad that you two are gonna be breaking your necks. Why don't you start by breaking you necks over Barbinski's last known address!
SAMUELS: Don't you ever ask me why! They found a radio car missing from the parking bay, that's why! And one of the mechanics said that the guy who drove away was dressed like Santa Claus!
CHRISTINE: Couldn't be Ralphie.
(a radio car is seen being driven erratically by a Father Christmas on a Manhattan street)

[Detectives' Squad room]

LA GUARDIA: Still no answer. I must have missed her. Damn!
ISBECKI: Maybe she's just powdering her nose.
LA GUARDIA: She's supposed to be here in ten minutes. We're supposed to take a cab to Carnegie Hall.
SAMUELS: Isbecki! La Guardia! Do either of you know the servicing garage over on Thirty-six?
LA GUARDIA: I know the place.
SAMUELS: Well, a guy dressed like Santa Claus brought an RAP in there for emergency service. He charged it to me!
(Isbecki can't help laughing. Samuels is not)
PETRIE: La Guardia, you got a visitor.
DORIS RAINEY: (to Petrie) Thank you very much.
LA GUARDIA: I've been trying to reach you for over an hour. Something came up. I've got to work.
DORIS RAINEY: We're gonna miss Handel's Messiah.
LA GUARDIA: Then you take the tickets, you go.
DORIS RAINEY: Oh, there's more to Christmas Eve together than Handel's Messiah. You go, do your job. I'll be here when you return.
LA GUARDIA: You can't stay here. It's ...awful. It's smelly.
SAMUELS: Well, the lovely lady could stay in my office, La Guardia, where it doesn't smell so bad. Bert Samuels, ma'am, Detective Lieutenant.
LA GUARDIA: Doris Rainey.
DORIS RAINEY: You see, Paul, it'll be fine.
SAMUELS: Oh, she'll be fine and you guys can hit the bricks. Er, Miss. Rainey, was it?
DORIS RAINEY: That's right.
SAMUELS: Oh well, would you please come this way. I've got some wonderful eggnog in my office.
ISBECKI: (to a stunned La Guardia) Forget it! We got a job to do.

[Outside Barbinski's last known address]

(a mother is cradling a crying baby outside the apartment door)
MOTHER: The Barbinskis lived here before us. They moved out about three months ago.
CHRISTINE: Do you know where?
MOTHER: You could check the super, I guess .
MARY BETH: It's freezing in here.
MOTHER: It's even colder inside. We've been without heat for eight days now. We've called the housing authority, we even called the police but no one does anything.
MARY BETH: Well, the super won't call the service man, right?
MOTHER: What can I do?
MARY BETH: Does he live in the building?
MARY BETH: Plenty. (to Chris) We'll wish him a Merry Christmas. (to Chris) You wanna look after the child?
CHRISTINE: Oh. Er... Er...
(the mother gives Chris the crying baby to hold while she goes off with Mary Beth to find the super. Chris begins to hum 'London Bridge Is Falling Down' as she rocks the baby)

[Manhattan street]

(a uniformed officer is controlling traffic and pedestrians at some road works. The radio car driven by Barbinski in his Santa Claus costume comes up)
TRAFFIC COP: (to the pedestrians) Move it along.
(he goes over to the car and gets the driver's window wound down)
BARBINSKI: How ya doing? Pretty cold night to be pulling traffic duty.
TRAFFIC COP: Who are you?
BARBINSKI: Nabarnowsi, One Four Precinct. Let me dig out some ID for ya.
(drivers delayed by the hold up are shouting and honking)
BARBINSKI: It'll just take a second. You know every year I've gotta wear this stuff.
TRAFFIC COP: (to the drivers) All right. What is it? New Year's Eve. Will ya give me a break, will ya, please?
BARBINSKI: You see, I'm the guy who visits all the hospitals. Children's wards, you know? You got kids?
BARBINSKI: No kidding, me too. Yeah, I hit the hospitals every year. Oh yeah, it really makes me thank God my kids are healthy, you know. Oh, geeze, it ain't in that pocket. You know, maybe if I got out and stood up it'd be easier.
TRAFFIC COP: OK, I'll tell ya, just forget about it. The road's gotta roll.
BARBINSKI: No, no, I know I've some ID here some place. You wanna see some pictures of my kids?
TRAFFIC COP: I'm sure you've got terrific kids. Just keep it rolling, will ya. I'm gonna get lynched here.
BARBINSKI: Do you want me to come over to your house. I could stop by later. Play like Santa Claus?
TRAFFIC COP: Do me a favour. Just get rolling.
BARBINSKI: No problem. I'll see ya next year. Merry Christmas.
(Barbinski drives off)
TRAFFIC COP: Merry Christmas.

[Servicing garage]

(De Marion, the supervisor is on the phone. La Guardia is stalking around. Isbecki is sitting at the supervisor's desk, rubbing his hands to keep warm)
DE MARION: (into phone) Right Twenty-ninth and...
LA GUARDIA: He's been on that phone since we got here, damn it. How much longer are we gonna wait?
ISBECKI: What do ya say, Mr. De Marion? Come on, help us out. Write your records up and we'll get outta here.
LA GUARDIA: If he's not off that phone in thirty seconds, I'm gonna pull him off.
DE MARION: (into phone) OK. ...Right. ...Got it. (he rings off) (to a mechanic) Right ho, got an accident, Twenty-ninth and Fifth. Bring the claim. (to Isbecki) Listen, Christmas and New Year are my best times of the year. I really clean up.
ISBECKI: Oh, that's great. Why don't you finish telling us about Santa Claus?
(the phone goes)
DE MARION: Right back.
LA GUARDIA: (into phone) We're closed.
(La Guardia rings the call off)
DE MARION: Hey! Hey! What is it?! You crazy or what?!
ISBECKI: (to La Guardia) Why don't you lighten up?
LA GUARDIA: Look, I've had it with this waiting around all day. I've had it!
ISBECKI: (to De Marion) Listen, you may just be able to help us, little man.
DE MARION: It's my busiest time of the year.
ISBECKI: I understand. Why don't you tell us all about the Santa Claus and we'll go.
DE MARION: Geeze. He says he was trying to get to St. Vincent's for the kids and his car stopped. He says with the amount of traffic it'll take forever for the police mechanics to get to him. It's Christmas, right? I'm a nice guy, right?
LA GUARDIA: And that's all there was to it?
DE MARION: Yeah. You want some more?
LA GUARDIA: (to Isbecki) Just because he... You know who I'm talking about. He doesn't have a home to go to anymore. He's gonna screw it up for the rest of us. Let's move it, Isbecki.
ISBECKI: Is that it?
ISBECKI: Well, if that's it, that's it. We'll be in touch.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the phone rings)
PETRIE: (into phone) Detectives. Petrie. ...Hi honey. ...What happened?

[Squad car]

POLICE RADIO: ...Respond. Priority message for detectives, car twelve.
MARY BETH: Did she say twelve?
POLICE RADIO: All other units clear air except for calls, detectives and ten-thirties.
CHRISTINE: (into radio) Central, this is detective, car twelve, priority message.
POLICE RADIO: Go ahead Fourteenth.

[Detectives' Squad room/Squad car]

PETRIE: Chris, Mark Petrie here. I think there's some sort of problem with Claudia.
MARY BETH: Oh boy.
CHRISTINE: What's wrong?
PETRIE: Will you take her to the hospital. I'll meet you there. It'll be much faster.
MARY BETH: Give me that. Petrie, is this real labour or just trying to save the price of a cab.
PETRIE: I don't know but something's wrong.
MARY BETH: Has she talked to her doctor?
PETRIE: Please, just try and get her to the hospital, all right? I don't know what's wrong. She's bleeding.
MARY BETH: We're on our way.
CHRISTINE: (putting the red light on the roof) Go. Say, I think this kid's stuff scares the hell out of me.
MARY BETH: She'll be fine. You're looking at the mother of two here, remember?

[Hospital reception]

PETRIE: There she is.
(Claudia is supported by the duo)
CHRISTINE: Can we have some help here, please?
(Claudia is helped into a wheelchair)
PETRIE: (to the hospital staff) The woman is about to have a baby!
CLAUDIA: Something's not right, Mark. I'm still bleeding.
MARY BETH: Everything is gonna be fine.
PETRIE: See, Mary Beth's had two babies. She knows.
MARY BETH: She knows that.
CLAUDIA: Is Dr. Polectich here?
PETRIE: She's here. You don't have to worry about a thing, my love. We are gonna have this baby. ...And we are gonna be a family. Everything is gonna be all right. Can't wait to see the christening.
CLAUDIA: Oh, I love you. You gonna come in with me?
PETRIE: Of course I'm coming with you. Of course.
MARY BETH: You let us know right away, all right?
PETRIE: I'll come down as soon as we know something.
CHRISTINE: (as the lift doors close) Hope it's a boy!

[Hospital waiting area]

CHRISTINE: What do think?
MARY BETH: I not a doctor, Chris. ...Look, there's no telling how long we're gonna have to wait so I'm gonna call the Squad and let 'em know, huh. ...If you talk to what's-his-name, tell him 'Hi' for me.
(Mary Beth goes to one of two payphones)
CHRISTINE: You gotta a dime?
(Chris uses the other phone)

[Chris's loft/Hospital waiting area]

DORY: I'm lonely.
CHRISTINE: Dory, I'm trying. Just be patient with me.
DORY: I wanna taste your plum pudding.
CHRISTINE: Well, my plum pudding's tastes great.
DORY: Why don't I just go ahead and start...
CHRISTINE: Without me?
DORY: Well, just the prelims. I'll braise the duck. That way we can just er ...slide it the oven when you come through the door.
CHRISTINE: I wanted us to cook together.
DORY: You gotta work.
CHRISTINE: No, you're the one that's gonna end up doing the work. Are you gonna wait for me?
DORY: I always do, don't I?
CHRISTINE: Yes. Yes, you do.
DORY: This wine is terrific.
CHRISTINE: Are you getting drunk?
(Petrie comes out of the lift)
CHRISTINE: Oh, I've gotta go..

[Hospital waiting area]

PETRIE: Not much to say. They stopped the bleeding and put her on a foetal monitor.
MARY BETH: Wait and see, huh?
PETRIE: Yeah. ...They're talking Caesarean section. Can you believe that?
MARY BETH: Well, they do those all the time.
CHRISTINE: I'm a Caesarean!
PETRIE: Claudia and I took natural childbirth classes for ten weeks. It's great. ...Look, I've got to get back.
MARY BETH: Hey, ...(she gives him a peck on the cheek) Everything will be fine. You know that.
PETRIE: Thanks.
(Petrie leaves)
MARY BETH: Christine, do you mind very much if we made a stop before we go in the Squad room?

[Laceys' lounge]

MARY BETH [OC]: Harvey!
HARVEY: It's Mumma! It's Mumma.
(he lets the duo in)
MARY BETH: Hi ya. We can stay one minute.
(Chris and Harvey embrace)
CHRISTINE: Merry Christmas.
(she embraces the two boys)
HARVEY JR.: You wanna see what we got you, Mum. It's terrific.
MICHAEL: Yeah, we got a ...
HARVEY: I thought you were home for good.
(she is almost crying)
HARVEY: (to the boys) Gives us a second, will ya guys. Seriously guys.
(Mary Beth and Harvey go into the bedroom)
CHRISTINE: Well, guys, how's it going?
HARVEY JR.: Great.
CHRISTINE: (looking at the Christmas tree) It's really nice.
HARVEY JR.: (picking up a present) Look what else we have here.

[Laceys' bedroom]

HARVEY: Feel better?
MARY BETH: Yup. I got scared, that's all. With Claudia and all that bleeding. Now they're giving her a C-section, it made me wanna come home and hug my babies.
HARVEY: I'm glad you did. You gonna be OK?
MARY BETH: Mm hm. Just hang on to me.
(they kiss and cuddle)
MARY BETH: Come on. What are looking at me like that for?
HARVEY: Do you wanna have another?
MARY BETH: Yes. (they kiss again) Gotta go back now.

[Laceys' lounge]

(Mary Beth and Harvey come back in)
MARY BETH: Where are the guys?
CHRISTINE: They vanished into the other room.
HARVEY: Maybe they heard Santa Claus.
(the boys come back in)
HARVEY JR.: Hello.
CHRISTINE: Here they are.
HARVEY JR.: (giving Chris a present) Merry Christmas.
CHRISTINE: Thank you. ...Oh, isn't that nice. Thank you, can I open it right now?
MARY BETH: You gotta open it right now.
(Harvey Jr. give Michael a nudge)
MARY BETH: Hey! No hitting on Christmas Eve!
(Chris unwraps the present)
CHRISTINE: I love presents. ...My favourite colour.
MARY BETH: What luck, huh!
CHRISTINE: Look, a hat, ...mittens, ...oh, and a muffler. ...Oh, thank you, guys. (embracing the boys and giving them a kiss)...Oh, you're so good to me.
MARY BETH: All right. That's it. Enough kisses. Now, come on, we gotta go. Now, come on.
(they make their farewells)
MARY BETH: (to the boys) My present as good as that?
CHRISTINE: Good-bye, guys. Thank you.
HARVEY: If you talk to Petrie, give him my best, will ya?
MARY BETH: Yeah, I will. ...Bye guys
(the duo leaves)
HARVEY JR.: (to Michael) Let's finish wrapping the presents.
HARVEY: Hey, you guys...
HARVEY JR.: What's the matter, Dad?
(Harvey kneels down and cuddles the boys)

[Christmas tree stand]

MYER: You find a cheaper Christmas tree, I'll beat it. You find a better tree and I'll eat it.
FEMALE CUSTOMER: They're too much.
MYER: What are you offering me, pal. I'm practically giving you the tree.
CUSTOMER'S HUSBAND: Come on, let's go.
MYER: And a Merry Christmas to you too, creep!
CUSTOMER'S HUSBAND: A reasonable price would do.
(there is a whistle from around a corner)
BARBINSKI: Hi. Myer. Come here. It's me, (pulling down his Santa beard) Ralph.
MYER: Hey, Ralph. ...What you hiding for?
BARBINSKI: I'm just making sure your mother ain't around, you know. Myer, I need a favour.
MYER: What's that?
BARBINSKI: It's a hundred and forty-two dollars and fifty-five cents. I've been cracking parking meters.
MYER: Oh, I don't know, Ralph, you owe me...
BARBINSKI: Oh, come on, Myer, I'm in a state here. Come on, what do you say, I'll give you a break?
MYER: Want a Christmas tree?
BARBINSKI: How much is that?
MYER: Eighty-five bucks.
BARBINSKI: Oh geeze. OK.
MYER: Look, Ralphie, I'm giving you a good deal, I'm telling you. Where am I gonna move coins like this before Christmas?
BARBINSKI: Yeah, I know, I know, Myer. You're the greatest, you know. So how's it been going? You moving any trees here?
MYER: Oh, not bad. Not bad.
BARBINSKI: Oh, thanks a lot. I won't forget this.
MYER: You want trees! I got trees! Take advantage of me.
(just then Barbinski drives past in the radio car, lights flashing, siren going)
BARBINSKI: Merry Christmas, Myer! See you around!
CUSTOMERS: It's Father Christmas! ...Is it a cop?
MYER: Hey, it's Christmas Eve. Why don't I give you a tree? ...Of course! I'll be right back.

[Samuels' office]

(Phillip Malik comes in)
MALIK: Hello, Bert. Nice to see you.
SAMUELS: Phil, this is Miss. Rainey. This is Lieutenant Malik. He's the Bureau of Internal Affairs Liaison Officer.
DORIS: RAINEY: That's a very impressive title. I didn't realise the police force had so many handsome men.
MALIK: Thank you. Would you excuse us for one moment, please?
DORIS: RAINEY: Well, surely.
MALIK: I got some police business. (to Samuels) Come outside.

[Detectives' Squad room]

MALIK: I was real damn disappointed to hear about that prisoner foul up, Bert.
SAMUELS: We'll get him.
MALIK: Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. You know the same thing happened to a Captain in Queens about a year ago, and er, one of my boys... We caught the case eventually, but er, you know, that Captain is commanding a vacant lot Squad now.
SAMUELS: Thanks for telling me, Phil.
MALIK: Yeah.

[Samuels' office]

MALIK: (to Doris Rainey) I'm sorry, would you excuse us. Just a little police business. Very nice to meet you.
(Isbecki and La Guardia return from the garage. La Guardia sees Malik shaking Doris's hand in Samuels' office)
MALIK: Time for me now to go and say 'Hello' to the Uniforms.
DORIS: RAINEY: Oh well, I hope we meet again.
MALIK: Me too. Goodbye.
MALIK: Thank you, Bert, I'll be back.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the phone goes)
LA GUARDIA: (into phone) Merry Christmas! ...Detectives. ...La Guardia. ...What did you say your name was?
(Isbecki, walking past, sees a wallet laying on a bench. He sees Malik leaving and turns to the water fountain. He goes over to La Guardia and taps him on the shoulder)
LA GUARDIA: (into phone) Myer. ...OK.
ISBECKI: (shouts) The wallet. Here! That creep from IAD shows up and so does the wallet!
LA GUARDIA: (into phone) OK, we'll send someone right over to take your statement.
(he rings off)
ISBECKI: Hey, hey, do you hear me? The wallet. It's over there!
LA GUARDIA: (showing Isbecki the message he has taken) We may be outta here yet. The guy who owns the Christmas tree stand just phoned in, about Santa Claus driving a radio car.
ISBECKI: Sounds great to me, my twins await!
LA GUARDIA: Hold it! Give Cagney and Lacey a call. They're already out there. I'm gonna see if Doris needs anything.

[Christmas tree stand]

CHRISTINE: How do you know it was Barbinski?
MYER: Say, I've known Ralph three or four years. I used to see him around the pool halls. He's a little, er, you know...
MARY BETH: What, a couple of quarts low?
MYER: Right. (to a vagrant hanging round the brazier) Hey, hey, beat it!
VAGRANT: All right.
CHRISTINE: You said something about coins.
MYER: What coins?
CHRISTINE: Could you just tell us where we can find Ralph?
MYER: Hey, it beats the hell outta me. I just don't wanna get arrested. No, I've been arrested before. I don't like it.
MARY BETH: No one is going to arrest you, sir. Can you tell us anything about Mr. Barbinski that might help us to locate him?
MYER: Well, I don't know where he lives. I used to know his phone number, but the last time I heard it was disconnected.
CHRISTINE: Could you tell us where he works?
MYER: No, no. He used to be a mechanic but he lost his job when he hurt his back. Oh, he's working now. He got a job at one of those Santa Claus joints. That's why he's wearing the suit.
MARY BETH: For a department store or the Salvation Army.
MYER: No, no. One of them places that rents out Santas to parties and stuff.
CHRISTINE: Thank you.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Doris is still in with Samuels. Isbecki, La Guardia, the duo and other detectives are gathered round a desk)
ISBECKI: Look, we all wanna help the Lieutenant, OK? Come on, it doesn't take all of us to catch some yuck who's cracking parking meters.
CHRISTINE: You know, it hurts me to say this but Isbecki's right. Even he could do this single-handedly.
ISBECKI: I've got a flight to catch. Do you mind? My twins await.
MARY BETH: I don't wanna hear about twins. I think that is vile and disgusting!
LA GUARDIA: So, what's the proposal?
CHRISTINE: I say we draw straws, and the losers should stay and follow up on Barbinski. The rest of us could lead a normal life. All we have to do is convince Samuels.
LA GUARDIA: (looking into the office) I'll risk it.

[Samuels' office]

(Samuels is looking at a Christmas card from the Squad. A present has been unwrapped. Mary Beth is holding up the helicopter they bought in Macy's)
MARY BETH: So the batteries are already in. You hold it here ...and press right there. ...How about that, ha.
(Samuels turns around flying the helicopter. All the detectives make excited noises. Samuels smiles broadly until it crashes into the wrapping paper on his desk. He picks up the broken toy)
SAMUELS: You got nothing better to do?!! ...Find Barbinski!!!

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Isbecki picks up the wallet which is still laying on the bench)
ISBECKI: Can you believe this?
CHRISTINE: Is that the wallet? How much money's in it?
ISBECKI: About two hundred bucks.
(Chris lets out a whistle)
ISBECKI: You see that creep in Samuels' office? He brought it.
CHRISTINE: That's Malik, isn't it?
ISBECKI: You know what I'm gonna do?
CHRISTINE: Haven't a clue.
ISBECKI: I'm gonna hand this in to Samuels, right under that jerk's nose.
CHRISTINE: Hey, you're all man, Isbecki! Would you hold it down a second, Isbecki! Good.

[Detectives' Squad room/Hospital waiting area]

(Mary Beth is on the phone)
MARY BETH: So what did they say was wrong?
PETRIE: Placenta praevia. It's pretty rare. They just gonna wait for the baby to get out normal.
MARY BETH: Please, Petrie, don't worry, huh? Did I tell you that Carl's sister Joyce had all three of her children Caesarean.
PETRIE: I can be in the room with her. That'll help.
MARY BETH: Marcus, don't worry, huh?
PETRIE: Yeah. Really wanted to deliver that baby with my own hands. ...Mary Beth, I just want Claudia and the baby to be all right.
MARY BETH: Er, listen, do want someone to come down there and be with you?
(Chris nods)
PETRIE: No thanks. I'm with Claudia. That's enough.
MARY BETH: Listen, you tell her from me, 'Stay strong and we're all of us thinking about her here'. ...And let us know right away, huh?
MARY BETH: Right away.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Mary Beth rings off)
(Mary Beth nods)
MARY BETH: I like that man a lot.

[Santa centre]

(dozens of Santas in costumes complete with beards are hanging around. Isbecki and La Guardia come in with the supervisor. Isbecki has a photo)
ISBECKI: This is the man we're looking for. We know he's employed as a Santa Claus somewhere. Do you know the guy?
SUPERVISOR: Yeah, Ralph Barbinski. Hey, you're not gonna tell me Ralph's in some kind of trouble, are you?
LA GUARDIA: We can't talk about that.
SUPERVISOR: It's just Ralph's a... Hey, I love Ralph. He's one of my favourite employees. (to a black-bearded man not in costume who is sitting at his desk) Hey, Mac, do wanna break those bums up?
(the man gets up and separates two Santas who are having a fight)
SUPERVISOR: (to the detectives) Christmas is a filthy business. He's good with kids. Hell of a nice guy.
SUPERVISOR: Nah, Ralphie. It's just that I... You know how it is? He's mentally retarded.
ISBECKI: Well, we get the picture.
LA GUARDIA: Do you have a current address?
SUPERVISOR: You people sure you want this guy?
LA GUARDIA: We're sure.
ISBECKI: I'll get on the horn to Cagney and Lacey. Tell 'em to meet us over there.

[Hospital corridor]

(Claudia is being wheeled along on a gurney)
CLAUDIA: You love me don't you?
PETRIE: You know I love you, Claudia. I love you more than anything.
CLAUDIA: I'm sorry I messed things up.
PETRIE: Sh, that's crazy.
CLAUDIA: It was supposed to be so nice. Oh, God I hope the baby's all right.
PETRIE: You and the baby are going to be fine. You're both gonna be strong and healthy and alive. Do you hear me?

[Barbinskis' lounge]

(the duo, Isbecki and La Guardia are sitting around with members of the family including Trixia Barbinski, Ralph's wife. Trixia's mother is handing round cookies)
MARY BETH: Thank you.
TRIXIA'S MOTHER: Here you are. Hot, fresh and honey.
ISBECKI: Thank you.
MARY BETH: Maybe it would be better if the children played in the other room.
TRIXIA'S FATHER: Why, so they can break something?
TRIXIA: We have nothing to hide in this family. Not a thing. Do you children love your daddy?
(a boy and a girl nod)
TRIXIA'S FATHER: He's a no good son.
TRIXIA'S MOTHER: Shsh. You old fool.
MARY BETH: Perhaps Mrs. Barbinski, it would be better if we got back to what you were talking about before the tea break.
TRIXIA: Poppa never did like Ralph.
ISBECKI: No kidding.
TRIXIA: Think's he's no account, but that's just not true.
TRIXIA'S FATHER: Huh! married seven years and I'm supporting the lot of them.
TRIXIA: Ralph couldn't help losing his job. An engine block fell on him. Hurt his back bad. We didn't have any insurance and the job didn't pay any benefits. Ralph can't lift things any more.
TRIXIA'S FATHER: He sure can lift a fork.
ISBECKI: Please let her finish her story.
CHRISTINE: Do you have any idea where your husband might be now?
BARBINSKI'S DAUGHTER: Are you gonna arrest our daddy?
TRIXIA: He was working as a Santa Claus. That's all I know. His friend, Dan Chambers from Florida, offered him a share of a miniature golf course if he could get down there. That's why Ralph took the job as Santa Claus, for ticket money.
MARY BETH: Well, he has been making money, ma'am, but not as a Santa.
TRIXIA: This is a hell of a thing.
TRIXIA'S FATHER: Seven years, and she finally sees it.
MARY BETH: Do you have any i...
(the door opens and Ralph, still dressed as Santa comes in, bearing gifts)
BARBINSKI'S DAUGHTER: That's not Santa Claus, stupid, that's daddy.
TRIXIA'S MOTHER: Hello, Ralph.
MARY BETH: Please, Ralph,...
ISBECKI: Police!
LA GUARDIA: I'll call for the backup!
(Ralph makes a break for it up the apartment block stairs pursued by the detectives. Neighbours come out. Ralph comes out onto the roof. Isbecki has come up the fire escape, gun drawn. The duo arrives followed by the family and neighbours)

[Apartment block roof]

MARY BETH: Hey, Ralph! ...Ralph! ...Give us a break, huh!
ISBECKI: He didn't come up the fire escape.
BARBINSKI'S SON: They're gonna to shoot Santa Claus.
MARY BETH: Nobody is gonna shoot anybody. Isbecki, put that thing away, for God's sake.
CHRISTINE: (to the crowd) We're from the police.
ISBECKI: (to the crowd) After an escaped felon.
BARBINSKI'S SON: They're after my daddy. ...Santa Claus!
BARINSKI: Ho, ho, ho.
(Ralph is sitting, cross-legged, on top of a chimney stack)
BARBINSKI'S DAUGHTER: That's not Santa Claus, stupid, that's daddy.
MARY BETH: OK, Santa. Come on down from there before you hurt yourself.
BARINSKI: I can't. I can't.
CHRISTINE: (smiling) Oh God.

[Detectives' Squad room]

BARBINSKI: I did wrong. I've got nothing to say for myself and I'm ready pay the price, even if it is Christmas.
SAMUELS: You should of thought of that before you decided to sucker people out of their money.
BARBINSKI: Well, like I said, I'm ready to pay the price, (taking Trixia's hand) even if I do have a wife and kids waiting on Christmas Eve.
SAMUELS: Can you believe this guy?
CHRISTINE: I don't know. Maybe we can work something out here. Bert,...
SAMUELS: Bert!!!
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant.
MARY BETH: Sir, it seems to me that it is not unusual, in special cases, to issue a desk appearance ticket if you think the person will appear in court. You'd appear, wouldn't you Ralph?
TRIXIA BARBINSKI: (with Ralph nodding) You bet he would!
SAMUELS: Wait a minute, wait a minute. We are not talking misdemeanours here, we are talking felonies. Larceny! Escaping arrest, stealing a police vehicle.
BARBINSKI: No, excuse me, Lieutenant, I didn't exactly steal that police car, I just sorta used it.
SAMUELS: Did you hear this? This guy is crazy. Probably can't even take care of himself.
BARBINSKI: No, really, I brought it back as soon as I was finished. It's out there now.
SAMUELS: Come on!
LA GUARDIA: He's right, Bert. He serviced the car when we brought him in.
SAMUELS: Come on!
ISBECKI: You wanna see what this guy's putting up with at home, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: (to Barbinski) Seven years you were straight. You had to throw it all away for ...miniature golf in Florida!
BARBINSKI: Well, Lieutenant, you know a man's gotta work. A man can't sponge off his in-laws.
MARY BETH: Sir, if I was a smart defence attorney I could point out that you did not know Mr. Barbinski wasn't gonna turn that money over to charity.
SAMUELS: Well, you're not that smart!
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
CHRISTINE: The same attorney could also say...
SAMUELS: Do not press your luck!! Aw, give him a DAT. Let's get him out of here.
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
BARBINSKI: What about my ticket money?
SAMUELS: What!!!
BARBINSKI: Well, you know, trying to get that money was the whole reason I went back into serious crime.
SAMUELS: I told you, this guy's crazy.
MARY BETH: Ralph, you got that money breaking into parking meters. We can't give it back.
TRIXIA BARBINSKI: There goes our dream, Ralphie.
SAMUELS: They're both crazy. I bet they both need constant supervision.
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant.
CHRISTINE: What happened to the wallet?
SAMUELS: Well, I... I shoved it off onto that creep, Malik., so he could bring it back to the rats in Internal Affairs. Why?
(Christine just smiles at him)

[Precinct front desk office]

(Malik is shaking hands with a sergeant. The pickpocket from Macy's is standing nearby)
MALIK: Merry Christmas. (shouts out) Merry Christmas boys.
(as Malik goes to leave the pickpocket bumps into him as he brushes past. Chris has been watching through the window)
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant Malik! Oh, we don't know each other (shaking his hand) but I'm Detective Cagney.
MALIK: Nice to meet you.
CHRISTINE: Hello. I just didn't want you to get away before I wished you a Merry Christmas.
MALIK: Well..
(she gives him a peck on the cheek)
MALIK: What was that for?
CHRISTINE: I just wanted to give you something. You and all the wonderful guys in Internal Affairs.
MALIK: Well, thank you very much. Merry Christmas to you too. Detective Cag...?
MALIK: Nice to meet you.
CHRISTINE: Thank you. Bye.
(as Chris moves away the pickpocket bumps into Malik again and follows Chris into the Detectives' Squad room where she takes his arm)

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Chris has a bunch of dollar bills)
CHRISTINE: (to Willie) You sure it wasn't his personal wallet?
WILLIE BOXER: Trust me. The first bump I got the wallet. The second bump I put it back, without the money.
CHRISTINE: Willie, you're off the hook. We'll square it for you.
MARY BETH: Merry Christmas, Willie.
WILLIE BOXER: Merry Christmas.
MARY BETH: Stay out of trouble.
WILLIE BOXER: I gave you my word, didn't I?
CHRISTINE: Yeah. Merry Christmas, Willie.
WILLIE BOXER: Merry Christmas.
(Willie leaves. The duo goes back to the Barbinskis. Chris hands Ralph the IA's money)
CHRISTINE: Ticket money.
BARBINSKI: Oh no, we can't take charity.
(Trixia takes the money)
TRIXIA BARBINSKI: You wanna go on living with Momma and Poppa?
BARBINSKI: I'll pay you back as soon as I can.
MARY BETH: Whenever. Take the family. Take the money. Go to Florida, and come back ...for the court appearance. Merry Christmas.
CHRISTINE: You won't have to do time, Ralphie. There's certainly enough people rooting for you in your corner.
ISBECKI: Merry Christmas, huh?
BARBINSKI: Yeah, well, thanks a lot, and I hope you get something nice for Christmas, all of you. Merry Christmas.
(the Barbinskis leave arm-in-arm)
BARBINSKI: Ho, ho, ho.
(the three have a little snigger)
CHRISTINE: It is ten-oh-five. Dory shouldn't be too drunk, at least for dinner, (To Samuels) ...that is if we're free to go?
SAMUELS: What? You're free.
LA GUARDIA: Thank the good Lord.
DORIS RAINEY: We missed Handel's Messiah.
LA GUARDIA: The night is young, Doris. We have each other.
(Samuels walks dejectedly away)
ISBECKI: There's an eleven twenty flight. I can pick up the twins...
MARY BETH: Will you stop it with twins. You know how I feel about that!
MRS. ISBECKI: Victor, I need to talk with ya!
(the duo looks across the office. A woman has come in with two cases)
ISBECKI: Hey, mother.
MRS. ISBECKI: I'll just stay here out of your way 'til you've finished, and then we'll go to the airport.
CHRISTINE: Your mother?
MARY BETH: Oh, Victor. (to Mrs. Isbecki) Oh. (giving him a kiss) Victor, oh, Victor.
ISBECKI: (going over to his mother) Hi, ma.
LA GUARDIA: (leaving with Doris) Merry Christmas, guys.
CHRISTINE: Merry Christmas. Stay warm.
MARY BETH: Merry Christmas everybody.
SAMUELS: Hey, I know everybody wants to go home but I've got, er, half a jug of eggnog here. It's pretty good.
MARY BETH: Well, sir, ...I think we have some cups over here.
CHRISTINE: Got any nutmeg?
(over the end titles the phone goes)
SAMUELS: (into phone) Detectives. Samuels.
PETRIE: (on phone) It's a girl!
SAMUELS: (shouts) It's a girl!!
(loud cheering)

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