Choices
Original Airdate: May 14, 1984
The case in this episode is the conclusion of the case in the episode 'Recreational Use'

[Chris's loft]

(Chris is rifling through a drawer of tights)
CHRISTINE: Who has been at these stupid things anyway?!
MARY BETH: Not me. Twenty-one minutes to. We're gonna be late.
CHRISTINE: Why am I out of hose? Can you tell me that?
MARY BETH: I don't know, Christine. I really don't know. What's the matter with you? You've been crazy all week.
CHRISTINE: It seems to me that every time I put one of these things on I put my foot right through it. (putting her hand right through the foot of a pair) Right through it! (she goes to open another drawer) Ow! Damn!
MARY BETH: What!
CHRISTINE: (sucking a finger) Ow!
MARY BETH: Let me look. Let me see it. Got a Band-Aid? I'll get a Band-Aid. ...Where is it?
CHRISTINE: In the medicine cabinet!
MARY BETH: Well, get ready. The judge is gonna hold us in contempt.
CHRISTINE: (putting her shoes on) Don't worry. I'll tell him about my hose. (rushing around) Plead insanity. The hot water went out in the middle of my shower. Conditioner on my hair, of course.
MARY BETH: (with the Band-Aid) Here.
CHRISTINE: Ow! (as she puts her coat on) Then I spilt coffee over my brand new Italian suit. Here, check for yourself. This new miracle cleaning fluid left a big ring. (pointing to the skirt laid out on the work surface) Look at it. Probably permanent. I'll have to write the whole thing off. I don't own a pair of tights that even a hooker would wear.
MARY BETH: (seeing a pair airing at the window) Here. Right here! Take these here. (giving them to Chris) Let's go!
CHRISTINE: No. Those are wet!
MARY BETH: Nineteen minutes, Christine!
CHRISTINE: All right. ...Great. Wait. (pausing to stuff a file in her briefcase and then suddenly rushing back) Oh, the keys.

[Squad car]

(Chris is waving the tights out of the window as they drive along)
CHRISTINE: These things are still soaking wet.
MARY BETH: Do you wanna rehearse me, Christine? You know how rattled I get in court. OK?
CHRISTINE: (as she struggles into the tights) OK.
MARY BETH: It's only the Assistant DA.
CHRISTINE: Mr. Wonderful himself. All right. 'Detective Lacey, drawing your attention to the date in question, under what circumstances do you first recall having seen Mr. George Poulianakis?'
MARY BETH: I first saw Mr. Pouli... Pouliag... What is it?
CHRISTINE: Poulianakis!
MARY BETH: Poulianakis, Poulianakis, Poulianakis. OK. Let me start again, OK?
CHRISTINE: OK.
MARY BETH: I first saw the victim..
CHRISTINE: No! 'Objection'. Under the circumstances he's the alleged victim. (she is still struggling to get into the tights) You know, these things are still as wet as when we first got in the car.
MARY BETH: I first saw the alleged victim when we were called to his house some eighteen months, twenty-two days ago on East 23rd Street. We'd been there before. There was a prior incident with Mr. Nolan. Harassment of his tenants in an attempt get to them moved so he could turn the place into a co-op.
CHRISTINE: No! 'Objection' again. That is the defence attorney. 'That is hearsay. Motion to strike'.
MARY BETH: (banging her head) Answer the question.
CHRISTINE: 'Will you please answer the question as posed, Detective Lacey. What did you first see when you first went into the apartment building?'.
MARY BETH: Mr. Poulianakis's... His door was locked
CHRISTINE: 'What did you do?'.
MARY BETH: My partner and I... Well, actually it was more my partner than me...
CHRISTINE: 'Would you just get to the answer, please, Detective?'.
MARY BETH: Yes sir. We broke his door down. (looking out of the driver's window and putting her left arm out) Turning here. (yelling to a passing cab) Hey!

[Courthouse car park]

CHRISTINE: 'Would you please tell the court why you broke down Mr. Poulianakis's door'.
MARY BETH: OK. We could hear moaning inside. (she is holding her coat up as a screen while Chris finally sorts out her tights) And also, there was this woman there, a Mrs. er, Rose Skimmins who had informed us... Isn't that hearsay, Christine?
CHRISTINE: 'Just answer the question, Detective'.
MARY BETH: Er, Mrs. Rose Skimmins who... I don't get this, Christine. How can he say it's hearsay so...
CHRISTINE: 'Not introducing the truth of the matter asserted'.
MARY BETH: How come you know all this stuff anyway?
CHRISTINE: 'Answer the questions here, Detective'.
MARY BETH: Yes sir. What was the question?
CHRISTINE: Oh, I've gotta get my keys out of my briefcase. The question. 'Why did you break down Mr. Poulianakis's door?'.
MARY BETH: Because Mrs. Skimmins said she thought he was injured inside, so we broke the door down.
CHRISTINE: 'So what did you see when you got in there?'
MARY BETH: Oh, that was very sad.
CHRISTINE: 'Objection!'.
MARY BETH: What?
CHRISTINE: 'Prejudicial to my client'.
MARY BETH: (as they finally rush to the court) Mr. Poulianakis was laying on his bed and he was half frozen with the cold and he was badly beaten up. And the worst part about it was that he could not even get out of his bed and get up and go for help. Because after...
(Chris realises she has dropped her handbag and goes back and picks it up)
CHRISTINE: Wait a minute. OK. 'After...'
MARY BETH: ...after Mr. Nolan beat him up, then he stole Mr. Poulianakis's walker.
CHRISTINE: 'Objection!'
MARY BETH: What?!
CHRISTINE: 'Objection! Now I move for a mis-trial'.
MARY BETH: Now wait now, Christine! (she turns back out of the court entrance) I've told ya I get rattled in court.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, come on, everybody doesn't like talking to a monkey.
MARY BETH: No you don't!
CHRISTINE: It doesn't matter anyway. We'll get up there and the defence attorney'll already have asked for a continuation. All right?
MARY BETH: The judge told him last time this was absolutely the last one.
CHRISTINE: Terrific. Come on. Let's show 'em we're better than the males.
MARY BETH: You kinda believe that, don't you?

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Petrie and Isbecki escort a male perp in)
ISBECKI: She does a novelty act. She sprays this French chocolate on her.
PETRIE: French chocolate, eh? Sounds like a real prize, Victor.
ISBECKI: Yeah, you know what she said to me last night? She said 'Victor, where's this relationship going?'.
PETRIE: Seems a reasonable question.
ISBECKI: Don't be a wimp, Marcus. Do you know what I said? I said 'Let's see where it goes. Let's see what's happening. No strings. No attachment'. And do you know what she said?
(he locks the perp in the holding cell)
PETRIE: What did Bon Bon say, Victor?
ISBECKI: She says 'She doesn't wanna wind up in three months sitting outside the Fourteenth Precinct in a parked car having the same conversation'.
PETRIE: Thank you for sharing that with me, Victor.
ISBECKI: Hey, what do we know what's gonna happen in three months? I could be dead. We all could be dead.
(Petrie has picked up a paper from his desk)
PETRIE: They've scheduled the Sergeants' Examination.
(Isbecki grabs the paper)
ISBECKI: Hey, Lieutenant, did you see this?! They've scheduled our Sergeants' Examination in six months.
SAMUELS: Yeah I heard. That's great.
PETRIE: About time.
SAMUELS: Well, they only give 'em every four years.
ISBECKI: Yeah, well, what's the odds?
SAMUELS: It's a long shot, Isbecki, but it's worth it. It can give you five G's right off the back.
PETRIE: Five grand. It certainly helps. Lauren's college education.
SAMUELS: College? The boy's not even at school, Petrie.
PETRIE: (searching in his pockets) Did you see the new pictures?
SAMUELS: You showed me them the other... (he walks off)
PETRIE: I did? (not finding them he goes to his desk) How about you, Victor?
ISBECKI: Yeah, yeah. You showed 'em to me yesterday. So, what am I gonna do about Bon Bon?
PETRIE: Forget Bon Bon, Victor.
LA GUARDIA: (walking past) Bon Bon. Bon Bon.

[Courthouse staircase]

(the duo follows Assistant DA Burke out of the courtroom)
CHRISTINE: You didn't even object! You just rolled over and played dead!
BURKE: Watch it, Detective.
MARY BETH: She is right, Mr. Burke.
CHRISTINE: Richard Nolan has been out on bail all this time.
BURKE: Are you two through ventilating? ...Good! Because I'm not any happier about this than you are.
CHRISTINE: So how come you just sat there?
BURKE: Nolan's lawyers are giving jury instructions in Federal courts. That means he trials on Monday, like it or not. Comprendez?
CHRISTINE: No. I think it stinks. Comprendez?! Nolan's got battalions of million-a-year lawyers and we get you. How the hell can we have a chance with you?
BURKE: Well, thank you so much for that vote of confidence.
MARY BETH: Oh, she didn't mean anything about you.
BURKE: She did.
CHRISTINE: Don't argue with him.
BURKE: But... it doesn't bother me. Cos as it is I'm gonna beat the pants right off Nolan's lawyers. The first reason being that I'm incredibly skilful. The second reason being that George Poulianakis is one of the all-time court's great witnesses ever to grace a courtroom.
CHRISTINE: If he ever gets to testify.
BURKE: A face... A face like your favourite grandfather, but a mind like a steel trap. They'll look like Attila the Hun if they go after him. And I love it. I truly love it.
CHRISTINE: I'm glad you're enjoying it.
BURKE: Well, I'm glad that you're glad (calling a lift) but I have one problem.
MARY BETH: What is that, sir?
BURKE: Mr. Poulianakis did not show up today.
CHRISTINE: Well, the man is probably sick from all the delays. He happens to be a seventy-six year old semi-invalid, for Christ's sake! He's been down here twenty, thirty times. How many times we been down here?
MARY BETH: Twenty!
CHRISTINE: Thirty times!
BURKE: She's beginning to get boring. Please, get her home.
(he dives into a lift)
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
BURKE: Call Poulianakis. Get him to court on Monday.
MARY BETH: Yes sir.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the duo comes in)
MARY BETH: Christine, The AD's department is on our side. He's all we've got. I'm saying we shouldn't have got at him. We don't wanna go out of our way to antagonise the man.
(Isbecki is trying to attract Chris's attention as they row)
CHRISTINE: I didn't go at him! He didn't get out of my way. He got in it!
MARY BETH: Can't you see the distinction, Christine?
CHRISTINE: We don't have to kiss up to him and he doesn't have to like us. Because the truth is the Feds should be covering that trial and Mr. Wonderful ain't gonna do anything to blow up his big opportunity. You know how he feels about us! I'm calling Mr. Poulianakis to find out why he wasn't there.
MARY BETH: All right, but don't take his head off. OK? Just a little consideration, a little respect.
CHRISTINE: Thank you, Emily Post.
ISBECKI: Cagney, acting like a nutcase or what?
PETRIE: She seems all right to me. I don't know.
CHRISTINE: (into phone) Yeah, Mr. Poulianakis. ...Please. ...What? ...When? ...Oh, I'm ...sorry.
(she rings off and goes out)
MARY BETH: Christine! ...Christine? ...Wait up!
ISBECKI: All right. She's fine. She was fine with me too.
PETRIE: What?
(Petrie follows Isbecki's gaze after the duo)

[Ladies' room]

MARY BETH: Christine?
CHRISTINE [OC]: Yeah.
(hearing sobbing she knocks on a WC door)
MARY BETH: Hey, Chris? What is it?
(she opens the door to find Chris sitting sideways on the pan lid with her arms round her knees)
CHRISTINE: (crying) Mr. Poulianakis...
MARY BETH: What?
CHRISTINE: ...went into a coma three days ago and he died last night.
MARY BETH: Oh Lord.
(Chris breaks into tears)
MARY BETH: Hey. Hey, Chris. This is very sad about Mr. Poulianakis. Hey, I never saw you like this before. ...What? ...What, It's something else, huh?
CHRISTINE: Yes.
MARY BETH: (Mary Beth hugs her) Oh, Chrissie, all at once. Oh.
CHRISTINE: I know.
MARY BETH: I know what that's like. Look I know that you don't like to talk about your problems and I don't like to push. So if you wanna cry it out, you go ahead.
CHRISTINE: (still sobbing) I'm OK.
MARY BETH: No, go ahead. It's good for ya.
CHRISTINE: It's OK. I'm being stupid.
MARY BETH: Oh, don't be silly. A good cry is sometimes the best thing for ya. The teacher used to let me cry for hours. And one time, when I was pregnant with Michael, I cried. I couldn't stop crying. I cried a whole week. Poor Harve, he thought that I was miserable or something. But it was just hormones, you know. (Chris puts her face in her hand) What? Oh Chris, you've gotta give me a clue here or something so I can help you.
CHRISTINE: You've got it.
MARY BETH: Who? What? ...When I said it was hormones?
CHRISTINE: Yeah.
MARY BETH: What. You're pregnant?! (a long silence) Pregnant? (Mary Beth gets up) Pregnant!!
CHRISTINE: It happens.
MARY BETH: (washing her face) This is unexpected.
CHRISTINE: Tell me about it!
MARY BETH: Who... Who... Who's the father?
CHRISTINE: (coming out of the WC) Let's not even talk about it, all right?
MARY BETH: Do you know who it is?!
CHRISTINE: (indignantly) Yes, I know who it is! ...But maybe, maybe I'm not. I'm only a few days late.
MARY BETH: How many days?
CHRISTINE: Two weeks.
MARY BETH: Two weeks. Two weeks!
CHRISTINE: Don't you yell at me!
MARY BETH: Have you spoken to the father?
CHRISTINE: No. He's out of town on business.
MARY BETH: There's telephones, Christine!
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, look, you said you didn't wanna push.
MARY BETH: I am concerned here now. Who is this?
CHRISTINE: Neal.
MARY BETH: Neal Riley? ...The one with the wife who does not understand him?
CHRISTINE: He's divorced.
MARY BETH: Since when?!
CHRISTINE: He was separated when I met him, Mary Beth. I told you that. You never listen!
MARY BETH: (sitting down beside Chris on the bench) What, he got divorced for you?
CHRISTINE: No. He just got divorced.
MARY BETH: You always really liked Neal.
CHRISTINE: Huh.
MARY BETH: So this is good.
CHRISTINE: It's grim.
MARY BETH: No, no, I mean it. Maybe it's time that you settled down and this er, getting pregnant is like a sign or something. ...Oh, it's wonderful!
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, those kind of movies you watch, they have warped your mind.
MARY BETH: Well, what would be so bad? You're crazy for Neal, and you're so good with children, Christine.
CHRISTINE: It could be that I'm not even pregnant.
MARY BETH: No, no, Christine, that ostrich routine is starting, with your head in the sand. It's not gonna go away, Christine.
CHRISTINE: You know, Mary Beth, I will probably get my dream today if you would just stop talking about it. (she gets up) We've got a case going down the tubes. We've gotta go and see the DA. (looking in the mirror) I've gotta fix my face.
MARY BETH: (as Chris goes to leave) Shoes.
CHRISTINE: (picking them up) Shoes. Come on Mary Beth, we have to go to work.

[Courthouse corridor]

(the duo is sitting outside a courtroom)
MARY BETH: Where is he anyway?
CHRISTINE: Obviously still in court. They haven't broken for recess yet.
MARY BETH: Not the DA! Neal Riley.
CHRISTINE: New Orleans.
BURKE: (to a court official as he comes out of court) I'll see the judge's statement this afternoon, OK?
CHRISTINE: Mr. Burke!
BURKE: What are you doing here?
CHRISTINE: George Poulianakis died last night.
BURKE: (turning back) No! ...Why now? ...Why does everything happen to me?
CHRISTINE: To you! Mr. Poulianakis died.
BURKE: Well, we can kiss that case goodbye. That was the defence strategy all along. Keep continuing the case until the eyewitness went senile and died.
CHRISTINE: Nice profession.
MARY BETH: But, Mr. Burke, we still have Mr. Poulianakis's transcript or whatever you call it, from the Grand Jury. We can introduce that at trial, can't we?
BURKE: Sure we can. And then the defence lawyers can eat you for breakfast. (Chris looks on knowingly) No opportunity to cross-examine. No opportunity to observe his demeanour in a courtroom. He could have been mistaken in his identity. Seventy-six years old after all. Memory problems as we grow older. Reasonable doubt. Not guilty! Chit it off, Detective!
CHRISTINE: Chit if off?(as Burke goes off, Chris goes after him) What do you mean 'Chit it off?'.
BURKE: The minute defence counsel hears about Poulianakis, they'll ask for a dismissal.
CHRISTINE: And!
BURKE: I'm not gonna oppose it.
CHRISTINE: How did I guess?!
BURKE: The reason I'm not gonna oppose it is to avoid double jeopardy attaching.
MARY BETH: Wait! Please, I don't understand. So what are you saying?
BURKE: If we call the trial and lose, that's it. But on the other hand, if I dismiss before the trial starts and you police can build me a winnable case, we can re-file the charges against Nolan at that time.
MARY BETH: What and stop that continuance business all over again?
CHRISTINE: Well, I can see what you're worried about. It's better than a chance of losing a big case. But it's much easier to put the blame on the Police Department!
BURKE: Our business is concluded.
MARY BETH: Well, wait, Mr. Burke. Our case is due on Monday, right?
BURKE: Hm.
MARY BETH: So if we come up with something by then?
BURKE: Of course! But I need direct evidence! Preferably eyewitness testimony by a reliable witness of good character.
CHRISTINE: Great! A confession of nuns in the room!
BURKE: Would you please get her out of here!
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
CHRISTINE: (turning away and rushing off) No problem with me!
MARY BETH: We'll do what we can, sir. ...Chris! ...Christine! ...Cagney! ...Slow down!

[149 East Twenty-third street, Mrs. Skimmins' apartment]

(there is a knock on the door. Mrs. Skimmins checks the peephole and opens the door on the chain)
CHRISTINE: (showing her shield) Mrs. Skimmins. Detectives Cagney and Lacey. We want to talk to you about Mr. Poulianakis.
MARY BETH: Do you mind if we come in, ma'am?
MRS. SKIMMINS: Oh, ...no.
CHRISTINE: Hello.
MARY BETH: We were very sorry to hear about your friend, Mrs. Skimmins. We know that you and Mr. Poulianakis were very close.
MRS. SKIMMINS: Yes. He was a wonderful man. So forthright, right up to the end. Please sit down?
CR/MARY BETH: Thank you.
MRS. SKIMMINS: Just before they took him to the hospital he brought me a catalogue from the art museum. He said we'd go as soon as he got better. Then, of course, he never left the hospital. I very seldom leave my room anymore. So much crime these days. Especially against old people. 'Walking victims', that's what they say, don't they. Oh, could I get you some tea?
MARY BETH: Oh, that would be...
CHRISTINE: No thank you.
MARY BETH: Oh, Chris, are you sure you don't want anything.
CHRISTINE: No thank you.
MARY BETH: Mrs. Skimmins, we know it's been a long time but we would like you to try and recall anything that you might have seen or heard on the day that Mr. Poulianakis was assaulted.
MRS. SKIMMINS: Well, I didn't see or hear anything. I thought I explained all that to you before.
CHRISTINE: Mrs. Skimmins, we've had a very frustrating day. The Assistant DA has told us that if another witness doesn't come forward, he's gonna throw this case out of court. And Leonard Nolan, who beat up your friend, will never be brought to justice for that crime.
MRS. SKIMMINS: I can't see it's as serious as all that. Why you can bear witness to what Mr. Poulianakis said and the identification that he made at your headquarters.
CHRISTINE: It's er, just not that simple, Mrs. Skimmins.
MARY BETH: It's nice and warm in here, huh?
(Chris looks frustrated)
MRS. SKIMMINS: Yes.
MARY BETH: So Mr. Nolan has not been fooling around with the boilers anymore.
MRS. SKIMMINS: No, everything is very well tended. He's even painted the halls a few months ago.
CHRISTINE: Nice guy.
MRS. SKIMMINS: I guess I'm lucky to have this apartment. A woman I know, when they changed her place into a coop, she had nowhere to go. At least I have a roof over my head. I should count my blessings, shouldn't I?
MARY BETH: Yes ma'am.
(Chris nods that they should leave)

[149 East Twenty-third street, corridor outside Mrs. Skimmins' apartment]

NEIGHBOUR: (with a toy dog on a lead) Come on, Mitzi, let's go.
MARY BETH: Oh, that poor woman. Scared to death of everything.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, well she'd better get ready. Nolan's not going to harass his tenants with this court case pending, but as soon as it's settled he's gonna throw 'em all out of here.
MARY BETH: So where are we?
CHRISTINE: Nowhere.
MARY BETH: Hey, it's late. Do you wanna pick up on this tomorrow?
CHRISTINE: Yeah.
MARY BETH: You OK?
CHRISTINE: Hm.
MARY BETH: Do me a favour, will ya? See a doctor or something.
CHRISTINE: OK.

[Pharmacy]

(Chris, wearing dark glasses, checks some nail varnish then moves around and having looked at a couple of pregnancy testing kits, opens one to read the instructions. The pharmacist comes up)
PHARMACIST: There's laws against shoplifting. I suggest now that you've opened that...
CHRISTINE: Oh, no, no. Please, I'd like to take this. It's for a friend.
PHARMACIST: Hm.
CHRISTINE: (shouting after him) Make it gift-wrapped!

[Chris's loft]

(in her pyjamas she pours herself a glass of wine from a bottle in the fridge and then pours herself a glass of milk instead. Picking up a plate of food she offers the milk as a toast)
CHRISTINE: He's looking at you kid.
(she then sits on the settee with the food and milk and opens the gift-wrapped pregnancy testing kit and begins to read the instructions)
CHRISTINE: 'Wait at least three days after a missed period'. I'm like it now. (she mimics the instructions as she reads them) 'Add contents of vial into test tube which contains test sample. First take morning urine... Take first morning urine. Drop one drop into test tube. Shake vigorously. Place test tube in holder and leave undisturbed for at least two hours before reading your result'. ...Right.

[Ladies' room]

MARY BETH: (coming in) Why aren't you with the doctor?
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth...
MARY BETH: Ignoring it will not make it go away, Christine. Now you have to be responsible here. We're talking about a human life. A precious, dependent little person, Christine. Not some boyfriend you can just dump whenever you get tired of him.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth...
MARY BETH: I'm... I'm sorry. I did not intend to lecture you, Christine, but I just feel frustrated!
CHRISTINE: I guess I'm not.
MARY BETH: What do you mean 'guess'?
CHRISTINE: All right I'm not!
MARY BETH: Oh. ...Not pregnant. ...Well, that's good. (holding out her hand) Congratulations.
(they shake)
MARY BETH: What? What, you're not happy?
CHRISTINE: No, I am.
(Chris continues to talk quietly and incoherently)
CHRISTINE: It's just...
MARY BETH: What?
CHRISTINE: I don't know. I'm thirty-eight years old and my biological clock is just ticking away here and there's nothing I can do to stop it. And if I'm gonna have a baby, I better have one soon or I'm not gonna have one at all. ...And I think I'd like to have one. (holding her stomach) You know, the last couple of days I've started to... Why is everything so complicated!
MARY BETH: Come on. What is complicated? Get married. You and Neal get married and have a baby. Now people do that every day.
CHRISTINE: I don't even want to have a baby!
MARY BETH: Well, what are we talking about here? Now what do you want?!
CHRISTINE: I don't know what I want! What I don't want is everybody telling me is 'I can't have'! That's not fair! Men choose. Sixty, thirty, eighty years old. They're still deciding to have families! ...Well, why do I have to decide now?
MARY BETH: Because that's the way it is.
CHRISTINE: Come on, we're going to Rikers Island, this morning.

[Detectives' Squad room]

CHRISTINE: We're gonna see Nunzio, that perp working for Nolan.
MARY BETH: We went in the middle of something important here, Christine.
CHRISTINE: We can discuss it on the way to Rikers Island. You told me to have a baby because we know that's the way you love it.
MARY BETH: All right, I'm just trying to be a friend here, that's all. If you're not interested, forget it.
CHRISTINE: We can speak about it later. We've got a case that'll be in the shit by Monday if we don't get off our behinds. ...My personal problems can wait. Come on.
(the duo leaves)
ISBECKI: See that? They both act like school kids.
LA GUARDIA: They say that's why women live longer than men, Victor. They don't keep everything in. Actuarially speaking, you could live eight years longer if you could learn to let your emotions out the way women do.
ISBECKI: No kidding.
PETRIE: Think about it, Victor. Eight more years of Bon Bon.
ISBECKI: Bon Bon's history.
PETRIE: That's what you said about Blanche.
LA GUARDIA: Who's Blanche?
PETRIE: Chambermaid, Fifth Avenue.
ISBECKI: (as Petrie leaves) Hey! She's going to night school. Taking up pharmacy.
LA GUARDIA: (talking to one of three gang members) Let's get to business. So your group calls itself The Vermin? And you say that on Saturday, somebody stole your mother's van?

[Rikers Island interview room]

NUNZIO: Why should I got to talk to you? I know my rights.
CHRISTINE: You should talk to us because you were stupid enough to get collared again. Which makes you a sort of idiot, and a prime candidate for the persistent felons' programme.
NUNZIO: So you think this news to me?
CHRISTINE: No. That was just the bad news. The good news is that you'll be eligible for Medicare when you get out.
MARY BETH: Mr. Nunzio, your statement before the Grand Jury testified that you were not present on the day of Mr. Poulianakis's assault. You said, quote, Nolan handled that himself. He said he was better with people. So Mickey and I, we just did some little jobs for him. Busting up the boilers, tearing down some mailboxes, unquote.
NUNZIO: (after some thought) Sorry. If I change my mind about that, are you saying that maybe you could help me out of this felons thing?
MARY BETH: No.
CHRISTINE: It's possible. Depending on what you do for us.
NUNZIO: Like, what do you mean?
(Mary Beth s looking at Chris wide-eyed)
NUNZIO: You see actually that's wrong. You see, because I was in the room when Nolan beat up your guy. You see, I didn't know he was gonna do it before we got there, and then after he started I asked him to stop. Nolan is not a guy you wanna mess with. So I was afraid. I didn't wanna mess ...before.
CHRISTINE: Good. Would you be willing to testify that in court?
NUNZIO: Sure. When?
CHRISTINE: We'll talk.
NUNZIO: Great.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the duo comes in)
MARY BETH: That was perjured evidence.
(Chris picks up the phone)
MARY BETH: What are you doing?
(Mary Beth holds down the receiver switch)
CHRISTINE: What are you doing?
MARY BETH: I want to know what you are doing.
CHRISTINE: I am making a phone call. A personal phone call. I told you I would not call the DA until we discussed it tomorrow.
MARY BETH: OK. Sorry.
CHRISTINE: (into phone) Ah, yeah. Neil Riley, please. ...Christine Cagney calling. ...Oh, I thought he was due back today. ...I see. ...OK. That's all right. Thank you. There's no message.

[Locker room]

(Chris comes in)
CHRISTINE: This damn case, Mary Beth. I just hate it. ...Do you remember when we first collared Nolan? ...With Dory McKenna. I'm telling ya, I really loved that man. I did. But he was much more interested in packing white powder up his nose than he was in me. And now...
MARY BETH: Neal Riley.
CHRISTINE: Yeah. His secretary's just told me he's still out of town on business.
MARY BETH: And he's not?
CHRISTINE: Probably not.
MARY BETH: What's the problem? I don't understand.
CHRISTINE: The way she said it to me, I thought she was lying!
MARY BETH: Oh.
CHRISTINE: I think he's made a fool out of me. ..Detective!
MARY BETH: It happens.
CHRISTINE: But I hate being embarrassed. I hate him.
MARY BETH: Oh, now wait here. Don't tell me. Christine Cagney has experienced a human emotion. A quick pick-up-the-rug and sweep-it-under again.
CHRISTINE: I gotta go.
MARY BETH: You wanna come home with me and have dinner instead?
CHRISTINE: No, I'm having dinner with Charlie.
MARY BETH: Oh, nice.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow.
MARY BETH: (after her as she rushes out) Say 'Hi' to your dad for me.
CHRISTINE: I will.

[Chris's loft]

CHRISTINE: (into phone) No, honest Dad, it's OK. ...No, I do understand. ...Wasn't even a big deal, honest. I just wanted to talk to you. Look at your face. ...No, next week's good. ...And put a buck in the slot machine for me. OK? ...All right. Good night, Charlie.

[Detectives' Squad room]

ISBECKI: (reading from a book) 'Section two-six-five-oh-one of the Penal Law. Possession of a chuka stick or a kung fu star is criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and class eight misdemeanour'. Now did you know that, Marcus?!
PETRIE: Yes.
ISBECKI: What about a one-seven-oh point oh-two?
PETRIE: 'Investiture of jurisdiction by indictment'.
ISBECKI: Yeah, what about the old one-eight-oh point four-five?
PETRIE: 'Court trial proceedings'.
ISBECKI: No, I mean a misdemeanour.
PETRIE: 'Felony, class E'.
ISBECKI: (putting his arm round him) Do you know what your problem is, Marcus? You study too much. You're gonna turn into one of those hunched, old people who've got bad eyes, no social life, little girl...
(Petrie watches Isbecki trudge slowly up the stairs mumbling to himself)
PETRIE: (following Isbecki) Yes, and a sergeant's stripe.
CHRISTINE [OC]: (into phone) Thank you very much.
MARY BETH: (putting a pastry in a bag in front of her) Morning Christine, how was your dad?
CHRISTINE: Thank you. He went to Atlantic Beach. And Neal called.
MARY BETH: Oh, was that him on the phone just now?
CHRISTINE: No, that was our Assistant District Attorney. I was talking to him about Nunzio's testimony.
MARY BETH: You were what? You told me you would not talk to him until...
CHRISTINE: (putting her hands over her ears and then shouting) I know, Mary Beth, but it doesn't matter! Burke was not interested.
MARY BETH: Oh. Why not?
CHRISTINE: He said Nunzio was a junkie when he was arrested and his testimony would never hold up in court.
MARY BETH: What a surprise!
CHRISTINE: It doesn't matter. I think I'm on to something else anyway.
MARY BETH: Do I wanna hear this, Christine?
CHRISTINE: Mm hm. Mrs. Skimmins.
MARY BETH: Oh, wait, don't tell me. We are gonna get Mrs. Skimmins to perjure herself too.
CHRISTINE: We're gonna get Mrs. Skimmins to tell the truth. Sit down. Look at this. In her original statement to us she said she went down to Mr. Poulianakis's apartment, knocked on the door to pick him up for the weekly trip to the library. There was no answer, she became very frightened, so she called us.
MARY BETH: Yeah.
CHRISTINE: All right. That call has been logged in here at nine forty-eight AM on a Tuesday. Now I called the library. Now on Tuesdays and Thursdays they do not open until noon.
MARY BETH: Well, maybe she went by his apartment early.
CHRISTINE: Maybe, but I don't think so. I think she saw something that frightened her. I think she saw Leonard Nolan letting himself into that apartment, shut the door and then she called us.
MARY BETH: Good. You are good.
CHRISTINE: Mm hm.
MARY BETH: Conference in the car?
CHRISTINE: Mm hm.

[Public gardens]

(the duo is walking along with Mrs. Skimmins. Youths are break dancing to rap music)
MRS. SKIMMINS: Those boys there...
MARY BETH: Oh, don't worry about that. Christine, we're not the bad cops there. Show 'em we're not the bad cops there.
CHRISTINE: (waving to the youths) Hey, how's it going?
(the youths all acknowledge her and wave back)
MRS. SKIMMINS: (laughing) The air feels so good. It's nice to be out of the house.
MARY BETH: Didn't you say something the other day about how you're keeping yourself all cooped up a lot because you're frightened?
MRS. SKIMMINS: I've been scared since that dreadful business.
MARY BETH: That's makes me very sad, Mrs. Skimmins. Sad and angry. (to Chris) I mean, a nice woman like her. She feels so frightened, she keeps herself a prisoner in her own apartment. This is the kind of thing that keeps me going to my job every day, to try to make things better. All though sometimes it seems impossible even to make a dent in it.
MRS. SKIMMINS: I appreciate what you police are doing. I'm glad someone's trying at least.
MARY BETH: I guess that's my point. I guess trying is better than doing nothing at all. ...Course we can't do this by ourselves. I mean, our legal system is so frustrating. A bad man, like Leonard Nolan, he can take it, bend it, turn it around. Make the rest of us feel like monkeys.
MRS. SKIMMINS: Poor Mr. Poulianakis. He got so frustrated going to court time after time...
MARY BETH: I know. Don't we know? But I regret it, because you see the system wasn't basically gonna work, because Mr. Poulianakis was doing his part. But when we don't have anybody to help us, the truth is that er, we don't really stand a chance.
CHRISTINE: Mrs. Skimmins, we know you're frightened. The truth is we need your testimony in court.
MARY BETH: Ma'am, there's very few things I know for sure in the world, but one of them is that Leonard Nolan brutally assaulted Mr. George Poulianakis. Had he not done so, maybe Mr. Poulianakis would still be here, today, alive. Leonard Nolan deserves to be punished for that despicable act, but the way things stand now, we're gonna have to wait for God to do it. ...That is unless you come forward, Mrs. Skimmins, and give us the help that we need.

[Empty courtroom]

MRS. SKIMMINS: So Mr. Nolan came in. So I turned back into my apartment. I looked through my peephole and I saw him going into Mr. Poulianakis's flat.
BURKE: How did he get in?
MRS. SKIMMINS: He used his passkey.
BURKE: And then what happened?
MRS. SKIMMINS: Even through the door I could hear Mr. Poulianakis crying out for help. (to the duo) That's when I called you. No, I know I should have done something more but I didn't know what else to do.
MARY BETH: You did fine ma'am.
BURKE: Did you see Mr. Nolan again that day?
MRS. SKIMMINS: Yes, I watched him come out of the apartment. He was carrying Mr. Poulianakis's walker. I waited 'til he'd gone then I tried the door, but I guess Mr. Nolan had locked it. I called out to Mr. Poulianakis and said 'Hold on. There's help coming'. Then I went back to my apartment and waited for the police to arrive.
MARY BETH: Thank you, Mrs. Skimmins. We know that that was hard for you.
CHRISTINE: (to Burke) Do we have a case?
BURKE: Just one last question. You never came forward before with this information. In court the defence lawyer would want to know, 'Why?'.
MRS. SKIMMINS: I'm not a brave woman, ...Mr. Burke. For the last ten years I haven't asked much of life. Just not to be hurt. I was afraid Mr. Nolan would ...retaliate against me. That's all I could think of. ...I feel very sorry ...and ashamed. That's not a way to live, is it?
MARY BETH: Well, you're doing what needs to be done right now. Huh? ...Huh?
BURKE: We've got a case! ...Well, if you don't mind, I'll need just a few hours of your time to have your statement transcribed.
MARY BETH: I'll tell you what we'll do. We will come back and pick you up and take you back home.
MRS. SKIMMINS: Oh, that's very kind of you, but it's an easy bus ride from here and I was thinking I might like to stop at the museum on the way.
CHRISTINE: Good for you!
MARY BETH: Wonderful. And you were wonderful and if you need anything, just give us a call. We'll pick you up for court on Monday. Eight o'clock?
CHRISTINE: Seven fifteen. We'll take you to breakfast.
MARY BETH: That's a nice idea! Have you ever had honey-based ham and eggs ...and saveloys?
CHRISTINE: (to Mary Beth) What about Maurice's crępes. (to Mrs. Skimmins) Do you like Belgian waffles?
BURKE: (truing to escort Mrs. Skimmins out) Ladies! Do you think we could discuss the menu on Monday?
MARY BETH: Monday.
CHRISTINE: See you then.
BURKE: And by the way, ...thanks.

[Courthouse corridor/staircase]

CHRISTINE: Oh, we did good.
MARY BETH: Yeah, we did good.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, you were wonderful with Mrs. Skimmins. Honest, I really admire the way you handle witnesses.
MARY BETH: Yeah? But you were the one who put the whole thing together, Christine.
CHRISTINE: So, we're a terrific team.
MARY BETH: This is true.
CHRISTINE: What do you think about going to a bar.
MARY BETH: What, you mean now?
CHRISTINE: What, you don't think Harvey'll let you?
MARY BETH: No, I was just thinking that I should study for tonight for the Sergeants' Exam.
CHRISTINE: Tonight! You've got six months!
MARY BETH: Oh, you'll probably study the night before and pass, won't you?
CR/MARY BETH: Probably.
(they laugh)
MARY BETH: I need six months, Christine!
CHRISTINE: No! Five months and twenty-nine days.
MARY BETH: Huh?
CHRISTINE: Tonight, what do you say we get drunk.
MARY BETH: OK.

[Bar]

(a crowd comes in from the theatre. The duo are well into the session)
CHRISTINE: Did you call Harvey and let him and...
MARY BETH: Harvey will live.
(they laugh)
MARY BETH: Harvey's all right. He's OK.
CHRISTINE: OK? Harvey's great. Let's toast Harvey.
(they raise their glasses)
MARY BETH: Harve.
CHRISTINE: The best man in America!
MARY BETH: Also he's my sweetheart!
CHRISTINE: Oh.
MARY BETH: OK. What about this Neal person?
CHRISTINE: Nothing.
MARY BETH: Nothing? You told me you'd talked to him.
CHRISTINE: I did. I talked to him this morning. He called me to tell me how much he likes me.
MARY BETH: Oh, that's not nothing. That's something!
CHRISTINE: Do you know why he likes me so much?
MARY BETH: Why?
CHRISTINE: I'm so easy to be around. I'm such an undemanding person. And I'm a has-been.
MARY BETH: I beg your pardon.
CHRISTINE: I'm a has-been. She's returned.
MARY BETH: Who?
CHRISTINE: His wife.
MARY BETH: She's returned?
(they giggle)
CHRISTINE: She needs constant watching. And I don't need any attention at all. He told me. ...Nothing.
MARY BETH: What a bastard. I hope you gave him a piece of your mind!
CHRISTINE: But it's not him. It's me.
MARY BETH: What do you mean 'It's not him'?
CHRISTINE: It isn't!
MARY BETH: It's not you. He's certainly not deserving of you, my partner! I don't want you to think that every man in the whole world is like that miserable heel. No. No, there's a good man out there for you. I know it.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, the truth is I wouldn't even know a good man if I run over him.
MARY BETH: Bad luck. You have bad luck.
CHRISTINE: No, it isn't bad luck. I pick them. Every single one of them. There's the rub. I chose them. It was me.
MARY BETH: That doesn't make sense!
CHRISTINE: It makes perfect sense, because if I chose them it puts all of the responsibility on to me to make a permanent commitment to any one of them.
MARY BETH: Well, hey! So? You're a person that wants to live alone. That's OK. Lots of people do that.
CHRISTINE: But that is not what I want. I don't want that. There's a part of me, a very big part of me that would like to have a husband and a baby, like you. And a family. Somebody that I can connect with. There's more than just me being all by myself. I'd be a very good mother!
MARY BETH: I know that.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth,...
MARY BETH: I know that!
CHRISTINE: No, I'd be a lousy mother. It probably wouldn't work. My kids would end up on the couch. Twenty years of therapy. Blaming me for everything. ...And what about being the first female Police Commissioner? How do you handle all of that? I don't know how you do it.
MARY BETH: I don't know either. It's very hard.
CHRISTINE: It's more than hard, it's impossible! There was a time when I thought I had it all figured out for myself. I did. I liked everything that I was. I just loved it. ...And then ...I didn't like anything that I had. I wanted everything new and everything different. I just don't know how to change it. I don't know what I want anymore. I'm very confused and I don't know how to change it.
MARY BETH: Well, I for one, am very proud of ya.
CHRISTINE: What?
MARY BETH: I'm proud of ya! I'm proud of you because you didn't sweep it under the rug. You let it out and you let it hit the air. You gave sound to the thought. Sound ...and air ...and then you can start to deal with it.
CHRISTINE: Today?
MARY BETH: Yeah! Oh, certainly!
CHRISTINE: Let's get another drink.
MARY BETH: OK!
(they get up and go to the bar)
CHRISTINE: (to a theatre goer) Excuse me. (she shouts over some of theatre crowd) Bartender, do that again.
(they move to a clear spot at the bar)
MARY BETH: Oh, I've gotta get something to eat, Christine, or I'm gonna be sick on the bar.
CHRISTINE: Are you gonna be sick?
MARY BETH: No, no. Let's call Harve. Let's call Harvey and invite him to come down and join us.
CHRISTINE: I love Harvey. (the drinks arrive) Right here. Thank you.
MARY BETH: So, what are you gonna do?
CHRISTINE: What am I gonna do about what?
MARY BETH: Well, I mean, what do you think?
CHRISTINE: About what?
MARY BETH: Your life.
CHRISTINE: Did you ever see "Gone with the Wind"?
MARY BETH: Certainly.
CHRISTINE: You remember Scarlett O'Hara?
MARY BETH: Certainly, but I don't give a damn.
CHRISTINE: That was Rhett Butler. Now Scarlett and me! I'm gonna think about it tomorrow.
(they chink glasses and giggle)

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