A Safe Place
Original Airdate: May 12, 1986

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Isbecki has his feet up studying a newspaper horoscope, Newman also has his feet up and is throwing paper darts, Petrie is reading a Jamaica brochure. Cagney has her shoes off)
CHRISTINE: (into phone) No, Dr. Stanley, not since your call this morning. ...Yes, Dr. Stanley. ...Mm hm. ...We still have the number at the university and the lab. ...Physics Department. Right. ...Right. ...Right! ...Goodbye, Dr. Stanley.
(she rings off)
CHRISTINE: Two days. His car was broken into and he can't understand why the police isn't public enemy number one.
MARY BETH: (looking at a newspaper) Christine, what do you think of this here? Special offer in Floral Park. Super clean four-bedroom, quote, needs a woman's loving touch to turn this house into a home, unquote. What do you think?
CHRISTINE: Special offer? I think that's real estate for falling apart.
MARY BETH: A hundred and sixty thousand dollars!
CHRISTINE: Hey, you get what you pay for, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: That's what I was hoping.
(her phone rings)
MARY BETH: (into phone) Detective Lacey, Fourteenth Squad. ...Oh! Hello, Mrs. Jacoby. Yes. This is perfect timing. ...Yeah, I was just looking through the latest listings. ...Fresh Meadows? ...Oh, we do know the neighbourhood. Yes.
(Chris throws down her pen and goes to the coffee table where Petrie and Isbecki are)
PETRIE: Victor, this is a second honeymoon. Cagney, what do you think?
CHRISTINE: A second honeymoon?!
CHRISTINE: Paradise Island in The Bahamas is very romantic. Scuba diving ain't bad either.
ISBECKI: I guess you're a water sign.
CHRISTINE: Excuse me?
ISBECKI: Your sign. Pisces, Scorpio, Cancer? Right?
CHRISTINE: Victor, you sound like a throwback to the single bars of the Seventies.
ISBECKI: Pisces or Scorpio. Aries get real cranky...
NEWMAN; (coming up to Petrie while Chris and Isbecki still chat) My younger sister is an Aries. My mother thinks she's a reincarnation of Ann Boleyn. So when is your birthday, Cagney?
CHRISTINE: When's yours, Newman?
NEWMAN; February third, nineteen fifty-eight.
PETRIE: Nineteen fifty-eight?! You're just out of the crèche, Newman.
(Petrie goes off)
NEWMAN; (to Chris) Oh, you have a birthday coming up pretty soon.
ISBECKI: Yeah, Cagney. When is your birthday? Exactly.
NEWMAN; Maybe I'll send you some flowers, Cagney.
CHRISTINE: (walking away) Be still, my heart.
COLEMAN: (coming in and holding up a sheet of paper) This isn't gonna make the front page, but considering how slow the week has been, I guess that something's better than nothing. Right?
CHRISTINE: (taking the sheet) Depends on who's offering?
COLEMAN: It's from the Sixty-one. For the attention of the Fourteenth Precinct.
MARY BETH: Sergeant, what you got?
COLEMAN: They're holding the suspect who was found with the goods.
CHRISTINE: What do ya know? Dr. Stanley got lucky.
COLEMAN: Yeah. The suspect didn't. He's in the Emergency Room at Sisters of Hope. Such a nice name for a hospital. It kind of uplifting, you know.

[Corridor at Sisters of Hope Hospital]

MARSHALL OWENS: Now we gave pursuit and this cowboy tried to outrun us. Now we were really travelling, when Mario Andretti failed to make a corner and wrapped himself around a telephone pole. Knocked himself out. The guy sitting next to him, a white male, jumps out of the passenger side and takes off like a bird.
CHRISTINE: A white male who takes off like a bird?
MARSHALL OWENS: He's nineteen, twenty. Medium build. Five feet eight. Light hair cut into shag. Real snappy dresser. Too dressy. Not my type.
MARY BETH: Pretty yuppy, the storeowner told us.
MARSHALL OWENS: Hey, isn't everybody?
CHRISTINE: Thank you, officer.
MARSHALL OWENS: (stopping Chris) Marshall G. Owens. Sorry, Sergeant, but your suspect is unconscious and currently undergoing medical testing. Now Dr. Giordano told us he'd let us know as soon as he's available for interrogation.
CHRISTINE: Well, until he lets us know, does any one have an ID on the...
MARSHALL OWENS: Jimmy Wilkins, aged eighteen, occupation student. We found a university ID card.
CHRISTINE: Stolen goods in the car?
MARSHALL OWENS: One small male suitcase. Sent to the police lab with a DD25A for analysis.
MARY BETH: Well, thank you very much, Officer Owens.
MARSHALL OWENS: We aim to please, ma'am.
CHRISTINE: We really appreciate it.
(Owens goes off)
MARY BETH: That's not much.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, What's the kid gonna do with this rubbish.
MARY BETH: No, I'm talking about the kid running out on his friend. When his buddy is hurt and all. It makes you wonder why he took out of there so fast.
CHRISTINE: He was just frightened. Probably got a yellow streak six feet long. Didn't wanna get nailed again, I guess.

[Locker room]

MARY BETH: So tonight Mrs. Jacoby is taking us to see this four bedroom, two and half bath. ...In Fresh Meadows. Which is really Flushing, but she says Fresh Meadows is more desirable. Did you ever hear that?
CHRISTINE: (looking at the corners of her eyes in her mirror) Ah, ah.
MARY BETH: Oh. Well, she said the owners are very motivated.
CHRISTINE: Can't sell the sucker, huh?
MARY BETH: She didn't say that exactly.
CHRISTINE: They just lowered the price?
MARY BETH: Ten thousand dollars, which is good for us, we figure.
CHRISTINE: You know, for such a terrific house, how are they having so having such a hard time unloading it? You ought to think about that. (inspecting her face closely) Mary Beth, ...do you think I'm getting crow's feet?
MARY BETH: You?! (looking over Chris's shoulder into the mirror) Course not.
CHRISTINE: You see, right here, under my eyes. See?
MARY BETH: (turning Chris's face towards) That was a laugh line.
CHRISTINE: I hate it when you're kind.
MARY BETH: You're cheerful tonight.
CHRISTINE: I don't mind crow's feet. I hate moles.
MARY BETH: I think you look very snazzy. ...Except for the wrinkles!
(Chris opens a small container and puts two dental bridges in her mouth and smiles)
CHRISTINE: What do you think? Younger?
MARY BETH: I thought you only wore those when you go to bed at night.
CHRISTINE: I thought wearing them might better my bite.
MARY BETH: Oh, Christine, I already thought your bite was fine. It's your bark that needs a little work. (Mary Beth leaves, laughing) Almost funny, Mary Beth. (sadly) Almost.

[Fresh Meadows house]

MRS. JACOBY: This is one of the loveliest options of the house. The all-purpose, fitted basement. solid linoleum floor. You've got a little guest bathroom.
MARY BETH: Oh, look, a marble sink unit.

[Manhattan street]

MARY BETH: ...And ...there is plenty of room for Harvey to build a patio in the backyard ...without hurting the maple tree. So we could barbeque for the Summer. Just like at Brian's house. Well not exactly like Brian's house because there's no pool. But there is a bathtub and a shower. And I'm not talking about a shower over the bath, I'm talking about a separate stall shower with these tiles, Christine, that, that are... And wait 'til you see ...the breakfast nook.
(Mary Beth giggles, Chris laughs)
CHRISTINE: I don't know, Mary Beth, this sounds like Fresh Meadows answer to the Palace of Versailles.
CHRISTINE: So you and Harvey gonna make an offer.
MARY BETH: We already did. (she starts to jump around and chatter excitedly and then stops) Wait! They might not accept. They could say 'No'. Or they could make a counter-offer, which they may do, because we came in under what they were at. On the other hand, like Mrs. Jacoby says, these owners are very...
MARY BETH/CHRISTINE: ...motivated.

[Dr. Giordano's office]

DR. GIORDANO: We've got kind of an unusual situation here.
MARY BETH: We understand that Mr. Wilkins is still in a very serious condition, Doctor.
DR. GIORDANO: Yes. Well, ...more serious than we thought.
CHRISTINE: He has regained consciousness.
DR. GIORDANO: Briefly. But he went out again about an hour ago. I went over the lab tests with Pathology to make sure we didn't make any mistakes. They say there's no chance of an error.
MARY BETH: The nurse says he has a cerebral haemorrhage.
DR. GIORDANO: Inoperable. Yes, but that's a small deal compared to this baby. Wilkins has plutonium in his bloodstream.
DR. GIORDANO: The man's radioactive. I'd sure like to know how he got that way.

[University room]

DR. STANLEY: (coming in with the duo and closing the door) We can't talk out there. It'd disturb my colleagues.
CHRISTINE: Well, Dr. Stanley, I can understand why they'd be disturbed.
MARY BETH: We're here about the burglary, my partner and me.
DR. STANLEY: Did you find my suitcase?
CHRISTINE: Yes, we did. The thieves had broken into it and ...those papers, your vital papers that you were so concerned about. They're gone.
MARY BETH: And guess what the pathologist did find when he examined that suitcase of yours in the lab.
CHRISTINE: It's contaminated with plutonium! ...So is the kid that stole it.
MARY BETH: Dr. Stanley, you neglected to tell us you were transporting plutonium.
DR. STANLEY: I put it in a regulation type D lead vial. I took every precaution.
CHRISTINE: There are Federal Statutes, Doctor, controlling the transportation of hazardous materials.
DR. STANLEY: Have you got any idea of the kind of red-tape that I'd have to put up with to get government clearance? I'm already behind schedule and I can't afford that. I'm up for my grant renewal.
CHRISTINE: I don't care if you're up for a Nobel Prize, there is missing plutonium somewhere around here because of you.
DR. STANLEY: How the hell am I supposed to know that my car's gonna get broken into! Five minutes, that's all I left it. ...Five minutes.
(there is a model of a satellite on a table)

[Precinct House front desk]

MARY BETH: The man is a physicist. You'd think he should have known better..
CHRISTINE: (looking through the door window into the Squad room) Thing's are picking up.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(there is a large bowl of flowers on Chris's desk)
MARY BETH: Oh, indeed, I guess it is!
NEWMAN: Looks like someone beat me to it, Sergeant.
MARY BETH: I bet they're from David. (looking at the label which Chris has read) Oh, isn't that lovely.
NEWMAN: (looking at the label) 'Happy birthday, love Brian'?
CHRISTINE: Shift off, Newman!
NEWMAN: That's sweet. Who is Brian?
ISBECKI: Some guy who likes to throw his money around to impress women. Who needs 'em?
NEWMAN: Come on, Cagney, what's he got that I don't? Sure he's not married with a sweet looking blonde on the sly?
MARY BETH: Hey, that's no way to be talking about Christine's big brother.
NEWMAN: Brian is your big brother?!
CHRISTINE: (going back to her desk) Excuse me, Victor!.
NEWMAN: Do you use computer-dating services, Cagney?
CHRISTINE: (picking up the bowl and taking it to be watered) Out of my face, OK?
NEWMAN: I love the heat of a woman's anger, don't you, Victor?

[Manhattan street]

(Chris is carrying the bowl of flowers)
MARY BETH: I didn't like to say anything before.
MARY BETH: Are you and David celebrating tonight?
CHRISTINE: David's back on Thursday.
MARY BETH: Are you and David celebrating Thursday night?
CHRISTINE: No, Mary Beth, we are not. David doesn't know it's my birthday.
MARY BETH: Oh, Christine, I know you're shy about your birthday. I...
CHRISTINE: I'm not shy about it! I just figured telling him is a big deal. I mean, it's not really that big a deal.
MARY BETH: You are sounding like you're over the hill because you are gonna be thirty-nine years old.
CHRISTINE: I'm not over the hill! On the other hand, I'm a wing and a prayer from getting a pretty good view.
MARY BETH: You're thinking pretty old-fashioned here, Christine. Do you know that all the magazine articles say that a woman doesn't even start her prime until she's forty years old? And all of the primary references say exactly the same thing. And take a look at them. Linda Evans is forty-three years old. That's four years older than you.
CHRISTINE: All right, Mary Beth!!!
MARY BETH: Just look at Lena Horne. I mean, the thing I love about birthdays is that it's a kind of a once a year time when your whole passes before your eyes.
CHRISTINE: Just like people who are drowning.

[Samuels' office]

SAMUELS: And Agent Hornby would like to assist us in every way possible.
HORNBY: Any plutonium theft, of course, always falls under Federal jurisdiction. Normally we work in conjunction with NEST.
HORNBY: Nuclear Emergency Search Team. But according to the documentation that you brought back certifying a small amount of plutonium missing, I think we can handle this among ourselves, don't you?
CHRISTINE: No doubt in my mind.
MARY BETH: We'll do our best, sir.
HORNBY: (to each of them) Good. Good. We'd like to take advantage of the expertise of the local police department. No question you have information sources we don't.
CHRISTINE: I can't argue with that.
HORNBY: As Lieutenant Samuels knows, we like to maintain a very low profile. I prefer to work ...behind the scenes, as discreetly as possible.
SAMUELS: We know that, Agent Hornby. We've all worked with Federal Agents before.
MARY BETH: Sir, exactly how are you going to assist us, ...sir?
HORNBY: I will observe and analyse your investigation, making pertinent suggestions when necessary.
CHRISTINE: What you're saying is you want us to be your beaters?
HORNBY: That's one way of looking at it, Sergeant er...
HORNBY: Of course. I won't forget that again.
SAMUELS: (sensing some tension) I think we all understand each other here. Now...
HORNBY: (after a pause) Presuming these thieves didn't know what they had...
MARY BETH: Excuse me, sir, but we figure they must have. From the papers that Dr. Stanley said were in the suitcase.
CHRISTINE: Why else would his partner have grabbed the vial when he was being chased by two cops.
HORNBY: Then you better find his accomplice and find out what he intended to do with it.

[Detectives' Squad room]

CHRISTINE: Pertinent suggestions. Give me a break!
MARY BETH: Christine, he might turn out to be very helpful here. How many cases have we had like this?
CHRISTINE: So it's missing plutonium. So what?! It's the same procedures. Don't let him intimidate you, Mary Beth.
(her phone rings)
MARY BETH: (into phone) Detective Lacey, Fourteenth. ...Yes, Dr. Giordano.

[Corridor at Sisters of Hope Hospital]

(the duo is wearing special gowns and gloves)
DR. GIORDANO: He's conscious but he's still in critical condition. You're gonna have to make it brief.
MARY BETH: The plutonium poisoning made his condition a lot worse, huh?
DR. GIORDANO: No, not yet. It moves a lot slower than that. But with the kind of dosage he had the plutonium will catch up with him all right.
CHRISTINE: Is it fatal?
DR. GIORDANO: We're talking lung cancer first anyway. Maybe bone cancer too. First his weight will drop, then he'll start coughing blood.
CHRISTINE: Do you have any idea how he contacted this plutonium?
DR. GIORDANO: He snorted it.
DR. GIORDANO: A silvery white powder, he said. I guess he was already coked up when he tried it. The ultimate high, huh? His family's in there with him now.
(the duo looks through the window and then puts on masks. Later they come out and dispose of the special clothing in a bin outside the door)
CHRISTINE: Now we know who we're looking for. One, Dan Gorham. Drop out student and aspiring plutonium dealer.
MARY BETH: Oh, I don't know, Christine, about Gorham selling the stuff.
CHRISTINE: From what that kid said about Gorham, the guy could sell anything. He was on his way to do it before the car crash. If he was dead, I don't think he'd mind.
MARY BETH: How do you figure that, Chris? Those people there, they care about their son. Anybody can see that. What makes a boy with everything start breaking into cars?
CHRISTINE: Easy money.
MARY BETH: Easy money?! What did he need? The privileges he was born with. And he threw it away. He didn't care. I hate it when people don't care.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Chris and Mary Beth are both making phone calls)
MARY BETH: (into phone) Dan Gorham's brother says that you and he used to be his roommates.
CHRISTINE: (into phone) I already spoke to the Bureau of Radiation Control. They told me that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission...
MARY BETH: (into hone) Thank you very much.
(Mary Beth rings off)
CHRISTINE: (into phone) I do understand it's after hours but it's crit... ...Hello!
(Chris puts down the receiver)
CHRISTINE: Do you have anything on Gorham?
MARY BETH: The parents said they didn't know many of his friends. They said he started running around with a different crowd. They thought maybe he was dealing dope.
CHRISTINE: No, just plutonium. Bigger profit.
MARY BETH: You don't know that.
CHRISTINE: I don't know a damn thing, Mary Beth! How am I supposed to find if a guy can sell this stuff if the government agencies won't give me a straight answer!
MARY BETH: Well, what about that person from the Department of Health who said they'd call you back?
CHRISTINE: Oh, she said, all I have to do is fill out a forty-nine with my superior officer, and then I can submit my questions in writing. And after I do that, they'll get back to us. I wish we talking dealers, sources. At least we'd know where to start.
(Lynne Sutter comes in)
LYNNE SUTTER: Well, burning the midnight oil tonight, Detectives.
MARY BETH: Hi ya, Lynne. I see that reporters can't keep decent hours either.
LYNNE SUTTER: Certainly not when we're trying to get a line on how some small-time thief got himself contaminated with plutonium.
CHRISTINE: Contaminated with what?
LYNNE SUTTER: Come on, Cagney. I've got very reliable sources. (looking at Mary Beth) I understand the plutonium is still missing. (Mary Beth gets up to walk away) Detective Lacey, if there's missing plutonium out there. The people in this city need to know about it.
MARY BETH: Surely you know better than to ask us to comment on an ongoing investigation.
LYNNE SUTTER: I'm talking about more than some poor guy like Wilkins who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets himself exposed to this stuff. (Mary Beth sits down again) Do you have any idea what you've got? Look, I'm quoting here. 'There's a shortage of plutonium available for construction of nuclear warheads'. That tells me there's quite a buyer's market out there. You've got your major powers. You've got your terrorists. You've got your enterprising extortionists. Maybe your crazy college kid with a genius IQ.
CHRISTINE: I think you've been watching too many James Bond movies, Sutter.
LYNNE SUTTER: Do you know how much plutonium ends up being unaccounted for every year?
CHRISTINE: I'm sure you're going to tell us.
LYNNE SUTTER: I wish I could. I'm a hotshot reporter with a major metropolitan newspaper and I can't get the facts. Nobody is talking. Now this stuff ends up somewhere. I'd sure like to know where, wouldn't you?
CHRISTINE: Great, Sutter. Why don't you go on and save the world and just let us do our job?
LYNNE SUTTER: From what the doctor told me about radiation, Wilkins was lucky. He didn't make it.
MARY BETH: (as Lynne Sutter gets up to leave) What are you talking about?
LYNNE SUTTER: He died. ...An hour ago.
CHRISTINE: (as Mary Beth picks up the phone) Why the hell weren't we notified?!
LYNNE SUTTER: Well, maybe you should get permission from the Federal authorities to check it out, Sergeant. From what I hear, they're the ones running the case so far.
(she leaves)

[Samuels' office]

MARY BETH: Agent Hornby, we did not give any information to the Press.
HORNBY: So, where did the leak come from? You and your partner both listed plutonium contamination on the original sixty-one. So obviously the Press has an informant on the NYPD payroll.
SAMUELS: I'd like to know your source to make that assumption.
HORNBY: Then where did the leak come from?
CHRISTINE: How about the hospital. The Press knew about Wilkins' death before we did, for crying out loud!
HORNBY: I don't have time for conjecture, I'm looking for results!
CHRISTINE: You want results? Good idea! So why don't you use some of that Federal clout of yours to get us into the Nuclear Regulatory Commission?
HORNBY: And I thought you had everything under control, Sergeant. Guess not. I'll get us an appointment this afternoon. Lieutenant, please impress upon your detectives the requirements of the Agency. No problems, no publicity. Otherwise we'll have to re-examine our cooperation with the NYPD.
SAMUELS: Agent Hornby, let me impress upon you, that my detectives know how to do the job.
(Hornby leaves and slams the door)
CHRISTINE: You told him, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: Isn't there some place you have to go, Sergeant?

[Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting room]

MRS. DELICATH: If people would just inform themselves, they wouldn't be nearly so intimidated by nuclear technology.
CHRISTINE: That's exactly what we're trying to do.
MARY BETH: You were telling us about the er, plutonium 238, Mrs. Delicath.
MRS. DELICATH: In simple terms, it's primarily used to power satellites.
CHRISTINE: In simple terms, what would be the market for this kind of plutonium?
MRS. DELICATH: It beats me. It's not weapons-grade. All it's good for is research.
CHRISTINE: Not nuclear research?!
MRS. DELICATH: Not in this country.
CHRISTINE: Other countries then?
MRS. DELICATH: Not officially.
CHRISTINE: How about unofficially?
HORNBY: The way my people work is, we like to focus on the immediate facts of this case. Let's not get into some long-term speculation.
MARY BETH: I would like to hear what Mrs. Delicath has to say, sir.
MRS. DELICATH: Look, it's no secret, there are a number foreign nations eager to expand their knowledge of nuclear technology.
CHRISTINE: Build their own bomb, you mean?
MRS. DELICATH: Mm. It stands to reason. They'd be in the market for any plutonium they could buy. By the time they find out it isn't weapons-grade, it's too late for a refund.
HORNBY: We're going off in a direction that's very unlikely.
CHRISTINE: But the plutonium 238 itself is harmless?
MRS. DELICATH: I wouldn't say that. Accidents could happen if the wrong people got hold of it.
MARY BETH: The wrong people?
MRS. DELICATH: Terrorists. Even this kind of plutonium could be added to a standard TNT bomb to engineer some sort of radioactive fallout. (Hornby gets up) All sorts of possibilities come into mind.
HORNBY: We really don't have time for this kind of speculation.
MRS. DELICATH: (getting up) You come in here taking my time, Agent Hornby. I am not going to sugar coat the facts to make them go down easier.

[Manhattan street]

(it is night time)
CHRISTINE: Pounding the pavement with Hornby breathing down our neck and not a damn thing to show for it.
MARY BETH: Let's go over it again.
CHRISTINE: And he blamed rogue papers for the publicity on Wilkins' death, driving Gorham into the woodwork. Hell, it should be driving him to a hospital to find out whether or not he's contaminated!
MARY BETH: Well, Wilkins said he was the only one that snorted the stuff. Quote, Gorham started to touch the vial, but he changed his mind and went and washed his hands, unquote.
CHRISTINE: You see, that's what I'm talking about. He knew enough to be scared. What he doesn't know is how much of that stuff he's been exposed to.
MARY BETH: So if he thinks that Wilkins died because of the contamination, then he should be trying to ...get help.
CHRISTINE: Tomorrow we start checking Emergency Rooms.
MARY BETH: (looking at her watch) Yeah, tomorrow.

[Fish and chip bar]

(there is a balloon floating, attached to the table)
CHARLIE: I brought you here for the best fish and chips in Coney Island, not corn dogs.
CHRISTINE: It's my party.
CHARLIE: (laughing) Do you know how many times you used to ask me to bring you down here on your birthday when you were a kid?
CHARLIE: After we finish, we'll go over to Maurie's and shoot a few games of pool.
CHRISTINE: Maurie's?
CHRISTINE: I didn't know that was open anymore!
CHARLIE: Are you kidding?! Maurie's, where I taught you to shoot pool! Come on, it hasn't been that many years.
CHRISTINE: ...It seems like it sometimes.
CHARLIE: Rough week at work?
CHRISTINE: It's not an easy case.
CHARLIE: Can't Samuels give you some backup?
CHRISTINE: The backup I have, I'd like to get rid of. ...It's not so simple anymore. Wanna take a walk?
CHARLIE: Yeah, yeah. Sure.
(they clear their trash into a bin and walk out. Charlie is holding the balloon)
CHRISTINE: It's not like the good old days, Charlie, when you used to bring me down here.
CHARLIE: Oh, honey, it wasn't simple then either. You were just a kid, that's all, and didn't know any better. Now that you're grown up it's a whole different world.
CHRISTINE: Yeah. Sure feels that way.
CHARLIE: Hey! (giving her the balloon) Happy birthday, babe.
CHRISTINE: Thank you, Charlie.

[Coney Island boardwalk]

(Chris and Charlie are strolling along. Kids are boogying. Charlie has his arm round Chris. Chris is hiding her face)
CHARLIE: Are you ready?
CHARLIE: Here we are. (Charlie suddenly stops. They are faced by a gaming arcade) I don't believe it! When did they put that thing in here? Oh, you must be disappointed, Chris.
CHRISTINE: I don't know, Charlie. It's the only way the place can keep up with the times. I'll tell you what. I'll challenge you to a game of Pacman!
CHARLIE: Hey, there's my birthday girl. You're on! What the hell is Pacman?
CHRISTINE: I'll show you.

[Lacey's lounge/kitchen]

MARY BETH: I'm gonna go and check on the baby.
HARVEY: Honey, she just got to sleep.
MARY BETH: I wanna be sure she didn't ruck up the bedclothes.
HARVEY: Sweetheart!
MARY BETH: I'll be very quiet.
HARVEY: Hey, Mike! I said 'bed' ten minutes ago. Harvey, TV time's over.
HARVEY JR.: Oh, it was a lousy programme anyway.
MICHAEL: Don't be a hard case, Harvey.
HARVEY: (to Michael, giving a kiss on the top of his head) Goodnight, sweetheart.
MARY BETH: (coming back) So peaceful. It's amazing the way she can shut the whole world out. (embracing and kissing Michael) Goodnight, sweetheart.
HARVEY: (to Harvey Jr.) Hey! Wanna say goodnight to your mother?
MARY BETH: (embracing him. He's now taller than her) What is it? Because you're sixteen, you're too big to kiss your mother goodnight?
HARVEY JR.: (trying to escape) Sorry, Mom.
MARY BETH: (pulling him back into the embrace) Come here!
HARVEY JR.: Goodnight.
(Harvey Jr. follows Michael to bed)
MARY BETH: I thought that once we started house hunting, he'd feel happier and stop moping.
HARVEY: Before there was only two. Now there are three of 'em.
MARY BETH: It's gonna be hard for him, Harvey. Having to transfer schools and make new friends.
HARVEY: Mary Beth, I went to four different schools. Each time I made it work. Harvey will too.
MARY BETH: You're always reading those ...news magazines.
MARY BETH: I don't know anybody that pays more attention to that stuff than you do. ...Harvey, ...before I started working on this case that I'm working on, do you remember ever reading anything about there being plutonium missing?
HARVEY: What do you mean by 'missing'?
MARY BETH: What do you mean I mean by 'missing'.? Gone! Lost! Not there for bed check when they lock up at night.
HARVEY: Yeah, I think I might have heard something like that before.
MARY BETH: You might have?! Does that make you a little nervous, Harvey?
HARVEY: Mary Beth, it doesn't do any good to think about that kind of stuff.
MARY BETH: Well, I wish I didn't have to think about some of things I heard about today, but it doesn't make it go away.
HARVEY: Mary Beth, the government ...and the scientists, they are the ones running the show. People like you and me, we don't have a thing to say about it.
MARY BETH: Harvey, you don't really believe that.
HARVEY: You know, they may have kept the genie in the bottle for this long? They can't do it forever though.
MARY BETH: Well, what the heck does that mean?!! You and I are making a new home for our family! I'm planning on a future!
HARVEY: Mary Beth, we are all sitting ducks. If somebody presses the wrong button... It is a fact of life, just like babies being born. You've just gotta learn to live with it, the way it was soldiers fought the wars. Today ...every body's a target. Men, ...women, ...kids. It doesn't matter. The big balloon goes up. it's all over.
MARY BETH: Well, that's terrific, Harvey. With the big balloon out there, why do we bother getting up tomorrow morning?!
HARVEY: You're gonna wake up the baby.
MARY BETH: We may as well give up right now.
HARVEY: Will you calm down about this?
MARY BETH: The way you tell it, we might as well put our hands over our heads, bend over and kick Fresh Meadows good bye!! Go in there and tell that to your brand new baby daughter!!!
(Alice cries)
HARVEY: I told ya.
(Alice begins to scream)

[Manhattan street]

(Hornby is striding along. Mary Beth is having trouble keeping up)
CHRISTINE: I'm telling ya, this is our best shot.
HORNBY: We've covered every Emergency Room from The Bowery to Washington Heights, and there's nobody that comes close to Gorham's description.
MARY BETH: We've still got the West Side to cover, sir.
HORNBY: Not on my time! Ladies, it isn't working!
CHRISTINE: So what? We go back and show Gorham's picture to every damn critter on 42nd Street?
HORNBY: Your reliable informants, Sergeant. Let's see how reliable they are.
CHRISTINE: Our informants are do not know the true value of plutonium. They don't even know what plutonium is.
HORNBY: I'm not interested in a wild goose chase here.
CHRISTINE: You're not interested in anything!
HORNBY: Sergeant, if your local resources keep coming up dry, it might be time to take a new approach, ...with a new team.

[Samuels' office]

CHRISTINE: Do you love it? We do all the legwork, and he takes the credit with the Brass in Washington!
SAMUELS: No one's gonna take any credit for anything until we find Gorham.
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
CHRISTINE: With the publicity on Wilkins death, I was sure that he...
SAMUELS: Publicity on Wilkins? You know, Cagney, that's where we've gone wrong! It should be targeted at Gorham!
MARY BETH: If he didn't care about his buddy, then Gorham might come falling out of the woodwork if he thought that he was the one that was contaminated.
CHRISTINE: So I think that it is our duty to alert Gorham that he should definitely seek medical attention. The six o'clock news and every newspaper. As soon as possible.
SAMUELS: Hey, hey, what did I start here?
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant! We're using the Press to smoke out a perp. You said it! We've done it before.
MARY BETH: Not when the Federal authorities have instructed us to keep a low profile.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, Hornby has been using the Fourteenth like errand boys. Coming in here, running us around, telling us what to do.
SAMUELS: Cagney! Come on. You're a professional. When are you finally gonna learn that you have got to work with the powers that be?
SAMUELS: Well, Lieutenant, you said it. He could steal a car from us anytime he wanted.
SAMUELS: Yeah, he can do that.
MARY BETH: Sir, I think that Lynne Sutter may be interested in helping us here.
SAMUELS: You think so, huh?
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
SAMUELS: Hornby's worrying about a Press leak. I'll give him a Press leak!
(Samuels picks up the phone)
MARY BETH: Five-five-five, two-four-two-four, ...sir.

[Detectives' Squad room]

CHRISTINE: What time have do you have?
MARY BETH: Six minutes later than the last time you asked me.
CHRISTINE: That late edition came out three hours ago.
MARY BETH: Well, what do you wanna do? Do you wanna notify all the cynics and all the others again?
CHRISTINE: Why don't you go on home. I'll call you if something comes in.
MARY BETH: No, I told Harvey it would be late night when he called. He sounded so anxious, that's all.
CHRISTINE: So go home!
MARY BETH: This case is as important to me as it is to you, Sergeant.
CHRISTINE: It's silly for the two of us to be sitting around here waiting like this.
MARY BETH: Well, you go home!
CHRISTINE: You're so stuck.
MARY BETH: Look who's talking.
CHRISTINE: I'll tell you what. I'll flip a coin. Heads I stay, tails you stay. All right?
MARY BETH: All right.
(Chris flips the coin)
MARY BETH: (looking at the coin) Does that mean I stay?
CHRISTINE: No, it means you go.
MARY BETH: Christine?
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, Harvey's waiting. This is your Sergeant speaking!
MARY BETH: It's a fix, it is.
CHRISTINE: Nobody said life was fair, Mary Beth.

[Laceys' lounge/kitchen]

(Mary Beth comes in. Harvey is standing with two glasses of wine)
HARVEY: Congratulations, Mrs. Lacey. Let me be the first to welcome you to your new residence in Fresh Meadows.
MARY BETH: (gobsmacked) We got the house?
HARVEY: I made 'em an offer they couldn't refuse.
MARY BETH: Oh, Harvey, I can't believe it.
HARVEY: Oh, baby.
MARY BETH: (as Harvey embraces her) I can't believe it. Our own home.
HARVEY: Our own house. Do you know what Mrs. Jacoby calls it? (as they turn slowly round on the spot) She calls it an investment in our future. ...Our future, Mary Beth. (handing her a glass) Here's to our future. (she starts to cry) Do you know what the first thing that I am gonna build, Mary Beth. I am gonna build a backyard barbeque. And then, and then I am gonna build a tree house for Michael. And then I am gonna build a sandbox for Alice.
MARY BETH: How did Harvey Jr. deal with the news?
HARVEY: Not terrific. (taking her glass) In fact, I think he would probably be glad to see his mother right now.

[The boys bedroom]

(Mary Beth knocks and comes in. Michael is asleep. Harvey Jr. is sitting up in bed with earphones on. Mary Beth gestures for him to take tem off)
MARY BETH: You'll break your eardrums listening to that stuff.
HARVEY JR.: I'll survive.
MARY BETH: You'll survive starting a new school too. We are not going to be that far away. You can invite your old friends over anytime you want.
HARVEY JR.: It's not the same! Mom, I don't care about a new house. I don't care if I have to share my room with Michael. Why do we have to move?
MARY BETH: Because we want something better.
HARVEY JR.: Yeah. What if you and Dad hate the neighbours? What if the house starts falling apart? What if...
MARY BETH: I just think that when you want something very badly, you have to take risks. And you don't know if everything is gonna turn out to be the way you want. And that's a scary thing. You don't know. But you can't let that stop you. I think that if you want something badly enough, you have too try things. And hope and trust that they turn out to be all right.
HARVEY JR.: It's not gonna be all right, I know it.
MARY BETH: Hey, I know that everything does not have a happy ending. But I think we have to believe in it anyway. And how else could we go on if we don't believe that everything's gonna be OK?
(there is a knock at the door)
HARVEY: I'm sorry to interrupt. Chris said it's urgent.
MARY BETH: Thanks.
MARY BETH: (to Harvey Jr.) It's our family, Harvey. We have too much at stake for any one of us to let the other ones down. It's gonna be a big change. But to make it work, we all have to commit to it, Harve. You're in this too. It's up to you too. ...Be strong, baby.

[Laceys' kitchen/Detectives' Squad room]

(Mary Beth picks up the phone)
MARY BETH: Yeah. Did you get anything?
CHRISTINE: Peoples Free Clinic on West 23rd Street, Mary Beth. A nineteen year-old fitting Dan Gorham's description. Currently undergoing lab tests for plutonium poisoning. I'm having Uniforms bring him in.
MARY BETH: You better call Hornby....Chris?
(she rings off and toasts with Harvey)
MARY BETH: Good luck.
HARVEY: And you.

[Interview room]

(Hornby is there)
GORHAM: I'm not saying anything until I get the results of those lab tests. (the duo looks at him) Hey, I touched that damn vial too, you know!
MARY BETH: You didn't snort the plutonium. According to the doctor you're safe enough.
CHRISTINE: Where is it?
GORHAM: Hey, you're welcome to another body search, ladies.
CHRISTINE: You think you're real smart, don't you, Gorham? A lot smarter than the other punks that get in here. Right?! ...Because you've got a couple of semesters at college under you're belt? ...Because your parents have a fancy address in Scarsdale and they're real proud of their son, the thief!
MARY BETH: Yeah, a thief is one thing, but he runs out on his pal.
CHRISTINE: Dan boy here doesn't care. He's got the plutonium. You can get a lot more money for that than you can for fencing car stereos. Right kid?
MARY BETH: Yeah, and that way he doesn't have to split the profits with poor dumb Jimmy.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, that was real convenient that that car crashed right against your buddy. No wonder you left him there to die.
GORHAM: Hey, I couldn't help him!
MARY BETH: Did you try? (Gorham can't answer that. Mary Beth pushes his face) Ever think of what plutonium could be used for? How many people can be hurt? One person died already. (to Chris) He can't wait to be responsible for more.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, but you're a lot smarter than this, Gorham. Stealing plutonium is a Federal offence, unless, of course, you like the idea of sitting on your butt for the next twenty years in a Federal penitentiary!
GORHAM: (after a long pause) What's in it for me?
MARY BETH: Less time, maybe.
GORHAM: That's not enough.
CHRISTINE: You help us. We'll let you know what we can do for you.
GORHAM: I already sold it.
MARY BETH: Who did you sell it to?
GORHAM: A guy. A buddy of mine set me up for it. He said he could move it to some overseas contact.
CHRISTINE: Where did you set up the deal?
GORHAM: The guy's office. Er, Queens.
MARY BETH: Where in Queens?

[Office in Queens]

(the desk is empty. The furniture is piled up)
LANDLORD: There ain't been nobody in this place in over six months.
HORNBY: Looks it.
GORHAM: I told you the place was a dump. But this was where I met the guy. I swear it!
(the landlord pulls up the blind. It falls straight back down)
LANDLORD: Damn thing. Brand new. Lousy fitting. You can't trust nobody nowadays.

[Samuels' office]

MARY BETH: We think that Gorham is telling the truth, sir.
CHRISTINE: He's too smart to lead us down the garden path when his tail's on the line.
SAMUELS: So the landlord is lying?
MARY BETH: Maybe. Maybe not. The man that Gorham met could have been a former tenant. Could have been a friend of a tenant with a key.
CHRISTINE: Forensics have already dusted for prints, Lieutenant. They must have come up with something.
HORNBY: I've already ordered the results on to Washington. We've done all we can here, Lieutenant.
HORNBY: My people are prepared to assume full authority on this.
CHRISTINE: You can't do that!!!
SAMUELS: Cagney.
SAMUELS: Cagney, please. Hornby. I think our detectives have got a handle on this now.
CHRISTINE: You're damn right we do!
HORNBY: What the hell are you talking about. This case gets more out of control by the minute. Thanks to the NYPD, last night the Gorham case was a headline story on every newscast in the City.
SAMUELS: (getting up) Hornby! In my judgement that was the right decision.
CHRISTINE: Worked, didn't it?
HORNBY: A delicate case like this requires sensitivity and discretion. There's certain information the public can't deal with.
MARY BETH: What information is that, Agent Hornby?
CHRISTINE: I think there's something else bothering Agent Hornby. Like the fact that the plutonium is still missing! That's gotta be embarrassing, isn't it?
HORNBY: (holding out his hand) Thank you, Lieutenant, for your cooperation in this case. I assure you it will remain high on our priority list.
MARY BETH: (stopping him as he goes to leave) So how long before somebody sells that plutonium to the highest bidder?
HORNBY: Detective Lacey, this really isn't really your problem.
MARY BETH: It isn't my problem? Dan Gorham fenced that poison twenty-eight blocks from my home! What the hell do you mean, 'It's not my problem'?!
HORNBY: This is exactly the kind of attitude that breeds over-reaction. Getting emotional over...
MARY BETH: Well, somebody better get emotional because we're talking people's lives here!
HORNBY: I assure you, Detective, this will be handled by experts. In these kinds of cases, they'll keep it under control. Now if you'll just step aside and let us get on with our work.
MARY BETH: I don't believe you, Hornby, not any more. (as Hornby walks out) You're not going to do a damn thing about it, but I am. (shouting after him) I'm gonna do something about it!!!
MARY BETH: Lieutenant, I'm sorry, but there's craziness out there and nobody's doing anything about it, because somebody else is supposed to be in charge!
SAMUELS: Right, we'll monitor this case as best as we can. I promise you that we're not gonna forget it.
MARY BETH: I'm not only talking about this case, sir. ...I don't know what I'm gonna do. But I'm gonna find out. (to Chris) I'm gonna find out what to do.
COLEMAN: (coming in and talking to Samuels) Er, excuse me, Lieutenant, there's a parcel outside for Sergeant Cagney.
CHRISTINE: Oh, I'll get it later, Coleman.
COLEMAN: Er, it requires your signature, Cagney.
CHRISTINE: (going out) Excuse me.
(Coleman gives Mary Beth a nod)

[Detectives' Squad room]

(as Chris walks across the room, Isbecki brings a man in a long raincoat in to face her. All the Squad detectives gather round)
SINGING TELEGRAM: Sergeant Christine Cagney?
SINGING TELEGRAM: Detectives Newman, Isbecki, Petrie, Corassa and Sergeant Coleman asked that I give you the following message.
ISBECKI: (as he and Newman push a chair under her) You better sit down for this one, Serge.
SINGING TELEGRAM: (bringing out a flower from behind his back) Happy birthday, baby! (putting on a white top hat and taking off the raincoat to reveal a white tails suit) I'm your Mr. Wonderful! (bursting into song) A cowboy in love on the prairie of life. (Mary Beth and Samuels come out of the office. The singer gets Chris up to dance with him) Under the stars...
CORASSA: (to Newman) Who did this?
NEWMAN: Isbecki. He even wrote the lyrics.
SINGING TELEGRAM: (leaning her backwards) Happy birthday to you!
(there is general applause. The singer sits Chris back down. She taps him on the head with the flower as he goes down on one knee)
ISBECKI: (presenting her with a cupcake with a single candle on it) Happy birthday.
(Chris smiles broadly as the applause resumes)


MARY BETH: (taking a large potted plant out of a bag with a card on it) It's called an agave plant. A K A a Century plant. I first saw it when Harvey took me and the boys to the Botanical Gardens a couple of weeks ago. And the special thing about this plant is that it blooms only once in twenty years.
CHRISTINE: Well, it's something to look forward to. (acknowledging the card) Thank you.
MARY BETH: I'll get you something grand, you know, for next year, the big four-oh. (Chris puts the flower shaped gift ribbon on her head) But anyway, for now, here's to your thirty-ninth birthday. (raising her glass) Long may she reign.
CHRISTINE: Forty years old, Mary Beth.
CHRISTINE: This is my fortieth.
(Chris takes the flower shaped gift ribbon off her head)
MARY BETH: Oh, no, Christine. I distinctly remember last year when I took you to that Chinese restaurant. Some place between the egg rolls and the Moo Shu pork, you told me you were thirty-eight.
MARY BETH: You lied!
CHRISTINE: Well, it was a white lie. There wasn't very much point... I was sort of ...kidding you along.
MARY BETH: For one year! Well, it's not as if you were twenty-nine. Or thirty-five even. For one year, you lied!
CHRISTINE: I didn't lie! It wasn't a lie. It was an omission. Besides, at my age, every year counts.
MARY BETH: Yeah, I guess so. And what are you coming clean now for?
CHRISTINE: I don't know. (breaking into a laugh) It's a sign of maturity, I guess.
MARY BETH: (laughing) Forty, huh? (indicating the dental bridges) Those do make you look younger.
CHRISTINE: Yep. Well, believe me, Mary Beth, I'm in my prime. Probably should start acting like it, huh? (as Mary Beth raises her glass again) Thank you. ...I don't know, Mary Beth. The Saturdays are going by faster than they used to.
CHRISTINE: Well, when I was a kid, I hated going to school on my birthday. So I counted ahead to see which years my birthday would land on a Saturday. Seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first. And the next one coming up'll be my forty-second. It's not so far away. I like Saturdays. Must make more of them.
MARY BETH: Me too.
CHRISTINE: Here's to your new house, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Yeah. (raising her glass) And to more Saturdays, Christine.

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