Description

“Cagney & Lacey” was always a synthesis of three elements: reinventing the crime show for two female cops who had different workplace conflicts and issues than their male counterparts; creating compelling, dramatic and compulsively watchable crime investigations; and depicting themes of larger social issues touched off by incidents in the investigations themselves. At its best, the series perfectly weighed these three elements. In Season 5, the producers, writers and actors truly mastered this balancing act. Without sacrificing fast-paced detective drama, this season relied even more on ongoing story arcs than previous seasons. Lacey is forced to take maternity leave (“Power”). This leads to a number of episodes about Lacey dealing with a gung-ho temporary partner who takes her zeal for justice too far into vigilantism (“Rebukes”). Lacey gives birth to her daughter Alice in “Family Connections”; and her estranged father comes to see his granddaughter in “Post Partum”. The most controversial episode of Season 5 dealt with the bombing of an abortion clinic (“The Clinic”); a number of affiliate stations refusing to run the episode, and various right-to-life groups staged protests. Near the end of the season, there were several episodes dealing with Cagney’s ailing and alcoholic father (most notably “Filial Duty”), which began an in-depth examination of her own struggles with the bottle that lasted through the rest of the series.

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Description

“Cagney & Lacey” was always a synthesis of three elements: reinventing the crime show for two female cops who had different workplace conflicts and issues than their male counterparts; creating compelling, dramatic and compulsively watchable crime investigations; and depicting themes of larger social issues touched off by incidents in the investigations themselves. At its best, the series perfectly weighed these three elements. In Season 5, the producers, writers and actors truly mastered this balancing act. Without sacrificing fast-paced detective drama, this season relied even more on ongoing story arcs than previous seasons. Lacey is forced to take maternity leave (“Power”). This leads to a number of episodes about Lacey dealing with a gung-ho temporary partner who takes her zeal for justice too far into vigilantism (“Rebukes”). Lacey gives birth to her daughter Alice in “Family Connections”; and her estranged father comes to see his granddaughter in “Post Partum”. The most controversial episode of Season 5 dealt with the bombing of an abortion clinic (“The Clinic”); a number of affiliate stations refusing to run the episode, and various right-to-life groups staged protests. Near the end of the season, there were several episodes dealing with Cagney’s ailing and alcoholic father (most notably “Filial Duty”), which began an in-depth examination of her own struggles with the bottle that lasted through the rest of the series.

© 1985 Orion Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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