The show opens with Isbecki at a restaurant, but it's some kind of operation since Cagney and Lacey are in a car and listening to his conversation. The guys that meet him run a chop shop (taking apart cars and selling the pieces individually); they decide to change restaurants. Cagney knew the first restaurant they were going to, but they decide to go to yet another restaurant.
The crooks realize Isbecki is lying and then they find out that he's a cop. When Cagney and Lacey get back to the station and tell Samuels what is going on, he makes the assumption that the crooks could kill Isbecki.
The scene shifts to the chop shop where Isbecki is tied up but still alive. Meanwhile, on the street, a young man is hiding while Petri talks to an older man.
A guy steals a woman's purse and Petrie chases him. It's a long chase and the kid pulls a gun on him. Petrie shoots him and the kid dies.
A guy shows up to take a photo of Petri. Petri is black and the kid he shot is black, so the photo seems to be to avoid any charges of racism.
One of the guys in the chop shop calls Cagney and Lacey, saying he's no killer. He wants a certain kind of deal where he will tell them where Isbecki is, he won't get prosecuted, but he won't have to testify against the others.
Lacey talks to Petrie to try and help him deal with having killed someone. They aren't able to get exactly what they guy wants, but they go to meet him anyhow, a whole bunch of police cars going together.
A female reporter tries to talk to Petrie in the station, but he says he can't comment on the shooting. He has to stay at the station since he's still having various meetings with officials about the shooting.
The meeting with the guy who knows where Isbecki is falls apart.
Isbecki starts to escape but is caught and beaten. A legitimate car-parts dealer calls them to give them the name of a guy that might be selling chop-shop parts.
Cagney and Lacey go to check out the place the dealer told them about. The leader of the chop shop tells them that, after they finish the car they are working on cutting apart, they all have to leave (the heat is on, they found out), which means they will have to deal with Isbecki.
Cagney and Lacey are told to go talk to Isbecki's mother, and Petrie has to interview a possible criminal (he's still not allowed to leave the station.) Samuels changes his mind and tells Lacey she has to go with Petrie.
The court-appointed lawyer won't let them talk to the suspect, so Lacey and Petrie go to look for someone Petrie knows. This is complicated by the fact that they are going to go to Harlem. Petrie's picture has been put into the paper (against his will, but on orders from police HQ), which makes it dangerous for him to be in Harlem.
Petrie and Lacey are in a bar/tavern. They get the address of the guy they are looking for and go to his apartment.
(Which is where there may be a problem, or at least something that was not made clear. Petrie has a gun at this point, yet his official red-tape stuff with the police investigators supposedly wasn't over. He had been placed on “modified assignment,” so I'm not sure he would have been allowed to carry a gun at that time.)
They get the name of the head guy from the person Petrie was looking for. The guys at the salvage place had put Isbecki into a car that was due to be put into the crusher. Loads of police descend on the place and Cagney barely stops the machine from crushing the car that Isbecki is in.
Back at the station, Petrie is told that the mother of the boy he shot is there. Petrie agrees to talk to her. (Again, I think something is wrong here; I doubt very much that Petrie would be allowed to talk to her alone; I'm sure that Samuels would have to be there or some other official representative.)
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