This is an episode that does not stand up well to the test of time, but it's not the fault of the episode. It's that things seem, in many ways, to have gotten much worse in society since the episode was filmed.
The episode opens with La Guardia trying to set his brother with Christine for a date.
When you look at the women's rest room, it's kind of shameful that there was no effort to keep it clean and decent looking. Maybe the precinct couldn't afford a janitorial staff or something. It's also interested to note how different things were 25 years ago; there were no computers on the desks, people were still using rotary phones, etc. Technology in crime fighting (and overall) has advanced considerably since the early 80's.
Anyhow, they start working on a case where a guy says his wife disappeared. He shows them a photo, and the wife is a lot younger than he is. They check with a hospital where she supposedly was, and neither they nor the doctor that was supposedly treating her have ever heard of her.
Nowadays, the much-young wife scenario would be immediately suspicious, given the number of such cases that have obtain notoriety since that time.
Cagney and Lacey go to a restaurant to eat and encounter a priest (dressed in normal everyday clothes) and his male friend, so again, given everything that has happened since the series, we have something that would be immediately suspicious. It turns out, though, that the guy later calls Christine for a date.
Petrie tells Cagney and Lacey that the woman who is the guy's wife was someone he arrested a couple of times in the past for prostitution. Cagney and Lacey try to find the wife, but find out she had married another person while she was married to the first guy.
Samuels tells them to drop the case, but they talk to a newspaper reporter they know. The reporter talks to Samuels and he puts the two back on the case.
Lacey talks to the “other” husband.
The “original” husband stakes out some place and sees his “wife” with another older man who then proceeds to beat the stuffing out of the “original” husband. He ends up in the hospital and Cagney and Lacey talk to him. The guy who beat him up is his “wife's” uncle (supposedly.)
Cagney and Lacey check through the “wife's” mail and it turns out there is a much larger scam being run than they knew at first. They had asked the husband to work with them on the case and let them know if he found out anything, but he doesn't. He decides to take revenge.
Cagney and Lacey get to the husband just as he's about to shoot the uncle. Cagney chases the “wife” while Lacey tries to talk the husband into putting down his gun. The uncle turns out to be the “wife's” actual husband.
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