High Steel

The episode opens at a construction site where a guy falls to his death, which becomes the first of two major themes, the second one being Christine's efforts at jogging.

Christine keeps running into the same guy at the same corner while jogging, and he's always able to go faster than her, which gets her upset. The episode returns to this over and over, but for a reason.

Harvey happens to know the guy who was killed.

Lacey and Harvey goes to the funeral, and you can tell from the look in Lacey's eyes that she's thinking it could have been Harvey in the casket. He used to work in construction until an inner-ear infection ended his career. (Which is something that would not have been obvious since neither the pilot nor the Meg Foster shows were included in this set, so Harvey's problem had not gone mentioned until now.

Harvey comes back from drinking with his former construction friends and he tells Mary Beth that the guy who fell had been pushed. Cagney and Lacey end up investigating the death of the guy. They find out his widow seems to have money to buy expensive things so they check her safety-deposit box and find lots of money and a set of blueprints.

They show Harvey the blueprints, and he tells them the marks on the blueprints could be areas of substandard materials being used. This means someone is charging for quality material, using poor material, and pocketing the money. They go to check on another guy who could be involved, but find out he's been murdered.

Christine wants Harvey to help her and Mary Beth check out the construction site, but then she gets word that they are to stop the investigation, which shows that someone with connections is trying to get the police to back off.

Cagney's jogging comes into play when she has to park her car and job to the site.

Here's where the episode has some problems, in my opinion. For one thing, Cagney and Lacey were supposed to stop their investigation. They knew if they did that people could be hurt, maybe killed, by the shoddy construction. On the other hand, if they are supposed to stop, then they are supposed to stop. To do otherwise is to go against orders.

Also, since they couldn't get a search warrant, they went to the site alone. It's a very effective portion of the episode, with the foreman attacking Lacey and Harvey and nearly killed Lacey, and Harvey having to save her. It's exciting to watch, but the problem is that they are on the site illegally. They have no warrants, so I would assume that any information they obtain would be not be allowed in court.

In addition, even though Harvey volunteered to help them, he is not a police officer, and the use of a civilian in a police investigation, with the approval of Samuels at least would, I'm pretty sure, cause both Cagney and Lacey some trouble. I think this hurts an otherwise excellent episode. It is basically saying “the end justifies the means,” and in legal matters that is certainly not always the case (e.g. Watergate, the internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II, domestic spying on civilians, etc.)

I think they should have had something added, maybe something like the search was illegal, but the guy confessed anyone, or something like that, with a short scene where Samuels tells Cagney and Lacey they had no right doing what they did or involving a civilian.

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