HOOKED Conflict. Now this episode came as something of a surprise to me. First, let's talk about the post-titles credits. There's been a little experimentation this season. Heat used a different font. Subsequent episodes have reverted to the American Typewriter/Courier font, but I'm noticing different actors getting their credits bumped up to here from the end titles. First Dick O'Neill, then Harvey Akin. Now the two Lacey boys are up front. It's good to see them getting some recognition. LaGuardia hasn't been in the show for a few episodes now, and Cagney mentions getting a postcard from him, saying he's just left Rome and is on his way to (if I heard correctly) Columbia. I have a feeling Sidney Clute was seriously ill at this point. IMDb tells me that he does appear in a few more episodes this season. And of course he remained in the credits to the end of the run as a tribute to him. This episode is a great example of seamlessly blending the procedural and personal stories with the end result of strengthening both. The procedural begins as the 14th raid a drugs den. All the squad are rounding up the fleeing junkies, resulting in chaos. People get moved forcibly onto car bonnets, onto the ground and onto furniture lying about the place. Mary Beth, near the outside of the building slams her man against a mesh fence, facing inwards while she frisks him. Inside the building, Christine catches another user and directs him to the opposite side of the same fence while she searches him. So Chris and her perp are facing Mary Beth and hers. Both discover drugs on their guys and there's a moment of relief for the viewer that the operation has gone well. Then amidst the chaos, there's a moment. Mary Beth is reading her man his rights. Christine is cuffing hers and glances in the direction of Mary Beth. Her eyes move over Mary Beth's captive and she appears shocked. He and Chris exchange significant glances, and there's no doubt something important just happened. Back at the precinct, Chris tells Mary Beth that Driscoll was Dory's sponsor in his detox programme. She also calls Dory in to speak to him which Mary Beth thinks is a bad idea. Dory tells Mary Beth that Driscoll was at the shooting gallery trying to sponsor somebody else who disappeared, and asks Chris if the evidence could get lost in the shuffle. Next time we're at the precinct, Lacey and Cagney are in Samuels' office. Samuels, brandishing an unsealed evidence envelope, is in no mood to suffer fools: LACEY: "I could have sworn it was secured, sir?" SAMUELS: "Yeah? Well it's not secure now. The seal is broken. The chain of evidence is broken. And the case is right out the window. And 'Driscoll, James D.' walks." Again, significant looks are exchanged. This time between Mary Beth and Chris. There follows a complete grilling and an official oral reprimand for Lacey, and Daly does a nice job of showing us Lacey trying to remain professional and subordinate while processing the sense of betrayal that she feels her partner - watching the whole thing play out - has caused her. Mary Beth checks with the evidence room and discovers that Dory had signed in on the day the envelope was tampered with. Chris defends him to Mary Beth, and words are exchanged: CHRIS: "Dory's a good cop. He knows what it means to tamper with evidence." MARY BETH: "Does he? Like he knew what it meant to be a good backup to me. Or he knew what it meant to bring dope into my home? Harv never forgave him. Never." CHRIS: "Is that what all this is about? Huh? Something that happened two years ago?" MARY BETH: "Absolutely." CHRIS: "Well, I'm real bored with it. Dory kicked the habit. He has apologised. Now I don't know what else he has to do to please you and old Harv. The news is good, Mary Beth. You don't ever have to invite Dory or me to your home for dinner ever again. Isn't that great." The anger and hurt feelings give us the ugliest words these two women have exchanged to date. There was tension in Witness To An Incident, but this starts to feel like a war. They know each other well enough to understand how to hurt back. Chris is hurting over this affecting her personal life, so she goes after Mary Beth's family. And it almost pains me to watch it because of how invested I am in this relationship. And it gets worse when the two are alone in the ladies' room: MARY BETH: "Dory's on the edge. The man I saw this morning could very well have tampered with evidence. And I think he did." CHRIS: "Because you wanna think so. What is it - you jealous? Is that it? I get something for myself that is outside this job and you can't handle it." MARY BETH:"You're not even making sense." CHRIS: "Dory is not a perfect person, Mary Beth. He is not the great Harvey Lacey. And who'd want it! I'm so sick of hearing about Saint Harvey and your hallowed home. Well I know Dory, and he wouldn't lie to me." Voices are raised. Chris tries to leave. Mary Beth tries to keep her there by pushing her. Chris pushes back and the outcome is that Chris tells Mary Beth to find a new partner. It's ugly. None of this has escaped the attention of Samuels, who speaks gently to Mary Beth about the situation: "I guess I could play marriage counsellor here. I could, uh, say all the things that I'm s'posed to say about partnership. I could tell you to give a little if you can because she would too. But the truth is, Lacey, I trust your judgement. And Cagney's. It may be a fraught time, but it's good to take a moment at this point to think about how far things have come since those initial episodes where the two women were considered an object or ridicule by almost everyone - including Samuels. Chris is also on the receiving end of anger from Dory every time she broaches the subject with him. No matter who connects this episode, it's tense. This is a really kinetic episode. Even when things are still, there's so much going on underneath. There are some nice direction choices that aren't too in your face. Such as a scene with Dory and Chris standing just inside what appears to be a large piece of piping. It's filmed from further inside the pipe, with both silhouetted against the light for the entire scene. It's simple but effective. This is another Karen Arthur episode. The big news is that Harv is bedridden with a back injury. So Mary Beth also has to contend with his grumbling. The entire storyline is best summed up by a scene where Mary Beth - burnt out from confrontation with Christine - gets into bed and switches off the light. Harv apologises for being a pain, and then: HARV: "Know what I'd really like? A cup o' cocoa. Wit' the little marshmallows on top. We got the little marshmallows?" MARY BETH (frostily): "What if I get you the big marshmallows and a scissors?!" After one of the junkies wants to make a deal, naming Driscoll as one of the big fish in drug running, the two women agree to one last uncomfortable stakeout together, where Mary Beth has the chance to say some things to Chris: "I'm feeling ashamed of myself. I'm ashamed I shoved ya in the ladies' room. I'm… I'm ashamed I went behind your back to talk to Sergeant Coleman. And I'm ashamed I… I said it was Harvey that never forgave Dory. 'Cause it was me. I was holding onto bad feelings. I acted small about it and I owe you an apology. I'm sorry." She goes on to say she's not 100% sure she sealed the envelope properly, and if Chris believes Dory then so does Mary Beth. Chris listens in silence. MARY BETH: "Last thing, ok? If you wanna… If you wanna... go on still. Workin' together. Which I hope you do. You have to keep your mouth off my family." CHRIS: "You keep your mouth off mine." MARY BETH: "Deal." CHRIS: "Deal." It's one of the most satisfyingly ambiguous make-up scenes I've ever seen acted out and is telling about both women's characters. Chris gives little back to Mary Beth and continues to hold a degree of power in the relationship through her silence. There's a hard edge to her that shows her instinctive protective response when she's hurt. The resolution doesn't feel complete. And that's so rewarding. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Driscoll is shown to be a runner and is eventually caught by the women, leading to another significant look between Chris and Driscoll. The episode ends with further ambiguity with Dory swearing to Chris he didn't tamper with the evidence and Chris saying she believes him. Freeze frame. We never got to the bottom of how the envelope was opened. It still could have been Dory. Mary Beth could have not sealed it correctly. It could have come open accidentally. The closing scene even continues to play with the idea of the unthinkable: that Chris could have acted on Dory's wish for the evidence to become inadmissible. Three of those possibilities would be a complete game changer in the way we view these characters. And I really appreciate that we only have each's word about it.