Editor Rating
  • 4.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (8 Votes)
Review Quotes


Officer O'Bannon walks through Times Square, entering a pool hall to greet his father. He starts a start with his father about Sr.'s abuse of Mrs. O'Bannon. He threatens to kill  him if he ever hits her again.

Bullman and Muldoon intimidate a John outside  of prostitutes apartment in order to gain access to her place for an arrest. she offers Bullman sex in exchange for a free pass on the charges. She insists she only hooks on the side, and shows him her union card. She's a teacher.  Bullman proposes that they arrest her for loitering instead of prostitution since it is her first offense. The John offers a bribe to Muldoon, who takes $200. He splits the take with Bullman as Fortuna is walked out of the building. 

O'Bannon and Petey Mac meet an informant, Pat Duffy, at a diner. Duffy has recently been released from prison, and wants to "get back to work" and wants protection for his craps game. 

Officer Shea reports for his first day as plainclothes. He meets with Captain Johanson, who in turn introduces him to Lt. King, who immediately reads him the code defining the public morals laws. He is partnered with Vince Latucci.

Fortuna and Bullman arrive at the station. Latucci informs Muldoon that his wife called about something at one of the kid's schools. Muldoon calls his wife. Their son is in trouble at school, but the nun will only talk to him. Bullman books Fortuna, whose real name is Stacy Potter, with loitering. She offers to buy him a drink, and he slips her a number as he leaves. 

Muldoon's sons walk into the house, unaware of his presence. He takes the older one back to school to meet with Sister Paul. 

Latucci and Shea adjust to each out on patrol.

Muldoon sarcastically praises his son for being what he always dreamed of, an asshole. The next morning at breakfast, he continues to humiliate a despondent Jimmy for his behavior in front of the family. Christine thinks that Terry is too hard on Jimmy, and points out that all of his friends have left the neighborhood. Terry thinks Jimmy is at a critical point, and needs some tough love. 

Duffy approaches Mr. O at the pool hall.

Mac and O'Bannon meet Bullman and Muldoon for breakfast, where they fill the them in on Pat Duffy's proposal. They give him the go ahead to allow Duffy's game, with the caveat that Duffy pay the hush money up front. Bullman gets a call.

When Bullman arrives at Fortune's apartment, she's been beat up. Bullman tries to find out who hit her so that he can get retribution, but her details are vague. He offers to get a doctor to come to her apartment when she refuses to go to the ER. He sets out to pursue her latest John.

Muldoon, Latucci, King, and Johanson discuss Shea over drinks in the captain's office. They're suspicious of his clean cut manner don't believe he can be trusted. They decide to keep him on a short leash where he won't see any of the unit's dealings, and decide to have Muldoon speak to him further to feel him out. 

Shea is going through mug shots when Muldoon sits down. He questions Shea about why he joined the unit, and then meditates on the pointlessness of the crimes they are specifically tasked to enforce. 

Bullman arrives at the John's hotel room, using a ruse to gain entrance. He immediately starts throwing punches. He empties the guy's wallet to compensate Fourtune for her medical bills and lost work, and then spots a case of jewelry sitting out. He takes a necklace for her. 

O'Bannon goes to a bar to meet Duffy. His father is also there. Mr. O gives orders to his lackeys to carry out a previously discussed plan. O'Bannon tells Duffy what the fee is going to be for the craps game. Duffy's sister, Deidre, comes up to them and flirts with O'Bannon.

Mr. O calls his nephew, Muldoon, to arrange a meeting. Mr. O wants Muldoon to put the kibosh on Duffy's relationship with O'Bannon. Muldoon maintains that Duffy is under Patton's control, but Mr. O thinks that Patton's attention is divided and he won't keep an adequate eye on Duffy.

Two men chase Duffy through the streets with a baseball bat. 

Deidre expresses her worry about Duffy to O'Bannon. 

Duffy arrives with a cohort to the diner, but without the full fee. O'Bannon tells him he's done, and upbraids him for his stupidity and selfishness. 

At home, Muldoon shares some of his work troubles with Christine.She thinks he should worry more about Jimmy. He goes in and has a heart to heart with his son. 

Two men receive a call at a pay phone just  before Mr. O exits the pool hall. As he walks down the street, they shoot him several times. They place the body in a cab and drive off. 

Christine and Terry are woken by a call. Mr. O's body has been found on the banks of the Hudson. 



Public Morals
Episode Number:
Show Comments

Public Morals Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

But the number one rule in our office is you do not draw attention to yourself. You have to take care of some thing, or some body, you do it out of the spotlight.


I want you to know, I'm proud of you. You know, when you were born, my, my dream, was that you, my oldest son, would grow up to be...an asshole.

Terry Muldoon