Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 9

A Perfect Day (a.k.a. The Choice)

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 27, 2005 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
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  • The Cold case gang re-investigates a case from 1965 after bones of a small child are found.


    I have always loved the entire show "Cold Case" it is actually probably one of the most realistic cop shows that was around (it shouldn't have been cancelled.) Anyways this episode (well most Cold Case episodes are actually very sad.) but this such a sad one as it is a veryreal thing that still happens these days (which is horrible.) I found the acting to be spectacular, the Cold Case cast are always so great they nail it everytime, and same goes for the guest stars, whoever casts this show needs an award. I am so glad this episode had a good ending, most episodes are a bit more bittersweet but this one to me stood out. I give this episode a 10 not only because of the things I mentioned, but also because the music was so great (like always.) I really want this show to be released to DVD, so I can review more episodes. ;)

  • After finding a child's bones in the river, Lilly looks to find who the child is and how she ended up in the river.

    Wow. What a sad, sad episode. I was on the verge of tears when the mother abandoned her child in the chruch. It was sad that she believed that was the only way to help her. It was terrible to see how the people back then treated the poor mother.

    The clues just seemed a little outrageous though. It's one of those episodes where you're just like, 'it's been so long, how can these people remember these things?'. But I do enjoy when they have the older cases, it's just too unrealistic.

    The entire episode, I was just balling my eyes out. It was such a sad story. Words cannot describe how sad it was. It's definitely a must see.
  • A very special and moving episode, a public service that shines a light on a horrific crime that is still far too prevalent in our society (spoilers)

    Remember FCC chairman Newton Minow's famous 1961 speech in which he referred to television as a "vast wasteland?" Well, here is Exhibit A to prove that he's not always right. What a special episode this is.

    The team investigates the death of a 4-year old girl who was killed in 1965. Using facial reconstruction software, a picture of the dead girl is created and then circulated. The team gets a break when a court reporter tells Lily that the child in the photo is her.

    As the story unfolds, we discover that Cynthia Mulvaney has been covering for her abusive police officer husband, who has been beating her and their twin girls. Eventually, Cynthia gets up the courage to flee to a woman's shelter, which back in the day was a Good Samaritan's living room.

    While at the shelter, she falls in love with the police officer that had given her the shelter's number and the two decide to run away and start a new life together. Tragically, as Cynthia returns to the family home to pick up the cat, her husband intervenes and drives to a bridge where he threatens to drop both girls into the water. Mom manages to save one daughter and leaves her in a church to protect her from him.

    The ending is most heart-warming and brings tears to the eyes. The show itself is an important one because any time we can use a medium so powerful as TV to shine a light on the evils of our society, it is good to do so. Perhaps somewhere, some abused mom sees this show and finds the courage to escape her tormentor, perhaps even faces him in court and sees that he ends up in jail.

    If one person is so saved by this show, it is worth it. I think it's also a good reminder to all of us to not turn a blind eye to the evils in our society. Very, very well done!
  • Three words no one wants to hear : A dead child.

    The police find the skeleton of young girl who's been since before most of them were cops, possibly before some of them were alive. The struggle to identify the remains is where we begin, after which we make several twists and turns. A woman remembers the mother and the information leads us to believe that she has been abusive. Then once more information is uncovered we realize that it's she who was abused along with her children. As if the fact that, in those days, there was nothing illegal about that sort of behavior wasn't bad enough, we learn the husband was a cop. Without giving anything away, I have to say the only thing displeasing about the resolution of the storyline is the fact that the killer had already been dealt with. Otherwise, superior programming as always.
  • The skeleton of a four-year-old girl is discovered. Her bones show signs of abuse. The team tracks down her twin sister, who is now in her forties and remembers little of her early years. The girls' father had abused his wife and daughters.

    I have seen this episode twice in reruns and it brought tears to my eyes each time. This was a very touching episode. My only complaint is that after nearly forty years, the mother, who had been in hiding from her abusive husband, did not know that he had been killed about six months after she left him and changed her name. I got the impression that she remained in the general Philadelphia area. Therefore, even in the decades before the internet, she should have been able to obtain Philly newspapers either at the newsstand or the library, and since her husband was a cop, his death in the line of duty would surely have been listed. Wouldn't a woman in her situation want to know whether she was still in danger from her abusive spouse? She might not have been able to find information on her surviving daughter, but finding out whether her husband was still alive should not have been that difficult.
  • Nothing, no tv show or movie, has ever moved me the way this episode has.

    As a mother to two girls, including a 4 year-old that strongly resembles the little girls in this episode, this was a very difficult episode to watch, particularly the last scene. It is doubly heartbreaking to know Cindy, Maura, and Vivian came so close to getting everything they needed - a safe home with a loving husband and father. Since watching the episode I have been unable to get that last scene out of my mind. The wrenching pain of Maura losing a twin sister and Cindy losing both daughters would have driven most mothers to the edge. How sad to know the only way Cindy could protect her surviving daughter was to give her up. All three, Cindy, Vivian, and Maura were torn apart. While it was rewarding to see the surviving daughter and mother reunited, the reunion scene with Det. Rush's usual flashback of the victim, her arm around her twin sister, was much more touching than in the typical episode. Finally, the remainder of the family could truly mourn Vivian, who had been forgotten by everyone except her mother and sister.
    Nothing, no tv show or movie, has ever moved me the way this episode has. As a result, I recently signed up to do volunteer work with victims of domestic violence. I encourage others touched by this episode to do the same, either with time or donations. We have come a long way since 1965, but not far enough. 9.500
  • A very special episode which clearly speaks of what a mum will do to protect her children.

    Twins connect to each other in a special way which is why Nola( i think i spelt the name wrongly) felt something was wrong even when Vivian died so many years ago. but i love this story as it finally brought the mother and daughter back together and the love of vivian's mother life back to her. i am so glad that that guy took care of that dad who killed vivian. and that the cops didnt prosecute him for that crime and that the bad cop's photo was taken down from John's Traven! he deserved that "punishment" since violent husbands aint the cops worth remembering.
  • A mothers tragedy

    Society has come a long way in the past forty years, now women are protected from their abusive spouses and there is much more protection for themselves and their children. Cindy was obviously trapped in a rut and even with the help she got it showed the truth that women will still go back to their husbands. Art played his part doing his best to help out and falling in love at the same time. His actions were somewhat honourable, in a time where the law wasn't really in touch with the reality.

    The detectives are sensitive, knowing when to let old ghosts lie, in the case of the abuser dying in the police shoot out.

    The scene where the girls were held over the bridge were very tragic and probably made every mothers heart wrench.
  • Another great episode. Very sad

    I love Cold Case and each episode is unique and very well written. The older the cases the more I love them.

    This is a very sad episode of abuse that ended tragic. I don't understand how he could do that and kill is child.

    It really screws with your mind ... it would be a very hard situation to be in, I really felt sorry for them all.

    Art was the good guy, I was sad things didn't work out for him and Cindy but I wonder if he did it because he loved her or because he felt sorry for her.

    The father died a few months later but Cindy didn't know so kept in hiding, missing out on all those years she could have spent feeling safe and with her daughter.
  • This episode although emotional was by far the best!

    Kathryn Morris is simply an awesome actress and woman! Playing her role has got to be emotionally draining for her! Kathryn you rock! I loved this episode by far the best one! I related to the character who was left and adopted. Shielamb5 I'm sorry you didn't like the episode child abuse is painful to watch yes but more painful for the ones being abused or that have been! It needs to be aired on shows such as cold case to wake people from their fantasy lives and happy ever acting lives. Pain exists in this world and needs to taken seriously!
  • The subject matter was very painful to watch.

    I thought the plotline of family violence was done well. The father killing the daughter by dropping her off the bridge was horrible. I did like that the cops didn't pursue the retired cop for killing the husband. I did like how the captain had the dead cops picture taken off the wall.
  • Very touching story line. The twins in the story really added a lot to the story.

    I really enjoyed this episode. It was a very well done piece. I was very involved with the story and it was moving at a good pace. I especially love the flash back style of changing the characters from past to present. The only thing that got me was when they flashed back to the soda stand in 1965 there as a 1968 Camaro parked in front. Clearly 3 years before it was built. The first Camaro came out in 1967. That little goof messed it up a bit for me.
  • The bones of a 4 yo girl are found leading the team on a search for her identity and the circumstances around her death.

    I don't cry easily, and the end of this episode had me in tears. Some of it I was expecting, I have gotten very good at predicting what is to come, but the ending still touched me. Took me a while to fall asleep, couldn\'t stop thinking about it. So sad. Certainly a great one I will never forget!
  • This episode is of a family torn apart by the senseless violence of a parent who is suppose to protect those in their care.

    I cried at the end of this episode. While it's difficult to watch a show where the child is killed we cannot hide from the facts. Too long has child abuse been swept under the rug. I grew up in an abusive household in the '60s and the '70s and know that during that time there was no where to turn. While things are not good now at least they are much better than they were then. I sometimes feel that people have become too soft because we have become insulated from what people use to have to deal with. I could just feel the anguish that the mother went through when her child was killed then she had to give up her remaining child to keep her safe. A child should be able to depend on the love and protection of their parents, not worry that a ill-chosen statement means pain or death. I will say that I was surprised that the children spoke up like they did. As a child, I would not speak to my father unless he made me and then he would yell because he couldn't understand me (I spoke low).
  • Reuniting people and solving a child's murder.

    I really liked this episode. Three people were
    happily reunited at the end. The subject of
    spousal and child abuse was shown from 1965..and it's true it was not something THEN that was
    widely talked about. I know that from personal
    experience. This episode's subject matter may have been unpleasant....but the reward was that
    the killer was dead and then 3 people , years later were able to reconnect. That was a joyful
    closure spite of the one twin's horrible
    death years earlier.
  • The bones of a 4 year old child that was never reported missing are found in the river.

    This was a very disturbing episode. It reminded me of the episode from Season 2, "Revenge." It is difficult to watch because it deals with the abuse and death of a child. While including these plots gives the writers variety, I don't find the episodes at all enjoyable. Maybe it is because I am a mother, but even the fictional torture of children is painful to watch. This show has great writers and I admire their talent. Both "A Perfect Day" and "Revenge" were very well done, but I will skip them on re-run.
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