Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 19

Beautiful Little Fool

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 09, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
128 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Beautiful Little Fool
Lilly re-opens the 1929 case of a woman found dead in a ravine on Christmas Day when the victim's great-granddaughter comes in asking for help. Meanwhile, Lilly's estranged mother shows up, hoping to re-connect with her daughter.

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  • I wanted to like this episode, I really did, but it was just so boring!

    I missed this episode the first time it came on but just caught the rerun tonight. This was one of the most boring and uninteresting episodes of CC that I've ever seen. The plot line was so lame, and the characters were so wooden. Violet was so annoying , I wanted Nick to smack her and believe me, I'm not one for violence against women. The ending was semi-interesting, they threw us off regarding the killer but the murder wasn't very plausible. However, I did enjoy when Lilly drunk dialed Kite. I loved the look on her face when he picked up the phone. I always liked her with him and I was hoping they'd bring him back into her life and if we're lucky, they will in Season 4.moreless
  • Lilly re-opens the 1929 case of a woman, a songwriter, who was found dead in a ravine on Christmas Day when the victim's great-granddaughter comes in asking for help. Meanwhile, Lilly's estranged mother shows up, hoping to re-connect with her daughter.moreless

    Great episode. I love the storyline and the surprise ending of the Violet's life. I didn't see it coming. Bravo! And I love the era when it is set, the Roaring 20s. i believe this is the best episode yet. I hope there will be more episodes in that era. I so love it! And also, the story of Lilly and her mom is just so beautifully executed. I mean, is was set with that pregnant lady who wishes to know even a little about her great grandmother and here she was, her mom was already in front of her but she doesn't know her. Nice one, writers! I love the songs! Where can I get a copy of the songs Violet sang?moreless
  • Splendid acting and storyline

    The story is splendid. The story totally captured my heart. Not only this story shown how a girl from countryside wanting to change her life, it also shows @ the end of the show, she still being persistent being able to prove herself to the big city all by herself and not depending on any scandals or anyone. And it also shows that she loves her daughter and not like what her great-granddaughter would have thought the other way round that she abandoned her granny (Rose).

    And I am glad to see Rush finally tried to do something with her mom. Though the ending didn't see it all but trying is always better choice than sitting there doing nothing.

    Not only they show the relationship changes between the mother & daughter (Rush & her mom), it also shows that mother's love towards the daughter (Rush's mom didn't just forget about it and tried to make diff. towards Rush & also the victim, Violet didnt abandoned the daughter or just throw the baby to the father, Nick Bartleby, as if she's a piece of item). It's really a special episode to show the relationship between/among the diff. generations.moreless
  • The great-granddaughter of a woman who was murdered in 1929, asks Lilly to re-investigate and find the murderer.

    Through a journal, her songs, and grandchildren of the people involved, the suspect of Violet Polley's murder go from her boyfriend's to her boyfriend's former lovers.

    I really enjoyed this episode. The farther back a Cold Case episode goes, the more I love it. I barely even payed attention to the storyline, I was just so intrigued by the decade. I was paying more attention to the clothing, the way they talked, and the actions of the people than the storyline.

    The storyline itself was good as well. Back in those days if you were an unwed mother things were bad, but if you were an unwed mother without the baby's father things were worse.

    This episode also introduced Lilly's mother for the first time. It was nice to see her in it, it helped provided a little more information into her past. Although, I didn't like when Lilly called Kite because I never liked him. I was so gald to see him go in the first season.

    Personally I liked this episode, but if you don't like when they go back too far and really reach to hear the stories of what what happened this one's not for you.moreless
  • An excellant episode of Cold Case, this one takes up back to the 1920's to investigate a murder of a talented young songstress.

    This is the first time I've ever watched Cold Case & I'm glad I caught this episode. Named 'Beautiful Little Fool, the very talented Allison Miller plays beautifully gifted Violet Polley, an up & coming star in the 1920's. Murdered by jealousy & rage, the crew try to investigate what really happened to this young woman, the story brought back to life through her ancestors. I love the songs she sings - 300 Flowers & One Dress Left, a truly underrated actress & singer. The flashbacks were amazing & really highlighted the episode. The rest was a bore! 10/10 for captivating me!moreless
Danny Pino

Danny Pino

Scotty Valens

Jeremy Ratchford

Jeremy Ratchford

Det. Nick Vera

John Finn

John Finn

Lt. John Stillman

Kathryn Morris

Kathryn Morris

Det. Lilly Rush

Thom Barry

Thom Barry

Det. Will Jeffries

Tracie Thoms

Tracie Thoms

Kat Miller (Episodes 3.13+; recurring previously)

Greg Travis

Greg Travis


Guest Star

H. Richard Greene

H. Richard Greene

Daniel Spyczyk

Guest Star

Tommy Dewey

Tommy Dewey

Nick Bartleby (1929)

Guest Star

Meredith Baxter Birney

Meredith Baxter Birney

Ellen Rush

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Goof: When Lilly leaves the bar with her drink to make a phone call, the level of the red liquid in the glass seems to go from about one-third full to more than two-thirds full as she starts to sip it.

    • Due to the age of the case, the team doesn't have many first-hand witnesses to question. Most of the flashback scenes are told through a diary, written and recorded interviews, and -- quite unusually -- a song.

    • From Lilly's remark of her mother not finding Christina, we can tell that her sister is still missing and running from the authorities.

    • Like most of the opening teasers, this episode showed the victim in her period setting, surrounded by people that may or may not have been involved in her death. Unlike the other teasers, it's revealed that this victim dies almost a year after she is first seen, instead of within a few hours afterward as is usually typical with the series.

    • We finally get to meet Lilly's mother, Ellen Rush, played by Meredith Baxter.

    • Highlight for a spoiler:
      Lilly makes an interesting phone call to someone we haven't heard from since the Season 2 premiere -- ADA Kite.

    • Violet Polley was killed on Christmas Day (December 25th), 1929.

    • This is Lilly's oldest cold case so far -- 77 years.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Aimee: Do you ever feel like you wanna change your life but you can't outrun your screwed-up family?
      Lilly: Yeah...

    • Det. Vera: We're looking into the murder of a girl that went out with Bartleby. Carmela wasn't happy about it.
      Mickey Stein Jr.: Murder? Really? (grabs a notebook) Do tell!
      Det. Jeffries: Uhh, we're gonna be the ones taking notes here.

    • Ellen: You could try being polite to him. This is my new husband!
      Lilly: For the next month.
      Ellen: Oh, stop it! Maybe I failed--
      Lilly: It's more than "failed" when you bring home guys who hit you, who steal from you...
      Ellen: But I try, OK? I find happiness, if only for a little while. That's more than you can say. At least I'm not alone.

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Airdates:
      - Denmark: May 10, 2006 on TV3+

    • Highlight for a spoiler:
      In the original version of the script, Lilly was supposed to make a phone call to Ray (his "motorcycle guy"), not A.D.A Kite. In the casting sides, Lilly's dialog goes:

      "This is stupid. This is really stupid. It's Lilly. So, I'm just standing here in the freezing cold thinking about you buzzing around the corner and saving me. You know, you show up when I don't want you to, and then when I want you to just drive me away on that motorcycle, I have no idea where you are. Or who you're with. Ray."

      For an unknown reason this was changed in the final version of the episode that eventually aired; it has been speculated that fans reacting negatively to Ray might have been that reason.

    • Music Featured in This Episode:

    • In the casting sides and in the CBS press release for this episode, Muriel Bartleby's first name is Caroline and Carmela La Fleur's last name is Bowens. Violet's and her great-granddaughter Aimee's last names are not included in the press release but they had been changed as well. In the casting sides, Violet's last name was Holley instead of Polley and Aimee's was Lauer instead of Goodman.

    • Although the two actresses do not share scenes, two of TV's best known moms appear in the same episode. Meredith Baxter (Ellen Rush) played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties and June Lockhart (present day Muriel Bartleby) played Ruth Martin (during 1959-1964) in the TV show Lassie as well as some subsequent Lassie movies.


    • Title: Beautiful Little Fool
      The episode title is taken from a classic American novel, The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the novel, a character named Daisy Buchanan speaks in reference to her baby daughter: "I hope she'll be a fool - that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."

    • The Bartlebys mention "the crash" as the reason they had lost their wealth. This is a reference to the U.S. stock market crash in October 1929, when stock prices plummeted during a five-day period from October 24 (also known as "Black Thursday") until October 29. October 29, 1929 is also known as "Black Tuesday" and it is the day when general panic among the public set it. It also marks the beginning of the Great Depression in the U.S.

    • Lt. John Stillman: Susan B. Anthony lived there for a time.

      Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was a teacher, a Quaker religious activist, a labor activist, an abolitionist, and, of course, a suffragist crusader for womens' rights. She was very controversial and she was arrested and tried for voting illegally in 1872. When she defended herself in court, she cited the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.