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Cold Case

Season 4 Episode 15

Blood on the Tracks

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 18, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
101 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Blood on the Tracks
When traces of an explosive are found in a house, the team re-opens the 1981 case of a married couple who died in the same house in what was then ruled as an accidental gas leak.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • In 1981 a gas explosion occurs at a house killing two people. In 2007, as the house is being renovated, pieces of a bomb are found. The explosion was not an accident. Lilly and the team investigate.moreless

    "Blood on the Tracks" is one of the more entertaining episodes of the season. What contributes to this episode's appeal is the good acting by all characters and the well written script. A slight flaw is the twist ending. It wasn't that much of a suprise considering that subtle hints had been dropped in key points of the episode. Also, the story of this episode was somewhat recycled from a 1987 film titled "Running on Empty." However, this is just a minor flaw and it does not take away from the entertainment value of this episode. An episode worth seeing.moreless
  • When a part of a bomb is found in the basement of where two people were killed in 1981 in an explosion, the team believes that the explosion was not accidental as thought, but a planned murder.moreless

    Jack and Johanna Kimbell were happily married in 1981. They were Vietnam War activists in 1971. In 1971, Jack and Johanna were a part of a bombing that got their friend killed. In 1981, their house explodes with them inside.

    Eh, this was a bit boring. I mean, basically they're just flashbacks to talk about the past. The most important part of the story is McBride dying in the bombing, but yet there's basically nothing about him, except that he was Sarah's boyfriend.

    And the "twist" at the end was hardly a twist. I knew what was going to happen when they first started talking about it in the beginning. It was so phony, like no one would notice through the course of 25 years? Yeah, okay.

    The storyline was so-so in the sense that it bored the crap out of me.moreless
  • Bob Dylan episode! Personal fave!

    When explosives are found in the house of a now murdered couple back in 1981 as the case takes a bunch of twists and turns as I have to agree with the one reviewer before me as this is one of my favorite episodes. Not a big Bob Dylan fan but his music really hit a nerve in this episode. The DA was trying to lie in order to win a case. As we also see the LT with his four-year old grandson. Very touching!moreless
  • This was one of my favorite episodes

    One of my favorite movies of all time is "Return to Paradise" with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix's character is on death row for a drug charge in Malaysia and the only way for him to be saved is if his two friends share responsibility on the drug charge and go to jail. This episode reminded me of that movie. The group of friends had to decide whether or not to come clean about their friend's death. If they did, they would go to jail. If they didn't, they would be miserable and have to live with their guilt. There is a real moral dilemma in this episode. What would you do if you were in that situation? Like "Return to Paradise" it really makes you think. The twist at the end was good too. The acting was great as usual. Even though this episode might be considered somewhat slow compared to other episodes, this is one my favorites. The writing, the acting and directing was superb. I felt like I was watching a four-star movie when I was watching this episode. It didn't feel like a TV show at all, which really speaks volumes. Cold Case became my favorite show at the beginning of the 4th season, and it just keeps getting better. I watch reruns of the 2nd season sometimes on TNT, and this show has definitely improved a ton.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)

Melinda Page Hamilton

Melinda Page Hamilton


Guest Star

Jamie Bamber

Jamie Bamber

Jack Kimball

Guest Star

Kelly Overton

Kelly Overton

Johanna Kimball (1981)

Guest Star

Doug Spinuzza

Doug Spinuzza

Lab Tech Louie Amante

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Lilly: (to Johanna) Does it haunt you, or when you steal a life, do you leave your soul behind?

    • Sara: If I died, if I vanished off the face of the earth tomorrow, no one would even notice.

    • Lt. Stillman: Legally, the DA can't lie to a suspect...
      Scotty: Ahh, but we can.
      Kat Miller: I love this job.

    • Johanna: I thought it was you and me against the world.
      Jack: It still is. Let's do this together. Be strong with me, Jo.
      Johanna: You always were the strong one.
      Jack: It isn't strength. It's like I don't have a choice.
      Johanna: No choice... I think I understand now.

    • Tom Zimmerman: I was already home.
      Nick Vera: Alone?
      Tom Zimmerman: Yeah.
      Nick Vera: Great alibi, Z. Did the butler do it, too?

    • Lt. John Stillman: (barking) Miller! In here. Now.
      (Kat looks at Scotty, slightly panicking, and walks into the lieutenant's office.)
      Kat Miller: What's up?
      Lt. Stillman: (showing her a juice box) How in the hell do you open this thing?
      Kat Miller: There's this new device called a straw.
      Lt. Stillman: Straw?
      (Kat rips the straw from the side of the box and unwraps it.)
      Lt. Stillman: I didn't see that.
      Kat Miller: Why don't you let the four-year-old show you. Hey, Sean. How 'bout some juice, buddy?
      (Stillman examines closely as Sean plunges the straw into the juice box and takes a sip.)
      Kat Miller: (to Stillman) You wanna go interview a murder suspect or something, boss? To calm yourself down?

    • Porter Rawley: Bombing for peace was like humping for virginity.

    • Sara Lowell: They were protesting against an America that had become an imperialist bully.
      Lilly Rush: Sounds vaguely familiar.

  • NOTES (3)


    • The Jones Family appears to be modeled in spirit and action on the Weather Underground, a radical faction that emerged from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1969, taking its name from a lyric in Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. The group advocated violent overthrow of the government and establishment of proletarian dictatorship. They were most publicly associated with acts of domestic terrorism (principally bombings and arson fires) between 1969 and 1974.

    • Title: Blood on the Tracks
      The episode is named after Bob Dylan's 1975 album which is widely considered among his best. In addition to this, there are also other Dylan references in the episode: One of the college friends was named Tom Zimmerman; Zimmerman is also Dylan's real last name. Jack Kimball's wife was named Johanna; Visions of Johanna is a song from Dylan's 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.

    • The Big Chill
      This episode seems to be an homage to Lawrence Kasdan's 1983 Best Picture nominee The Big Chill. There are several parallel elements present, such as the classic rock soundtrack, a group of college friends who gather years later to find that some of them have had political changes of heart and are growing apart, and even the death of a member(s) of the group is the catalyst for the action.

    • Lt Stillman: (to his grandson) What do you got there?
      Sean: (shows him an action figure) Avatar Aang. He can bend air.

      Avatar Aang is the main character in the American-made but Asian-influenced animated action/fantasy series Avatar: The Last Airbender.