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Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 5


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
157 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

In 1954, 9-year-old Otis Petrowski last saw his mother in a mental institution. Now over 50 years later, after the death of an elderly woman who had been using Otis' mother's identity, Det. Rush sets out to discover what happened to the boy's real mother.

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  • A former mental patient named Betty Patroski dies. The woman's only child, her son Otis, is called to identify the body and finds it is not the body of his mother. Det. Rush and her coleagues begin the search for Otis' real mother.moreless

    There is a plot element in "Committed" that has been done before (too many times I think). That element is forbidden love between a white woman and a black man. That was a problem with the episode which is causing me to give it an average rating. That doesn't mean it's a waste of the viewer's time. One positive aspect of the episode is a look inside mental institutions of the 50s and evidence to show that they may have been adding to the problems they were trying to solve (ice baths and lobotmies).moreless
  • After finding the body of a woman using the identity of a woman who died in 1954, Lilly reopens the case.

    This is episode was so greatly written. It did an excellent job of showing exactly how crazy the woman was. It was kind of interesting to see what the mental instuitions were like in the 50s and the crazy things they did that they thought would cure them.

    Although there was a bit too much of that new detective (she's so unimportant to me I can't remember her name). Whenever they weren't working on the case, it was her. That definitely ruined a big part of the episode for me.

    Besides that, the episode wasn't too bad. It was written nicely, with a good storyline. But once again, there was just no emotion for me. My lack of caring about what happened just plain bored me.moreless
  • Great episode

    I enjoyed this episode for the most part, even though I think it got a little convoluted and boring near the end. I really enjoy Sarah Brown's character. I remember watching her on General Hospital with my mom many, many years ago. She's back on there playing a different character now for at least a year I found out, very odd.

    I don't understand why Lily is getting less and less screen time in the more recent episodes I'm seeing. It seems like every episode I see is about Valens now. Maybe it's just a coincidence since I'm watching most of them out of order.moreless
  • Just eggs and love...

    What a heartbreaking episode! A young woman with manic depression, sets the house on fire while she`s in there with her son. She`s admitted to the hospital, and kinda left there forever until she checks out and dies. While she is in the hospital she misses her so but she also makes a difference there. She has friends, gives joy and makes them take art lessons from another patient who is in there because of painting skeletons and nude paintings (it`s called ART!!! I yelled to the TV) In one of their paintig lessons, they get caught, and the painter is forced to have a lobotomy. They switch places but when the hospital learns it, she is left to death out in the snow.. Tearjerker...moreless
  • In these older cases, sometimes the real culprit escapes justice by dying.

    This episode was the most saddening I've seen in this series; and yet there was a redemptive quality at its conclusion that gave back a sense that all had not gone in vain.

    Life in a publicly-run mental institution has never been a picnic, but seems to have been particularly harsh in the 50's, before the use of psychotropic drugs became the norm. I was unaware of the use of ice baths as a treatment. And it was sort of surprising that they skipped electroshock and went straight to the barbarous technique of lobotomy in treating a patient who was not really that hard to handle.

    Betty Petroski was a likable character who today would likely be easily mainstreamed with a generic equivalent of Prozac at only a nominal cost (sorry all you Scientologists!). But because she was a danger to her young son, she had to be institutionalized according to the protocol of the day. Evidence that she wasn't really that far off her rocker was the way she befriended even the most incorrigible of her fellow inmates.

    I must disagree with the analysis of several other reviewers on the forbidden interracial romance aspect of this show. There was not so much a forbidden romance as the semblance of one. Poor Otis got caught in what looked like a compromising situation. Albeit innocent, news of it eventually reached the institute's director and Otis ended up being ordered to pay the price for it.

    In addition to the arrest of the wrongdoers at the conclusion, there was the satisfying display of the life work of Betty's friend who traded places and identities with her; and then went on to produce a body of art that served as a testimony to the creative abilities of those who too often get overlooked by this world as being meaningful contributors.moreless
Robin Weigert

Robin Weigert

Anna Mayes

Guest Star

Rebecca Lowman

Rebecca Lowman


Guest Star

Matt Corboy

Matt Corboy


Guest Star

Susan Chuang

Susan Chuang

Frannie Ching

Recurring Role

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Josie Sutton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions