Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 5


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2005 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
157 votes
  • 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.


    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).

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Mental Health in the fifties.

    Cold case has a way of dealing with such tough issues such as lobotomies with the upmost sensitiveness without softening the horrific impact of what has happened. This week was no exception with the case of a woman, found dead and missing part of her brain labelled Jane Doe finally gets justice. it shows how much treatment of Bipolar depresson has come as well as society, blacks and whites can mix, nudity is celebrated (Just don't get me started on the moral implications). The case had plenty of twists and turns going from the nurse to the orderly to the switch to the relationships women form. the ending is tragic but seeinhg the art galley at the end was touching as well and the painting 'For Otis'

    I like Lilly with her hair down as well.
  • Lilly changed her hair!

    Great episode, very sad. The things mental patients had to go through back then (and probably still now) is just horrible. I don\\\'t like the Scotty love interest though, been there, done that. Unlucky in love move on. And how come Cold Case always have buff black guys on there?

    But the biggest thing was Lilly changed her hair and she doesn\\\'t look so cute anymore :-( With that old hair of hers, with the highlights, oh my god she looked awesome.

    Interestingly enough when the grandaughter of Bitty and her son were hugging Lilly looked really in pain. Is this cause she doesn\\\'t have a kid or family? Or was it the pain of Bitty she was feeling?
  • Excellent episode, very sad.

    A very sad episode and it shows how things and attitudes have changed today.

    To be depressed or to be creative or think differently than others you were classed as mentally ill.
    It was sad to see her get the labotomy for a friend who also didn't deserve to get it. It was something that really wasn't wrong.
    To see her die alone in the park, thinking of her son was so sad.

    I am glad this case was solved and her son found out the truth about what had happened to her and that she never stopped thinking about him and trying her best to get herself right to be with him again.
  • A long long time ago, a black man falls for a white chick (murder enters stage from left).

    Two weeks running now we have had the forbidden interracial theme piercing a hole right through the middle of this wonderful show. You don't need to have these themes just because the murder was 40-60 years ago, it isn't the only talking point of that era. This episode also proved disappointing in providing weak motives for potential suspects. Even though the killer was difficult to guess, it was hard to imagine a reason why she would die, and harder still to fathom the conclusion the show drew. I also think the side stories in cold case are simply making up the numbers. It would be better for someone to have a bit of a secret that could potentially drive them to murder, than have some soppy romantic distraction that can only lead to tears and office awkwardness. Anyway, the formula for cold case is a winning one, a bit like coca cola, but you wouldn't want coke all the time, sometimes you want to mix some whiskey with it, if you know what I mean!
  • Great episode.

    This had to have been one of the best episodes of the series so far. I liked how the mother was unstable but loved her husband and son so much that she underwent a surgery she didn\'t need to be with them. I liked how she actually had friends in the institution and was basically a good person.
  • They've done this before.

    There seems to be a running theme on this show. You could call it \\\\\\\"you always hurt the one you love.\\\\\\\" The killer turns out to be the person who was supposed to have cared the most about the victim. This episode was no exception. The show is in danger of becoming too formulaic.
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