Cold Case

Season 2 Episode 2

Factory Girls

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 10, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Factory Girls
On the eve of the 60-year reunion of women who worked in a weapons factory during World War II, Lilly is asked to re-investigate the death of Alice Miller, one of the worker girls. The death was deemed accidental at the time, but her friend pleads to Lilly to look closer into the case.moreless

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  • A really cold case.

    A reunion of WW2 aircraft factory workers leads the cold case squad to reopen a 1943 death of employee Alice in the plant. I like how the writers ably depict the mores of the times: wives were faithful to their absent soldier husbands; shirking patriotic duty was a cowardly thing; a woman's place was in the home; class lines just weren't crossed; and a secretary didn't tell her boss' secrets.

    When it is learned that the obvious suspect, factory owner Mr. Walker, has long ago died, Det. Valens appropriately tries to duck the case. After all, these are cops with a heavy caseload -- something that TV writers tend to forget. Their boss wisely presses on, probably confident that it would have been one thing for a wealthy man to get the authorities to look the other way on ration coupon fraud; and quite another for a murder.

    I liked the nice touch of having Buddy mispronounce "Casablanca" when he asked Alice out on a date. The movie had just recently been released and was not yet well known.

    As usual, the excellent musical selections are successfuly used in catching the spirit of the times.

    Another nice touch that isn't often seen in this series is the sense of joy conveyed in the closing scenes. Usually all we see is the arrest(s) of the wicked, the still-sad survivors, and the fading ghostly image of the young victim. In this episode we get to see the happy reunion of the Alice's friends; Det. Jeffries playfully snatching his winning bet out of the air after Valens flipped it in his direction; and Lily's satisfied look as she returns the book (not box -- it was that old) to the shelf.moreless
Myndy Crist

Myndy Crist

Dana Hunter

Guest Star

Chad Morgan

Chad Morgan

Alice (1943)

Guest Star

Jenna Fischer

Jenna Fischer

Dottie (1943)

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Alice Miller was murdered in September 1943.

    • Nitpick: The women keep referring to building B-25 Mitchell bombers. But the only airframe in the factory is a Supermarine Spitfire. Not only is it not a bomber, but it's a single seater, and British, not American, and probably a post-1944 (bubble canopy) model, making it particularly unlikely to have been in a U.S. factory in 1943. Additionally, the aircraft fuselage seen in the episode was that of a P-51D Mustang. However, the D version of the Mustang was not produced in quantity until early 1944.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Dottie: Once again, Mr. Walker and Alice were not friendly!
      Valens: What was the problem?
      Dottie: A secretary doesn't tell secrets.

    • Alice: We're missing boxes of rivets. Every third day we're short one.
      Dottie: You must be counting wrong.
      Alice: No, I'm sure of it. I thought I'd tell Mr. Walker.
      Dottie: I wouldn't.
      Alice: Someone's stealing materials like that, it's awfully unpatriotic.

    • Det. Jeffries: How does a woman in 1943 make that kind of money?
      Det. Valens: Like I said, naughty.
      Det. Rush: Your mind goes right to the gutter.
      Det. Valens: Who wants to bet me??
      Det. Jeffries: I do. 20 bucks.

    • Det. Rush: Could your memory be mistaken?
      Martha: You get old, you start forgetting things. You don't start making them up.

    • Dottie: You have a good man overseas and he deserves better!
      Alice: Someone like you, you mean?
      Dottie: Maybe so.
      Alice: I know you'd love that.
      Dottie: Well listen to the 5 cent tramp.
      Alice: Says the fussy old maid.

    • Buddy: A single woman was considered to be a real flop.

    • Fanny: Behave yourself, Buddy.
      Buddy: Don't treat me like a kid!
      Alice: You are a kid.
      Buddy: I'm old enough to go kill people, I am old enough to be with you.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Title: Factory Girls

      Factory Girl is the title of a Rolling Stones song from their 1968 album Beggars Banquet.

    • Buddy: Oh, Germany...

      Here the word "Germany" replaces an expletive that couldn't have been freely spoken in the 1940's.

    • Martha: We would have heard about it on Ed Murrow.

      During the World War II, Edward R. Murrow held a radio show reporting the events of the war. Coincidentally, his radio show as well as his television appearances in the 1950's and 60's took place on CBS -- the same network that airs Cold Case.

    • Det. Rush: Are these the Rosie the Riveters?

      Rosies are nicknames given to the women in the 1940's who worked in rivet shops during World War II. They would help build the planes while their men were off in the war. The name comes from the iconic poster of a woman saying "We Can Do It!" who would later be nicknamed "Rosie the Riveter".

    • Buddy: I think it's called Casablanca.

      Buddy asks Alice if she would like to see the 1942 classic movie Casablanca.