Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 23


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 21, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
136 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When the victim's credit card is suddenly used a year after his death, Lilly re-opens the 2005 case of a counselor at a teens' rehab center who was shot to death just two weeks before he was scheduled to testify in a murder case. During the probe, Lilly feels a strange connection to the victim, and her personal attachment may end up jeopardizing the case.moreless

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  • A sudden twist that doesn't gel

    What were the producers thinking? With NO prior build-up in previous episodes - to my knowledge - a love interest is contrived for Lily that doesn't sit right at all. Don't get me wrong, the premise is pretty okay as far as Joseph's story goes, but a chemistry that is wrested from the air? Regardless of how apparently similar they tend to be - loners - doesn't always mean there must be an attraction. I would have been happier had Joseph been a gunslinger baddy and OPPOSITES attract.moreless
  • Really Great Twist...

    the assumed victim turned out to be alive, but I'm a little unsettled by how the body was misidentified.

    It was specified that cause of death was a gunshot to the face, so it's possible that Wilder's face was blown off beyond recognition and left behind nothing to check dental records with but other than the his being in Joseph's apartment what suggestion was there that it was him? Did Wilder not have ID on him? Since Joseph did say he was dedicated to his work, in pretty much a male Lily kinda way, I can see himself being established as a loner in his home life and it's understandable why he would never discuss being a foster child with anyone. The one other concern I have though is how the shooter, the owner of the organization who knew Joseph didn't see that he had the wrong man if the shot was to the face.

    The one thing that bothered me the most however was how little the owner of the organization seemed to care about his wife having a sexual relationship with a minor. The fact that the atmosphere around that felt right is very wrong.

    The whole Lily/Joseph relationship I thought was perfect. It's pretty clear when he describes his dream girl as "Someone who is passionate, as dedicated to her work as I am, and isn't allergic to cats" and and earlier is described as using the exact same line Lily had about cases being more than just files that they were made for each other. I really hate that it doesn't last.moreless
  • frustrating to watch

    Am I the only one who finds it strange that the husband is ok with his wife being intimate with that 17 yr old boy?

    On top of that he says that she was intimate with the 17 year old boy cause her son had died due to drugs and that she wanted to help the 17 year old.

    Which to me means she wanted to be intimate with her 17 year old son. I can understand if she wanted to help the 17 year old cause he reminded her of her son. but if he reminded her of her son then why the hell would she want to be intimate with her son? and why would the husband be cool with it? just didnt make sense to me.

    the only explanation i can think of about the intimacy part is that the 17 year old made the first move, but it still doesnt excuse the actionmoreless
  • Totally boring...dont get me wrong, I love Cold Case and Lily\'s my favourite characters-but this was so unbelievably boring!!

    Totally boring...dont get me wrong, I love Cold Case and Lily\'s my favourite characters-but this was so unbelievably boring!!

    I mean pur-lease, the storyline wasn\'t so bad but in all god forsaken honesty the casting and acting was in my opinion, average.

    There was no chemistry between Lily and Joseph. It was incredibly stupid and ludicrous and during most of the show I was cringing at the absurd and out - of - character things that were said and done.

    I cannot believe that that piece of crap was the season finale- seriously, would it kill them to put a little action for the characters into the script. So much mushy wishy washy lovey dovey crap is making me light headed!!

    A boring episode, the worst I have seen of Cold Case. I\'m very dissapointed.moreless
  • Excellent.

    The team reopens a 2005 case only to discover the victim is actually alive! Of course, if they had done an autopsy on the victim (Joseph) they would have known that Joseph was still alive but forensics isn't what what Cold Case (the TV show of course, in real life they always use forensics) is about. Anyway, while investigating they discover the victim was to testify against one of the teens at the rehabilitation center he worked at because he fatally beat another teen to death (shocking reason why). The drama builds when the victim's brother, Wilder, is brought into the picture. It turns out that Wilder was the actual victim (again, they could of used an autopsy, but why would Cold Case do that? lol). The only problem was, as another reviewer stated, there was not real connection between Joseph and Lilly. Another than that, the episode was a 10/10 in my book.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)

Steven Grayhm

Steven Grayhm


Guest Star

Mageina Tovah

Mageina Tovah


Guest Star

Ramon Camacho

Ramon Camacho


Guest Star

Kenneth Johnson (III)

Kenneth Johnson (III)

Joseph (as Kenneth Johnson)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Joseph: (in a flashback to his foster mom) You're the mother of the year, Reba. Thanks for everything.
      Lilly: (in the present) Sounds like the same award my mom was up for.

    • Joseph: Does it... feel like we've met before or something?
      Lilly: (deadpan) No.

    • Det. Vera: (about Lilly) She on her way in?
      Scotty: Nah. She's, uh, takin' a sick day.
      Det. Vera: She never takes off sick.
      Det. Vera: Lil's sick.
      Det. Jeffries: She's never sick.

    • Lilly: So... Where will you go?
      Joseph: The farm for a while. Should I... keep the door open in case you wanna track me down?
      Lilly: (smiles) Keep it locked.
      Joseph: (disappointed) Alright. Okay. (starts to walk off)
      Lilly: I can break in if I need to.
      (Joseph grins to himself.)

    • Det. Lilly Rush: When someone gets the bright idea of using a dead man's credit card...
      Scotty Valens: Hope whatever they bought was worth it.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Joseph's cats: Archer and Laura

      Archer was the name of Sam Spade's partner in the movie Maltese Falcon (the movie being watched at the start of the episode.)

      Laura is the name of the main character in the movie by the same name that the episode is loosely based on.

    • The black-and-white movie Joseph and the kids are watching in the beginning of the episode is The Maltese Falcon (1941), starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor.

    • Joseph: This isn't as Ted Kaczynski as it looks.

      For years, Ted Kaczynski was only known as the Unabomber who sent deadly mail bombs to his enemies. He killed three people and injured 29. He sent a manifesto to several major newspapers and told them he would not commit any more bombings if they published it. After the manifesto was published, David Kaczynski told the FBI it sounded like his brother Ted's style of writing and this led to the Unabomber being captured. Joseph thinks that the isolated farmhouse where he's staying might resemble the Unabomber's shack in the Montana wilderness.