Cold Case

Season 2 Episode 20


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 24, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes

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Episode Summary

The murder case of a young mill worker is re-opened when Rush learns that a recent parolee admitted to stealing money off the victim's body.

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  • A so-so episode

    While sitting in prison, James (from episode "Sherry Darlin") hears new evidence about his uncle Joe's 1985 murder. Evidence quickly turns to his fellow friends.

    Nothing in this episode really popped for me. The storyline was medicore, but it just didn't have enough emotion. There wasn't enough of Joe's personality to make me feel for him. The flashbacks didn't provide much into what he was like. All it was about was how desperate he was after he lost his job and that trusted people too easily.

    The leads given by the people weren't much to talk about either. The flashbacks didn't really contain anything besides a bunch of talk.

    To me, I don't believe it was the worst episode, but it definitely won't be in my top 10. It's worth checking out, just don't expect much emotion.moreless
  • A character from Lilly's past provides a new lead in the 1985 death of an out-of-work textile mill employee.

    "Kensington" has all the elements that make Cold Case successful: compelling characters, an appealing soundtrack (in this case, all John Mellencamp songs), and a satisfying resolution.

    It also features a clever hook, bringing back James Hogan from the first season episode "Sherry Darlin'" to jump start the investigation. In "Sherry Darlin'", Lilly stepped close to the line in winning the trust of Hogan, who had confessed to a murder. This episode shows the consequences of her behavior, as Hogan assumes a closer relationship to Lilly than any prison inmate ought to have with his arresting officer. But this unusual relationship also emphasizes the side of Lilly's character that keeps her from allowing herself to be truly intimate with other people. It's a clever, revealing twist and makes sense, especially if you remember the earlier episode.

    Although Hogan's connection to the current case stretches credulity--his uncle is the cold case--it seems clear that his motivation is not to solve his uncle's case but to see Lilly. But once the investigation is re-started, it is a solid and representative episode. The action focuses on four friends who were co-workers at a textile mill in the industrial section of Philly known as Kensington (where, we learn in other episodes, Lilly grew up--strangely, this angle is not developed). The mill shut down in 1985, leaving the employees scrambling to make ends meet.

    The episode is a non-too-subtle commentary on the decline of American manufacturing: the distraught blue-collar families left uncertain and desperate with mouths to feed and bills to pay; the contrasting shots of the formerly busy mills with the ruined shells of buildings and dirty vacant lots; and the Mellencamp music, evocative of the '80's blue collar class. The storyline is solid, with a satisfying resolution. And the characters all seem well-rounded, which makes the tragedy at the center of the episode all the more difficult to absorb. These men don't always behave honorably, and they aren't always likable. But as the viewer is reminded, they were going through the same tumultuous changes as Kensington itself. It isn't the most memorable episode, but if you enjoy "Kensington," you'll enjoy the whole series.moreless
Bradley Stryker

Bradley Stryker

Joe Young (1985)

Guest Star

Chad Allen

Chad Allen

Monty Fineman (1985)

Guest Star

Jay Acovone

Jay Acovone

Tom Collison (2005)

Guest Star

Nicki Lynn Aycox

Nicki Lynn Aycox

Christina Rush

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 10:00 pm
    48 Hours