Cold Case

Season 4 Episode 12

Knuckle Up

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 07, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
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133 votes

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Episode Summary

Knuckle Up
When a video clip of a missing student is found on the Internet, the team re-investigates the case of a talented 17-year-old boy who disappeared just a year before in early 2006.

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  • A clip turns up on the internet of a kid that went missing in 2006 getting beat up, searching for him, leads the detectives to his body.

    James Hoffman was a smart high school student who just wanted to do his best on tests for his dad. Until his fellow classmates introduce him to their form of fight club. Then, his grades fall and things seemingly begin to go downhill for him. All leading up to his 2006 disappearance.

    The case is only a year old so it didn't really feel like a Cold Case episode for me. I enjoy the older ones much more because it's much more emotional when the people have been waiting so long for answers.

    Although, I didn't like the date in which the events took place, I did enjoy the storyline itself. It was very interesting and original. It was written well and the acting was superb.moreless
  • Just great!

    Lily's team, this time, did, as always, an amazing job! This episode, without any doubts, is one of the best episodes of this season. And finally, Vera is about to have an affair, after all, all of them already have! Great, great and great! I just think that their lives should appear more! =)
  • family foto seen on show?

    my kids work on different shows and I missed this one. did anyone on this episode look at a foto of a family (mom, dad, son) at any point? that was my 4 yr old son and I missed it! until it airs again I won't be able to tape it. and if you did see it what context did it fit in the episode.
  • The body of a missing straight-A student is discovered, as is the secret he kept from his family.

    After a couple of weeks of okay episodes, this episode was pretty refreshing. It is one of the better ones of the current season. The actors did a great job playing up on the emotion and the drama.

    I think the biggest reason for why I enjoyed this episode so much was the fact that I could relate to and understand James' situation. I knew what it was like to have a parent who pushes his/her child to get the best grades in school and to apply to the best colleges out there. I remember realizing that I was no longer doing what I was doing for myself, that I was only doing those things for my parents. And of course, I also became rebellious and started to discover who I was.

    The whole Fight Club thing is a real concern. The boys in the club were all unhappy about something in their lives, so they joined the club as a way of getting some attention and getting away from what troubles them. These kinds of things happen to kids who are not happy. It just goes to show that kids like that aren't necessarily "bad". They are just missing something, lost and in need of guidance.

    Hopefully, some parents realize that they should encourage growth rather than force their own ideals upon their children. And hopefully, adolescents realize that although their parents may be a pain, they really just want to see their children succeed.

    Other than that, I thought the song at the end was perfect. This is beside the point, but it is one of my favorite songs. The part at the very end that had the father, daughter, and son outside in the snow was pretty touching.

    All in all, it was an episode that made me think. There have been many episodes this season that left me deep in thought, and all of them were superb.moreless
  • Tragic tale of kids acting brutal!

    They should have shown a hotline number or something like

    This as these boys about kicked the crap out of each

    Other as they did in that movie the Fight Club

    Brutal and graphic as the show should had put up a Viewer Discretion Advised sign. I mean did they think that

    They could have fooled the police about their actions. Poor boy as I do feel bad for the sister that loved him a lot.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)

Marshall Allman

Marshall Allman

James Hoffman

Guest Star

Michael Bofshever

Michael Bofshever

Darren Hoffman

Guest Star

Jenna Gavigan

Jenna Gavigan

Alexa Hoffman

Guest Star

Susan Chuang

Susan Chuang

Frannie Ching

Recurring Role

Sonja Sohn

Sonja Sohn

Toni Halstead

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The Hoffman house exterior is the same house exterior (except repainted) where Sam & Darrin Stephens lived in the 1960s show Bewitched.

    • The missing person notice for James reads:

      James Hoffman
      Last seen Feb. 19, 2006

      Age 17
      HT.: 5'7"
      WT.: 140
      Hair: brown
      Eyes: green

      Last seen wearing:
      Gray jacket, gray hoodie, brown t-shirt, indigo jeans.

      If seen PLEASE CALL
      (the number is cut off)

      Additionally, James' student ID card that Lt. Stillman is holding gives what is presumably his student ID number: 281991.

    • James Hoffman disappeared on February 19, 2006.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Scotty: Anyways, we got a name on that kid, this ringleader of the fight club. Cole Palmer, senior, a.k.a. "Ares".
      Vera: Ares is the Greek god of war.
      Scotty: Uh huh?
      Vera: 'Rawfodog' spelled backwards? God of war.
      Scotty: So the same kid posted the video?
      Vera: Not bad, huh?
      Scotty: Man, dude, you really need a girlfriend.

    • Cole: Inside of every dog there is a wolf. I just let him out.

    • Darren Hoffman: Let's go through the checklist one last time.
      James: Oh, OK. Umm, got it, dad: Find a cure for cancer, open up a hedge fund, clone some sort of mammal, perform emergency surgery, then write the great American novel, or just put an end to world hunger, terrorism or male pattern baldness. Then write my memoirs.

    • Scotty: You knew James Hoffman?
      Lucas: Sort of used to be friends... kinda.
      Scotty: Sorta kinda wanna tell me here or down at the station?

    • Cole: (to James) Your old man calls you eight times a day. Talk about an electronic umbilical cord.

    • Scotty: You should just skip the favor BS and ask her out. Save 40 bucks.
      Vera: Yeah, single mom, neighbor, pain-in-the-ass kid, the whole package.
      Kat: That sounds like me. Except for the neighbor part.
      Vera: No offense.
      Kat: None taken. Makes you think I want an overweight, underpaid white man. (a beat) No offense.
      Vera: (to Scotty) See what you started?

    • Toni: Something else you wanted to tell me?
      Vera: Uhh, no, I... Just realized how nice it is to talk to you without that damn ball bouncing.
      Toni: Hmm. For a second there I thought you were gonna ask me out.
      Vera: Me?
      Toni: Were you?
      Vera: Absolutely.

    • Mr. Lennox: After tonight, there'll be no mention of this. Ever again. Understand? You're a bright kid, James, with a hell of a future. But I know your father's financial situation. Do the right thing, and I can pull some strings. Tuition will not be an issue.
      James: The right thing? You wouldn't know the right thing if it bit you in the ass.

    • Cole: Girls cut themselves, guys fight.

    • Cole: Black eyes, bruises... I show up like this every day at school, and all the adults are asleep at the wheel.

    • Scotty Valens: (to Cole) I used to box, kid. What you're doing ain't the same thing.

    • (At Hanford Prep School)
      Lilly Rush: This a high school or a country club?
      Scotty Valens: The place gives me the willies.
      Lilly Rush: 'Cause these kids drive better cars than we do?
      Scotty Valens: No, 'cause it's high school, and you're the only female in sight.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Toni: You, uhh, follow up on my case?
      Scotty: "The Case of the Missing Basketball"? We got Encyclopedia Brown on it.

      Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown is a boy detective in a series of children's books written by Donald J. Sobol. The first book of the series was published in 1963, and new ones are still being published every few years. Many of the book titles are of the format Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the ..., so the one Scotty mentions, "The Case of the Missing Basketball", would fit right into the series.

    • Alexa: Let's watch The Naked Chef. He's off to buy fresh herbs on his scooter.

      The Naked Chef is a popular British cooking show starring Jamie Oliver.

    • John Stillman: A bunch of rich kids throwing down in the hood?
      Tanner: It's Fight Club.

      Fight Club is a 1999 movie directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. It depicts an underground organization of men who deal with their aggression by meeting and brawling with each other.