Cold Case

Season 1 Episode 1

Look Again

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 28, 2003 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
188 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Look Again
Kathryn Morris stars as Philadelphia homicide detective Lilly Rush, who investigates long-unsolved crimes, otherwise known as Cold Cases. In the pilot episode, Lilly investigates a 1976 case involving a teenage girl who was beaten to death on a tennis court during a party at a plush estate. A maid to a wealthy family, Bonita Jakarta, claims she witnessed the murder of teenager Jill Shelby. Now dying of cancer, the maid who remained silent, wants the killer brought to justice. Rush reopens the case, in which two brothers were originally suspected but not charged due to their powerful society family. Lilly interviews several witnesses: Jill's best friend Melanie, and her boyfriend, Todd Whitley (who is now married to Melanie) and his troubled brother Eric. The evidence points mostly to Eric, now a troubled alcoholic, but lawyer Todd has secrets of his own. Determined to uncover the truth, Lilly must force the Whitleys to confront their dark past despite resistance from everyone involved in the case, including the victim's mother.moreless

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  • trying to watch all the seasons

    Where can I watch this for free ?
  • Good Pilot

    This was a good pilot to a good show! The case was very interesting and kept me guessing as to which brother was guilty. I have seen a few episodes before and decided to start from the beginning. It was a good pilot but not the best I've seen.
  • I've watched almost all the episodes of cold case from all seasons & now I finally got to watch the pilot.

    It was fun to see the pilot, but it doesn't look as great as future episodes. You are introduced to Lilly Rush & learn about her life, as well as her personality. She's tough, has a can do attitude & wants to right wrongs. The reason I gave this low rating is because of its choppy style. There is one scene that stands out most: Lilly is interviewing the victim's mom or a girlfriend. You can see the real street but then when the angle changes you see the set (fake background) of houses! LOL! I also didn't like her partner (thank goodness she only works with him for a few episodes). The plot was unbelievable & rather dumb. For a fan its worth watching, just for the history into the characters but otherwise skip it.moreless
  • A cold case from 1976 emerges when the maid of a wealthy family wittnesses the murder of a teenager. This is Lilly Rush'es first 'cold case'.

    Quite a good episode and with a bit of a twist at the end... the tennis rqcquet used in the murder emerges after being buried 27 earlier. The ghost of the victim appears to Lilly Rush. It was interesting to see how money seemed to control the lives of the two brothers and how the maid was frightened of losing her job as oppossed to pursuing justice. Also featured in the episode is a triple homicide which would feature in future episodes as "the badlands". The final scene with all the rain is of course featured in the opening theme.moreless
  • Decent for a pilot.

    The show obviously hadn't quite figured out its format, and I can see why they dropped the uncharismatic partner of Rush's. Rush seems way out of character as well. Things seem to already be ground by the time 1x02, Gleen airs, though.

    The fact that every person that the detectives talk to has a problem talking with police gets really annoying. You would think someone would be cooperative after 27 years. Even some of the people questioned on Law & Order are friendly, but not ONE person here. I really want to watch the second season premier again now because I don't remember how the triple homicide introduced in this episode plays out.moreless
Jeremy Ratchford

Jeremy Ratchford

Det. Nick Vera

Thom Barry

Thom Barry

Det. Will Jeffries

John Finn

John Finn

Lt. John Stillman

Kathryn Morris

Kathryn Morris

Det. Lilly Rush

Justin Chambers

Justin Chambers

Chris Lassing (Episodes 1-2, 4)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The triple homicide Lilly shows up to at the beginning of the episode will be solved in the second season premiere, 2-1: The Badlands.

    • This episode doesn't have a crime date. The beginning only says "Philadelphia, 1976" meaning it could be anytime within the year. However, the 1976 scenes appear to be during a warm period and one of the victim's family members mentions to Lilly that she has checked with the police every August since the murder. Therefore, we can assume that Jill Shelby died in the summer of 1976.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Nick Vera: Rush, your boyfriend's downstairs.
      Lilly Rush: I'm single. You sure it's not your boyfriend?

    • Todd Whitley: Tell me something, Lilly. What is the point of all of this, after so many years?
      Lilly Rush: People shouldn't be forgotten, even if they are my kind of people. Maybe they don't have a lotta money, they don't have lawyers... but they matter. They should get justice, too.
      Todd Whitley: I see. You're a crusader.
      Lilly Rush: I guess I am.

  • NOTES (8)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Když hradba povolí (When the Rampart Yields)

    • This episode didn't show the main title sequence, only the name of the show. The main cast members were listed in the beginning of the episode before guest stars.

    • International Airdates:
      - Denmark: January 7, 2004 on TV3+

    • Broadcast History
      Seasons 1-3 (September 2003 – May 2006): Sunday 8 p.m. on CBS
      Seasons 4-6 (September 2006 – May 2008): Sunday 9 p.m. on CBS
      Season 7: Sunday 10 p.m. on CBS

    • International Titles:
      Spain: Caso abierto (translated: "Open case")
      Germany: Cold Case - Kein Opfer ist je vergessen (translated: "No victim is ever forgotten")
      France: Cold case - affaires eacute;es (translated: "fied cases")
      Sweden: Kalla spår (translated: "Cold tracks")
      Finland: Todistettavasti syyllinen (translated: "Proven guilty") Canada (French title): Victimes du passé (translated: "Victims of the past")
      Czech republic: Odlozene pripady (translated: "Cold cases")
      Portugal: Casos Arquivados (translated: "Cases Archived")
      Brazil: Cold Case: Arquivo Morto (translated: "Cold Case: Dead Archive")

    • Show name candidates before the producers settled on Cold Case included e.g. The Unsolved and Cold Cases.

    • This is the first one of the only three episodes that contain star Justin Chambers (Chris Lassing).

    • Music Featured in This Episode:
      - More Than a Feeling by Boston from Boston (1976)
      - Soul Searching by Soul Hooligan from Music Like Dirt (2002)
      - You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate from Hot Chocolate (1975)
      - I'm Not in Love by 10cc from The Original Soundtrack (1975)
      - Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival from Pendulum (1970)

      The Cold Case opening theme song is Nara by E.S. Posthumus, from their 2001 album Unearthed. However, the distinctive and haunting cry in the beginning of the theme is not part of the album version of the song. Instead, it is performed by Elise Morris whom the show's composer Michael A. Levine and his wife Claire heard singing and playing the piano in a restaurant.


    • Todd Whitley calls Lilly a crusader. Kathryn Morris played a crusader in episode 4-8: Crusader of Xena: Warrior Princess.

    • This episode is very reminiscent of the recently solved 1975 murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut. In that case, the murder weapon was a golf club.

      On June 7, 2002, the jury found Michael Skakel "Guilty as Charged of Murder in the 1st Degree". Skakel was also 15 at the time of the murder. He belongs to the Kennedy clan, much like the Whitleys in this episode were a socially powerful family.