Cold Case

Season 3 Episode 16

One Night

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 19, 2006 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

out of 10
157 votes
  • A man shows up at the station to say he buried a young boy alive. Lilly and her colleages learn the man's story and try to find where the boy is hidden.


    This episode is my least favorite of Cold Case to date. I just found this episode to be boring and uninteresting. With just about every other episode of the show I get very interested in where the story is going and get involved with the characters in some way. That was not the case here. Maybe it is because the identity of the killer is revealed in the very beginning of the episode. It's like reading the ending of an Agatha Christie novel first and then going back and reading the book from the beginning.

  • A man comes foreward, claiming to have murdered a young man from 1980, and it is discovered he has struck again....

    Lilly and the team must race against the clock to solve a young man's recent abduction and burial alive. I really, really enjoyed this episode. Medical inaccuracies aside, the plot was brutally emotional from start to finish, and the music fit the flashbacks (plus, the ending song was lovely, especially when the 2006 victim was found alive and reunited with his friend and lover). The team seemed to get into the case more so than other cases, probably because they wanted to prevent Justin's from becoming another cold case, just like Steve's. And the final scene with Lilly and John was one of the best and most emotional ever. The references to George Marks (from "Mindhunters" and "The Woods"), plus John explaining how he felt like he ruled the world at 17 (just like Steve and Justin) were most excellent. Overall: 10/10
  • A man goes to Lilly, telling her he has the shovel that was used to bury Steve in 1980 alive.

    This was an excellent episode. It was written very well. It's nice to see them have someone that doesn't know the victims kill them every once and awhile because although most murders are committed by someone the victim knows, not all are.

    I thought the saddest parts are when it shows Steve and Justin going through "the 5 stages of dying". It was sad to see how they reacted to him telling them they were going to die. It kind of made me think about how I would react to having someone tell me that. I got a bit choked up during those parts. It was also sad to see how Steve died. I mean to be buried alive is probably the worst way to die. The guy wants them to accept their death before he puts them in there, but it's obvious by the marks in the box, the last thing he did was accept it.

    This is definitely an episode that should not be missed!
  • One of the best episodes, this episode remembers me why I see this TV show.

    I think this episode is one of the best in Cold Case. The storyline is very good, the episode is superb from start to the finish, but my favorite moment in this episode is when Valentino and Justin were talking. That short moment is... I don´t know how to explain. The way they talk about escape like Thelma and Louise did in the film, and when Justin tells Valentino if he wants to come with him. At first Valentino doesn´t want, but only one touch of their hands makes Valentino change his opinion and say "ask me again".

    One of the best momentsis when the murderer tells the boys where do they want to die: Steve in the place where he did his first homerun and Justin where he used to go to ride horses with his mother.

    But the best one actually is when Justin is reading the paper he wrote and he remembers that he should have told Valentino to come with him when he said to him "ask me again". That only moment made me cry.

    That´s why I don´t understand why this episode is one with the lowest puntuation. The actor are very good and the storyline is superb. But the best are those emotional moments.
  • Best episode ever.

    I watch a lot of detective/cop shows. I like that genre the whole mysterie, solving crimes thing. That's why I watch Cold case. It's not the best crimeshow I've ever seen but it's good enough to watch.
    Anyway this episode reminded me why I watch Cold case, it was great plotted from beginning to end. I loved the way they brought in the five stages of grieve. And the music in this episode. Cold case is always known for it's great pick in music but this time, my god I almost cried in the end of the episode and cold case is not really a show that makes me cry. I don't really understand why it's rating is so low on this site, but who am I to judge.
  • Brutally emotional from start to finish

    MS trivia aside, this episode was so well done, so moving, I actually sent out email to my friends with TiVo to make sure they could get it for me. Most folks that had seen it agreed it was total kleenexfest at the end, with the most perfect use of the Lifehouse song to complement the reunion of the kids. As an only child of a single mom, I was blown away by Justin\'s an NYC bus commuter, I see these kids every day at the terminal...they do exist and it is unfortunate.
  • Although this episode was gutsy and the acting was excellent (as usual), I was disturbed by the lack of research done regarding multiple sclerosis.

    I wrote a letter to CBS when this episode originally aired requesting an apology be made to members of the MS community. I received a reply stating that the show and the network were standing behind their \"research\" into the effects of multiple sclerosis.

    I have had MS since 1980 (co-incidentally the same year the young man in the story was murdered). I have had tremors since day one, along with vision and mobility problems; however, I was never given a death sentence. MS is a chronic disorder, but with new advances in research and medications I and others like me can live normal and productive lives.

    This episode has been the subject of discussion at many meetings of my local MS society. We are discriminated against enough as it is; are we now going to be considered psychotic serial killers as well?
  • Devastatingly amazing, an episode not to be missed.

    This show was devastatingly amazing. I find Cold Case consistently excellent, but this episode was brilliant. The horrible, mesmerizing premise of the episode was one that struck me instantly, and I was unable to switch off.

    I thought the relationship between Valentino (Shiloh Fernandez) and Justin (Cole Williams) was beautifully understated, and their reunion at the end of the episode brought me to tears. That, and the stunning music.

    I can see that this episode does deviate somewhat from the usual Cold Case format, but in my opinion it was a valuable deviation. This episode was definitely well worth the gut wrenching watch, and I only wish I had taped the episode so I could watch it again.
  • Amazing guest stars

    Cold Case\'s guest stars never quite get the recognition they should...this show has had some real up and comers book early guest stars on it. In this episode, Cole Williams who plays Justin, does a good job but the real light here is Shiloh Fernandez who is a scene-stealing gem. His resemblence to a young Joaquin Phoenix is uncanny and he\'s hard to take your eyes away from! He\'s definitely one to watch and I desperately wish they would have him recurr on this show as both it and now he are my favorite things to watch. I\'ll definitely always make time for the reruns of this episode!
  • A must-see episode of Cold Case

    I live in the UK and watch Cold Case all the time; I love series such as these, with CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds & Medium being amongst my favourites.

    However I found this episode the best Cold Case since the one where the little boy was found dead in the snow, killed by the shopkeeper (I don't know the name of the episode but it finished with the Genesis track "Follow me Follow You" and was so emotional!).

    I can see why other reviewers have a slight problem with the risks of the storyline, but I thought it was handled well, and the acting was exemplary throughout.

    Best of all was Valentino (Shilho Fernandez) - he may have not had a huge part, but it was enough - a star is born without a doubt!

    Definitely well worth watching.
  • cold case goes into questionable territory in\"One Night\", providing agony instead of entertainment.

    i intentionally waited a couple of weeks to reflect on this story.the idea of mentally torturing some decent 17 year old boy,forcing him
    to beg for his life, even making him willing to do any disgusting act to live,then bury him alive
    and letting us know that it took nearly 6 hours to horribly die,makes me wonder where does network
    tv draw the line!! superb performance by Taylor
    Handley,but i wonder if he went inside himself emotionally someplace he shouldn\'t have gone to
    give that performance?? i think tv sank to a new low mar.19th.sad very sad.
  • Touching relationship between two young men. A realistic (somewhat romanticized)portrayal of the hopelessness and sadness associated with prostitution.

    Unlike many of the people who have reviewed this episode, I really liked it although it did seem a bit far-fetched. The idea of a man targeting young men simply because they are young and healthy, and he is not, seemed more fantasy than reality.

    My reasons for liking the episode had more to do with the other secondary characters/guest stars. I felt so drawn to the character Justin (Cole Williams). I found the relationship between him and Valentino very touching. The idea of young runaways having to earn a living in this fashion is quite thought-provoking and sad. I felt these two young men were talented actors and delivered a sympathic portrayal of prostitution without glamourizing it overmuch. I especially loved the line said by Justin in the field: "This is where I mattered to someone once."
  • Although I thought this actually turned out better than I thought, I was left a little unsatisifed.

    As usual, I was a little teary when I saw the introductory scene with the victim. The scene where his dead body is inside a grave is more realistic than most "dead body" scenes in Cold Case. Although this was a good episode and I am always open to an episode with more suspense than usual, like this one turned out to be, it wasn't one of the top episodes for me. Like I said, I was surprised that I actually like this episode, but for some reason something was missing. I think that the only reason why this episode was made because many people wanted to know more information about George, another serial killer who appeared in season 2's "Mind Hunters" and "The Woods." I also think that the writers tried too hard with this episode to make it a hit just like the episodes George was in. Even though I didn't like "Mind Hunters" or "The Woods", John, the serial killer in this episode can't even compare to George.
  • I was a huge fan of this show until this episode, it made me wonder about the correctness of information in other episodes, and whether or not I will continue to watch a show which obviously doesn\\\\\\\'t do its homework.

    As a person suffering with the chronic (not fatal) disease of MS, I was truely disappointed with this episode. There was not one true fact about MS in it. 1. It is not a terminal disease, but a chronic one. 2.Tremmers do not signal the end of an MS patients life. The statements made in your show will be truely frightening to newly diagnosed patients and their families, who do not yet understand it anyway. It even upset me tremendously, and evoked some of my fears when I was first diagnosed. Please offer us an apology and correct the misinformation.
  • This is one of my favorite shows, BUT this episode really left more empty.

    I can not express how much I really did not like this episode. I felt as if we were to some how feel sad & bad that the killer was dying and that is why he did what he did. It was so bothersome, we spent most of the shows on the sad part of the killer,(his feelings & of course his feeling immortal at 17)& the rest on the current victim and his friend. We spent less than 10 mins. on the vic from 1980, the horror of this sweet boy who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which is why the show is called cold case. Because it is all about the even "old or cold case"
    Even the songs in the show save Supertrump in the begining, tended to be from current hitlist (including one of my favorite songs by Lifehouse.)
    Again, I just felt this show is so much better than this episode. I really felt cheated by this storyline and look to this Sunday for better episode to my favorite show.
  • Another "Gem" of Season 3

    Yet another amazing episode. The writing was superb (I'm starting to realize that any episode written by Veena Sud is guaranteed to be great), and the acting was incredible. Kathryn Morris was so captivating in this episode, particularly the final interrogation scene. I can't praise her acting skills enough. The episode also presents very thought provoking ideas about death and dying, topics no one really wants to think about, but ultimately, we must all confront. I'm definitely adding "One Night" to my list of stand-out episodes of the season. I'm stunned to find a couple of previous viewers have given this episode such low ratings (did we watch the same episode??). It appears some people seem to be extremely caught up and angry over the portrayal of MS in this episode. Yes, many people with MS do live long lives, but MS varies in degrees of severity depending on the individual, and people can, and do, die of complications (it's not like it's such a fantastical statement to make). And do we really believe that the intelligent writers of the show complied no prior research on the subject before creating the episode? That seems highly doubtful to me. Besides, the episode isn't really about MS anyway. It's about confronting one's own mortality.. the killer could have had any illness and as long as he believed he was dying, he still would have murdered that boy and tried to kill the other one. In any event, I'm done ranting. I'm sure there were plenty of people who enjoyed the episode as much as I did (even if they didn't write reviews) and were able to appreciate the fine writing and top-notch acting without such harsh criticisms.
  • Tweaking with its usual format, Cold Case provides more controversial yet rewarding entertainment.

    This episode was so not about M.S. It would be like saying this episode was about rain, simply because the killer found that to be his ideal moment of murder. Well as a precipatation analyst, I was appalled by this episode's lack of respect to the precipatation fraternity. When hard rain falls on a car, it registers a level 6 on the waterfromthesky-ometer, this was not duplicated thanks to the shonky special effects production values down at Bruckheimer studios.

    No, this episode was not about rain, M.S, or any minor theme that may or may not have affected anyone's ability to write an accurate review.
    It was simply an excellent episode of Cold Case that told of the desperate measures people take when confronted with their own desperate situations.

    Keep up the good work!
  • I have MS and was very disappointed by the misinformation given in this episode. Total waste of time and disillusioned the audience. Request an apology/statement of sorts to the avid watchers and Mser\\\\\\\'s of their mistake and particularly during th

    I have MS and was very disappointed by the misinformation given in this episode. Total waste of time and disillusioned the audience. Request an apology/statement of sorts to the avid watchers and Mser\\\\\\\'s of their mistake and particularly during the month of March being MS Awareness Month. More research should be initiated by staff and writers before such atrocities are incurred.
  • The worse epidose of this series and I will never get back the 60 minutes I wasted watching it. Got the MS angle so wrong they need to apologize to everyone who is affected by this terrible disease.

    This is a favorite series of mine and I can\\\\\\\'t believe they dumped this episode on us. It started out promising with some SuperTramp, but that was the only highlight.

    I should give them some credit for trying something different this episode, but I won\\\\\\\'t because they failed. Giving us the killer right away has been done on many other shows lately and to much better effect.

    There didn\\\\\\\'t seem to be any character development with the regular cast, there was some nonsense about Lily and George Marsh, by that time I was tuning the show out and didn\\\\\\\'t make much sense of it.

    The total nonsense about John Doe\\\\\\\'s terminal MS and his shaking hands being a sign of his upcoming death really ticked me off. It doesn\\\\\\\'t take much research to get the facts straight and fix the lousy script.

    At least West Wing started at the right time and was good.
  • Very poor story basis!

    Well written - that's a joke. The plot was as sick as many are these days... but to link the "sicko's" actions to MS was TOTALLY misleading. MS is NOT terminal [as people that ACTUALLY know about MS realize]. There are a lot of unknowns about MS and to plant this wrong information in the viewer's mind was the sickess part of this show!!
  • horrid.

    I am never watching Cold Case ever again. This episode pushed me over the brink. I like a good detective show. I enjoyed many other epidodes. Lately, it seems to take on a more dark and gratuitous hellious tone. This episode was really out there.

    We are treated to seeing a 17 year old boy beg for his life. He was buried alive. We get to learn it took him 6 hours to die. We get to see his body dug up. We get to see the killer go through details.

    We get treated to more and more of this, including the parents getting pulled in to chat with the schizo MS guy.

    What was the point of closing in on such a horrid story line?

    I was wrong to let my nephews and niece watch with me. That was a mistake.

    And this episode was a badly written piece of filthy garbage. Horrible. Hopefully no copy-cat murders will take place after some idiot sees this episode.

    I realise I am just one water droplet in the pond. But if the ratings go down the producers will realise water droplets add up.

    A pity really. Wonderful leading actress. Used to be written well. Now we are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  • Horrible episode

    I hated this episode. The killer walking in to confess, the reason why he committed the murder, and the interview with Lily was boring. I got so bored I turned the channel and watched anything else but this show. I got to the point where I didn't care what happened at the end.
  • Very disappointing in terms of medical research

    Totally wrong choice of disease!
    MS is NOT (repeat) NOT a terminal illness. Should have checked with the MS Society for accurate information about consequences of the disease and selected on that has terminal consequences! I've had MS since I was 12 and I'm still alive and in some ways getting better!!! Shame on terribly poor research!!!
  • the big problem with this episode is the mis information that MS is a TERMINAL illness. IT IS NOT. I have MS. Please research this better.

    the big problem with this episode is the mis information that MS is a TERMINAL illness. IT IS NOT. I have MS. Please research this better.

    The idea of this depressed person being so out of it due to MS is a bit far fetched as in most cases this is not valid.

    Also this web sit really needs work
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