Cold Case

Season 1 Episode 13

The Letter

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 25, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
138 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Letter
Rush and Valens re-open the case of a 25-year-old black woman, who was murdered in 1939, after the woman's granddaughter comes forward with new information. The woman was assumed to be a prostitute murdered by a client, but letters written by the victim indicate that she was afraid of a milkman.moreless

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  • To hell with this episode. There was no real, true love there! What man would love a woman and wait until a mob came to watch her be beaten and raped, then kill her to save her from death at their hands? That is so damn, contemptably stupid for sure!moreless

    I am both a minority female and a mother who has been a crime victim. The whole scenario of an unwitting hatemonger falling in love with the object of his hatred is trite, yet feasible, but blasphemed herein. Never once was his timing "on Q" to "sail off happily ever after" with the woman he supposedly loved. Her Black-looking daughter seemed to be a problem and excuse for this as much as fear of his cohorts. I would say this about characters in these roles of any ethnicity, whether the same or a mixed couple. This insults love period. Their course was a rocky road that could have been smoothe over several times, while still depicting the racial tensions of the place and time. (I am an academic professional too.) Only for the reason that the granddaughter of the dead woman seeks and is willing to know the truth at her own financial expense, if need be, did I rate "The Letter" at 1.6. Also that stereotypical Black prostitutes and a rooming/boarding house owner who looked the other way are portrayed are loathsome racist media flaws by everyone connected with this episode and the network. Rhetorically, were they trying to reinvent and remake that damnable "Imitation of Life" with a romantic spin? "Cold Case" never kept my interest enflamed anyway. The Kathryn Morris character should marry the equally arrogant William Pearson character from "CSI" (good series) so I could be the first diagnosed case of a medical crisis borne of trying to change the channel or turn off the TV, then see on or both of them in syndication, some pre-series vehicle or on a commercial, having a relapse of some "pre-existing medical condition". Her cat-on-the-bad and his failure to ever deliver on the impending deafness-watch cinch my cyncisim about these repulsive overblown seekers of justice for crime victims.moreless
  • The dark side of our society

    Lilly and the team reopen the case of Sadie Douglas, a lovely young black woman living in a house occupied by suspected prostitutes. The case was originally written off as a prostitute being murdered by a john. Since discrimination and segregation were alive and well in 1939, not much effort was made to solve the case. When Sadie's granddaughter comes to Lilly with a letter she found while going through her recently deceased mother's (Sadie's daughter) belongings, the team agrees to take a look.

    Cold Case has never been shy to put the underbelly of society before us and this episode is no exception. We see racial discrimination at it's worst, blacks discarded and treated almost as a subspecies, love that is hidden because inter-racial couples were targets for murder and the tragedy of a man whose racism won out over his love.

    I am left thinking about our society today and that in and of itself is a good thing. When television can serve this kind of purpose, it is not Newton N. Minow's 'vast wasteland', but a catalyst for positive change. Such episodes make us look inside ourselves to examine ourselves to see if there are not perhaps elements of racism or tendencies toward discrimination hidden deep inside. And, as any of us root these things out of our consciousness, society also benefits.

    This episode left me both grateful for the wonderful strides that have been made since 1939 and mindful that we have work left to do.moreless
  • Two things that struck me.

    There were two things that struck me about this show. The first was seeing Keke Palmer playing the younger self of one of the characters. Keke is an excellent actress - I saw her recently in Akeelah and the Bee and was impressed by her acting. This show (Cold case) is a few years old now, I doubt she would accept this kind of role today - now she is playing the lead, and playing it very well too.

    The other thing that surprised me was the ending. Jonesy seemed as though he really loved Sadie, until he saw how "black" her daughter was. It made me realize that these were very difficult times to live in. Difficult to be a black person and face that level of discrimination and difficult to be a white person because of the strength of feeling against blacks. What I mean by that is that even if you didn't share the hatreds that were being expressed, you couldn't escape the peer pressure of the time to conform to that way of thinking.

    In a better world (or time) Jonesy and Sadie would be able to get to know each other openly - and that would make for a much more healthy relationship.

    Overall I'm not sure if I enjoyed the show or not - it left me with some difficult feelings.moreless
  • The team investigates the cause, motive, and person (s) responsible for the death of a young woman in 1939 at the behest of her Granddaughter who came forward with new information that may have implications about who is responsible.moreless

    From beginning to end this episode was sad, it did have its moments of joy, but the overwhelming sentiment of that era was so tragic, and this episode makes no excuses for that time period, it just puts it all out there and shows us what we still need to fix about society. This is a tragic love story in several ways. Tragic because society forbid the love those two had, because while he did love her, and he was ahead of his time, he wasn't ready to love all of her, and tragic because she was separated from her true love and never got to see her true love again. While I don't understand why he was arrested at the end it was a strong episode that brought tears to my eyes, sadness to my heart, and anger to my lips.moreless
  • It was ok

    I liked the scenes with Rush and Kite the best in this episode. I am new to the show so I don't know anything about future relationships but I am very intrigued by the thing that Rush and Kite seem to have. I was very intrigued by this episode. I found it amazing how they solved a case from a bunch of letters which eventually led to the granddaughter paying for an exumation. DNA of course helped but we won't give credit to modern day technology. Valens as per usual looked hot and I liked him making jokes about Rush and Kite. Is he jealous?moreless

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