In one word: best!
Rating out of 10: ( 10 )
Soundtrack rating out of 10: ( 10 )
Every episode features the songs of the time of the case!!
Set rating out of 10: ( 10 )
Every scene of the past is well studied in every detail !!
Year: 2003 – 2004
Best characters: Lily, Scotty
Worst character: Chris
· Glued (when the puritans are the dirty ones)
· The boy in the box (when ignorance is better than science and religion)
· Volunteers (The hippy with a gun)
· The Runner (The good black cop)
· Lovers Lane (An 80’s girl’s dream)
· A Time to Hate (when hating was allowed by law)
Worst episode: //
Recap & Comment:
Warning: spoilers! (I share a full recap of the episodes!)
A Philadelphia homicide detective, Lilly Rush, starts her new kind of investigation: about a long-unsolved crime, those kind of crimes are known as Cold Cases. In her first cold case Lilly investigates a 1976 case involving a teenage girl who was beaten to death during a party. A maid to a wealthy family, Bonita, tells her she witnessed that murder in the house she was working in. Lily reopens the case, in which two brothers were originally suspected but not charged due to their powerful family. Lilly interviews Jill’s best friend, Melanie, and her boyfriend, Todd Whitley (who is now married to Melanie) and his alcoholic brother Eric. The evidence points mostly to Eric but Todd has also secrets: he has always been violent and used to hit women. When Lily finds it out she will be able to convince Melanie to help her. Indeed she knew where the murder weapon (a racket) was buried. This evidence and Eric confession (he witnessed) will make the police able to arrest the powerful Todd.
The girlfriend of a fireman asks Lilly to help prove that a convicted felon, about to be paroled, is responsible for the murder of the fireman’s first wife. The young mother was killed by a homemade bomb packed in a laundry-detergent box shortly before she was to testify in court against that felon. Lily will learn he was not guilty and the bomb maker is the fireman himself who couldn’t bear his wife anymore. He was and still is used to subdue women and the victim was too strong for him.
A serial rapist sends a letter to the squad announcing his return to Philadelphia after a five years pause. He says he is planning to go on with his “activity”. The squad meets again the first 2 victims (he killed only the third) and the fourth new one. The first victim will be able to remember his face for a composite sketch. This will be noticed by a girl who will tell them that he is her mother’s boyfriend.
Lilly re-investigates the case of a murdered church organist when his Alzheimer’s-stricken widow begins having flashbacks of the night of the murder. Lilly investigates both Mitchell’s son, Ryan, and daughter, Tina. The danger was right in their home: the wife was already pretty disturbed and used to beat them all and so she killed her husband suspecting a betray. She killed him and asked his son to help her get rid of his body.
A drug addict brings in an audio tape she found on which a fatal shooting is heard: Lilly reopens a 1973 murder case involving the death of a young black cop, Joe Washington, while responding to a call at a drug-infested house. Also on the tape there are the victim’s final words: "Runner! Runner! Runner!”. Lily will find out the truth about the cop’s past: he had some records but chose a clean new name to start his new life with the law enforcement. He was also helping a young little girl, Sammy, who lived with her granny. Joe had been living in the same building and has been helping her like a big bro all his life thru. Joe had also a best friend, they used to share drugs and named themselves “Runners”. Sammy was attracted by their drugs and Joe’s friend used her curiosity to lead her into drugs. That night Joe went to Sammy’s house to take her away, he wanted to adopt her but the other Runner didn’t like the idea so he took the girl and drive away with her. Joe followed them and when he reached them got shot by his best friend. The woman who brought the audio tape was indeed Sammy and Lily will introduce her to Joe’s wife.
A crook, hoping to get a reduced sentence, tells the squad he had witnessed a young man washing blood out of his car the night a teen runner was murdered and her boyfriend was originally imprisoned for the crime. The squad will prove the innocence of the victim’s boyfriend and will find out the guilty ones: the victim had a secret love story with a guy of another school so he will be pushed by his official girlfriend to kill her.
Lilly investigates the case of a college baseball player who was found beaten to death in an alley behind a gay bar in 1964. Daniel’s mother comes to Lilly in the hopes that his killer can be brought to justice. Lilly discovers the maltreatment gay received in the 60′s, how the bar gave the police a bribe every time they were going to break-in … how the policemen didn’t care about gays beaten and mocked and mistreated in the streets in front of their eyes …coz “normal guys” didn’t like them, no one thought there was nothing bad in beating them ….and that was the case, the victim was beaten to death coz the policemen there denied him any help…
A young woman wakes up from a coma: she had fallen from her window with her 6-year-old daughter Toya who died. Lilly re-opens the case but the mother remembers very little of that night. Rosie was poor and living on welfare, this reminds Lilly of her own past and giving her an emotional bond to Rosie. Unluckily the truth was that Rosie had a weak and scared mind because of the violent father she had who used to hit her. She ran through the window trying to save her daughter from the welfare man who happened to have the same vice of her father.
Lilly gets an anonymous phone call from a man claiming he killed an elderly woman back in 1989 and buried her body in the basement of a house. Lilly recovers the body but doesn’t believe the confessor was indeed the murderer and she will find out he wasn’t. His girlfriend killed that woman that was his granny: she wanted to get rid of her.
Rush and Valens investigate the case of killer who shot a young man trying to hitchhike his way home to Philly from Atlantic City. The investigation leads to his cousin who was jealous of him.
A college professor, who lost his career, his family and his reputation after being suspected of murdering one of his female students in 1995, offers new information regarding that case, hoping to clear his name. He believes the student’s death is connected to a nowadays copycat murder of a prostitute. Rush investigates and finds out the professor engaged a killer to cast a copycat murder. The professor was indeed guilty even of the previous one: the student was her lover and she decided to leave him, he couldn’t bear it.
Lt. Stillman asks Lilly to re-open a case he couldn’t solve: an 8-year-old boy was murdered in 1980. The prime suspects included a Catholic priest, three glue-sniffing teenagers and the boy’s own parents. The killer was instead the stationery shop owner: the kid stole some glue forced by the sniffing teenagers. The man saw the kid giving them the glue just stolen from his shop and furious killed the boy who dared to trick him.
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. They will learn that the milkman loved her and they were talking through little papers left in the milk bottles box. The milkman asked the woman to leave her “too black” daughter and run away with him and when the woman refused the milkman lost his mind. Once his racist friends decide to abuse the woman the milkman will help them blocking her and eventually stifling her to death.
The 1958 death of an unknown 6-year-old boy found in a field inside a cardboard box is reinvestigated after a small suitcase with the child’s picture and his old cowboy hat is left in front of a church. Lily and the others learn that the boy lived at a Catholic orphanage but he was one of the nun’s secret son. The kid was pretty naughty and couldn’t never be adopted so his mother asked secretly for help to the kid’s father, a doctor who was studying the electroshock: she thought to calm him so that he could be adopted but the kid died the day after the electroshock.
Construction workers discover a skull with bullet hole under the ruins of a disco club burned down in 1978. 22 people died in the fire. Rush and Valens come to the conclusion that the burning of the club was arson, meant to cover up a murder leaving them with not one, but 23 cold cases. The club was place of disco dance competitions and the shot victim was very good at dancing: the son of the club owner killed him for being better than him at dancing and for not helping him to get better.
When a building is destroyed to make space for a new car park, 2 old bodies come out: they’re 2 hippies. Lily will learn their story: in 1969 they were helping young mothers to have a safe but illegal abort. The victims had found out that the leader of their hippy community was also a FBI spy. He couldn’t let them live once they knew his secret so he shot them, an hippy with a gun…
When the son of a murdered high-school basketball star receives a death threat, Rush and Valens reopen the 1987 case of Herman Lester who was stabbed to death after leading his team to win the state championship. The killer was his coach who couldn’t stand Herman had chosen an university that didn’t allow him to follow Herman and wouldn’t make him a champion.
A drunken driver’s hit-and-run confession leads the detectives to discover the truth about that cold case: the man found on the street wasn’t an hit-and-run accident. The victim had been poisoned by his friend who secretly loved the victim’s wife and after his dead ended up marrying her. When everyone find the truth he commits suicide.
A man shot in his driveway is connected to the unsolved 1992 murder of a young woman who was working in a Democratic campaign. The investigation focus on the relationship the victim had with a present-day congressman. He was indeed the murderer but his sister (who loves him more than normal) will take all the guilt leaving him free. She helped his brother to get rid of the body but she wasn’t the killer. Meanwhile Lilly sees Kite flirting with a coworker: her jealousy will make her tell him to love her instead.
The team reopens the 1985 case of a nasty broker. At the time it was deemed that Charles Danville was killed when someone attempted to steal his car but new evidence leads the team to his murderer. Charles used to charm and shape his male helpers’ minds but one of those fell in love with him. Charles didn’t care about his feelings and tasted also that guy’s mother. And it’s her the murderer. When her kid came home sad for having been dumped by Charles, she got so angry to kill Charlie….
The 1989 case of a woman murdered in front of her 3-year-old son is re-opened. A psychologist asks Rush to look into the case again when the son, now a teen, remembers something but has also often trouble with the law. Lily discovers a very complicate and sad story: the victim has been a kidnapper helped by his boyfriend that eventually she dumped. The killer was her secret doctor lover who couldn’t stand she didn’t care about him anymore after she got the baby. Lily will make him confess the murder, he didn’t like the victim’s new unfair baby (he knew she had kidnapped him), he just wanted her passion lover back … but she mocked him instead and so he lost control coz he wanted what he wanted…
The 1999 drowning death of a military academy’s swim coach is reinvestigated after the homicide division receives a note that suggests it was murder. The coach used to abuse her youngest pupils and so 3 of them organized a plan to kill him. The 2 youngest ones thought to be the murderers but indeed the final and killing action has been made by the third of them.
The DNA evidence reveals that a wrong man was convicted for killing a 15-year-old girl, Eve, in 1986. The team re-opens her case to find the real killer: the girl had a friend who used to take girls in his house so that his father could use-abuse them. When he tried to do the same with Eve she had the courage to escape insulting that man. That’s why he decided to use and then kill her one night she was out with her boyfriend …
The best serial ever coz it’s different, coz it’s stylish, coz it’s actual and it’s serious! I mean it’s about crime stories and we deal about those and there’s not much more around to talk about in every episode! The personal life stories of the characters are dosed carefully and we know most of all about Lily and Scotty; they’re troubled love stories are not so heavy and the serial doesn’t turn into a love drama one! The way of telling each story is particular, we always start in the past to introduce the victim and see how it ends then we’re back nowadays and something or someone makes the squad look back and start a fresh investigation on an unsolved – cold case. Lily wasn’t working like this in the very beginning of the season and she will learn how it is important to bring justice, it’s never too late to punish a free killer. The serial shows us how cruel and unfair life can be to someone … we learn that what happened in a very far past doesn’t yet seem so different from now …for example in “A Time to Hate” we see how the police allowed the gay persecution and who can say everyone accepts them nowadays? Most people can still understand better how others hate them instead of seeing gays just love… In “Glued” the street gang guys are considered garbage and a well thinking shop owner will find right to punish a little boy who joined them. In “The boy in the box” we see how the Catholic Orphanage was everything but a lovely place, how having a baby could be impossible to admit for a nun and how doctors experimented on orphans without caring at all about their lives. In “Volunteers” we see a 70’s stage where women had a lot of problems dealing with the illegal abort. Hippies were against the war but some of them were also ready to work as a spy for the FBI, carrying a gun in his pocket while shouting “no war”. Hypocrisy was as actual as it is now. “The Runner” shows how difficult and impossible can be to get better, to have the strength to change one’s fate and rise from a poor/intoxicated life and become a good cop. But friends from the past can be unable to accept your better life and they can become your killer … The season finale “Lovers lane” is back in the 80’s when a teenage just wanted to live a dream and found instead the psychotic mind of a man who thought to use and abuse whoever he wanted, a father able to spoil even his son mind in a horrible team … And those are just the ones I loved the most but everyone is a window on the human race and an evidence about how past is really like present, but a present that can make justice …
A serial to watch and re-watch!