Imagine a time when cops raided gay bars just to beat the crap out of their patrons or when a gay man couldn't be a lawyer because of the tremendous hatred toward his sexuality. When it comes to Cold Case, the imagining part is unnecessary because the show takes you there with its impressive, beautiful flashbacks that capture an era where these acts were common place. Sadly, it's a time that isn't too distant and one that we, as a society, haven't quite conquered yet. This episode is a painful reminder of the Matthew Shepard case that happened only 8 short years ago. The victim in this story, Daniel Holtz, suffered a similar fate after leaving the city's only gay bar in 1964. The popular college baseball player used to hang at the local place a lot because he wasn't afraid of who he was. Unfortunately, there were plenty of people who did care about who he was, and it's that prejudice that led to Daniel's untimely death. This episode is filled with tender moments, but one of the best is when Lilly reunites Daniel's closeted college boyfriend and his mother. The two share an emotional moment that ends with Mrs. Holtz telling Hank that she's glad he loved her boy. My favorite scene transpires between Lilly and Judge Henry Phillips, who used to go by Hank - the same Hank that loved Daniel. She needs the judge to give her information on the case, but she also understands that it's a delicate subject, so she decides to tread lightly. The entire scene borders on heart wrenching as Hank fights with himself over whether to tell Lilly the little information that he knows. He wants to help catch Daniel's killer, after all, this was the man that he loved and seems to still have a soft spot for, but at the same time, he doesn't want to ruin his high-powered career. Lilly pleads and finally, the judge realizes what he has to do for Daniel. It is, perhaps, Lilly's strongest display of compassion.
In the end, Lilly gets her man, as she always does (except in her personal life, but even that may be about to change). And even though the victory is sweet, this episode leaves you with a haunting sadness that you just can't put your finger on. Maybe it's the senseless act of violence and murder that unfolded, or the fact that the cops allowed things like this to go on, or maybe it's just the sad toll that doing nothing takes on those who could have stopped it. Sure, neighborhood boys beat Daniel to death with his own baseball bat, but perhaps the most tragic part of this case is the two cops who looked the other way. And yet somehow, I found myself feeling sad for Nelson, the one who finally told about what he saw that night. That's the beautiful complexity of Cold Case. It often presents killers or facilitators as people who make very bad decisions. They're not inherently bad as we've come to expect from television and movies. There's no villain and no hero, just ordinary people who commit heinous crimes, and it often leaves you feeling both anger and sorrow for the "doer" and those who helped keep his/her secrets. Such was the case in this episode as Nelson broke his silence for the first time about what he saw in the alley the night Daniel was murdered. It was clearly something that had been eating at him for 40 years, and yet, he still wasn't ready to tell it. Not because he wanted to protect those boys, but because he was so ashamed of what he had done. He shows Lilly a picture of his son and his partner, and says that his son thinks he's "an OK guy." He obviously doesn't want his son to know what he did, but he realizes that keeping the secret and letting Daniel's murder go unsolved will only make it worse. So, he painfully recounts the night that the neighborhood boys beat and killed Daniel for the sole reason that they didn't like his sexuality. This episode is certainly a three hanky event, but its poignant, timeless story telling makes it all worth it. If you would like to see the episode for yourself (and really, everyone should) or take a second look, cable channel TNT reruns the older episodes every Tuesday night at 11 p.m. Can't wait for it to cycle around again? Then join the Cold Case DVD Campaign. Help the show land on DVD by letting Warner Bros. know how much you want to see it on store shelves. Click on over to ColdCaseDVDs.com to learn how to help.
PROGRAMMING NOTE... Cold Case Flashback Edition will return in two weeks with thoughts on another classic episode. Sorry to be a network and preempt your fave shows, but next week is my special Emmy ballot coverage leading up to the BIG official Emmy nominations announcement next Thursday! So, be sure to tune in next week for the Emmy nominations coverage, and come back in two weeks for thoughts on another amazing episode of Cold Case, just be sure to bring plenty of hankies for this episode, though!
Attention Veronica Fans!!Have you been dying to meet series creator/executive producer Rob Thomas? How about stars Kristen Bell (Veronica), Jason Dohring (Logan), Enrico Colantoni (Keith), Francis Capra (Weevil), Ryan Hansen (Dick) and Michael Muhney (Sheriff Lamb)? Well, this is your opportunity! On July 22nd, the gang will take part in Comic Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. There will be an hour-long Q&A session with an autograph signing following with all of the above named members of the show! The VM session will take place from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. For more information on the event, click on over to Comic Con's official site!
*Fox is ordering fewer episodes of The O.C. this coming season. The teen soap will get only 16, instead of the standard 22 and the show's usual 25. The network says the reduction is due to the show's later than usual November premiere, but Variety is reporting that the decision is designed to allow the show to run out of episodes in February so Fox can then try out a midseason replacement in the slot. Things haven't been boding well for the show since the upfronts last month when ABC announced that it was moving its megahit Grey's Anatomy to the slot, which is already dominated by CBS' CSI. In addition, star Mischa Barton will not return next season as her Marissa character died in this season's finale. The O.C. will return for its fourth season on November 2nd on Fox.
*iTunes Update: The popular music download program is adding more shows to its repertoire. USA network's The Dead Zone, Spike TV's TNA: iMPACT and Disorderly Conduct, TVLand's Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg, Nick At Night's Fatherhood and Hi-Jinks, Logo's Noah's Arc, U.S. of ANT and Wisecrack, MTV's Viva La Bam and The N's Beyond the Break are all headed to iTunes for the standard $1.99 an episode. Additionally, Spike TV is making the 2-hour series premiere of Blade: The Series available for free on iTunes beginning today and running through July 11th.
*And finally, CBS is making the upcoming season of Big Brother: All Stars readily available via your television, computer and even your cell phone. The network will stream episodes the day after they air through its new broadband channel innertube. Additionally, it will have exclusive content available, including around the clock coverage of the house with video updates, photos and live breaking house alerts, through a new mobile subscription service. The package will be available through most cellular phone services and you'll be able to subscribe through cbs.com. And for the sixth year, CBS will also stream a live 24/7 house feed through RealNetworks' SuperPass subscription service. Big Brother: All-Stars premieres next Thursday, July 6th on CBS.
To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.
That's all for today. I'm off tomorrow, but be sure to tune in next week for my Emmy ballot featuring my nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy/Drama, Best Actress in a Comedy/Drama and Best Comedy/Drama. And it's all leading up to the BIG official Emmy nominations announcement one week from today! Be sure to tune in all next week for plenty of Emmy coverage and all the latest television news!
To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to PassTheRemote.net.