Friday, October 26, 2007

Revisiting ‘Case’: Sherry Darlin’ 1x9

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

There is a phrase that I have grown particularly fond when describing certain episodes of Cold Case.

It’s called “CC goodness.”

As in, “There is/was so much CC goodness in this episode …” or “There was so much CC goodness going on …” To the best of my knowledge, this phrase has been coined by PTR Editor TVFan, and in getting the opportunity to re-watch first season’s "Sherry Darlin'" this past week, there is no better way to describe the episode.

So. Much. CC. Goodness.

Can we bring James Hogan back every season just for the heck of it?

Talk about a great character who gets great things out of Detective Lilly Rush.

This episode is generally held in pretty high regard amongst CC faithful, and it definitely ranks in my Top 5 of all time.

And not just for the story.

But for the exceptional performances of both Kathryn Morris and Silas Weir Mitchell.

You often hear actors talk about that all important element of chemistry. Without it, scenes fall flat, characters seem out of sync, and entire films have been known to fail because the audience just does not buy into anything that is transpiring between the two actors they are watching on the screen.

We’ve also heard John Billingsley (who portrayed the legendary George Marks in the all important second season episodes of “Mind Hunters” and “The Woods”) discuss the challenges of being a guest actor. That is, coming into a foreign environment without really knowing anyone and having to work ever so hard to deliver a great performance on a very short (and tight) time table.

Well, Silas Weir Mitchell did just that.

And Kathryn Morris reaffirmed why the role of Lilly Rush was made for her.

There was an amazing chemistry between both actors, which made the Lilly/James dynamic indeed just that - dynamic. Whatever James conjured up and fired at Lilly, she handled and fired right back. I loved the persistent back and forth coupled with this unique delicacy to their interaction.

It was almost like a tenderness.

The episode was so well-paced, and there was such rich – and likable – characterization on the part of James that you couldn’t help but not want the guy to end up being sent to jail by the end of the episode.

We also got some seriously awesome Lilly.

A lot of Lilly.

The amount of Lilly we do not generally get nowadays.

But more than that, we were reminded once again just how different Lilly is today.

The whole old Lilly vs. new Lilly debate that I used to not understand but now seem to be an advocate of.

I cannot help but continue to observe the noticeable change in the character when watching these early episodes. And although I stand by what I have said previously (that the character has to have changed given all she's been through over the past five seasons), there is, for lack of a better word, a certain spunk to her in these early episodes that we rarely see now.

She jokes, she laughs, her sarcasm seems more playful whilst still being clever and stinging. She has that lively personality, she’s not as reserved or tempered. It is perhaps unfair that I have the benefit of being able to watch past and present episodes simultaneously, or that I did not watch this show in its real-time evolution. Thus, perhaps my critique is too biased. But, while I can talk myself into understanding the reasons for "new" Lilly, I really would not mind seeing a touch back to some of what made her so spunky in these older episodes.

The girl was just fun to watch.

And there was so much Lilly goodness in this episode to watch it makes you want to call up executive producer Veena Sud and say, "Have you set your Tivo to re-record the older episodes? There are definitely a couple of things worth revisiting."

Ironically, this reminds me of the great debate during the last two seasons of The X-Files whereby so many longtime followers thought Gillian Anderson's portrayal of Special Agent Dana Scully had become a shell of its former self. That is, she was still Scully, but she wasn't the Scully they had been so accustomed to. The argument was that she seemed to have become "something else" (and not a popular "something else"), with flashes of the "old" Scully popping up every so often. Again, this can be debated until the day is long, and I am not opposed to characters changing over time due to the circumstances that affect their lives, and thus, are the catalyst for the change.

But I am not sure abandoning what made them so endearing in the first place is a good idea, either.

I think there can be a balance.

And should be.

Bring back spunky ol’ Lilly.

She's Just. Too. Good.

New episodes of Cold Case air Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS. Mini-marathons of older episodes air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT. You can also check your local listings of your CBS affiliate for additional late night weekend airings.

1 comment:

TVFan said...

You hit the nail on the head (again) -- it's the spunk that's missing from current Lilly. I do think, however, that the show is slowly bringing bits of that back this season. I've seen a few glints in her eye, a few half smiles, and some comments that have landed just right that remind me of S1 Lil. Hopefully, that trend continues. Maybe, just maybe, Veena Sud is recording those old eps as you suggested. ;-)

This episode is one of my faves as well (big surprise ;-)). The scene with James and Lilly at the train tracks in still one of my all-time fave scenes from any show. And then there's the confession scene in the basement later on. It's raw, it's honest, it's emotional and it's Kathryn (and by extension Lilly) at her finest. That image of Lilly walking away from the house defeated with the blue police light reflecting off of her face is nothing short of brilliance. I'm pretty sure my "Kathryn 4 an Emmy" campaign began at that exact moment.