In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a HUGE college football fan. As in, Saturdays in the fall are my favorite day of the week because I get to plant by fanny on the couch and watch non-stop action from the nation's top college football programs. Soooo, I was a little worried about how one of my favorite shows, Cold Case, would tackle this topic (yes, pun intended). As is usually the case with Hollywood (pun not intended this time), there was the typical spattering of cliches: steroids, boosters, dumb jocks, etc., but I thought the story was strong enough to overcome them. And as much as I hate to admit it, it isn't as if these stereotypes don't exist, but they're not as wide spread as Hollywood would have us believe. I liked the way this episode showed the dark side to steroids -- from Breeze's career-ending kidney issues to Mike's liver damage. As the episode pointed out, nobody really knew what steroids would do to the body back in 1973. I also liked the true-to-life portrayal of the die-hard fans who, as those awesome ESPN-U ads say, never graduate. I'm one of them, so I get it. And having just spent the weekend at my alma mater watching them take on a tough SEC opponent between the hedges in Athens, GA, I can assure you that I am not alone. My one complaint about the outing was a minor less-than-realistic moment when Lilly and Scotty threatened the murdering booster with bringing the "witness" in to ID him. Clearly, the man has changed a bit in the last 35 years and even if the "witness" had seen the driver's face, he never could have IDed him now (I know, they were simply trying to goad the guy into confessing, but still).
Let me think... did anything else happen during the hour? Oh yeah! We found out that not only did Jeffries play high school ball, but he was known as "The Tombstone" because, as a linebacker, he knocked everyone into the ground. Go Jeffries! I really liked the way his knowledge and experience came into play with the case. It was seamless and made sense. The show is off to a good start with blending personal into the cases this season.
What else happened? Nothing? Well, there was that little thing with Lil and Saccardo! I've been a bit lukewarm on the Saccardo character because he burst on the scene in a very, let's just say, rude way. He was better in the finale and I even felt a few sparks between him and Lil. So, how did the story line work in the premiere? I thought it was much better than last season. Lilly was actually flirting with him at the bar! And did I see her make the first move? Just watching her let loose, go after someone she's attracted to (instead of constantly being the chasee) and take time for herself outside of work is really enough to make this story work for me. I'm not sold that Saccardo is a good match for her, but I'm at least interested to see what happens between the two and that's more than I was last season.
Overall, a solid start to the season. Cold Case wins its opener and starts the season 1-0 (finally after many seasons of writing about this show, that analogy works!). Screencaps courtesy RichE at Look Again.