Monday, March 22, 2010

Vera's Tough 'Case'

Not to be a wet blanket, but seriously, I'm getting sick of the Cold Case gang covering up for each other.  I didn't agree when Scotty did it for Lilly, I really worried when Lil did it for Scotty, and this week, I was down right angry that Lil/Scotty/Will/Kat all did it for Vera.  He was drinking and driving for crying out loud!  He could have killed someone!!!  Is Hollywood's moral barometer so out of touch that they think it's OK to have a detective on a network show get away with drunk driving and the detectives who covered for him seem to face no consequences??!!  I can't even tell you how angry I was when Lil covered up Vera's DUI.  It sorta ruined the rest of the hour for me (as I was steaming over the show's decision to do something so reprehensible without showing any consequences).  I'll step off my soap box for now (but I'm not forgiving the show for this part of the story), and I will say that, overall, I enjoyed this episode.  It was another break from the usual formula and it worked really well.  The hour's biggest question turned out to be a lot less serious that Lil and the gang feared.  Vera was depressed and MIA, but had he gone off the deep end?  Lil and co. raced the clock to prevent the tragic ending they feared was right around the corner.

When they got the call about the jumper and his description matched Vera's, I have to admit, I felt pretty sure that it wasn't him for two reasons: 1) I just didn't think the show would kill off a character in that manner (suicide kinda puts a HUGE damper on the rest of the series), and 2) The promos.  I know I should just ignore the promos, but the fact that they showed the scene with the jumper, led me to believe that it wasn't Vera.  Maybe I've watched too much TV (or have been desensitized by the always-shocking Lost), but it seems that if the show was going to kill off the character, they wouldn't have promo'ed it in the previews considering the fact that the surprise would have had less of an impact if we were all bracing for it.  So, I wasn't too worried about Vera.

I'm feeling a little torn about this episode.  I want to love it, but the DUI cover-up sorta spoiled it for me and then there was the leap that one had to take in order buy into the fire story.  It's not that fire marshals don't make mistakes, but this one seemed a little far-fetched (feel free to leave me links in the comments section of errors on this grand of a scale in real life).  Wouldn't someone along the way have discovered that there was no accelerant?  Wouldn't a fire marshal know the difference between an electrical fire that started in the kitchen and one started after pouring large amounts of accelerant?  Yeah, I know, it's a TV show, but you almost had to suspend belief with this part of the story in order to understand Vera's tremendous grief.  Maybe everyone stopped worrying about the cause of the fire when the jailhouse snitch sang like a canary... again!  Seriously, was this a sloppy case the first time around or what?

Despite these missteps, the hour was intense, emotional, moving and well done.  I rode the ups and downs right along with the CC gang.  I'm not sure what's going to happen to Vera, but I'm hoping he gets some counseling and then gets his old job back (of course, it would be nice to see some fallout from his DUI -- even if it's just internal since Lil and Scotty got rid of the evidence for a court case -- but I know that's asking a lot).  Anyway, CC moves to 17-0 on the season.  Screen cap courtesy of RichE at Kathryn Morris UK.  And to see more caps from this episode, visit his all-inclusive Kathryn Morris site HERE.



Anonymous said...

Dispite it coming on at 10:50 pm last night, this episode reminded me of the way that " Officer Down," was like.

There was even a flashback when Vera was taking those table naps,( the Runaway Bunny), which was pretty neat

I'm also getting sick of them covering for each other, I liked how Lil, Scotty and Kat were cleaning Vera's apartment at the end.

The case itself was pretty cool..

Naj said...

The DUI thing with Vera. I felt that the show does depict how detectives can cover for other detectives going way back to season one "A Time to Hate". I don't think things have changed too much. But, I did think it odd that Lilly could call a cop off the scene like that in this day and age but I suppose it still does happen. At least that's my premise for the writers depicting this in 2010. Detectives can and do cover up where they are able depending on how far up the latter it extends which in this case didn't work.

I didn't think it was Vera either who had jumped and I certainly didn't think that Lilly would pull the cover off at the scene. I would think had it really been Vera those already on the scene would have stopped them all upon approach.

Still I really liked this episode even though I find it hard to believe that a Fire Chief wouldn't know all the theories out there in these days. But he was and older man so he could have been stubborn and not kept up on things.


RichE said...

I guess I hadn't really considered the DUI and the squad getting Nick out of it side of things so much. Lilly stepping in and convincing the young cop to drop it much simpler report was a bit of a surprise. But then who could say no to Det Rush. Not I ;-)

I'm sure an expert spending a long time investigating the fire might have come to a different conclusion. Though I'm sure that in a comprehensively damaged property it must be difficult too say exactly what happened.

Of course, with a "confession" and a convinced cop (Nick) then they are perhaps unlikely to put so much effort into examining other evidence in great details.

Kathryn Morris UK

Anonymous said...

They could have look more into case back in 2006, and easily had figured out after speaking to the ex-wife about the faulty wiring in the kitchen.

That itself could have prevented Don Joe from being put in prison in the first place.

Anonymous said...

There was an article in the New Yorker a few months ago about a case in Texas that matches almost exactly the crime depicted in "Flashover." The gist of the article was that the methods and beliefs of fire investigators are largely based on unscientific 'old wives tales,' as the scientist Vera spoke with termed them. According to the article, hundreds of people have been sent to prison based on shoddy evidence presented by arson investigators with minimal education in how fires actually behave. Scientists have recreated fire situations and found that commonly believed - but wrong - ideas about fire are based on nothing more than what amounts to 'folk tales' believed by generations of investigators. The guy in Texas was found guilty of murdering his children, and was executed.

RichE said...

A person shouldering a lot of blame for Don Joe being jailed would have been his defence attorney.

The guy was apparently convicted based on Vera's belief, questionable fire damage expertise and an alleged confession told to a snitch.

Was no defence put up at all? Did Don not protest his innocence?

Kathryn Morris UK

Anonymous said...

Maybe he was scared after losing his two sons, to even testify, or perhaps Vera simply made up a false confession that was needed for the courts.