Monday, April 5, 2010

Cold Case: Bullet

Before diving into the meat of this episode, I had something else I wanted to talk about. Generally, when a show gets a “final-season” time-slot swap, it pretty much indicates that a show is done for. A few weeks back, “Cold Case” got moved back an hour, with another show taking its slot.

And lo-and-behold, a miracle occurred. “Cold Case,” in a new slot, in its seventh season? The ratings actually went up.

Never happens. Ever.

So if you’re a fan, hoping for a last-minute renewal? You just might get it.

Unfortunately for the show, the time change didn’t manage to fix the problems with tonight’s episode. Namely, that it had a lame-duck story, “surprises” I could see coming a mile away, and it ended with a soft slap to the face instead of a gut punch.

Generally I try to avoid spoiling episodes in my reviews, but here I have to make an exception. So if you don’t want to know what happens, walk away now and come back. (And when you do come back, feel free to disagree with me. Or agree with me.)

I wanted to start out by saying something positive about the episode, but I can’t think of anything. All the regulars do good work, I suppose, and I guess that’s something.

But the rest? Here we go:

The plot: The end of the last episode told us who the real bad guy was. Which was, I’ll admit, a nice twist. I think if you ended the two-part episode there, as a one-part, it might have been a nice kicker. The bad guy gets away (more on that in a second).

Instead, the whole thing becomes a chase sequence as everyone tries to figure out who the guy is going to kill next. The only problem is, they’re always one step behind, and we’re meeting people who die before we even get a chance to care about them.

Additionally, the reason for the killings was kind of weak – this guy carried on a years-long agenda wherein he killed all the people who hurt his dad’s feelings and drove him to suicide.

Once that was done, he waited until he was the same age his father was, and then he killed people who followed a direct corollary to his dead dad’s feeling-hurters.

Impossible? Maybe not. But highly, highly, highly improbable, and I just couldn’t make the leap.

Topping this off, the big “reveal,” where we learn that the FBI agent has gone rogue (not really a surprise either) was “The Girl In the Car” just seemed so obvious to me from the word go that the reveal didn’t interest me. More to the point, the reason her not-boyfriend got killed (He wasn’t paying attention to the movie!) just made me go, “Eh.”

Even worse, we got a nice dramatic moment where we learned that the killer’s wife was pregnant – something he always wanted. There’s some real heartbreak to be had there, the sad wife discovering the man she loved was a killer, and now they’re going to have a kid together.

There’s also the killer, discovering too late that he could have had what he really wanted.

But no. Turns out she wasn’t pregnant, and so whatever emotional draw this show might have had? Nothing.

Ah well. There’s always next week.

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