Cold Case: Season 1 (2003 - 2004)

SEASON:

Season 1
Cold Case

Critics Consensus

Cold Case follows in the footsteps of innumerable whodunits, but distinguishes itself with an innovative flashback structure and a magnetic female lead in Kathryn Morris.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 17

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 23

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 28, 2003

Lilly probes the 1976 murder of a teenage girl, who was beaten to death on a tennis court during a party at a plush estate, after an eyewitness comes forward with new information. Todd: D.W. Moffett. Eric: Michael Reilly Burke. Melanie: Lisa Waltz. Evelyn: Elizabeth Franz. Jill: Kate Mara. Bonita: Lillian Hurst.

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Air date: Oct 5, 2003

Lilly investigates a 1983 murder in which a young mother was killed by a homemade bomb packed in a laundry-detergent box shortly before she was to testify in court against a man who exposed himself to her. Vera: Jeremy Ratchford. Stillman: John Finn. Lilly: Kathryn Morris.

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Air date: Oct 12, 2003

A serial rapist who terrorized the city five years earlier, leaving one woman dead, sends a letter to the detective squad letting them know that he is back and ready to strike again. Gail: Gwendolyn Whiteside. Larry: Christopher Shea. Bruce: Greg Zola. Nicole: Jenni Blong. Ellen: Bree Turner. Carl: Joel Bissonnette. Tania: Brooke Bloom. Caitlin: Brooke Swift. Bridget: Sarah Rosenberg.

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Air date: Oct 19, 2003

Lilly reopens a 1990 homicide, in which a church organist was found stabbed to death in his van surrounded by pornography and drugs in a seedy part of town, after the man's Alzheimer's-afflicted widow begins to have flashbacks about the night of the crime. Mitchell: John Walcutt. Caroline: Isabella Hofmann. Brian: Jimmi Simpson. Tina: Daisy McCrackin. Judy: Kerrie Keane. Jeff: Danny Oberbeck. Gil: Kevin McCorkle.

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Air date: Oct 26, 2003

Lilly reopens a 1973 murder case, in which a 21-year-old rookie cop was shot three times in the chest, after a drug addict brings in an audio tape she found on which the fatal shooting is heard. Also on the tape are the victim's final words "Runner! Runner! Runner!" Washington: Cory C. Hardrict. Butch: Matt Bushell. Sammy: Dee Freeman. Diane: Barbara Eve Harris. Runner: Rif Hutton. Gloria: Ophelia Turner. Jessica: Cheselka Leigh.

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Air date: Nov 9, 2003

Lilly gets a cocky new partner, Scotty Valens (Danny Pino), just as she reopens a 1981 homicide involving a 16-year-old female track star who was fatally shot. The investigation is renewed after a felon, who is trying to get a reduced sentence, tells officers he saw a student washing blood out of a car the night of the murder. Paige: Summer Glau. Al: Doug Kruse. Will: James DuMont. Bennett: Vincent Ventresca. Jane: Saxon Trainer. Ricky: Tim deZarn. Heidi: Isabelle Dahlin.

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Air date: Nov 16, 2003

Lilly reopens a 1964 homicide case in which a college baseball player who was homosexual was beaten to death outside of a gay club. The dead man's now elderly and ill mother, who seeks closure before she dies, is the reason the investigation is renewed. Lilly's probe soon turns up some disturbing evidence that indicates cops routinely raided gay bars in the 1960s and beat the patrons. Steve: Patrick MacManus. Helen: Barbara Tarbuck. Polk: Bill Henderson. Deborah: Kathleen Lloyd. Tinkerbell: Mark Nordike.

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Air date: Nov 30, 2003

Lilly tries to solve a 2001 case in which a woman and her 6-year-old daughter mysteriously fell from an apartment window. The girl died, and the mother survived but lapsed into a coma. When the woman suddenly wakes up, she remembers little of that night except that someone was out to hurt them. Rosie: Laura Regan. Toya: Aynsley Lemon. Anita: Meera Simhan. Freely: Don McManus. Irene: Kathleen Gati. Angel: Christian J. Meoli.

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Air date: Dec 7, 2003

Lilly gets an anonymous phone call from a man claiming he killed an elderly woman back in 1989 and buried her body in the basement of a house. When Lilly checks the dwelling, a body is recovered, but the alleged murderer refuses to identify himself. Hogan: Jake Bern. Sherry: Christina Cox. Krystal: Lois Hall. Brad: J.P. Pitoc. Dana: Sarah Buehler. Joan: Linda Castro. Burke: Steve Seagren. Meade: Brent Huff.

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Air date: Dec 21, 2003

Lilly reopens the 1997 murder of a 20-year-old college student who, while hitchhiking home after a big gambling win in Atlantic City, was taken into a wooded area and shot to death. The case is reinvestigated when a similar homicide takes place in Delaware and matches another one in New Jersey, prompting police to believe that a serial killer may be responsible. Matt: Chris Beckwith. Blaine: Nathan Baesel. Royal: Frederic Lane. Medvedenko: Arthur Darbinyan. Henry: Rhino Michaels.

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Cold Case: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The first series of this police drama follows Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), a homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Department who investigates unsolved crimes from recent times to decades-old cases. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, many stories are inspired by real-life cases such as those of young 1957 murder victim "The Boy in the Box," the 2003 fire in The Station nightclub that killed 100 people and the disappearance of Washington intern Chandra Levy. Also on the squad are Lilly's partner Scotty Valens (Danny Pino), Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford) and her mentor Lieutenant John Stillman (John Finn). Her partner for the first few episodes is Chris Lassing (Justin Chambers, who left the show for the role of Alex Karev on "Grey's Anatomy").

Critic Reviews for Cold Case Season 1

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (10)

Cold Case never loses sight of the victims. Best of all, it offers a lead actress who is simply excellent. Morris makes a wonderfully tough, tenacious heroine. She's a sleuth to die for.

Dec 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Cold Case [is] a whodunit so methodical its impact barely registers.

Sep 27, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The premise is clever, the scripts are sharply written and the production values high.

Mar 3, 2020 | Full Review…

Without Morris' fire fueling nearly every frame of the pilot, it might have sunk into blandness... [It] feels like a series that will get better over time... [It's her] passionate but nuanced performance, that instills confidence in this show's future.

Sep 27, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Although there is a tendency to linger too long and too lovingly on the killer's victims in chains and in terror, the program is otherwise artfully and intelligently done.

Dec 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style. And Lilly, a cool Hitchcock blonde, is a more enigmatic heroine than crime shows usually provide.

Dec 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Offering by-the-numbers crime stories, Cold Case doesn't show how its "unsolved crimes" concept or its detective is compelling.

Mar 3, 2020 | Full Review…

The pilot effectively fictionalizes the Michael Skakel case.

Mar 3, 2020 | Full Review…

If you're a fan of procedural crime-solving, you'll probably like this.

Mar 3, 2020 | Full Review…

It's a slick package.

Mar 3, 2020 | Full Review…

The flashbacks are effective, at times almost surreally so.

Dec 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The show takes the easy way out, creating complexity by juggling lots of characters and generating excitement through hackneyed dialogue and unrealistic plot points.

Sep 27, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cold Case: Season 1

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