Monday, November 17, 2008

Cold Case - Recap & Review - Triple Threat

Cold Case
“Triple Threat”

Original Airdate: Nov 16, 2008

Amanda — TwoCents Reviewer
amanda@thetwocentscorp.com

Okay, I must admit I’m going to fangirl my way through this recap. I’m a sucker for episodes that deal with classical music and that let the other detectives shine, and this one provided both. Add some great acting from Jeremy Ratchford and some amazing music, and you’ve got “Triple Threat.”

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[photo: CBS]

11 comments:

  1. Cold Case
    “Triple Threat”

    Original Airdate: Nov 16, 2008

    Amanda — TwoCents Reviewer
    amanda@thetwocentscorp.com

    Okay, I must admit I’m going to fangirl my way through this recap. I’m a sucker for episodes that deal with classical music and that let the other detectives shine, and this one provided both. Add some great acting from Jeremy Ratchford and some amazing music, and you’ve got “Triple Threat.”

    This episode opens with a brilliant performance by soprano Nadia Koslov, who, along with her father, Leo, and brother, Dmitri, then go to a Philadelphia police station and defect from Russia. They’re helped by one officer who speaks a little Russian, our very own Nick Vera, who reassures the Koslovs that their lives in the US will be better. Unfortunately, Nadia turns up dead four months later, and it’s still eating at Vera. A new lead surfaces when the now grown-up Dmitri has a confrontation with a young man who has Nadia’s bookbag. He wasn’t the murderer, however, that would simply be too easy. He happened upon Nadia as she lay dying in the subway station, stole the bag, and took off, remembering nothing but running footsteps and Nadia’s last word, “Zolotoy,” (“Golden One”).

    When Lilly and Vera tell Leo they’re reopening the case, he instantly suspects someone from Nadia’s performing arts high school. Kat and Jeffries talk to drama teacher Elliot Glick, who claims not to have had much interaction with Nadia (and who I instantly don’t believe). He points to Nadia’s voice teacher, Phoebe Curtis, an alumna of the school turned artist-in-residence. She tells about her studio’s final project: recording an improv performance on the streets. She also recalls a scene where she encouraged Nadia to go beyond technique and truly find her own voice, and pointed to a jealous fellow student who put black roses in Nadia’s bag. Meanwhile, the lab report is back: Nadia was poisoned by oil of wintergreen, a naturally occurring oil that’s toxic in large amounts, especially to an asthmatic like Nadia.

    The student, Chelsea Cutler, admits to both jealousy and the rose trick, but says Nadia had bigger problems: her boyfriend, Cyrus, who turned out to be gay. Cyrus says he was confused in high school, but head over heels for Nadia. He tells of her sharing her dream of abandoning opera for a career as a pop singer. She even had a band lined up, and planned to ask Nikki, a dance student, to be her choreographer. When she went to talk to Nikki, however, she caught her using drugs, and Nikki threatened Nadia’s life if she ever told. In what can only be suspicious timing, Nadia was expelled the following week under the school’s new no-tolerance drug policy.

    In an interview with Scotty and Lilly, Nikki says she was too short to make it in a professional ballet company and used drugs to punish herself, then reveals that Elliot’s claim that he never interacted with Nadia was false (why did I know that was coming)? She recalls a class of his where they were asked to recall their most painful memories, their introspection aided with oil of wintergreen. Confronted with this, Elliot tells the detectives about a conversation with Nadia where she told him that when her mother, a famous opera singer, died, Nadia wasn’t allowed to mourn, instead, she rehearsed. Her father wanted to turn her into her mother. In a touching scene, Elliot encouraged Nadia to sing for her mother, and so she did, performing a gorgeous rendition of “True Colors.” Unfortunately, an enraged Leo overheard and stormed in, furious with Nadia for abandoning opera, and viewing her growth as a personal betrayal.

    Meanwhile, Lilly’s learned that Zolotoy is, in fact, Leo, who was a vocal coach to the greats, including Nadia’s mother. All signs seem to be pointing to him, which leads to the best interrogation of the episode: Vera and Leo, over a bottle of vodka. Leo, however, recalls attending Nadia’s final performance, her improv on the street, where she sang Free Fallin’ (much better than Tom Petty, I might add). When she saw her father, Nadia superimposed a gorgeous Verdi aria, which Leo says is about freedom and homesickness, and Vera is then able to reassure Leo that Nadia knew he loved her.

    Meanwhile, Elliot Glick’s divorce records reveal Phoebe Curtis’s involvement in the demise of his second marriage, and lived near the subway station where Nadia died. In the interview room, Phoebe says she felt that Nadia had replaced her as Elliot’s muse. She dosed her tea with a lethal amount of oil of wintergreen, and was about to take a sip when Nadia showed up with her final project. After listening to it, Phoebe realized that Nadia had truly found her voice, and would be far more successful than Phoebe ever was. Overcome by jealousy, she gave Nadia her tea instead.

    It’s always nice to see an episode centered around one of the other detectives, since they’re all compelling characters in their own right, and Jeremy Ratchford did a wonderful job showing how torn up Vera has been about this case, as well as the closure when he gave Nadia’s final project to Leo and Dmitri. The casting department did a great job finding their actor to play young Vera, and, as a bit of trivia, Michael Levine, composer and arranger for Cold Case, was shown onscreen as the pianist at the beginning. The music was brilliant, the performing artist types portrayed in the episode were true to life, and Elena Satine (Nadia) is not only a fabulous actress, but has an absolutely beautiful voice. In other developments, Lilly’s search for Paul Cooper continues, as does the amazingly snarky friendship between Scotty and Kat. Those two are pure gold in their scenes together.

    So that’s my two cents, which, in 1989, would have barely made a dent in the purchase of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” but I’d love to hear yours!

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  2. I loved the episode. I have a soft spot for Vera, so I was excited to have an episode that "featured" him. Also, young Vera was fantastic!

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  3. would love to buy this version of free fallin' anywhere to be found?

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    Replies
    1. Go to tubidy.com & enter elena satine free fallin cold case in search box you can download both video or audio

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  4. Hi, Tess!

    Yeah, Vera's completely awesome. I love that the show people are letting him be more than just the comic relief. I mean, not that he's not good at that, because he's amazing, but he's also got this sweet, serious side that we don't get to see quite as often, and this episode was wonderful for that. Vera's been getting some great stuff this season!

    And, yeah, young Vera was amazing. The casting people did a fantastic job.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Hi, Andree!

    Wasn't that version of Free Fallin' amazing? I don't know of anywhere that it can be purchased, but if I find out, I'll let you know.

    By the way, the opera excerpt Nadia sang is Va' Pensiero, from Verdi's Nabucco (his opera about the exile of the Hebrews to Babylon). In that chorus, the Hebrews are standing on the banks of the Euphrates singing of their lost homeland. Here are the lyrics Nadia chose (translated from Italian):

    Fly, thought, on wings of gold;
    go settle upon the slopes and the hills,
    where, soft and mild, the sweet airs
    of our native land smell fragrant!

    Oh, my country so lovely and lost!
    Oh, remembrance so dear and so fraught with despair!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I too am here looking for that track of Va Pensiero/Free Fallin'. Every so often a song comes along and just rises so much higher than what's "on". And we waited like 300 or so years for this if you factor in Verdi. Last word: Love Vera...

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  7. You can see/hear that Free Fallin scene on You Tube.

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  8. hi, Amanda. i stumbled across your blog because i'm trying to figure out what the music is behind the scenes when we see Nadia at the bottom of the stairs. sounds Russian. is that a piece of classical music, or just some anonymous score? it's so pretty, and i'd love to listen to it again, if it's available.

    also, is Nadia a real person, or are we all just referring to the character? she has a really great operatic voice, but i wasn't terribly impressed with her pop voice. the Free Fallin' mix was cool, too, especially since the notes went well together, but the rhythm was a bit syncopated.

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  9. Thanks so much! I saw it on you tube and my young friend and I worked it out for her vocal class:)!!!!!

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  10. Elena Satine plays character(Nadia), elena satine is georgian russian and has some lovely pipes!

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