Monday, March 9, 2009

Cold Case — Recap & Review — Jackals

Cold Case

Original Air Date: March 8, 2009

Amanda — Senior Reviewer

Family relationships are our most binding tie, and when that family is absent, we gravitate toward whomever or whatever will replace it. In this week’s Cold Case, we explore what happens when a motorcycle gang serves as family for a young murder victim.

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  1. Family relationships are our most binding tie, and when that family is absent, we gravitate toward whomever or whatever will replace it. In this week’s Cold Case, we explore what happens when a motorcycle gang serves as family for a young murder victim.

    The detectives reopen the case of Sarah Blake, a 17-year-old honor student found stabbed to death in 1976, whose father, Colin, has just been released from prison. Among his belongings was a photo of Sarah with a motorcyclist from the Jackals Motorcycle Club, a gang notorious for a host of nasty crimes. A highly confident Scotty sets out to talk to their leader, John “Shameless” Clark, but Stillman insists he take someone with him so, as that someone (Kat), puts it, he won’t “put his foot in it.” Knowing Scotty, I think that’s wise, although his lethal glare proves fairly successful.

    Meanwhile, Lilly’s gone to talk to Libby Traynor, a friend of Sarah’s who says the brats at school turned on her when her father went to jail. She recalls Sarah’s first Jackals party, where she was invited to stay later than the other non-Jackals, much to the consternation of her boyfriend, Mark. In a chat with Jeffries, Mark remembers a conversation between Sarah and the Jackal, Darren, where Darren told her he recognized the look in her eye as the look of someone who wants to run away, and offered to take her with him. Mark mouthily objected, and Darren responded by beating him up.

    Darren, the son of the Jackals’ founder, insists that he got no special treatment; never as hard-core as they were, he had to earn his way into the club and was essentially “their bitch,” being ordered to run drugs to Pittsburgh. He insisted that Sarah get out while she could, but she wanted to stay, since nobody there cared about her dad’s imprisonment. “Everybody’s a criminal,” she declares, “they’re just up front about it.” Darren then fingers Shameless’ chief enforcer, James “Monster” Drew.

    Meanwhile, the detectives have learned that a fellow inmate of Colin’s, a guy named Burke, was also a Jackal, and Vera and Kat set out to interview him. After some persuasion, he says that Sarah volunteered to run the drugs, since nobody would ever suspect her, and that Monster vanished after her death. He suspects that Monster killed Sarah and then the Jackals turned on him, since they had rules about killing those they deemed “useful.” However, we’re in for a surprise: Monster is alive…and was an undercover cop. Oh, snap!

    In an interview with Scotty and Lilly, Monster/Drew says he lost himself in the seedy world of the Jackals. He says Sarah was smart, which was a liability for him, and recalls being hopped up and trying to assault her. She fought back, and then, in a lucid moment, he ordered her to get out. Drew laments his own screwups, saying that perhaps she might still be alive if he’d stayed clean, but amid the self-blame, says that the last time he saw her, she was with Libby.

    The detectives learn that Libby’s financials are closely tied with the Jackals, so Scotty and Lilly tail her. Sure enough, she’s at Jackal headquarters. In a questionably legal, yet totally awesome, move, Lilly breaks Libby’s taillight so they’ll have an excuse to pull her over, and when they bring her in, Libby reluctantly agrees to talk. She says Sarah figured out that she didn’t belong and wanted to leave, but was too afraid to face Shameless and give him the drug money back. Libby admits to warning Shameless that Sarah was about to run, and Lilly orders her to give her the Jackals, “…or I’ll give you to them.” Libby complies, telling Lil about the trunk full of detailed minutes the Jackals kept at their “church meetings.”

    PPD storms headquarters and, sure enough, find thirty years’ worth of records of “illegal-ass activities” (tm Scotty), which also show that Darren returned to the Jackals…with Shameless’ drug money. Darren insists he could never hurt Sarah, and tells them that Sarah called him, saying she was in trouble. He convinced her to just take the money and run away with him. While Scotty and Jeffries work on Shameless and Stillman convinces Drew to talk, Darren finally details Sarah’s last moments. They were cornered by the Jackals on their way out of town. Darren claimed they were returning the money, but Shameless didn’t buy it, pulled a knife on Sarah, then ordered Darren to get the shovel. Despite Sarah’s tearful pleas, Darren did their bidding, to the accompaniment of Sarah’s chilling screams.

    On a lighter note, it seems all is not well at Casa Jeffries, as Jeffries implores Scotty to take Vera off his hands, and, in an equally amusing scene, Vera complains about Jeffries, then asks Scotty if he can crash with him. “No,” Scotty replies. Hee.

    All in all, an intriguing episode, but one thing did irk me. Drew recalls the fine line between cop and criminal when one is undercover, which reminds this loyal viewer of Scotty’s undercover job in “Sanctuary.” However, rather than draw the obvious parallel, they chose instead to use it as an opportunity for Lilly to angst about Saccardo. Call me crazy, but I think using a perfect parallel to one of our regular cast members might be a bit more prudent than using it as an excuse to refer to a bit character who hasn’t been seen since September, and who may very well never be seen again. Don’t get me wrong, I like Lilly a lot, but the other characters are just as interesting, if not more so, and it’s irritating when they’re ignored.

    So that’s my TwoCents, which, in 1976, would have put just a smidge of gasoline in one of those sweet bikes. I welcome yours!


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