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Pretty good night on the Eye

1) Cold Case: "A Dollar, A Daydream."  Yeah, I pretty much cried my way through this one.  Also, shame on the promo department for highlighting the tiny subplot of Jeffries' backstory but completely ignoring the RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME case of the week.  This is in the top tier of CC eps.  Yes, yes it is.  On this show, I judge quality by how much I care about the victims, and this week my empathy was through the roof.

Let's get Jeffries out of the way first - that guy he threatened with the gun, we saw him last week right?  They were talking in a bar or something?  I couldn't figure out why it was important and fast-forwarded through most of it.  Maybe I should have paid attention.  Like I said, most character-development points on this show go in one ear and out the other for me, so while I was vaguely aware that Jeffries' wife had been killed some time ago, I thought it had also been resolved.  Apparently not, hence the tracking her killer and sticking a gun to his chest.  Though it beats me how anyone would believe he'd actually be cold enough to pull the trigger.  There was no suspense in that part whatsoever.

Now, the case!  Housewife's husband succumbs to cancer and dies, leaving her homeless and mostly destitute, reduced to living in her car with her two daughters, aged 7 and 14. First of all, the case was from 1999 - I love when the cold cases are fairly recent.  I remember 1999!  It was an entirely awesome year!  It also feels like yesterday instead of being an impossible eight years ago.  I mean, really, 8?  It was eight years ago that I was in eighth grade and raising my monarch caterpillar in science?

Second of all, because it was from 1999, all the music choices were excellent. Look!  I don't know Emma Burgess, and the Cowboy Junkies I don't really care about, but the other four women are among my favorite artists.

Home--Sheryl Crow [Never heard it but desire to obtain ASAP]
Here with Me--Dido [I've been in love with this song for 8 years.]
Those Final Feet--Cowboy Junkies
Something That You Do--Emma Burgess
Witness--Sarah McLachlan [love!!]
Breakable--Fisher
Angel--Sarah McLachlan [...okay, I don't actually find it all that moving despite its popularity, but I do like the lyric "you are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie"]

Third of all, the flashbacks were in black and white, which I think was a nice artistic choice to reinforce the difference between now and then, since it really wasn't very long ago compared to most cases they work. 

Fourth of all, and this is the last time I start a pargraph with that phrase, I need the names of every actress playing a Bradford.  All five of them were fantastic and beautiful and I want to see more of them.  The only one I recognized was the mother, who was last seen playing Meg on ER...Paula Malcolmson.  Oh wait, and I thought I recognized the younger sister in the flashbacks ("Darcy Rose Byrnes")...her acting credits include a Without a Trace episode, so I guess I was right.   Enough digression.

What a haunting opener - the sunken car with Marlene's body in the front seat.  Chiiills!  The whole episode was an emotional roller coaster ride, with the mother struggling so hard to do the best she could for her kids, and it killed me that while the elder daughter was sulky and fit-throwing, as teenagers are apt to be, the little one was all optimism and "it's okay, Mommy" despite the fact that she was sleeping in a car and using restrooms for washing purposes.  Her indomitable sweetness was the first thing that had me in tears.   Mind, I was already at a tipping point given that the one thing that will move to tears faster than a pet dying/being given away is a girl losing her mother.

More tears when the elder daughter ran away and ended up on the porch swing of their foreclosed house...yes.  I can't describe that scene or I'll start crying again. I spent most of the episode terrified by turns that the elder daughter had shot her mother in a moment of blind rage, or that the little one had shot her by accident, or that she'd killed herself to escape from it all.  It had to be a random stranger, right?  RIGHT?  And...kind of.  Crazy homeless man, of whom I was suspicious from the beginning.  This is 1999, woman!  You don't trust strangers!  And so even though on one hand I was glad that none of the family members were responsible...the actual manner of her death was so heartbreaking that if I were not already weepy, I would have burst into tears.  Stupid crazy homeless man.  I should have known you were the culprit, given your stint in that X-Files episode "Millenium"!

2) Without a Trace: "Connections."  This is the kind of episode I like.  Missing girls are always ten times more interesting than any other demographic.  Even when I want to headsmack the missing girls.

Honestly, are fifteen-year-olds really this stupid?  Look, I understand the whole secret blog, pour your heart out to empty space/strangers on the internet, because it IS easier to talk to people you don't know personallyBut if you do that, you should have enough sense not to use identifying details, and you SURE AS HELL don't decide to meet people you met online in real life.  Not if you're a teenager looking for love, anyway.  (there are lots of perfectly nice and normal people online, after all, but you should be able to tell the difference between "friendly" and "total perv") And if you're going to be stupid and stubborn and meet with "a guy you met online," could you at least have the sense to meet them a few times in broad daylight, with lots of other people around, and not in private in the middle of the night? 

And if you do somehow get all the way to that level of stupid and stubborn, do you think you might eventually figure out that a 35-year-old-man who lies about his age to seem more approachable might not be exactly the best choice in friends and/or potential love interests?!  Might you not, at some point, see through his so-cheesy-you-could-choke-on-them lines that sound like they're straight out of 'the loser's guide to seduction'?  "I felt this connection between us!"  *shudder*

I'm still trying to figure out why we actually had to go through that part of the episode at all, since it didn't really have much of an effect on the ending.  I mean...she couldn't have just taken Grandpa's car and gone straight to see her father, without the pit stop in between to sleep with a stranger?  Not to mention that I don't understand why, at the beginning, she was sulking to her friend about being "the last virgin on earth."  Does anyone in high school actually get teased for being a virgin?  Seriously?  I mean, it was a complete and total non-issue among my friends and I.  Didn't even get brought up in conversation.  Ever.  NOBODY CARED.

As gross and scuzzy as the guy was, though that was still no reason for Jack to bend his arm backwards, scribble all over it with a permanent marker to label him a pedophile, and then leave him handcuffed to the bed and grant the arresting officers' request for a little time alone with him.  Wow, unethical much?  I mean, for god's sakes, the girl wasn't a child, and she was perfectly consenting, if naive and stupid.  I think that scene was just designed to make me hate Agent Malone a little more than I already do.

(oh, while I'm on the topic of "stupid teenage theatrics," that thing about fingernail color doesn't really HAPPEN, right?  Surely nobody paints their nails pink to signify that they'll give oral?  Because...because...my brain might have to explode from an overload of Stupid.)

The rest of the MP's story I found rather boring.  I understand the desire to sate one's curiosity about birth parents, but I'm not sure I understood her sudden bonding session, to the point that she was hugging and wanting to live with him.  I mean, he hasn't seen her since she was a baby, because her grandpa kept them apart (ever think he might have a REASON for doing so?).  And given the experience she went through a night ago, how does she know her biological father isn't some sort of creepy pervert?  He certainly looked skeevy.  Going back to my original question about "are 15 year olds really this stupid?", I don't understand why she didn't just confront her grandpa in the first place, instead of running all over New York City on her own.  All right, I'm done with that.

We met Sam's sister tonight, whose existence I was only vaguely aware of, and not only does she look old enough to be Sam's mom, she looks so world-weary and butch compared to the petite and lovely Samantha that I'm hard-pressed to see any family resemblance at all.  I subsequently am about as interested in seeing her as Sam is, which is to say "not at all."  Was it ever explained why they were estranged?    Sigh.  I was excited that Sam was finally going to get a storyline that did not involve her being in a relationship with a colleague, but then not only does it turn out to be dull, I fear it will strike up some more of those icky Jack/Sam sparks.  Once again, I bemoan the fact that Jack got divorced instead of moving to Chicago. 

And finally, after far too much time waiting in annoyance for Elena to quit talking to Jack and Martin and share a scene with Danny already, someone decided to throw me a bone and explain where things stood.  On the one hand I'm disappointed that they're still on a break, but on the other if they didn't resolve their issues offscreen already, then there's a chance I get to see them resolved on screen, and yay for potential cute.  I like that when she said she still needed a little more time, he understandably sounded irked, "I don't know what to say to that."  I also like that instead of snapping back in kind, she remained perfectly calm, almost bemused.  "I was hoping you were going to say 'How much time do you need?" Seconds later he's mollified, back to being patient and understanding, which is precisely why I love him and this ship.  "Just a little more time" is most definitely something I can live with.         

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