Michael Slezak
September 24, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

For me, Cold Case has always been one of those shows I’llwatch two or three times a season, when Sunday-cocktail aftermath gravityhas pinned me to the couch, and not much else looks good on the tube. But thegimmick for last night’s fifth-season premiere — an episode featuring themusic of Nirvana — was enough to make me actively seek it out. (Also, beingtotally honest, I got a mental reminder to check in after seeing the hotnessthat is Danny Pino presenting at the Emmys.)

Sad to say, then, that the episode (titled “ThrillKill”) was not only lazily written and un-suspenseful, but it treated itsmusical muse as an afterthought — except for, perhaps, the way the show’sstylist got inspired to turn star Kathryn Morris’ tresses into a post-grungemop. (Compare Morris’ coif, pictured at left, to Kurt Cobain’s, at right. Are Lily’s locks always so atrocious, or were they just a visualcue to some kind of post-traumatic distress following the shootout in theseason 4 finale? And could the whole “counseling’s not optional”subplot have been any more hackneyed? Ah, but I digress.) Anyway, for those of you who’ve got theepisode on your DVR, stop here… those of you who’ve watched, let’s discuss afterthe jump.

addCredit(“Kurt Cobain: Kristin Callahan/LFI”)

Okay, so the way the initial conviction of the teenageoutcasts hinged on Teddy’s confession to that overzealous cop: Wasn’t this supposedto be a flashback to 1994, not 1934? Where was the kid’s lawyer? Wasn’t anyoneelse supervising the interrogation? And how come that female police officernever told anyone about the tossed tape? What’s more, I couldn’t get past theridiculous dialog coming out of grown-up Dylan’s mouth whenever the copsswung by the prison to get his side of the story. I mean, instead of mutteringinanities like, “I’m the fire-breathing dragon from happily-ever-afterland,” don’t you think he’d be more likely to ask why his case was beingreopened, whether new evidence had come to light, and if he had a snowball’schance of seeing his life sentence overturned? And to cap the trifecta ofcrappiness, how am I supposed to buy that little Jack’s dad (a hammy RaphaelSbarge) was so unhinged, he came unglued when the lights got dimmed in theinterrogation room, and yet, he hadn’t cracked once in the 13 years sincecommitting a triple-homicide? Nope, setting his perp-walk to “Come as YouAre” did not redeem this dud of a season opener. Am I the only one whofelt like an interesting premise got lost in the word processor?

That said, I liked the introduction of the term “fishtowntrash” early in the episode — and I plan to use it the next time I need to tossan insult at one of my unruly friends or coworkers. Let’s all try using it in asentence: “Shut your trap, fishtown trash!” Nice!

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