Cold Case 'Joseph'

Directed by Roxann Dawson

Written by Andrea Newman and Liz W Garcia

Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn, Jeremy Ratchford, Thom Barry and Tracie Thoms – With Kenny Johnson, Steven Grahym, John Hillard, Mageina Tovah, Ramon Camacho, Sam Anderson and Susan Walters

Orlando (Ramon Camacho), a recovering teenage drug addict at a residential rehab clinic, is murdered by another inmate Corey (Steven Grahym). The murder is witnessed by their volunteer counsellor Joseph (Kenny Johnson). Two months later Joseph is also murdered before he can give evidence at the trial. Corey would be the main suspect, but he was still in custody at the time. The trail goes cold until a year later when Joseph’s credit card is used and the cold case unit reopen the investigation.

‘Joseph’, the closing episode of the third season, first broadcast on 21 May 2006, is typical ‘Cold Case’ fare. Clearly the murder could and should have been solved in the original investigation with a minimum of effort. The various members of the cold case unit constantly exchange asides as they blunder from one suspect to the next, seemingly to explain everything that is happening in the most simple of terms for the benefit of the audience. It should be annoying, but I find it strangely endearing.

There are some references in this episode to the manifestation of the icy and strangely emotional but also disengaged personality of the lead character Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris).

What initially made the episode stand out for me was the name of one of the writers, plus some of the guest actors. Andrea Newman was a co-executive producer and writer on the short-lived ‘Point Pleasant’, which just might be my favourite television show. These days she is once again reunited with Marti Noxon (the co-creator of that show) on the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ spin-off ‘Private Practice’. Her other credits include ‘24’ (season one), ‘Ed’ and ‘Felicity’.

Susan Walters (who plays Jane Holden, one of the co-founders of the rehab clinic) was one of the lead cast on ‘Point Pleasant’, playing a character not dissimilar to the one she plays here – both suffer from a crippling depression following the tragic early death of a child. Mageina Tovah (Crystal, one of the most damaged drug addicts in the clinic) played Glynis Figliola in the wonderful ‘Joan of Arcadia’. She gives a standout performance in ‘Joseph’.

For some reason, I spent the entire episode thinking Kenny Johnson was the late Chaney Kley (best known for his lead role in the horror film ‘Darkness Falls’). In my defence, they do look very similar. Kley did actually, by coincidence, appear in an episode of ‘Cold Case’ – ‘Strange Fruit’ in season two.

Tovah, Kley and series regular Jeremy Ratchford all appeared in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.

Screencaps from

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