Cold Case: The Coolest

by Kathy Davis on May 4, 2009

The eight Pearl Jam tunes interlaced throughout Part 1 of the 2-part season finale of CBS show “Cold Case” were brilliantly used to tell the story of murder victim Kate Butler’s journey through the fictional military academy the Pennsylvania Military Institute.  The music was used as the soundtrack to the flashbacks shown as the Cold Case detectives question students and staff off the Institute, investigating the murder of Butler, the first female cadet accepted into the school.    

 1. “Corduroy” used during the opening sequence. A single blond female, Butler,  is shown  running along with the opening guitar strains. Music swells and “the waiting drove me mad” is heard.  Cuts to military school recruits being prepped and running into the school courtyard to be paraded and taunted by upperclassmen.  “push me and I will resist” as they stood for their taunting and “hell week” of indoctrination. Recruits doing jumping jacks – “Everything has chains”  Recruits at academy footage interspersed with the female runner as she approaches home.  Butler gets mail and opens letter saying she’d been accepted into military academy.  Cut to the detectives finding a murder victim’s skeleton.

2. 12 minutes in:  “Come Back” – flashback of murder victim leaving for military school, saying goodbye to her father.  “I’ve been wishing out the days/come back” edited.

3. 16 minutes in:  “Who You Are flashback of Butler at barber getting head shaved to look like everyone else.   ”Can’t defend f*cked up… men take me for a ride before we leave” ends scene.

19 minutes in:  “Why Go”  bassline under more military academy hell week hazing, recruits doing pushups. Shot of first murder suspect as he taunts Butler doing pushups End of scene, words swell up:  “What they want her to be is weak – she could play pretend/she could join the game.” 

5. 25 minutes in: “Rearviewmirror”  opening guitar.  “I took a drive today” as recruit pull-ups begin “I guess it was the beatings made me wise….”  Butler is shown being able to keep up with men on chin-up bar.  “United by fear….tried to endure what I could not forgive.”

6. 40 minutes in: “In Hiding -  Flashback of murder victim meeting cadet she was tutoring, one of the few black students at the academy.  Mostly guitar under dialog.

43 minutes in: “Indifference”   Butler, found in bathroom with deep cuts on her hand, passed out from blood loss.  “I will stand arms outstretched….I will make my way through one more day…in hell.” 

8.  55 minutes in: “Yellow Ledbetter”  Detective Lily Rush is in diner reviewing data about case,  trying to put together possible suspects, figures out some clues and leaves to get in car.  Starts to make call to her partner, and is rammed by car tailgating her. Cuts to Det. Rush being run off the road… music of guitar solo cuts in and out as her car plunges into water… 

 Blurb by announcer at end shows cover of special edition “Ten” with announcement, “tonight’s episode featured music from Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ -special edition available now.”   Ka-ching!

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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