Cold Case: Season 4, Episode 18

A Dollar, a Dream (18 Mar. 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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After seven years, the body of a missing woman who had been living in her car with her two daughters is discovered in that car at the bottom of a lake.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vita Chacon
Vincent Hopper


After seven years, the body of a missing woman who had been living in her car with her two daughters is discovered in that car at the bottom of a lake.

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Release Date:

18 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Paula Malcomson and Jennifer Lawrence would later play mother and daughter again in the film The Hunger Games (2012). Coincidently, both stories are about a single mother-two daughter family who fall into poverty and struggle to survive after the death of the husband/father. See more »


Here with Me
Performed by Dido
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User Reviews

The lottery ticket
2 December 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The story of a woman found shot inside her sunken car at the bottom of a lake, brings the Cold Case team to investigate because it's been years since she went missing. Little is known about what happened to Marlene Bradford, a young widow, who disappeared from the face of the earth leaving two daughters, Abby and Natalie, at the mercy of the foster home system, something she would not have considered even in her homeless state.

When the detectives get to the case, the now teen aged Abby and Natalie come to tell the authorities what they knew about the circumstances that led to their mother's death. The Cold Case team begin a careful reconstruction of the life of an unfortunate woman that lost everything when her husband died from cancer at an early age. Marlene and the girls find themselves roaming the streets in order to survive.

Marlene found a job at a small convenience store. Her boss, Anil Patel, was not too happy because Marlene insisted in keeping her car, that serves as their sleeping place, nearby, in the store's parking lot, to keep an eye on the two girls. She has a confrontation with Anil, but in the end, he is understanding about her needs. To that effect, and knowing the dangers Marlene faces, he gives her his own gun.

One day, a kind man, Vincent Hopper, who happens to be in the store suggests a place where a lot of the homeless gather without being hassled. Hopper lives in his own fantasy world dreaming of his son who wanted above all to have a baseball glove he couldn't give him at the time. He seems nice enough to Marlene. One day he comes with a proposal she can't refuse. He hands her a lottery ticket he feels is going to be a winner. The only problem is that the possible million dollars he expected if they won, turned out to be much less in reality.

Good performances all around director Chris Fisher, who has collaborated to the series before, got from his cast. Notable appearances by Paula Malcomson and Holmes Osborne, who play Marlene and Vincent. Thom Berry, who is a regular, has some good moments as he faces the man he thinks killed his wife.

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