Cold Case: Season 5, Episode 11

Family 8108 (9 Dec. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.3
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Subsequent to his 30-days away from the office, Stillman submitted retirement papers and Lilly and staff pleads with him to withdraw them. This case is regarding a Japanese-American man who... See full summary »

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Title: Family 8108 (09 Dec 2007)

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Subsequent to his 30-days away from the office, Stillman submitted retirement papers and Lilly and staff pleads with him to withdraw them. This case is regarding a Japanese-American man who served time in a California internment camp. After moving his family to Philadelphia he was murdered in 1945. Written by lemoviecrtic@yahoo.com

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9 December 2007 (USA)  »

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Manzanar
29 December 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This show deals with one of America's most shameful incidents in our history. The imprisonment of Japanese and Americans of Japanese descent during the years of WWII. The horror of that past looms large in a murder case committed more than six decades ago. Barbara Takahashi comes to the Cold Case unit asking them to take a look at her father's murder. Of course, it's been a long time, but the detectives set out to look into this matter.

We learn about the Takahashi family in flashbacks. Ray and Evelyn Takahashi, both American born, and their son, Billy, lead a happy existence in California. One day they are ordered to go to Manzanar, a camp designed to keep these innocent citizens just because of their ethnicity. Ray, a man that feels his rights are violated, goes along with what his government has decided for him. Evelyn, on the other hand, makes it known she doesn't appreciate the treatment.

Ray feels as though his son Billy should enlist and fight for his country. But Billy is not so sure. Billy's good friend Skip has already enlisted. Billy's decision comes when he watches his father kiss one of the lady volunteers that shows kindness to the family. He is angry, feeling betrayed by his own father. When a telegram arrives, Ray knows its bad news; Billy has died.

When the Takahashis, now with a baby girl, Barbara, born in the camps, decide to go to Philadelphia, they resume their lives. Ray, who had quarreled with Shinji Nakamura, is surprised when this man turns up in his new city bringing him a letter that was received at the camp. In it, Ray learns Billy had died a hero. He tries to look up Skip, who was in charge of his son's unit to have Billy's courage acknowledged, but unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. Ray suffers a devastating blow when he is killed accidentally not having seen his son get his due for his patriotism.

A good story on this chapter of the series. Our only problem with case studies, such as this one, we feel there is a chronological confusion on the part of the creators of the show and the realities. Ray Takahashi must have been in his late thirties, having a son that enlisted at eighteen. Evelyn Takahashi, who is still around must have been in pretty close to a hundred! Same goes for Shinji Nakamura, so we are asked to accept them as a fact, when reason shows us otherwise. It is easier to see a case solved dating from a few years back, but when we are asked to make concessions for something as obvious as the time involved here, we have to scratch our heads in disbelief.

Jeannot Szwarc directed this episode with sure hand. The writing is first rate and it's credited to Kellye Garrett and Elizabeth Randall, whose screenplay asks us to go along with what they wrote, not making much sense in the process. Their story is good, but not plausible, considering the time span. We liked the excellent Ian Anthony Dale who plays Ray Takahashi with conviction. Mia Korf makes a good Evelyn from 1945.


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