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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A strange incident brings the Cold Case unit to try to piece together
the disappearance of a teenager. This young man, Andy Rierman, presents
a new dynamic to the investigation because he is a deaf mute. Andy, who
goes to a high school for teens that specialize in teaching people
afflicted with Andy's handicap, show the detectives there was a crime
committed at the school when blood is detected by sensors all over a
piano and on the floor.
The main interest in reconstructing the disappearance of Andy centers in the people he was friendly with. Those include his best friend Carlos, his girlfriend, Leah. Also Emma, a normal girl that has been sent to the school to do community service for having been found DUI, Andy's parents, both afflicted with the problem and the principal, Vivian Harden are interviewed by the detectives.
When Andy's body is finally found, a curious fact emerges. Andy was fitted with the cochlear implant. That device gave Andy a new outlook. The procedure also contributed to his death.
Jeannot Szwarc directed this episode. Gavin Harris wrote the screenplay. Mr. Szwarc deals with a sensitive issue with great tact. He gets all around good performances from the cast. Specially from Ryan Lane, who plays Andy and from Colleen Foy that appears as Emma.
As a father of a deaf daughter and a person who is reasonably fluent in
sign language, I have a different perspective on this one from the
average person. Here are a few things I noticed and loved about this
1. The deaf people in the show appear to actually be deaf people who sign! Believe it or not, many shows that purport to be about deaf folks feature gibberish instead of real sign language! Also KUDOS for actually hiring deaf actors, as too often disabled folks on TV and in movies AREN'T really disabled--thus depriving folks of work who could use the money AND could portray this sort of character best.
2. The issues in the episode are real ones for deaf folks. Cochlear implants ARE a divisive issue and deaf folks dating non- deaf folks can be as well.
3. I appreciated how the quality of the signing varied when it should have. Nick was supposed to be awful at signing...and he sure was. The hearing girlfriend, while decent for a hearing lady, clearly wasn't great and shouldn't have been based on her character.
4. Even if you aren't deaf or know a deaf person, this IS an interesting episode and the end will leave you wanting a box of Kleenex nearby--something very common for ANY "Cold Case" episode.
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