| Cold Case Episode|
|Episode No.||79 (Season 4, Episode 10)|
|Original Air Date||December 3, 2006|
|Guest Starring|| Shane Johnson (Sean "Coop" Cooper (1968))|
Brian Hallisay (Jimmy Bruno (1968))
Chad Everett (Jimmy Bruno (2006))
Kristi Clainos (Eileen Bruno (1968))
Toni Sawyer (Eileen Bruno (2006))
Conor O'Farrell (Brogan Cooper (1968))
Nicolas Coster (Brogan Cooper (2006))
Charles Mesure (Tom McCree (1968))
William Lucking (Tom McCree (2006))
Rob Swanson (Owen Murphy (1968))
Leon Russom (Owen Murphy (2006))
Christian Keiber (Teddy Burke (1968))
Hans Howes (Leon Krol)
Dennis Mooney (Priest)
Oren Williams (Andre Halstead)
Sonja Sohn (Toni Jameson)
| IMDb profile|
Back to the present, a convict hoping to benefit from his tip tells Det. Lilly Rush and Lt. John Stillman what he saw as the first person on the scene. He claims that Coop is 'dirty' and was associated with Teddy Burke, a drug dealer in his heyday during the 1960s. It is a lead that would ruin the reputation of Coop.
Sean Cooper's father, Brogan Cooper, arrives in the Cold Case department and speaks with John, whom he knows from the force, to defend Coop's name. Meanwhile, Kat Miller and Will Jeffries pay a visit to an old colleague of Coop, Owen Murphy. From him, they learn that Coop could never have been in cahoots with Teddy Burkes - he was too righteous and had very obvious conflicts with Burke.
The next person the team speaks to is Jimmy Bruno, Coop's partner before his murder. From him, a new lead arises. The one who was really corrupted was their superior, Lt. Tom McCree. Jimmy also reveals that it is Tom McCree who handles the dispatches in the precinct. With the ability to set Coop up and a reason to do so, Tom becomes a prime suspect.
Lt. John Stillman and Det. Will Jeffries team up and find Tom McCree who admits to accepting bribes from Burke on grounds that it was more sensible to just 'tax' the drug dealer to take care of his men. He, however, denies dispatching Coop on the day he was murdered with reasonable confidence, claiming that it was probably Coop's womanizing that got him killed, citing Coop's affair with Eileen Bruno (Jimmy's wife) as an example. In a flashback, Coop and Eileen are seen arguing over an affair, but Coop's reactions to Tom's stern words once again reveals that something is not as it seems. Lily Rush and Scotty Valens immediately pays a visit to Eileen Bruno. In the church from the opening scene, Eileen reveals the case's main twist. As she tells Lily and Scott, "My heart got broke yes, but not how you think."
Eileen's flashback is centered around the her husband and his partner, Jimmy and Coop. In it, a pregnant Eileen takes a loving peek at the two men drinking and arguing over the nature of their job late in the night. Coop is giving Jimmy a dressing down for accepting fifty 'dirty' bucks a week. Jimmy, obviously drunk and frustrated, tells Coop that he is being too righteous and claimed that his righteousness was merely an act ("because it's another good time for you"). Coop defends his position and tells Jimmy "I bust shins because I'm enforcing the law.", a statement to which Eileen smiles to from behind the curtains where the men do not see her. Coop adds that what they do "ain't fun and games", but it gets ugly in an instant when Jimmy crosses the line by saying "Sure it is. Just like the fun you had slaughtering Vietcong. You miss that free pass to kill don't you." Coop retaliates with a punch and then gets into a brawl with Jimmy. The twist comes when Coop suddenly grabs Jimmy by the head and gives him a deep and frustrated kiss. Jimmy pushes him away at first, but after a few moments, embraces Coop, sharing with him a deeper and more passionate kiss. Eileen sees the entire exchange and holds her stomach in shock and sadness. When the present returns, Lily and Scotty are visibly shaken.
At that point, the team speaks to Jimmy in their department and they tell him they know what was between him and Coop. Jimmy uncomfortably denies it, and tells them that Eileen is probably still bitter over the divorce and they got it wrong. However, when Lt. John suggests that maybe someone else also got it wrong and did something to Coop, Jimmy tells the team that Owen Murphy may have had a hand in Coop's death, recounting an incident in the police locker room where Coop more or less outed himself in front of everyone there in a fit of rage when Murphy made homophobic remarks and compared Jimmy and Coop, "The Dynamic Duo", to the "homo" Batman and Robin. When Lily and Will sternly interrogates Murphy later, he claims that killing another member of the force was something he would never do. Instead, he tells them that he told 'Sarge', Coop's father Brogan, and that he expected him to "sort (Coop) out". Further investigation by Kat also uncovers dispatch records on the night of Coop's death. The person who sent Coop to his death was none other than his own father, much to the dismay of Lt. John Stillman, who takes the evidence from Kat.
Scotty and Vera then approach Brogan Cooper and tell him they know about relationship between the two cops, but Brogan deludes himself and insists that Coop was a "Lady's Man", as well as lying about the dispatch. Vera promptly reveals the dispatch slip and Brogan's false smile disappears. He proceeds to grimly admit what happened setting Coop up with help from Tom McCree to try put some sense into his son. As Scotty and Vera leave, a broken Brogan tells the two men who have turned their backs to him that he no longer cared who Coop was, and that he just wanted him back.
Knowing that Tom McCree was obviously lying the first time he was approached, Lt. John Stillman personally interrogates the retired lieutenant. John cuts to the chase and calls Tom's command "a mess", concluding that the police he sent to scare Coop ended up shooting him. The proud commander insists that he had no undisciplined cops but John pushes the point. Annoyed, Tom is unable to hide his anger towards Coop ("There's no word for what he is!") and admits that he "clean(ed) house". When John finally asks "So what did you do?", Tom McCree indignantly replies "I shot that queer and I'd do it again!". In another room, Jimmy tells Lily that the only reason he wasn't with Coop that night was because he was afraid the world would know who he was. With that, the case is solved and both Brogan Cooper and Tom McCree are put to justice.
The concluding flashback shows Jimmy telling Coop "I ain't a queer", Tom ambushing Coop with a shotgun, the two shots which eventually kills Coop and a final conversation between the two cops over the radio. The last scene shows the old Jimmy walking into a familiar lot with a young Coop waiting beside a police car, the past and present juxtaposed. The camera then cuts to Coop and a young Jimmy who holds his partner's hand, and the two are then shown in colour against a black & white background and they slowly fade away.
Summary of the relationship
Jimmy Bruno and Sean 'Coop' Cooper were partners within the police force. Coop, as remembered by his colleagues and Lt. John Stillman, was the aggressive, cowboy type. Jimmy, milder one of the pair, was a family man with a wife, Eileen, and three children.
In September 1968, Coop was killed and the court back then ruled that the death was a drug bust gone bad, but the truth never actually came to light and his murder became a cold case within the police force. The case is dredged up when a witness claims that Sean Cooper was 'dirty,' and the Cold Case team begins an investigation, unearthing the truth behind Coop's murder and an unexpected homosexual relationship between Coop and his partner, Jimmy.
Sean Cooper was always the more aggressive policeman of the two, having fought in the Vietnam War before joining the force. When he busted Teddy Burke, a drug dealer in his heyday, he did not hesitate to arrest him and made no attempt to soften his approach. His aggression was, however, unwelcomed by his superior, then-Lieutenant Tom McCree. The higher-ranking police officer released Teddy Burke despite Coop's protests and warned him against touching Burke again. If anyone was a 'dirty' cop, Coop was the last one to be, and Jimmy knew that best. Having worked with Coop for over a year, he tried to reduce the flak between his partner and his superior.
While Coop was driven by morals and justice, Jimmy was compelled by responsibility for his family. When Eileen was pregnant with their third child, Jimmy started accepting a small amount of "dirty" a week, much to the dismay of Coop. One night, when the two men were drinking and talking about in Jimmy's backyard, they began arguing over the fifty bucks that Jimmy was taking. Frustrated that Coop was so worked up over a mere fifty bucks, Jimmy reminded Coop that he had a family to feed, and in his drunken state, he called Coop a self-righteous thrill seeker who slaughtered Vietcong for fun. Furious, Coop retaliated with a punch and the two men got into a brawl. In all the frustration and drunkenness, Coop suddenly grabbed Jimmy by the head and kissed him aggressively on the mouth. Jimmy, surprised and shocked, pushed Coop away, probably remembering that they were in the backyard of his house, his family sleeping merely feet away. But the tension was too much for him to bear. Unable to hide his longing for Coop, he reciprocated. The two police officers kissed passionately, locked in an embrace and lost in their love for each other, unaware that Eileen was watching them from a window.
Heartbroken, Eileen approached Coop and ended up breaking down in front of him during a party in her house. Incidentally, Tom McCree walked into the room where the two were talking heard a part of their conversation. Embarrassed, Eileen walked out of the room. Coop's superior proceeded to give Coop a dressing down, concluding that the two were having an affair, but never tells Jimmy what he thought he had found out. During the baptization ceremony of the Brunos' third child, Coop was present as a witness. As both Eileen and Jimmy says "Amen", she stared at Coop. Coop could do nothing but look down, guilty.
Still, Jimmy and Coop continued to be partners and carried on their affair quietly. Despite his guilt towards Eileen, Coop knew that he and Jimmy are truly in love. He believed that Eileen would not want to live a lie and tried to convince Jimmy that this was the case, but Jimmy felt a sense of responsibility towards his children. "I ain't leaving my kids, Coop," Jimmy told him, but Coop suggested that he doesn't have to, mentioning a plan that they had spoken about. When Jimmy called their relationship a curse, Coop retorted, "My folks. Been married forever right? But whatever they had died years ago. Now I look around and I see everyone like that. Staying together because of the church. Because it's expected. Because they got nowhere else to go. Cursed? We're the lucky ones, Jimmy." With that, he convinced Jimmy somewhat and it seemed that the two would try the plan after all, but it never happened.
With their relationship seemingly under the wraps, Jimmy and Coop stayed together as partners for a long time. Several times, Coop comes very close to outing himself, especially once when in a fit of anger he grabbed their colleague Owen Murphy by the collar and asked him what if he were indeed "A queer, a homo." Jimmy never told anyone that he suspected that maybe Murphy knew, and maybe had something to do with Coop's death. With Coop dead and whatever was between them over, he chose not tarnish Coop's reputation as well as to protect his own identity. Only when the Cold Case team reminds the now-old Jimmy that he owed his partner in this manner did he reveal this.
Jimmy was right that Murphy knew and eventually caused Coop's death, but Murphy was not the one who killed Coop. Owen Murphy was homophobic, but he would never touch another member of the force. Instead, when he overheard that Jimmy and Coop have plans to lead different lives, to be together, he decided that it is too much and told Coop's father what he knew about Coop and Jimmy.
After Murphy told Brogan Cooper, Coop's father, Brogan went straight to Coop and told him what Murphy said with hopeful disbelief. Uneasily, he asked "He's crazy. Right son?", to which after a long pause Coop replied "You really want to talk about this, pop?" Enraged, Brogan jumped to the conclusion that it was Jimmy who had corrupted his son and indignantly said "We raised you right." When his son disagreed that his upbringing had anything to do with his being gay, Brogan disowned Coop by telling him that he was neither a man nor his son. Coop, unable to convince his father, could only accept their disappointment with each other.
Eventually, Brogan told Tom McCree, and the father set Coop up with his lieutenant's help to teach his boy a lesson. However, Brogan did not know that Tom McCree had plans to clean house and never intended for Coop to survive the dispatch that he had Brogan send. He personally ambushed Coop, incapacitating him with two shots before fleeing the scene and leaving Coop to die. Coop, dying alone under the bridge because his Jimmy was safely in another car with a rookie cop, called out to Jimmy over the radio, full of things to tell him but unable to say them, knowing that loving Jimmy meant letting go. Coop reminded Jimmy for the last time, in past tense, "We were the lucky ones. .. don't forget that." and never spoke another word. Jimmy rushed to the scene in anguish, but he was too late.
The truth has come to light, but Jimmy, now old, still avoided the subject when asked and refused to admit that there was anything going on between him and Coop. In an interrogation room, Lily presses him for the reason as to why he was not with Coop the night he was killed. Seeing that Jimmy is still unable to come to terms with what was between him and Jimmy, Lily reveals that it was Coop's father and their lieutenant who set him up. With that, Jimmy's emotions finally become too much for him to bear and he tells her why he was not with Coop that night when he could have been there to give Coop a fighting chance. That particular night, he explains, he had found out that Murphy knew, and was so afraid that the rest of the world would know he made a rash decision to break up with Coop, telling him "I ain't a queer." With his greatest secret and regret revealed, both Lily and Jimmy tear up and Lily says,
Lily: The world back then didn't understand.
Lily: You believed it was wrong. But that kind of thing comes along once in a lifetime and you gotta hold on, or you'll lose it.
Lily: Coop was right. You were the lucky ones, Jimmy.
Choking up, Jimmy tells her "I miss him." to which Lily simply acknowledges, "I know."
At the end, the old Jimmy walks into a familiar place with a young Coop waiting beside a police car and sees the young him finding Coop and they hold hands and smiling to each other before the image fades away. He is still alone, but gains a new understanding of whatever that has already passed.
Nick Vera has a side storyline in this episode providing comic relief. It involves a single black mother, nurse Toni Jameson, and her son Andre Halstead. In this storyline, Vera steals the Andre's basketball as the teenager annoys Vera by playing with his basketball at the most inopportune moments, right outside his window. Jameson personally goes down to Vera's department to demand the ball back and they end up quarreling. Jameson fails to retrieve the ball and leaves angrily, asking Vera to "grow up".
Later, Vera arrives in front of Jameson's doorstep with a new basketball and apologizes to her. Jameson then gets Andre to receive the basketball personally and ends up apologizing back to Vera instead for her son's rudeness and sarcasm. The two patch up moments later.
At the final sequence which sums up the episode, the two of them are seen carrying groceries back to their apartment together with a surprised Andre appearing before them, making Vera very awkward.
Forever Blue is regarded as a major milestone by fans. It is the first time a dramatic gay romance with a passionate on-screen kiss is shown on free public accessed television. Furthermore, there was a remarkable lack of any kind of backlash to the episode.
"Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach"
Although the exact reason why this song was used is not known, one possibility that results from this interpretation is that people should learn not to hail or judge another person too quickly, because it is not the what that matters. The chorus is discussed in another point below.
"Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now."
The play on the two ideas 'young' and 'old' leaves viewers plenty to think about as the episode comes to an end.
Note: See below for an external link to the full lyrics of the song by Bob Dylan.