To kick off the fifth season of Cold Case, the show stuck to one of its favorite decades, the 1990s. The season opens with the episode "Thrill Kill," set in 1994 and centered on the murder of three small boys.
In the episode, everyone's quick to blame two teens from the wrong side of the tracks who happen to be huge fans of grunge music (which you can tell by their flannel shirts, pink hair and eyeliner). These teens are actually convicted, but after one commits suicide, Lilly begins to doubt whether the verdict found in this cold case is actually the truth. Then, new evidence arises that seems to point to an eager police officer who wanted to see the teens go down for the crime. Because it looks so shady, Lilly, naturally, investigates.
For this intense episode, Cold Case did something it rarely does with its soundtrack on "Thrill Kill." Throughout the series, each episode always features decade-appropriate music to get viewers into the correct timeframe, typically showcasing a wide range of artists. But for "Thrill Kill," Cold Case focused on one 1990s grunge group, using exclusively Nirvana tracks to help tell the story.
Songs employed to capture the episode's tense vibe include hits like "Drain You," "All Apologies," "Come As You Are," "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Lithium," but also lesser-known tracks, including one from the band's popular debut album like "Stay Away" and one from their charged MTV Unplugged album, "Something in the Way," rounding out the soundtrack with a deep cut from Nirvana's first-ever studio session "If You Must."
The band choice was an obvious one for the show to make, as Nirvana frontman and songrwriter Kurt Cobain tragically took his own life. But we can't help but notice that the chorus on Nirvana hit "Heart-Shaped Box" is also pretty appropriate if you apply it to the detective at the heart of Cold Case: "Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint!"
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