Detective Scotty Valens on Cold Case shared similarities with the cases he aimed to solve: they both had a past full of secrets.
"He's very much veiled in some mystery about where he came from, how [he] got into the department so quickly, the secrets he holds," Danny Pino said about his Cold Case character in an interview with The Associated Press writer Bridget Byrne in 2006.
The actor added, "Whenever there is a sort of free radical coming into an equation, it kind of bounces off everything in [it]." Pino explained how the detective shifted and shaped the pieces of the Philadelphia-based homicide squad in the series.
Frequent watchers and supporters of the series remember when Detective Valens was first introduced. It was the seventh episode of season one, titled "A Time to Hate." Valens didn't come into the force quietly; he was hot-headed and didn't mind challenging his partner (Detective Lilly Rush) and boss (Lt. John Stillman).
The writers loved how Pino took the character and made it bigger than they imagined. So, as a result, they were able to build the character based on Pino's strengths. "We've found him to be intriguing—strong, yet understated," creator Meredith Stiehm said. "We've realized there's no limit to his ability, so we've been writing more and more for him."
The intriguing part of gaining a bigger role in the show is the enhanced personal life storyline of the character. Valen's fiancee, Elisa, had schizophrenia and then died. The detective's love life became more complicated and stressful. He starts dating Rush's sister Christina which ultimately infuriates Rush. Then, Christina disappeared.
"It's going to be a very baffling year [for Valens]. All those ruminations will be underneath his (police) activity... even when he's outwardly very presentable and professional in what he is doing," Pina said.
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