Quillsville Cold Case: Blown Away

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"Quillsville Cold Case: Blown Away"
Queen of the Willis episode
Episode no. Season 13
Episode 6
Directed by Season Atkins
Written by
Featured music (see article)
Production code 1306
Original air date September 20, 2024
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Quillsville Cold Case: Anna & I"
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"Quillsville Cold Case: Battered Husbands"

"Quillsville Cold Case: Blown Away" is the sixth episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series Queen of the Willis. It originally aired in broadcast syndication in the United States on September 20, 2024 as a two-hour movie. In the episode, an elderly woman, Rosie Zamora (voiced by ) wakes up from a 13-year-coma, Sgt. Lilly Rush re-opens the blast in which her 2 year-old granddaughter Chella (voiced by ) died and Chella's mother Charlene Zamora (voiced by ) in 2011. Things get complicated when the grandmother remembers very little yet the mother remembers the details of that night and Lilly feels especially motivated to find the killer, as Rosie was poor and living on welfare, reminding Lilly of her own past in Quillsville and Philadelphia, and giving her an emotional bond to Rosie and Charlene.

The episode was written by Donna Doogan and directed by Season Atkins.


The episode opens in May 2011. Forty-eight year old Rosie Zamora, her 33-year-old daughter Charlene and her two-year-old granddaughter Chella are going to bed. Chella is scared. There’s a knock on their apartment door. Someone enters and it sounds like they are headed for the bedroom door. The next shot shows Rosie, Charlene and Chella coming through the glass window and falling to the pavement below. They lie there unconscious and bleeding. The case box is filed in the vault under ”Zamora, Chella — May 2011”.

In the present day, Captain Brad Hunter tells Lilly that Rosie Zamora has woken up from her coma. Officer Jarrett Dailey joins them and tells Lilly that DA Pia Yoque was asking about her. Lilly seems uncomfortable and changes the subject back to Rosie. Captain Hunter wants them to look into her granddaughter’s (Chella) death since Rosie woke up. The detective originally assigned to the case had few leads — a black man was seen running from the scene that night.

Lilly and Officer Dailey head to the hospital to talk to Rosie. Unfortunately, Rosie has no memory of the night she, Charlene and Chella fell out of the window, but her daughter (Charlene) does. Charlene tells Lilly that Rosie remembers ”bruises and butterflies”. Rosie says the man in the bedroom hurt Chella, but she doesn’t remember the man. She doesn’t know yet that Chella died that night. Down in the vault, Lilly, Jarrett, and Brad go through the case box from 2011. The assigned officer thought it was a burglary gone bad. There was forced entry and a missing DVD Player. Lilly tells Captain Hunter that Rosie has no memory of that night yet Charlene. According to Rosie's doctor (Mario Coxson), she is suffering from emotional memory loss.

Lilly and Jarrett visit Indiana Child Services and speak with Charlene’s case worker, Mr. Freeman. He tells them that Charlene got a DUI, but cleaned up after that. He made unannounced home visits, and everything always checked out. He never noticed any bruises on Chella. Officer Elaine Reed and Lt. Nick Jeffries visit Chella’s teacher, Debbie Piazza, who was also Brittany's teacher at Vivica A. Fox Elementary. Debbie tells them that she last saw Rosie, Charlene and Chella the night of the school play. The kids were doing ”Flight of the Monarch Butterflies” like they do every year. Chella was dressed up with her butterfly wings and singing on stage [writer’s note: the lyrics in the song include the words "fly away"]. The teacher saw Charlene in the audience crying but she doesn’t know what about. She says that Chella always had clean clothes, and she never noticed a mark on her. She believes Charlene was a good mother.

Lilly and Officer Dailey go to the apartment that Rosie and Charlene used to rent. The landlady tells them that no one has rented it, but her brother stayed there for a little while. Lilly takes pictures, and notices a small hole on the wall near the ceiling in the bedroom. There is a matching hole in the living room. The landlady tells them that she saw a black man running from the building the night Chella died. She tells them that she believes that Chella slept on the couch because Charlene had men come up and stay with her often, much to Rosie's chagrin. She tells Lilly that she didn’t pass judgment like Lilly is now. The landlady says that the man she saw running from the scene was not a boyfriend because she had rules against her tenants dating black men and transwomen. She believes that the man she saw that night murdered Chella.

Back at the police station, Lilly tells Captain Hunter that she’s not getting anywhere with the bruises. Officer Reed and Lt. Jeffries tell them that CSI traced the holes in the wall and black marks from the original crime photos to cables used for a VCR/television and video camera. The question is, what was Charlene taping in her bedroom? Jarrett wonders if she was blackmailing married men and transgendered women with the tapes she was making, but her bank account had less than $200 in it. Lilly points out that you can’t have too much in the bank and still receive public assistance. Elaine Reed and Lieutenant Nick Jeffries look into pawnshops that might have seen equipment with the same make and model as Charlene’s VCR. Lilly and Jarrett look through Charlene’s things that her landlady has stored for her. Lilly confesses that she doesn’t like Charlene because she got a DUI with Chella in the car. She believes that Chella had a rough life before her death. Scotty finds an address book among Charlene’s stuff. There’s a page missing, and he decides to have CSI look at it. An expert runs the page after the missing one through a new machine they got, and it reads out the imprint left from the missing page. It has the name Kendra and a phone number. Lilly and Jarrett head out, but run into Officer Elaine Reed, Kymberly Millspaugh and Lt. Nick Jeffries. They found the missing DVD player and camera at a pawnshop. It was sold at the pawnshop by someone named Kendra about a year after Chella’s death. The find out that Kendra is still a janitor at Vivica A. Fox Elementary.

Lilly and Kymberly find Kendra mopping at the school. She denies knowing Charlene, but after they tell the ladies that they know her mom is in the United Statea illegally, she cooperates. She says that she and Charlene used to date, but she broke it off after Charlene found out Kendra had a penis at the time. She saw Charlene the night of the play. She was outside on a pay phone crying about someone hurting Charlene and Chella. She wanted Kendra’s help, but she refused. She told him that she had a tape, and she would show it to her girlfriend. Later that night, Kendra busted into her apartment while Rosie, Charlene and Chella were eating in the kitchen. She grabbed the VCR and camera and then she grabbed a tape. Charlene pleaded with her not to take ”that tape”. It was the last time she saw her but he kept the tape.

Lilly and Kymberly take the tape to the hospital to show Rosie. On the tape, there is a tall transgenderd female seen from behind approaching Chella. Chella backs up slowly and she keeps approaching her. The tape cuts off. Rosie doesn’t know who the transwoman was or what was going on. She doesn’t remember and neither does Kendra. What Rosie does remember is that the bedroom on the tape was Chella’s. Lilly keeps pushing her, but she gets upset and gives up because she says "there’s no point in remembering any God Damned thing".

Elaine, Jarrett, Brad and Nick find a large sum of money in Rosie’s account. It just appeared since she woke up from the coma. They trace the name of the man who made the deposit and find that he is the grandfather of Chella, father of Charlene, and ex-husband of Rosie.

Lilly and Kymberly go back to Indiana Department of Child Services looking for evidence of sexual abuse with Chella. Mr. Freeman directs them to the files with all the cases in them. Lilly knows exactly where to go. She goes to ”Z” for Zamora, and digs in. Officer Millspaugh notices Lilly's familiarity with the system and points out her knowledge of public assistance. She tells him, "Ellen Rush — two dependents”. She finds a file under Zamora. She opens it and there’s a picture of a little girl with bruises all over her arms. It’s not Chella, but Charlene.

Lilly interrogates Charlene’s father/Rosie's ex-husband at the police station. She keeps telling him to hit her since he likes hitting girls so much. She reads back what he did to Charlene, including giving her gonorrhea at age eight in 1986. She tells him that she knows that Charlene called him from a pay phone at the school. He insists that she was talking crazy about someone hurting her and Chella. He tells Lilly that he has changed. He went to see Charlene and Chella that night to apologize to Charlene. He waited outside in his car trying to get up the nerve to go in. He saw a pizza delivery woman enter the building. The woman was Asian.

Lilly, Kymberly, Elaine and Jarett go back to the hospital to ask Rosie and Charlene about the pizza delivery woman. Neither Rosie or Charlene remember him coming that night. Lilly implies that Charlene might have been seeing him. Charlene tells them that Chella loved her butterfly wind chimes. According to Chella, the man who made the wind chimes used to come by at night a lot. Outside the hospital, Elaine profanely confronts Lilly about her harsh treatment toward Charlene after she said "What the fuck was that about?". She says: ”Did your mother ever forget to feed you because she was too fucking drunk or tired or out looking for a man? Chella’s a dime a dozen. Unwanted kid. Mom runs out of food stamps and makes an excuse why there’s no God Damned dinner tonight. Oh, and no breakfast either, so thank fucking God for the free cornflakes at school if you get there early. And maybe some kid will give you scraps out of his or her lunch box later on.” She also tells him that there were no good times with her mom while she was in Philadelphia.

The next day, Lilly and Brad take Rosie and Charlene back to Charlene's old apartment to see if she will remember what happened that night. Lilly walks her into Chella’s bedroom. She keeps seeing Chella in butterfly wings. Brad enters the room and startles Rosie. Rosie explains that "he" was standing right there just like Brad. Lilly asks who "he" is, but Rosie doesn’t remember. Rosie suddenly remembers that Chella was hiding in the closet, drawing on the walls. Brad goes into the closet and says that he knows who "he" is — Chella drew a picture of a pony-tailed man and wrote ”Mr. Freeman” next to it on the wall.

They bring Mr. Freeman into the police station. Lilly plays the tape, but he denies that he did anything wrong. She gets angry and tells him that she has the tape to prove that he was going to abuse Chella. She tells him that he was like God to these women, and he took advantage of his position with "their pretty little girls". She tells him that all the other women and their children that he abused are on the other side of the glass waiting to give their statements. The shot shows the other side of the glass and the only thing there is an empty room.

Mr. Freely buys Lilly’s fib, and tells her that it doesn’t matter that he abused the little girls because they’re all trailer trash anyway. He went to Charlene’s apartment the morning before Chella died to do a random check. Rosie was in the shower, so Chella let him in. He followed her to her room and told her she was pretty. Chella backed up slowly, but he kept following her. He started to touch her face, but Charlene came in and yelled at him to leave her alone. She wanted to report him, but he threatened her and told her that he would tell the board that she was drinking again (which was a lie) and they would take Chella away. She apologized, but he left telling her to "just wait until you hear the knock on the door, you drunk cocksucker" because he would be coming for Chella.

Officers Dailey, Reed, Millspaugh and Battishill tracked down a name that they found on the butterfly wind chimes. They were made by Ed Melton, the brother of Adrienne Fansler. He worked at Chella’s school making arts and crafts for the kids at the suggestion of Adrienne. Adrienne also worked as a pizza delivery woman in addition to her work at Craven Gifts, where Adrienne still works as Assistant Manager. Lilly and Brad find Adrienne while on a retail run to The Drunken Hoosier. Adrienne tells them that she knew this day was coming. She knew Chella from Vivica A. Fox Elementary. She and her brother used to bring her and Charlene leftovers from the pizza place he worked at back then. She knew that Charlene didn’t have a lot of money, so she and Ed wanted to help. Adrienne and her boss Ava went to their apartment that night to bring them the leftovers. When she and Ava got there, the door was busted open, but she knocked anyway. No one answered, so she entered and walked down the hall to the bedroom door. She heard glass break, so she opened the door. When she looked in the room, no one was there.

Lilly goes back to the hospital to talk to Rosie and Charlene. Rosie tells her that she knows that Charlene didn’t mean to do what she did, and the DA would not press charges against Rosie or Charlene. Lilly assures her that she knows someone who will help Rosie and Charlene find them a place to go until she gets back on her feet. Rosie starts to cry and she remembers what happened that night. When she heard Adrienne knocking, she assumed it was Mr. Freeman, coming back to take Chella. In a panic, she grabbed Chella and told Charlene to jump out of the window. The closing montage is to Lady Antebellum's Need You Now. Lilly comforts Rosie, Charlene, Charlene’s father sits alone in a bar looking at a picture of himself and Charlene as a young girl, Lilly walks past a line of sad children at the police station to give their statements about Mr. Freely, she comes to a room where a little girl with a tear rolling down her face identifies Mr. Freely behind the glass, Lilly exits the room once the girl has made the identification, Lilly helps Charlene and Ava helps Rosie walk outside in the snow to a van that is waiting to take her to a safe place, and Lilly sits alone at home in her window sill, Ava and Angie with Tabby, Shushu, Pheobe, Alaina, and Heather watching old family movies as Mandy tosses bags of Weaver Popcorn.

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