Torpedoes Running Straight, Hot, and Normal

In Season Two’s “The Greenhouse Jungle,” Ray Milland and his nephew cook up a fake kidnapping scheme to get at the nephew’s $300,000 trust fund. The scam goes off without a hitch- well, except for the nephew, who ends up getting murdered by his uncle. It’s a broad, odd anomaly of an episode, but Milland plays […]

We Ain’t Winnin’

Murder is no game. Well, except for “The Most Dangerous Match,” wherein chess genius Laurence Harvey is terrified at the prospect of losing to someone even more genius-er than he is. Instead of just playing harder, he tries to kill his opponent by shoving him into what passes for early-70s green technology (a massive garbage crushing machine). When that […]

Hockey’s for Penguins

“The Most Crucial Game” has ace Columbo foe Robert Culp as the frustrated manager of a sports team empire. When he sees a chance to kill the heir to the family business, he dresses as an ice cream man and puts the party animal on ice. But, not for any real motive that we can actually determine. The […]

I Would Never Typecast You as a Detective

In “Requiem for a Falling Star,” Anne Baxter is actress Nora Chandler, whose career is fading into obscurity. When gossip columnist Mel Ferrer tries to blackmail her, she decides to blow him up in one of the sloppiest murders in the show’s history. But whoops! Didn’t look closely enough- turns out she instead torches her longtime assistant, […]

You Must Belong in Some Pig Sty!

You get twice the Martin Landau for the price of one admission, as he plays murderous twin brothers in “Double Shock.” One’s a devil-may-care host of a TV cooking show, the other’s a staid banker with a crippling gambling addiction. It’s up to Columbo to figure out how they’re tag teaming their killings. Along the […]

Taken by a Ham and a Tart

Gordon Bennett, it’s “Dagger of the Mind!” Fading theatrical couple Richard Basehart and Honor Blackman accidentally kill the producer they’ve been tricking into funding their production of that play you’re not supposed to say the name of. Can they get away with it? Well, you see, this detective by the name of Columbo just happens […]

Murder is Bad, but Suicide is Sadder

Mallory Ortberg (the-toast.net) joins Jon and RJ to discuss “Etude in Black,” which features John Cassavetes as an orchestra conductor who murders his mistress/concert pianist. It’s up to Columbo to unravel how and why the maestro staged the woman’s death as an apparent suicide. Also involved- his long-suffering wife, Blythe Danner; her very, very wealthy […]