Avuncular Dick Van Dyke is not so avuncular in “Negative Reaction,” playing a photographer who fakes his nagging wife’s kidnapping, murders her, then kills the ex-con who he’d framed for the snatch. Luckily, Columbo is focused on the task, brushing away a film of uncertainty, ever ready to develop a solution to the case through the lens of crimefighting (What??- ed.). Photo-taking person Kevin O’Mara (klophoto.com) joins Jon and RJ for this snapshot of- oh god, I’m sorry about the photographic stuff. It’s been a long day. Please just listen. Photography.
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Jon’s instant answer defining “Poppins” made my jaw drop with admiration. Well done, sir.
I couldn’t believe someone had never seen Dick Van Dyke in anything before. Isn’t there a law somewhere that says you have to watch the Dick Van Dyke show? lol! I’m older than you guys, apparently, and I raised my kids watching it.
Really enjoyed this podcast. A few things though.
* Galesko deserved an award for ridding the world of that woman! She was evil through and through.
* Why didn’t Alvin start thinking something shady was going on? I mean, meetings in remote unpopulated locations, quiet stays in a motel, etc. Seriously, if he was that dumb….
* Anyone know what the relationship with Vito Scotti is? He’s just in so many, and always so cute, I’ve always wondered why.
Again, really enjoying this!
I meant to also ask, and this may be answered in a previous podcast that I’ve not yet listened to, I think I’ve listened to 4 or 5 now, but what made you guys decide to do podcasts on Columbo? Had you two watched it before and were you fans?
I’d watched reruns of it quite a bit as a kid and had started up again, once they showed up on Netflix Watch Instantly. Around the same time, Jon and I had been trying to think of some podcast idea to do together on-and-off. There are tons of these recap podcasts for just about any show you can think of, but there wasn’t a single one for Columbo. So, it hit me that it might not be a bad idea. Pitched it to Jon, he liked the idea, it took awhile to get around to starting it up, but here we are.
And, since we started, another one began over in Scotland, http://www.columbopodcast.com/. Within a few months, the internet has gone from decades with no Columbo podcast, to a grand total of two.
About the thing with the cocker spaniel: Watching the show this time around, it occurred to me that, having just decided that Galesko is probably guilty, Columbo is just throwing weird shit at him to fuck with him.
There’s a really tiny but very strange moment when Galesko shoots his wife. In the shot where he pulls out the gun—a Luger—the breach is pretty clearly open, which would have made it impossible to fire. Since Dick Van Dyke was not known for a lot of gun-oriented parts, and some actors get a nervous around guns, I wondered if it was something they did to make it seem more safe to him. Or maybe it was just the prop master screwing up.
As you mentioned in the podcast, Galesko’s motive for killing his wife isn’t entirely clear. But I didn’t realize that the first time I watched the episode. I must have assumed that he was dependent on his wife for money — hence, perhaps, why he practically has to beg her to come to the ranch, and why he says that for years he’s been “chained” to her. But, watching the episode again, I see that there’s no explicit motive at all, and nor do we see Columbo looking for one, even though he stresses the importance of motive frequently throughout the rest of the series! Weird.
A very unusual, sinister, and creepy performance from Mr DVD though. And the “skits” with Vito Scotti and Joyce van Patten were silly but great!
I could not decide whom I disliked more, Galesko or his wife. Galesko was perhaps one of the most unlikeable and arrogant killers. So awful was he that even though he killed a real shrew I had no sympathy for him, unlike Tommy Brown whose wife was also high on the shrew meter
It’s fairly clear that Galesko is chained economically to his shrewish wife. She made him give up his meaningful (but probably unprofitable) work, and turn to mind-numbing studio photos (in a studio which, no doubt, she owns). How do we know that Galesko has little income in his own name? Because his publisher doesn’t bat an eye when Galesko needs to borrow the $20,000 ransom money. As long as his wife ostensibly is alive, Galesko must beg for $20,000. That’s why divorce was not an option.
As for the murder plan, I’m not at all surprised that, if you have fortuitously met and befriended a convicted extortionist, you would design your plan around making this guy your patsy.
The one thing that really bothered me about this episode, however, is Galesko driving his Rolls-Royce in places (a seedy motel; a run-down ranch) where such a car could be spotted, would stick out and be memorable, and where Galesko wasn’t supposed to be. That was taking a huge risk.