The Season One finale, “Blueprint for Murder,” stars Patrick O’Neal as an architect whose big upcoming project is placed in jeopardy due to a minor funding issue. What issue? Well, a Texas tycoon’s (Forrest Tucker) young second wife has agreed to devote a huge chunk of the galoot’s fortune to the project and he’ll have nothing of it. So, the architect’s only way to keep the development alive is to kill the tycoon by… uh… well… we never find out exactly. Which is weird, right? It’s just one of many off parts of a solidly okay episode that prevent it from possibly becoming one of the good ones. Peter Falk directs for the only time and he’s good! Really! There are just some odd things here and there that don’t quite gel. Mallory Ortberg (Dear Prudence) returns to the show to sort it all out and talk about how much we all loved the Texan’s ex-wife, Goldie.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS
Loving this episode of podcast. Split up between to and from work commutes. I also found it strange that they did not show the actual murder of Forrest Tucker’s character. I often thought that Tucker looked like such a bigger guy than O’Neal. Wonder if avoided showing the murder to not emphasize this for later when O’Neal is supposed to carry Tucker’s character and put him in his trunk?
According to my husband (whose Japanese is a little rusty), Miko says: “It was a pleasure meeting you, Columbo-san. You are wonderful. I like you. See you later. Goodbye.”
My husband wondered who the heck wrote the Japanese dialogue, as the use of “san” is incorrect – “san” is used when addressing girls; also, the way she said “I like you”-while technically correct-is usually meant to express romantic feelings. Pedantry aside, the scene has me convinced that Columbo understands a little Japanese, because he tells Goldie “I think she likes me.” I like to think that’s another little hint of the worldly and cultured man beneath the rumpled chili-stained trench coat.
Also, I think I read somewhere that the villain’s designed city was based on Century City in L.A., which was being built around the time of the episode. And it’s pretty much as boring and soulless as you’d expect a corporate-designed city to be (although it’s been somewhat revitalized in the last ten years and there’s a large expansion/makeover currently underway).
Thank you for having Mallory Ortberg on the podcast! She’s one of my favorite guests. Please do a special episode with her where you discuss possible Columbo backstories, Star Trek, and east coast vs west coast vs midwestern chili/hot dogs.
Steven Bochco originally wrote the flat tire scene for his teleplay of “Murder by the Book.” Look here: http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Columbo/Columbo_1x01_-_Murder_By_the_Book.pdf at pages 19-A to 19-D. Given the page numbering, it looks like this scene was a throw-in there, too.
that is so interesting!
Neat, thanks for the heads-up!
It was great to have Mallory Ortberg back on the show!
I didn’t mind so much that the murder wasn’t depicted. In one scene, Patrick O’Neal is threatening Tucker with a gun; in the next, he’s hiding a body in a freezer. I didn’t feel as if I needed to see the other stuff depicted. I did wonder, though, if maybe Falk had planned for the running time to be 90 minutes, and it got cut down to 75 by the studio.
I was amused by the contrast between the very good classical pieces, which are in the public domain, and the “country” music, which was clearly the result of hiring some musicians and saying “Come up with something that sounds like country that we won’t have to pay royalties on.”