“Last Salute to the Commodore” is an odd episode of Columbo to be sure. The titular Commodore, owner of a luxury shipbuilding firm and head of a dysfunctional family, is found dead, presumably of an accident at sea. The prime suspect is conniving son-in-law Robert Vaughn. But wait! He gets killed, too? What? This episode is a whodunnit, complete with drawing room scene? Columbo seems drunk? He has a teen sidekick? He can’t stop touching Vaughn to the point of discomfort? There are shades of Groundhog Day, The Prisoner and Arrested Development? Sure! It’s all strange and actually kind of fun. Writer Christy Blanch is onboard to try and figure out how and why.
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