Episode Reviews (3)
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Excruciating - an episode of "Columbo" which falls apart, irreparably, as soon as the lieutenant himself appears.
The contributions of Patrick McGoohan to this long-running series were numerous, both as actor and director, but how valuable to the show was he, really? This is the worst-ever episode, and its only competitor for that dubious honour is another segment McGoohan directed, the much earlier "Last Salute To The Commodore". Here, McGoohan also has a writing credit, so there isn't really anyone else to blame, except maybe Peter Falk himself. It's truly painful to admit that Falk here gives a really terrible performance under his old chum's guidance. Columbo makes an utter imbecile of himself, and in a way that would get him a room in the old folks' home rather than a commendation from the police commissioner. The modest ingenuity of the plot is lost in a welter of ridiculous - and also demeaning - jokes, and the incidental details (such as the villain's description of how film music works) aren't at all accurate. Columbo - looking truly ancient, incidentally - should have retired well before this humiliation.moreless
Columbo's Penultimate Mystery
The penultimate thriller in the Columbo series, Murder with Too Many Notes is a suspenseful mystery that has a comedic edge. The story follows award winning music conductor Findlay Crawford who kills his understudy after he threatened to expose Crawford's plagiarism; but Crawford's plan runs afoul when Lt. Columbo notices some things that don't add up. Billy Connolly gives a wonderful performance and makes for an intriguing villain for Columbo to match wits with. And while Peter Falk looks a little worn, he's able to incorporate that into his character and gives Lt. Columbo a new energy. Well-crafted and entertaining, Murder with Too Many Notes is an impressive crime drama.moreless
Impresario kills his apprentice, and Columbo knows it right away.
By the time they got around to doing this episode, everyone, including the extras where on auto-pilot. Whenever a show uses the back-lot for a story, it's usually because they don't want to, or can't, spend any money on sets. In this case, I think they were just milking the series for one more show on the cheap. Billy Connolly does a good job as the killer, and he has a chance to show off his musical side, but it's wasted on a so-so script. Peter Falk is just plain phoning it in. Don't get me wrong, I love the series, just not this episode.moreless