Season 2 Episode 6

A Stitch in Crime

Aired Unknown Feb 11, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A Stitch in Crime

Heart surgeon Barry Mayfield turns his talents turn to murder and plans to kill his mentor, who refuses to release their research findings prematurely. When the mentor has a heart attack, Mayfield plots the perfect murder, but must kill two people to cover his tracks while he waits for his plan to succeed.


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  • Columbo vs. Spock - rebuttal

    A Columbo/Star Trek crossover? hardly. There are no Trek references. Nimoy plays a surgeon, not a half-alien science officer on a spaceship.

    Still, it is a good show.
  • Columbo vs. Spock

    Lt. Columbo faces off with Mr. Spock in the Columbo/Star Trek crossover, A Stitch in Crime. When a surgeon intentionally botches a patient's operation so that he'll appear to die of natural causes, Lt. Columbo has to prove the murder in order to save the patient's life. Leonard Nimoy gives a great performance and crafts a villain that proves to be a formidable challenge to Columbo. Additionally, the storytelling is well-done and delivers several interesting twists. A Stitch in Crime is a clever and intriguing thriller that boldly goes where Columbo has never gone before.moreless
  • Spoilers

    This is a largely potent, cleverly-titled and unpredictably effective Season 2 episode from the Columbo series which sees an impulsive and scheming surgeon (played by Leonary Nimoy) murder a nurse who realises that he is going to botch a heart valve operation on his more circumspect and cautious colleague, who are both involved in a revolutionary medical project.

    Leonary Nimoy "warms up" in his role as the villain: he is initially a little wooden but ultimately his character provides a stern test for Columbo's powers of deduction and, in turn, Nimoy is very effective in portraying the villain's tenacity and calculating nature.

    The script-writer allows the plot to drift a little in mid-section, primarily because of the pursuance of the drug-related theme which is the made-to-look motive used by the killer.

Anne Francis

Anne Francis

Nurse Sharon Martin

Guest Star

Nita Talbot

Nita Talbot

Marsha Dalton

Guest Star

Aneta Corsaut

Aneta Corsaut

Nurse Morgan

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Sharon: I must say, for a doctor, particularly one of the country's supposed leading heart specialists...
      Dr. Hiedeman: "Alleged" leading heart specialists.
      Sharon: You ought to have more sense.

    • Columbo: May I speak to you personally?
      Mayfield: Go ahead.
      Columbo: I feel uncomfortable.
      Mayfield: In what way?
      Columbo: In hospitals, around illness, I, uh, I feel kind of queasy.
      Mayfield: Well, that's not uncommon, Lieutenant.
      Columbo: I know. I faint. I mean, I actually pass out. And in my line of work, that's kind of embarrassing. Is there, uh, is there something that I can do for that?
      Mayfield: There's only one sure-fire cure, Lieutenant. Stay out of hospitals as much as possible.

    • Mayfield: Lieutenant, what possible reason could I have for killing her?
      Columbo: You ask tough questions, doc.
      Mayfield: So does a jury.

    • Columbo: But I found out all about the different kinds. You know, they have permanent suture, and that there's dissolving suture.
      Mayfield: Exactly what is your point, Lieutenant?
      Columbo: I'm not sure I have one.

    • Columbo: You were both nurses, is that right?
      Marsha Talbot: Yes, but Sharon always was devoted to healing. She always worked in hospitals. Myself, I work in Beverly Hills for a plastic surgeon because I selfishly enjoy being with middle to upper-middle class people. However, I don't meet any single men unless they're ready for face lifts.

    • Columbo: Because that would explain why Miss Martin was so bothered after the operation, and it would explain why she wanted to see the chemist at the company that made the suture. That's murder. That certainly is. No question about it. (Mayfield starts laughing) What's so funny?
      Dr. Mayfield: Excuse me, Lieutenant. I had to play it as though you were serious. You don't really believe all those foolish things you say, do you?
      Columbo: (angrily slams carafe down on desk) I believe you killed Sharon Martin and I believe you're trying to kill Dr. Hiedeman.
      Dr. Mayfield: Lt. Columbo, you're remarkable. You have intelligence. You have perception. You have great tenacity. You've got everything except proof.
      Columbo: I want you to take good care of Dr. Hiedeman because if he dies, we're going to have to have an autopsy, aren't we? I mean, we're going to have to know whether a heart attack killed him or rather it was just dissolving suture.

    • Columbo: It certainly looks like it's one on me, doesn't it? You know, I really believed it all fit together. All the pieces, everything. The killing of the nurse, everything. Well, it goes to show you, Doc, maybe I've been at this job too long. Okay. You win. You're finally rid of me.
      Dr. Mayfield: You'll be all right, Lieutenant. I'm sure you'll find others to harass.

    • Columbo: You know, in a way I have to congratulate you. Up until now, you really had me going. I mean, here you are, you're a surgeon, a man that's gotta be cool. Even when you're angry you're controlled. You never lose yourself. That's why it struck me funny when you blew up in the operating room and you grabbed me and pushed me. I mean, you know, there was only one thing we didn't search. You know what it was? It was me.

  • NOTES (1)