Season 7 Episode 2

Murder under Glass

Aired Unknown Jan 30, 1978 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes

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Episode Summary

Murder under Glass
A famous food critic is threatened by a restaurant owner, and so the critic leaves. Soon after, the cook dies. Columbo´s involvement is welcomed by all the other chefs in the area, but Columbo wonders why the dead restaurant owner slammed the drawers before he died. And how could the poison that killed him enter an unopened bottle without the killer even being in the room? Could it have been suicide? But then there´s the cheques to a mysterious society, and the victim´s calender. Can Columbo´s cooking skills really match the food critic´s taste?moreless

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  • One Of My Favorite Shows

    I enjoyed this show very much. Columbo all ready knew who the sucpect was who did the murder.

  • The mysterious murder of a beloved restaurateur may make Columbo fat!

    Yes, you have all the Columbo essentials: an ingenious method by which the victim is murdered, a sophisticated villain aptly played by Louis Jourdan, and a simple behavioral inconsistency on the part of the villain that makes Columbo suspicious in the first place - but, what I most love about this episode is the fact that everywhere Columbo goes in trying to solve the case, people insist on feeding him. Even a bank, where one would never expect to be fed, serves coffee cake!

    Now let’s be honest. No one eats like Peter Falk. I remember vividly, in fact, all the specific episodes in which he eats: a snack at a party thrown by villain Leonard Nimoy, a memorable hot dog while in pursuit of villainous spy Patrick McGoohan, a six-dollar bowl of chili in a fancy restaurant while questioning witnesses in pursuit of publisher Jack Cassidy, a beef dish at an embassy provided by villain Hector Elizondo (“That smells like beef. Is that beef? I think it’s beef.”), and even some caviar followed by iced tea while chasing advertising guru Robert Culp. Of course, Columbo’s table manners may lack some sophistication (he double-dipped the caviar), but there’s something about the way he eats, smacking and talking as he goes, that makes you wish you had some of whatever he’s eating.

    If you intend to watch “Murder Under Glass”, I highly recommend that you bring food. Be prepared for one of the all-time great Columbo episodes and one heck of a case of the munchies!moreless
  • Fugu," says the critic. (Spoilers)

    The murderer is a critic who gives favorable reviews (puffs) to a group of restaurateurs who pay him for the privilege of not being panned. One of them threatens to blow the scheme wide open, so the critic poisons him with the toxin from a Japanese puff-fish known as "fugu" (a real delicacy) by injecting a bottle of wine with the envenomed needle-tip of a carbon-dioxide opener (or rather arranging for the victim to do it himself).

    For those who might think, that television productions could never touch the glory of Hollywood productions, this Columbo episode is one of the best examples to doubt. Even Columbosists, I think, would agree, that this is one of the best episodes of the confused detective and the best thing about it, it's absolutely timeless!

    There's not much to say about Peter Falk's performance... GREAT as in each minute, we've seen of Columbo. But fortunately, the producers were able to capture an outstanding guest star: Louis Jourdan. While many musical stars, who had problems to get engagements after the breakdown of the studio system, were featured as guests in Columbo episodes, Jourdan probably gives one of the most outstanding performances. (Sure, he wasn't one of those who had problems to get other engagements) I also recommend this episode to those people, who know Jourdan only as Gigi's lover Gaston. No, he was able to do much more!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Columbo shows Paul Gerard Vittorio's appointment book, you can see that the exclamation marks near "M.Choy & M.Duvall" have been added in pencil, the rest of the entry being in ink. There appears to be a small exclamation mark beside "Duvall" in ink that was edged in, but it's not very clear, which probably led to the pencil additions.

    • Food critic Paul Gerard tells Columbo that Mary Choy owns "The House of Choy." But the sign on her restaurant reads, House of Shanghai. MaureenAbato

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Paul Gerard: You're a very able man, Lieutenant. I respect that. But I really don't care for you very much.
      Columbo: You know, sir, I was thinking the same thing about you. I respect your talent. But I don't like anything else about you.

    • Paul Gerard: What makes you think Vittorio was in some sort of trouble?
      Columbo: Mainly because he was murdered, sir. The two, trouble and murder, they seem to go together. At least that's been my experience, sir.

    • Mr Ozu : Tell me, Lieutentant, do you have a suspect yet?

      Columbo: Oh, I have my eye on someone... (Casually glancing over at Paul Gerard.)

    • (Columbo had previously opened a fortune cookie with a message that read, "Cheer up. There is more than one fish in the sea.")

      Columbo: Oh, one more thing. Gee, I almost forgot what I came here to ask you.

      Paul Gerard: Fortunately you remembered.

      Columbo: As you're an expert on restaurants, sir, I wanted to ask you. Do you know anything about the Restaurant Developers Association?

      Gerard: I don't know anything about it, Lieutenant. I've never heard of it. (turning to Eve) Have you?

      Eve: No. No, Lieutenant, I'm sorry.

      Columbo: Well, that's alright, ma'am. As the Chinese say, "There's more than one fish in the sea."

    • (Eve Plummer answers the door)

      Columbo: Good Evening, Ma'am. My name is Lt. Columbo, Homicide. I'd like to speak to Paul Gerard. Is he home?

      Eve: I'm not sure.

      Columbo: Is it a big house or is he just out to the police?

    • Paul Gerard: When did you first suspect me?

      Columbo: Well, after it happened, sir, about two minutes after I met you.

      Gerard: That can't be possible.

      Columbo: Oh, you made it perfectly clear, sir, the very first night when you decided to come to the restaurant directly after you were informed that Vittorio was poisoned.

      Gerard: I was instructed to come here by the police.

      Columbo: And you came, sir.

      Gerard: Yes.

      Columbo: After eating dinner with a man that had been poisoned. You didn't go to a doctor. You came because the police instructed you. You didn't go to a hospital. You didn't even ask to have your stomach pumped. Mr. Gerard, that's the damnedest example of good citizenship I've ever seen.

  • NOTES (3)

    • 70 minutes long

    • This episode has been run in both 90 minute and 120 minute versions. The 90 minute version is currently shown on Bravo. Bits of dialog and business are trimed away in the 90 minute version, the most obvious being the montage of exotic foods being presented to Columbo at the banquet dinner to an orchestrial version of Columbo's theme song "This Old Man"

    • 90 minutes long.


    • The title "Murder Under Glass" borrows from the famous dish "Pheasant under glass". This classic entrée, rarely served anymore, consists of roasted pheasant stuffed with rice and mushrooms and served under a dome of glass to ensure that it remains moist.

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