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!