Season 4 Episode 2

Negative Reaction

Aired Unknown Oct 15, 1974 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • false advertising

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  • Columbo matches wits with future TV detective Dick Van Dyke

    When Dick Van Dyke started on "Diagnosis Murder" in 1993, he had had plenty of practice in the genre. He was the first killer brought down by "Matlock," and in this all-time classic episode, he is brought to justice by "Columbo."

    Van Dyke has a reputation of playing lovable characters ("Mary Poppins," "Bye Bye Birdy," even Mark Sloan on "DM") but one tends to forget what a strong actor he is, and the menace he can convey. Here we have a man who not only kills his wife, but dupes and kills an ex-con to take the fall for it. Fortunately, Columbo is on the case.

    Highlights of this one: the driving lesson with Falk, DVD's stern warnings to Columbo to stay out (not unlike Richard Kiley in "A Friend in Need") and the denouement, which may be the best the series has ever done. "Were you a witness to what he just did?"

    I find it much better when the murderer is a real makes their fate so much more entertaining. Dick Van Dyke as Paul Galesco certainly qualifies as one of the meanest murderers ever taken down by Lt. Columbo.
  • Spoilers

    Dick Van Dyke plays a crafty murderer with a well thought out plan to kill his termagant wife. His affable surface appearance contrasts shockingly with the cool calmness with which he commits first one murder and then another one to make sure of his own safety. Along with the serious murder story, this episode has some of the funniest little interludes of all the Columbo movies. I particularly liked the one where Columbo goes to a Catholic soup kitchen for information, and is mistaken by a well-meaning nun for an especially pathetic derelict. Naturally, the first thing she wants to do is to fix him up with a decent raincoat! The conclusion of the movie is almost perfect, but in the final analysis it relies on tricking the murderer into making a slip, and this time it seems a little too pat to be believable. However, that is a minor flaw, and this movie on the whole is one of the best Columbo mysteries.
  • Excellent! DVD is terrific as a cold-blooded murderer.

    There are many, many fine things about this episode: the writing, the acting, Columbo's late appearance. (22 minutes into the plot!!)

    Dick Van Dyke decides to wack his battle-ax of a wife, in order to inherit his wife's money and to be with his incredibly HOT secretary played by JoAnne Cameron. And that is what is best about this outstanding episode. JoAnne Cameron has absolutely the best legs in the history of television. The director of this episode obviously knows that and so features her gams to great effect.

    Congratulations to all for bringing us this classic Columbo, and for letting us gaze at JoAnne Cameron's incredible knees and calves.