Season 3 Episode 7

Swan Song

Aired Unknown Mar 03, 1974 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Spoilers

    No less, I think, than four Perry Mason cases are fictionalized for the murder, which has a lecherous gospel singer (Johnny Cash) drug his blackmailing evangelist partner (Ida Lupino) and jump out of their private plane with a parachute of his own devising.

    The depth of the casting is most remarkable, even for Columbo, which sometimes anchors an effect by seeming to overcast for the part. John Dehner as Pangborn, the air crash investigator, stands like a mountain while clouds of delicate comedy rain about his summit. An Air Force colonel who remembers the singer as a washed-out cadet (but from which war?) is paraded by John Randolph. Vito Scotti mounts an impressive display as the funeral home proprietor (this scene is filmed at the same location which served as the magic cabaret in "Now You See Him"). Sorrell Booke as the singer's manager is all rosy round shades and bow tie.

    The director's name is rearranged to form the name of an arranger, Solacanto, which Lt. Columbo interprets as Sillacante.

    It often happens that the Lieutenant will discern the culprit at once and devote himself to an elaborate unmasking, but in this case he has only a scent of a whiff to warn him, and his "routine questions" for once serve him in that capacity.

    The actual trap shows the extraordinary skill deployed, after the manner of Wong and Poirot, by the man from Homicide.