Season 2 Episode 3

The Most Crucial Game

Aired Unknown Nov 05, 1972 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
67 votes
  • Water Evaporates

    This is the weakest show of the entire series! Now I'm just writing my opinion, I don't mean to be taken as provocative. After the murder is called in and the police arrive, it must've been two hours minimum, and the pool deck is still soaking with water. It isn't possible, the water would've evaporated. This was Columbo's first clue and in my opinion it's the worst clue in the series, the entire series. But the rest of the show was fantastic, Robert Culp great, James Gregory also great, Valerie Harper was good. Dean Stockwell was good as was the guy who played the lawyer. Also I think that a Johnny Cochran could get Paul Hanlon off.
  • Game On

    A sensational murder mystery, The Most Crucial Game is smart and exciting. Lt. Columbo must break the air tight alibi of a pro-football general manager who killed the team's owner in order to seize control. Robert Culp returns to the series and is joined by Dean Stockwell and Susan Howard, who all deliver good performances. The writing is also very strong, and does a good job at building suspense and intrigue. Exceptionally well-crafted, The Most Crucial Game is an entertaining thriller.
  • Spoilers

    This is a great cat and mouse game and Robert Culp makes a great adversary for Columbo. Falk and Culp have a great deal of chemistry and that's why his and the late John Cassavetes made such opponents for everyones favorite raincoat wearing detective.
    Robert Culp, in his second outing as Columbo villain, plays football coach Paul Hanlon. Hanlon murders one of his clients and has a well constructed alibi- he was at the football game when it happened. However, Lieutenant Columbo is on the case, and it is not long before he is making a nuisance of himself. Culp puts in another fine performance and this is one of the best films in the series.