Season 7 Episode 1

Try and Catch Me

Aired Unknown Nov 21, 1977 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Try and Catch Me
A writer of murder mysteries wreaks revenge on her nephew-in-law by blaming him for her niece´s murder.

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  • (spoilers)Solid mystery,witty,quite tense and engaging with great performances from Falk and Gordon.

    As with many TV film series (such as Perry Mason), if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. This entry in the Columbo series pretty much follows the usual formula – we know the killer and the "perfect" plan but then watch Columbo follow his hunch and gradually starts to pick holes in the story he is told before eventually finding enough to prove his suspicions. Saying this is not a spoiler – it is simply what happens in all the films. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually down to several factors whether or not the Columbo film stands out or if it is just average. Here we have an interesting set up and an unusually cruel murder (the script spares us the horribly slow death that must have followed) that sticks to formula but is none the worse for it. The cat and mouse game played out between the two characters is the most enjoyable aspect and this is thanks a lot to the acting talent in the leads.

    Falk is as good as ever and he makes the script totally work – convincing you that this is a real person and that his mind is really that sharp; the moment he seems to offer a hand of trust to Abby in his speech to the women's group is perfectly delivered. Needless to say, Gordon is priceless and it is a testament to the appeal of the Columbo series that some one of her stature got involved. She is very enjoyable and also one of the few murderers that the series invite us to empathise with; she has great chemistry with Falk and the two share scenes that are tense as well as scenes that are comic – humorous banter over Columbo's dog is one, while Gordon is the second of two characters to take the mick out of Columbo's "one more thing" line. The support cast is interesting – a typical performance from the unmistakable Spradlin but a wooden and unnatural one from Hartley. However it is the lead two that matter and they are both marvellous, both individually and together.

    Overall this is a typically winning Columbo that sticks to the formula with a solid mystery and a wonderful acting dynamic from the lead two. Comparatively tense, witty and engaging this will please fans and perhaps win others to see what the fuss is all about.moreless
  • Pretty aweful!

    Abigail's charecter is quite a dumb murderer. Each time that Columbo challenges her on something, she comes up with the most idiotic statements that totally let Columbo know that she is the killer. Columbo's nemesis need to be interesting, complex, and smart, and she was none of these things. While Columbo is asking her things about the case, she would come out with, "Oh it must have been his last message from the grave." This woman was begging the police to give her a life sentence. Horrible episode. I gave 3.0 just because it is Columbo and that is it.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Columbo: Oh, wait a minute. Let me see that shoe. Oh, that's a very nice shoe. You like that shoe, Sergeant?
      Sergeant: It's very nice, Lieutenant.
      Columbo: It's practically new. That's terrific. I'm looking for a pair of shoes just like this. See, I like them rounded toes. It's French The French thought of that. (looks inside shoe) Oh. Made in Italy. Well, what's the difference. I like them.

    • Abigail Mitchell: Just think, Lieutenant. If you had investigated my niece's death, all this need never have happened.

    • Abigail Mitchell: Ah, look. An unfinished A. A for Annie. Did Annie my maid do it? We haven't got a butler.

    • Columbo: That must have been very hard, losing someone you love like that. I've been very lucky. I lost my parents. That's the way of the world. But to lose someone that young, that's like being cheated. That's very hard.

      Abigail Mitchell: I'm beginning to be very fond of you, Lieutenant. I think you're a very kind man.

      Columbo: Don't count on that, Miss Mitchell. Don't count on it.

    • Columbo: Now you're inheriting the property and all, so I'd like you to be there too. I could run you over. My car's right here. It's French, very rare.

      Abigail Mitchell: Uh, yes. Oh, I can see why.

    • (Speaking to group of murder mystery fans)

      Columbo: I like my job. Oh, I like it a lot. And I'm not depressed by it. And I don't think the world is full of criminals and full of murderers because it isn't. It's full of nice people just like you. And if it wasn't for my job I wouldn't be getting to meet you like this. And I'll tell you something else. Even with some of the murderers that I meet, I even like them too. Sometimes like them and even respect them. Not for what they did, certainly not for that. But for that part of them which is intelligent or funny or just nice. Because there's niceness in everyone. A little bit anyhow. You can take a cop's word for it.

    • Abigail Mitchell: Oh, Lieutenant Columbo; just one more question.

  • NOTES (1)


  • 9:00 pm
    What Would You Do?
  • 10:00 pm
    Dateline NBC