It has all the earmarks...a well known guest star (Emmy winner Robert Guillame) plots and carries out a "perfect murder." Of course, this doesn't sit well with our sleuth, and the detective begins a friendly cat-and-mouse game that escalates until he has trapped the unrepentant killer. It's not "Columbo," but a very strong start to "Diagnosis Murder."
This episode proves that good actors raise each others' game when they play off of each other, and to watch Guillame and Van Dyke go at it is a treat. The material of this show was not always up to Van Dyke's talent, but he is full of life and energy in this one as he dogs the priest's trail, subtly and not-so-subtly hinting that he knows more than he is letting on. We get some funny bits with Steve Sloan and his fear of family baldness (though how could he with Mark's full head of hair?) and we see Jack and Amanda almost pay the ultimate price for their legwork for Mark. Unfortunately, "Diagnosis Murder" did not always hit the mark as well as it did in this show, but this pilot does lay the groundwork for the relationships and dynamics that would play out as the show continued.