Season 1 Episode 2

The Judge

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 1986 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Two TV legends face off.

    With a script that bears all the hallmarks of a classic "Columbo" (we see the crime committed and the story becomes not a "whodunit" but a "howcatchem" with a strong guest star), "Matlock" hits a home run with one of its best episodes of its nine season run.

    Future TV sleuth Dick Van Dyke plays the title character, a judge who murders his mistress when he finds her fooling around. When Van Dyke finds himself presiding over the trial of the suspect, he has a perfect chance to get away with murder...but Matlock catches on to him.

    Andy Griffith and Dick Van Dyke have terrific chemistry, and you can really see Matlock wrestling with the revelation that his old friend is a murderer, as well as the unsettling knowledge that he will have to bring Van Dyke to justice.

    Much like his turn as a "Columbo" killer in the 1970s, Van Dyke is no Rob Petrie here. He's calculating, deliberate...he runs the gamut from smug confidence to pale devastation on the witness stand when the curtain finally comes down.

    Much of the series would not measure up to this episode; it is certainly one of the all-time best "Matlock" episodes as well as a great chance to see two legends of television share the screen.