Columbo (season 2)

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Columbo (season 2)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 8
Original network NBC
Original release September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17) – March 25, 1973 (1973-03-25)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of Columbo episodes

This is a list of episodes from the second season of Columbo.

Broadcast history[edit]

The season originally aired Sundays at 8:30-10:00 pm (EST) as part of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie.

DVD release[edit]

The season was released on DVD by Universal Home Video.


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Runtime Original air date
10 1 "Étude in Black" Nicholas Colasanto Story by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
John Cassavetes 98 minutes September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17)

Alex Benedict (John Cassavetes), the married conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, murders his mistress, Jennifer Welles (Anjanette Comer), after she insists on going public with their affair, and tries to make it look like a suicide. Columbo searches for clues to place Benedict at the murder scene.

Final clue/twist: During the murder, Benedict loses his signature jacket-flower. After he conducts a concert, he realizes the loss and goes back to the now police-crowded crime scene. He recovers the flower, but a TV news team recorded him entering the house without it and leaving with it. Thus Columbo claims he can prove that Benedict must have been there the night of the murder, which the latter had repeatedly denied.

Blythe Danner and Myrna Loy guest star as Benedict's beautiful wealthy wife and her mother, respectively. Pat Morita cameos in one scene as Benedict's butler. During filming Danner was pregnant with her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow, who was born ten days after the episode aired. The episode was directed by Nicholas Colasanto, who later became known for his role as Coach in Cheers.
11 2 "The Greenhouse Jungle" Boris Sagal Jonathan Latimer Ray Milland 73 minutes October 15, 1972 (1972-10-15)

Jarvis Goodland (Ray Milland) and his nephew, Tony (Bradford Dillman), stage Tony's kidnapping in order to break into his trust fund, but Jarvis shoots and kills Tony once the ransom is paid, and a careful swapping of guns with Tony's philandering wife casts suspicion in her direction. Gloria, Tony's mistress, is played by Arlene Martel.

Final clue/twist: After Columbo remembers that Goodland once fired a gun at a burglar but only managed to hit a flowerpot, Columbo searches for that old bullet which turns out to be identical with the bullet that Tony was killed with, proving Goodland had to have killed his nephew.

This episode marks the first appearance of Bob Dishy as Columbo's newly assigned and totally unwanted neophyte partner, full of the latest techniques from Berkeley. He appears again in Now You See Him... (Season 5, Episode 5). It is also the first episode in which the main crime is committed after Columbo's initial appearance.
12 3 "The Most Crucial Game" Jeremy Kagan John T. Dugan Robert Culp 73 minutes November 5, 1972 (1972-11-05)

Paul Hanlon (Robert Culp), the general manager of the Los Angeles Rockets football team, wants to create a sports empire, but Eric Wagner (Dean Stockwell), who inherited the team, lacks ambition. Hanlon sneaks out of the stadium during the national anthem by disguising himself as an ice cream truck driver. He drives to a pay phone near Wagner's home, knowing Wagner's phones have been bugged, during which Hanlon makes it appear he's in his private box at the stadium by holding a radio to the receiver. He then drives to Wagner's house, kills him in his swimming pool and tries to make it look like a diving accident. Complicating matters is Eve Babcock (Valerie Harper), ostensibly a secretary but actually a call girl and an operative placed in Eric's home by a private detective (Val Avery) who was, in turn, hired by Eric's attorney, Walter Cannell (Dean Jagger).

Final clue/twist: During his taped phone call alibi, Hanlon's office clock struck bottom of the hour (the half hour) as it always did. Had Hanlon been in his office, the clock (announcing the half hour) would have been heard on the tape.
13 4 "Dagger of the Mind" Richard Quine Story by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Richard Basehart and Honor Blackman 93 minutes November 26, 1972 (1972-11-26)

When Sir Roger Haversham (John Williams) realizes that actors Nicholas Framer (Richard Basehart) and his wife, Lillian Stanhope (Honor Blackman), have manipulated him into backing their theater production, he confronts the couple, and is accidentally killed during the ensuing scuffle. The pair cover up the murder by stuffing the body into a trunk, taking it home to his estate, and staging an apparent fall down the stairs.

Columbo is visiting London to study British police techniques as the guest of Scotland Yard Detective Chief Superintendent William Durk (Bernard Fox), who stops by the estate to investigate the incident. Sharon Johansen plays Miss Dudley, an attractive young understudy, intensely disliked by Stanhope. Wilfrid Hyde-White plays the butler who covers for the couple but later tries to blackmail them and is murdered by Framer.

Final clue/twist: Columbo manipulates Framer into confessing by planting one of Lillian Stanhope's pearls (from her broken necklace) into the victim's umbrella, which, according to Columbo, could only have gotten there during the killing of Sir Roger.

The first of several episodes to feature locations outside the United States, it was filmed in both London and Hollywood.
14 5 "Requiem for a Falling Star" Richard Quine Jackson Gillis Anne Baxter 73 minutes January 21, 1973 (1973-01-21)

Jean Davis (Pippa Scott), personal assistant to aging movie star Nora Chandler (Anne Baxter), is marrying gossip reporter Jerry Parks (Mel Ferrer), who has secret information about Chandler. One night Nora deflates the tire of Jean's car, so they have to switch vehicles, Chandler starts a gasoline fire just as Parks's car pulls into his garage being driven by Davis. It initially appears that the assassin was after Parks when, in reality, Jean was the target. Columbo solves the case after connecting it to the mysterious disappearance of Chandler's husband a decade earlier. Kevin McCarthy appears as a physician and friend of Chandler.

Final clue/twist: While Columbo's struggling to find a motive for the murder, he watches one of Nora's old movies where she played a murderer disguised as a man. When he remembers some facts about the disappearance of her husband and that the fountain in her backyard isn't working (she couldn't allow any pipes to be laid or repairs made based on the hidden interment), Columbo concludes it might be the secret grave of her husband and that Jean knew it. With a borrowed old Freemason's ring (her husband was a Freemason) purportedly in Parks' possession, he tricks Chandler into rushing home to check the state of the grave. When Columbo confronts her and hints he will search for a body in the garden, she gives up.

Oscar-winning costume designer Edith Head having a cameo as herself.
15 6 "A Stitch in Crime" Hy Averback Shirl Hendryx Leonard Nimoy 73 minutes February 11, 1973 (1973-02-11)

Cardiac surgeon Dr. Barry Mayfield (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. Edmund Hiedemann (Will Geer) have pioneered a major medical breakthrough that Mayfield wants to publish immediately, but Hiedemann wants to continue testing. When Dr. Hiedemann's heart condition worsens, requiring the insertion of a heart valve, Mayfield performs the surgery and plans to kill his partner by using dissolving sutures. Nurse Sharon Martin (Anne Francis), a friend of Hiedemann, who has never trusted or liked Mayfield, discovers the plot. Mayfield kills her, and stages a mugging to pin the crime on her drug addict ex-boyfriend, whom he kills as well. This episode contains one of the rare occasions when Columbo loses (or appears) to lose his temper and tells Mayfield that if Hiedemann dies, the police will have his body autopsied and Mayfield will be charged with the death.

Final clue/twist: Mayfield operates on Hiedemann again and removes the dissolving sutures. As soon as the procedure is completed, police swarm the operating suite and search for the sutures. Mayfield is heard arguing with the police after apparently losing his composure and demanding to be allowed to leave. Mayfield actually used the occasion to attempt to distract attention and slip the sutures into the pocket of the surgical scrub all the cops (including Columbo) are wearing. As soon as it seems the sutures are missing and Mayfield is in the clear, Columbo enters suddenly and reveals he found the sutures. The impassive Mayfield shows the first signs of fear.

Nita Talbot plays Marsha, Sharon Martin's roommate.
16 7 "The Most Dangerous Match" Edward M. Abroms Story by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Laurence Harvey 73 minutes March 4, 1973 (1973-03-04)

When Chess Grandmaster Emmett Clayton (Laurence Harvey) loses an impromptu game to Eastern European champion Tomlin Dudek (Jack Kruschen) the night before their championship match, Clayton decides to kill Dudek. The hearing impaired Clayton shoves him into a garbage grinder in the basement. Dudek survives and now Clayton schemes to poison his rival in the hospital before he can regain consciousness. Heidi Brühl plays Linda Robinson, who follows in her mother's footsteps in looking after Dudek. Lloyd Bochner plays Dudek's accompanying coach, Mazoor Berozski.

Final clue/twist: Close to the end of the episode, the audience (and Columbo) learns, that Dudek's injuries were caused by the fall into the grinder, not the grinder itself. Because of a malfunctioning hearing aid, Clayton didn't realize that the grinder automatically shuts itself off if something falls into it when it's already working.

Columbo assumes, that, if someone wanted to kill Dudek, the murderer would have just turned the grinder back on. So the murderer must be deaf. He tells Clayton he knew the murderer had to be deaf, but the show ends before he actually arrests Clayton, and the evidence seems scarce.
17 8 "Double Shock" Robert Butler Story by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
Martin Landau and Martin Landau 73 minutes March 25, 1973 (1973-03-25)

Flamboyant television chef Dexter Paris and his identical twin brother, conservative banker Norman (both played by Martin Landau), are supposedly not talking to one another. But both disapprove that their uncle Clifford Paris (Paul Stewart) has become engaged to young, beautiful Lisa Chambers (Julie Newmar). One of the brothers kills uncle Clifford by dropping an electric mixer into the bathtub while he's bathing, electrocuting him. The body is moved to the gym to make it seem like he had a heart attack while using an exercise bike. Clifford's lawyer, Michael Hathaway (Tim O'Connor) reveals that a new will exists, one which he is willing to "lose" for a price. However, Chambers, who has been suspicious and unhelpful to Columbo, also has a copy of the will, thus requiring her to be eliminated. Unlike most Columbo episodes, this has a whodunit element which is not resolved until the end of the episode. Dabney Coleman plays Columbo's colleague, Detective Murray. Jeanette Nolan plays Mrs. Peck, a sharp-tongued fastidious loyal housekeeper who is appalled by the "terrible mess" Columbo makes in the house.

Final clue/twist: During the episode, it seems, that one of the twins did the crime and tries to frame the other one for it. But Columbo can prove that two persons must have been involved into the actual murder. Due to the timeframe between the short circuit caused by the killing method and the re-powering of the house, the two brothers must have worked together.