Columbo (season 2)

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Columbo (season 2)
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes8
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 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 Studios Home Entertainment.


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
101"Étude in Black"Nicholas ColasantoStory by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
John CassavetesAnjanette ComerSeptember 17, 1972 (1972-09-17)97 minutes

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 boutonnière. 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. Seeing this evidence, Benedict's wife refuses to support his alibi.

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.
112"The Greenhouse Jungle"Boris SagalJonathan LatimerRay MillandBradford DillmanOctober 15, 1972 (1972-10-15)74 minutes

Jarvis Goodland (Ray Milland) and his nephew, Tony (Bradford Dillman), stage Tony's kidnapping in order to break into his trust fund and use his half to hold on to his wife, to whom he wishes to remain married, despite her expensive tastes and separate social and romantic life. Jarvis, disgusted at the notion, shoots and kills Tony, whom he has always despised, once the ransom is paid, and a careful swapping of guns with Tony's wife casts suspicion in her direction.

Final clue/twist: After Columbo remembers that Jarvis 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 with which Tony was murdered, proving Goodland killed his nephew, despite his attempt to frame Tony's wife.

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.

Gloria, a good time girl and Tony's mistress, who believes Tony's wife is the killer and wants to collect a reward, is played by Arlene Martel.
123"The Most Crucial Game"Jeremy KaganJohn T. DuganRobert CulpDean StockwellNovember 5, 1972 (1972-11-05)74 minutes

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, bludgeons him with a blow to the head with a heavy piece of ice, which melts in the swimming pool, to make it appear to be an 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 the same-time-of-day replay of his taped phone call alibi, Hanlon's office clock struck bottom of the hour (the half hour) as it always did, but the sound was not on the tape. Had Hanlon, as he claimed, been in his office when he made the call, the clock (announcing the half hour) would have been heard on the tape.
134"Dagger of the Mind"Richard QuineStory by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Richard Basehart and Honor BlackmanJohn Williams, Wilfrid Hyde-WhiteNovember 26, 1972 (1972-11-26)98 minutes

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 killing 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.
145"Requiem for a Falling Star"Richard QuineJackson GillisAnne BaxterPippa ScottJanuary 21, 1973 (1973-01-21)74 minutes

Jean Davis (Pippa Scott), personal assistant to aging movie star Nora Chandler (Anne Baxter), is marrying gossip reporter Jerry Parks (Mel Ferrer), and she has secret information about Chandler. One night Nora deflates the tire of Jean's car, so that the engaged couple will have to switch vehicles. Chandler starts a gasoline fire just as Parks's car (being driven by Davis) pulls into his garage. It initially appears that the murderer's intended victim was Parks but, 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 in which 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 due to the secret interment), Columbo concludes the fountain may have been placed atop the secret grave of Chandler's 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 herself up.

Oscar-winning costume designer Edith Head made a cameo appearance as herself.
156"A Stitch in Crime"Hy AverbackShirl HendryxLeonard NimoyAnne Francis, Jared MartinFebruary 11, 1973 (1973-02-11)74 minutes

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, uncovers a suspicious piece of suture which she takes with her from the operating room, observed by Mayfield, who kills Martin later in the hospital garage parking area, staging an apparent mugging. He later tries to pin the crime on her ex-boyfriend, a former drug addict, 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 ostensibly for other reasons but actually to remove the dissolving sutures. As soon as the procedure is completed, police swarm the operating suite and search for the removed sutures. Mayfield argues with the police and loses his composure, demanding to be allowed to leave the operating room, shoving Columbo in the process. Mayfield actually used the occasion to distract attention and divest himself of the sutures so that they would not be found in a search. As soon as it seems no sutures were found and that Mayfield is therefore in the clear, Columbo re-enters the doctor's office and reveals that he found the sutures in the pockets of the surgical scrubs that he (Columbo) had worn in the operating room. The hitherto impassive Mayfield shows the first signs of fear.

Nita Talbot plays Marsha, Sharon Martin's roommate.

Apart from season 10's "No Time to Die", which had no murderer and is a vast divergence from the series formula, this is the only Columbo episode in which a murderer fails to kill his intended target.
167"The Most Dangerous Match"Edward M. AbromsStory by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Laurence HarveyJack KruschenMarch 4, 1973 (1973-03-04)74 minutes

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 so Clayton poisons 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 by 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 while it is in operation. Columbo assumes, that, if someone wanted to kill Dudek, a murderer who could hear would have just turned the grinder back on, so the murderer must be deaf.

This is one of two episodes (the other is season 10's "A Bird in the Hand...") in which Columbo himself is present at a victim's death.
178"Double Shock"Robert ButlerStory by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
Martin Landau in a dual rolePaul Stewart, Julie NewmarMarch 25, 1973 (1973-03-25)74 minutes

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 committed the crime and tries to frame the other one for it. But Columbo can prove that two persons must have been involved in 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.