The only thing more dangerous than Martin Landau is a pair of Martin Landaus. But their opponent is Lieutenant Columbo in the 1973 episode “Double Shock”, an episode that also features Paul Stewart, Jeanette Nolan, and Julie Newmar.
Newmar’s pretty scrumptious, too, playing the fiancée of murder victim Paul Stewart. She’s overenthusiastic and her performance is as wonderfully campy as you might expect from the former Catwoman. She’s a welcome spectacle but Landau provides something a bit stronger in two roles as the twin brothers implicated in the murder.
Which one of them did the deed, though? Like many murderers on Columbo, they stood to inherit a lot of money. Landau is amazing at subtly differentiating the two between a gregarious TV host and a repressed banker with a gambling addiction.
There’s also small but very rewarding plot garnish between Columbo and the murder victim’s housekeeper played by Jeanette Nolan. Peter Falk shows up masterfully again playing a man heavily sleep deprived. As his cigar drops ashes on the crime scene, the victim’s exercise room, Nolan quite justifiably is enraged by the disrespect. I was so happy for a scene like this to show that Columbo’s untidiness is not a quirk without consequences. Though, of course, it indirectly leads to his discovering a clue.
Columbo is available with commercials on Amazon Prime.
Twitter Sonnet #1368
Remembered shells contained a taco taste.
Reported talks occurred beneath the sky.
When ev’ry lunch arrived we crushed a paste.
No mention made could yet repress a sigh.
A row of rice was reaching up to-day.
The boxes bulged with books to set the shelf.
Required moves were set against delay.
We all were looking past the central elf.
Pervasive orange in citrus decks the room.
A final link completes a golden chain.
Constructed horses fell the heedless groom.
Along the wall we wrote of painted pain.
The dusty campus trapped a rubber wight.
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