The Conspirators

Episode 44 – The Conspirators

The forty third episode of Columbo was titled The Conspirators and was the final episode of the show’s seventh season and the last of the original run. An Irish entertainer kills when he believes he has been double-crossed in a weapons deal. In this podcast Gerry and Iain look at the end of Columbo’s original run and reflect on season 7.

 

 

Clive Revill takes top billing as Joe Devlin, an all-round entertainer and an active participant in the then-ongoing military dispute in Ireland. He arranges with Albert Paulsen‘s Vincent Pauley to acquire a large cache of weapons to ship out to Ireland (long way from LA to Dublin by boat!) but when he suspects foul play, executes Pauley in a hotel room.

 

There was a bigger cast for this episode than in recent weeks. Jeanette Nolan and Bernart Behrens as Kate and George O’Connell were crucial supporters of Devlin’s ambitions and of the arms deal he brokered with Pauley. Michael Horton played young Kerry Malone, the other member of their cell.

 

There were a number of other key roles – L.Q. Jones as Pauley’s weapons dealer; Sean McClory as the captain of the ship destined to carry the guns (a long, long way round) to Ireland; Deborah White as Angela, a book store assistant who provides a vital clue; and talk show host Carole Hemingway as herself

 

Leo Penn is behind the camera for the second of his three Columbo episodes after the Season 3 classic Any Old Port in a Storm working with Howard Berk‘s script from an idea by Pat Robison. Berk also wrote Season 4’s By Dawn’s Early Light and went on to pen two Mrs Columbo episodes in 1979. Pat Robison has no other screenwriting credits.

 

If you have thoughts on any aspect of The Conspirators, please share them below, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.

 

The Columbo Podcast is widely available – on iTunes, Stitcher, tunein, Pocket Casts or pretty much wherever you choose to receive and manage your podcasts. If you enjoy the show it would be greatly appreciated if you consider leaving ratings and reviews on these sites – particularly iTunes – as that can make a big difference to growing the podcast’s audience.

 

The Conspirators was released in 1978. It is 100 minutes long and originally aired on the NBC network. It can be viewed on Netflix in the United States and is available on DVD in other countries, including a comprehensive box set of all the show’s seasons released by Universal.

 

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast team develops, produces and promotes The Columbo Podcast.

  • Largo

    This Columbo Mystery Movie is to be commended for taking on the “Irish Troubles” in a very bold fashion and especially as a production that was done within the confines of a popular television series in the 1970s. Unfortunately, this Columbo episode, “The Conspirators,” cannot escape the fact that it is also encrusted with the typical Hollywood caricature of the Irish. The ridiculously broad Southern Irish accents** utilized by the actors (especially Clive Revill as Joe Devlin), supposedly portraying Northern Irishmen, grates on the nerves throughout the show and constantly interferes with its impact. But depending on your tolerance point for this cartoon-like coating of Irish stereotypes as presented by Hollywood, one can still find a rather riveting battle of wits here between the very impeccable Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo and a crafty and engaging villain in Clive Revill’s Joe Devlin. However, for me it took several viewings over the years to achieve this tolerance point and to reach a certain level of forgiveness toward the Columbo producers.

    Joe Devlin is a total fraud: an author and ‘entertainer’ (imagine an Irish version of George Segal on steroids) who preaches a message of peace and tolerance as he continually pleads for funds to contribute to the aid of the widows and orphans in Belfast — but he is in fact an IRA terrorist through and through. Joe Devlin hides behind his mask of ‘Irish blarney’ and charm while he actually raises money for armaments to create even more widows and orphans in Northern Ireland. Devlin is also empowered by his close friendship and association with the very rich O’Connell family — which lends him a strong air of respectability. Joe Devlin is the public face for a very insidious enterprise that the O’Connell Clan maintains behind the scenes: gunrunning for Sinn Fein terrorists. This is all rather dark and eerie stuff and it can make one question everything about how one’s money is actually being utilized by certain charities once it leaves a wallet or purse.

    What’s absolutely great about “The Conspirators” is that it presents us with our humble detective hero being pitted against a ruthless organization of bloodthirsty, murdering thugs — and little Columbo eventually brings this whole terrorist business crumbling down. Even though Columbo’s focus is on Joe Devlin, we also learn that the FBI and the Coast Guard are crawling all over this whole nefarious gunrunning affair. We can picture in our mind’s eye that these other federal agencies have taken note of our little homicide detective’s efforts in capturing and exposing Joe Devlin, and that they’ll delve even further and eventually destroy everything the O’Connell family actually represents. This total triumph that Columbo’s defeat of Joe Devlin embodies here helps to get me past the broad Hollywood caricatures in this episode.

    But there is also an equally important item that impacts my tolerance for this episode and it is one that I had been waiting through seven seasons of Columbo to finally see. This occurs right after Columbo leaves his first interview with Devlin and this murderer realizes that he has screwed up royally. Joe Devlin totally forgets to retrieve the book that he signed for the murder victim — arms dealer Vincent Pauley (portrayed by the always deliciously sinister Albert Paulsen) — and he says to himself, “You bloody fool.” I feel that this candid admission on the murderer’s part after his first encounter with Columbo makes it almost worth looking beyond the typical Hollywood stereotyping of the Irish in this particular episode. I sure hope that most of you feel that it was almost worth it in the end, too. Be seeing you!

    ** In my mind’s eye, I can see clueless executives at the NBC Network and Universal Studios ordering the Columbo producers to: “Give the American audience what it expects and that’s Irish accents that sound familiar to them — like in those Lucky Charms cereal (’They’re magically delicious!’) commercials and in the Irish Spring deodorant soap (’Manly, yes – but [women] like it, too!’) TV spots. I know that’s what the American audience is not only going to want, they’re also going to demand it! Otherwise you’re just going to confuse them and they will tune you right out and switch the channel!”

    • Largo

      Oh, and just one more thing: say what you will about that terribly unfunny and misguided bookstore sequence and go ahead and rip it to shreds all you want, eh. But, all in all, I’d rather watch a special edition / director’s extended cut of this whole scene (especially the pantomime act between the perky bookstore clerk and Columbo) than any ten-second segment of the painful and excruciatingly obvious padding from that crippled crock of crap entitled, “Make Me A Perfect Murder.” Just sayin,’ my fine forum friends! 🙂

      • Very pleased to see you back, Largo. There were rumours you know…

        • Largo

          You’d better make an appointment with your oculist, Kieran. You haven’t been spotting all of my forum posts for about the past two weeks now. I can only conclude that you are in desperate need of some new spectacles. You need to take better care of yourself, dude! 🙂

          • Thanks for your concern, old pal. Funny you should mention spectacles, since we had ‘Margaret’ on the forum in the past few weeks…

          • Largo

            Oh, great! Margaret thinks that you’re criticizing her glasses and now she’s texting me to wire her some money so she can purchase some contact lenses!

          • Incidentally, I wonder what Margaret would make of Mr. Revill’s wandering Oirish accent…?

          • Margaret Williams

            Well, I thought Clive Revill’s Irish accent was incredibly authentic …… in a pig’s eye! Tee hee hee hee!

    • Yeah, the accents are wrong, but it’s definitely an enjoyable episode.

      • Arabian Knights

        One of my favourite episodes. It definitely had a farewell feel to it.
        I’m no expert on Irish accents, so Devlin’s was quite acceptable. He was entirely charming. Other favourites were Mr Jones, Mr Pauley (sp?) and the delightful bookstore clerk.

        • Largo

          Hey there, Arabian Knights!

          Gerry and Iain have a new podcast going now: The Jonathan Creek Podcast!
          Please listen in and then join them on their new discussion forum —

          http://www.jonathancreekpodcast.com

      • Largo

        Indeed! Despite the Irish accents by way of Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, this is definitely a riveting 100 minutes of Columbo. It just took me a while to get over this jarring juxtaposition of cartoon-like Irish accents and the deadly serious subject of terrorism and gunrunning. However, I could watch a whole season’s worth of Columbo episodes that had the various homicide investigations occasionally interrupted by the Lieutenant visiting an Irish pub and playing darts and swapping stories with a jovial, non-terrorist character played by Clive Revill. It would be GREAT!!! 🙂

    • Ian Baxter

      Agree. The ‘you bloody fool’ moment and interaction with Columbo is exactly the sort of thing that was missing from recent episodes.

      • Largo

        Indeed! These particular outbursts are most welcome in my book. I really would have liked to have seen murderers spout, “You stupid idiot,” or “I’m in deep doo doo now” and the like when they realize that they have messed up the works. In a similar vein, I really wanted Dr. Eric Mason to have a small meltdown in front of Columbo in the previous episode. During that episode’s ‘Gotcha!’ sequence, I wish that Dr. Mason had shouted out, “My life is a lie!” I don’t know — maybe that’s a tad melodramatic, eh. 🙂

    • No Half Measures

      How relived I was, Largo, that you said, “…for me it took several viewings over the years to achieve this tolerance point.” I thought I was the only one who disliked this episode (well, maybe dislike is too strong a word for your feelings, but for mine it’s spot on). When my sister comes to town and we do the inevitable “Which Columbo do you want to watch?” as a joke one of us will say, “The Conspirators,” waiting for the other one to go, “Uugghh! Please tell me you’re kidding!” Part of it is that, honestly, it’s a little over my head. I’m not a COMPLETE idiot (-; , but the whole arms thing, who’s buying the guns, who’s selling them but is being a turncoat…I completely agree with Gerry and Iain when they comment on all of the instances in this episode that are like “What?? You want us, the audience, to believe THAT??” For instance, the whole bottle thing in the hotel room. I was really laughing when G. & I. said that it’s kind of a stretch to expect us to believe that Joe just happened to have just the kind of liquor that Pauley guy would like and that it never occurred to Columbo that maybe Pauley was doing business w/multiple customers in that same hotel room. Well, I guess to be fair, though, if Joe was the only guy that Columbo had any reason to suspect, it does make sense that THAT is who he’d pursue if he had no other suspects.

      So I’ve only watched this episode twice in the 16 years plus I’ve been watching Columbo. It’s just not very entertaining to me. Devlin gets on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard (do they even MAKE those anymore /-: ?). He’s just so…ingratiating and…well, just plain yucky to me. I just want to slap him and tell him to get the he– back to Ireland or wherever he’s from and take his stupid, fake accent and shove it where the sun don’t shine. OK, maybe I’m being just a wee bit mean (-; , but that guy and his whole presence make me feel, as a soldier on M*A*S*H once said, all “oogy.”

      And I totally agree with what you said in a later post, Largo, about being able to watch a whole season’s worth of episodes interspersed with Columbo hanging-out with the perp, chilling, and possibly even talking shop, of course with both of them coming from opposite sides of the shop (-; .

      • Largo

        I’m afraid that you’ve taken that particular sentence of mine out of context, Milia. I enjoyed this episode back in 1978 and I still enjoy it now. In fact, “The Conspirators” is on my Columbo Top 20 Episodes list. However, it took several viewings over the years for me to reach a certain tolerance point in order to get over and to forgive this episode’s confused (almost schizophrenic) approach to its subject: that of grafting an almost cartoony or comedy sitcom treatment — involving the Irish accents and some Irish stereotypes — to the very serious issue of terrorism and gunrunning in relation to the conflicts in Northern Ireland.

        • No Half Measures

          Oh, I’m sorry! I guess in my enthusiasm regarding someone else sharing my feelings about this episode, I didn’t read your words carefully enough. Shoot (-; ! But I really like in your most recent post the way you juxtaposed the over-the-top Irish treatment in this episode to the devastating issue of terrorism and its ilk. Great comparison, and I think you nailed it in spades as to why this episode is so controversial.

          • Largo

            Hey there, No Half Measures!

            Gerry and Iain have a new podcast going now: The Jonathan Creek Podcast!
            Please listen in and then join them on their new discussion forum —

            http://www.jonathancreekpodcast.com

  • Red Hobbes

    I just raved on the Facebook page about this episode. It’s my personal favorite of the entire run. Lots of charm and lots of charisma on the part of Clive Revill, a worthy foil for Columbo. As for the actual plot, I have no knowledge beyond the superficial, nor do I think it’s the job of a tv detective show to provide a nuanced approach to the IRA or the situation. The job is for the show to entertain.

    As for the flaws of the episode, why are they going to Ireland from Los Angeles being primary among them, are, let’s be honest, minor quibbles. The episode sweeps you along and it’s never ever boring, at least for me. Although Kerry annoyed me.

    Clive Revill was in TNG playing Guy of Guisbourne in a Q episode. LQ Jones wasn’t, to my knowledge in anything Star Trek but he had a memorable part in Mask of Zorro, and also in, I think McCloud.

    Great episode, and an excellent podcast.

    • Thanks Red. Like I said in the podcast, the episode does a good job of not getting too deeply into the Irish political situation.

  • It is a fact that, for several decades – the 70s included – the Irish were depicted as stereotypical hard drinking, blarney-kissing, unreliable and romantic fools, often played by non-Irish actors with fair to middling success at cracking either the Northern, but mostly Southern Irish accents. That’s a shame as it does a disservice to an isle which has produced so many noteworthy people such as W.S. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and far more besides.

    In this episode of Columbo, practically every assumed Irish trait is employed, and the result is, at worst cringeworthy, at best fair. In fact, I found myself wondering when a leprechaun would appear. Clive Revill, a New Zealander and otherwise respected Shakespearean actor, hams it up and falls somewhere in between an English, Scottish and what can only be described as a faux Southern Ireland accent. This is a real missed opportunity, as the script and plot is of a good standard. Revill’s facial expressions are excellent – the only problem is when he opens his mouth you cringe and literally wonder where in-between London and Dublin his accent will happen to be. I say ‘missed opportunity’ because the singing puts me very much in mind of the late Luke Kelly of the Dubliners, and I found myself imagining what the eloquent and sharp-witted Mr. Kelly could have done with this role. Likewise a certain Richard Harris would have been truly excellent. So all in all, this can only be described as a serious case of the Blarney. It’s fascinating, but for all the wrong reasons as it’s ultimately a study in how to blow a great plot by casting the wrong actor. Such an oversight is forgivable for vehicles such as ‘Mary Poppins’, but sadly not for the likes of Columbo.

    • I (Gerry) like your comparison to the late, great Luke Kelly. Excellent post.

      • Thanks Gerry. I have his double album which is beyond compare really. Saw the Dubliners on tour in 2011 with their last remaining member (Barney McKenna) who sadly passed on in 2012. Still, they left enough music to fill a lifetime. 🙂

  • Roberto

    Great podcast again Iain and Gerry. I really enjoyed your careful review of “The Conspirators”, the verdict on the hypothetical courtroom verdicts of each episode aired during Season 7, and the taking stock of where Columbo and the podcast have been and will go in the future.

    I guess it is my lot to be the wet blanket regarding “The Conspirators”. I find the episode to be merely okay and only mildly enjoyable. Obviously, the entire episode deals with the situation in Northern Ireland and the IRA. Without getting into the politics, this is not proper subject matter for a fictionalized American TV show in the 1970s. Honestly, living in Middle America at the time, I did not realize that there were issues concerning Revill’s bad Irish accent, so that aspect did not diminish my enjoyment of the show, though the Irish stereotypes were a bit much.

    The problem with the episode to me was that it was way too sloppy. The writing was sloppy, the acting was sloppy, the plot was sloppy, the murder was sloppy, etc. Many things in the episode don’t make logical sense and/or were pulled out of thin air. Columbo reverts to being a magician (harkens back to the very early Columbo which Iain rightly criticized). There were several goofs that should not have made their way into production. Some people love the second bookstore scene; I find it cringeworthy.

    The show looked padded since it was stretched to 2 hours. They spent the padding showing Columbo hanging around with Joe Devlin. So they relied upon that chemistry to carry the show. In large part they succeeded. Putting aside who and what Devlin was, this was the best part of the episode.

    All in all, I place this right around the middle of my rankings of the 43 episodes in the original NBC Columbo series. Mind you, saying that this is a “middling” Columbo episode is high praise from me. But due to the many problems I have with the execution, I do not consider it anywhere near a first-tier Columbo episode.

    • No Half Measures

      As I told Largo, Roberto, I really dislike this episode, and it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t think it’s great. Like you said, living in Middle America at the time, not knowing about the IRA & all that (well I guess not, since I was only 11 at the time (-; ), it’s just not interesting to me. It’s actually confusing to me, to be honest. And if you read my post to Largo, Clive Revill is not really my cup of tea (-; . And the singing and poetry…oh, just kill me now! It reminds me of being in school when you’re studying Brit Lit, poetry, or any other thing like that that is supposed to be oh-so wonderful, significant, full of feeling and meaning and…yeah. I am actually am a bookworm nerd who loves learning, so for me to say that…well, draw your own conclusions.

      The bookstore scene…I don’t feel particularly one way or another about it. It’s just another little scene that’s put in to, hopefully, make you laugh. I laughed, but other than that, I never had any big reaction to it. I guessed that by that time (1978), the writers were feeling a bit more brave in putting something like that in and connecting it to Columbo. I certainly don’t think you’d see that kind of scene in the earlier seasons. I want to tell them, “Just wait till you get to the 21st century! You’ll probably have people acting out for Columbo the subject of the book!”

    • Thanks Roberto. Always appreciate the feedback. I think mid-tier isn’t a bad spot for this one.

  • Ian Baxter

    For me the overplayed irish theme is an irritation in what is otherwise quite an enjoyable episode with a nice rapport between Columbo and Devlin.

    Devlin’s failure to identify the ‘Ourselves Alone’ reminded me of the Colonel Rumford’s failure to identify the cleaning rag in ‘By Dawn’s Early Light’.

    As for season verdicts I think all but Abigail Mitchell are found guilty – Abigail will be exonerated as Edmund is eventually exposed as the killer of his wife; thus throwing doubt on his ’testimony’ that he was murdered by Abigail.

    Thanks again for another enjoyable episode, and well done on reaching this milestone. Perhaps we should celebrate with a limerick: “There was a young girl called Ma…”

    Oi! who pressed that button?!

    • Largo

      Abigail Mitchell is guilty in my book! She’s guilty of actually being yet another one of Ruth Gordon’s tiresome and repetitive quirky old lady characters. 😉

      P.S. — What? You’re attempting to do a limerick about my ward? This sounds like a personal problem, Ian. You have got to stop with this relentless teasing of Margaret, dude! 😉

      • Ian Baxter

        Would you believe me if I said it was going to be about Mavis? 🙂

        • Largo

          Uhmm. Let me think about that for a moment. Ah, no. No I don’t believe that it was about some Mavis dame. You can’t pull the wool over my eye, Ian! 😉

  • Ian Baxter

    Show notes are an interesting treasure trove, as always, but don’t think it hasn’t been noted that Mrs Columbo snuck in there! Brings back bad memories of one of your early podcasts where you used ‘her’ in an answer to a trivia question you posed! *shudder*

    • Largo

      What!?! No – not that abominable Mrs. Columbo crap! How dare they place that total fraud in front of all of us “true” fans once again, eh!!! 😉

    • Hehehe.

      • Ian Baxter

        Brilliant… I shall toast yourself and Hemmingway next year 🙂

    • Did you like the Howard Berk link? That was my favourite discovery this week.

      • Margaret Williams

        No — just no. I thought the language in that one was far too crude. And all of that talk about — you know …. and swimming in — you know …. Ugh!! Like, gross me back to the Stone Age, Iain!!!

  • Largo

    ATTENTION GERRY AND IAN:

    You gentlemen are slipping! With your detailed discussions over Columbo minutiae, I’m surprised that you missed a major continuity error in “The Conspirators.” When Vincent Pauley first meets with Devlin to negotiate the gun deal, the original order made by Devlin is for 500 of the M-11 weapons, which Pauley prices at $300 a unit — and that comes out to a total of $150,000.

    • Largo

      But when we arrive at the later scene within Vincent Pauley’s hotel room, the number of guns has been “magically” reduced by Pauley to 300 units — and for an extra $50,000 — for a grand total of $200,000! Can you say ripoff, eh? You see, Vincent Pauley DID commit a double-cross on them terrorists! 😉

      • Yeah, let’s assume he was pulling a fast one, rather than a continuity error!!

    • Ian Baxter

      Er.. Largo, I hesitate to mention it, but you’re missing an ‘i’ 😉

      • Largo

        DAMMIT!!!
        I apologize profusely for this error, Iain. I was rather bleary-eyed when I wrote this very early in the morning (approx. 4am) — and I had stayed up all night, too. Sheesh, first it was that faulty memory concerning the original Columbo air dates and now this! Please forgive me, Iain. :.(

        • Ian Baxter

          Sorry, couldn’t resist that one Largo 😉

          • Largo

            Well, one should never log in to the forum after pulling an all nighter with two very energetic cosplay women while out here in Las Vegas! 🙂

          • Largo

            Well, you know what they say, Ian: if the pun fits, write it on a forum! 😉

        • I’ll let you off this once!

          • Largo

            Yes, sir! You’re so very kind to me, sir. I promise to do better, sir. Thank you, sir!
            🙂

  • Peter

    I always thought this was a mediocre episode. The stereotyping did not bother me so much as the failure to make Joe Devlin witty or charming. This episode is saved for me by the character of Vincent Pauley, whom I found to be the most interesting and well-played character in the episode.
    I commented on this before but Columbo’s character did undergo a change in the last season that I quite frankly found irritating. He is simply not as likeable. coming across as more devious, subtly sarcastic and not nearly as self-deprecating… “yes, yes, right sir”..you can sense the sarcasm-like the more “bumbling” Columbo better.

    • That’s definitely a fair observation. Clearly he changed a bit in this series. I quite liked it, myself.

    • CarlosMu

      I agree about Vincent Pauley. I liked the way he delivered his lines, one that comes to mind is “I am not a convivial man, Mr. Devlin”.

      I don’t like this version of Columbo either, he’s too world-weary and savvy. Fortunately when he returns after the hiatus he will have lost that edge.

      • Largo

        Albert Paulsen is a superb actor and he makes a great villain. There was a two-part Rockford Files where he makes a quick guest appearance as an enforcer-type hired to scare Jim Rockford out of investigating a specific corporation. For such a bit part, Albert Paulsen was sure effective — I would’ve been running scared, eh! But not ol’ Jimbo! 🙂

  • CarlosMu

    It never occurred to me that Mr. Pauley didn’t in fact double cross Devlin. Are we sure that’s true? that I think would be a very subtle plot point. But once in a while they throw those in.

    I do recall a like I always liked, Kerry says to Devlin “it’s a shame about Mr. Pauley”. and Devlin’s response, “it’s a shame about us all”. I guess that supports this interpretation, why would it be a shame otherwise?

    By the way, did you mention the actor that played young Kerry? If you did I missed it, and wonder how that could happen with Gerry being such a fan of that show with the old lady, Mrs Melville or whatever.

    • Largo

      Vincent Pauley was indeed ripping off Devlin & Co. by requesting the extra $50,000 (Mister RV Salesman / gun supplier dude wasn’t privy to this at this time). Pauley was spending a lot of money and living the high life in anticipation of receiving this extra 50 Grand from Devlin. Stupid mistake on Pauley’s part as all of this ‘rich’ activity was observed by Kerry — who later reported it all to Devlin. What Pauley should have done was conclude the actual transaction as he normally would do and then sit tight in his hotel room without calling attention to himself through any suspicious activity (like spending a lot of money ‘out of character,’ so to speak).

      If Pauley had waited until all of the guns were delivered and his supplier was paid the expected $150,000 before he went wild with his extra 50 Grand, he could’ve lived to rip even more unsuspecting folks off and gotten truly wealthy, eh! But poor Vincent Pauley didn’t expect to be spied on and so he foolishly celebrated his ‘winnings’ far too early. However, he was planning on leaving the country right away and so he must have been wanting the entire $200,000 just for himself. So he probably was expecting to get away with ripping both Devlin AND Mister RV / gun supplier dude off and skipping town really fast! 🙂

    • Graeme Robertson

      Michael Horton plays Kerry.

      BTW is it intended that he is Devlin’s lover? Seems merely decorous in proceedings and not the full shilling. Possibly no idea about the gun-running.

    • Graeme Robertson

      OK. Am watching for 1st time and my 2nd hunch is wrong anyway.

      The first though stands at present.

  • Has anyone noticed that Mr. Revill has a passing resemblance to Jack Klugman aka Quincy?

    • No Half Measures

      Yeah, he sort of does. But Jack is much more handsome (-: ! I have loved Jack Klugman since I was little and my parents watched “The Odd Couple.” Then as I got older, I loved him in “Quincy.” I recently saw him in a movie I had never seen before but chose it b/c my husband & I love movies where the theme is bad-guy-terrorizes-people-and-cops-have-to-go-after-him (think “Die Hard”). It’s called “Two- Minute Warning,” and it stars Charlton Hudson (one of my “husbands,” which is what my family calls my movie star crushes (-; ) & John Cassavetes, who I have loved since seeing him in “Étude in Black.” It didn’t get high ratings, but we really liked it. Jack Klugman was in it as a betting guy in deep with his bookie. I like him in everything I’ve ever seen him in.

      • I’ve always been a Klugman fan, too. Loved him in both the Odd Couple and Quincy, but haven’t seen him in a lot of other things that I can remember.

        Just watched A woman Under the Influence with the missus, with Peter Falk and John Cassavetes. Good film, and it was fun to see Falk in such an un-Columbo-like role.

        • No Half Measures

          I keep wanting to see that. I didn’t know Jack Klugman was in that! You know who also is in that is Cassavetes wife, Gena Rowlands, who played the wife in “Playback.” It’s funny when my girls talk about the movie “The Notebook” and remember her as one of the main characters when she is older. I’m always like, “You have to see her when she’s young in “Playback”! Remember when we watched that when you were little?” (-;

          • Alas, Klugman isn’t in “A Woman…”. Only Falk and Cassavetes are. And I totally missed that it was Gena Rowlands in Playback. I’ll be darned!

        • Have you seen ‘Husbands’ yet? Another ‘different’ kind of acting style from PF.

      • Funnily enough, Etude in Black was the first thing I had knowingly seen JC in, and his performance naturally made me want to see what else he had done. Also re JK I will check out ‘Two-Minute Warning’. TFS.

        • No Half Measures

          That’s the first thing I’d seen Cassavetes in, too, Kieran! Then I developed a crush on him like my sister, so I started looking for other things he’s in.

  • Emrys

    So, the final episode of Columbo. I always found it difficult viewing but over the years I’ve mellowed. I now enjoy it. And I enjoy Devlin. I think people are getting too hung up on the ‘Lucky Charms’ thing. It was actually a surprise for me to discover the actor was from New Zealand. (But then I’m terrible with accents!)

    I’ve enjoyed the podcast run. Haven’t missed an episode. I’ve not commented too much because I’ve found myself increasingly disagreeing with you guys. The things that annoy you, or that you find unbelievable, I have–on the whole–no problem with. I think I’m too much of a fan boy. This original run of Columbo is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. And Columbo is the greatest detective – second only (maybe) to Sherlock Holmes.

    And I still think if it were to have ended bluntly here, the existence of Mrs Columbo has yet to be truly established 😉 (yeah, bite me!)

    Love the Podcast. No, adore the podcast. Look forward to the comeback episodes! Cheers!

    • Largo

      Hey, Emrys! How are you doing, eh? So you say that you’re “terrible with accents” ? Well, I’m here to tell you that Clive Revill is terrible with accents, too. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist saying that, Emrys. Be seeing you! 🙂

      • Emrys

        I love his accent! I have no problem with it at all. However, My wife says it is the worst Irish accent of all time! Ha ha! Like I say… I’m terrible with accents!!!

        • Largo

          I’d also like to say that I’m not “hung up” on Lucky Charms or its mascot — Lucky the Leprechaun. But I do think that this cereal is ‘magically delicious!’ 🙂

          • Emrys

            I don’t know what you’re talking about!

          • Largo

            I be talkin’ ’bout dis —

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcT4QngKzc4

          • Emrys

            Love it! (But did you see the photo I posted? Or did I mess that up?!?)

          • Largo

            Blast! I don’t see any photo accompanying your post, Emrys. 🙁

          • Emrys

            Bugger. I put a lot of effort into that photo… just for you! 😉

          • Largo

            I just signed out and back in on the forum (I’m still at work) and now your photo is appearing …. bigger than life! Thank you, Emrys! 🙂

          • Largo

            Here’s a vintage Lucky Charms cereal commercial from the early 1960s —

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVMGcmV8YE8

          • Ian Baxter

            Ha ha ha… fantastic!

          • No Half Measures

            Ha! Ha! You look AWESOME (-: !! I love it!!

          • Your beard could do with a trim!

  • digger01

    I fall on the side of those who enjoy this episode despite Revill’s Irish accent and a couple of slipshod moments in the story line. I appreciate that the producers and writers tackled the tricky subject matter with a relatively light touch, and even managed to inject some humor (Columbo’s limericks always make me smile).

    And Columbo’s final line of the episode, which was to be the final line of the entire series, was a perfect way for him to sign off. Columbo, holding the bottle, gives a wry smile, and adamantly says…

    “This far, and no farther.”

  • Hah. Columbo’s needlepointing weightlifting nephew reminds me of Rosey Grier. Anyone remember him? He even wrote a book on needlepoint:

    http://www.amazon.com/Rosey-Griers-Needlepoint-Men-Grier/dp/0802704212

    • No Half Measures

      YES, I do! I remember reading about him in my copy of Young Miss back in the 70s (-; ! Good memory (and I thought of him, too, when Columbo mentioned his nephew (-: ).

  • Man, Iain. I don’t know how you manage to dig up some of these obscure references in show notes: Deborah White. Nicely done.

    • Thanks. Berk my favourite this week though!

      • That’s pretty impressive as well. The links I enjoy most are those that shed light on the person in their own right, beyond their Hollywood personas.

  • Okay. I still don’t have a top ten, but I DID just go through each episode to this point and give it a par, above par or below par rating. Purely personal, based solely on my level of enjoyment, for whatever reasons.

    Out of the 45 episodes so far, I came up with 14 that were particularly enjoyable for me. Although, truth be known, it was hard to recall how I felt at the time for many of them. Repeat viewing might change some of these. Guess I should have been taking notes along the way.

    Anyway, here’s my very fluid but for the moment list of “above par” episodes. I’ll add to the list as we continue on.

    0.1 Prescription: Murder
    1.1 Murder by the Book
    1.2 Death Lends a Hand
    2.2 The Greenhouse Jungle
    2.6 A Stitch in Crime
    3.3 Candidate for Crime
    3.8 A Friend in Deed
    4.4 Troubled Waters
    5.1 Forgotten Lady
    5.3 Identity Crisis
    5.5 Now You See Him
    6.1 Fade in to Murder
    7.1 Try and Catch Me
    7.4 How to Dial a Murder

    Incidentally, of 45 episodes, I had 14 above par, 25 par, and 6 below par.

  • Largo

    In order to understand how Columbo “magically” gets things done and is just so darn lucky sometimes, one has to think outside of the moldy box of the prosaic and the literal. You need to make the leap unto the level of the metaphysical to truly understand how Columbo actually works and succeeds in these various homicide cases. So do you want to know how that quarter got there in that binocular viewer in this week’s episode? Do you really want to know how this quarter just “magically” appeared there for Columbo to find at exactly the right time? It’s all rather elementary. Do you recall the mentioning of angels in this episode? Do you understand it now, eh? It was Columbo’s guardian angel that put that quarter there. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it! Be seeing you! 🙂

    • Ian Baxter

      This chap’s been seen hanging around LAP213…

  • Largo

    Well, I’m feeling really down and quite depressed today. I’m still out here in Las Vegas and I’m sitting all alone in my huge Chairman Suite at the Bellagio Hotel. My two cosplaying amigas have flown the coop. I had to say goodbye to Nadya and Krissy yesterday at the airport. So no more fun times on the Vegas Strip while in the company of two Brazilian Beauties. Nadya and Krissy are now back in their native Brazil and I’m stuck out here in Nevada with a heavy heart and a drained bank account. I’m sure all of you have heard of the expression “shop till you drop?” But have any of you actually experienced this live and in person? Well I have, eh. Nadya and Krissy went on a shopping spree every single day that they were out here — and they dragged me, Mr. Moneybags, along as their hapless financier!

    Shoot, I’ll bet you that Nadya and Krissy purchased such a huge amount of stuff that there was enough store bought goods to fill two large moving vans. I spent a total of $857,488.42 on both Nadya and Krissy. Several dozen stores are sending all of these various purchases through the air via FedEx and on to Brazil as I write this. Nadya and Krissy must have a huge warehouse to store all of the hundreds of items that they bought — this is the only logical explanation. Unless, of course, they both live in a frickin’ PALACE!!! Oh, dear! I feel so used and abused here. I’m such a sucker for this type of punishment! Sure, I had a whole lot of fun while I was with Nadya and Krissy — no doubt about it. But at what cost!??! Almost a million freaking dollars, that’s what!!!! Be seeing you! :.(

    • Ian Baxter

      I suggest you exchange the Bellagio and lights of Vegas for a quiet fishing trip to Acapulco… the perfect place to dispose of evidence, create an alibi or tune in to the Columbo Podcast special 🙂

      • Largo

        Well, I do enough disposing of evidence out here in the Nevada desert! D’oh! Uhmm …. ahhhh …. I mean …. YES! A quiet fishing trip while vacationing in Acapulco sounds very nice. But, knowing my luck, I’ll pick up some more amigas that will sponge off of me in the worst fashion!

  • Nelson Heyward

    Im kind of lukewarm with this ep dissapointing way for the fabulous original run to end on, I agree with a lot of comments re this Columbo as a opposed to the earlier one I to prefer the bumbling one to this one. My fav ep of original run and indeed of all is also the best ep the amazing Now You See Him(even the title is great) with the equally fabulous Jack Cassidy

    A massive thanks for the podcast guys never miss a episode it truly has been a treat, one quick point on this weeks you said you would talk about the gotcha but didnt!

    • Roberto

      Nelson, we are fellow members of the “‘Now You See Him’ is the Greatest Columbo Episode Ever” fanclub.

      I’ll look for you at the next meeting at the Cabaret of Magic club.

      • No Half Measures

        I love it – Cabaret of Magic club (-: ! Ha! Ha! “Now You See Him” is second only to “Étude in Black” for me. I mean, John Cassavetes…come on, nobody tops him, although Jack Cassidy is a VERY close second (-; . That being said, can I please join your club (-; ? I’ll be your “humble servant” (-; ?!

    • Thanks Nelson. I’m sure I remember talking about the scratches on the bottles though!

  • John Simpson

    Reference buying guns in supermarkets, regardless of what you might have heard you can’t buy fully automatic sub machine guns in your local Walmart here in the States.

  • Arthur Muhlig

    Hello, this was one of my favourite episodes 🙂 are there any scenes of the filming of this episode or any episode for that matter 🙂
    Thanks
    Art

  • [R]{F}(2)

    “Ourselves Alone”, should also refer to the (clearly superior) original “Columbo” episodes (1971-1978 NBC).As well as, “This Far and No Farther” (i.e., before ABC’s usually-dissapointing “Columbo” [2.0] 1989-2003).