The Lt. Columbo Forum

An area where fans from all over can ask each other questions and voice their own ideas and opinions on anything Columbo.

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Was it Intentional?

Here's an interesting concept. Ever notice how in many episodes the person who is close to the killer has a screw loose? For instance:

Joan Hudson
Nadia Donner
Edna Matthews (to some exrent)
Wesley Corman's wife (cant recall her name)

Was this done on purpose or is it just a coincidence. I'm sure there's a lot of others too that I did not mention

Re: Was it Intentional?

I was thinking of Helen Steward in "Dead Weight." She seemed very unsure of herself in various scenes - navigating the boat and what she saw and didn't see. Her mother didn't help her daughter's self-esteem either.

Re: Was it Intentional?

Lily LA Sanka in Murder By the Book comes across as mad as a box of frogs. Some of the angles that Spielberg uses to capture her look when she is blackmailing Ken Franklin makes her look completely evil.

Re: Was it Intentional?

Even though she's both a corporate spy and a blackmailer (!), Shirley Blaine somehow manages to seem like a "fragile" person also. But Sian Barbara-Allen's characters almost always seem a little like that, so it's a little hard to tell.
There's of course that hug that she gives Viveca after the blackmail! I know some people read an obvious meaning into that, but if that ISN'T the meaning (and I don't know that it is), then it's a pretty strange moment.

Re: Was it Intentional?

In Ashes to Ashes we have Chuck Houstons wife whose elevator doesnt reach the top floor as well as being a drunk.

I also question the mental capacity of Mrs. Stafford from An Exercise in Fatality.

Re: Was it Intentional?

"Mr. Franklin, you hoo, oooover heeere!" LOL

Re: Was it Intentional?

In regard too "Suitable for Framing," not only was Edna Matthews weird, but we can't forget Tracy O'Connor. She was very insecure when it came to Dale Kingston.

Re: Was it Intentional?

Great topic!

Mrs. Peck is a bit obsessive-compulsive in "Double Shock". Neil Cahill is unstable in "Mind Over Mayhem" (he's seeing a psychiatrist and he lied about his scientific achievements). The entire gamut of Joan Allenby's co-workers in "Sex and the Married Detective".

Re: Was it Intentional?

jbt33
Great topic!

Mrs. Peck is a bit obsessive-compulsive in "Double Shock". Neil Cahill is unstable in "Mind Over Mayhem" (he's seeing a psychiatrist and he lied about his scientific achievements). The entire gamut of Joan Allenby's co-workers in "Sex and the Married Detective".
Great examples jbt. Dr. Allenbys co horts were definitely a bit cracked. Another one that comes to mind is is Joanna Clay from Last Salute. Mostly because of her excessive drinking but shes strange even when sober. Which isnt too often.

Re: Was it Intentional?

Hey Fred... Fred?... FRED!!!! (one of my favorite scenes from the bizarro world of "Last Salute to the Commodore")

Yes, Fred, I agree, Mrs. Clay wasn't stable even when she wasn't drunk ("I don't know where I've been for years.")

Re: Was it Intentional?

Mrs Peck.....Your rubbing it in , your rubbing it in !! lol

Re: Was it Intentional?

Columbo: Uh-oh. Now, wait a minute. Mrs. Peck I want you to remain calm.

Mrs. Peck: Out

Columbo: This goes back on very easily

Mrs. peck: Out!

Columbo: This is part of the knob. Just tell the repairman...

Mrs. Peck: OUT!!!

LOL. Love her scenes. Revealing also about Columbo's character - it's here where he admits he's not a tidy person - a habit he's tried to break ("I've tried for many years... that's just my nature") but can't seem to do it. Wonderful scenes.

Re: Was it Intentional?

"Etude in Black" - Mrs. Benedict. In my opinion, she wasn't all there. She didn't have a very good self-esteem when it came to her husband, and herself. An example is when her mother ordered for her when she was in the restaurant. When she asked Alex why he married her.

I agree this is a good topic.

Re: Was it Intentional?

Couple more...

Lisa Chambers in "Double Shock" - "the lovely but not too brilliant young lady" who falls for the lawyer's trick and then falls to her death.

Marcia Dalton in "A Stitch in Crime" - Sharon Martin's roommate who is "inner directed", cures allergies with sips of water and takes quick peeks in mirrors during murder investigations.

Gloria West in "Greenhouse Jungle" - "friend" of Tony who thinks she's going to outfox both Jarvis Goodwin and Lt. Columbo

Re: Was it Intentional?

Anyone who has a problem with "New Age" type people (I don't) might find Lisa Chambers at least a little unstable just because of that.

Arlene Martel causes me to have such a thing for Gloria West that I can't be very objective about her. Though she does seem pretty vindictive toward Cathy (even if she does believe she's guilty of the murder).