Heres a couple to get the ball rolling
Tommy Brown... despite the fact that he was a killer, the man had a real conscience.
Adrian Carsini... Karen was turning the screws on him. So he was either going to go to jail or have to marry her.
Kay Freestone.... by her own admission she says at the end that there is usually a sense of relief when something like this is over. She did not feel that. Quite the opposite
Alex Benedict.... more of the look of shock at the end. When he tells Columbo that he was a genius.
Please add some more....
Even though you aren't supposed to, I feel bad for Dale Kingston when he says "You -touched - them?"
I think he's too busy getting over that to actually feel ANYTHING. Of course, Ross Martin really "sells" that.
A third category would be "Neither*
Within this we can firmly place Colonel Rumford who goes of to prison convinced he has done the right thing and that the military school he runs will go on.
Another one in the "Neither" category (although maybe leaning toward "Grief") would be Viveca Scott. I always like that bitter little laugh she gives, and that sarcastic "Very good, lieutenant."
At the end of Columbo Likes the Nightlife Vanessa Farrow definitely goes to the grief side. So does Justin Price.
Oscar Finch also gets grief. And shock over "one piece of chewing gum."
Robert Culp showed grief in his first three episodes:
1. "Death Lends a Hand" - At the end he told Mr. Kennicut "that it was an accident." He did seem remorseful.
2. "The Most Crucial Game" - Paul Hanlon looked very upset when he found out that he got caught because there was no clock noise in the background.
3. "Double Exposure" - There were tears coming down Dr. Kepple's face when Columbo caught him using the subliminal cuts, he kept repeating "subliminal cuts, you used the subliminal cuts."
Oliver Brandt might be one of the saddest one.
And there's at least one Leslie Williams moment. Columbo says "You can finish your sherry first."
Leslie says quietly "I don't think I want it now."
Nora Chandler. She gives that big sigh and says, "Well - I'll get my coat."
And it doesn't seem like a brave front, she does seem glad it's over. Either way, Anne Baxter really makes you believe the second thing.
Paul Gerard in "Murder Under Glass". "You're a very able man, Lieutenant. I respect that, but I don't really care for you very much."
And, of course, Columbo's response was classic, "You know, sir, I was thinking the same thing about you. I respect your talent, but I don't like anything else about you."
This is a great topic, by the way!
I forgot one of disbelief I meant to include in my initial post. Mister Prince. At the end of Ashes to Ashes. When Columbo tells him basically how he solved the crime, Prince looks at him and says "very very good." ( of course spoken with the accident that only Patrick mcgoohan could).
Then he excused himself and Columbo asked him where he was going.
"To the police car".
"A Friend in Deed"
RELIEF: MARK HALPERN over his wife's death MARGARET HALPERN.
GRIEF: HUGH CALDWELL over his wife's death JANICE CALDWELL.
great Cindy!!! Thats a perfect one and in the same episode.
Following up on Cindy’s point about “A Friend in Deed”, maybe the opposite is true when they are caught. Halperin’s relief over the death of his wife turns into grief that he is caught; Caldwell’s grief over the death of his wife turns into relief that he is caught. Although we don’t see Caldwell at the end of the episode, we can imagine he might feel a sense of relief that it’s all over. He even said to Halperin that he should have just gone to the police in the first place.
Ned Diamond at the end of Forgotten Lady definitely is relieved that Grace isnt going to jail. And realistically neither is he for very long if at all. I wonder if he ever sees the inside of a jail.
Knowing Columbo, he might find some way or other to not arrest him in the first place. It wouldn't exactly hurt his pride, since he knows Diamond is innocent, and since he knows the whole thing will fall apart anyway.
You wouldn't call it RELIEF in his case, but Mark Halperin gives a resigned look and just nods slightly, which kind of surprises me.