The problem with “No Time To Die” and “Undercover” is that, because they are based on Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels, they change Columbo’s character. Perhaps as standalone TV movies they would be fine. But as Columbo episodes they don’t even remotely follow the established formula. The cat and mouse battle of wits is gone and instead, Columbo is kicking in doors and smacking goons around. It doesn’t fit.
I agree with Stephen. I know a LOT of people hate this episode, but I quite enjoy it. Don't misunderstand me, I like the established formula and Columbo's usual methods, but I also liked seeing him out of his element, with time pressure and no prep to sweat... Just the lingering abject terror of a relative (in-law, but anyways) meeting a foul end. Yes, it's unusual: but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable!