One thing (2 actually) that has always puzzled me is the following. We see Stone tearing out of the garage with the police in Hot Pursuit. Then the camera pans over and we see Hayward standing in the garage watching the preceding happen.
Question: how is it possible that Hayward beats Stone to the beach house with ample time to get in position to shoot him? Piggybacking off of that thought, where does Hayward park the car that he's using? I'm sure it would be easily be spotted anywhere that he put it.
Hmmm, let me think about that one. I may have to re-watch those scenes. I think it is a crazy idea to switch in to each others clothes. Stone would have never gone for that dopey idea.
Great questions. I've often thought about those things, too.
(1) Perhaps, Ken had to do some "evasive" driving in order to lose the police, which would allow Heyward to get there first.
(2) By all accounts, this seems like a pretty desolate area. Knowing that he'd only be parked somewhere for a few minutes, maybe he left it just off the edge of the street or in a neighbor's driveway??? (a bit weak, I know)
I had another question about this episode, which always bothered me:
Columbo uses the models to show how the shot had to come from the Rt. side of the garage by the light switch. Hayward says, "You bet your life there's another way..." and he's RIGHT! Suppose the killers HAD pulled in right behind the car Stone was driving and the light WAS partially blocked. Columbo assumes that there was only one person in the criminal's car. What if there had been someone in the passenger seat? That person would have been able to easily exit the car, have a clear shot at Stone due to the light being on and shot him from across the garage at the proper angle of the ballistics report. Why Heyward didn't suggest that has always bothered me.
I think Columbo or someone else in the Homicide department must have mentioned or discussed the idea of accomplices being involved, but the fact that Stone had Hayward's clothes on when he was murdered, leads Columbo to the candidate's door anyway.
If there were actually more than one person involved in the murder, then Hayward wouldn't need Stone to have to go through all the clothes switching. They could have killed Stone at his own home giving Hayward an air-tight, iron-clad alibi.
There is actually no way Hayward could have beaten Stone to the beach house. It is a flaw in the plot, that's why they don't show how he does it. Only the staunchest Columbo fans can explain or defend this.
However, irrespective of the flaws, this ending is as fine as 'Playback' or 'Suitable For Framing'. It's literally a killer ending, compounded by the suddenness of the episode credits again.
Columbo tells Hayward that he " pulled out of his driveway and roared down the street at 70 miles an hour and after three minutes he stopped."
Watching the scene where Columbo is actually driving down that road, it is a narrow two lane Road at points. I cannot see how he could Roar down that street at 70 miles an hour it ain't no freeway.
I know that that is a little bit of off of Steve's subject here but I thought I would just throw it in.