I know Undercover[/i][/i] gets a bad rap on this forum, but try it, you might just like it!
I was looking for an episode to watch last night. Browsing through all (69) titles, Undercover[/i][/i] was the only one I couldn't remember the ending for, so I chose it to watch! I always skip over it when looking for an episode to watch!
So I gave it another try. And I (very surprisingly) liked it! Didn't LOVE it, but it was OK and watchable (though I don't care for Tyne Daly). Although it doesn't follow the traditional "forumula", there are still a couple of good "gotcha" Columbo-isms and detective work.
I won't spoil it if anyone else doesn't remember, but I don't quite understand the motivation behind the murders. I'll add another post for that.
I've always enjoyed "UNDERCOVER", even though it's not at all in the Columbo formula. The best part, to me, was the interaction between Columbo and Sgt. Brown (Harrison Page). Also giving a strong performance is the usually "meh" Shera Danese. Burt Young's appearance is an added bonus. Some light moments and some good detective work type of scenes. I thought Tyne Daly's performance was actually quite good. The "I don't like memories" conversation with Columbo is somewhat poignant. I know some will disagree with Columbo getting pistol-whipped and actually pulling a gun on someone, but it feels like the right thing for him to do as an undercover cop messing with a tough guy.
It's literally not a COLUMBO episode.
Falk bought the story not knowing it wasn't suitable for adaptation .
He only filmed it because he spent the money. The character is named " Columbo" but it's not our COLUMBO.