I'm not a big fan of this episode, although it has a big potential in my opinion. Could have been much better.
- what is this movie in the very beginning they are making music to? Is it a real movie? I don't think so? I was always wondering about movies in the movies :)
- Findlay put shoes on Gabriel's feet. So Columbo could have used the same trick as in An Exercise in Fatality
- how did Findlay transport Gabriel from bungalow to the elevator without being noticed?
- this very very very long driving scene. What is it all about? and this out of gas thing? I don't understand the reason
- Columbo guessing the movie titles "a shower? a knife? the fish the fish".. it's too foolish for me
- I like the line about penknife when sergeant says that he could write a book about what he used it for and Columbo answers "I think you got another chapter coming up"
- why Columbo mentiones zoo and walruses in the elevator? :)
- the ending for me is not as bad as many people here say, but of course the clue with love notes makes no sense at all, proves nothing
The scene where Findlay plays movie themes is ridiculous. "Oh, the big fish". Ugh! It's so bad that I didn't realize until several viewings that Findlay contradicted himself. Unless I'm mistaken, Findlay says that movie music works best when you don't realize that it's there. I once saw a demonstration of this in a documentary. They showed a clip of a man walking into a room and looking at a doll on the chair....Nothing. Then the exact same scene was played to horror music as the man walked in, the musical suspense built until the reveal of a creepy doll played with a crescendo musical cue to a jump scare. It was very different and showed the power of music in film.
Findlay, on the other hand plays examples of some of the most memorable music in film history. Everybody knows the Psycho and Jaws themes so it was strange to use them as examples of how music works best when we don't know it's there.
Regarding the scene where Columbo won't let Findlay drive home drunk and then runs out of gas, I guess he was just doing his usual strategy of getting as close to the suspect as he can and learning everything about them. It's like borrowing art books, asking the psychic to read the vibrations where the murder occurred, starting a new health program, feigning interest that your career may make a good movie, etc. I understood why Columbo wanted to talk to Findlay, but we didn't need a long drawn out scene. They could have put that time to better use making sense of the final clue: BECCA.