Very interesting, Joe, about those scenes in "Now You See Him" amd "The Grenhouse Jungle".
My Japanese DVD does not have cops using a metal detector in Columbo's presence -- although I agree with you that it would have made a better set-up for the ending.
The only scene with a metal detector (besides the ending) is when Sgt. Wilson and his boys are searching Mrs Goodland's place, looking for the murder weapon. We first see an investigator using the detector in the living room, then it is used to help find the gun in the linen closet, among the shoes. But I assume this isn't the scene you mean, because it would be pretty clumsy to cut that last part out -- the metal detector is what calls attention to the shoe-bags.
In the end, Columbo does give Wilson credit for inspiring Columbo to use "that technical stuff that you're so good at". The technical device that Columbo uses is of course the metal detector. But, as I've said, the Japanese DVD doesn't give Columbo the chance to watch a metal detector in action, or even to get Wilson's report explaining that one was used to find the gun. If an earlier use of the metal detector went missing from the original broadcast, unfortunately it is still missing.
Now that my memory has been refreshed, The scene in Mrs. Goodland's house is the only scene I recall with the metal detector as well. I don't think Columbo was in any scenes in any of my prints with the metal detector with Sgt Wilson. But the running gag throughout the episode was Sgt. Wilson having all these little tools of the trade, that give Columbo the idea of trying something he'd never used before. Although it probably would have played better had the metal detector been used in Columbo's Presence.
This has come up here before. And frankly, I find it all very confusing!!
Someone in the past posted about an early scene where Columbo does see Wilson using the metal detector. I have never seen this scene.
But even if there wasn't a prior scene to when Columbo uses a metal decector in the final scene...it doesn't take any credibility away from it. Columbo obviously knows that Wilson is into gadgets...and it can easily be assumed that the 2 of them may have talked about how the different gadgets worked...even though it wasn't shown in the episode.
Ok....now I am confusing myself!!
I just looked at an old tape of this episode that the BBC broadcast years ago - still no sign of the elusive scene. I tend to think it's a trick of memory. We see Columbo looking a bit troubled when he realises his idea for making casts of footprints is out of date, and then we see the metal detectors being established in a separate scene.
Having Wilson actually explain metal detectors seems too "on the nose" for me. I don't think it would establish it for the ending, rather it would make it too obvious. Much more likely, knowing his personality, that Columbo would have gone to someone at the department and said, "I hear you have things like night cameras and 3D photos now. What else do you have that might be useful to me?"
Just my take on it.
I received your DVD of, "Candidate For Crime" today and I'm in the middle of watching it now. The picture and sound is TOP QUALITY! Excellent all the way. I haven't seen that original intro since it first hit NBC-T-V many years ago!
I want to thank you so very much for being such a GREAT guy and making me and I'm sure the rest of us Columbo fans very, very happy!!
I also would like to thank Rex for the excellent DVD. I too was delighted to see the original opening credits for the 3rd season. Great sound, picture quality, etc.