Murder Under Glass was on in the UK on Monday. Watched it last night. I was rather underwhelmed by this episode. As Paul Gerard might have said, it was a well presented dish, but it lacked a certain bite.
What's the considered verdict of my fellow forum fans.
Barfly, you online right now?
"Murder Under Glass", is a popular one but for me it's missing something. The thing with the corkscrew was too easy and I don't understand why Columbo seemed to dislike Louis Jordan as much as he did, considering the frequency and variety of arrogant characters he continually came up against.
Checking in every now and then.
Hmm, interesting to read that it is a popular episode, I am at a loss to understand why.
Columbo doesn't often come out and says that he actively dislikes a murderer as clearly as he does in this episode. However, I suspect that he doesn't actually like many of the villains he's put behind bars over the years.
I think one thing that sets this episode apart from most of Columbos is the fact that we really don't see Paul Gerard in the full act of executing the murder. We don't see him switching the bottle openers...both times..with Vittorio Rossi..and again with Columbo. I was always confused the first few times I saw this one. It is not like many of the episodes where you see every step the murderer takes in accomplishing their dirty deed. Look at episodes like By Dawn's Early Light, Etude in Black, Double Shock, Suitable for Framing.....etc..etc...all of these, and many more, show all the steps that the murderer takes in preparation of the murder. The type of mystery that Columbo is warrants us to be privvy to all the prep work that the murderer does...but this one sort of leaves us in the dark.
Sometimes leaving us in the dark leads to a more entertaining ending. It worked in "Columbo Goes to College" years later too.
As for "Murder Under Glass," it was not too bad an episode. Paul Gerard was really full of himself, and the writers made him get with he deserves. First, his cohort steps out on him when "Irene DiMilo" says she is quitting. Then, Columbo gives it to him good in the final scene. A terrific Columbo line: "I respect your talent. I don't like anything else about you. The dressing is perfect."
Cassa - good points. I think that it is the execution of the murder that is the flaw at the heart of this episode. There are no other plausible suspects in the episodes and no attempt to frame anybody or suggest some random unseen person. This forces Columbo to almost by default to focus on Gerard and concentrate on how the poison got inside the wine bottle.
David - that final scene is good. I particularly like the very last line and the ambiguity of Gerard's "I wish you'd been a chef."
It just occurred to me that Columbo and Horace Rumpole share similar pedestrian eating habits (bangers & Chateau Thames Embankment versus chili & iced tea), and upscale cuisine has been central to at least one of their mysteries (I believe it was "Rumpole a la Carte"). I'm trying to remember if other detectives were associated with the ordinariness of their food preferences . . . many such as Nero Wolfe and Hercule Poirot had gourmet tastes, but how many established rapport with their fans by their "workingman" eating habits?