It resulted in two friends facing off against the greatest episode of Colombo

at special guestGwen Ihnat takes a look at a notable turn by an artist on a TV series, noting the impact the appearance has had on the actor, the series, and the TV scene in general.

ColomboAnd Etude in blackSeason Two, Episode One (1972)

When I was a kid, every Sunday my family would faithfully gather around the TV to watch this week’s NBC mystery movie. It was a revamped anthology series, based on a haunting but interesting story theme song led synth. Back in those ancient times, we didn’t know which of the detectives in regular rotation we would watch that night: Macmillan and his wife With Rock Hudson and Susan St. James it was usually fun, Dennis Weaver McCloud was snoring. But when the theme song ended, the announcer said firmly: “Tonight…ColomboWe all thought we won the TV lottery for this week.

Colombo It’s a staple from my childhood that I never rocked. The series differed from most mystery shows by working backwards: it always started with the murder, then the fun would spread watching the arrogant killer that week (usually a TV or movie star who enjoys the opportunity to play against the genre, like Dick Van Dyck or Janet Leigh) It is disarmed disarmingly by the humble detective. While watching with my family, we were playing a game, “When do you think he knows they did it? Does he know now?” While watching later with my friends in college or when I was in my twenties, I realized that the game was bullshit. he is Colombo. He always knows. When I Was Relaxing In Bed While Pregnant With Twins – This Sounded Comfortable But Was So Intimidating – Only Twice A Day Colombo Rebooting on A&E (enjoyed while eating pints of frozen dinners from Ben & Jerry’s and Stouffer, where I’ve been eating for three) can calm me down.

I wrote about Colombo For this site before, in a 2014 TV Club 10but since this is my last plan for AV Club, Hope you indulge me. Also, that was a long time ago, even before I was an employee of the site. At the time, as now, it struck me that my life assimilated into pop culture had finally turned into an actual job: that writing about a particular TV series could become a weekly task, and that my encyclopedic knowledge of it Monkees It can be useful, being able to only talk to people I’ve seen on screen, like Alice Cooper And Margaret O’Brien. I really, really loved it, and I never stopped feeling incredibly lucky to have worked here for nearly a decade and literally thousands of lines. Well, until recently.

So when I thought about my last article, it’s no surprise that I’m back in my abbreviated column for the site and my favorite episode of TV ever – I still feel relief from the familiar look of the gentleman in a wrinkled brown raincoat with shaded cigars. Although there are many, many of them are amazing Colombo Episodes and guest stars—like Patrick McGoohan, Ruth Gordon, and Donald Pleasance—for sheer fun value, I can never get enough of Peter Falk’s encounter with his real-life close friend John Cassavetes in the season two opening, “Étude In Black.”

For fans of pop culture, this episode literally has it all: Directed by Nicolas Colasanto, aka Coach from cheers! Co-starring Blythe Danner, who was pregnant with Gwyneth at the time! The golden age of Hollywood legend Myrna Lowe! The first (funny) appearance of the Basset Colombo fishing! A worn Colombo car is adjacent to the villain’s palace, which is later seen in Prince of Bel Air!

But mostly as always in ColomboThe secret of the episode lies in the chemistry between the lieutenant and the suspect. (As I mentioned in my first article on the series, such was the unquenchable charisma of Colombo’s character that Falk didn’t need a supporting cast, just recurring characters occasionally.) Face the cassavat. Falk appeared in six of the Cassavetes films, and while Falk apparently had some initial reservations about his more flexible approach to direction, he eventually took it, becoming one of the most enduring members of the directing team as well as a close friend. (Cassavett Falk described him as the husband of his wife, Gina Rowlandsin 1974 woman under influence, For example.) Their unique bond (until Cassavetes’ death in 1989) was evident on screen, as when the couple tore up the talk show circuit with their friend Ben Gazzara to promote couples In 1970, he tortured Dick Cavett in the process.

Only a few years later couplesCassavetes guest at Colombo to start her second season. Played by Maestro Alex Benedict, an arrogant musical genius who may be more of a jerk than he is rosemary kids Jay Woodhouse (shortly after we first met him, he berated the staff at the Hollywood Bowl before his televised party the same night). Alex is married to the sweet Janice (Danner), whose mother (Louis) has all the money. So when his latest lover, Jennifer, threatens to expose their relationship, which will result in Alex losing everything, he kills her, organizing it as a gas suicide. He’s such an idiot, then also killing her bird in the bargain.

Colasanto’s direction (possibly with the help of Cassavetes and Falk, according to rumors) is witty throughout: a disturbing bird squeaks as Alex commits suicide, the police arrive at Jennifer’s house while the dramatic recital of the concert plays in the background. But as I said, the main game here is Falck Cassavat confrontation. like a lot of Colombo Assassins, Alex immediately dismissed this modest detective as unmatched by his brilliance, until Colombo persistently and carefully revealed all clues to the case. Each individual scene is a master class in deck skill placed on top of a demonic chess game.

At some point during production, likely due to this dynamite chemistry or the fact that it was the season opener, the decision was made for a 90-minute extension. Colombo An episode in one hour. While you can spy on the stretched seams at times, we should be grateful for scenes like the one where Columbo asks Alex how much he makes. I think it’s an add-on because Cassavetes’ hair is shorter than in the other scenes; Nevertheless, it is a wonderful joy. Maybe Colombo is trying to figure out how rich Alex really is, looking for some kind of motive, asking questions like how much taxes he pays on his luxury properties and then quickly calculating the value of the house. Alex becomes increasingly confused when Columbo begins to question him, and eventually comes out and asks the maestro how much he earns for a living. Throughout the scene, you can see Cassavetes hiding a not-so-small smile as he sees his friend embodying the character that would make him famous, and he does it so well.

There’s another cool moment when Columbo turns to Alex’s mechanic, (invading the expensive foreign maestro in the process) to tell Alex he thinks Jennifer’s suicide was actually murder. The two walk together, and Colombo tells how he’s been up all night about the issue, and he puts his arm on Alex’s jacket. Cassavetes then immediately proceeds to skillfully but firmly wipe the sleeve of his jacket. This all leads to the sweet scene in which Columbo confronts his suspicions with Alex, live on the Hollywood Bowl, and then blasts him with “one more thing” for the ages: the fact that Jennifer’s death is now a murder case, and he’s a homicide detective.

In the end, Alex is cut off by a buttonhole he leaves at the crime scene, and later picks up; In fact, it was Colombo himself who saw him reconnect the flower at the crime scene. That and the fact that the televised Hollywood Bowl showed Alex without him is enough of a curse. After a heart-wrenching moment when Janice moves over to Colombo’s side, Alex finally has to bow to Colombo’s eventual superiority, calling him a “genius” with one last bow of his wand.

Since I’m old, I can state this with the agency: Even with twenty-one billion series currently available for viewing, they just aren’t that way anymore. Just like they don’t create sites like this anymore. I like to think it’s fitting that this look Colombo It would be “just one more thing…” AV Club. I remain forever grateful to anyone who has read one of those lines above, and/or left a comment, for the past nine years. Saying it was an honor doesn’t really mean this whole experience, but it is the ultimate truth.