Mark Collier is a psychiatrist and Nadia Donner is a patient of his. Mark is also Nadia's lover and his main concern is for a book he is writing. When Nadia and Mark are caught by her husband, Mark kills him with a poker. When the police arrive Nadia tells an unlikely story about two robbers. But will Lt. Columbo believe her? Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
This is one of the few Columbo episodes where the original murder is a spontaneous act. In most episodes the murder is carefully planned. See more »
The interiors of the Van Wyck house in "Playback" and the Donner beach house in "Deadly State of Mind" are the same. Both have steps leading down from one room into two adjacent rooms at 90 degrees from each other. The door to the house enters at this upper level in "Playback" but the door appears to be covered up by a piece of furniture in "Deadly State of Mind". The fireplace is in the same location. See more »
In a lot of Columbo episodes you can feel sorry for the perpetrator, sometimes they're driven to kill and the one who died probably should have. Other episodes show a carefully planned scheme gone awry because of the way Peter Falk digs for clues. But this one was spontaneous as it gets. Husband Stephen Elliott catches his psychiatrist colleague George Hamilton with his wife Lesley Ann Warren and Hamilton kills him in the struggle.
Hamilton was one of the most hateful perpetrators ever in the Columbo series. Being a psychiatrist and knowing how the human mind works, he prepares a careful scenario about a home invasion and it looks pretty good. But an extremely tiny piece of evidence convinces Falk otherwise and also Warren begins to fall apart.
However what Hamilton does to cover up after this is where his true worthlessness of a human being is shown. You will stand up and cheer when Falk nails him and how he nails him.
Got to love that Lieutenant Columbo.
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