An infamous 'psychic' abandons his public persona, outing himself as a fake, to focus on his work as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation in order to find "Red John," the madman who killed his wife and daughter.
The show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court.
S. Epatha Merkerson,
Jesse L. Martin
Milo Janus owns a chain of health clubs, but one of his franchisees discovers the man is cheating him - and can prove it to the authorities. Janus responds by murdering his partner and making it look as if he had accidentally killed himself trying to lift a barbell that was too heavy for him. Janus creates a would-be perfect alibi for himself involving a tape recording of his victim's voice, a phone that doesn't light up, a sexy secretary, a party for friends at his house, and a pornographic horror movie. But no alibi is perfect when the rumpled Lt. Columbo is on the case. Written by
Even architecture has been known to make a comeback appearance in "Columbo". A Columbo film that displays the opening street scene to "An Exercise In Fatality" on a TV monitor is Columbo: Death Lends a Hand, near the beginning, in Brimmer's office. See more »
Columbo's hair, sweat and towel whilst exercising on the treadmill vary from shot to shot. See more »
[after Milo leans in to kiss her... and she enjoys it]
You know, there's one thing that bothers me about you.
You're a little unsure of yourself.
I'm very unsure. But I'm encouraged by your response.
See more »
During the end credits the usual theme music is not heard. In its place is a jingle for the fictional Milo Janus fitness club instead. See more »
Music by Sigmund Romberg (1928)
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Instrumenta variation heard satirically while cOlumbo is jogging. See more »
An Exercise in Fatality is a very good episode. I didn't think though it was outstanding as such, it is slightly overlong with a scene between Columbo and one of the secretaries rather unfunny and feeling padded out, and an ending while interesting stretches on credibility just a tad. However it is still beautifully filmed, tightly directed, atmospherically scored and cleverly scripted. The mystery while following the usual formula(not a bad thing by the way) is still diverting as it should be. Peter Falk continues to delight as Columbo, shrewd, cunning with a good sense of humour. Robert Conrad is an excellent foil as Janus, and the support cast are as solid as you would expect. All in all, a very good episode, and towards the "one of the better episodes" end of the spectrum. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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