Famous (and fraudulent) psychic Elliot Blake uses his old mentalist skills to live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of a psychic research institute and hopefully, the US Government. What seems at first like a threat, a test devised by a well-known magician and debunker of psychics, turns out to be his chance for revenge against his former mentor. What he can't foresee is a police lieutenant who knows all the tricks. Written by
Mark Cabot Robinson
The psychic research foundation where the testing takes place is the Annemann Institute. This is an homage to Theodore "Theo" Annemann, a famous American magician from the first half of the 20th century. His specialty was Mentalism and he heavily influenced both mentalists and magicians who came after. See more »
[referring to the workshop, and demonstrating one of the tricks]
The whole place is one big magic trick. You can't believe anything you see.
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I was excited to see the Columbo episodes that were made in the late '80s and beyond, mainly because i really haven't seen most of them, unlike the original series, where i have seen (and loved) them all. This episode, the first after a decade long break, starts off promising.I wish they had used a bigger star as the villain because that was always part of the fun, as villains go the guy in this episode is a bit lackluster for me. Actually, they should have used the guy who ended up playing the magician as the villain....much better actor and more menacing by far than the guy that ended up the villain. Another gripe is the music....its pretty dreadful. Like something from "murder she wrote", no disrespect.
Now for the good part.....Peter Falk is just priceless.....he may be a bit older and not quite as sharp but as clever as always. Considering he was in his 60's here, he still pulls it off well. Looking forward to watching all of the newer episodes.... Best moment : columbo making awed facial expressions as the phony psychic scans the crimescene for clues. I was laughing out loud.
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