Columbo: Season 8, Episode 3

Sex and the Married Detective (3 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 798 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

When a successful sex therapist with a best selling book and a hit TV show is crushed to learn her business partner/lover is cheating on her, she plots appropriate revenge.



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Title: Sex and the Married Detective (03 Apr 1989)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Joan Allenby
Dr. Simon Ward
Dr. Walter Neff
Marge Redmond ...
Helen Hendrix
David Kincaid
Pierrino Mascarino ...
Tuba Player
Leeza Vinnichenko ...
Cleaning Woman
Susan Gibney ...
Peter Wise ...
Airline Clerk


This time Columbo has to deal with a passion crime by a sex therapist. As usual, this completely new environment to Columbo is an opportunity for him to show off more unusual talents, as well as pit his wit against an opponent who is well versed in the psychology that he himself uses so well. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

3 April 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Detective Colombo plays the tuba in this episode. He says he learned to play in high school because it was the only instrument left. See more »


When the doctor returns to her office and sees her husband in bed with the other woman, the woman is wearing an obvious flesh-colored bodysuit. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Well, but when you get right down to it, Ma'am, only one woman came in, and only one woman went out, and whatever all this means, we have to look at the lady in black, and when we find her, I promise yuh, you're gonna be the first to know!
See more »


References Sex and the Single Girl (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

First rate Columbo from start to finish.
28 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am quite surprised at how many negative reviews I have seen here. I happen to think this is one of the best Columbo episodes around. I personally don't like the choice of music, because it is synonymous with cheesy sexual films. Other than that, however, I think this episode is first rate. Lyndsay Crouse does a superb job as the murderer. Columbo is not turned into a senile caricature, as in some of the later episodes. He retains his dignity throughout, with the occasional comic responses and scenes. The brief bathroom scene, and the longer scene in which he plays psychologist are both hilarious, and his embarrassed expressions and comments when the topic of S-E-X comes up are very endearing, and in line with his old-fashioned character. As for those critics here who have pointed out the incredible 'luck' in finding clues, I don't think that is the case at all. He finds them primarily because of his extraordinary awareness and astute recognition, not because of luck. Most other people simply would not notice a tag hanging from someone's clothing. His cat and mouse games with the suspect are highly enjoyable. As always, he accords respect for an esteemed person even after he suspects them of murder, and is more apt to put off any direct suggestions of guilt until he pretty much has it all in the bag. Finally, his manner of setting her up in the final scene, as well as her concerns regarding what he thinks about her and his eloquent and sensitive response, introduce an interesting psychological layer to the story. Thoroughly entertaining and absorbing.

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