Dr. Barry Mayfield is a highly successful and respected surgeon, but his patience leaves a lot to be desired. Nurse Martin becomes suspicious about his tools in sewing up internal organs in his most recent 'successful' operation (namely, his sutures). The good doctor kills her before she spills the beans, but Mayfield doesn't count on Detective Columbo's investigative skills, which quickly uncover a trail of murderous events.Written by
Scott Dawson <email@example.com> / edited by statmanjeff
This is a largely potent, cleverly-titled and unpredictably effective Season 2 episode from the Columbo series which sees an impulsive and scheming surgeon (played by Leonary Nimoy) murder a nurse who realises that he is going to botch a heart valve operation on his more circumspect and cautious colleague, who are both involved in a revolutionary medical project.
Leonary Nimoy "warms up" in his role as the villain: he is initially a little wooden but ultimately his character provides a stern test for Columbo's powers of deduction and, in turn, Nimoy is very effective in portraying the villain's tenacity and calculating nature.
The script-writer allows the plot to drift a little in mid-section, primarily because of the pursuance of the drug-related theme which is the made-to-look motive used by the killer.
Will Geer's portrayal of his slightly irritating and fussy characterisation is almost too good; since it borders too much towards comedy and this dilutes the tension a little.
The last twenty minutes or so are very well-portrayed: the remarkable thing in this episode is that it is very difficult to anticipate how Columbo will nail the killer. In separate sequences, we see Columbo uncharacteristically lose his temper infront of the murderer and then shake his hand and admit defeat.....
Despite some lesser moments in the middle, the brisk opening and the relentlessly surprising end make this a highly recommended, if not totally faultless Columbo story.
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