Columbo Finds his Match
Psychiatrist Mark Collier (George Hamilton) has over stepped the mark and has been having an affair with his married patient Nadia Donner (Lesley Ann Warren). When Nadia's husband, Carl (Stephen Elliott), catches him with her, Mark murders him with a fire poker. But with a lucrative book deal Mark on his mind he uses his skills in hypnosis to convince Nadia to lie to the police as to what happened, telling them the murder was down to two robbers. But with it being homicide Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) is called in and he senses that Nadia's story is anything but the truth.
"Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind" ticks all the boxes when it comes to one of the 70s episodes of the wonderful crime series. We have a few celebrity cameos with George Hamilton delivering slick but deadly as psychiatrist Collier whilst the writer has not skimped on the attention to detail as when Collier flees from the scene a blind man with his dog causes him to crash into a gate post, giving us not one but two possible flaws for Columbo to get his teeth into. And most interestingly is the thought which hits you straight away, how is Columbo going to get to the truth in this one when you have a man with the power to implant thoughts in someone's mind.
But the thing which stands out the most for me about this episode of "Columbo" is the casting of Lesley Ann Warren. It just took me by surprise to see her playing this chesty woman with a flaky nature, the sort of character which if she had been blonde might have been referred to as being a bit of a "dumb blonde". That doesn't take anything away from the rest of "Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind" as it delivers everything you expect from "Columbo" and it is the unexpected in this which you end up remembering.
What this all boils down to is that "Columbo: A Deadly State of Mind" is as entertaining as any of the 1970's episodes of Columbo with all the expected ingredients from the guest appearances to all the little details. But it is the performance from Lesley Ann Warren which sticks out for me in a good way and is what is memorable about this episodes.