I read through some reviews for this episode and saw that some folks hated this episode...and its overall score is very low compared to other episodes. I think a lot of this is because it's so unlike all the other episodes. However, I thought it was just terrific...and I liked that instead of murder, the plot was about 'erotomania'...more about that in a minute.
Unlike any episode I can recall, this one did NOT begin with showing a criminal meticulously planning and executing a murder. Instead, it's at Columbo's niece's wedding. Following the reception, the bride and groom adjourn to their hotel room....and something weird happens. After the new husband finishes shower, he comes out to find his wife is gone! Where is she?!
Soon it becomes apparent that the woman was kidnapped...but why and by whom? Well, it turns out she's NOT being held for ransom but is the object of a sick freak with erotomania...a fixation that the wife is in love with him despite no evidence of her love for him. But this guy is sicker than the average erotomaniac...he's also giving off murderous vibes. So, it's a case where Columbo and his fellow cops are in a race with time....they need to find her before it's too late.
First of all, you DON'T see the usual sort of Columbo banter. Second, it's much more of a team effort...much like an episode of "Law & Order"...with a team and showing them step-by-step as they follow the clues. In fact, that is what I loved about the show. Instead of showing a detective using lucky guesses and finesse, this one is much more about old fashion (and much more realistic) police work. Overall, extremely tense, exciting and, for once, not a show about murder!! Well worth your time.
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