Beth Chadwick has lived all her life controlled first by her father, then after his death, by her brother Bryce who manages the family business. Now she has fallen for Peter Hamilton, who works for Bryce. But, as usual, Bryce objects to her choice and threatens to fire Peter. So Beth decides to murder her brother and to do it in such a way to let it to appear like an accident. Lt. Columbo realizes at once the truth and starts looking for evidence.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Leslie Nielsen is one of nine actors who have portrayed the murder victim in one episode and a non victim in another. He is the victim in Identity Crisis. The others include, Tim O'Connor who is the victim in an Old Fashioned Murder and non victim in Double Shock, Anne Francis who is the victim in a Stitch in Crime and non victim in Short Fuse, Ida Lupino who is the murder victim in Swan Song and a non victim in short fuse, John Dehner who plays the victim in last salute to the Commodore and non victim in Swan Song, Sorrell booke who plays the victim in the bye-bye Sky High IQ murder case and non victim in Swan Song, Dean Stockwell who is the victim in The Most Crucial game and a suspect in Troubled Waters, Stephen Elliott is the victim in deadly state of Mind and non victim in Grand deceptions and James Gregory is the victim in short fuse and non victim in the most crucial game See more »
Although Bryce is shot three times in the chest, no blood is seen on the body or the carpet after he is dragged across the room. See more »
Well, if I've changed, it's because I thought you'd like a more exciting woman.
A change, yes, but a complete metamorphosis? I'm not sure, Beth, you're the same person.
Maybe I'm not.
See more »
Decent Columbo episode but the revealing clue could have been spotted earlier!?
Susan Clark gives a fine performance as a male-dominated female who "bumps-off" her brother to protect her relationship with her boyfriend (Leslie Nielsen) and give her back her independence.
This story gathers intensity as the murderess (the first female killer in the actual TV series) is dismissive of any intrusion by others into her family business and she becomes more manipulative and insensitive as Columbo gets closer to the truth - an effective piece of scripting and a hallmark of the series in that Columbo invariably annoyed his chief suspect almost to the point of a nervous breakdown!
The ending is also significant since Columbo's life is clearly on the line. However, the effectiveness of the irony that the killer's boyfriend unwittingly gives Columbo the vital piece of incriminating information, is undone by the fact that the clue could easily have been pinpointed earlier.
This clearly gives the impression that the script-writer had some difficulty in providing a satisfactory conclusion to an originally well-thought-out concept.
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