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Columbo full episode: Negative Reaction

Columbo Dick Van Dyke

Why the long face?

Cor Blimey guv’nah, Dick Van Dyke proved there’s much more to him than Mary Poppins‘ chipper Cockney with a chilling turn as murderous photographer Paul Galesko in superior Columbo Season 4 outing Negative Reaction.

Now you can enjoy Columbo Negative Reaction in full online thanks to the official Columbo YouTube channel. And I really mean enjoy, because this is a cracking outing, featuring some of the series’ funniest ever scenes, a victim it’s hard to care about, a gotcha moment right up there with the best of ’em and Van Dyke sporting a sinister beard.

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14 thoughts on “Columbo full episode: Negative Reaction

  1. Love the ending of this one – only thing I’d say was the camera picked out by the killer was at the back behind other cameras so I’d argue that in reality he probably wouldn’t have spotted it. Would need to be placed in full view at the front alongside other similar cameras (like a regular human line up) to ensure the ruse would work.

    • Not sure that’s a great ending. There is a 1 in 13 chance of picking the incriminating. No jury would convict based on that.

  2. Fun, funny, my-favorites-character-filled episode ! Love Vito Scotti in all Columbo shows, but my favorite Columbo is, It’s All In The Game, where he gets Kissed and tells the kisser “do it again and I’ll tell you what I think”, that just tickles me every time I hear that !

  3. A classic episode. Some great scenes right throughout, including some lovely humour. About 41 minutes in, take another look at the brilliant scene where Columbo is talking to Mr Dolan, the drunk, in the refuge. When Columbo says he is investigating the murder, Mr Dolan says “Perhaps I should get in touch with my barrister?” Pause…… “Pip pip!”
    Listen to Peter Falk’s laugh in reaction – I think Vito Scotti has genuinely made him laugh, and they kept it in. A brilliant moment.

  4. I believe the reason for Columbo’s slump at the end of the episode is because he knows what a huge gamble he took. Instead of grabbing the camera, Galesko might have demanded that Columbo produce either the photo he recovered from the fireplace or any police crime scene photos. Galesko might also have caught the fact that the floral decoration on his wife’s jacket was on the right label in the mirrored photo rather than the left. Columbo knew that if any of these happened, he would not get a second chance. Thus the slump is one of relief. I do not believe it would be from knowing he crossed a line. Not after getting Dr. Cahill to confess to murder the season before by arresting his son.

    If he had gotten away with murder, I doubt Galesko would have found happiness in the arms of his young assistant. That was clear at his wife’s funeral when, rather than offering to console her grieving boss, McGrath tells Galesko that she had plans for the evening. The moment she said that I said to myself, “She’s got a date.”

    • Yep. Any decent lawyer would be able to get him off the hook here. Infact he could even say that the camera was lying (separate from all others) on the table. Columbo claiming to have ‘accidentally’ destroying the original wouldn’t have been taken to very kindly either. Either which way, the negative (or the retrieved original) could support Galesko’s claim, and that would be that.
      Ofcourse, more realistically, Galesko wouldn’t have gone down to the police station without a lawyer to begin with. That stunt of ‘losing the original accidentally’ wouldn’t have gone down very well with a lawyer present.

  5. All Dick van Dyke needed to do was say he was just grabbing a camera off the shelf as an example to show Columbo how to get the negative. He never said it was that particular camera.

    • (pushes other cameras out of the way, takes camera from the back, opens it and points to it) “Look at the negative in the back of that camera, Lieutenant, it proves I’m right”

      I’d say that’s pretty convicting.

      • It’s a truly terrific episode with plenty of memorable scenes, including the final one. However like a few other episodes I can’t help but think that all Galesko needed to say was that Columbo had previously mentioned to him what type of camera the kidnapper used and described it during their many conversations about the case. Most of which were private, making it a very easy lie.

        Plenty of times the killers would have gotten off with it if they just blamed Columbo instead. Though it’s obviously part of the fun that killers stunned by Columbo’s cleverness so often graciously just immediately admit their guilt.

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