William Shatner is Ward Fowler, an actor who plays the TV detective Lieutenant Lucerne. He’s greedy for more money but his producer Claire is blackmailing him because he was a deserter during the Korean War. Shatner invites a man with a limp to his house to watch sport and then drugs him. Then he sneaks out to the deli he knows Claire is at, puts on a balaclava and puffa jacket, pretends it’s a stick up and shoots her. After this he destroys his disguise, goes home and rewinds the sport. He can do this because he has a fancy video recorder machine. He wakes up old limpy and pretends he just nodded off for a minute and not the massive amount of time it took to do a complicated murder.
Columbo shows up at 14 minutes and 40 seconds and is awed by the fame of Fowler/Shatner, so much so he lets him assist with the investigation. But look out Fowler/Shatner- it’s a trap! Columbo is on to him from the start and finally catches him in a columboid that involves a watch that should be fast but isn’t and fingerprints on bullets.
During this episode we learn that Columbo and Mrs Columbo never miss an episode of Lieutentant Lucerne.
I had some very green soup whilst watching this episode. Unnaturally green.