Peter Falk in Columbo: Sex and the Married Detective (1989)

Columbo's in Therapy

Sex therapist Dr. Joan Allenby (Lindsay Crouse) has a blossoming career with her own radio show as well as a book and she is a relationship with the handsome David Kincaid (Stephen Macht). But Joan is left shattered when she discovers David is cheating on her and so comes up with a deadly plan to get her revenge, masquerading as another woman and luring him into her trap where she cold bloodedly murders him. Of course a murder means the crumpled coat wearing Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) is called in to investigate and finds himself a bit bashful when it comes to dealing with a sex therapist.

"Sex and the Married Detective" has not only all the ingredients of a typical "Columbo" from the late 80s but it is drenched in late 80s style with the heavy use of the saxophone in the soundtrack especially during the movie's late night and sexy scenes. What that means is that whilst "Sex and the Married Detective" is still entertaining for those who enjoy a "Columbo" movie it is also heavily dated with a style which can get a bit too annoying after a while.

But as I said "Sex and the Married Detective" delivers all the ingredients of a typical "Columbo" and as such we have the motive, the murder and then the crumpled Columbo investigating the case with little issues ending up not only nagging at him, such as the shop tag on the back of Joan's coat, till eventually he builds his case to confront the killer. Of course there is also the comedy and that not only comes from Peter Falk giving Columbo and even more patient and absent minded persona but of course acting bashful when it comes to Joan being a sex therapist. It is all there and is typically enjoyable but for me this is also incredibly routine and as such doesn't make "Sex and the Married Detective" the most memorable of "Columbo" TV movies.

Of course any good "Columbo" thrives on the guest appearances and in "Sex and the Married Detective" you do have a wonderful one from Lindsay Crouse. Her performance as Joan Allenby works not because she plays her as Columbo's intellectual superior but as a woman who knows her line of work makes the Lieutenant uncomfortable and bashful. Plus you have the enjoyment of her being all nice to him when he questions her but cold as ice the minute he has gone.

What this all boils down to is that "Sex and the Married Detective" is certainly an enjoyable 80s episode of "Columbo" but it is also only an average one which is easily forgotten. Having said that; everyone has their favourite episode of "Columbo" and I am sure there will be some people who enjoy this one more than others.