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S04E01 An Exercise in Fatality... Plot Error?

As you know, in every Columbo episode, there is a "A-ha, got'cha" moment! That moment for this episode was when Columbo grills Milo, and says, "Only you and you alone knew Mr. Stafford was in his gym clothes." Can someone explain why this is a "got'cha" moment? Because in their first meeting, when Columbo visits Milo at his house, Milo told Columbo that he had invited him over to the party over the phone, (the fake phone call), but that Stafford declined because he had already gotten into his gym clothes."

I thought Milo got his bases covered. He had already gotten ahead of this by saying Stafford told him over the phone that he got into his gym clothes to go work-out. So the got'cha moment didn't make a lot of sense to me. SMH.


Columbo figured out Mr. Stafford did not put on his own shoes because the way the laces were tied. He knew that somebody had changed his clothes after he was murdered. He discovered this significant fact near the end of the episode.

The only way Milo could have known he was in his gym clothes was if it was he who changed the clothes.


Okay, that makes sense! Can't believe I couldn't rationalize that out. LOL! Thank you.


I went back to watch the episode again, and I think I have an explanation why I didn't get this episode. You see, I had already subconsciously rejected the shoelace demo. So when I was recalling this episode and started this thread, that shoelace demo was out of my mind. I don't do my shoelaces the way Columbo demonstrated in the episode. How would you prove in a court of law Mr. Stafford's shoelace tying habits? A lot of emphasis is placed on where the first loop hangs, but once you're done tying your shoes, you got two loops. How would you prove which loop is the first loop, and which is the second? I think I'll play with my shoelaces tomorrow. LOL! I think if the episode extended and we see Milo in court, a good lawyer can get him off.


Milo removed Mr. Stafford's dress shoes without untying the laces. They were in his locker with his suit when his body was found. Columbo included those shoes in his demonstration at the end.

If you are right handed you tie your shoelaces the same way every time. It is natural. If you are left handed you would also tie your shoes the same way each time and the loops would be on the opposite side.

If you put on somebody else's shoes you will be facing them when you tie the laces. The loops will be reversed. Mr. Stafford's sneakers had the loops reversed.

Great episode. In my top 5. I really liked the ending.