MovieChat Forums > Columbo (1971) Discussion > "Lovely but Lethal" poison ivy

"Lovely but Lethal" poison ivy

This plot of "Lovely but Lethal" is based on a couple of non-facts:

1. Columbo notices that someone has a rash on their hand, and somehow knows that it's specifically a poison-ivy rash -- when in fact, other types of contact dermatitis could have exactly the same appearance.

2. Columbo deduces that the itchy suspect has been traveling, because "poison ivy doesn't grow in California." Well, yes and no. It's true that the exact species that grows all-too-widely over eastern North America does not occur west of the Rockies. BUT it has a very close cousin called western poison oak that definitely *does* grow in California, including the Los Angeles area. Both species have precisely the same "active ingredient," and therefore both species can cause precisely the same symptoms.

Been a while since I saw this episode (I find it hard to watch!), so please correct me if I'm misremembering any details.