Sex and the Married Detective
Dr. Joan Allenby, a famous L.A. sex therapist with a successful radio show and a
series of best-selling books, is on her way to Chicago to make a presentation to
a television syndication group. Her boyfriend and manager David Kincaid is unable
to accompany her due to other business commitments in Los Angeles. When Joan's
flight is cancelled due to bad weather, however, she returns to her office to
find David making love with Joan's own young assistant. Instead of confronting
him, she leaves and takes an early morning flight to Chicago. When she returns
to L.A., she greets David at the airport as if nothing happened. They remind
each other of a Committee fundraiser they're supposed to attend that evening
at the Music Center. She has an idea. Why don't they meet at a cocktail lounge
instead and have a little fun for a change. Too much business can ruin a
Joan goes home and makes herself up to look like a sultry prostitute, all
dressed in black with wig and garter belt. Satisfied with her costume,
she then goes alone to the Music Center in her regular attire. After
running into several associates and thereby cementing her alibi, she
ducks into the bathroom and changes into her prostitute garb, which she's
taped in a bundle under the sink. She leaves her other clothes in the
same hiding place and makes her way out of the reception hall. She runs
into the same associates who fail to recognize her in her disguise.
Joan arrives at the cocktail lounge in her prostitute garb and takes
a seat at a table. When David arrives, he notices her immediately but
it takes a moment before he realizes that she's actually Joan. He
goes to her table and she suggests a little role playing to spice
things up. She has David pay her to take her home with him. She
then takes him back to the office. David signs in at the front desk,
but the guard doesn't recognize the woman in black as being Joan.
They go up to the office suite and Joan leads David to bedroom-therapy
room -- the same place where she saw him in the arms of her assistant.
She begins to seduce him and then slowly pulls a gun from her purse.
She shoots David. Then makes it look like there was a
struggle. She breaks a cigarette in half. Lights it. Puts it out in
an ashtray. Then she takes a vial of blood and splatters some on
the carpet. She then puts the book of matches from the lounge into
Joan returns to the Music Center, still dressed as the prostitute.
A male admirer follows her to the bathroom. She changes back into
the old Joan and re-enters the reception while the admirer waits
in vain for her alter ego to emerge from the bathroom. Joan re-joins
her associates and everything's hunky dory.
The next morning, Joan arrives at the office. She shares the
elevator with Columbo who's smoking a cigar, much to her chagrin.
He sees the No-Smoking sign and puts the cigar out in his coffee.
Columbo happens to notice a tag at the bottom of Joan's coat. When
they get to Joan's floor, she sees David's body being carted off
and almost faints in Columbo's arms. When Columbo realizes who she
is, he apologizes for the cigar. She asks him if she can see where
the murder took place. Columbo leads her to the bedroom area and
explains that it looks like he was murdered by a beautiful woman
who was being forced to do things she didn't want to do. Joan is
surprised there was another woman. Columbo explains that the night
guard told him about the woman. Columbo asks about the bedroom.
It's pretty unusual for an office to have something like this.
Joan explains that as sex therapists, it's important to have an
environment conducive to, well, sex. Columbo can't believe that
couples actually do it under the supervision of a therapist.
Columbo then shows Joan David's effects, which include, among
other things, the match book. He shows her the cigarette butt
in the ashtray. What puzzles him, however, is that David didn't
have any keys on his person. How did he let himself in to the offices?
Joan admits it's strange. Perhaps the woman, in a moment of panic,
took his keys so she could make a getaway in his car. Maybe, Columbo
says. Of course, if she didn't take the keys, that would mean that
she was the one who let them in to the office. And if that was true,
Joan would know who this woman was. Joan says it's all a bit much for
her at her the moment and excuses herself. A short while later,
Columbo goes to Joan's office and asks her about her relationship
with David. She says they had great sex together. She explains that
David was her lover as well as her business partner. Then she asks
Columbo how his own sex life is. He's very embarrassed. After all,
he's a married man.
Columbo goes to the Music Center to check on David's whereabouts the
night of the murder. Meanwhile, Joan has returned there herself to
get her prostitute outfit from the bathroom. She stashes it in her
briefcase and bumps into Columbo as she's leaving. Columbo asks her
about the briefcase. How much did she pay for it, etc... Columbo
then says that David had the fund raiser marked on his calendar,
but the Committee Chairperson Helen Hendrix just told him that
David wasn't there. Joan
says that David hated those kinds of events and decided not to go.
Columbo wonders where David met the mysterious woman in black with
the black hat then. Helen overhears Columbo and says that an
attractive woman fitting that description did in fact attend the
Columbo then goes to the lounge and asks the bartender about David.
The bartender remembers him. Columbo shows him the matches found in
David's pocket and the bartender says he actually gave those matches
to a woman in black after he lit her smoke. He tells Columbo how the
woman purposely solicited David and took his money before they left
the bar together. Definitely a professional girl.
Columbo goes to visit Joan, who's just about to dispose of her woman
in black garb by dumping it in the fireplace. She stashes it back in
her briefcase. Columbo comes in and notices the briefcase, which is
sitting very close to the fire. He grabs it. Be a shame to burn it.
He then tells Joan that he has more info about the murder. The woman
in black, it seems, is a professional -- a prostitute. Columbo thinks
that the woman knew David because she ignored the other men who paid
her attention prior to David's arrival. It's also odd that the woman
was seen at the Music Center yet arrived at the bar at around the time
the concert started. Why would she go to the Music Center and not attend
the concert? Very puzzling. Columbo leaves but still has the briefcase
in hand. Joan stops him and takes back her briefcase. Oh, one more thing.
The police found David's keys. The valet at the lounge had them.
That means the woman never took them from the office because they
were never in the office. How did they get in the office then without
his keys? That's a problem. Also, Columbo found out that Joan returned
to her office the night after her flight was delayed. It was in the
log books. Why did she go back to the office? She says she wanted to
get a paper a colleague asked her to read. Columbo asks why she took
two separate cabs if she knew she was just going to be a minute in
the office. Why didn't she just ask the cab to wait? She says she
did but he didn't wait. Did she pay him? Yes, she paid him. That's
how he agreed to stay in the first place.
Next day, Columbo goes to Joan's office. He notices she no longer
has the tag dangling from the bottom of her coat. He tells her the
police found the gun. The shopkeeper where it was bought said the
woman who bought it was very nervous. That's strange. The night
guard at the office building described the woman as being shy.
The bartender described her as being bold and confident. Doesn't
add up -- all these different personalities. The other thing that's
puzzling is that the lab boys found the DNA from the saliva on
the cigarette was a different type than the blood on the carpet.
And the hair samples found on David's body were yet a third type.
Could there have been three different women? Impossible. The
security guard only saw one woman and there were no other women
in the building at that hour of the
night. It all points back to the woman in black. As Columbo leaves,
one of the other doctors shows him a hair ribbon worn by Joan's
assistant which was found in the bedroom-therapy room. The doctor
suspects that David and the assistant were having an affair.
Meanwhile, one of Columbo's men arrives. He says they found a
witness who might help.
Columbo goes back to the Music Center. The witness in question
is none other than the lady in black's admirer who followed her
to the bathroom. He tells Columbo that she never came out of the
bathroom. He even asked an attendant to go in there and check but
nobody was there. Columbo goes into the ladies room and looks
around. He crawls under the sink and finds the spot where Joan
hid her clothes. Columbo then races back to Joan's office and
rummages through the trash. He finds the small label that he
noticed dangling from her coat in the elevator the day of the murder.
Joan returns to her home to find the man we've come to know as the
lady in black's admirer. Columbo brought him there. Joan is surprised
but maintains her cool. The man tells Joan how he followed the lady
in black to the bathroom but she never came back out. Just vanished.
Columbo says maybe she doesn't really exist and they're looking at
the case all wrong.
Joan dresses up once again as the lady in black and goes to several
hot bars and night spots, making sure not only that people
recognize and remember her, but also tipping the bartenders and
telling them to call Columbo and give him various messages. Later,
after Joan has burned her woman in black outfit in the fireplace,
she gets a call from Sargeant Burke of the police. Columbo has
found the woman in black in one of Joan's files.
Joan rushes to her office to find Columbo still there. He asks her
why she came there. She tells him what Sargeant Burke had said and
Columbo says Burke make a mistake. He was supposed to say it was
"as if' the woman in black was in one of Joan's files. Joan doesn't
understand. Columbo leads her to the bedroom-therapy room. He tells
her he's been getting messages from the woman in black. The last one
said that she was leaving town, but Columbo doesn't think she left
town. He points out the ashtray. The problem is that there isn't
enough ash in the ashtray to account for the amount the cigarette
was smoked. Columbo thinks the murderer was setting up a scene. He
tells Joan that he suspects the woman in black to show up soon. As
Joan is about to leave, she sees someone for a flash dressed just
like the woman in black. She's startled but doesn't say anything to
Columbo. Columbo tells her to come back into the bedroom-therapy room.
There is a mannequin set up in there with the same outfit and hat
that Joan had used. You see, Columbo found that tag from her coat.
It was bought at a Chicago department store. He also found out she cashed
a check for fifteen hundred dollars at her hotel. People who don't want a
record pay in cash. Turns out the saleswoman who sold her the wig recognized
her photo from a book jacket. Columbo re-hashes the details of the crime
and Joan confesses.
Return To Season 8