Columbo (1971–2003)
21 user 4 critic

Butterfly in Shades of Grey 

L.A. radio moderator Fielding Chase kills Gerry Winters, a member of his staff who tried to help Chase's daughter Victoria (also a staff member) to leave her father and become a novelist in... See full summary »


Dennis Dugan


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
William Shatner ... Fielding Chase
Molly Hagan ... Victoria Chase
Jack Laufer ... Gerald 'Gerry' Winters
Richard Kline ... Louis 'Lou' Cates
Yorgo Constantine ... Station Manager
Mark Lonow ... Theodore 'Ted' Malloy
Beverly Leech ... Deirdre 'DeeDee' Ross
Brian Markinson ... Deirdre's Agent
Robin Clarke Robin Clarke ... Senator Gordon Madison
Christopher Templeton Christopher Templeton ... Marian Burke
John C. Anders John C. Anders ... Officer Davis
Denice Kumagai ... Martha (as Denice Kumagi)
D.V. Caitlyn D.V. Caitlyn ... Second Biker (as Deryl Caitlyn)
Glenn Taranto ... Engineer


L.A. radio moderator Fielding Chase kills Gerry Winters, a member of his staff who tried to help Chase's daughter Victoria (also a staff member) to leave her father and become a novelist in New York. Chase presents a fine alibi: Winters was shot dead while speaking to him on the phone, even the shooting was recorded on his answering machine. Everything seems perfect, but will Lt. Columbo really believe this story? Written by Otto Oberhauser <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 January 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face à face See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After Columbo: Fade in to Murder (1976), this episode marks William Shatner's second appearance as the murderer in an episode of Columbo (1971). See more »


At Chase's home Columbo lays the files down while he is taking the tape out of the answering machine. Without picking them up they are back under his arm as he removes the tape. Meanwhile Chase picks up some files and walks Columo to the door. As Columbo leaves he still has his files. Chase has none. It doesn't appear that Columbo has any more than he did. See more »


Fielding Chase: [Final exchange] You know, Columbo, I think, possibly, I may have -
Fielding Chase:
  • misread you.

Columbo: 'S possible, sir.
See more »

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User Reviews

good Columbo with an obnoxious performance by William Shatner
2 December 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Butterflies in Shades of Grey" is a 1993 Columbo, the 12th season. William Shatner is on hand again, this time as a Rush Limbaugh type radio talk host, Fielding Chase, who is overly protective of his foster daughter Victoria (Molly Hagen). He may also have some unfatherly feelings for her.

A shy young woman who acquiesces to her father's wishes and works for his radio show, a coworker and friend Lou (Richard Kline) shows her novel to a literary agent and urges her to branch out on her own. Chase uses his influence to quash interest from a publisher, though the literary agent still wants her to go to New York and be represented by him.

After a huge showdown with Lou, Chase takes it upon himself to get rid of him - permanently - and turn Molly's attention back to his own needs since they're both so devastated by Lou's death.

The method of murder is clever, but we're not sure how long Columbo is fooled as to the murderer's identity. Something tells me not long.

William Shatner gives one of the worst performances of his career, maybe the worst, and who the heck did his makeup? It's awful and so distracting. Next to the perfection of Falk as Columbo, he manages to come off even worse. I mean, Shatner has always been hammy, but many times, his over-the-top work has paid off. This wasn't one of them.

Despite this, it's an enjoyable episode, sticking to the Columbo formula. And let me tell you, seeing Fielding Chase get his comeuppance was extra pleasurable.

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