Chet Stratton was one of those character actors who seemed to show up everywhere, and in this episode he turns in a fine performance as a sleazy desk clerk, not only listening in to guests' phone conversations but drooling over a copy of Police Beat magazine. Submitted by francis, 7/24/14.
Questioning Margaret Swain, Perry expresses surprise that she would just walk into a house with an open door. How many times have we seen him do just that? DOD 08/19/20
During the final scene of the show, some of Della's dialogue is obviously dubbed over. I wonder why. Did the canary make too much noise as she was speaking her lines, or did Barbara Hale blow the line in some way and they only realized it later and had to do it over? Submitted by scarter 8/17/14
Why does Jimmy take his gun out of the holster when he leaves his apartment, instead of carrying the gun in the holster? He says the gun is in his car. If he keeps the gun in his car, why is it up in his apartment when he gets Ruth's phone call? And why does he leave the holster lying on the table, knowing Ruth is coming over? She sees it and thinks the worst. Another example of the characters acting a certain way to advance the plot, not out of logic. Submitted by scarter 8/17/14
And why would Ruth think Jimmy would be so careless as to shoot her husband and just leave his gun by the body? He strikes me as far too cool a character to do something so foolish. DOD 09/02/2021
Perry hands Hamilton a folder and Hamilton opens it and looks at the contents. Apparently he has lost the X-ray vision he possessed during the season's opening credits. Submitted by scarter 8/17/14
Although some details are goofy, this episode has a plot that is logical and has a satisfying twist. The canary bit is rather forced and serves only to provide some feeble jokes at the end.
The line “Is there a Harry Jonson in the courtroom?” sounds like the setup for a dirty joke, but I do love his necktie! DOD 07/23/18
++ Agreed that the TV script wrap-up was dopier than most, but Lame Canary is an original ESG story. Do any of our originalists know how closely this tracked the novel, and just where the canary came in? JohnK, 24 July 2018
+++The episode retains some of the novel's major plot elements (e.g. the troubled Prescott marriage, the insurance scam, Perry's flim-flam with the luggage). However, it significantly changes some characters (e.g. the episode's scheming secretary Margaret Swaine is a composite of two of the novel's characters, one of whom is Ruth Prescott's self-sacrificing sister, Rita Swaine), and eliminates others (e.g. Walter Prescott's murderer in the novel doesn't even appear in the episode). The lame canary assumes a more pivotal role in the novel, its lameness making Perry aware of an unsuccessful effort by one of the sisters to impersonate the other.
"Oh, and by the way . . ." One additional plot change worth noting: At the end of the novel, Perry and Della embark on an exotic cruise, during which Perry proposes marriage. Della declines. Submitted by BobH, 23 August 2018.
"Lookalikes?" Emerson Treacy, who plays Doctor Fowler in this episode, seems to bear more than a passing physical resemblance to always-reliable character actor Regis Toomey, who appeared in PM episode #s 105 and 249. Submitted by BobH, 25 August 2018.
And with her wide set eyes and high cheek bones, Stacy Graham strongly resembles Joan Crawford. DOD 08/19/20
It turns out that the "accident" at the beginning of the episode turns out as it was planned so why does Prescott run out of his house and tell Jonson "You fool! You bungled it!"? Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/08/13.
He was supposed to kill Frederic Walden in the fake accident and didn't. They had to take him to another location and murder him. Submitted by H. Mason 10/22/14
+ It seems dopey for the two conspirators to (1) murder Walden together, and (2) set it up across the street from Prescott's home. Convenient, though. JohnK, 16 December 2015
++Unfortunately, the same dopey plot element undermines the original novel as well. Submitted by BobH, 25 August 2018.
Though it set up some witty knowing remarks between Tragg, Mason and Street - the latter's (presumably) improvised explanation of the monogram was particularly rich - the whole "mistaken identity" scenario with the trunks made little sense: though Della gave permision, the important thing is that Margaret Swaine did not; and since she was readily available, and there was no emergency to justify opening then immediately, the impromtu search would IMHO certainly be deemed an "unreasonable search".
Submitted by Notcom 100115
+ Lt. Tragg gave Perry a Rare compliment In Court: "That was a good point you scored with Miss Swaine, Perry." Mike Bedard 7/6/16.