The season uses some new elements in the episodes that break up the usual formula a bit, but in contrast to some earlier episodes, it usually works in favor of the episode.
The first episode has multiple visualized dream sequences where Columbo and the killer are shown as static background elements (in a blue tint, like everything shown in the dream) until the end of the sequence, as they are listening to the dreams through tape recordings made by the victim of the episode.
The initial investigation in the second episode happens before there is a real victim, as the murder is a hoax at that point, with one desired effect being to dissuade further investigations when the murder turns real near the end of the episode.
The fourth episode involves Mrs. Columbo a lot, though still not directly on screen. A lot of the episode also takes place in flashback. Another thing to note is that the killer in this episode has an existing personal connection to Columbo, because he arrested her husband in the past and she blames him for his subsequent suicide in prison.
The last episode doesn’t show the details of the murder taking place, only parts of it, filling in the blanks at the end of the episode.
Columbo’s dog has an appearance in the first episode, as he takes part in a basset competition, even winning a prize (though it might only be one for participation, this is not clarified). There’s also an unusual scene of the dog biting Columbo (which we later learn in the episode was likely due to jealousy from so many other bassets being present). In the fifth episode, Columbo bluffs the killer into confessing the murder. In the last episode, Columbo is seen eating and drinking his breakfast while driving to the scene of the crime and eating a breakfast egg at the destination.
An enjoyable season overall, with some unusual details used to convict the killer (a cheese piece with bite marks in episode 3 and the location of the tag of the victim’s underwear in the last episode as notable examples)