As the eight-year run of USA’s hit drama, Monk, begins its final chapter, it becomes easy to forget what this show has accomplished. While many shows have ended, Monk is in a different category all together. The show continues to receive high ratings, critical acclaim and award nominations.
Unlike many shows on the air today, Monk is ending because the creators felt that it had run its course and while many fans (like myself) will be upset that our week will have one less eccentric detective in it, you have to respect their decision to end on top.
With that, let’s get started on the series finale. Split up into two parts, “Mr. Monk and the End” brought closure to the mystery surrounding the death of Adrian’s wife, Trudy. As we saw in the promo, the first part brought with it a slew a guest stars, foot chases and troubles for Mr. Monk. Mix all those things together and we had the makings of a great episode.
[Update: This will cover “Mr. Monk and the End” (Part 2).]
I knew that the creators behind Monk wouldn’t let us down. The second of this two-part episode was so beautifully tragic. The sheer amount of emotions one felt while watching this episode should garner them some kind of special Emmy.
While I enjoyed the first part, I knew that the slow pace of which it took would pay off in this episode and boy did it ever. The show wasted no time throwing the audience back into things and I was hooked immediately. The viewing of Trudy’s tape was so emotional that I had to watch it a couple times because I didn’t completely understand what she was saying. I just heard the words “affair,” “pregnant” and “child” come out of her mouth and I was freaking out.
Until I realized that she was talking about before she and Adrian met, I was crushed. I felt exactly how Monk felt on-screen and couldn’t believe what was going on. After I realized what she actually said, I calmed down a little and tried to explain to my girlfriend that I’m still incredibly manly despite what she just saw.
With the name of Trudy’s killer in his sight, Adrian spent no time chasing after him and I applaud that effort. Too many times things are dragged out, but since this is the last episode ever, I’m glad they jumped right into things and had Monk go after her killer head on.
Despite being close to death, Monk released all the pent up aggression over these past 12 years into guest star Craig T. Nelson. His spontaneous leap of aggression kind of startled me for a little. This wasn’t a side of Monk we’ve seen before, but the entire time I was behind him 100%.
The performance that Tony Shalhoub gave as a close-to-death Monk was simply amazing. I’m not sure how many people caught it, but when Stottlemeyer entered his hospital room with the case folder proving Monk correct, there was a single tear coming from his eye. Just amazing.
Although, quickly the sick find energy as Monk uses all he has to confront the judge and Trudy’s killer. I don’t think that I’ve ever hated Craig T. Nelson before. Maybe in The Skulls, but we all know that’s fake – Monk is real. ;-)
Still, the entire scene with the judge and Monk in the rain where Adrian is forcing him to dig up the dead mid-wife was both amazing and intense. I couldn’t believe what was going on, I was happy that he’s getting some kind of revenge, but I hoped that he wouldn’t die in the process.
The only thing I’d have a complaint with was how the judge was dealt with. I didn’t like the whole suicide angle as if felt like a quick and easy clean-up to what had happened. It was just like they turned the page in the script and he was gone. While his death was powerful, I would have enjoyed a much more lengthy punishment – like life in prison (because Trudy didn’t approve of the death penalty).
What’s amazing is that all this happened and there was more episode left. I love when that happens because we get to see more than just a case solved. It’s like having a second dessert. Being able to see Adrian as a father, with Trudy’s daughter was amazing. He was just as quirky, cute and endearing as I imagined he would be.
As things came to an end we got to see what would happen to everyone. It’s sad to see Disher and Stottlemeyer separated after all these years. They make a great team and an awesome comedic duo – the whole “I love you” bit had me rolling. Still, if he has to go, it’s good to see that he’s keeping it in the Monk family and is with Sharona.
After 8 seasons and 125 episodes, here’s goodbye to Natalie Teeger, Randy Disher and Leland Stottlemeyer (with the greatest mustache of the 21st century). Above all else, here’s goodbye to the greatest former, former, former Detective, Adrian Monk.
As Randy Newman so gracefully sang at the end of the episode, “Yes, I sure am going to miss you when I’m gone.”
So, as I, you… We leave the world of Monk behind, there is one question left to be asked; what did you think of the series finale?
This page represents our part 1 of our Monk finale review. Part 2 can be found on the front page.
Before the episode even started I began to think about how there wouldn’t be a Monk-centric Christmas episode to watch this holiday season, so you can just imagine how happy I was to see it all starting off in the holiday spirit – even if it was set 12 years ago. Seeing Adrian with Trudy and him interacting with things before his nervous breakdown was extremely weird. While you could see little bits and pieces of OCD Monk in there, he was generally just a normal person.
It was interesting to watch Trudy live through her final moments; Still, maybe the whole car explosion was a bit heavy-handed as the episode had just started and I wasn’t really in the mind-set to be overly emotional about what was going on.
I liked how the episodes are more-or-less split up into different sections of the story. While the overall arc is about Trudy, this first part focused on Adrian and his poisoning. I’m not sure if the creators were trying to hide it, but I’m pretty sure that Craig T. Nelson is behind Trudy’s death and subsequently, Adrian’s poisoning. He’s the shadow man, right? I suppose it’s never about the “who”, but the why and I’m sure the why will certainly make up for that.
After watching Monk for so many years, I tend to think that it has made me a bit crazy because I really get overly worked up when things happen to Adrian or when he can’t do something because of his “problem” (I suppose this is why Tony Shalhoub continues to get nominated for this role) and seeing him poisoned didn’t help. Although, I tend the think the whole poisoning bit was extremely simplified and they gave more than enough hints about it being Monk’s hand wipes as the source of the poison.
Still, I have to say that one of the things that stuck out in this episode was the foot chase between Stottlemeyer and the “perp” in the train yard. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone to be caught so bad in my life and for some reason I was so emotionally attached to that actual chase that I literally yelled out “No!” when said bad guy was finally hit by the train. If they gave out an Emmy for most emotional foot chase, Ted Levine (the actor playing Stottlemeyer) would definitely win.
Oh yeah – Can’t forget about Randy’s whole “there’s blood everywhere” over the intercom. Hilarious!
Despite the fact that this episode might be the calm before the storm (even though Adrian is extremely close to death) I’m glad that they didn’t wait to reveal what’s inside Trudy’s gift that we’ve been waiting to peek into all these years. While I’m sure that the tape enclosed will play a major part in solving the mystery, a part of me wished that it was something else…
…like baby booties?
Sure, I didn’t cover everything that happened in this episode, but I didn’t want to bore you with all my ramblings. We all know the best part is the discussion.
Especially the ones where people call me names. Well, maybe those aren’t the best, but I’m biased.
So, what say you? What did you think of the episode? What do you think we’re going to see next week? Are Natalie and Lt. Disher ever going to get together?
The final episode of Monk has aired and our review can be found on the first page.