Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated December 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am,

monk logo Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

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).]

Click here to go to the second page and view the review of “Mr. Monk and the End” (Part 1)

[Spoiler Warning]

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.

monk2 Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

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. icon wink Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

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.

monk3 Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

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?


monk logo Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

This page represents our part 1 of our Monk finale review. Part 2 can be found on the front page.

[Spoiler Warning]

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.

monk jump Monk: Series Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

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.

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  1. If the 11-fingered man planed the bomb …

    … what did the 6-fingered man do?


  2. Lol; the eleven fingered man and the six fingered man are the same guy. He just added all of the fingers together.

    But was the judge really protecting his daughter at the end? I thought over it and figured maybe he just knew everything was over for him and he either had the choice of a life in prison or suicide, so he took the latter. I remember his last words, but even they seemed out of place. I feel like the writers only added them to nudge Monk to the conclusion that Trudy’s daughter was alive. After all, the judge had made no other inclination of caring for his illegitimate daughter.

  3. Best series finale ever! Sure there were a few bumps but unlike other series ends, everything was tied up. I wish they would have brought Sharonna back for the finale. I didn’t get the vibe that she was comfortable to be on the episode show appeared in.

    I was also most impressed by Monk finally changing his clothes at the end of the show. I loved that no one mentioned it. I was also glad to see Alona Tal live on as Trudy’s daughter since her character bit the dust on Supernatural last month. She had the Trudy resemblance perfect don’t to the part in the hair and the little lift at the top.

    Trudy’s tape made me cry. It was so painful to watch Monk as he watched. I was surprised that they didn’t try to make Melora Hardin look younger but it didn’t really matter.

    I thought the judge (awesome Craig T. Nelson) killing himself wasn’t a surprise. It was a good choice. Not just for himself going to jail with a bunch of angry men he’d sent there but also for his daughter.

    I kept waiting for Stotelmyer to have a stroke running full out the way he did and when I saw that the train was going to hit the bad guy I couldn’t believe it!! Last show of the series? They could have easily killed off Monk which would have pissed me off. This caused me to truly not know which way it would go.

    I hope that maybe Tony Shaloub and company will make a movie of the week once in a while, a la Columbo. I’m just not ready to go cold turkey yet.

    Terrific show. Never disappointed. I’ll miss it but I’m glad they went out on top.

  4. i have to say that it was great but one thing was unclear…the guy that killed himself only had 5 fingers on each hand…where is the actual killer? where is the 6 fingered man?

  5. The six-fingered man was killed in the season finale of season 6 (I think it was). Monk was accused of murder, Leland helped him fake his death to track the killer.

    IMDB has a dialog synopsis of Monk’s encounter with 6-fingers.

  6. Monk was one of my favorites! I have some of his series but not all. that’s how I came across this web site. I would like to buy al of the series. since I do not have cable anymore I will have to go somewhere to watch the 2 hour movie! yes the last episode was very touching, but was so happy they found out the truth about Trudys death.

  7. Sucked buckets! Why do the networks get us hooked and then pull the plug?

  8. This was an awful series finale. There were two things the audience wanted resolved. Adrian becoming a detecive again and eventually moving on after Trudy. I would’ve loved of they brought the russian actress back at the beg of this season and her and monk resolve their issues and start a relationship. It was great that Trudys mystery was solved, even though none of the clues throughout the series pointed in any direction of a baby and Craig T. Nelson. It was just a little lackluster in my pov. And I never understood why Randy & Saronna were an item; when. Natalie & Randy appeared to have more potential chemistry. I still love Monk and watch the reruns regularly.

    • J,

      You hit the nail on the head on every issue. I agree with you completely.