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?

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  1. Monk has been a big part of my life for years. I will miss him. Thank goodness for reruns. I have a touch of OCD myself; I found him completely endearing.

    It’s fitting that we find out what happened to Trudy. That the mystery will be revealed by Trudy herself is pure genius.

  2. I thought for sure the box held a sonogram picture or recording.

  3. I am gonna miss Monk when this show is over. I wish they would have held on for two more years and ended on a nice round number. I’m pretty sure Mr. Monk is gonna die in next week’s episode. I have mixed feelings about that. I guess I would have liked to see him freed from his OCD and happy. On the other hand I do think you can only really love once and him dying would reunite him with Trudy.

  4. I am heartbroken. I did not realize it was the final show of the series. I was thinking the final show of the season. I enjoyed this show more than I can say. It wss funny and mysterious at the same time. I will also miss the other characters. They really helped to make this a top
    notch show.

  5. Please don’t let Mr. Monk die. Just let him take a long vacation, or something.

  6. My family and I are going to miss Mr. Monk. He is a part of our weekly routine. This show was a refreshing addidtion to the TV. Just good old fashion detective show–nothing complicated. Just entertaining and engaging with likeable characters. I hope to see the series live on in syndication or the occasional TV movie (much like Columbo). We’ll miss you Adrian Monk:)

  7. I will surely miss Monk. It seems that the networks always take the best shows off the air.

  8. Monk I am truly going to miss your show. TV media has truly changed, and informative, excellent shows are limited. Monk is a great lost to television and for many people an ending to quality and mental relaxation. However, as this road for you end, may the other road/roads taken be a blessing for you and your family. Stay prayer up.

  9. Even thought I didn’t give one iota about this show,I think it’s very impressive that it could get demoted from network television to cable,and actually pull in great ratings.

  10. Man I’m glad I wasn’t the only to think it was something to do with her being pregnant lol.

    Man I’ll miss the show.

    The only thing that disappointed me was the inconsistencies between some episodes and the finale.

    *SPOILERS for those who haven’t seen many Monk Episodes*

    In the episode Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month, the “disgraced” police officer said he was there, IN THE OFFICE, when Monk received the call about Trudy’s death. Well a) he was nowhere to be seen, b) they were at the Doctor’s clinic, and c) Stottlemyer received the call.

    Also in the Class Reunion episode they established Trudy met Monk in college. On the tape she said this happened YEARS before they met… how many years? Was she already in trouble that young if she met Monk at 19 (I assume that was the age, could be wrong).

    Other than those little nitpicks I enjoyed the episode and was ready to throw a brick at the screen when they stopped it at such a crucial moment.

  11. Thank you Jimmy! I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed those things!
    Anthony: I don’t think that Natalie and Lt. Disher will get together. They paired him up with Sharona (wrapping up their past flirtation, I suppose) and her with a Navy man.

  12. I’m gonna miss Monk too. I am a sucker for a happily ever after so wouldn’t it be great if Trudy wasn’t really dead but in the witness protection program.

  13. The first part was pretty good .
    And I REALLY liked the foot chase.

  14. I’m in agreement over who the big bad is …. but that’s always been one of Monk’s best points. The show doesn’t try to dupe its audience just so the writers can feel smarter than the fans. It’s simple entertainment. I liked that they didn’t have baby booties in the box – that would have made it unnecessarily darker than the series has ever been.

    The show has a strong ensemble and they work well together. Ted Levine remains one of the best supporting actors in any series, as far as I’m concerned. He conveys a genuine pride in his friendship with Monk as well as a heartfelt pain for his sufferings (as well as the rest of the gamut of emotions). The foot chase was great and it was obvious that Levine wasn’t in the physical shape to make that run but he clearly gave it his all.

    I’m looking forward to the finale though not the end.

  15. NO SAY IT ISN’T SO! The best TV show since Seinfeld. You will be missed. At least I’ll have the re-runs.

  16. I think the wipes were used to make only sick then Albright poisoned him later

  17. correction I think the wipes were used to make Monk only sick Then later on Albright poisoned him.

  18. insidersteve,
    With everything that will be happening in the final episode ,
    I dont think we have time for two toxins .

  19. I really enjoyed this series and will be sorry to see it end. Glad we’re finally going to find out what happened to Trudy. Here’s hoping the last episode is as exciting as the first half.

  20. A) Yep, pretty obvious Craig T. Nelson — well, “He’s The Guy.” His voice is highly recognizable, and he wasn’t silhouetted all that sneakily. I agree that it’s going to be all about the Why. Can’t wait to hear that one last “Here’s what happened…”
    B) I didn’t think there were “more than enough” hand wipes clues. Brilliant way to off somebody; just the kind of detail we’ve all come to know and love!
    C) My nurse self has the usual TV-vs-reality problems with the poisoning details (gotta find the exact right poison to get the exact right antidote, and in the meantime, we’ll just do absolutely nothing), but I can certainly suspend professional disbelief for our Adrian.
    D) I was expecting (dreading) that there would be some baby-type item in the box too, but I’m so glad it wasn’t. First, Monk has never given us what we EXPECT, and that is why we love it so. And second, we would have been forced to grieve for Adrian all over again for a child we never knew existed. So glad the writers didn’t give in to the temptation of a cheap & easy emotional gut-punch.
    If it all ends with Adrian finally rejoining his beloved Trudy, I’m OK with that. It brings an odd comfort. Farewell, Adrian.

  21. How can you ask about Natalie and Disher? For sdtarters, Natalie isn’t attracted to him. Seceondly, if you haven’t noticed the hints dropped this season (for instance the kiss when he picked her up and the Randy’s mystery vacation to her part of the country) SHARONA is going to end up with Randy.

  22. in a previous episode, the captain wasn’t with Monk when he got news of Trudy’s death. he was in the station laughing with his buddies. other than that i think part one was true to the history of show

  23. I’m glad it wasn’t baby booties. It would have been devastating to Monk to find out after all these years that Trudy wasn’t all he lost

  24. I am truly going to miss Monk. I hope his reruns are going to be shown even though his show is off. I wish I could afford to buy each and every episode. I hope I can soon. Please keep it on even if it is rerun. I really have not been watching that long and I really would hate to lose him when I just found him. Keep me posted.

  25. My husband and I thought the writers did a wonderful job with this finale. Of course, the actors are always in top form. I was laughing and crying with the way it all played out. The final scenes were so touching. I hope everyone watched until the credits.

  26. My kids and I have loved watching Monk together and we will miss the show. But I thought the writers did a great job with the finale. Loved that Disher and Stottlemeyer both ended up happily coupled, that Monk has “someone to love” and the WHY behind the judge killing Trudy was a neat twist. Well done! you will be missed.

  27. Great show, good finale, but sad to see such this show end.

  28. Sad to see it end. Our family has watched the show from its inception. The finale was amazing. I hope they bring him back for TV movies at some point.

  29. Loved the nod to the Pilot at the end of the episode (Monk making sure the stove was off… in case people don’t remember [and I'm bloody shocked that I still do lol since I haven't seen the pilot since I first watched Monk] he was bugging Sharona, while working on the first case we ever saw him work, asking her if she made sure the stove was off… good god I wish I had such a good memory about my homework lol).