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?