Monk - Season 3 Notes

"Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan"  first aired June 18, 2004

From the finale last season, the evil Dale Biderbeck has sent them off to New York City with the name of the man who actually killed Trudy.  But damned if Monk isn't witness to the assassination of the Latvian ambassador before he can get checked in to his hotel.  On top of which, the guy they've flown 3000 miles to see is co-operating with a major federal prosecution, but dying and has only days to live.  Thus the feds won't let anybody near him, as they are busy deposing him in his dying hours.  Monk has to solve the high profile case of the ambassador to get the juice to force the feds to give them a few minutes to talk to the guy who killed Trudy.

I have to say that the actual crime at the center of this was pretty lame and contrived.  Wasn't there maybe some other way to get his coat back besides suddenly committing a triple murder in the lobby of a five star hotel?  Couldn't he have just said, excuse me sir, we got the wrong coats.  And how exactly did that work at the hotel?  Did he kill the ambassador, then wrestle the coat off of him and wrestle the other one back on in front of all those people?  Or did he get the ambassador to change coats and THEN shoot him?  So what if the ambassador noticed that the guy had a necklace in his coat.  What difference could that possibly make to even think that you needed to commit mass murder in front of dozens of witnesses?  Just not a very credible story line.

Of course, Monk's going to have at least a modest breakdown under the stress of being in New York City - though they keep it fairly mild in that he's really trying hard not to indulge, so he can stay focused on Trudy.  I don't see how he functions in San Francisco.  He'd be better off in a small town.  But he's certainly not going to respond well at all to the noise and dirt and mostly just the pure chaos of Manhattan.  He wanders off for a few hours and shows up on Times Square, playing tambourine behind a street preacher and denouncing the sinners.  As the gang approaches, from his soapbox he rebukes Sharona loudly, repeatedly and publicly, "FORNICATOR!"  This outburst is simply disregarded.  Hey, Sharona was worse than that a few times in the day, if Monk only knew - which he doesn't seem to.  Sharona's worst professional history was only, to my memory, referred to once by implication from the evil and all knowing Dale the Whale, who was just letting her know that he knew her darkest secret.

For all that, in the practice they get really only one piece of information from the murderer about his contract.  He doesn't know the name of the man who hired him, but he's got six fingers.  Of course, that would be a pretty strong identifying factor if you find him.  Left alone, the murderer asks Monk for forgiveness.  "Forgiveness?" Monk ask incredulously, and pauses.  "Here's me turning off your morphine."  Monk does so.  Hold for most of a minute.  About the time the guy is starting to panic, "and this is Trudy - the woman you murdered  - turning it back on."  He does so and walks away.  Beautifully played, though after all this it seems like the writers should have gotten more than two minutes out of their one shot with the man who actually killed Trudy.


"Mr. Monk and the Panic Room"  first aired June 25, 2004

This becomes something of a feature episode for Sharona.  The character tends to run a little thin with me after awhile, but this was one of her best showcases.  The whole thing about breaking out the monkey shows her in her best and strongest element, with a defiantly criminal act of compassion. 

Also though, she mentions in passing an argument against the killer monkey theory that seemed to get no traction, but should have pretty well disqualifed the theory.  The record producer was shot FOUR times.  Four shots, four hits - and no misses.  Perhaps by a wild chance, the monkey could have fired A shot that luckily or accidentally hit the guy.  But there's no way in blue blazes that the friggin' monkey shot the guy FOUR TIMES. 

Stottlemeyer has one of his funniest scenes ever interrogating the chimp.  He's determined to provoke the monkey into trying to fire the "unloaded" gun at him to prove the plausibility of the "killer monkey" theory which he was not at all pleased to be stuck with making publicly.  This generates some beautiful physical comedy.  There's a release of exasperation in this, though he can't think that the chimp's going to get his mockery with the Shriner's hat and such.

The real star of the show here was, of course, the chimp.  Special recognition must be noted for the very talented Mowgli, the simian actor who played the part of Darwin the Chimp.  He did excellent work with some fairly involved action scenes.  Plus, he was good with the faces and emotional type cues, right down to that priceless last thankful goodbye to Monk in the epilogue.


"Mr. Monk and the Blackout"  first aired July 9, 2004

The main centerpiece scene qualifies as officially Adrian Monk's first date since Trudy died eight years earlier.  Dr. Kroger fairly insisted on Monk calling this hot woman who had expressed interest.  "What's the worst that could happen?" if you call this woman Dr. Kroger asks.  "I might not hate it."  You have to give him points for bravery and effort - just in making the opening phone call, with the piles of note cards.  Sharona was re-assuring to him on his trepidations.  "Petrified and full of regret?  Welcome to the world of dating."

The date might have been the most excruciating scene to watch of the whole series.  Really, Monk is trying hard, and you have to give the girl a lot of credit for making the 52 story climb to the restaurant.  But then the perp blows out the power again, leaving them stranded in the elevator his date now insists on.  You can understand how disgusted she would have to be by the end of that. 

But still, it's alright in the end.  Monk shows again the brilliance that attracted her in the first place, and catches her murdering fugitive co-worker.  That and a dozen uneven roses might soften up a girl's heart.  "If I didn't have cooties, I'd kiss you right now."


"Mr. Monk Gets Fired"  first aired July 16, 2004

First of all, this episode reminds me of and encapsulates all the hatred I have for Glenne Headly as Capt Stottlemeyer's wife Karen.  Every moment of every scene she was ever in was all 100'% about her and her "art."  She couldn't give her husband a few minutes for a private conference with his people, or just to frigging think as the wheels are coming off and he seems to be holding onto his job by a thread. 

The real meat of this was the insanely abusive police commissioner up everyone's ass.  He's not just banning Monk from working for SFPD, but taking away his detectives license entirely for the personal spite of punishing Monk for testifying against a crooked partner of his from back in the day. 

The probability distribution for the eventual solution of the case via the hairpiece would be astronomically small as to equal basically impossible.  However, the payoff with Sharona ripping the hairpiece off for Karen Stottlemeyer's camera is delicious enough to make me willing to forget the dramatic problems that get us to this one minute of perfect humiliation of the bully.  "74%, that's good enough for me."  God bless Sharona.


"Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather"  first aired July 23, 2004

For starters, I SO wanted to go upside Sharona's head here.  I mean, were we supposed to feel ANY sympathy whatsoever for her heartbreak over being a little bit lied to by the guy?  For crying in a bucket, she absolutely  knew that not-so Fat Tony was mob the moment she met him.  Then he's giving her some BS story about how he's going to quit working for his uncle and open a bookstore. So what, you're drawn to him because and knowing that he's a thug, but then you expect him to not really be a thug?  What, the bastard's telling her what she wants to hear so he can get some?  Shut up already, damn.

The poignant driving dynamic here was the theme of Monk wanting his badge back, to the extent of letting a no-count federale talk him into going undercover with the mob wearing a frickin' wire.  That's real personal danger.  Then of course once they were done with him, they did nothing to help him with his badge.  The epilogue with Monk's claimed comeuppance was really poignant quiet drama.

The explanation of the barbershop massacre was real precise.  You could see how that storyline played exactly, and chaotically.  Sort of a lucky fluke for this wussy mint guy to be able to take out five mobsters.  But then, "lucky" wouldn't be quite the right term.  He'd have probably been luckier to just have been taken out by the guy in the barber chair.


"Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf"  first aired July 30, 2004

This was the last major Sharona episode before her unscheduled midseason departure after three more episodes.  In her last showcase, ol girl's going all crazy.  She keeps seeing this "screwdriver man" with a knife in his chest and a screwdriver in his ear muttering about her dead Dad. 

They got some really good comedy out of the replacement nurse from Sharona's writing class that she got to take her place when she was falling apart crazy. Varla Davis was beautiful.  Monk naturally considered this sassy and curvy black girl a terror unto him, but actually I think she had the right idea when she told him in their first five minutes of acquaintance that Sharona babied him way too much, and that was going to stop.  Carry your own damned wipes. Perhaps Nurse Sharona insisting on treating him like an adult more would help. Also, Miss Varla keeps professional hours.  "At 5:30, I'm off the clock.  I don't care if you all are still looking for Waldo.  I'm out of here."

Also, you have to give Varla credit for some thought and insight.  It was Miss Varla turned Monk around when he was starting to doubt Sharona.  As an experienced nurse, she knew that normal mentally healthy people don't just all of a sudden start having freaked out psychotic hallucinations out of the blue.  Plus, it was Miss Varla who came up with the evidence they needed.

The crazy angle and the multiple appearances of Screwdriver Man were kind of a long, cheesy and questionable way of accomplishing a point.  On the other hand, they do have something of a literary approach that would be perfect for what a local creative writing teacher would think was a brilliant and foolproof plan.


"Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" first aired August 2, 2004

One of the funny things with Monk is that at least for a few days at a time, Monk could really dig just having a mundane job.  Without the grinding social anguish in the "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office" this just comes off as an altogether more pleasurable side trip. This episode is basically a setup to put Monk undercover working at a doppleganger Wal-Mart type department store.  He could just jack off all day tidying and straightening shelves, organizing filing cabinets and all kinds of little mundane crap.  Why, he'd be a good candidate for Employee of the Month himself.

So someone killed the Employee of the Month so that THEY could get that title.  Really?  I mean, you'd murder someone to get the plaque, the parking space and $50 worth of coupons or some such?  That's a pretty funny absurdity premise.  They did a pretty good job here of eventually coming up with an at least minimally plausible explanation of why she wanted that recognition that bad. 


"Mr. Monk and the Game Show"  first aired August 13, 2004

This was a very good episode, particularly the climactic game show taping. Monk goes to stay with Trudy's parents, and solve a crime for his father in law, who is a television producer.  They're very nice and understanding with Monk, and happy to see him.  The situation is used mostly to let Monk linger musing in Trudy's childhood home, and reading her childhood diary.  The main notable point with the parents is in the flashback scenes of Trudy introducing them to Adrian (dig Mom's 70s fashions) and how carefully accepting they were with him from the start.  

But on top of good Trudy musings, the climactic game show taping was a particularly sharp scene.  Monk brings down the big time game show host as a contestant on air.  Monk is over a hundred kinds of phobic, but not really afraid of public speaking.  In particular, when he knows he's armed with the truth, Monk pretty much is and feels invincible.  I bet Alex Trebek has cold sweatin' mother loving NIGHTMARES about this episode and Monk showing up on his set. He'd wish it was just Sean Connery cracking jokes about his mother.

young Trudy Ellison, Trudy Monk as a toddler along with Ginger

Then there's the epilogue with Adrian in Trudy's old room reading a childhood diary, and her sorrow over her dog getting killed.  But then a couple of weeks later she writes.  "I still think about Ginger sometimes, but now I just remember the good times.  I guess Daddy was right: God wants people to be happy.  Nobody can stay sad forever."



"Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine"  first aired August 20, 2004

This episode stems from a basic and obvious but very effective premise:  Under particularly bad circumstances, Monk's shrink convinces him to take psych meds.  What would Monk be like without all the heavy suffering and painfully limiting neuroses?  There's a little bit of obvious surface comedy, such as the astounded looks when "The Monk" as he refers to himself in this medicated personae casually picks up Stottlemeyer's half-eaten sandwich and starts munching away. 

But largely the writers really did use the occasion to look seriously at the character underneath the suffering.  We feel his pain so much in the series that it tends to cover over some fairly unappealing character traits.  Without the cover of his suffering, The Monk is pretty much of a jerk that no one would want to be around.  Without the cover of sympathy for his suffering, his childish narcissism and self-absorption are distinctly unappetizing.  Of course, one side effect, as it were, of the medication is a demonstration of the series premise that his genius as a detective is directly tied to his obsessive neuroses, and without it he's no good as a detective.  So that's a big reason why he would throw away the meds and revert to normal.  But more really than that, everyone around him favors this reversion because The Monk is insufferable and just not someone you'd want to be around.

But watch closely, and you'll see that none of that was really why he reverted back.  It's a frequent point that people who are hanging on to various kinds of mental or social suffering do so because they are getting some kind of benefits from doing so.  One big one for normal "crazy" Monk is that he can conjure up comforting visions and conversations with his Trudy.  That's a fairly significant point.  There's no attached dialogue, but at one point late in the episode he's smelling at her pillow, his regular cue to call her up - and he gets nothing while he's medicated.  No more medication for The Monk.

This would have to rate as one of the top episodes of the series as one of the very best examinations of the Monk character.  This was also the last regular series appearance of the Sharona character.  The actress left the series abruptly in midseason, so there's no farewell scene or anything - though it makes sense as explained in the next episode that there wouldn't be.  However, it happens that this last appearance does co-incidentally come back to the nearly forgotten original premise that she was nominally his nurse.  Her last seconds in the show were spent throwing away his meds.

Adrian Monk sniffing Trudy's picture to conjure her up



"Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" first aired January 21, 2005

The creators of the show were thrown a curve ball when Bitty Schram suddenly left the show in some dumb midseason contract dispute.  This was doubtless a little scary to the creators, as it pulled the rug out from under the original chemistry of the series.  In retrospect though, it was a big blessing in disguise.  Partly, it was good that now several years in, Monk has progressed enough that he was better served by someone who was a partner rather than a nurse.  More importantly though, the new partner Natalie Teager was a much more interesting, unique and thoughtful character.  No disrespect to the fine comic broad Sharona, but Monk very distinctly traded up when he got Natalie.

In the actual show as in the production, Monk basically stumbled across Natalie.  Natalie did not come to him as a job applicant.  Traylor Howard, the actress who played Natalie had not previously followed the show, and was apparently not especially excited when her agent sent her to test for the part - but, hey, it's work.  Like the actress, Natalie Teager was not overly eager to work for Monk.  Having a small dose of him early on was enough for her to absolutely not want to work for him.  She definitely knew what she was getting into when she agreed to work for him at the end of the episode.  I particularly appreciate 1) that they gave her a very specific reason for changing her mind, and 2) the perfectly easily emotionally comprehensible but novel exotic or esoteric flavor of that exact situation that convinces her. 

By the way, the underlying crime of the episode was excellent.  It was somewhat exotic with the moon rock thing.  Yet it was at least broadly more or less within the realm of halfway plausible.  It's not straining the brain too much to suspend disbelief here, as in some of the episodes with the more creative premises.  In some of them, more creative and exotic tended to be less believable.  This premise wasn't too hard to swallow.

The writers deserve special credit for the first scene.  In the cold pre-credits opening, we start with an intruder breaking into a home at night with a sleeping mother and teenage daughter.  Before we know anything else about her, the first thing she has to do is fight back and kill an intruder before the opening credits of her first show.  That scene and her responses to the obviously distressing continuing danger in her home work quite effectively in establishing the character in her first episode.

Losing Sharona may have thrown them a creative curve ball, but they smacked it out of the park.  The introduction of the Natalie character here, and her first regular appearance as Monk's employee in the next episode are among the best of the series.


"Mr. Monk vs. The Cobra"  first aired January 28, 2005

This might be one of the top 10 best episodes of the series on just about every level.  The criminal motivation was maybe slightly questionable.  A thief commits pre-meditated murder to affect the exhumation of a body?  But the setup of that made sense, and a fortune in jewels is pretty strong motivation. 

That premise sets up pure beauty in drama and comedy and just brilliant memorable freakishness.  They start with an impossible crime:  A doppleganger Bruce Lee type character comes back from being dead and buried for six years and murders an author who has just written an expose book against him.  There's absolutely incontrovertible DNA evidence.  This is totally creepy and cool.  They get lots of mileage out of playing with the Bruce Lee mythology, and with fans of such things - starting with of course Lt. Disher.

Some of the very best comedy of the entire series comes in the sequence where Monk and Natalie go to the temple where The Cobra trained and eventually died.  Monk's testing of the monks over the shoe thing has a priceless payoff with the silent monk.  And that's before we get to finally meet the master, who trained and eventually held The Cobra on his deathbed.  There's actually some good drama in the first part of that, as the master's spiritual sensitivity hones in on the still unseen Monk.  "A great sorrow has just entered the room."  Monk raises his hand in recognition.  "That'd be me."  He'll answer their questions, but Master Z's main priority is sussing out this great troubled spirit he finds before him.

But after that just little bit of ponderous insight, it turns sharply comedic as Monk and the monk bond.  Watching the master come down from his philosophical high horse to comment on the Natalie and Monk labor dispute was just beautiful - as was Natalie's response.

This is just brilliant to here, but there's a big payoff at the end with Monk buried alive.  This would be one of the ultimate nightmares for nearly anyone - let alone a severe clinically multi-phobic character like Monk.  So he has a beautiful dream with his Trudy instead, in what she gently explains to him is a "psychotic break" used as a defense mechanism.  Thus, Monk is completely aware of the actual situation, but having a gentle and untold bliss of being with Trudy.  As he's starting to run short of air, he's gently gasping his "here's what happened" to Trudy.  This whole scene is just a thing of pure beauty.

Adrian and Trudy Monk in 'Mr. Monk vs the Cobra'



"Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever"  first aired February 4, 2005

On the one hand, Monk had to deal with a lot of nature while he's holed up in the woods in an FBI witness protection cabin.  On the other hand, he got to drink his precious Sierra Springs water - right from the actual spring.  For free!!!

The woman killing her husband mostly seemed a little more clever and careful than average.  Electrocute him and then put him out on the boat in a storm and make it lightning.  But she did know that she was next door to the "FBI cabin."  Does seem kinda extra stupid to be killing your husband when you know the FBI is staying right next door. 

Disher getting tricked was halfway to clever, and not entirely 100% asinine on Disher's part.  Hot hooker aside, you can see how someway could get spooked with the fortune cookies. 

They pay all this off nicely while the good guys are all under heavy fire from Asian gangsters, whilst Monk and Disher are having simultaneous "here's what happened" segments.  That was pretty sweet.

Also, there was (still new to the Monk scene) Natalie's issue here about Monk's bad karma, because murders just keep blossoming all around him.  "I can't take you anywhere!"  But she eventually figures out to completely re-frame the observation more appropriately.  Monk is really very GOOD karma, because he manages to get drawn into these bad situations and set them right.  Very nice thought.


"Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic" first aired February 11, 2005

First off, if I saw an "alameda whipsnake" in the woods, I would kill it just to make sure it doesn't bite me.  But since I've already killed him, if he looked tasty I might just eat him.  Thus you can understand how I was sympathetic to the construction contractor Galardi killing the head of the Environmental Guerilla Group.  By the time he's improvising the murder of a paramedic, you have to give up on him.  But Steven and his EGG were misusing the law to totally abuse the rights of the property owner, shutting down hundreds of millions of dollars in business, and the livelihoods of hundreds of people making all that happen - starting with construction workers.  I'm just saying that the only good environmental guerilla is a dead environmental guerilla.

The show benefited from a fairly tight focus on the ongoing crime scene, and Galardi sneaking back around the "crash" site trying to retrieve his stupidly misplaced cell phone that he mistakenly placed on the poor "victim."  I love all the side plots and sidetracks in the series, but it worked well how tightly they kept focused on this basically closed scene.  They closed the scene tighter by the device of giving them no phone service in the mountain, thus blocking Monk from the obvious move of playing Stottlemeyer to get the local cop's co-operation.  No outside help. 

The highly entertaining lady truck driver and the personal injury attorney provided extra groovy comic relief, with probably not much more than five or six minutes between them. Beyond that, the only significant detour was the still emerging Natalie and Monk dynamic.  This starts with him being all concerned at the accident with his broken ink pen, and not even thinking to ask about her seriously injured wrist.  It was thus appreciated by Natalie and reviewers alike when Monk in the crisis willed himself to put aside not just his phobias but his legitimate fears to climb halfway out the window of a speeding cop car with a gun to affect her rescue and show that being there to rescue your partner was indeed a "two way street."

Once he'd made the hard point of that and they're cleaning up, he's emphasizing the point by cleaning Natalie's face.  Observe closely how she's looking at him in that minute or so. My hero!  I'm just saying Monk could have rightly got some there, if he'd known what to do with it.


"Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" first aired February 18, 2005

Again like the traffic episode just previous, this episode benefited by an especially tight focus.  Rich casino owner very cleverly murdered his wife in an elevator, with a buttload of paparazzi watching him panicking from outside the elevator as she screamed while she was being choked by her scarf caught in the door.  What a terrible accident.

A couple of days later, a very drunk bachelor partying Stottlemeyer calls Monk to come to Vegas, cause the guy murdered his wife and he can prove it.  Except that by the time Monk gets there in the morning and he wakes up sober, Stottlemeyer can't remember his grand evidence.  They spend the show trying to find it.

The only major sidetrack is the dramatic dangers of gambling theme.  Natalie had bad experiences with gambling addiction.  Right now, Disher of course has a book with a fool proof plan, and he's lost his life savings, his rent and the down payment on his mother's condo.  Monk can perfectly well win Disher's $35K back, but what a dangerous thing for the most compulsive person alive to play with.  He promised Natalie he'd walk away when he got Disher clear, but in the practice kinda got dragged away under ambiguous circumstances. 

Those circumstances were particularly nice drama, as Monk played several high stakes games of blackjack simultaneously as he explained to the owner of the casino exactly how he'd killed his wife.  Then the owner/murderer had him thrown out for counting cards.  "I'm not counting them.  I'm remembering them."  That's from watching them shuffle 10 decks together.


"Mr. Monk and the Election"  first aired February 25, 2005

Someone is trying to murder Natalie because she's running for school board.  Really?  They came up with a fairly farfetched, but very well thought out explanation for the sniper's action. The crime story part of this was action packed and well twisted.

Mostly though, this is memorable as a Natalie character defining show.  She won't back down even under threat of death.  She's got it in her mind as an issue of setting an example for her daughter.  Her explanation to Monk for why is a major defining moment for the Teager character.

Quietly and privately with the door closed, Natalie explains what she knew of the exact circumstances surrounding her soldier husband's death in Kosovo in 1998.  It's a frequently referenced basic point in the series that her Navy pilot husband was killed in Kosovo.  But this is the only time in the series where she discusses the what turn out to be less than heroic details of his ending.  Once you hear her explanation here, it will color every other reference to her widowhood in the series.


"Mr. Monk and the Kid" first aired March 4, 2005

This might be the single most emotionally touching episode of the series.  A 22 month old foster care child finds a severed finger in the park, and little Tommy goes to stay temporarily with Monk.  The boy had immediately flocked to Monk, calling his name dozens of times. Monk. Monk.  It was entirely charming to see him immediately picking up on Monk's thing. "Nature dirty."

Immediately, Monk responded to this unreservedly.  The perfect pure love of a child.  What could Monk want more, really?  He's holding hands with the boy, without any of that wipe nonsense.  Human touching usually is very difficult for Monk, but not here.  Well, only when he had that first experience of changing a diaper and has to call 911.  The simple scenes of Monk and Tommy playing were beautifully sad in the intensity of Monk's need being given outlet, and knowing that it couldn't last.

Mr. Monk wants to adopt Tommy and keep him forever, against strong advice from Dr. Kroger and Natalie.  It's a powerful dramatic moment when he's talking to the mother of the kidnapped violinist, and he says that yes he has a son, and the follow up questions. 

This has one of the couple of best "here's what happened" segments in the series, though he doesn't use the phrase.  He was starting to read Tommy a bedtime story when he figured out what happened.  After calling Stottlemeyer, Monk is explaining it to Tommy as a story from the storybook with a wicked, greedy king and queen and a brave prince named Tommy.  Thus also the story is told in partially animated story book images.  Creative and beautiful. 

The story ends with Monk explaining to the sleeping prince that he could never live happily ever after if he stayed with Mr. Monk who could barely take care of himself, so they were going to have to say goodbye.  Tommy cheerfully gave Monk many goodbye kisses and left happily with the very nice young couple.  The final shot of the epilogue as Monk watches them drive away tears me up more even than Trudy being blown up. 

In the context of the tv show production, this was the proper conclusion.  Monk got to show his love for the boy by doing right by him.  Simply and more importantly, letting the boy go brings the show back to equilibrium. They couldn't have kept the boy and the show.  Wouldn't have worked. 

But ignoring that frame and considering Adrian Monk as a real person, he absolutely should have kept the boy.  Dr. Kroger and Natalie were completely, 100% wrong.  The boy would have been fine with Monk.  He might pick up a few little ticks from Monk about being a clean freak and such, but he wouldn't be subject to any of the stuff that really had Monk screwed up.  Adrian Monk would certainly not abandon him like his father did, and so on.

Moreoever, Monk himself would have become far less brooding and neurotic - which would be the big reason it wouldn't have worked for the tv show.  Even without an obvious intention from the writers of making a big point, note how much less squirrelly Monk is around the boy.  The child naturally draws him out of himself, and his bad history.  It's a second chance at life, which is a classic basic point about having children.  He would have had far less time or inclination to obsess over the long dead Trudy with a live and demanding little boy to take care of. 





DENOUEMENT  This is the climax of the series.  You shouldn't look at this page until you've seen it.











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