Monk - Season 5 Notes

"Mr. Monk and the Actor"   first aired  July 7, 2006

So they're making a movie about Monk and this big astronaut case from last year, and we have a famous actor playing Monk.  This works very well in the first two thirds as comedy as he follows Monk around to study him.  We get the foibles of actors, and the conceits of the cops acting out for his benefit, and the actor's imitation of Monk's ticks, etc.  The real Monk's actor-ly version of his patented Zen Sherlock Holmes moves was particularly precious. 

But it ends up making considerably better dramatic pathos than I would have expected from the conceit.  Basically, the actor got in such sympatico with Monk that he had a dangerous mental breakdown, and he's got a gun on someone he's convinced killed Trudy.  Of course, Monk himself is the one who knows what to say to back him down. But then the actor picks out that exact way of blaming himself for Trudy that Monk has fought.  Their final images together, crying on each other over Trudy were really and truly sad. 

But also, they don't neglect their murder of the week.  That second crime, breaking into the pawn shop, that turned in a pretty good solid twist.  It was an obscure motive, but had been set up and made sense.  This poor dumb bastard pretty much stumbled into committing two murders. 


"Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike"  first aired July 14, 2006

On the one hand, the actual crime here was fairly plain vanilla, nothing really exotic in motivation or execution.  This does, however, have the benefit of being fairly believable and not straining the suspension of disbelief.  Plus, it gave a good grounding for most everything else, which was pretty excellent. 

Naturally, the main point of the premise was to create comic distress for Monk.  San Francisco sanitation workers have been on strike for maybe a couple of months, by the look of 6-8 foot piles of reeking garbage everywhere.  For most citizens this is somewhat unpleasant, but of course for Monk it's pure torture.  It's severe enough that he [unique in the series, I think] absolutely makes a totally wrong "here's what happened..."  The realization of this in the drug store was fairly devastating.  Indeed, it brought on one of his worst breakdowns, though it wasn't really dangerous and thus easy to laugh off - but a pretty significant psychic meltdown.  He scammed his way into control of a garbage truck, and started cleaning up the city single handedly - and came up with yet a second and far crazier false "here's what happened" in which guest Alice Cooper killed the guy for his chair.  "Yes, Alice Cooper is a hippie - but he's the BAD kind of hippie."  It was groovy to see my hero put a cap in the union boss' head at point blank range in a fit of jealousy over his precious wingback chair - which ruins the damned chair at that.

Besides that comedy though, Monk really had what in any fairness would have to be considered a MAJOR moral lapse.  Again, it's played off for comedy, but Adrian Monk absolutely lied to say that the death of the union boss was a suicide so that they'd get back to the negotiating table and end the strike.  He was absolutely willing to let a murderer go free simply in order to get his trash picked up quicker.  I don't think even Vic Mackey would condone that - much less a character like Monk who is largely shielded by righteousness.  It took absolute coercion from Natalie to get him to come forward.  This whole thing reflects very badly on Monk, and thus somewhat ups the rating and significance of the episode overall as partly something of a unique Monk character episode.

There were three separate particularly comic gems here, the main payoffs for the episode.  One was Monk's first scene with the mayor suggesting that the city of San Francisco has been irredeemably ruined by the garbage and should now simply be burnt down and razed, and we build the city all new.  This is one of Monk's all time best crazy rants.  Two came and extended from the next scene, where they have the little accident with just absolutely the most evil and inflammatory possible theory being accidentally whispered to every reporter in town from across the room.  Third was the epilogue.  On their first day back, the sanitation workers (properly) feel so grateful and indebted to Monk that without protest they grab brooms off their trucks to sweep up the little handful of confetti that Monk threw at them to celebrate their return.  Watch 'em chase a spare scrap all the way back around the corner in the last seconds.


"Mr. Monk and the Big Game"  first aired July 21, 2006

This episode was somewhat dissatisfying.  The answer to the underlying crime was fairly improbable on several counts, starting with motivation.  Would you really murder your beloved sister over this rather than, say, simply flee?  The brother didn't come in until late, and just wasn't very well set up or developed overall.  He killed a girl on a golf course?  How?  Murder or accident?  This was all considerably less than half baked.

Mostly though, the episode was a setup for Monk to play coach.  I found a lot of this much more annoying than funny.  The basic underpinning of this is that Monk is desperate to have for the first time ever in life a trophy to put on his mantle.  The first time I heard the pathetic little story about how his Mom had a mantle cleared off and waiting in vain for years for him to bring back just any little trophy, it was a little sad.  The second, third and fourth times, I was just ready to go up side his head.  Then there was just all the general sad-sacking.  As Quincy Jones once said of Michael Jackson, there's a statute of limitations on claiming childhood trauma as an excuse.  Jeez, don't be such a pussy.  And really, a little Monk would likely bring in all kinds of little ribbons and trophies from SCHOOL.  That's his strong suit.  He'd be bringing back spelling bee trophies or science fair awards or such, even if not sports junk.

This did, however, have a particularly touching and well-deserved epilogue in which Monk got some actually deserved recognition.


"Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing"  first aired July 28, 2006

Like a good many Monk episodes, they start from a common or cliched premise:  Monk has been blinded by a bucket of nasty cleaning solvent.  Besides the practical problems, of course Monk is in total Eeyore mode.  So sad, he's had the worst fortune in the world, worse than the poor bastard with the dead wife sleeping in a cardboard box on a cold beach, cause even Monk's dead wife story is worse.  Plus, he even wants Natalie to validate that his dead wife story is worse.  There's no such thing as him having good luck, as he whines and whines and whines here and indeed throughout the series.  He might have counted for good fortune, among other things, his high intelligence and unique talents as a detective.  He might also have counted as good luck and wonderful fortune that his whiny ass got to have even just a few years of Trudy.

But for starting from a common premise, the writers naturally get a lot of good twisting out of it.  What really makes the episode memorable is how he comes to embrace that blindness.  "It's the best thing that ever happened to me."  His shrink absolutely refuses to believe that he's actually happy about this, but the shrink was basically wrong.  Not being able to see provided him with very significant relief from a lot of his phobias on the basis of being "out of sight, out of mind."  He could go into a truly nasty alley with rats and dead cats and garbage - knowing they're there - but largely unaffected.  You can see how this would really be a blessing in that way to this character - until he has that totally realistic bit on the construction site where he's in fear of his life standing on a beam 10 inches off the ground.

This episode has one of the very best or most egregious examples of one frequent and endearing type of recurring Monk foolhardiness.  Basically, knowing the truth about a murderer makes him a kind of fearless exactly when he really SHOULD be fearful.  Starting with the pilot, Monk has repeatedly went chasing off after murderers all by himself in the face of real danger, and in situations where he's completely inadequate and vulnerable.  In this case, he hears those squeaky shoes at the construction site and takes his blind self off chasing the guy.  He's far more helpless than usual to actually do anything when he catches up to the guy, but he's found the murderer and he's going to chase him down and arrest him. God bless Adrian Monk.


"Mr. Monk, Private Eye"  first aired August 4, 2006

Overall, this was one of the lesser episodes, but still quite watchable.  The private eye premise was fairly mundane, with Natalie renting an office and taking out ads to make him a real private detective.  That's what he really is the whole series, except that he de facto works almost exclusively consulting for the police, though there are numerous exceptions.  The payoffs here are supposed to be their scenes of sitting around the office bored waiting for non-existent clients, and his humiliation at having to take a cheesy little fender bender case.  Those are pretty much big nothings.

That fender bender client substantially redeems the somewhat weak episode, however, in her instant relationship with Stottlemeyer.  This was not cheesy romantic shenanigans, but some nice adult chemistry.  Without an embrace or stolen kiss, the quiet little epilogue was really and properly sexy.  Plus, it turns out to be the setup for some crazy drama a year out in season 6.


"Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion"  first aired August 11, 2006

Some of this episode is a little on the poopie lickin' side, but there are a couple of special scenes (especially the simple little epilogue) that make this a special treasure among Monk episodes.  Monk is excited about his 25th college reunion.  Welcome back class of '81.  This is where he met Trudy.  Those will be the special scenes, of course.

I'ma bitch a little with this for the sake of them laying on the pathetic stuff fairly thick.  It would appear that other than barely being remembered by a few people as an appendage of the great Trudy, Monk had absolutely NO friends in college.  He was remembered only as "Captain Cool," which of course turns out to be a mockery of his constant fridge de-frosting ways.  I'm obviously fairly sympathetic to the character to be writing up his whole damned series, but even I am wanting to bring the pimp hand down on him here after a while. 

The actual crime was quite good in a stupid criminal kind of way.  Why is this guy so interested in Monk, when he doesn't even have any idea that he's any kind of detective?  And why is this fool so anxious to play touch football?  His idea was quite clever in an idiot sort of way.  You can see what the guy thought he was doing, but two seconds thought will come up with about 20 different ways that it won't hold up.  However, you can see how this halfwit character with his greed and seething resentment would think it was foolproof.

This is all pretty good stuff, but the payoff is two scenes in flashback.  The main centerpiece is the very first meeting between Monk and Trudy.  They got young actors to play the 20 year olds.  Shalhoub couldn't have done it.  But the writers obviously put a lot of thinking into making exactly the right low key moment in the library stacks for this one and only first meeting scene.  It's a thing of beauty.  Then the scene ends sadly for young Monk as she casually accepts the escort of another much cooler guy across campus.  Of course, our experience of that distress to Monk is muted in that we know how it ends. 

They get very good use out of this other guy in probably less than two minutes of screen time.  Really, this guy is partly the measure of Monk's triumph.  He's the only rival for Trudy's affection that Monk ever had - and the guy didn't know it.  He's a perfectly handsome, confident young gentleman.  He addresses Monk by the "Captain Cool" moniker, but with no intention of malice.  It just wouldn't have occurred to him that this little geek would even be any kind of competition for the nice girl.  But once Monk works up the nerve to call that phone number he remembers being written on his back (a particularly beauiful bit of Monk freakiness), that was it. 

Monk saves the big thing for the epilogue.  After solving one murder and preventing another, and de-frosting the old fridge of course, on the way out he finally stops in front of a bench under a tree for the important part of his visit.  Like yesterday in his photographic memory,  Monk and Trudy sit on that bench and quietly profess their love to each other for the first time.  After the buildup of the episode and the entire years of the series preceding, that moment could make a grown man cry. 



"Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink"   first aired August 18, 2006

The title is something of a misnomer, or at least it's sort of beside the point.  Monk has one scene with another shrink, but it's more about the idea of Monk fearing having to get another doctor.  Whatever, cause we get a full dose of Harold Krenshaw in full effect.  There's pure comedy for you, with Monk and his mirror image hating on one another on the most delightfully childish level.  It's beautifully set up how Monk's entirely inappropriate stalking behavior lands him and Dr. Kroger in peril - and how Harold's exact same bad behavior saves them. 

Plus, after the insanely jealous rivalry for the shrink's personal affections, Harold's "Beat this" is about the most perfectly set up punch line in the whole series.  The point absolutely, 100% goes to Harold.  Eat it, Adrian Monk!


"Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"  first aired August 25, 2006

I don't know that the character is any significant literary achievement exactly, but something about this rock star who has murdered his songwriting roadie sticks with me.  Some of this probably goes to the actor, as I don't remember much specifically about his dialogue.  Other than this one little murder, the guy's not wicked and evil, but you can see how that sense of privilege makes him think he can do whatever he thinks he needs to do.  There's a particularly good moment of evil apparently triumphant as he does something of a victory dance, mocking Monk et al from the stage as he drops the incriminating letter into the blazing flash pot.  It's like you see the devil dancing with delight the day the music died.

The particulars of the singer's crime and cover-up are pretty clever.  As frequently, the most interesting and exotic and eventually damning parts are the "oh I forgot" parts.  This is where there's a perfectly good crime, but then the murderer remembers or notices one little detail he has to compensate or account for somehow.  In this case, the star forgot that the roadie had been off of drugs for most of a year. 

Most of all, this episode was set up as a Stottlemeyer episode.  This is the one time in the series where they got to a significant storyline with a son.  The basic setup was that the boy had sneaked off to this big rock festival, and Dad's going to wade through tens of thousands of partying kids to find him.  It was a particularly clever and well done writing point how exactly they bring it all down to the boy pulled between the resented cop father versus the maximum coaxings of his hero rock star.

I'll just note that the final gimmick with the ball doesn't really hold up.  OK, so they prove that he blew up this blue ball.  After bouncing around amongst 10s of thousands of kids all day though, there's no way you could prove that it was THIS blue ball that the accupuncturist saw.  It's not like the ball that the accupuncturist saw was in any kind of chain of possession.  Hey, this is a different blue ball.  Not much evidence on which to hang a murder charge.


"Mr. Monk Meets His Dad"  first aired November 17, 2006

The creators really earn the very special episode status here.  Abandonment issues over the father he hasn't seen in nearly 40 years were a big underlying Monk trauma, #2 only to Trudy's murder.  So then, the writers start out with a powerfully built up premise.  They got a special and unique use out of the dad, his perspective and effect on Adrian.  Casting Dan Hedaya was inspired.  Dad turns out to be an over educated long haired truck driving old Richard Nixon.

The most interesting dynamic was the internal thing with Adrian between being angry with the old man versus of course being drawn to him.  But Daddy knew how to talk to him ("Who read you Sherlock Holmes?"), and he eventually was hearing the old man tell him that he was proud of him.  They legitimately earned the sentimentality of the epilogue scene with the bicycle.  Then of course Dad disappears never to be seen again - though in fairness the boys at least hear encouraging words from him once or twice.

The series has lots of little things whiz by in a second or two that are the kind of things that reward repeated viewing.  In this case, note the arrested murdering macho truck driver boss looking out the police car window as they haul him off, and pause for a minute to try to imagine what this guy must be thinking.  This dumbass employee shows up with his pansy son to arrest him for murder.  Then while the cops are preparing to haul him off, 68 year old Daddy breaks out a bicycle in the middle of his parking lot to belatedly teach his near 50 year old son how to ride.  There's Adrian wobbling around the parking lot with Jack holding him right up and launching him out to roll past your window ringing his stupid little bike bell. The scene is touching and funny, but watch it again trying to imagine it from the murderer's point of view.  What just happened to me?  Who are these freaks?

Tony Shaloub and Dan Hedaya in Monk


"Mr. Monk and the Leper"  first aired December 22, 2006

This has got to be one of the lamest episodes of the series.  For starters, the special gimmick just didn't work.  They had a special pre-explanation from "Tony Shalhoub" explaining that this episode was a film noir because it has a "femme fatale" and a murder.  So therefore, the episode was presented in black and white.  But they did almost nothing with that setup.  Rich chicks kill their husbands on Monk fairly frequently.  Takes more than that to make it noir, and there was pretty much nothing else recognizably noir-ish. They include the same episode in color on the third disc of the DVD.  It looks considerably better. I'd suggest watching it instead, unless you're dedicated enough to watch both.  This particular episode ain't worth that much extra bother.

Other than that, the main point of the episode was Monk acting like a damned jerk.  By the time Monk is hanging off the cliff asking the doctor if there was possibly anybody else who could save him, I'm thinking he deserves to be left to fall to his death.  Then the final epilogue scene had me wanting to absolutely pimp slap him.  That's a human being on the other end, but Adrian Monk's perfectly happy to childishly indulge what he knows to be irrational fits at the expense of this person who saved his miserable damned life. But I fear that I make it sound more interesting that way than it is.  In my best Comic Book Shop Guy voice, worst... episode... ever.

young pizza face Randy Disher from the dermatologist office wall


"Mr. Monk Makes a Friend"   first aired January 19, 2007

Andy Richter makes this episode as the guest murderer.  He's always seemed like someone who has a unique presence and talent, but has never come up with just the right outlet.  This episode of Monk is a little bit of one, at least.  His little lecture about friendship to Stottlemeyer et al was particularly nice.  It was really good watching him take Monk to a hockey game like one of the guys, playing BFF and generally sucking up to Monk. 

Monk plays here at his most frankly contemptibly pathetic, being so incredibly desperate for a friend.  All that ridiculously gay stuff about asking Hal to be best friends just makes me want to knock him in the back of the head with a shovel and put him out of his damned misery.  Eventually, Monk has figured out what Hal's done and why he's playing friend and the guy has confessed/bragged to him on it.  Monk gets one good quick physical move, and has the guy subdued at gunpoint.  But he lets the guy buddy-talk him into handing over the gun.  Oh, for crying in a frickin' bucket.  Really, Monk pretty much would have deserved to get shot at that point.  There's emotionally needy, and then there's just completely willfully suicidally stupid.


"Mr. Monk Is At Your Service"  first aired January 26, 2007

The crime here is fairly interesting in exactly the why, but they kind of cheat in that they never give any real explanation of how the guy might have credibly staged this accident scene - particularly considering the rich people and suspicious heirs who would certainly be motivated to check it out very closely.  Plus, what kind of stupid is this guy to not have taken care of that stupid sign in sheet in the garage after a YEAR?  Also, how unbelievably stupid is this arrogant rich kid being so sloppy about burning the butler's extortion note?

On the other hand, it was pretty much of a positive Monk episode, after a couple of consecutive episodes where one might reasonably think that Monk deserved to get killed for the ridiculous indulgence of his neuroses.  In this case, he falls into getting hired as the rich guy's head butler, which point he takes as an undercover way to check him out.  But seeing no evidence, he stays on, considering this simply his new job.

This plays out as rather an idyllic interlude for Monk where his compulsions are actually useful and rewarded.  A staff and a big mansion to clean and order just so!  Good times.


"Mr. Monk Is on the Air"  first aired February 2, 2007

Jiggle me timbers, but this episode is tasty!  So as we know from the beginning, this morning show Howard Stern wannabe has killed his wife.  The how is the weak link, but at least I suppose physically possible.  It just seems like it would have been easier and more credible to have made it his own dog.

But then in the last act it unexpectedly gets most vicious and thus quite bo-delicious.  This schmuck completely mocks Trudy's murder directly live on air (the only place he'll talk to him) to Monk's face.  "What's the last thing that went through your wife's mind?  The steering wheel!" 

Monk was already putting a pretty manly beatdown on this punk in the few seconds it took security to pull him off.  I can't help but think that if you've just murdered someone, purposely antagonizing and motivating the world's greatest detective like this is a real dumbass move.  But then Stottlemeyer had a pretty good credible, succinct explanation right after.  Monk nailed him on a couple of little points live on the air, and the guy was scared.  His intuitive reaction was to go for the jugular, to humiliate and destroy the guy with the most heartless mockery he could find - the natural bully instinct.  Yeah, that's some credible, recognizable human nature at work.  Not that he's actually murdered anyone, but the wicked characterization here sticks pretty strongly in my mind to Howard Stern, his associates, his fans and his ilk.  This is the harshest and most effective artistic criticism of that whole shock jock world and mentality that I've ever seen.

What I really liked best about this excellent episode though only really occurred to me a couple of days later:  The last act here was about the most truly manly display on Monk's part in the series.  I don't mean some physical display of machismo - although the beatdown on air was gratifying.  But the mentality was all different for Monk the rest of the episode.  He had just been again socially destroyed on the air by Max Hudson and the Goon Platoon, after worrying about seventh grade level social humiliation and trying to use some lame 50 year old joke cards in a pathetic defense. 

But after the jock's tirade about Trudy, it was a whole different game. He gives no more thought to homeroom politics, nor indulging any of his regular neuroses.  There's a purposeful darkness that comes over Monk's whole demeanor for those last few minutes of the show that's nicely creepy. I'll just say that this focused grim determination he shows in the last few minutes is more appealing than his typical neurotic self-indulgence. Dig the extremely controlled, quiet and deliberate manner in which he addresses the comedian as they lead him away.  It's not the brilliance of the simple and redeemedly cliched words, but Shalhoub's gently vicious, quiet and slow delivery.  "You're not laughing now, are you?  Are you?  Join the club." 

Then there was that epilogue with Monk watching the wedding video, and almost laughing in the darkness of the moment.  You may want to watch that last minute several times to try to decode his reaction. 


"Mr. Monk Visits a Farm"  first aired February 9, 2007

This episode excelled in several ways.  For one, it was a good Disher episode, gaining legitimate pathos as Disher punishes himself for a couple of dumb little screwups by quitting the force and moving out to take over the farm left to him by his recently deceased uncle.  He's not lazy or squeamish, but it's kinda sad more than comedic to watch him trying to be a farmer. 

The crime itself was really good and really bad together.  The really good thing was the story that the murderer set up.  Disher's uncle had an accident in his pickup truck and ran over his beloved prize winning pig.  In a rush of guilt and grief, he immediately stopped the truck, pulled the shotgun out of the rack and blew his own brains out.  The really beautiful thing about that is that from the opening scene with this farmer, it's not really distressing our suspension of disbelief to think that the neighbors bought that story.

The really bad thing about the crime was the pure physical impossibility of the mechanics.  In the critical explanation, the plan depends on regular timed irrigation sprinklers melting down two big salt lick blocks that are holding up the victim's truck.  This would have to happen in something like 60 or 90 minutes.  I've never done the experiment to test such a thing, but there's no way that an hour of rain would begin to melt down a salt lick.  This is just one of the least plausible specific criminal setups of the series.  I don't know that they really needed to make that how so complicated, as the crime wasn't really the main point of the episode and because the suicide story was so good.  Something more mundane in the execution would have probably been better here.

The really best parts of the episode come from Monk, but not in the way that you might most obviously expect. The title sounds like a setup for Monk playing out his typical neuroses against anything to do with dirt, germs, animals, animal feces, etc...  Really though, there was very minimum with the Monk and a farm angle.  There was overall a minimum of bad Monk things, either in his suffering of the damned or ridiculous public displays of neuroses.

Much nicer, Monk had a surprisingly positive social exchange, even without Natalie babysitting.  Monk's actual experience here was mostly of small town community rather than specifically farm life.  They created a nice lady sheriff to flirt with Monk, and insist on dragging him out on the floor for some square dancing.  It was set up perfectly.  The reasonably good looking middle aged sheriff is outgoing.  Sheriff can't be shy.  She was pretty impressed in advance with his achievements, and she was just set on flirting gently with him and drawing him in socially.  Then the whole community on the dance floor just naturally subsumes him and takes him through the basic moves, which Monk manages to negotiate with a minimum of neurotic self-indulgence.  The sheriff was sweet on him, and he blended in actually surprisingly pretty well with this community.  It was really charming.


"Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy"   first aired February 23, 2007

The title doesn't really have much to do with the episode.  I might have called it something like Mr. Monk vs the Machines.  The guy was "really, really dead" because the murderer was casting himself as a new serial killer, "The 6 Way Killer," because he choked, shot and stabbed the victim, etc - and left a checklist. 

The mayor immediately panics and calls in these totally amusingly over the top arrogant federales with their bazillion dollar crime van and every kind of cheesy tech device they could imagine.  It was just the perfect little early display of their mentality that the main tech guy pulls out some gizmo he programmed to change all the street lights in their path green - and not even because they're in hot pursuit of someone, but just to make a smoother ride to the crime lab and generally show off to the local rubes.

Whereas Monk is old school and has nothing to do with computers and such.  Hell, he's never really mastered just a basic cell phone.  He's so technophobic that he has no idea about a computer mouse or a cursor at this late a date.  I would be inclined to consider that learned helplessness from Monk, obvious dysfunctionality.  His shrink carefully put the best face on it by bragging on Monk's amazing brain, which is like he's his own computer.  Hey a computer would just slow him down.  It could be a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

Anyway, the young ultra-tech guys from Washington are pretty much contemptuous of him, even knowing his record.  He's a dinosaur.  It doesn't help that he destroys a fancy flat screen display with some extremely corrosive chemical that he thought was cleaning fluid.  Watching him learning NOW the most basic computer skills, he's explaining to these guys about booting up a computer - a new concept to Monk.

El Shrinko invokes the John Henry song, man versus machine, and there you are.  The tech guys are drudging after every last irrelevant detail at great length, making silly firm conclusions based on their computer models.  Will the machines solve the crime first or the old school detective Monk?  Yeah, well whose name is on the series?


"Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital"  first aired March 2, 2007

Often enough, Monk completely deserves his misfortunes.  He insists on being taken to the emergency room for a simple nosebleed.  He's in full display of his worst childish selfish narcissm.  He's whining about how he should be given priority over seriously injured people, and then won't even hold still for a few seconds to let the nice doctor properly treat his damned stupid little nosebleed when he does get in.  On top of which, he's insistent on destroying Natalie's one day off in months.  He ALWAYS needs her, and she's not going to get even a couple of hours free for a little date. 

The episode is fun to watch, like every Monk, but I for one was thus pretty much lacking in sympathy for him when he ended up beaten into a pulp and laid up truly helpless near the end of the episode.  Hey, he was SO anxious to be admitted to the hospital, well he's got something to be admitted to the hospital for.  Except for the part where he was about to be killed, he pretty much had it coming.

The crime situation here was one of the less credible.  For starters, the absolute bludgeoning murder of a prominent doctor in the middle of a hospital seemed to draw almost no actual police attention, except that Monk happened to be there to discover the body and take an interest.  Beyond that, the perp had a glaringly obvious major motive which would get the attention of the most half-assed local cop in about five minutes.  On top of which, the gimmick with the EKGs was obviously completely not going to stand, for the simple reason of matching, which wouldn't take a genius like Monk to figure out.  What kind of brilliant surgeon would NOT have immediately known that and come up with something else?  Would not a brilliant surgeon have had the minimal cleverness to attach his alibi EKG to a patient who was not already attached to one himself?  I accept that some improbability is the price for the clever twists of the show, but this was one of the ones more straining on this viewer's ability to even willfully suspend disbelief.






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











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