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August 31, 2015

Monk: Mr. Monk, Private Eye

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 5th 2006 10:50AM

monk(S05E05) This episode was directed by Peter Weller, who also played the actor portraying Stottlemeyer in the season premiere, something I complete missed when I saw that episode. Shame on me.

The show also introduced a new love interest for Stottlemeyer, a no-nonsense real estate agent named Linda Fusco, played by Sharon Lawrence. They left their relationship pretty wide open by the end, so I suspect she'll be returning for more episodes, which is always cool because I like it when they take the focus away from Monk once in awhile and flesh out the side characters a bit more.

In this episode, Natalie, inspired by her late grandfather who started a toothpaste company in England ("talk about optimism!"), leases some office space and sets up a private detective agency for Mr. Monk. Their first client is the aforementioned Linda, who wants them to find out who dented her fender. She's convinced it was her ex-husband, but as they delve deeper they discover the man who did it is also the same man who drowned his lover by knocking her out, sealing her in a box, and dumping her over the side of his yacht (a yacht called "Lucky Lady" by the way. Never let it be said the Monk writers don't have a sick sense of humor).

One thing I noticed about this episode is that it didn't have the usual "Here's what happened ..." moment where Monk tells everyone how the murder went down. That's fine, because the episode was just as much about Stottlemeyer taking the next step after his divorce and getting back into the dating game. He even tries online dating, but that's not really his bag.

Monk trying to adapt to working as an independent detective spawned some very funny moments. During their first day on the job nobody calls to hire them, and at one point Monk calls Natalie from across the room to tell her he's been held captive against his will. When she figures out it's him she simply walks over to speak to him, but he still keeps talking into the phone. He also refuses to relinquish his business cards to his clients because they cost 85¢ each.

My favorite part of the episode, however, was Monk having to escape from the suspect's yacht by jumping into the water. Monk knows how to swim because he took a correspondence course through the mail, but he's never actually been in the water. He actually carries a card with him with swimming instructions written on it, which he reads carefully before jumping into the water and continues to read as he's thrashing around. Serendipitously, a toilet seat floats by which he could grab onto to stay afloat, but this being Monk he'd rather just continue thrashing until he's rescued.

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Joey Geraci

I think that was the downright funniest moment of the episode. That is the best thing/worst thing about his series, is that it throws out real gems like that under the character's breath almost, so you have to be really paying attention to it to get it.

August 05 2006 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Using my theory that no information is given out in a mystery unless it's meant to be relevant later on, I knew the bull kelp would prove to be the bad guy's undoing. However, I thought that Monk would somehow steer the boat into the Southeast Barrier to get tangled up in the kelp so that the bad guy couldn't get away. I like that they used it to make sure that poor woman's body could eventually be found.

I hope the private investigation firm wasn't just a one-shot idea. I think the show needs it to help open it up to new story lines. And that was a great set for the office; it would be a shame if it was only for a one-shot.

It might even be a way to bring back Jason Alexander for another episode as Eels; have them team up again on a case.

I also thought the episode might end on Natalie adopting the boat captain's dog; giving Monk a new antagonist for his phobias in a running bit. I loved his questions about it: "What kind of dog is that?" (A mutt.) "And how long do they live....?"

August 05 2006 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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