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Monk: Mr. Monk Falls in Love

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 23rd 2008 9:44AM
Mr Monk falls in love(S07E06) This was a rarity in the Monk canon. It was not only a serious episode, but one in which Monk seemed capable of touching another person and falling in love again. The title of the episode, in fact, suggests that he does fall in love.

There were other differences in tonight's show. The murder of the taxi driver brought Stottlemeyer and Disher to the case, and Natalie and Adrian, but also a San Francisco Homicide task force -- i.e. two other detectives.

Have we ever seen these guys before? I don't remember them. They were there for one reason basically, to contradict Monk's assertion that the prime suspect -- Layla with a Z, a beautiful social worker -- is not the "guy." In the face of mounting evidence, Monk refused to believe she did it.

At the same time, Monk allowed himself to be attracted to her, or rather, he couldn't help himself. When he goes to see her to warn her that the cops will arrest her, he admits that he could have called instead. Fighting every one of his instincts to pull away, Monk kept coming back to her.

Joanna Pacula played Layla with complete sincerity. She did look like an angel when they first interviewed her. At no point, did I think she was playing Monk, like the other two detectives suggested.

As attracted to her as Monk was, she was attracted to him, too, a fact that was underscored in the dancing scene. Monk actually overcame his phobias about intimacy and after a hesitant start, he took her in his arms and they danced. It was a sweet moment, but it couldn't last. Monk's obsession with Trudy continues to hold him in check. Scrubbing the wedding ring symbolized his need to remain only Trudy's. Sad, really.

The Zemenian restaurant scene was fun, sort of a Benihana of Slavic food. Like last week on the submarine, Monk refused to eat. This time it was because of chef was playing with the food. One of these week's, Monk's going to have to eat something.

When the story of the butcher came out and Layla mentioned Emmerich by name, Monk's calling for 911 because the guy spat on the floor was over the top. But then, this is Monk.

The ending though was particularly poignant. Monk did the right thing. He save Layla and found the right "guy," but was it fair that an old woman was imprisoned when a war criminal, "the butcher of Zemenia," was never brought to justice? Yes, she stabbed him, but what crimes had he committed and never been tried for?

Ultimately, Monk's choice resulted in his losing Layla. There was no right answer, actually. If he let her confession stand, he'd lose her. Bringing in her mother and revealing that she was the killer, lost Layla to him, too. The final shot of Layla walking away and the door swinging closed on Monk sealed the deal. I doubt Layla will be back again.

Other points of interest
-- Randy in date mode was like Randy at work, oblivious. By the way, Randy looked quite randy in the cab. I guess he hasn't been dating much lately.

-- When Layla kissed Monk for the first time, Natalie gave him a wipe, which he didn't use.

-- "Red light, schmed light. That's your argument?"

-- The cops should not have had guns drawn when they went to arrest Layla; there was no imminent danger.

-- Showing the murder in black and white was a nice touch, even though we've seen it before. But wouldn't the cabbie have some inkling that he was despised by the Zemenian community? Was he hiding in plain sight?

-- The mythical Zemenia reminded me of Freedonian.
Will Layla return in a future episode?
Yes, Monk needs a girlfriend76 (28.5%)
No, Monk blew it146 (54.7%)
Maybe, if her mother gets off45 (16.9%)

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technically.... the best answer for Monk would have been if he had helped Leyla's mom by making sure her lawyer had pleaded her as not guilty by temporary insanity , was surprised that the lawyer got her to 2 years, it was too much.........

would have been nice if in "the final episode" they had established that Monk not only connected to Julie's daughter Molly Evans, but that he and Leyla patched things up, and that Leyla's mom was again free

July 24 2011 at 6:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the little- red headed refugee child in the scene with his parents/grandparents. He was adorable.

August 25 2008 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was blech. No chemistry between Monk and Layla. And the mother probably would have been deported rather than go to jail, she wasn't an American citizen.

August 25 2008 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ed Venture

I thought Leland was a little too quick to dismiss Monk's instincts. After all they have been through together he should know Monk's honesty by now. If Monk thought she was "the guy" he would have said so even i he liked her.

It would have torn him up to do so, but he's too honest not to. We've seen him in this kind of moral dilemma before and he always comes clean. For instance when "the guy" was Leland's finance. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt his friend, but he had no choice because she was guilty.

Leland disappointed me here.

August 25 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was interesting that Natalie was pushing Monk about Layla, but just last week she couldn't move past the fact that her husband was dead and she still feels connected.

I would have liked for her to have mentioned or even acknowledged that difficulty.

August 24 2008 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked this episode a lot despite the usual plot holes. Like the two other detectives? Were they cameos by someone we should recognize? Or fill ins for Disher because Randy was sort of more a witness than a detective on the case? Who were those guys?

I loved the dancing scene where Monk let his guard down and let love in. Awwwww!

Being a romantic I'd really like to see more of Layla and Monk. I DO think she will be back. Monk will get Mom off and then....we'll see.

Natalie loves Monk more like a Dad. She really seemed delighted that Monk was falling in love and she was rooting for him and Layla.

Yeah... Layla will be back!

August 23 2008 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to R P's comment

No she won't.

August 25 2008 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Monk still sees himself as a married man. That is why he will never fully persue a relationship with a woman. The funny thing is, Monk knows that Trudy is dead. He doesn't ever act as if she is still around, like you would think many widows who lose thier spouse from a tragic cause might do. Every time someone asks about his marriage he says "My wife died, carbomb." So, he acknowledges her death, but in his heart he still sees himself as a married man. Each time he dates a woman out of encouragment through Natalie or The Captain, he sees it as being unfaithful to Trudy. He feels as guilty about it as he would if she were still alive. As long as he sees himself as a married man Monk will never be able to fully give himself to another woman. And he won't see himself as a single man no sooner then when he solves Trudy's murder. Until that is behind him, he will never open his heart to another woman the same way again.

August 23 2008 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was interesting that the war criminal in hiding didn't even bother to change his look at all... not even the scraggly beard.

August 23 2008 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is an undercurrent of the show and that is Natalie. Throughout the show, she continues to be "his wife", caring for him and supporting him. I am not the first one to suspect there are feelings between the two although they are suppressed and unresolved because of how hung up both Natalie and Monk are on their deceased spouses. The exchange about "Your not a woman, you are Nat" is telling because she clearly was having feelings that she did not say. When she left the room, it was a mini pout indicating she was a woman and wanted to be seen as a beautiful woman by him.

Another throw away line from Natalie that is so wifelike was "come on home, I will make you dinner" when he was upset about the arrest. Again, she is the one he can always go to and depend on. That is why at the end when Layla said "go home to your wife Mr. Monk", I don't think she was talking about Trudy. I think she was talking about Natalie.

August 23 2008 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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