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September 3, 2015

Monk: Mr. Monk's 100th Case

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 6th 2008 12:39PM
Eric McCormack on Monk(S07E07) Too often when a show reaches an anniversary, like say 100 episodes, the producers feel the need to mark the occasion with an extraordinary entry. That was what happened with Monk.

To commemorate the 100th episode, they created Mr. Monk's 100th Case, and using a show within a show format, celebrated Adrian Monk, a modern day Sherlock Holmes. San Francisco's defective detective

Thank goodness it all worked! I was afraid we were going to get a clip-laden, down-memory-lane type of show with nothing remotely intriguing. No, writer Tom Scharpling and company were more clever than that.

Yes, there were memories, but there was also a new case and many of Monk's previous adversaries/killers (guest stars) that were revisited in new filmed scenes! Kudos to the Monk team for getting so many stars to return.

Eric McCormack played an unctuous host of a TV crime docudrama series called In Focus. With a haughty "Chris Hanson style" (To Catch a Predator), the In Focus production focused on Monk solving a serial killer case.

This gave the show a great opportunity to remind viewers about the Monk biography, including a really good recap of the death of his wife, Trudy. It wasn't just the telling of her dying in a car bombing, it was that documentary footage, the interviews with Ambrose, Monk's brother (John Turtturo), and Stottlemeyer, about how her death devastated Adrian.

Then, the question asked by Novak of Monk, "Why do you keep going?" With tears in his eyes, Monk answers, "I can't die until I know." The Trudy connection has never been better explained than that.

There was a good balance between the serious stuff -- Trudy -- and the comic -- Monk's quirks, like what he does with his hands and why. It was an easy get when Monk discovered that the photographer was the link to the killings -- his name was on each photo. But it was good that for once the obvious suspect was the killer, but not the "guy."

You had the feeling that Eric McCormack had to be the "guy." His motivation was a little weak (his wife was going to find out he was cheating), as was his pulling a gun in a room filled with cops -- did he really think he was going to shoot his way out of there?

As I mentioned, many of the stars who've appeared on Monk returned for extended cameos, including Howie Mandel and Andy Richter. My favorites were Angela Kinsey, Sarah Silverman and Brooke Adams. Also, you had to love it when Tim Bagley as Harold Krenshaw, Monk's enemy, was interviewed. I think Dr. Bell and all references to Dr. Kroger were left out because of doctor/patient confidentiality. Would a psychologist discuss a patient with a filmmaker? No.

What was missing was Sharona (Bitty Schram). She should have been one of the interviews.

The topper was the finale, with Monk saying he was going to stop detecting because 100 was a good even number to call it quits. Natalie nicely noted that it was actually case 101, forcing Monk to keep going till he reaches 200 -- or so they said. I guess that'll be up to USA and Tony Shalhoub.

Other points of interest

-- Gillian, Disher's girlfriend is a re-enactor, an actor specializing in shows the re-enact crimes. "She was bludgeoned to death on Dateline," says Randy proudly. Later, when the gun fires and she falls to the ground, it set up a great line: "Sorry, force of habit!"

-- When Natalie warned Stottlemeyer to stop switching over to the basketball game, he snarked at her, "You're not my mother."

-- Loved seeing Kathryn Joosten, "Where's the fiber?" commercial lady and Desperate Housewives' regular (not to mention Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing) as Monk's babysitter from childhood.

-- Monk's TV remote language was great: Picture freezer, picture go fast, picture regular.

-- I liked the Dracula at The Morbid Cafe, the whole idea of that kind of theme restaurant was very funny.

-- Randy's assertion that "If you can name him, you can catch him" about serial killers was typical Disher inanity. The Lipstick Assassin or Mr. Lipstick.

-- Sharon Lawrence was supposed to be included in the cameos according to a press release; I guess she couldn't make it or her clips wound up on the cutting room floor (or extra file on the PC).
If Monk solved Trudy's murder, would he quit being a detective?
Yes, he'd have closure97 (33.3%)
No, he needs to be useful88 (30.2%)
Perhaps, but only if it's his 200th case106 (36.4%)

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Kallen Frisinger

the annoying part of this was 2 years ago mr monk and the couch where he was awarded 100 trophies for 100 cases... anyone else remember that?

June 03 2011 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick V.

This was a pretty good episode and I agree Sharona being there would
have made it better. I just have some few "questions" regarding the episode. First, wasn't it Randy that nailed the guy in his uncle's farm? (yes with Monk's help but the guy didn't know that... did he?) And how come Marci is a fan again? Didn't she send the stuff she scavenged from Monk back to him?

And with regards to Sharona/Natalie, I still
like Sharon better because of my inclination to someone "tougher"
when it comes to Monk but Natalie is also pretty good I just wish she
would stop calling him Mr. Monk and call him Adrian, like a friend.

September 10 2008 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Doran

Here's what really happened: Bitty Schram wanted a big pay boost. The producers said not that big. Schram said "If I don't get what I want I'm leaving." The producers said "Goodbye." And one more thing, BBS... if you don't watch the show any more, how do you know it's so bad? It's long past time to move on, as someone once said...

September 08 2008 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

USA and Tony Shaloub ruined what was the best and most comical show on TV. Monk and Sharona had great chemistry. Now the show is just another mediocre murder mystery (the kind I hate). It is no longer comical. The idea that Natalie would call him Mr. Monk is absurd and unrealistic, especially since she has to cajole him to pay her on time. They don't have the chemistry that Bitty Schram & Shaloub had. I'm convinced Tony Shaloub was jealous of Schram's fan base that was equally as strong as his and fired her for that reason. He ruined a great show and made it mediocre. That people still watch the show (I don't) speaks to low American intellect.

September 08 2008 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

"TV Writer found dead after contract disputes fail." heh

September 08 2008 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If I recall, after Monk's wife died he and Ambrose didn't talk for something like 7 years because Ambrose blamed himself because she was going to pick up some medicine for him or something. How would he have seen him fall apart then?

September 08 2008 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I missed Sharona when she first left, but have grown to love Natalie, and now much prefer her to Sharona.

Great episode, though!

September 07 2008 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ed Venture

I've actually been in a horror themed restaurant like that. It was in Chicago called "The Eerie cafe." It was a fun place, lots of cool special effects. And yes, they had a Dracula Matre'd. Unfortunately it's long gone. ESPN Zone has replaced it in the building.

September 07 2008 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe in LA

Wow. That previous comment of mine got all chopped up. Must be that my use of "less than" and "greater than" symbols were interpreted as computer code.

What I intended to include in my comment was a mention of the West Wing trifecta on the USA network last night: Kathryn Joosten (Mrs. Landingham) as the babysitter on Monk, Kirsten Nelson (young Dolores Landingham) as Chief Vick on Psych, and Janel Moloney (Donna Moss) as a guest star on House.

Gary Cole (V.P. Bob Russell) is up next week. And, that doesn't include Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), of course.

There are probably more than I am remembering (was there ever a pineapple on the West Wing?).

The second comment that didn't get through was my saying that I voted for Monk quit being a private detective after solving Trudy's murder because it would allow him to become healthy enough to gain reinstatement to the San Francisco police force.

September 06 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe in LA's comment

Don't forget that Richard Schiff was on "Burn Notice" earlier this year, and will apparently be in Monk next week as well.

September 06 2008 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe in LA

>>> -- Loved seeing Kathryn Joosten, "Where's the fiber?" commercial lady and Desperate Housewives' regular (not to mention Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing) as Monk's babysitter from childhood. > If Monk solved Trudy's murder, would he quit being a detective?

September 06 2008 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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