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October 25, 2014

Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and Sharona

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 10:31AM
Mr_Monk_and_Sharona_and_Natalie
(S08E10) "What year is this?" - Monk to Sharona

I'm not spoiling anything by telling you at the top that Bitty Schram was back as Sharona for this episode. Hell, the title of the show was "Mr. Monk and Sharona." Oftentimes when a former character returns to a long-established show, it doesn't live up to the expectations. You want it to be like it was, only better. Fortunately, Bitty Schram's guest turn was excellent. This might be the best Monk of this finale season.


The premise was simple. Sharona's Uncle Howie died at the Eastdale Country Club on the golf course. Some kind of an accident. Since she was back in San Francisco for a few days, Sharona naturally had to visit her old boss. Her entry was perfect. Monk didn't even know it was Sharona assisting him after the vacuum blew up in his face, so when he finally saw her face, it was a revelation.

But since this is Monk, there is a case to be solved, and -- sure enough -- Uncle Howie was a con man and his "accident" was something else. By the time Monk put it all together, it was homicide and Jack Wagner, the episode's other guest star, was the guy.

How the case was solved was not nearly as important as the stuff in between. Natalie and Sharona bonded at first, then clashed, then re-bonded again. Stottlemeyer saw it coming and warned Monk that they would tear him apart. "They're like bourbon and vodka. I love them both but I can't have them at the same meal because they don't mix."

Before the contrast, they compared noted and referred to Monk as "Ebenezer Monk."
Monk knew trouble was brewing, and when Sharona wondered how she survived at $950 a week, the look in Natalie's eyes were like daggers. Monk agreed to amend Natalie's salary accordingly.

The three were together solving the mystery, and there was even an action scene, which did not involve Monk. I mean, once Walsh socked him in the jaw, Adrian let Natalie and Sharona tackle the guy in the sand trap and have a knock-down fight with him. Isn't that why women went through the liberation movement, just for opportunities like that for fight a man?

What was wonderful was the twist that rewarded Sharona. Once she got on board with getting Walsh, even though it meant that she would lose the settlement money from the country club because the accident wasn't really an accident, fate intervened and she was going to get the money anyway. And Benjie would be able to go to college... and not just community college!

And that wasn't the only reward. That little something, something with Randy looked like it was something real. Could the end of the series include Sharona becoming Mrs. Disher?

Not to be overlooked, I found Monk's goodbye hug with Sharona to be very emotional. Adrian actually responded. Perhaps it was the fact that Natalie reminded her that she had brought Monk back from the brink after Trudy's death, or seeing Trudy's grave, but when Monk felt Sharona's hug, the feelings welled up. I got a little choked up. It turned a good episode into something more.

Other stuff

"It's like riding a bike." - Sharona reaching for a wipe,

"We accept. No backsies." -- Sharona after accepting the big settlement

"I know that look. I remember that look. I hate that look." -- Sharona about Monk

"Are you sure?" - Natalie to Monk on his certitude about the killer
"72%." - Monk

Funniest sequence: The "here's what happened" in a closet at double speed

"I hate this case." - Monk

[For more Monk, check out SlashControl.]

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Stephanie

Just wondering - does anyone think Monk & Natalie will end up together? Unless I'm crazy, it seems like the writers have been putting in little hints of that over the last number of episodes. Curious as to what others think.

November 03 2009 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MAKB

What a great episode !!!! The only thing that would have made it better would have been Benji returning also. I loved Adrian's discomfort at the beginning of the episode when Natalie first walked in on him with Sharona - he acted like he was caught having an affair - it was brilliant. And I was delighted to see Sharona and Disher together at the end - he always had a crush on her and it was nice to see her finally find him attractive too. I wept at the end when Adrian and Sharona hugged goodbye. I don't see how the rest of the episodes can top this this one but I'll be tuning in. This was a real gift to the fans. Thanks !

October 27 2009 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
izikavazo

I always feel bad about not watching this show. I hear great things about it, and I watch almost every other USA show, but I tried to watch it from the beginning and it was Sharona that made me not want to watch it. Sorry everyone, but in 2009 that character is extremely grating. Perhaps back when it first debuted back in 2002 she was likable but she hasn't aged well.

October 26 2009 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gosharona

Love Sharona. It seemed like she never left.

The hugs and affection between her and Randy were sweet and genuine.

I agree, it is the best episode of the final season so far.

I hope the finale will be just as memorable.

October 26 2009 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
valely

I so cried when Monk and Sharona hugged. I wish Sharona never left. Nothing personal against "Natalie", but she could never measure up to Sharona. It was not the same, I also stopped watching Monk after they kicked her out of the show, and I was a big fan of Monk. I was very disappointed, but after finding out Sharon would reappear for this episode, I couldn't wait to see it. I actually watched it twice in a row.

October 25 2009 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miles

If the guy who ran up to give the uncle CPR turned him on his back, why was he on his stomach for the police photos?

October 24 2009 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RevJonathan

I quit watching a short time after Sharona left. The show was so much weaker. It was like they completely abandoned developing Monk after she left. Natalie was not bad at all, but she has never been as good.

This episode was very good, and I wish they'd bring her back again, but there was too much goodbye in that hug for me to think she'll be back before the finale.

October 24 2009 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

It was a good episode, probably best of the season - I agree with that. Monk went downhill around the time Bitty left, though I don't blame the downfall on her departure or on any defect of Traylor Howard. The timing is just a coincident... it's when they ran out of clever ideas for murder scenarios and started to rely on making Monk a prop, a constant joke, etc.

Anyway, a few things were odd:

1. What did Monk see in the pictures that led him to believe it was murder? All the clues had nothing to do with the pictures. I still don't get what piece of evidence (which he gleaned off the photos in the lawyer's office) caused monk to initially suspect murder.

2. It is odd that the country club never bothered to fix the broken stair (note: evidence of repairs is not admissible in court to show that it was broken/defective in the first place). That being said, Sharona knew about the danger on the stairs and thus was negligent in using them. In most states, if a plaintiff's negligence is more than 50% of the total negligence, any financial recovery is barred. I'm sure most juries would hold Sharona's share of the negligence - as she KNEW of the danger and went there anyway - to be rather large. The only thing she's go going for her is that the country club never fixed it, and never put any "danger" signs around the area or closed off the staircase completely. I still don think Sharona would have gotten a penny (assuming she was even hurt and had damages to show for it).

Sharona and Randy? WTF?? I assume we'll be seeing more of Sharona. That's good. But she and Randy together? After all their fighting? I don't buy it. Sharona had ZERO respect for Randy.

October 24 2009 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pingles

Hard for me to judge whether it was a good show or not.

It was just SO great to see Sharona again I was tickled the entire episode.

They could have been reading the script from an Oreos commercial and I would have loved it.

October 24 2009 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pingles's comment
Sunny

I agree! Though I was a big fan at the start of the series, I've only watched Monk on rare occasions since Bitty Schram was axed. To me, the show wasn't the same without Sharona. So this episode was appointment viewing! An entertaining episode and a satisfying reunion for the characters.

Hoping that Sharona's comments about being back in a few weeks and whatever she's got going on with Disher means we'll be seeing Sharona one last time in the series finale.

October 24 2009 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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