Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and Sharona
by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 10:31AM
(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.
"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.]