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October 25, 2014

Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and the Dog

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 31st 2009 12:32PM
mr_monk_the_dog_usa
(S08E11)
All the people involved in Monk know that this is the last season. They've promoted it as such, and clearly they've planned it that way. That could explain why Monk is evolving in these last episodes. I was truly encouraged by last week's Sharona episode, which was one of the best Monks I've seen in a long time.

Could the next episode possibly be that good? Well, not quite, but it was wonderful. I'm giving anything away -- it's in the title -- but this was all about Mr. Monk and a dog. Yes, Adrian and a dog. More after the jump.

The case itself was pretty awful. The murder was not planned or even intended. It was just a dumb accident, but in an dumb impulsive move, the guy covered it up. Why he would then go to the extent he did to keep the dog from being connected to him, didn't make a lot of sense. But who cares, it was all a backdrop for Monk finding a friend. A canine friend.

It was unlikely that Monk would ever be open to letting a pet get to him, but he did. Shelby was cute as a button, which helped, and considering how hard it is to train a dog unless you're the dog whisperer, she was very docile, sweet and cooperative. She made it easy for Adrian to become attached.

Attached he became and that was nearly as emotional as Sharona's return. Monk softened. He walked the dog without freaking out about poop. He did wear industrial hardware gloves to pet Shelby, but at least he tried.

Monk fell in love with Shelby. He bought her ice cream. He was anxious to spend time with her. He played fetch without a plastic bag. Who said that Adrian was incapable of real emotional connection?

There was a great gag when they were searching for Amanda's body. It was a wink to The Mentalist. Monk asked a field full of searching volunteers to listen, then told the killer to raise his or her hand. That was a Patrick Jane bit from last season. Fortunately, Monk used it as a clue to identify the glasses-wearing cad.

The cad was played by Wallace Langham from CSI. Another inside joke, that a forensic expert on one show was a forensic screw up on the other?

The finale had me teary. Shelby and her pups were going to a family. Monk did right by her, but the cost was a broken heart. The pictures of Trudy behind Adrian as he removed the glove spoke volumes. Yes, he would be able to see Shelby again, so it wasn't a total loss.

But Monk had gone from "Dog, lick hand, boil water" to a true touch, skin to fur.

[You can see Monk on SlashControl.]

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itsy

Where have you been, Jimbo? The photos of Melora Hardin as Trudy have been on the walls for ages, not to mention the episode in which she appeared as a Trudy-lookalike and the episode in which she played Trudy in a flashback (the one in which Monk went to L.A. to help his tv producer father-in-law). (Seems to me that there were similar flashbacks in other episodes, as well, but I can't recall any specifics..)

November 02 2009 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phish

they've even cast 'jan' from the office to play monk's dead wife. any one notice the pic of her hanging on the wall?

November 02 2009 at 4:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

I loved this episode. Watching Monk develop a relationship with the dog was touching. I really didn't think much of last weeks episode. Sharonna came off as shrewish and too jealous. This episode was sweet, and watching Leland, Randy and Natalie rally around was nice.

October 31 2009 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

The only way Monk would have changed would have been if he had kept the dog. Nothing EVER changes, except his shrink b/c Stanley Kamel died. A sweet little moment, with the nice, sentimental music playing in the background, does not equate with character growth.

And how about something about solving Trudy's murder? Are they just going to wait to the very last episode? "Mr. Monk and the Resolution of Trudy's Murder"? Nothing else about it this last and final season leading up to the ultimate episode of the series?

Come on.

October 31 2009 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
Rhomboid

Monk has mellowed substantially from the early days. Go watch the first couple seasons -- he had an intense fear of everything 'nature' and couldn't even stand to walk on grass. In this episode he was nonchalantly walking through a field, and for the last few seasons he's had no trouble being in parks and the outdoors.

November 03 2009 at 5:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

It sounds like I am not the only one who did not get the reason for the cover-up.

I loved the scene with Monk running away from the dog after she drank from the toilet bowl when I saw it in the first promos but then they kept on showing it and by the time I watched the ep all I could think was that Monk would never leave the seat up.

October 31 2009 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MamaS

Great episode, but why did they use Shih Tzu puppies at the end - an Australian Shepherd/Bearded Collie mix does not look like a Shih Tzu (who by the way have long curly tails, when taillessness was a major clue!)? Other than that, a great episode.

October 31 2009 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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