Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and the Dog
by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 31st 2009 12:32PM
(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.]