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October 6, 2015

Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and the Badge

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 21st 2009 12:35AM
File this one under be careful what you wish for ... I feel like Rod Serling writing that, but there was a bit of a Twilight Zone feel to this episode of Monk. It was Monk in an alternate universe, only it looked like the same place we'd been to before. Same with Natalie. More on how things were the same, but different, after the jump.

Once Leland presented Monk with the badge, reinstating him to active duty, the universe shifted. You could tell because as soon as Monk was back on the job he looked different. He was wearing a tie. Ties and the badge.

Being back on the force was nothing like Monk expected. The desk was the same, but the time wasn't. Monk had no idea what to do with a PC and the very notion of being stuck behind a desk was antithetical to Adrian. He can't do that thing with his hands if he's stuck in a chair. But even when he was allowed to hit the streets, it was still all wrong.

The more he was told to stop being Monk, the more he needed to be Monk. He couldn't keep from solving the crime, even after being told to "button it." It was strange to see Monk cut off from Natalie, Randy and Leland. Working with the other cops -- detectives that didn't care for his idiosyncratic style -- Monk was forced to conform.

To his credit, he tried. He went to the cop bar (drinking ginger ale). He stopped picking up the shell casings at the firing range (he could come back later). He tried not to cross the thin blue line when it looked like Demarco was involved with the window washer (but he still questioned the widow). Monk couldn't turn off that quirk in his brain that solves crimes.

With Dr. Bell, Adrian was able to say what he'd been thinking: "It's my dream job and it's making me miserable." Quoting Oscar Wilde, Dr. Bell responded, "When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."

The resolution on the window washer trolley was especially good because it showed that when push came to shove, Monk was able to handle the rigors of the job. They weren't wrong to put him back in service. He solved the case, confronted the suspect and defended himself when Mikael tried to kill him. He not only defended himself, he was resourceful enough to stab the guy with the only thing he had at hand, his badge.

Adrian rewarded himself for a job well done by giving up the badge. He was sans tie at the end, and ready to return to his miserable old self. That miserable guy was as happy as the post-Trudy Monk could ever be. And Natalie wanted back too, even if she had to take a pay cut!

Other points of interest:

-- It was unclear why Natalie gave up the great job with Paxson. Sure, she missed Monk, but that was a great job. Maybe Natalie needs to be needed as much as Monk needs to be miserable?

-- Brooke Adams -- Mrs. Tony Shalhoub -- was back as yet another character to cross paths with Monk. This time she was a goofy cat lady, until Mr. Lawrence turned out not to be a kitty the way Mr. Barton was.

Funny dialogue:

Monk: "I thought it was a surprise."
Natalie: "What were you expecting?"
Monk: "I thought it might be Joey Heatherton."

Disher: "I don't see him."
Stottlemeyer: "He's here somewhere. He's separated the fruit salad."

[Check episodes of Monk on SlashControl.]

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...and her giant bass.

November 22 2009 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only one who is getting the feeling that Trudy has been alive all this time, never killed in the car bomb, and that she and Adrian will be reunited in the series finale? Trudy has been in hiding, held captive, or has amnesia, or whatever.... But in the series finale, she and Adrian will finally be reunited and live happily ever after.

I have nothing against happy endings, but that will be so lame. Just solve the case - a happy ending for me will be Monk getting to confront the person who killed Trudy (and then marry Natalie). But at this point, I get the feeling they will try for super-happy and Trudy will still be alive. I think that will be extremely lame.

November 21 2009 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

I'm hoping the show will end with him waking up next to Helen Chapel....

November 21 2009 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like Monk, both the oddball person and the show, so I was thrilled to see him get his badge back but knew from the signs it wouldn't last. I know it is for the sake of plot but couldn't they have assigned him as special detective to the chief? That and as you pointed out Natalie's quick exit from what appeared to be a dream job just don't add up...but this is Monk and close to the series finale, so we chalk it up as closure. I guess on the Natali front when all you can report about your day was securing a dinner reservation, she felt underutilized. Did you notice not only did he wear a tie but his suit was different?

November 21 2009 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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