The real novelty was Monk's getting in touch with his inner child. That and Tim Bagley returning as Harold Krenshaw. It's always fun when Monk's nemesis shows up, but this was a reborn Harold. Thanks to his new shrink, Dr. Kleinman, Harold wasn't interested in competing with Monk. He just wanted to embrace the wonders of life.
To commemorate the 100th episode, they created Mr. Monk's 100th Case, and using a show within a show format, celebrated Adrian Monk, a modern day Sherlock Holmes. San Francisco's defective detective
Thank goodness it all worked! I was afraid we were going to get a clip-laden, down-memory-lane type of show with nothing remotely intriguing. No, writer Tom Scharpling and company were more clever than that.
There were other differences in tonight's show. The murder of the taxi driver brought Stottlemeyer and Disher to the case, and Natalie and Adrian, but also a San Francisco Homicide task force -- i.e. two other detectives.
Have we ever seen these guys before? I don't remember them. They were there for one reason basically, to contradict Monk's assertion that the prime suspect -- Layla with a Z, a beautiful social worker -- is not the "guy." In the face of mounting evidence, Monk refused to believe she did it.
-- Monk to Dr. Bell
(S07E05) You kind of knew when you put together the words Monk and submarine you were going to get an unusual episode, didn't you? As a longtime Monk watcher, you know that enclosed places are not Adrian-friendly environs, so when an old friend of Natalie's -- hottie Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as her late husband Mitch's buddy, Lt. Steve Albright -- asked Monk to investigate a suspicious death on the U.S.S. Seattle, trouble would ensue. Was it a contrived situation to get Monk trapped on board? You bet, but you accept that and move on.
What made this episode unique was how Monk reacted. Initially, he ran for the hatch like a crazed three-year-old. But then Adrian concocted a coping mechanism. This was a Monk first. To deal with claustrophia, he envisioned Dr. Bell by his side.
For starters, there was no star murderer. It was an interesting case for a change, especially since the killer was a professional hit man. The planting of the bomb in the heavy bag was clever, although wouldn't a real pro make sure that the target would be hit? The set up was so random. And if you don't care about killing, why not leave a bomb big enough to destroy the gym and everyone in it? Just wondering...
I never realized that Mr. Monk likes being a celebrity. This episode really underscored that fact. When the uniformed cop asks for his autograph and then he talks to the guy's nephew, Monk is giddy as he tells Natalie that the kid thinks he's "Cooler than Spider-man?" Autographs and ego. I didn't realize that Monk enjoyed his status.
Meanwhile, in a really odd turn, the body is just laying there. What a cavalier attitude about showing the body, I mean that's kind of unusual for an episode of Monk. There was no sheet over the body. And the killing was pretty vicious. The aggressiveness of the killer, the way he chased her, then stabbed her three times, suggested passion to me, but it was all a red herring.
Unfortunately, this episode wasn't written by Levinson and Link. The clues to the mystery fell into place without any great surprise or twist. The wife was poisoned when she drank from a secret stash of oleander laced wine, which was never found. That was just Monk's supposition after swiping the flowers from the garden. That would be inadmissible evidence because he had no warrant to get them from Kloster's home. Then he actually tried to plant the evidence -- again, not very smart or Monk-like.
Monk's sudden displeasure with his home is rooted in his discomfort in his life now that Dr. Kroger is gone. The ultimate egotist, in that Monk cares most for himself, Adrian is desperate to throw himself into work to avoid the irritating piano-playing coming from the little girl across the street and disturbing the sanctuary of his home. Kudos to the new therapist, Dr. Bell, for connecting the dots and quickly sizing up why Monk finds the music so displeasing.
On Friday, July 18th, the seventh season of Monk will premiere on the USA network. For some this is incredibly good news, particularly since the show will be celebrating its 100th episode come September. For others, season seven is three or four seasons too many. It's these people who think Adrian Monk should retire to a Feung Shui-styled, completely dust-free room to live out his remaining days lamenting about his lost love Trudy.
Fortunately, Tony Shalhoub doesn't want Monk to retire. In a recent interview the actor who plays the obsessive-compulsive Mr. Monk said that there is plenty more to explore about the character and the people around him. This is especially true thanks to the revelations of the season six finale, which opened up a whole new avenue for Monk to find the killer of his wife. That, and the introduction of a new therapist into Monk's life (due to the sudden death of Stanley Kamel), have the seventh season looking interesting.
There are two things you may or may not believe about Monk. One is the fact that it is now entering its seventh season on USA Network (season premiere on Friday, July 18th). The other is that the series will be celebrating its 100th episode this year, making it the grandaddy of the 'Characters Welcome' slate of original programming on the network.
This will be an interesting season for Mr. Monk. With the death of Stanley Kamel back in April, Monk will be getting a new doctor this year in the form of Hector Elizondo. In addition to that, Monk's search for his wife's killer will intensify after a big piece of the puzzle was revealed during last season's finale. Throw in guest appearances by Robert Loggia, Brad Garrett and Eric McCormick, and this could be a big season for the show.
Sometimes reruns from a cable series can do rather well on network television as a bigger audience pool checks them out. That wasn't the case with Monk and Psych.
The two USA network hits (often in the top 10 in the Nielsen cable ratings) didn't fare too well when NBC ran them on Sunday nights the past couple of months, so the Peacock Network is pulling the shows immediately. Fans of The Office will be happy to hear that NBC will air a two hour marathon of Office repeats in the 9 to 11 time slot. That is, until they decide to put another reality show at that time.
Kamel has had an incredibly long career in TV and the movies. He was a regular on such series as Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Murder One, L.A. Law, and Cagney and Lacey, and appeared in dozens of TV shows over the years, including The West Wing, MacGyver, The Golden Girls, Hunter, Star Trek: TNG, Murder, She Wrote, Reba, The Guardian, General Hospital, NYPD Blue, 7th Heaven, The Mod Squad, Mannix, The Rookies, Three's Company, Emergency, Kojak, and many more. Besides episodes of Monk, he was also filming a feature film titled For Better Or Worse, and a new movie, The Urn, which will be released later this year.
We'll update this post once we found out what exactly happened. Access Hollywood and the other shows will have more later today.
Update: Kamel died of a heart attack.
Before then, you can catch up with Monk, and USA's other whimsical detective series, Psych, when they air on NBC in March. Although it has not be announced as yet, USA will likely pick up Psych, too, and they will continue running in tandem.
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