(S08E16) The pressure of writing the last episode must be tremendous. Especially for a long-running show like Monk. The writers have to tie up loose ends, satisfy viewers' desire for the characters, and leave fans with a sense of closure. Closure, in fact, is the word Dr. Bell used with Adrian. Monk was looking for it and so were we.
But the ending is tough. There have been some shows that have stumbled badly at the end. Seinfeld, for instance, was a real stinker. But the memory of Newhart, which harkened back to The Bob Newhart Show may be the best-ever. Now, in the broader scheme of things, Seinfeld was a much better series than Newhart; in every way but the ending. Which brings us back to Monk. How did the writers navigate the Monk finale? Follow me after the jump and I'll tell you all about it.
Tony Shalhoub was interviewed about the end of Monk and it was interesting that as an actor, he waited till he filmed the end before learning Monk's fate. He said, "I think it's a good send-off. At the beginning of the season, the writers asked me if I wanted to know how everything [ended] and I said, if it was okay with them, I'd rather wait."
(S02E01) After the harrowing conclusion from last season, Mary Shannon was back and after 30 hours of sleep, she actually seemed ready to return to work. However, as Marshall soon found out, looks can be deceiving. Mary and Jinx and Brandi were still together and coping, but the effects of one of them nearly being raped, killing a man, concealing drugs, having their home turned inside out and suffering the indignity of the FBI invading every corner of your life took a toll. They thought they had come out the other side unscathed, but as the episode unfolded, damage was evident.
For Mary, getting back on a case, even as Marshall's sidekick, was a welcomed relief from administrative leave. Her denial of post-traumatic stress disorder was typical for her. In fact, she was suffering, but it manifested itself as a happy, chipper and congenial Mary. Stan, Marshall and Bobby D. were baffled by this alternate universe Agent Shannon, but for viewers wise to the ways of TV, it was clear that something was amiss.
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.
The Rock of Love 2 winner sets the record straight by asserting that she and Bret are still together. In fact, if they weren't, we would hear about it from her mouth and not Daisy's. Ambre says that Daisy has no involvement in their relationship. She also maintains that she bears no ill will toward Daisy.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Carson Kressley of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is going to tell us How to Look Good Naked and then let the world see us in our underwear.
- Bret Michaels, former singer in the 80's band Poison, will search for true love on a VH1 reality show airing this summer.
- Watching this week's episode of Lost , "Flashes Before Your Eyes", was like finding an enormous Easter egg... full of Easter eggs.
And, how unusual was this episode? The first 40 minutes had us thinking the detectives were investigating their usual child porn case, but then suddenly Olivia passes out?!? That's when the episode takes a turn from child porn to a much headier subject of chemical companies testing their products on humans. Wha? It took me a little while to catch up with the detectives as they spouted out their theories on why people in a low-income apartment building were being gassed. For a while there, I thought the theory was hair-brained and another of Det. Munch's theories. But it just kept going.
(S18E01) When Bart refuses to let Lisa sit with him on the bus, she tries to complain to Otto, but he'd rather rock out to his Grand Funk Railroad tape than bother with her. She tries to get his attention but manages to break his tape in the process, leaving him with no musical options except the kids' rendition of "Old MacDonald Had a Fart" and whatever crap his bus radio is spewing out. At that moment, he sees Metallica's tour bus stranded on the side of the road, but they opt to get a lift from Moleman, who once slept with Lars' grandmother. Oh yeah, and Bart steals the bus.
Enraged, Otto encounters Bart outside the school and spanks him. The corporal punishment is witnessed by Skinner, who instructs Otto to turn in his beaded seat cushion and gun. Until Otto is reinstated, the kids will have to rely on car pooling to get to school. On the first day, Marge takes Bart, Lisa and their friends, including Fat Tony's son, Michael. Since he's the son of a mob boss, everyone is afraid of Michael and wants nothing to do with him, but Lisa sees he's not the hardboiled criminal his father is and befriends him. Michael reveals he wants to be a chef, which upsets his father who wants him to take over the family business.
Anyway, it was a great way to spend a Friday night. On the couch, yelling out songs at the top of our lungs. Margaritas are optional.
It only makes sense that the theme song for a series about a dysfunctional family is "God Only Knows," recorded by another dysfunctional family, The Beach Boys. (If you want details, read Heroes and Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boys.) Watching this latest episode with that song playing in my head definitely made it an interesting experience.
You certainly get the impression that a man with three wives may have a fantasy life in one respect, but for those moments of pleasure, he certainly has to deal with more tension in his house (or in Bill's case, three houses) than any other married man or woman would need to deal with. However, I don't feel any kind of sympathy for Bill's plight--he put himself in this position. No one said polygamy was going to be easy!
Let's review what was on Bill's plate this week. His youngest wife Margene, who is a bit loud
in intimate situations, is begging Bill for a car so she can run errands. Barb and Nicki also continue to compete for
Bill's attention, and he pops Viagra like Tic-Tacs to keep pace. (Is it too much to ask for less shots of Bill Paxton's
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