Season 2 Episode 9

Mr. Monk and the 12th Man

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Aug 22, 2003 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
212 votes
  • Summer finale - going out with a bang

    The "summer finale" (for lack of a better term) gives us an episode that dwells mostly on the primary characters and all four of them get good time.

    Monk: The runnning gag with the button as his anxiety-of-the-week is done at about the right length and emphasis. The episodes work worst when they dwell on his OCD ad nauseum until we're sick of it. Interestingly, Monk's not obsessed with Sharona leaving him and how he can function without her, but rather how he can use her relationship to his advantage (and whether it's right or wrong). It's an interesting spin although it really doesn't get resolved.

    Sharona: Being the center of attention seems to bring her out, particularly when Stottlemeyer asks for her opinion on the case. Unfortunately they decided not to use Kane Richotte this episode - it would have been interesting to see how he reacts to Mommy's newest boyfriend. Her final affirmation of support to Monk, although never really in doubt, puts things back to normal.

    Stottlemeyer: We get a return to the bad liar version we've seen in the premiere and in "Red-Headed Stranger." It's kind of amusing that Stottlemeyer, who spends his time sniffing out crooks who lie, can't tell a lie to save his life. Most episodes kinda just let us assume Stottlemeyer believes in Monk and his abilities - it's good that this one has him make a definite declaration, putting his career on the line. These kind of declarations would get boring if done every week, but here it works just fine.

    Disher: We get all of the lieutenant's little quirks, and his jealousy of Sharona and her new beau is played up just fine.

    The supporting cast: I thought this was the weakest part of the episode. Kroger didn't have much to do, Mrs. Ling was entertaining enough but horribly stereotypical (with her Charlie Chan-style speech patterns - to paraphrase the movie Murder by Death - "Why can't you say propositions or articles?"), and Lauren Tom can and has done much better work. The bit with pipe-in-the-head guy also definitely oversteps the border of good taste and goes on a painfully long time and is really unnecessary. Worse, there's no payoff - we never find out what Monk thinks of a guy crazier then he is. Kenny is initially kind of likeable - not everyone would want to go on a date with Monk along. But he soon deteriorates into standard ego/career-advancing Politician Guy.

    The Mystery: Not much of one. The writer hides a couple of vital clues from us (such as the fact they all lived in Marin County, I believe), so it's not really a whodunnit or "what's the connection" type mystery that we the audience can solve. The killer's voice is fairly distinctive so letting us hear him at the beginning doesn't help (assuming you're familiar with the actor/actress' body of work). The killer's plan doesn't make much sense, and the crime he/she committed originally seems oddly timed (can't explain more without going into Spoilers, unfortunately). This isn't necessarily bad - not every episode has to be "Whodunnit?" or "How'd they do it?" The last finale ("Airplane") was similar, in that the episode was more about Monk bringing the killer to justice rather then figuring out something that we the audience had to figure out as well. Here the "mystery" was more of a backdrop to explore the characters rather then the central aspect of the case.

    Overall, though, I'd rate the episode very highly. The dialogue is sharp and true to character, which makes up for a lot. It ain't the mystery, it's how Monk and Company get there.
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show monk . he is called to investgate a string of murders that are happening they think at first there not connected till later they start to look closer when two more people are murder and they find out that a man murderd his wife and the jury was called to the scene were a man had gotten a pipe stuck in his head and one of the jury discoverd the body of his first wife and start to black mail him and then he started to kill off the jury of the case one by one till he foud out who was blackmailing him this was a good ep
  • Perhaps my favorite episode -- everything works very well!

    This is one of my three favorite Monk episodes. It is virtually perfect -- most aspects very good, and nothing really bad. kkj228elbo, in his review, says just about everything I was about to say. The highlight for me was Lauren Tom, playing Mrs. Ling, the Chinese dry cleaner, who was irked by Monk's fussiness. Everything she said was correct and cracked me up. I found none of it offensive (stereotypical). The scenes with Sherona and Jerry Levine (Kenny Shale) were funny. All of the characters contributed to the plot. Everything was well integrated with the plot. The whole idea of the murderer killing off the jurors one-by-one was over the top, but we can chalk that up to "required suspension of disbelief." The other aspects of the plot and detecting were nicely logical for a change.

    Two other comments; (1) as Gislef says in his review, Monk's OCD worked very well here -- it involved Monk's penchant for neatness/evenness/uniformity. I found that funny and endearing. It didn't involve his fear of germs and human contact -- I find that irritating, and it often goes on too long. The producers should take note. And (2) probably Sherona is favored by so many viewers over the Natalie character, not so much because of the difference in the actresses' ability, but because Sherona had more interesting written parts, like her dating catastrophes, as in this episode. Natalie just isn't given much to do other than be kind to Monk.
  • This episode is one of my favorites!!!

    This episode is a great example of exactly why I watch this series. It is hilarious (I am waiting to see Mrs. Ling come back again- I cracked up when her and Monk fought over the dry cleaning!!!) It kept me on the edge of my seat, every single character played their part well, and it was hilarious. Monk really had to think to solve this case and I really enjoyed Sharona's part in it. All in all, I would have to classify this as one of my personal favorites, and this is for sure an episode that is worth watching!