"Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" has got to be one of the most unique, intriguing, and memorable episodes in the entire 'Monk' series. In terms of setting, more beach fun after the previous success, "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man", is very warm and satisfying. Now, getting back to the main review, I personally think this story should be rated among the best mystery stories ever. In fact, I just got finished watching it on my Season 6 DVD for my fourth time, which lead to my leaving a review here:
Apart from realizing that Adrian Monk is 99% right all the time, the fact that Linda Fusco first got be a recurring character on the series made her sudden shift to unlikely murderer very dramatic. Probably what makes it so shocking is that it defies the basic rules of other TV shows: Since Linda is a recurring character, we're meant to assume she has to be innocent. The plot itself is perfect, but what really would have been cool (which, from a certain point of view, isn't a drawback at all) would be if Linda had appeared more than just 3 episodes in the series before this one! The more frequently a recurring character appears on a show, the more comfortable we get around them, and less we suspect that some shocking surprise is in store for them.
I would estimate that this episode, just because it was made for TV, instead of a theatrical Hollywood feature film, will probably go down in history as somewhat underappreciated, but I for one must say that I have seen theatrical films with less taste and story quality than this little gem of an episode. In fact, theoretically speaking, If I was a professor or teacher doing a lecture on studying mystery/crime thriller books or movies of any kind, "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" would DEFINITELY be on my 'required curriculum' viewing list for my audience! That's how good the story is!
Love it... couldn't get tired of it. Just make sure you see "Mr. Monk, Private Eye" (Season 5, Episode 5), and "Mr. Monk and his Biggest Fan" (Season 6, Episode 1), before viewing!