Season 3 Episode 3

Mr. Monk and the Blackout

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 09, 2004 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
215 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Three deaths during a blackout lead Monk to a killer who was a '90s radical... and has been dead for a decade.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Back on Track

    After a so-so couple of episodes, "...and the Blackout" is back on track with an episode that is a bit more subtle in a number of places. The main characters aren't quite so over the top, and there's some nice bits of characterization.

    We start with another Game Night At The Flemings, which harkens back to Clue. Although you wonder why Sharona still tries - it must be the whole family thing. And we have quite the malfunctional family here.

    Then there's a traditional "Monk gets called in on a case" with a little bit of romance tossed in as the hook for this week's plot. Michelle Rivas is interesting enough that her feelings for Adrian seem reasonable. And she doesn't give up on Adrian until a fairly reasonable period of time after exposure to his quirks. Kudos to any woman who'd put up with a 52-story climb for Monk!

    We then move onto a relatively wasted guest/cameo appearance by Judge Reinhold, barely recognizable in a cap, mustache, and beard. And then he gets killed in a fairly chilling murder scene reminscient of the movie "Killdozer." (And may be indicative of a more violent trend to the show - in the next episode we someone get chopped up with a chainsaw as blood flies.)

    Monk eventually figures out the mystery, which admittedly isn't much of one. Again, there's really only one suspect, and the motive seems a bit...vague. Particularly since Monk could just go to the video tape to figure things out, which would imply the "secret" wasn't going to remain very "secret" for long, since the motive for the killing was common knowledge.

    As is often the case, it's not the mystery but the Monk backstory and characterization that makes the episode. Tony Shalhoub reins it in until later in the episode for once, rather then overacting. By the time he does go into full-blown panic mode (on the elevator during the second blackout), we've seen how much stress he's under, both from the first blackout and his disastrous date. Even if the idea of an elevator serving a 52-story building with a 800 lb. weight capacity seems a bit silly...

    Meanwhile Adrian's plight is touching - the bit with the cards is a nice touch. Note again the subtle touch - the pile of "Trudy cards" is much higher then the others. And again, Adrian's ruse doesn't fall apart for the sake of "comedy" but rather ends with another indicator of how much Adrian cared for Trudy.

    Stottlemeyer has a relatively small part, and seems actually happy that Adrian's starting to move on. Disher isn't quite as much a buffoon - although you almost think he is going to follow Monk's orders at the end. Although it's more of a measure of his faith in Adrian then general stupidity, which is sometimes how he's written.

    Sharona doesn't have a whole lot to do but she's generally supportive of Monk, and despite the fact she gets to play damsel-in-distress, it at least gives Adrian a chance to play the appropriately-goofy hero in a scene that seems to be parodying the end of "Silence of the Lambs."

    Also, thankfully, the episode ends with Adrian redeeming himself a bit in the eyes of his lady, rather then go the route of having her totally repelled and never wanting to see him again.

    Overall, "...and the Blackout" managed to keep things a lot more balanced and seems to be back on track after a few minor episodes that strayed a bit.moreless
  • Mr. Monk & the Blackout Three people die during a black out in the city.

    In this episode Mr. Monk has an opportunity to date someone. It has been over 8 yrs since the death of Trudy and for those of us who have seen “Monk” we know he does not like change. The story line is based around a black out in the city and their primary suspect has been dead for six years. This episode is just as entertaining as the rest. So enjoy it as I have.

  • I think Mr. Monk and the Blackout was hysterical!!!

    This episode had me laughing my a** off! I think they had SO many details and twists and turns that it was a joy to watch! I really enjoyed all of the guest cast. Seeing Judge Reinhold, in the tree, was great! The elevator scene was fabulous! The lady who played Rita was a blast to watch. She was the one who told Mr. Monk to stop pushing the buttons. Just thinking about Mr. Monk in that situation makes me laugh!

    Great writing and funny dialogue! Another wonderful show!moreless
Alicia Coppola

Alicia Coppola

Michelle Rivas

Guest Star

Todd Stashwick

Todd Stashwick

Gene Edelson

Guest Star

Stacy Michelle

Stacy Michelle


Guest Star

Kane Ritchotte

Kane Ritchotte


Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Trivia: The piles Monk uses while talking to Michelle on the phone read (within others): 2004 Compact Sedans, 2004 Film Festivals, Reality Television, Thinking about you, History, Trudy, Where from?, Organic Produce, Belizean Cuisine, French Cuisine, Pop Music, Travel Europe and Investigation.

    • If Brenner was so afraid that people would find out that he was still alive, why didn't he at least use a typewriter or computer to write his letter? This way the police wouldn't have been able to match his handwriting.

    • The sign slapped on the front of the building says, "SAN FRANCISCO POWER COMPANY 1947 A.D." It should read, "SAN FRANCISCO POWER COMPANY A.D. 1947." "A.D.," which stands for the Latin phrase "Anno Domini" ("in the year of our Lord"), precedes rather than follows the numeric year.

    • When Monk is using the bullhorn to talk to the radical in the tree, he takes it from Stottlemeyer and shortly afterward loses it to Stottlemeyer once again but doesn't ask Sharona for a wipe as he usually would. Yet when he bumps into the wheelbarrel and gets cement on his hands, he asks for a wipe.

    • The show that was blacked out was celebrating San Francisco's bicentennial. However, the village that was to become San Francisco was founded in 1835. San Francisco will not celebrate its bicentennial another thirty-one years.

    • When the light is turned on in the house, Monk, who is still wearing the night-vision goggles, should have been temporarily blinded.

    • "Foreman" is misspelled as "Forman" in the ending credits.

  • QUOTES (17)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Willie Nelson, who previously guest-starred in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," receives "a Special Thanks to Our Friend Willie Nelson" in the ending credits.


    • Sharona: Like the Fly.
      Refers to the 1986 movie The Fly, where Jeff Goldblum accidentally transforms himself into a giant man/fly through an accident with one of his scientific experiments.

    • Night-vision goggles
      Anyone who has seen Ted Levine as the sinister murderer Jame Gumb/"Buffalo Bill" in The Silence of the Lambs will recognize the night-vision goggles scene as a comic spoof/tribute to that incredible performance.

  • 8:00 pm
    500 Questions