Season 8 Episode 11

Mr. Monk and the Dog

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 30, 2009 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
391 votes
  • Mr. Monk and the Furry Wet-Nosed Kid

    It must be a really tough time to be a writer on this show. Like any series that has existed past the one hundred episode mark, there just aren't that many original story ideas left to do. Such was especially evident here, with a story that shamelessly rehashes season three's "Mr. Monk and the Kid". Though they have some success with some decent character moments, the fact remains that nearly everything here has already been done, better, in the aforementioned episode.

    Monk is called in to investigate the "mysterious" disappearance of Amanda Castle, an artist who apparently had a close relationship with her dog, Shelby. Monk's first encounter with the animal is awkward in ways anyone familiar with the series would expect, but when an animal control officer informs him that Shelby will be killed in a month if no one claims her, the ever-lonely Monk makes the shocking decision to adopt the dog on a temporary basis. From here, the episode takes the obvious turn with Monk finding himself beginning to love the dog...just like "Mr. Monk and the Kid", except furrier.

    Surely this supposed mystery is the least mysterious in the entire history of the show. By the end of the cold open, we know who did it, why he did it, and precisely how he did it. All we're left with is finding the evidence to prove it, and said evidence becomes readily obvious as soon as our killer, Steven DeWitt (who looks vaguely like a much older Kevin Dorfman), tries to run down Shelby in his car. So...yeah. Not mysterious in the least. The writers do make an attempt to shake things up a little by giving us a somewhat sympathetic killer, and while we can never actually bring ourselves to feel for the guy, it does at least lead to one of the highlights of the episode, with Monk cleverly manipulating this fact to unravel this week's apparently now mandatory "potentially deadly confrontation with the villain" scenario.

    Mystery was obviously secondary to character development again this week, with the focus squarely on Monk's interactions with Shelby. She's one of those "perfect" Hollywood dogs, able to perfectly understand the English language, and never do anything particularly destructive or disgusting, aside from the always obligatory drinking-from-the-toilet scene. Then again, Tommy (from "...the Kid") was eerily well-behaved, too. The nature of the dog humour here really brings the episode down, being more or less the same kind of thing we've seen countless times in other TV shows. Especially the toilet drinking. (On that note, am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Monk would leave the toilet seat up?) This episode is just not original in any sense of the word. However, I will admit to liking the final scene here nonetheless - like the hug in last week's episode, Monk finally petting Shelby without gloves showcases Tony Shalhoub's marvelous knack for saying a lot with a small gesture.

    We've already seen Monk adopt a helpless creature (for lack of a better word) and then learn to love it, only to give it up for its own good in the end. This episode gives me no reason to want to see this again. It just doesn't work. "Mr. Monk and the Kid", on the other hand, was a surprisingly good episode, and I would gladly recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind spending an hour with a similarly weak mystery, because Monk's character development there makes great efforts to overcome that particular downfall. Ah, season three. Now that must've been a pretty good time to be a writer on this show...
  • Mr. Monk befriends a dog after the owner was killed.

    With such a mixed bag this season it is good to finally see an episode that while it's not good in the crime solving aspect,this episode was a delight for character development. -Spoilers Ahead- We start off the episode with a guy having a discussion with his companion over whether he has a wife already or not. The fight escalates as the woman finds some picture and a ring and tries to destroy them. Trying to stop her, the guy throws her aside resulting in her hitting her head against the kitchen counter. She is still alive and tries to call 911 but she goes unconscious. He stops the call and watches her die. We see the scene through her eyes as she fades away which was something very dramatic. The next day Monk is shown attending a family party with Natalie, where the girls makes him feel lonely by talking about family. This of course is a good setup for later Monk having a reason to want to adopt a dog named Shelby that belonged to the woman that died. This of course triggers a series of funny and touching moments of Monk bonding with a dog that right now has no family same as he. As it turns out, in the end Shelby turns out to give birth, literally, to evidence that their owners had met for some time. In the end the guy that killed the owner repented and admitted it was mostly an accident and he loved her. Something rarely seen in the series.

    Not going into more details, saying all this involving the dog are really big steps for Monk. One, he coped with his fear of birth and human nature, as he was there to witness the moment Shelby had puppies. Also during the episode Monk used gloves to touch and pet Shelby, but in the end, he took them off and petted her in a very touching scene where we see portraits of Trudy in the background helping highlight the fact that Monk for once is feeling affection and caring towards something other than her, even if its a dog. A cute dog that is.

    All in all this was a nice episode, part of the mixed bag that all the season has been. Here's hoping the end shows as good writing as this episode had.
  • a dog

    It is amazing that after all these years Monk was still able to come up with quirky things to test the cleanliness of the character, such as the dog here tonight. The scenes did not exactly move the storyline forward but they were funny and provided a nice breath of fresh air from the usual things Adrian goes through.

    It was also nice to see the first suspect actually be the killer. Usually many shows throw a bunch of curveballs at us, but that is one of the reasons why Monk was so great. It wasn't always about solving the whodunnit, it was also sometimes about Monk trying to beat the evil killer.
  • "ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff!" that's Dog for ten! Monk's favourite number, and an appropriate rating for this episode. Monk is having a good final season and this is my fave ep so far.

    this episode melted my heart and made me laugh a lot, a lot! it was absolutely sweet to watch Monk interact with that dog. that dog was so cute it could have it's own show! the script was pretty good for this ep too, there was a surprise at the end which i did not see coming. I was completely consumed with enjoying watching Monk and the dog, so that was a good 'mis-direction' i guess you'd say which made me more easily surprised by the twist i think. I loved how Monk's character "opened his heart" to the dog, as Nathalie said. i'm really looking forward to seeing how they wrap up the series - I feel like the show is on a really good curve right now, and that should take it to an excellent finish. which will be bittersweet no doubt. I'll miss it, but i think they are going out in style.