I literally cried, I mean no doubt by the end my cheeks were soaked! And I seldom cry, especially not while watching Monk! I believe this episode was by far one of the best I have seen. I knew that Christmas present from Trudy was going to be more than just a watch, but wow this is amazing! Finally Trudy's murder is going to be solved! I'm just surprised it wasn't linked with Dale the Whale. Is Monk going to die at the end? It would have been amazing to have had a 2 hour finale instead; but regardless amazing episode! and next week is going to be heart-touching as well!
Well, it's finally here. After eight seasons, the epic two-part finale is upon us. The writers previously achieved two-part glory with the excellent "Mr. Monk is On the Run" from season six, so I came into this with high hopes that they could manage a repeat. And, while part one of "Mr. Monk and the End" isn't quite as strong as the first part of the aforementioned episode, it's still a strong episode with a lot to recommend, a few weird choices aside. If the second part comes through for us on the tantalizing possibilities introduced here, we'll be in for pure greatness, folks.
In one of the most striking cold opens I can recall seeing on this show, we witness the chilling murder of Trudy Monk. Twelve years later, Adrian is called back to the midwife clinic where he first heard the news, to investigate a crime of more significance than he ever would've expected. Fearing it's now only a matter of time before he finally pieces all the clues together, Trudy's killer (kept in silhouette but rather obviously the Craig T. Nelson character, unless they're playing some devious trick on us) decides that Monk must be the next to go. Before too long, he finds himself poisoned with just two days left to live - looks like the title has more than one meaning here - and then stumbles onto a vital clue in the Trudy case that had been sitting underneath his nose this whole time. Thus we reach the brutal cliffhanger ending, tantalizing us with a mysterious dark secret in Trudy's past, and setting the stage for an epic race against time to close the case once and for all, before it's too late.
This episode gets a lot of things right. Opening with an actual Trudy/Adrian scene before his meltdown was an interesting touch. By this point in the series, having been forced to wait this long, any progress on the Trudy case is exciting, and while this episode doesn't reveal much, the possibilities it sets up are fascinating. And I absolutely love that they brought back Trudy's Christmas present from "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" - I never would've suspected, when that episode first aired, that anything therein was of actual importance. Monk's poisoning is handled well, appropriately dramatic but wisely played with a slight pinch of comedy so it's not a completely depressing experience. I particularly enjoyed the "vomiting" scene - Monk clearly has his priorities straight! Ted Levine is, for once, given some interesting things to do, including an intense-but-believable chase scene and a great speech about Monk that more or less summarizes why I've been able to identify so much with him over the years. "That was his problem. He was too human."
On the negative side, and note that these are really just minor quibbles by comparison: The sudden reintroduction of Lieutenant Albright as Natalie's boyfriend feels awkward and rushed, a recurring element of this season's romantic plotlines. Seriously, was anyone itching for the reintroduction of this bland character? It's a little disappointing that the killer is seemingly revealed to us so early on in the episode, though it's possible (and seemingly probable) that the mystery behind the as-yet-unrevealed motive could make up for it. And finally, didn't they establish in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" that Monk was in the police station, laughing, when he got the call about Trudy? Weird that they'd contradict everything about that here, shifting the scene to the birthing center, with Monk completely serious, and having Stottlemeyer get the call.
But this is an episode where the good most certainly outweighs the bad. This series has been becoming more and more goofy and sitcom-ish in the last few seasons, but clearly the writers of this show still have what it takes to pull off brilliant emotional drama, too. With Andy Breckman himself behind this episode, I figured we'd be in for something special, and indeed we were. All throughout the season, I've been wondering if they could actually pull together a worthy finale for this series, and now I'm thrilled to say, they're halfway there.
Honestly I wish they wouldn't have ran a commercial for part 2 every commercial break. It really diminished the feeling of urgency to find a cure for the poison when we know he's gonna pull through. I mean, as a viewer I'm aware this is only part 1, but to remind me every 10 minutes took some of the desperation out of this episode. The scene with like 30 people holding Monk down to draw blood was a little silly. The part that irked me though was at the very end. The video with Trudy intimated that she had a secret life she hid from Monk. Poor Monk- loyal to a fault. He has spent his entire career and life trying to solve this last mystery. If we learn that Trudy was less than faithful, Monk will be crushed. It might even make solving the crime anticlimatic. Yea, he solved it, but... Oh well. Gonna just have to watch and see. Thank you for 8 wonderful seasons.
As Monk is working on the case of a doctor who was killed, he is poisoned by the same hit man that killed the doctor. As his condition worsens, the Police look for the hit man. They find him at a train station, and Stottlemeyer chases him onto the train tracks. Unfortunately, he is hit by a train and killed, meaning it is impossible to know what type of poison he used on Monk. Near the end, Monk opens the gift that Trudy gave him the day she died. It is a video tape, which monk plays. As Trudy is about to reveal a major secret, we fade to black and "TO BE CONTINUED".
Just a stunning episode. This one almost made me cry several times (e.g. in the beautiful scene where Monk is visited by Trudy, when monk is dying, when Monk visits Trudy's grave, when Natalie cries while bringing him the gift). As ALWAYS with Monk, the acting is impeccable. But what was noticeable was the quality of writing. The writing was so good in this episode, it reminded me of earlier seasons. (It also left me wondering why there were so many bad episodes this season. If these writers are THIS good, why did they ever write "Mr. Monk's favorite show"?) I also felt that, although this episode had plenty of good jokes and gags, it was more serious. The writers showed that Monk could have been a more serious show and would have been every bit as good (although I like it the way it is). I am so excited for next week's episode, I can barely stand it. This is definitely a finale worthy of this great show, and it is up there with the awesome finales of "Boston Legal" and such.
Well, this is it. Monk is one episode away from coming to an end. Going by this episode, the series finale might just turn out as the greatest Monk episode of all time. I really liked this episode because it got us back on the trail of the Trudy case. In a surprising twist, the killer was revealed to us early on. But as this question was answered, a few new ones were created. Will Monk survive? What was the big mystery that Trudy kept from him towards the end? I can't wait for next week to see how everything turns out. I was a bit surprised that Natalie had a love interest off screen this whole time. Secretly i was hoping that she and Monk might end up as a couple, but that looks out of the question now. I am looking forward to the series finale. I am just sad that this great show is coming to an end.
The writers and cast of this show simply could not be better. The episodes are always funny, witty, intelligent, and exceptionally well written. I will sorely miss one of only three shows left on television that I still watch. With all the reality drivel out there, its nice to still have something that a modicum of thought goes into making and doesn't simply appeal to the lowest common denominator. I fear that in the near future all that will be left is the garbage programming like The Hills, Jerry Springer, and WWE. I wonder if I shouldn't just remove my teeth, have a frontal labodomy (sp?), buy a case of Busch Light and a can of chew and sit back to watch the end of intelligent programming. RIP Monk.
Well everyone, this is it. Monk is slowly coming to an end, and they sure know how to keep you in suspense. I mean, Monk is poisoned and will die soon, and the only person who knew the antidote is dead. And now, Monk seems to finally have all the answers he needs from something Trudy left behind. Why was she killed? Who is her killer? Just what really happened twelve years ago? All shall be revealed next week. I wish they had done a two hour long finale, becasue I am so psyched for the next episode now, but I'll wait for the finale.
Really nice way to start off the finale, REALLY looking forward to part 2.
I really can't believe Monk is coming to an end. It is the staple of cable TV and I just can't imagine the tele without Adrian Monk. Part 1 of the finale was action-packed as we had a chase with Stottlemeyer, of all people, and the show somehow managed to make it believable (although when they have Natalie run down a murderer, I'll give up). But much more than that was a productive story on how to end this show properly. Should Monk die (I am confident he won't)? Does he finally solve Trudy's murder?
What I will remember most about this show is that it survived the test of time. People nowadays like raunchy comedy, but this is a show that is fun for the whole family and will always be what I associate USA Network with.
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