After 8 seasons it is time to say Good Bye to Monk. With Mr. Monk and the End Part 2, it was the last time the show would bring us entertainment a Friday night. While during its course the show has had some great episodes and not so good episodes, I'm glad to see the series ending on a high note with a decent episode, with some very poignant scenes, but also lacking in some key areas.
The problem with the whole end is that its a great episode as a standalone, but when put against all the build up and background we had for the Trudy story arc it feels lacking. The only time it really felt like an arc it was at the beginning with the recap adding flashbacks of the pilot episode and Sharona, and during the end with mentioning of the "stove" line, but as for the mystery itself, it felt like a simple one that didn't make use of all the clues we had from before except for season six's reveal of "The Judge", and that gift that Monk never opened. On the other hand we only get the six fingered man in a flashback and there is absolutely no mention of Dale the Whale. And they added new clues at the last minute telling us there was a missing midwife the same day Trudy died.
I guess the choice of the writers was based in, being Monk primarily an episodic show, they didn't mention much of what had happened before. But in a subtle way they did close the arc and with the revelation they challenged Monk's love for Trudy. Having Monk find out that Trudy was not the saint and perfect image he glorified and obsessed over was, is a great plot twist, but maybe it was a little downplayed on the screen, what will all right jumping to the happy moments of Monk finding Molly and becoming better.
Apart from writing, the acting was super on all sides, specially from Tony Shaloub. Having to portray anger, sickness, sadness, all in one moment is not an easy task, but Monk pulled it off beautifully. Craig T. Nelson was great in his role as the villain, and in my opinion the confrontation with Monk on the grave and digging wouldn't have worked if both actors weren't so good. Ted Levine was also great, as was the rest of the cast. Even Molly in her few minutes of screen time didn't do bad at all. The direction was nice, being a dark episode and all. The Monk confrontation in the rain had a goof, that in small shot I didn't really see any rain falling, and it was kinda inconsistent, but other than that it was great.
All in all, a great episode, that in the end felt a little rushed, but provided closure for the entire series. A mention to Dale the Whale would have been nice, since he clearly knew about Sheriff Rollins, Frank Nunn, Warrick Tennyson and I bet about the Judge too. I guess he can just go down in Monk history just as the guy that was well connected and didn't say anything just because he hated Monk. Also it would have been a good detail to have Monk show more remorse over having the answer to Trudy's murder right in his house all this time. Also Natalie didn't get much of an ending. She stills work for Monk, and I'm guessing she is still with Steven Albright, but did they marry? did it work out? What really happened to Mitch? Did they leave some loose ends hanging for a future movie?