Season 7 Episode 2

Mr. Monk and the Genius

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 25, 2008 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
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  • An homage with Sherlock Holmesian proportions...! Brilliant!

    Bravo! Great episode Monk! I was watching some old Sherlock Holmes episodes over the weekend and noticed a very similar plot from a 1955 episode. I considered Monk's take an homage to this earlier work. And the 'chess-champion' twist is just what the doctor ordered. Loved it!

    Mr. Monk and the Genius (2008)
    Monk takes the case of a brilliant chess master's wife, who believes that her husband is about to kill her and wants him caught - posthumously.

    "Sherlock Holmes"
    The Case of the Perfect Husband (1955)
    Russell Partridge announces to his wife Janet one day that he is in fact a killer who has murdered his six previous wives, and notifies her that she has one day to live and get her affairs in order before he murders her, too.
  • Mr. Monk tries to find proof a grandmaster chees playing genius murdered his wife.

    This is definantly one of the best episodes of the series. There was no doubt he killed his wife, he just had to prove it. Throughout the whole episode, Tony Shalloub is amazing,(as always), and was proving he earned his Emmy Nomination. The plot, the acting and everything else are great, as with most Monk episodes, but this one is special. It's definantly a series classic, and a TV classic. It also proves Mink is one of the best shows on TV, and this one delivers. It is just such a great episode it definantly deserves a 10 point score. Perfect episode.
  • OK episode.

    The episode is mainly about a chess grandmaster who admits to his wife he will kill her and get away with it. She fears for her life and pays Monk to prove he is the murderer. Unfortunately, the wife dies soon afterward. Being a chess genius, Monk and the police department are unable to prove he killed his wife. Monk and the cops do discover that he had been married before, and the first wife died in a similar unexpected way. Monk soon becomes angered that he can't prove anything that he considers planting evidence.
    Overall, I thought this episode was pretty good. David Strathairn was excellent as a cold-blooded killer. Obviously, Monk does manage to prove the wife was murdered. My one complaint was the ending though. I thought that a chess champion would find a more clever way of killing his wife, however.
  • At last - Monk best in shape.

    A brilliant chess player against Mr Monk. It's an extraordinary battle which seems that Mr Monk can't win anymore. But it wouldn't be Monk if he couldn't catch the bad people at all. The chess player's wife paid Monk to catch her husband when he would have killed her. The plan seemed to work out and Monk has nothing in his hand against him - except for the recipe how the player did it. But where there is no proof there is no accused. It seems as if the chess player is continuously ahead of the enemy.
    In this second episode Mr Monk is back at best. He is brilliant, his brain seeems to work at highest level and like in a jigsaw puzzle he brings together all the tiny parts and doesn't give up - until he can say "I have solved the case".
  • Victim pays Monk to solve her murder - Nice twist

    This was one of the best episodes of Monk in a while. The plot kept us trying to figure out how the killer pulled off the murder. At times, we wondered, could Monk's detective work solve this one? Other aspects of the show were also more interesting than usual. In particular, the victim was very compelling. She brought out Monk's empathetic side over the course of the entire episode. Finally, a victim we could care about. But there was one unbelievable thing in this show - what was a beautiful woman like that doing married to the geezer chess player?
  • Monk gets into a murder investigation chess match with a famous chess player. Just when it appears that Monk has met is match â€" he makes a brilliant discovery, thus proving the chess master’s guilt. It ends on a classic, wonderfully timed, "Checkmat

    Mr. Monk is approached by a woman who is the wife of a famous master chess player. She’s convinced her husband is going to murder her, and offers Monk $5,000 to solve the crime once it’s committed. This opening scene borders on intrigue/ridiculous because the woman is persuaded that there is absolutely nothing she can do to prevent her own murder…because of her husband’s uncanny ability to outmaneuver, not only chess opponents, but everyone in life. It’s a great episode because it appears that Monk has met is match - another person who can actually outwit Monk. Monk is persuaded the man is guilty, yet he becomes frustrated by his inability to nail this guy. The episode progresses, of course, like a chess match â€" each player making a move, and then a counter move. Finally, Monk is driven to the brink of venturing upon unethical measures to prove this man’s guilt. Stottlemeyer confronts Monk and tries to warn him against such action. Right when it seems Monk has the man cornered, he only proves that he is one step ahead of Monk. And when it appears that all hope is gone; the continued banter with the chess master eventually pays off as Monk begins to piece together clues that he gleans from the chess master’s playing techniques. The end is a brilliant discovery by Monk, thus proving the chess master’s guilt. And although heavily anticipated (at least by me), the case ends on a classic, wonderfully timed, one liner by Monk “Checkmateâ€�. Touche! I loved it!
  • Chess match gone terribly array. Terribly... Monk is pitted against a perfect nemesis. Certainly a worthy adversary.

    Add this episode to my favorites list! Especially David Strathairn and Elena Evangelo! Too bad she had to go - she's a hotty... I think there was a bizarre Monk connection there. So sad!

    Overall, one of the more "perfect" Monk episodes to date. All my favorite Monk ingredients were present on this one. Monk needs more villains like this. A true battle of wits that left me laughing - and crying for poor Linda... Forgive me but I always like the way he tries to worm out of paying his help. Is that wrong? Looking forward to the eventual DVD!
  • Checkmate.

    It's funny - just when criticism mounts that "Monk" has jumped the shark, the show rolls out an episode like this. Not only do we have an Emmy worthy guest turn from Oscar nominee David Straitharn, but we see Tony Shalhoub doing some of his best work ever as Adrian Monk.

    We've never seen Monk like this - pushed to the brink professionally. The scene where he ponders planting evidence, and Stottlemeyer tries to talk him out of it is beautifully acted by both Shalhoub and and Ted Levine. It's a testament to both of these actors that they sell this scene so well. Monk has never faced an adversary like the grand master, and he finds himself being psyched out by his opponent. We see Monk in self-doubt and panic, so the reward is so much sweeter when he traps his prey.

    The scenes between Straitharn and Shalhoub were great, like the best moments of "Columbo." This show, in my opinion, works best with a cat-and-mouse game between Monk and the suspect, and when a A-list actor comes on board to play the killer, the results are spectacular.

    The conclusion to this episode has drawn ire from other reviews I read, but I found it to be inspired. I loved how Monk outguessed Closter and used his own strategy to catch him.

    I'd say this is easily the best "Monk" in years.
  • This episode had a lot more of the old Monk. The first episode was a tribute to their lost cast member and was well done but not as good as others. This one had Monk matching wits with a chess master who killed his wife.

    A woman knows her husband is going to kill her and she goes and hires Monk. When she dies Monk feels like he failed her and the way she asked him to promise her to prove that her husband did it invoked a lot of Trudy memories.
    What we see is a master planner and schemer at work and Monk is obsessed with catching him. The plan the chess master had to move the body was a move to outwit the police and therefore prove once and for all he did not kill anyone.
    It was not preplanned, it was a move by a master who was in danger of losing the game, but Monk had the final move, checkmate.
  • A guy tells his wife he's gonna kill her and there's nothing she can do about it, so she goes to seek help from monk, and he has to proove that he did it.

    It's started so well !! It's such a good idea.. a genius versus Mr. Monk.. who also is a genius in a way.

    But then.. it was not clever at all, he found how the guy did it quickly, too quickly, but what bothered me the most, is that when they went to exhume his last wife's body I KNEW the husband would have switched the body, he predicted monk's moves all the time, why not here? Why didn't monk think of it? it was too easy ! I thought of it and monk didn't? that only shows poor writing.. when I can come up with the answer faster than monk it's not gonna be a good episode.. I was very disappointed and was expecting a better episode.
  • A woman hires Monk to catch her murderer, before she is even dead.

    The latest installment of Monk begins with a mildly amusing discussion between the star of the program and Natalie about whether or not it is work if you are having fun. The viewer is then introduced to an interesting and appealing storyline about a woman who knows her husband is going to kill her and pays Monk five grand to get him busted for it. When the woman dies, even Monk is unsure of what to do.

    Not only did this episode have comedy but it had suspense and mystery (the ultimate compliment you can pay to a dramedy). This was a strong week for USA Network as they delivered three great offerings with Monk, Burn Notice and Psych. While I thought the ending was kind of weak and forced, it was still an exciting episode.
  • A great episode!!

    This is about Monk trying to prove that a chess genius murdered his wife. But the genius is always one step ahead of him by anticipating his every move. This was a pretty good episode, not as good as Mr. monk buys a House, but still pretty good. It didn't have as much jokes or anything but was still intriguing how smart that guy was but....Monk's always smarter. I actually liked Natalie better in the previous episode, she didn't offer as much in this episode, it's the same with Monk. He was more funny "Monkish" in the previous installment. Oh, and it's cool to see Julie grown up in this one. Over all a great Monk episode!!