Season 3 Episode 6

Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 30, 2004 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
315 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

It's Sharona's turn to be terrified. After several frightening and mysterious encounters with a blood-soaked man that no one else can see, she begins to doubt her own sanity, and Stottlemeyer advises Monk to give her time off to restore her nerves. Monk is left with an irritating substitute nurse whose philosophy is the opposite of Sharona's: everything from Monk's requests for wipes to the obsessively systematic organization of his refrigerator has to go. Wanting Sharona back again, Monk goes to the garage where Sharona first saw the blood-soaked man and finds a clue--the silver tip from the toe of a cowboy boot. Meanwhile Sharona, who is attending a night class in creative writing, apparently forgets to turn in an assignment and seems to be misplacing objects. But when her writing instructor's husband dies of a heart attack after eating tomato soup, Sharona recognizes the plot of her missing story and realizes that she's not crazy. All she and Monk have to do now is tie together the boot tip and the tomato soup to prove that the death is murder and solve the mystery of the bloody man.moreless

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  • NOT intended to be Sharona's farewell

    Bitty Schram was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress for this episode, and this is one of the strongest episodes of this season and the series. I'ts got funny, frightening and poignant scenes for Monk's original assistant and a great guest role by Niecy Nash as Varla, Monk's sassier, more temporary assistant.

    Unfortunately, some jealousy and vote stacking is at play here, which is why this awesome ep only got a 4.9,moreless
  • This was suppose to be Sharona's farewell

    If you look at the production code you will see this was the last episode Bitty Schram worked on before leaving. And when the season continued with the episode Mr. Monk and the goldfish which inroduced Natalie; it was said that Sharona remarried her ex who was in this episode. To be frank I found it not so credible because the last time her ex was there he was a jerk. And I can't believe she went back to him. I'm glad that when she came back she was no longer with him.moreless
  • What season is this from?

    I think this episode shows what I've been contending for a while - each season has good episodes and bad episodes. Okay, maybe this year they frontloaded the so-so episodes, but I think you could have shown "...Cried Wolf" in Season 2 or Season 3 and nobody would say, "Oh, this is a not-so-good Season 3 episode."

    In other words, this episode is...well, average. Or a little better. Just like many of the episodes.

    We're back to Adrian without the overacting moments they occasionally indulge Tony Shalhoub by providing. They didn't overdo his illness moments (the nurse stuff at his apartment could have gone on much longer, and thankfully didn't), and the only really extended scene, Monk battling it out with Howard Krenshaw (Ted Bagley), gave us a different side of Monk - neurotic vs. neurotic, to the death! It was interesting watch Adrian get shout-out-loud mad.

    Otherwise Monk is the persistent long-standing friend to Sharona - neither he or Disher are willing to give up on her. Ted Levine is I think a little ill-served here - Stottlemeyer doesn't really get a chance to show much sympathy here. There are moments when he clearly thinks Sharona is nuts, and not so much when he gets to make a definite statement of faith in her before the proof of her story shows up at the end. Ted Levine packs more emotional punch into the scene where he empathizes with Monk having to go into a parking garage.

    Bitty Schram does a good job of a woman being driven to the brink of insanity and/or self-doubt. She seems a little weak and non-confrontational in spots, but presumably the killers are working with a good knowledge of her psychological make-up and are good at exploiting those weaknesses for maximum effect.

    The mystery is a little more mysterious (probably the best of the season to date), in part because like the occasional Columbo episode, we see a murder still underway (check out "A Stitch in Crime" with Leonard Nimoy). We don't actually see the real crime until the third act or so, and it's portrayed in an appropriate chilling method without the blood and gore of the last couple of episodes. Of course that means they have to slip in the blood and gore into the "haunting" scenes. *sigh* The ability of the killer(s) to track down Sharona wherever she was and seemingly teleport in and out (she couldn't have been out of the bathroom for more then 10 seconds at Kroger's office) gave those scenes a regrettable "Friday the 13th" movie feel.

    Kudos though to Emma Caulfield, who's probably the most impressive guest killer of the season to date. She basically brings the same casual-killer vibe to the part that she did on Buffy.

    The rest of the cast, not so much. Stanley Kamel got a bit more chance to do some "real" psychologist scenes without them going for laughs with Monk, and it was nice to see a little more of him. Howard probably gave the next best performance, as we get another (presumed) OCD patient. Sharona's husband Trevor barely made an impression (neither did Benjy, once again), and is the whole family shape-changing mutants? I expect Sharona to show up played by a different actress one of these days - Benjy and Trevor keep changing faces, so why not? :)

    Oh, that brings us to...Niecy Nash as Nurse Varla. Although she actually solves the case, she's a really annoying and overblown character. Granted, Sharona's not at her best, but we've got to question her judgement if she ever thought Varla was a qualified substitute to work for Adrian. It's also hard to believe she's a nurse - some of her line delivery ("I'm going to treat you like a man.") was both painful and insulting to the character - both her character and Adrian. As a nurse we're supposed to believe she has no understanding of what mental patients go through? This seems to be one of the show's occasional lapses into playing mental problems for really cheap and unbelievable laughs (pipe-in-the-head guy from "...12th Man" is another), and just get us to "care" for Adrian. Once she toned it down a bit after the first apartment scene, Ms. Nash was a little more easy to watch, but I'd have to say she's not a character I'd ever want to see again.

    At least one cute in-joke - Ted Bagley (Howard) and Jerry Levine (director) played a married couple on Will & Grace.

    Overall, I'd rate this around a 7-8. It was a clever mystery, a good guest killer, and all the regulars are excellent, and there are definitely a few keeper scenes (the OCD Patient War in Kroger's office. But the cheap laughs with Nurse Varla and the absurdity of the efforts the killer(s) go prior to the crime force me to mark it down a point or two.moreless
  • Has Sharonna gone crazy? Only Adrian Monk can solve the case of the invisible dead guy

    Such a great episode and such an impressing episode I thought. The character of Varla is wise-cracking and has the best lines. Emma Caulfield did a great job also of making you think she was just the understanding teacher, and then Wham! She turns out to be one of the bad guys. Didn\'t see that one comming. The story line was great. When I first saw they dead man, I screamed! Screwdriver. Head. Good stuff. Classic. If I saw a creepy, bloody man and noones else did, I would believe I was crazy too. Poor Sharona, I would hate to have to be in a situation like that, where you have to question yourself.moreless
Emma Caulfield

Emma Caulfield

Meredith Preminger

Guest Star

Niecy Nash

Niecy Nash

Varla Davis

Guest Star

David Lee Russek

David Lee Russek


Guest Star

Kane Ritchotte

Kane Ritchotte


Recurring Role

Tim Bagley

Tim Bagley

Mr. Krenshaw

Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • After Varla retrieves the handwritten draft of Sharona's paper from Sharona's car, she makes Disher drive her home. Monk doesn't have a car, so wasn't it Varla's car in which Varla and Monk drove there?

    • The killers were taking a big risk when they pulled their stunt in the bathroom with the "dead" guy hanging from the ceiling. If Sharona had simply stood there and screamed, someone would have come running and found him hanging there. Or, what if she had a cell phone camera? They had no guarantee she would run away to find someone.

    • Regarding Sharona's hanged man in the washroom "vision", in response to Stottlemeyer's statement that there was zero physical evidence, Monk states, "There was the hook in the ceiling", to which Disher replies, "We checked it, Monk, it was always there". In the actual scene, however, the man is hanging from an overhead pipe, not a hook.

    • When Monk and Harold are discussing the new white noise maker, they say it is half a decibel louder. That adjustment could be made with a volume knob. I think they mean "half an octave higher," as Monk says in "Captain's Wife."

    • When Sharona and Monk are trying to close the window, there is a long view from outside it. Throughout that shot, you can see the reflection of the camera and/or its operator. The shot goes on for such a long time that it's amazing that nobody realized there was a reflection.

    • Sharona's lipstick has white powder on it, and it is explained that this is plaster from the wall. But the walls in the restroom were painted green, and in order to get white plaster onto lipstick (which is very soft) it'd have to be pressed down so hard it would damage the lipstick.

    • When Varla first enters Monk's apartment, the note she's holding transfers to Monk's hands without her handing it to him. Then it switches back to her hands so that she can give it to him before going off to the bathroom.

    • In the scene in the restroom, the screwdriver in the man's head switches from his right side to his left side back to his right side.

    • During the scene where Varla is eating the sandwich, she puts it on the plate to look for chips. Then you see the sandwich nowhere near the plate as Adrian is cleaning up crumbs, before he puts the sandwich back on the plate.

    • During the scene with the man in the bathroom, when Sharona looks in the mirror, the reflection of the man is in the stall closest to the door, but she walks to the stall farthest from the door. When she takes Monk to see him, she goes to the stall closest to the door.

    • Sharona sees the bloody man in the bathroom, but when she runs out and comes back in, the man is gone. How could the man leave so quickly? And wouldn't anyone notice a man with a screwdriver in his head running around? Also, how'd he know Sharona was going to be in the bathroom?

  • QUOTES (21)

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode was nominated for a 2005 Edgar Allan Poe award by the Mystery Writers of America but unfortunately didn't win.

    • Actress Emma Caulfield's name is misspelled as Caufield in the on-screen credits and at the USA Network website.

    • Tim Bagley and Jerry Levine worked together in a number of episodes of Will & Grace. Jerry Levine also played Kenny Shales in "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man."

    • David Lee Russek takes over the role of Sharona's ex-husband, Trevor, from Frank John Hughes, who played the part in season two's "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect."

    • USA Network's official site has "Cries" for "Cried," but that's an error. The onscreen title has "Cried," as in the fable of "The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf.'" The title is spelled correctly in the episode synopsis on USA's Monk site.

    • The character listed as "Mr. Krenshaw" (Ted Bagley) in the credits is referred to as "Howard" on-screen.


    • Episode Title: The Girl Who Cried Wolf
      The title is a variation on "The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf,'" a children's morality tale about a little boy who guards sheep and makes a joke of crying "Wolf!" so that the townspeople will come running to save him. When there really is a wolf, no one believes him and he watches helplessly as his sheep are eaten.

    • Varla: Oooo...maybe it's Garth Brooks.
      Garth Brooks is an American country music singer, songwriter, and charity director.

    • Meredith Preminger: Character Name
      Meredith's last name is an allusion to the director of Anatomy of a Murder, Otto Preminger. Sharona's story and the way it's used are similar to incidents in the film.

    • Varla: Why didn't you tell me he thinks he's Kojak?
      A reference the famous TV detective formerly played by Telly Savalas.
      It is also possible that this refers to the Kojak remake, which was aired by the same network, less than a year later.

    • Varla: I don't care if y'all are still looking for Waldo.
      A reference to the popular children's book series Where's Waldo? which challenges readers to find the title character in illustrations that feature hundreds of people.