Season 1 Episode 9

Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 13, 2002 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
234 votes
  • An exhilrating adventure! The first sports-related episode.

    "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man" is one of the better episodes from the first season of 'Monk'. A racer Monk admires, Tillie, becomes the target suspect in a murder that occurred during his track run, and Monk has to clear his name. The only annoying thing that happens is when Monk shakes hands with a paranoid black man, who misinterprets Adrian's fear of germs as some racist statement. "You don't want to shake your brother's hand, you just say so!", and "I saw what I saw!", yeah, yeah, yeah. Enter the social roadblocks Monk encounters on his journey.

    Still more introduction involved, as it shows that even Adrian Monk has people he looks up to, and Tillie's closing statement at the end "Life is a big race... you must hold on. Hold on to it" turn out to be words of wisdom that Monk takes away from this particular case.

    In running terms, the 'Monk' series is picking up the pace... little by little.
  • Running at High Speed

    Got a chance to watch this during one of the marathons (ironically enough). The ninth episode of the first season, it still has a lot of "introductory" stuff. The writers take some time to show Stottlemeyer asking Monk for help, when in later episodes we just start with Monk already on the scene and working for the police.

    Stottlemeyer seems a lot less respectful of Monk's quirks and a little more argumentative with him. On the other hand, Disher is more of a suck-up then the clueless buffoon they've made of him in later seasons. Take that for improvement or not, as you will.

    Most of the other elements of the show are still here. This episode has an early example of Monk's "blow it with someone he likes because of OCD" - the same thing that cost him a duet with Willie Nelson in the studio. As with that episode, we get a "redemption" of sorts here - Monk later connects with his idol in a much more personal level - he misses getting the photo of his idol Tonday but meets with him in person and gets some words of wisdom and a parting gift. In the same manner he didn't get the studio duet with Willie Nelson but he gets to perform with him privately over Trudy's grave at the end of "...Red-Headed Stranger."

    One thing that is really annoying is the scene where Monk is mistaken for a racist for refusing to shake a man's hand. It's something that certainly could and would happen in "real life," but here it seems a bit too unpleasantly much for a show that trends more toward light comedy. It makes the marathon workers out to be ununderstanding jerks, and you'd think Sharona would have a bit more practice at explaining things in public.

    The mystery itself is fairly challenging - like most Columbo episodes, we know who the murderer is. What we don't know is the "how-he-did-it," which is fairly clever here. This is Mitch Markowitz's only Monk episode through the end of the third season, but he has a pretty pedigree on other shows like Benson, Buffalo Bill, and M*A*S*H. The OCD aspects aren't overdone, and we get a flashback of the first manifestation of Monk's condition. Even if the actor playing young Monk doesn't look much like Tony Shalhoub...

    Overall I'd give this episode strong marks - it's one that's held up well three years later.
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep its the marithon and a women gets thrown off the a building durning the marithon. and monk must find out what happen he is at the marithon due to the fact one of his most famous idles is running the marthon . and this ep involes the find out that a man that had a big furnisher business had been cheating on his wife and monk belives he some how did not run the race and made people belive he did. it was a great ep and we find out more info on monks past . and this ep was funny because one of the guys thought monk was rasit due to the fact he wiped his hands right after he shook his hand.