This is a terrific "Monk" episode -- a serviceable crime and detection, dozens of funny scenes, and --thank God-- Monk as a slapstick, helpless caricature is kept to a minimum. To use the phrase of one reviewer here, I am happy that it is a "filler" episode. Viewers will be cheating themselves if they don't concentrate on the simple humorous things in the episode (the criminal investigation, the receptionist and the vote on the garage), and instead worry about "finale worthy" things like a big story arc, some spectacular discovery, some great lesson or turning point in Monk's outlook, etc. You won't find those things here, and just as well IMHO. A lot of effort went into writing this episode; they sure aren't coasting to the end of the series!
Among the many funny scenes are: Harold trying to learn the name of Monk's new therapist; the receptionist, whose vote Monk needs, making one stupid-funny remark after another -- like "who told you today is Friday?", and her pointing to Natalie when frustrated Monk asks who else in the office he can talk to; Monk romancing the receptionist to get her vote and then losing that vote when he forgets himself and publicly ridicules her; the whole hot dog warehouse scene was a riot -- just one joke is the talk of hiding the missing councilwoman in the hot dogs while Randy is eating one; the love nest replete with cheerleader and French maid outfits and "the drawer" full of..... (don't ask!); Councilman Harold's prayer that the murder of the councilwoman be personal or random, not a vendetta against the city council; etc.