This is my first review for Monk and i picked this episode for a specific reason.I believe that it specifies the basics of the series.Even more than the previous 100th episode.In the last month i watched all the episodes from season 4 up to this one.I will begin with my basic complaint that another reviewer mentioned.Why isn't Adrian Monk allowed to show the slicest sign of improvement?The last scene was an ideal way to do that and to send the viewers happy into the 3 month break.Instead,and for the umpteenth time,he is sent back to square one.If as it is rummored the series ends this season shouldn't we get glimpses of Monk progressing?Also,and i don't believe i speak only for myself,i would like to see his relationship with Natalie become more deep.I am not expecting a relationship before the Trudy murder is solved,but she is the one person who cares about him the most.Even more than Sharona.Finally,and since this is my first review,i would like to applaud Tony Shaloub on his performances.The man is talented like hell.On one hand he makes you roll around laughing(the scene with the kids) and on the other hand he can bring tears in your eyes(when he remembers Trudy).Genius.
First of all, I'm glad the episodes are getting better. This episode reminded me of "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", where Monk takes some pills and buys a convertible and parties all of the time. This time Monk is hypnotized so he can enjoy life more. Instead of being "cured", he regresses to when he was 7-10 years old and starts acting like one. He says girls have cooties, catches frogs, and jumps in puddles.
This sort of reminded me of Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean in that they both are child-like and are just trying to have fun in an adult-sized world. On the other storyline of this episode, a former actress goes missing and the police originally suspect it's because of her estranged husband...that is until he turns up dead and she's found alive....
This episode is certainly like one we've never seen before. When Monk sees Harold Crenshaw running outside, singing and dancing, and enjoying the double rainbow, Monk becomes envious and meets Harold's new doctor. The doctor deals with hypnosis, and reverts Monk back to the happiest time of his life: his childhood. When Monk leaves his office, he believes he is a small child again. And acts like it too! He makes fun of a woman's age, tries to climb trees in a garden, adopts a frog as a pet and names him Hoppy, and eats gum off the bottom of Stottlemeyer's shoe. This gum turned out to be big evidence in the case Monk was trying to solve. A wealthy wife of an entrepreneur goes missing. She is later found running out of the woods. She tells the police she was locked in a cabin for 3 days and nights by her husband. When he came back the last time to check on her, she killed him with a board. Monk knew she was lying. She actually locked herself in the cabin for all that time. She snuck out at night to kill her husband at his home, then brought his body back to the cabin to make it look like her story was true. Monk was chewing the evidence that made her story false. After a final showdown in the gardens, she is arrested, and Monk is himself again.
After an episode of last week's caliber, nobody expected that kind of quality again from Monk. That being said this was still a pretty good, and unique episode of the USA series. Monk was funnier than usual and the altered state of mind was a refreshing change of pace and lead to some fine humor, both prop and verbal. Tony Shaloub hit the ball out of the park again with his performance in this episode.
The supporting cast of Traylor Howard and Ted Levine played off Monk well. Jason Gray-Stanford was not as funny as usual, but the plot didn't have to call for that from him. The episode was well-written and shows that Monk is still a top show after all these years on the air.
This episode pretty much followed Monk's daily routine of how he copes with life, but as with the last episode, I figured it out long before its conclusion. The writers may be getting a little lax or just running out of ideas. In the last few seconds of the story, the writers missed a good opportunity to show even the smallest improvement in Monk's condition. He even said during the show that he has been trying for 11 years to get better, but as I said the writers didn't give him a chance. What should have happened as Monk looked out the window at the birds was for him to smile and then walk away. At least that would show a glimmer of hope for him. We understand he can't be completely cured since that would destroy the premise of the show, but at least give him a little dignity. I guess he is confined to just being Monk and that is getting mighty tiresome.
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