Season 3 Episode 14

Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 18, 2005 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Mr. Monk Meets/Becomes Rain Man

    Monk even dresses like Dustin Hoffman a little when he spiffies up for Vegas, but at least they referred to the fact that Monk was doing the "Rain Man thing" as it were.

    This seemed to be the first episode since the hiatus to really click. For one thing, we had a murderer worthy of Monk and the writers remembered that it's a good thing to have a sinister smart murderer that Monk can trade jibes with. Brolin seemed a little over the top in spots, which made him seem a bit ineffectual in spots. Like at the end, when he's talking like he'll be out of jail in a day, when clearly he isn't. In real life he probably would be. And why, given all the time, didn't he clean up the evidence in the elevator shaft? He owns the building, for pete's sake!

    But we still had the Monk/Thorne standoffs and a decent murderer - the episodes since the hiatus have been a mixed bag. Even before. And why are most of the killers brunettes, anyway? A lot of them seem to blend together after a while, so at least Brolin with his silver-white mane was distinctive.

    This was also a good episode for Natalie - probably the best since she appeared. This wasn't an "issue" episode for her - she wasn't introduced, we didn't have to see how her and Monk disagree about money but she inevitably comes back (in Cobra), and she doesn't have to find out Monk likes her (in Traffic). We find out a bit of backstory with her on her gambling problem, but it's not over-done and it's clear here she and Monk are more of a functioning partnership.

    She also contributes to the solution to the mystery. I wouldn't agree that Sharona never did such a thing (and I didn't really like the "I'm sure she is (a victim)" line), but her people skills and all did help out.

    Ted Levine gets a chance to shine as Stottlemeyer even if the fact he's smarter then Monk only when he's drunk seems a back-handed compliment. But yes, he gets to sing, dance, and "show his tush" if you like that kind of thing.

    I'd say Disher is back to being a buffoon, except he really hasn't stopped being one in a while. Again, one has to wonder how he functions as a cop. He was basically here to provide a B plot and to affirm that the others can team together to protect him - Stottlemeyer even refers to him as a "good friend" although even three seasons in, it's not entirely clear why.

    Tony Shalhoub gives a nice steady performance - nothing overbaord and some more subtle stuff. Not every episode has to give us a new "reveal" on Monk, his history, or his problems.

    The mystery was fairly good, and the denouement - another "let's play with the "how he done it" reveal" was clever - explaining the solution in the middle of a fast-paced game of blackjack. One wonders if they're ever gonig to do a "normal" reveal anymore.

    The one gripe was that like with "..."Game Show," one gets the impression the writers/producers aren't too familiar with their subject matter. What Monk is doing doesn't seem to be memorization - at least, not unless the dealer was obliging enough to show him all the cards. There seems to be no indication Monk could have seen the cards on the first round when he helps Randy. And if he states out loud he's memorizing them, why show them to him again (when Throne shows up and calls for the 10 decks)?

    Also, why do Disher and Stottlemeyer get to take the chips at the end? No casino would let you do that after accusing you of cheating.

    Overall, though, I found "Vegas" to be the best episode of the five in the current "half-season." Well-written murder, interesting murderer, good acting by all the actors.