Season 8 Episode 5

Mr. Monk Takes the Stand

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 11, 2009 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
390 votes

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Episode Summary

Monk's phobias prove a liability when he must testify against a killer in court.

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  • a good episode

    Not my most favorite episode of the entire series, but it is a good episode. Funny, though sad in some parts. It could have been done a little differently in some scenes, though, but still, it is a pretty good episode.
  • Good episode.

    After an okay, but not mind-blowing, start to the final season of Monk we got a really good episode tonight. It was a throwback to the old days with a big name guest star coming in and having a really fun appearance. Jay Mohr (Gary Unmarried, Saturday Night Live) was excellent as an arrogant attorney, and it's a role I'd like to see him play again in the future on a legal program. His line after Natalie asked him how he sleeps at night and he responded, "Like a baby, in a very expensive bed, thanks for asking" was pure genius.

    Let's hope they can follow up on this momentum next week with another strong episode.moreless
  • Mr. Monk is Overstuffed (and Undercooked)

    "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand" should've been entertaining, it really should've. The actual setup, Monk taking the titular stand, is the sort of thing I'm surprised we haven't seen sooner. Randy having a subplot that doesn't portray him as a total buffoon? What a concept! There's a problem, though. The writers try to stuff too much into this episode. With two murder investigations, plus the aforementioned taking of the stand, there's just too much going on for any one element to be able to percolate for long enough to be genuinely entertaining.

    We open, unusually, with the summation - but Monk is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Harrison Powell (Jay Mohr), an infamous high-powered defense attorney who ends up completely ripping apart Monk's case in court. Unfortunately, it's not terribly convincing - this role just does not suit Mohr. He's competent enough, but I'm just unable to buy him as someone so deviously brilliant. As one might expect, the prospect of a murderer getting away with his crimes upsets Monk, leading him to quit - ultimately, an exceedingly short-lived decision (again, this episode's pacing is off), when another case falls into his lap.

    In what must be the first fully serious Disher plot in the show's history, Randy stumbles upon his old "Little Brother", Rudy, who appears to have gone from mere troubled youth to full-blown murderer. Randy, however, refuses to believe it and brings in Monk to take a look at the case. And Monk sees his chance at redemption when he discovers that the actual culprit and the killer in the other case, Evan Gildea, are one and the same. While I do appreciate seeing a less moronic side of Disher's character, I'll have to deduct points for the clichéd-ness of the "troubled youth" angle.

    Again, they've just tried (and failed) to stuff too much into this episode. There's two separate cases, but neither are particularly interesting - the first being the series' standard "unravel the perfect alibi" fare, except with an honestly fairly weak alibi; and the second being one of the least inspired in the history of the show, being a rather sloppy, staggeringly uncreative murder. Strangely, we're completely denied seeing Monk's moment of redemption, his second bout with Powell. Obviously, there wasn't enough time to shove that in, too, but it does make for a blatantly unsatisfying conclusion, not to mention one that just feels clumsily tacked on so as to not make this a "sad" episode.

    That's not to say that this is a terrible episode. It's perfectly watchable. But it should've been so much more. The basis premise had plenty of potential, and with better mysteries, better time management, and a more role-appropriate guest star, it could've been thoroughly solid. As is, it's just disappointingly mediocre.moreless
Joseph D. Reitman

Joseph D. Reitman

Evan Gildea

Guest Star

Jamie Donnelly

Jamie Donnelly

Judge Santa Croce

Guest Star

Jonathan Lipnicki

Jonathan Lipnicki

Rudy Smith

Guest Star

Hector Elizondo (I)

Hector Elizondo (I)

Dr. Neven Bell

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Part of Monk's evidence that the guy's alibi was phony was the fact that he jackhammered a big block of granite to pieces. Later on, the bad guy's defense attorney attempts to discredit this theory by saying that if the guy actually did jackhammer the block of granite to pieces, then the pieces should be able to be pieced back together like a giant puzzle. The DA should have objected to point this out.

    • When Gildea sees Rudy, he calls him a "dope-smoking, chain-snatching little thug." However, when Monk, with his eidetic memory, recites it back, he says Gildea called him "Quote: a chain-snatching, dope-smoking little thug," transposing the two adjectives.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Gildea: Harrison, it's Adrian Monk. He's never lost a case in his life.
      Powell: Well, neither have I. This'll be great.

    • Friedken: Now, did everyone review the grand jury transcripts and the follow-up reports?
      Natalie: Mr. Friedken, don't worry. They can do this in their sleep.
      Stottlemeyer: In fact, on at least two occasions, Lt. Disher has.

    • Monk: Uh, this is amazing. It's perfect.
      Natalie: Mr. Monk, that's a display stand. The art is out here.
      Monk: Oh. Well, that's junk.

    • Monk: Uh, wipes. Plural. Plural wipes. Wipes.
      Natalie: Okay.
      Monk: It's a dust factory in here.
      Natalie: Mr. Monk, he's a sculptor. It's part of his job.
      Monk: That's no excuse.

    • Powell: Mr. Monk, are you okay?
      Monk: I'm fine.
      Judge: You were making a noise.
      Monk: I don't think so.
      Judge: Could you read that back, please?
      Court Stenographer: "Witness: The defendant removed a sheet revealing a naked eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

    • Natalie: How do you sleep at night?
      Powell: Like a baby. In a really expensive bed. Thanks for asking, though.

    • Natalie: You can't say no. Well, you can, but you can't.
      Monk: I can, but I can't? I don't understand.
      Natalie: You don't, but you do.

    • Powell: Do you really want to go up against me again, Former Detective Monk?
      Monk: Yes I do. I'll see you on the ball field.
      Powell: The ball field?
      Monk: I've seen your curveball. I can hit it now.
      Powell: Oh, I'm really looking forward to this.
      Monk: No, you're not.

    • Natalie: You're going to do great. You've seen his curveball.
      Monk: I don't even know what that means. I can't believe I'm doing this again.
      Stottlemeyer: I'm proud of you, man. Your'e getting back on the horse.
      Disher: Yeah, Monk, okay, a couple of suggestions. Just a thought, maybe work on not crying--I mean, not quite so much in front of the jury.
      Monk: Okay, that's a good note.
      Natalie: Yeah, also, you can think "mayday" all you want, but it's probably a mistake to yell the word "mayday" from the witness stand.
      Monk: Did I do that?
      Natalie: Just a couple times.
      Stottlemeyer: More than a couple of times.
      Monk: I'd better write these down.
      Stottlemeyer: There are no timeouts.
      Natalie: Right.
      Stottlemeyer: No do-overs.
      Natalie: No heavy, heavy, sweating.
      Stottlemeyer: No, no, no, no.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Injoke: Monk notes that they've been to trial 112 times. This is the 113th episode, although several episodes were two-parters and some cases may not have gone to trial.

    • Injoke: The judge is named Santa Croce, after producer and unit production manager Anthony Santa Croce.

    • International Airdates:
      Czech Republic: March 9, 2010 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: December 3, 2010 on Markiza
      Finland: June 30, 2012 on YLE TV1


  • 9:00 pm
    What Would You Do?
  • 10:00 pm
    Dateline NBC