It's official, the last season of "Monk" has premiered and now there are just 15 more episodes left until the end of this Emmy-winning comedy. It's a bittersweet kind of realization, although by now the show really has worn out some of its welcome. It was still one of the most successful shows on USA and paved their way for the 'Characters Welcome' angle ... because there is no character quite like Adrian Monk.

This episode guest stars Elizabeth Perkins from "Weeds," and her character Christine has plenty of Celia-like traits to her. The show starts with Monk and Natalie waiting in a line for a book signing. A former child star from his very favorite old sitcom wrote a tell-all book, and Monk is adorably excited. Unfortunately for him, the book is one of those sordid naughty tell-all books, although he does not find this out for some time. Instead the actress is held up because someone blows up her car, and she's been receiving death threats from a fan. Monk gets to meet her and totally geeks out, especially when her publicist asks him to be Christine's personal bodyguard.

Perkins has her usual dry, caustic wit in this episode as Christine, who just can't seem to understand Monk's obsessive love with her once-hit television show. There's a very funny drawn out seen with Monk trying to figure out why she would have a body-length mirror on her bedroom ceiling. No one even attempts to explain. He also gets a few plot points, including that she carries a gun now out of fear and that she once won a Silver Globe (Golden Globe) that saved her career. Then Christine hits on him, and finds a new threat on her bathroom mirror.

Stottlemeyer is questioning one of the other stars of the show and Monk geeks out about him as well, which leads Stottlemeyer to do the cruel thing: force Monk to read the book. He is, as expected, completely crushed and horrified by what he reads. Apparently whatever was on page 73 is so awful that Natalie rips it out and eats it to protect Monk. He has completely lost his faith in his heroes and the show he once loved. Christine is attacked at her motel by the suspected killer, and shoots him in self defense. Case over?

Nah, of course not! Monk refuses to forgive her when she tries to explain how she went so wrong, and then Natalie tries to cheer him up with the show DVD's. He then realizes that the hand writing on the threatening letters matches Christine's own left hand, which he notices in an episode from when she was a child. She planned this all along to kill the man, Victor, but why?

Monk and Natalie investigate the dead man's apartment and he finds out why. Unfortunately Christine is there too and knocks Monk out. He has a hallucination of being on the old sitcom, and explains to them what happened. Victor was a fan and Christine convinced him to rig the Silver Globe elections because he was working in the mailroom where the votes came in. When he saw she got a book deal he came demanding money for his service. She decided to kill him in a way no one would blame her. Monk wakes up to Natalie fighting with Christine ... and kicking her butt too! She keeps asking Monk to help her, but honestly, Natalie was doing just fine on her own. He pulls a gun on the actress and she's caught.

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Monk laments the show being nothing more than an illusion and returns the book. Natalie promises him that he has a family and doesn't need the one from the sitcom. It's another call out to Monk's awful childhood that he needed a show with a happy family to connect to, and in his hallucination he hugs the father and thanks him for never abandoning the family. Very sad. Sometimes Monk is nothing but a big kid, but you can kind of understand why. So that's the start of season eight, and next week "Lost" fans might want to tune in because Mr. Eko himself AKA Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is guest starring.

"Monk" is on USA Friday nights at 9 PM EST.

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Monk cast: Tony Shalhoub / Bitty Schram / Ted Levine / Jason Gray-Stanford / More

Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer

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