Wow, for all the talk about "Monk" needing to end and that this final season was a long time coming, the official finale feels like it came so fast. The series finale is split into two parts, one that aired last week and the second that will air this Friday. It's amazing to think that there will never be a new "Monk" after Friday. I don't think it's set in after eight years just yet.

The finale promises that Trudy Monk's death will finally be solved, and hopefully the show will end in a way that is satisfying for the fans and for the writers. Part 1 of the finale starts out twelve years ago when Trudy was still alive. We get to see a healthy, happy Monk as they talk and she seems off for some reason. The Christmas present Monk's never opened sits under the tree and she asks him not to open it yet. Then we see Trudy's death by car bomb, and Stottlemeyer breaking the news to Monk as they work on a case together. They are at a birthing center where Wendy has disappeared and they are questioning the doctor there, and while Trudy questions Monk about Wendy he doesn't seem to connect this with her eventual death. Something tells me we're about to find out why.

Years later Dr. Nash at the birthing center is found dead, and Monk manages to find them a partial handprint for hired killer John Kazarinski. They go to ask for a warrant from a retiring Judge (played by Craig T. Nelson), who we quickly know has to be the murderer behind everything. They try to mask him with shadows, but come on. The audience is so not that stupid. Plus it's Craig T. Nelson and you have to get a big name for the big bad of the show. The why is really the question now. He asks the killer to take out Monk, and while Natalie is getting groceries the killer places poison in one of his belongings. Monk is poisoned and he only has two-three days to live. It is a slow and painful process and Doctor D. B. Woodside is trying hard to find what was poisoned so he can make an antidote.

Already this is a darker episode than what we're used to on "Monk." Trudy's murder is unraveling and Monk only has so long to live before he's going to brutally die. Everyone is very upset, as you can imagine, but no one more so than Stottlemeyer. I really hope Ted Levine gets nominated for an award; there's not a better supporting actor on a comedy show that plays the straight man so well. The other characters around Monk are replaceable, but not Leland Stottlemeyer. His desperation in this episode is very emotionally charged, as the police try to capture the killer and keep him alive so they can figure out how he poisoned Monk. Stottlemeyer has a very intense and long chase, but unfortunately the man died in the end.

So everyone has really given up. Dr. Bell pencils Monk in instead of using pen, Stottlemeyer drinks in his office and calls Monk "too human," and Monk decides to finally open Trudy's present. Natalie breaks down in tears then, but she helps him this one last time. Instead of a present it's a video, and Trudy tells him she has a big dark secret from the past. And then nothing else! AHHHH! Noooo. Oh man, so there's a good reason to wait for Part 2, but what could this mean? Why did Trudy keep it from Monk? Can Monk be saved or will he only find lasting happiness in death with his beloved wife?

Image © NBC Universal, Inc.

Usually I would say this show is far too light hearted to kill the main character, but there is something to be said for him finding peace only in death. Plus Stottlemeyer is married now, Randy may be moving to NYC, and Natalie is moving in with her boyfriend. Everyone is getting on with their lives except for Monk. Or will solving her case finally let him move on? This is already an extremely emotional finale, and it will be shocking if the entire audience can get through Part 2 without crying a few times. Oh, Mr. Monk. What will we ever do without you?

The "Monk" series finale is this Friday at 9 PM EST on USA. This is your chance to see the end live. Watch it!

Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer

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