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'Monk' Recap: 100th Episode Was Worth Watching

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
September 8th, 2008 10:51am EDT
MonkOne hundred episodes of "Monk" have been aired, and the special 100th episode may have been one of the very best. Loaded with guest stars, a unique set of cases, and nostalgic reminders of the past, "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" showcased the best of its writers and actors. Here's to another 100 cases, Mr. Monk!

The episode surrounds the story that a television news magazine has done on Adrian Monk. His 100th case was a serial killer murdering actresses in San Francisco, and to mark this event the show "In Focus" does a piece on Monk. They follow him around the crime scenes and interview his friends, family, and some colorful characters from his past. James Novak is the host of the show, played by the smarmy Eric McCormack, and he invites everyone to his house for a party while the show is broadcasted. Captain Stottlemeyer keeps changing the channel to a basketball game, Randy shows off his new girlfriend who plays victims on television, and Natalie tries to get Monk to join the party.

The fans are reintroduced to Monk in a way, since the show goes over his past again with his father's abandonment and Trudy's tragic death. If any newcomer to the show wanted an episode which would sum up the series for them, this would be it. The interviews include his awkward brother Ambrose (John Turturro), rival Harold Krenshaw (Tim Bagley), biggest fan Marci Maven (Sarah Silverman), and various appearances from the criminals he has put into jail. There is a hilarious scene where three of them compliment one another on their genius plans and yet curse Monk for somehow figuring it all out.

Back to the 100th case, three young actresses are strangled to death and their lipsticks are stolen. They figure out that two of the girls worked in the same restaurant and get information from the cheesy vampire host there, but the third girl did not. Monk realizes their connection when he notes that all three head photographs were taken by the same man, and he is taken in for questioning. They release him, and he disappears. The police search his studio and find plenty of evidence to secure him as the murderer, and they find another murdered girl. He is finally found but has committed suicide.

Something is troubling Monk about the case, and it involves the last murder. He does not think she was one of the photographer's victims but a copy cat murderer. This person had to be working with the police themselves, since details of the serial killer were not let out, and that means it was probably one of the television crew members. Who could it be? Well, as Natalie points out, the killer was stupid trying to get away with a crime right under Adrian Monk's nose!

This was an absolutely delightful episode that reminded fans why they love this show and this character. Monk has had a very difficult journey, and to see it all at once makes the tragedy of his life that much clearer. Still, the television episode also reminded him how many good people he has in his life, and that even his enemies respect him. The one guest star that should have showed up was Bitty Schram, a.k.a. Sharona Fleming, Monk's first nurse. Traylor Howard has done a great job as Natalie, but in such a memorable episode it would have been great for Sharona to show up. On the official website there is a video with the cast celebrating the 100th episode, and it is worth watching.

This Friday is the season finale of "Monk." Wow, season seven was short! Monk tries hypnosis as a form of therapy, and ends up reverting to the mind of a child. In the clips being shown, he does not seem very different. Catch it on USA at 9 pm EST!

Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer