Everyone has known a bully at one point in their life, even if the bully's attention was not focused on them. Perhaps it was that tiny kid in Geometry that got his or her wrath, or maybe it wasn't even overt physical bullying but mean girl taunting and insulting. In any case, someone like Adrian Monk is a stereotypical - and classic - example of an easily bullied child. He was too smart, weak, fearful of other people, and practically had a bulls-eye tattooed on his forehead. Now, years later Monk is a famous detective, but can he ever forgive one of the people who made his life miserable? Probably not. He can barely forgive Natalie for being slow to hand over a wipe!
This week's "Monk
" is about Monk facing his childhood bully, a man named Roderick, who needs his help. Roderick thinks that his wife Marilyn is cheating on him and wants Monk to figure out the truth. He takes the case solely out of a desire for revenge; if Marilyn is cheating, Monk will get to see Roderick fall apart and be hurt and humiliated. He thinks it is a success when Marilyn does indeed meet a man out, but Roderick seems to have more faith in his wife than they originally thought and closes the case. Disappointed that his revelation has not crushed the bully, Monk is callously delighted when Marilyn's 'boyfriend' is found stabbed to death in a hotel room. This is the perfect opportunity to accuse Roderick of the murder and get back at him once and for all!
Roderick insists his alibi was Marilyn, but it looks like Monk will win this battle when she swears she wasn't with him. She told him about the affair and Roderick ran off, plus she provides them with the bloody murder weapon. Monk is delighted instead of feeling any pity for this once-torturer, and even when the signs start to point to Roderick's innocence, he is reluctant to change his mind. After all, karma does come around and wasn't this Roderick's just due for being so horrible once upon a time? Roderick had a gun, however, so why would he need to kill someone with a knife? Monk believes he's innocent, but then that leaves Marilyn as the best suspect. Yet she can't exactly be the murderer and be with Roderick at the time of the death ... or can she?
The answer to this case is a little too easy, or perhaps it is just a little too cliche. Identical evil twins! The old switcheroo! In any case, Monk does solve the case but has to let Roderick go because of it. It is not exactly out of maturity or forgiveness that Monk does this, but rather he has to accept Roderick is not a killer. Just a guy who used to give him swirlies as a kid and took all his lunch money. Noah Emmerich
guest starred as Roderick and did an excellent job, although he was just a little too nice. It might have been more interesting to see him still be a jerk. Then Monk would've wanted him to be the villain even more so. This was a funny little episode but not really all that remarkable, and it is probably good that Monk took the high road against his bully. Don't worry, Monk. Bad karma does come around!
"Monk" is on USA Friday nights at 9 PM EST!
Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer