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'Monk' Recap: 'Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man'

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
August 17th, 2009 10:56am EDT
MonkHey, did you know that twelve years ago Trudy Monk died in a car explosion and no one has been arrested for it yet? Any fan of the show "Monk" certainly knows this fact, since it has been bludgeoned into our head since day one. Trudy was the light of Monk's life! Without her he fell to pieces and lost everything! Twelve years have gone by and it is still the center point of his character, but the good thing is to know that they promised her case will be resolved by the end of this season. I wonder sometimes if they waited to solve it because they didn't know how to write Monk without the guilt of Trudy's death upon him.

Last week's episode of "Monk" guest starred Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and for once he wasn't a sociopath like in "Oz" or a former drug lord like in "Lost." Instead he's a man whose wife was murdered in a hit and run on Monk's street corner, and he has come to America to mourn and find her killer. Clearly Monk connects very quickly and intensely to this man and his suffering, and he starts seeing the dead Nigerian woman as his own wife Trudy. This leads him to ignore the other case of the week, the murder of a housekeeper in a rich couple's home that strangely was reading up on head wounds before she was given one.

There's no denying that Samuel (Adewale's character) is a charming man, what with his warm nature and tendency to laugh at all of Natalie's silly jokes. He doesn't understand any American customs and is very much a fish out of water, but Monk is not really the best representation of an average American - or an average person! Stottlemeyer lets Monk and Samuel see the video tapes of the hit and run, although he warns Monk that he doesn't think this obsession is healthy for him. They manage to find two slackers outside a convenience store that remember the swerving, very fast van going by them. Apparently the truck said 'poison' on it, but Samuel figures out that it's actually poisson, which means fish in French.

Monk

Image © NBC Universal, Inc.

Monk and his new BFF track a van to a French restaurant, and they find out that the owner was driving the suspected van on that fateful night. He has a prior of drunk driving, so Monk goes undercover into the restaurant to try and get the evidence they need. The wealthy couple with the dead housekeeper come in, and Monk starts to piece together that this is not just one murder, but two instead! The restaurant owner was driving drunk and called his good friend, and the housekeeper heard him hit Samuel's wife on the phone. Instead of doing the right thing, he pretended to so he could sneak into the house and murder the housekeeper. And he would've gotten away with it too if it wasn't for that meddling Monk.

The bad guy, Kenneth, captures Samuel and Monk at gun point and starts to drive them out to a secret location in his fish van. They manage to throw him off guard by dropping fish onto him, and Samuel makes Kenneth say his wife's name as retribution. Then Monk makes him say Trudy's name. Because he's crazy. Samuel tells Monk that knowing does make him feel a lot better, and that Monk should never give up on finding Trudy's killer. Pfffft, as if he would. Then the show would be over ... oh wait, that's exactly what is going to happen in the final season. Hurray!

Episode Grade: B+

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

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

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Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer

Follow Chelsea on twitter at http://twitter.com/mustbethursday.