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'Monk' Recap: 'Mr. Monk Goes Camping'

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
November 9th, 2009 8:30am EST
MonkYears ago Adrian Monk was a police detective, and his job was very important to him; almost as important as his lovely wife Trudy. Then Trudy was murdered and Monk fell apart. Ever since he has been trying to get reinstated with the police, and he works as a consultant on cases with his former boss Captain Stottlemeyer. A few seasons back on "Monk" he tried to get reinstated and Stottlemeyer sadly had to speak against him. It was a very tense and painful moment for the two friends, because Stottlemeyer loves Monk but had to make the right decision for the police station. He didn't think Monk was ready to carry a gun and do things that would go against his OCD. Now it looks like everyone is ready to stand behind Monk so he can go back to work, but someone new is in his way.

There are three people on the board for Monk's case, and two of them seem to get along with him very well. They praise his work with the police and how he solved cases that no one else seems to. The third member, however, is a man named Captain Willis and he is not impressed by Monk in the least. Natalie encourages Monk to 'play the game' and figure out a way to get in Willis' good graces.

They go to a crime scene of a car robbery and one of the drivers was murdered. Monk gets the idea to dust the coins from a parking meter nearby for prints, and he finds a peanut oddly crushed. Disher arrives in camping gear and provides the plot device for this episode by telling everyone that Captain Willis' son, Brian, is going on a camping trip with him. It's a police outreach program. Monk decides to go camping with them, and if the idea of it wasn't hilarious enough, the execution should be amusing. However, since Monk has to be on his best behavior in front of Brian, he doesn't actually go all crazy OCD on the trip. Awww.

Brian's father barely pays attention to him and he's a troubled kid. There is another boy on the trip that seems to know everything about camping, and he's a random scene stealer in the episode. The two car robbers, brothers Luke and Del Johnston, are informed by Luke's girlfriend that the police are looking for them. There are some bullet shells left in the woods where they were practicing, and the kids now have them, so the brothers need to get it back from them. Otherwise the police can match the ballistics. They try to scare everyone out by attracting a bear to the site, and it works. They abandon the camp and get lost in the woods. Monk screams like a little girl when he sees the bear.

Brian caught a fish on his own, which he is very proud of, but he used one of the shells to do it. The brothers try to buy it from him in a friendly way, and Monk figures out they're the bad guys. He sees one of them eating a peanut in that weird way, and it all comes together. He warns Disher and then tries to get the fish from Brian, who refuses. They have a heart to heart when a bear comes to eat them, however, and Monk manages to stay calm and talk the beast down. Brian loves Monk now. Awww, yay. Mission accomplished.

Disher manages to surprise the brothers and take them out. It is always great to see him coming through, because they can use him as a buffoon a great deal. Disher and Monk have a sweet talk before the bear attacks the camp about how it was hard for Disher to always be made fun of, but he chose to be happy rather than hurt. He's such a nice guy, I hope him and Sharona are still together.

Monk

Image © NBC Universal, Inc.

In the end Monk is not reinstated because this show chose a rather lame cop out. The one man he had to convince is on his side, but now the other two changed completely for some unknown reason. This is just annoying. They were singing his praises before and apparently hadn't read his file the first time around. So suddenly now they don't think he's ready? It's just a way to keep him the OCD detective consultant, and if that is the case, they should not have picked up this storyline again only to brush it aside with an unbelievable twist of fate. Blah. Monk decides to be happy instead and has his delusions that he passed instead. Everyone just kinds of stares at him. It's probably good that this show is ending soon, because they seem to never want to give Monk any real character development. Give him back his uniform, keep the dog from last week, find a new love interest, anything. It's been eight years of this and while it is nice and charming, it's really old too.

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

Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer

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