Monk (2002–2009)
8.4/10
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Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic 

A motley assortment of commuters, including Monk and the gang, are stuck on the highway after a fatal car accident brings traffic to a dead halt. But Monk doesn't think it was any accident ... See full summary »

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(creator), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Lt. Randall Disher (credit only)
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Ray Galardi
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Sgt. Parnell
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Steve Marriot
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Krystal the Trucker
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Sgt. #2
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Nina Alexander ...
First Pretty Girl
Todd Eric Andrews ...
EMS Paramedic
Scott Mitchell Nelson ...
Real Paramedic
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Himself (as Fieldy Arvizu)
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Storyline

A motley assortment of commuters, including Monk and the gang, are stuck on the highway after a fatal car accident brings traffic to a dead halt. But Monk doesn't think it was any accident and his impromptu investigation irritates authorities at the scene. Written by Milovera

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

11 February 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first time in the series that Monk actually fires a gun since the pilot, in which Monk shoots and wounds Ian Sykes in the head (though we don't see this because it happens in the dark, after Sykes kills the power in the sewer tunnel). Since then he has only held a gun/rifle or used a water pistol. See more »

Goofs

At the time of the murder, the killer clips the victim's cell phone onto his own belt, hooking it in front of his own cell phone. Later, when the scene is replayed in flashback close-up, he clips the victim's cell phone behind his own. See more »

Quotes

[about ten minutes later, Julie hands back the ten dollar bill]
Adrian Monk: What is this?
Julie Teeger: I'm returning your money. I'm not gonna make it.
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Soundtracks

It's a Jungle Out There
Written and Performed by Randy Newman
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User Reviews

 
Stuck in traffic with Mr Monk
2 August 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

To me, "Mr Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic" is one of the best episodes of Season 3. It is a change of pace episode, and it's a welcome one. It is not the most exciting episode, then again being stuck in traffic is a tedious endeavour especially when it's heavy and it is kept afloat by the character moments. One does miss Disher and Stottlemeyer, but one doesn't mind since it gave more of a chance to get to know Natalie and Julie, they would not have been able to do anything considering the amount of traffic there was and they probably needed a break after featuring heavily in "Mr Monk Gets Cabin Fever".

One really relates to Monk's situation here, anybody would if they were stuck in heavy traffic and found it very hard to deal with. Despite not being able to drive for medical reasons, it's hard for me not to be uncomfortable when in traffic, especially when it's hot and stuffy and even listening to music, reading a book or your siblings messing about next to or behind you doesn't make you feel any better.

Natalie may come over as slightly abrasive at times here, but her personality is starting to differentiate more and she has a down-to-earth-ness, sensitivity and sass that makes one warm to her as well as being more sympathetic to Monk's issues. She proves useful, and her and Monk's roles at the end are something quite special. Traylor Howard is continuing to do well considering the less than ideal circumstances behind the scenes with Sharona and Bitty Schram abruptly leaving. One gets to know Julie more as well, she is a funny and likable character played appealingly by Emmy Clarke, and love her chemistry with Monk.

As said many times, one of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching.

"Mr Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic" boasts some very nice character moments, mainly to do with Monk's quirks and observational abilities that come to the fore more than usual this season. Garrett is hilarious and never on the wrong side of annoying and the murder is a clever and quite brutal one. The climactic scene is just fine, and Monk and Julie's chemistry and exchanges particularly stand out, very funny and sweet. The only small fault is the killer being too quickly introduced.

It's not just the cast or story though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of hilarious wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done. The quirks are sympathetically done and never exploited or overdone.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now. Oh and a good job is done with the different opening credits sequence to accommodate the changes made.

Overall, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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