|Index||3 reviews in total|
Burglars enter a house and are surprised by an old lady coming down a
stairs. She heard the noise and came down with a gun. They take it away
from her, wrestle, she falls and is killed. The thieves leave, but
before they do, go to a portrait painting on a wall and spray paint it.
A former middle school classmate of Adrian, a woman he had a crush on when she was that age (13?), comes to Monk then asks him to solve this case to give that old lady - whom she employed in that hose - justice. Monk takes the case.
Through flashbacks, we then get a glimpse of what Monk was like in that awkward age. Actually, thanks to those flashbacks we see Monk solve two cases on this episode: the one when he's in school and the one "live" with the burglars and the painting. Both involve helping the same female.
All in all, more of an insight on the strange and amazing Mr. Monk.
Monk is called upon by old friend Sherry Judd (actress Donna Bullock)
to solve a mystery. Monk had a huge crush on her when they were
classmates in junior high school. In the present, burglars break into
her home when she is not there, and kill the housekeeper, but appear
not to have stolen anything. However, on the way out they inexplicably
spray paint a mustache and goatee on a prized painting. The police are
stumped, so Sherry comes for help to Monk, who demonstrated his
detective brilliance to her years earlier.
In flashbacks, we see young Monk's agony as he longs for the teen girl, who is friendly but seems impossibly out of reach. When young Sherry is accused of the theft of the bake sale money, young Monk (actor Grant Rosenmeyer), convinced of Sherry's innocence, tackles what may be his first case, and of course his brilliant insights save her from the clever scheming of the bully who framed her.
Natalie can see that Monk still has feelings for Sherry, and encourages him to make his move, but unfortunately Monk as an adult has as little self-confidence with women as he did as a teen.
Any episode where you get to see Monk as a child is a winner, and this one does not disappoint. His mother (actress Rose Abdoo) does a tidy job of suggesting to the audience where some of Monk's personality quirks come from. Any real fan of Monk will make seeing this episode a top priority.
Monk solves all mysteries, past and present, but loses out on the lady under circumstances eerily similar to what happened in the past.
'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
Having loved the previous episode "Mr Monk Goes to the Wedding", "Mr Monk and Little Monk" was a slight disappointment but was still a fun and very interesting episode that did a lot right. To have two crimes, one in flashback and one in the present day, interwoven was another change from the formula and a great idea. Different is not always done well, have seen some interesting failures in my short life, but "Mr Monk and Little Monk" and the other previous atypical episodes are examples of different working.
There are imperfections sure. The flashback mystery, despite not being a murder and actually a school theft, is slightly more interesting than the present day case, partly because the chemistry between younger Monk and Sherry. The present day case is still paced well, with some nice clues, lovely character moments and fun deductions and an engaging story in its own right. The solution to me was a little too silly and borderline confusing, the motive was rather extreme. The solution of the past flashback, despite being obvious from the get go, was easier to swallow and a little cleverer in how the crime was done. More Disher and Stottlemeyer wouldn't have gone amiss either.
Despite how all this sounds, "Mr Monk and Little Monk didn't feel too much of an excuse to look into Monk's teenage past or become gimmicky. Granted it is at the forefront but most of everything else balances well with it and doesn't feel under-utilised. The flashbacks are very sweet and nicely filmed, with Grant Rossenmeyer doing a great job as younger Monk, capturing the quirks and such perfectly without being too much of an imitation. Rose Abdoo shows great comic timing as his mother, and it was nice to see where some of Monk's quirks and obsessions originated from.
Natalie is more settled than in previous appearances. 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. Traylor Howard is doing fine, not amazing as of yet but hardly amateur hour.
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.
He is very well matched by Donna Bullock, it is hard not to be charmed and touched by their chemistry which tells a lot about them and Bullock gives a performance of charm and vulnerability, one can totally see why Monk would want to help Sherry.
Character moments-wise, the highlights are the flashbacks, the bikers fight and especially the double summation.
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 wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done, particularly the last one. 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.
In summation, very good atypical episode even if the execution was not perfect. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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