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"Monk" Mr. Monk Takes the Stand (2009)

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Lawyered up

7/10
Author: ctomvelu1 from United States
14 September 2009

Monk quickly figures out that a husband, a long-haired sculptor with a surly attitude, killed his wife, but then must face the accused man's lawyer, played by Jay Mohr. The lawyer and Monk have crossed swords before, and the lawyer soon makes mincemeat of Monk's testimony. The killer walks, but as we have seen before, you don't want to cross Mr. Monk. In a subplot, a young man whom Disher once mentored is accused of killing a store clerk. Disher asks for Monk's help, and pretty soon ... well, see the episode for yourself. Mohr and Shalhoub play off each other very well. And wait until you find out what happened to a missing two-ton piece of quartz, which has to do with the surly artist with the dead wife (again, see the episode).

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Overstuffed and under-cooked prosecution

5/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
29 September 2017

'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.

Don't agree respectfully that "Mr Monk Takes the Stand" is the worst 'Monk' episode. It's not even the worst of Season 8. A contender for that's "Mr Monk and the UFO", which along with "Mr Monk and the Big Reward" and "Mr Monk Takes a Punch", "Mr Monk and the Rapper" and "Mr Monk and the Really Really Dead Guy" are lesser efforts too, is one of the worst 'Monk' episodes to me. However, it was an episode of great potential that has its moments but comes up short, how it could have easily solved what made the episode lacking was doing more with less material.

There are certainly good things. The courtroom scenes are fun and tense, with a wonderfully arrogant attorney in Harrison Powell that pits off against Monk and his friends in as satisfying a way as the best 'Monk' killers. There are good moments here, such as Monk's poignant feelings in how he was ripped apart on the stand and one of the best supporting character lines in the history of 'Monk' in Powell's reaction to Natalie's "how do you sleep at night?".

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.

As ever, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford and Ted Levine give great support, while Jay Mohr enjoys himself thoroughly as Powell, a different role for him. Former child star Jonathan Lipnicki does fine, and it was refreshing to have a serious Disher subplot that gave the episode heart.

Visually, the episode is slick and stylish as ever. 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.

On the other hand, "Mr Monk Takes the Stand" is primarily let down by that it tries to do too much and doesn't do enough with its content. This is especially true in having not one but two cases, both of which could have been more compelling, one of which has an alibi that is in the top 5 flimsiest alibis on the whole of 'Monk', something that even the less observant of people would notice. Neither case are hard to figure out either (likewise with the killer's identity), the second case is very uninspired.

It disappoints too that the latter parts of the episode don't satisfy very much. The episode was crying out for a face off for Monk to get deserved satisfaction and for Powell given a taste of his own medicine, that it doesn't materialise gives an anti-climactic feel, while the conclusion is one of the show's most tacked on and predictable.

Powell mostly is devious and brilliant on top of his arrogance, but he is not without the odd sloppy moment in the writing. Primarily the thing with the gravel (again another thing that even the less observant would pick up as sloppy), someone as brilliant as he would have the common sense to say the complete opposite of what he actually says. The writing has its moments, but not enough. The humour, pathos and quirks come more in spurts than as a consistent whole.

Overall, watchable but unsatisfying. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Poorly written plot story.

3/10
Author: hartpaul-1 from Australia
12 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoy Monk because of his eccentricities as well as his deductive logic. But remember all this is a product of the story writers and in this episode they must have taken a day off. With so many other forensic and detective shows around now days (CSI, Castle, Bones, NCIS) the writers have to be on the ball.

In the first trial scene it appeared that the prosecutor was a wimp and not very educated about the case, part of this blame must also lie with the detectives who did not do the required work to make it easy for the prosecutor to refute. The detectives seem to do very little work and leave it up to Monk to deduce the guilt.

1. There should have been two records of the slab of Belgian Grey Marble sold and delivered to that residence, one for the alibi at 5 pm the night of the murder and one at some past date for him to sculpt. 2. Monk suggested that the delivered slab now decorated the driveway. The gravel in the driveway would have clean surfaces, no bio-film (at the first rain microscopic spores would land on rough exposed surfaces and begin to grow with in a week of exposure, even dew would be enough), no weathering thus fresh. Also where was the murderer's receipt for that gravel? Each of these could have been independently verified and not required Monk's testimony, but then if that was used then the story would have ended in half an episode.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Worst. Episode. Ever.

2/10
Author: snkdavis from United States
11 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Big fan of Monk since the beginning. Again. Worst episode ever. Spoiler part: Spent entire episode building for a face off between Monk and the lawyer, then totally skipped it. It was like watching the Natural with no Home Run scene, or Hoosiers showing the team playing up to the championship game, then skipping the game to show them celebrating afterward. Or maybe A Few Good Men without Cruise interrogating Nicholson, just the arrest scene. Like I said. Worst. Episode. Ever. I'll give it a 2 instead of a 1 because they set it up well. (Loved the speech by the therapist about the tell. Been great if that had actually played into the show.) I guess if the show wasn't normally pretty good, it wouldn't have been as big a deal, but come on!

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Agree it is worst episode

2/10
Author: rdc-4 from United States
24 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a Monk fan. Although some suspension of belief is required at times, the clues and conclusions generally hang to gather pretty well. In the court room scene in this episode where the lawyer brought in a wheelbarrow of gravel and said Monk had no case because the pieces did not fit together like a jig saw puzzle was not believable. Have the writers ever looked at gravel - it would be virtually impossible to find two pieces off a drive way that were the original joining pieces and therefore be able to fit together like a jig saw. Maybe they were running out of believable ideas in the last season? Anyway, a great last season in spite of this episode.

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