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|134 reviews in total|
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.
Dr. Kimble gets information leading him to believe the one-armed man is
in Chicago. Kimble goes there and cannot find him, so he contacts
newspaper columnist Mike Decker (actor Pat Hingle), who has previously
written favorably to Kimble, for assistance. Kimble is wary, but Decker
convinces him that he is on Kimble's side, and that he with the
resources of his paper can find his quarry. Decker has Kimble hide out
at his apartment while his wife is out of town.
Decker's editor agrees to give financial assistance, but only if Decker guarantees a big story, either the capture of the one-armed man, or the capture of Kimble. Decker hides this info from Kimble, and proceeds to make an all-out effort to find the one-armed man.
Decker's alcoholic wife Paula (actress Nan Martin) comes home early from the alcohol treatment center, and warns Kimble that while she is strongly on his side, Decker cannot be completely trusted. Once Lt. Gerard learns of Decker's efforts, he comes to town to pressure Decker for information and assistance, and Decker struggles with himself over what to do.
Decker's efforts do uncover the one-armed man. Kimble sees him for the first time since the night of the murder, but he gets away, and Kimble, after a close call, must flee empty-handed.
Before Monk's college reunion, a beloved school nurse is murdered. Monk
attends the reunion and, of course, solves the murder, and also saves
the life of a classmate in danger. There are frequent flashbacks to
Monk's college days.
This is a great episode, marred only by the plot device of an improbable talent Monk has of being able to tell what is written when someone uses his back as a table on which to write a note.
In this episode, we get to see Monk's first meeting with Trudy, and the blossoming of their relationship. In a sweet and poignant subplot, he triumphs over competition who is much smoother than he. We also get to see how the other college students viewed Monk, and how he got the nickname "Captain Cool." Sadly, but appropriately, it was not because they admired his hipness.
A hilarious moment occurs when Capt. Stottlemeyer is exposed for his role in an unpopular police action in his younger days. The episode is worth watching for that alone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Empty Chair is an outstanding first episode that captures the
essence of The Untouchables. After Al Capone is sent to prison, his
enforcer Frank Nitti, portrayed with unparalleled skill by actor Bruce
Gordon, schemes to take over the gang. He machine guns his chief
competitors, gangsters Volpe and Raddi, in a barber shop in front of
the owner and another barber, Enrico Rossi (actor Nicholas Georgiade).
The owner, terribly frightened, denies Rossi's account of Nitti being
the killer, scuttling any prosecution of Nitti, but leading Rossi to
join the Untouchables.
Nitti tries to bully the other gang members into accepting his taking over "the empty chair" left by the departure of Capone, but Nitti, though the toughest and most vicious of the bunch, is stymied by the cleverness and courage of Capone's accountant Jake Guzik (actor Nehemiah Persoff). Much of the episode deals with the maneuvering of these two strong personalities with their very different approaches.
Ness's schemes to get the gangsters at each other's throats are defeated by the clever Jake Guzik. Ness then plots to get the cooperation of former stripper "Brandy LaFrance," real name Barbara Ritchie (actress Barbara Nichols), whose late husband George was murdered by gangsters, and whose uncle happens to be Jake Guzik.
Guzik, getting word that his niece was seen at the federal building, calls on fellow gangster Phil D'Andrea for help, but Ness is too clever, and too good a shot, for the gangsters to prevail.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Gangster Theodore Newberry, strongly portrayed by actor Ken Lynch, is
suave, confident, wealthy, and well-connected. His vicious chief
assistant, Jerry Fanning, is played by a young Martin Landau. Fanning
is a hopped-up, nervous drug addict with a stutter.
A federal inquiry into Newberry's empire of alcohol, gambling, prostitution and bribery depends on a single witness, the meek accountant Julius Imbry. Newberry sends Fanning to kill him, but instead, "the city hall boys," unwilling to be fingered for accepting bribes, but less murderous than Newberry, kidnap Imbry from protective custody and get him out of town.
Newberry develops a plan to get Imbry and Ness, and ruin the Untouchables. He uses a confederate and his own newspaper to create and publicize a fake bribery scheme to embarrass Ness. Learning that Imbry is in Mexico, he has his Mexican contacts seize Imbry, then lures Ness to Mexico to rescue him. Ness brings Spanish speaking agent Nick Delgado (actor Vince Edwards, who later played Ben Casey). Newberry sends Jerry Fanning down to make sure that Ness and Imbry are killed and their corpses put out to sea, so that it looks like Ness has taken a payoff and disappeared.
Ness falls into a trap laid by Newberry's confederate in Mexico, Achilles Guzman (actor Rodolfo Hoyos), but his wariness saves him. Delgado gets to Imbry, who was being held by Guzman's man Max Charcas, and Fanning traps them both, but is disturbed that he has not caught Ness. Working separately, Ness and Delgado save Imbry and return him to testify against Newberry. Newberry, having received a telegram proclaiming success, arrives confidently at the hearing, only to learn that it was Ness, not Fanning, who sent him the message.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of the best episodes. Veteran actor William Bendix puts in
an outstanding performance as vicious gangster Wally Legenza, head of
the Tri-State Gang. The gang makes most of its money by hijacking
trucks. Just to be safe, Wally routinely murders the helpless victims.
The other gang members are afraid of him, and rightly so.
Wally explodes when he learns that gang member Big Bill Phillips (actor Alan Hale, Jr., later the Skipper on Gilligan's Island) is seeing a woman, the delightfully French-accented Lizzie Dauphine (actress Roxane Berard) from Montreal. While the audience is charmed by this likable, attractive couple, Wally's attitude is different: women are trouble. His orders are that you see them one night, then send them on their way. When Big Bill misses a meeting and Wally tracks him down at Lizzie's apartment, Big Bill urges Wally to have a drink and be friends with him and his girl. Wally coldly advises them that he doesn't need any friends.
Crime surely doesn't pay for this sorry group, including actors Gavin McLeod as Artie and Jay Adler as Georgie, who live cooped up in small rooms eating carry-out and playing chess and cards, pushed around by Wally Legenza, can't even go out on a date, yet are in constant danger of an early death.
After Big Bill is killed by Ness in a shootout, Wally decides that Lizzie must be killed, since she knows who he is. When the hit is botched, Wally decides that the gang must get out of town, but they are short on money. Wally orders a high stakes plan for the gang to make some real money with a kidnapping for ransom, which ultimately leads to their downfall.
Kimble is working at a construction company run by Buck Harmon (actor
Jack Klugman). He has persuaded Buck to hire Jamie (actor Buck Taylor),
who is of below-normal intelligence. The other workers pick on Jamie,
and Kimble tries to protect him. Buck's wife Ruth (actress Elizabeth
Allen) lives with Buck at the worksite. She helps Jamie to learn to
read and they become close. She has no children of her own, and Jamie
is like a child to her.
Ruth dresses sexily and attracts the attention of the men at the worksite. A man attacks her in the shower and leaves her unconscious. Her screams were heard by a neighbor, who sees Jamie leaving.
Jamie runs away, and everyone but Kimble is convinced of his guilt. Workers get their guns to hunt him down. From their talk Kimble fears they will kill Jamie. Kimble must protect Jamie, but this puts him up against Buck, who like the workers is convinced of Jamie's guilt.
In this exciting thriller, Kimble works at a New Mexico gas station
when two young thugs, Miles (actor Chris Robinson) and Vinnie (actor
Lou Antonio) rob the place. Miles shoots and kills the owner, and the
thieves take off with two hostages, Kimble and Joanne Spencer (actress
Brenda Vaccaro), a customer at the station.
Miles is excited by killing and wants to kill Joanne. Kimble, desperate to save the young lady as well as make his own escape, poses as an experienced older criminal. Vinnie is impressed with Kimble's helpful advice and self-confident criminal leadership, which keeps Kimble alive and gives him to opportunity to advise on the need to keep the hostage alive. Miles, however, repeatedly comes into conflict with Kimble and wants to kill him as well as Joanne.
Upon learning the thieves are going to Hollywood, Kimble leads them on with false promises of sharing in a big score on a heist he had planned in Los Angeles. Joanne, who is devastated and frightened by what has happened to her, begins to trust Kimble, but her faith is shaken when the newspaper reveals who he is. Despite Joanne's distrust, Kimble must protect her from the increasingly homicidal urges of Miles. With the cops closing in, and the criminals ever more desperate, Kimble faces danger from all sides.
Kimble, working as a farmworker, is disliked and distrusted by the
others, who suspect him of being a cop or immigration agent. Paco
(actor Alejandro Rey), an illegal immigrant, is one of his tormentors.
A forest fire emergency leads to Kimble and others working on fire control. Paco's wife, Maria, follows the men to the fire scene. She goes into labor and is seen by the nurse, Doris (actress Beverly Garland), at the first-aid tent. The nurse declares Maria needs emergency surgery, but there is no doctor, and the fire has cut off the roads. Kimble wants to help, but an eager radio news reporter is snooping around and threatens to uncover his identity.
Richard Kimble is working in a menial position at a sports arena when a
boxer's manager fires the cut man and replaces him with Kimble. Actor
James Edwards, as boxer Joe Smith, gives an intense performance as a
man who once dreamed of being a doctor, but decided that boxing would
give him a better chance at a decent life as a black man living in a
white man's world.
An assistant, Dan Digby (actor Hari Rhodes) is against Kimble from the start, because he replaced his friend as cut man, and because Kimble seems to be moving into a position of confidence with Smith.
Smith's wife Laura (actress Ruby Dee) wants her husband to quit boxing and become a doctor, fearing he will be injured or killed in the ring, but this is strongly opposed by Smith's manager Bragan (actor James Dunn), and by Dan. Smith is suffering from the results of past beatings in the ring, making it unwise for him to continue boxing, something quickly picked up by Kimble. Kimble is caught between Smith, Laura, Dan, Bragan, and a policeman posing as a sports reporter, investigating everyone in Smith's camp.
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