A woman commits suicide and minutes later Captain Stottlemeyer is shot nearby. Monk needs to determine if the two events are related, but his new medication has turned him into an obnoxious ... Read allA woman commits suicide and minutes later Captain Stottlemeyer is shot nearby. Monk needs to determine if the two events are related, but his new medication has turned him into an obnoxious jerk who can't concentrate on the case.A woman commits suicide and minutes later Captain Stottlemeyer is shot nearby. Monk needs to determine if the two events are related, but his new medication has turned him into an obnoxious jerk who can't concentrate on the case.
"Mr Monk Takes His Medicine" is like "Mr Monk and the Game Show", a fun enough diversion but not one of the best 'Monk' episodes and one of the weaker episodes of Season 3. It is most notable for being Sharona's last episode before being introduced to Natalie in the next person, and it is very sad to see her go but at least she goes out on an episode that does the character and Bitty Schram's acting justice. The main fault for me of "Mr Monk Takes His Medicine" is that the whole three personalities of Monk doesn't quite work.
There is nothing to be faulted with normal Monk, he is the Monk we know and love though it is a little under-utilised here. Tony Shalhoub does very well with the "beaten" Monk, the shift from normal Monk to "beaten" Monk is far too abrupt though and comes out of nowhere but the self-loathing and desperation is conveyed very poignantly by Shalhoub.
"The Monk" persona is "Mr Monk Takes His Medicine's" biggest problem, here Monk is made to act the complete anti-thesis to usual and his arrogance was out of character and a real turn off and he comes over as even more obnoxious than the character of Kevin Dorfmann in the previous episode (a seemingly impossible feat but a feat managed here). It marks the first time where Shalhoub to me overacted, to some it may not be the first time but it's never been a problem for me up until now.
It is a shame too that Stottlemeyer has little to do and his chemistry with Monk (always one of my favourite things about 'Monk') never really shines.
However, there are many great things. Loved that Sharona was even more nurse-like than usual, and that she came over as loyal and sympathetic. Bitty Schram conveyed that very well, and one really feels sad that it is the character's final episode until her guest appearance in Season 8. Jason Gray-Stanford does good work here, Disher has more subtlety to his character here compared to other moments and is not too goofy or a buffoon. Ted Levine does his best but isn't in the episode enough.
Supporting cast are good, though the only real standout is Melora Hardin's truly touching Trudy. Stanley Kamel also does well as Kroger, though one does question somewhat his professionalism.
As for Shalhoub, outside of his overdone "The Monk" persona (which was more to do with the writing than him actually), he portrays Monk with his perfect balance of hilarious humour and sincere pathos. His best moment is indeed the bit with the pillow, it was just so loving and made me well up with tears at how hard it is dealing with the loss of someone that close to you.
When it comes to the mystery, it's well paced and engaging with a clever denouement, if not quite as memorable as the character moments. Most of the writing fares well, misfiring only with the characterisation of "The Monk". The mix of hilarious wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done.
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.
In conclusion, good episode but not a great one. Season 3 and the show in general have done better. 7/10 Bethany Cox
- Jul 31, 2017