Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Blackout 

A blackout puts half of San Francisco in the dark for a few minutes. When the police discover it wasn't an accident, Monk gets involved to try and figure out why.


Michael Zinberg


Andy Breckman (created by), Daniel Dratch | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Bitty Schram ... Sharona Fleming
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Stottlemeyer
Judge Reinhold ... Alby Drake
Alicia Coppola ... Michelle Rivas
Todd Stashwick ... Gene Edelson
Kane Ritchotte ... Benjy Fleming
Stacy Michelle Stacy Michelle ... Herself
Stanley Kamel ... Dr. Kroger
Joan Blair ... Rita
John O'Brien ... Maitre'd
Scott Peat ... Construction Foreman
Timothy Thomas Brown ... Company Forman


When the power goes out for a few moments. The authorities get a letter from the one claiming responsibility, a radical who supposedly died a few years ago. Monk goes to the power plant to investigate and catches the eye of the P.R. woman. She asks him out and when they go to where she chose to take them his phobias become a problem. Later a former associate of the radical after being visited by the police calls someone and threatens to go to the police cause someone was hurt because of the blackout. Later he's killed. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A number of topics can be seen on the stacks of index cards Monk prepares for his telephone conversation with Michelle from the power plant, including: investigation, where from?, thinking about you, history, English lit, biology, organic produce, reality television, travel: US, travel: Europe, 2004 compact sedans, 2004 film festivals, and, of course, Trudy. See more »


During a close-up shot of the side of the bulldozer, we see that the "C" in the brand decal "CAT" has been modified to an "O" so that it reads "OAT." The next shot is of the front of the bulldozer where we can clearly read "CATERPILLAR". In yet the next shot, showing the opposite side of the bulldozer, the decal clearly reads "CAT." See more »


[Monk is talking with Michelle Rivas and hears a noise. She looks up and sees Gene Edelson coming down the ladder]
Michelle Rivas: Gene, what are you doing up there?
Winston Brenner: I am checking the auxiliary generator.
Michelle Rivas: Yeah well there's a reporter looking for you.
Winston Brenner: Well you're the company mouth. You talk to them. It's not my problem.
[spots Monk tapping his pen against the gauge on one of the panels]
Winston Brenner: Excuse me. Do you, see the sign?
[Monk spots the "Do Not Touch" sign above the gauge]
Adrian Monk: Yes, thank you.
See more »


References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »


It's A Jungle Out There
Written and Performed by Randy Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

In the dark with Mr Monk
24 July 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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.

"Mr Monk and the Blackout" is an improvement over the previous two episodes "Mr Monk Takes Manhattan" and "Mr Monk and the Panic Room", which even with their faults were still enjoyable. While "Mr Monk and the Blackout" is not perfect either, it is very good nonetheless. Admittedly there are better mysteries in 'Monk', not that the mystery is a bad one (far from it), it is atmospheric and engaging and has one of the most memorable, brutal and chilling murders (the one with the tree) of the entire show.

It is somewhat let down by having too few suspects, eventually it was one of those it could only have been them situations, and the murderer's motive was a bit on the vague side. Wouldn't have said no to giving Sharona and particularly Stottlemeyer a little more to do, though they certainly are not wasted and make an impression, Sharona in her care for Monk and her matter-of-life-and-death situation and Stottlemeyer in his frustration and loyalty and seeming happy that Monk seems to be showing signs of moving on.

Where "Mr Monk and the Blackout" fares better actually and is particularly good is in the character moments. Loved the failed romantic subplot between Monk and Michelle Rivas, the character herself is played with feistiness and charm and her rapport with Monk is interesting and surprisingly sympathetic in places. The whole blackout idea is unique for the show and used to full advantage here with some genuine creepiness. The aforementioned murder is very memorable, while other standout character moments are the touching bit with the cards and the hilarious and tense elevator scene.

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. It is remarkable here that right from the first episode to when the show ended that one likes him straight away, even with his quirks and deficiencies that could easily have been overplayed, and also that he is better developed than most titular characters of other shows at this particular stage. Who can't help love Monk's brilliant mind too?

He is very well supported by a sharp and no-nonsense but also sympathetic Bitty Schram, whose Sharona makes for a worthy and entertaining partner for Monk's sleuthing and somebody with a maternal side. There is always a debate at who's better between Sharona and Natalie, personally like both in their own way and consider them both attractive though as of now leaning towards Natalie as the better acted and more attentive of the two. The two are so enjoyable together and the best detective duo of any show in recent years from personal opinion.

Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford are amusing, and the supporting cast are good (including an unrecognisable Judge Reinhold).

It's not just the cast 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 mostly deft. Monk's plight is very poignant and makes one really sympathise with him.

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.

All in all, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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