As far as Season 6 goes, "Mr Monk and the Wrong Man" is in the better half. Not quite classic 'Monk' like the previous episode "Mr Monk and the Daredevil" was, but a great episode all the same. It could have done with more flashbacks to see how Monk investigated and how he solved the crime initially, just to see how he worked and deduced and came up with what he thought was the solution and to see where he went wrong. Also to see how he changed since Trudy's death compared to before. Disher's repeated line "it wasn't me" also got repetitive and annoying.
However, "Mr Monk and the Wrong Man" does have some lovely character moments. Really could see and feel Monk's guilt and desire to put things right, Max's understandable anger and bitterness towards Monk and Monk's self-loathing. Disher and Stottlemeyer have a funny moment involving Stottlemeyer wanting Disher to work on a case. Natalie is as sympathetic and sassy as ever. The characters are true to their original selves, though Disher does come close to being too much of an idiot.
There are some amusing moments and the odd quirkiness but it's the emotion and drama that takes centre-stage and it's very movingly done.
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.
Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine and Traylor Howard are on typically good form, while Tim DeVarn is quite excellent as Max.
Writing-wise, 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.
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. The episode is made with a lot of slickness and style as always.
In summation, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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