Monk (2002–2009)
8.3/10
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2 user

Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy 

A new HMO restriction on individual therapy forces Monk to join one of Dr. Bell's groups just as its members are being murdered.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
... Adrian Monk
... Natalie Teeger
... Lt. Randall Disher
... Captain Leland Stottlemeyer
... Harold Krenshaw
... Rhonda
... Augie Wellman
... Barbara O'Keefe
... Dr. Neven Bell
... Pool Cleaner
Jessica McCabe ... Teenage Cashier
... Xavier Danko
... Lt. Dylan
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Storyline

A new HMO restriction on individual therapy forces Monk to join one of Dr. Bell's groups just as its members are being murdered.

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Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Release Date:

9 October 2009 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Last credited appearance of Tim Bagley as Harold Krenshaw. See more »

Connections

References Monk: Mr. Monk and the Magician (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Therapeutic murder
30 September 2017 | by See 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.

While "Mr Monk Goes to Group Therapy" is a better episode than "Mr Monk and the Critic", "Mr Monk Takes the Stand" and especially "Mr Monk and the UFO", to me "Mr Monk is Someone Else", "Mr Monk and the Voodoo Curse" and particularly "Mr Monk and the Foreign Man" ("Mr Monk's Favourite Show" is like this an in between episode) were better Season 8 episodes up to this point. It's a decent episode but more for the character moments than the mystery.

Parts of the mystery do intrigue, it starts well, the group therapy scenes are entertaining and intriguing and the murders are clever (especially the supposed suicide). It is let down sadly by two things. One is the far too obvious and revealed far too early identity and motive of the killer. The other, and especially so, is the ridiculously improbable ending, which was another standard Monk and another character in peril climax, but more contrived than the others, that felt more like padding above all else, and the killer turns from ruthless to a unrealistically complete wimp. Talk about an anti-climax.

Didn't buy entirely the too sudden change from rivalry to bonding between Monk and Krenshaw, that seemed more of a solution for finding a way to say goodbye to Krenshaw, in the end though it was pretty poignant. The police investigating is under-utilised and Disher and Stottlemeyer take far too much of a back-seat.

However, "Mr Monk Goes to Group Therapy" is elevated by the chemistry between Monk and Krenshaw. Have always loved these too together and they are simply delightful in this episode, their interplay and back and forth is comedy gold and their rivalry chemistry is portrayed with brio. Tim Bagley clearly enjoys himself playing off against Tony Shalhoub and makes Krenshaw a funny and strangely endearing "annoying" character.

The therapy scenes entertain and intrigue and the other patients, while not with much screen time, work well within the episode. Hector Elizondo plays the role of the sympathetic Dr Bell very well.

Character moments, mainly the comedic ones, are plenty and they more than make up for the lacking mystery aspect. The highlights are Krenshaw's fantasy flashback of Monk being the killer, the argument in the supermarket, Monk's priceless facial expression when told by Krenshaw where they're parked outside of in the climactic moments and the therapy room battle.

One of the best things about 'Monk' has always been Tony Shalhoub, who was as Monk consistently one of the best things about every episode regardless of what material is thrown at him.. 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.

While not used anywhere near as much, the other three regulars do good work. But it's the chemistry between Monk and Krenshaw that's most memorable here. The writing is funny, in a wry and quirky way, and provokes thought.

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.

In summation, decent episode but could have been better with a more consistent mystery and better ending. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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