We’ve reached the end of our top 20 list. I do have to say that it appears that the second half of Season 2 of Monk was the show at its absolute best as 3 of the top 5 episodes are from that period.
5) Mr. Monk Can’t See a Thing (Season 5, Episode 4):
Mr. Monk is blinded while trying to protect an elderly firefighter from his murderer. The great detective finds himself apparently temporarily blinded, which at makes him happy as many of his obsessions, compulsions, and fears are tied to eyesight. He struggles with his blindness, but using his sense of touch, he manages to compensate for it. The episode features an involved mystery with a false ending and a final scene that is perhaps the most thrilling in the entire series.
4) Mr. Monk and the Paperboy (Season 2, Episode 10): Mr. Monk’s paperboy is murderered in an attempt to keep Monk from reading his morning paper. Monk surmises that the cause was stop him from reading the paper lest he discovers a crime. Monk’s challenge isn’t finding a crime, but finding the right one. He solves two unrelated crimes after reading the paper and still hasn’t found the reason for the murder of the paperboy. This is definitely a story of legendary proportions, with some great payoffs.
3) Mr. Monk and the Astronaut (Season 4, Episode 13): Monk faces another impossible murder. This time, Monk identifies the murderer. The problem? He was an astronaut in orbit of the Earth at the time the victim died. Monk is dismissed and underestimated by the astronaut as a weakling who will always back off until Monk begins to close in and the astronaut has to stop Monk from the finding the key evidence. The climatic scene on the airstrip is one of the most memorable and satisfying of the series.
2) Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny (Season 2, Episode 13):
Monk is engaged to find a woman’s kidnapped grandmother in hopes of getting help with his reenstatement case. What Monk finds is a baffling case where as ransom, the kidnappers demand that they provide the homeless a meal and the perpetrators claim to be tied to a radical group from the 1960s. This one is very cleverly plotted and one of the few Monk episodes where there’s no homicide.
1) Mr. Monk and the Three Pies (Season 2, Episode 11): This is the first episode in which we meet Monk’s more ingenusous and more disturbed brother Ambrose whose agoraphobia hasn’t allowed him to leave their house since their father left them and has caused him to save all mail and newspapers for the day their father returns. Monk’s been nursing a grudge because Ambrose missed Trudy’s funeral and never calling or writing Monk afterwards. Ambrose suspects foul play in the disappearance of a neighbor. At the same time, murders are being committed involving people who won the neighbor’s pies at the fair. A great classic mystery puzzle with that perfect blend of comedy and drama.
That brings us to the end of this series and there were many great Monk episodes that didn’t make the cut. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments.
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