Monk: Mr. Monk is Often Wrong. (1000 words)
I’m not going to make a demonstration here, first because it’d actually be incredibly long a task, but also because I’m already working on other things and cannot add another project to the others.
So, I’ll allow myself to just share this idea with you and go back to what I’m doing.
I’ve been watching Monk with a friend of mine for about a month. We’re now at Season 4 episode 9 and I must say that it slowly became a reflex for us to look for elements in each episode that suggest that Monk is actually having the wrong person arrested or is overall wrong about how the murder(s) took place and why. (I found him very likely to be wrong about 80% of the time if I want to be truly honest).
The idea came to us slowly. At first we just took it for granted that he was right until an episode made us doubt his conclusions, then another one, and then another one until we realised that he is actually very arguably wrong nearly in every single episode.
Here’s a few examples I can remember. I'm not trying to be convincing here, I'm just giving you elements that you can check if you're interested. I had a lot more arguments to defend these ideas when I watched these episodes:
Season 4 Episode 9: Mr. Monk and Little Monk.
In both cases, Sherry is a lot less innocent than she pretends to be. In high school, she is the one who put the “good luck” bill in the young man’s pocket while in the present time, she is the one who asked her cleaning lady to come on her holiday so that she would be there when the bikers break into her house.
She knows a lot more than she pretends to and a guy is, in both cases, arrested/punished because of her and for something a lot more serious than what he truly did.
Season 4 Episode 8: Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa.
Two things strongly point at the absurdity of the conclusion of this episode.
1-A woman is supposed to have killed a man with a poisoned bottle of Porto that she sent to Stottlemeyer… and that he nearly kept for his wife… after Randy nearly took it from him. It’s flatly too improbable and convoluted to have been planned.
2-We’re supposed to believe that a man who shot at Stottlemeyer was only writing an “M” on the wall with the bullet holes as a reminder of the fact that the detective is responsible for the death of his little brother Michael. Just plain ridiculous.
Not to mention the fact that the bullet holes from the flashback do not even match with the present ones.
But because the aggressor is a family man and it’s Christmas, we’ll forgive him and we’ll condemn the woman when truly what is very likely to have happened is that the man poisoned and sent the bottle of Porto in order to kill Stottlemeyer and that the woman learnt about it and redirected fate towards her former boyfriend who had left her.
She is still a murderer, but she wouldn’t have done anything if the bottle hadn’t already been poisoned.
Monk is wrong.
Season 4 Episode 6: Mr. Monk and Mrs Monk.
The woman who passes off as Trudy, actually is Trudy. One thing that I remember is that she wears the same perfume that which would represent a huge coincidence if she wasn’t Monk’s wife. Also, it was quite convenient that she’d have good reasons not to reveal that she is the real Trudy in every scene she’s in (Why would she tell Monk ? Why would she tell her employer ?). Her last words are for Monk and his dead wife, she would never talk the way she does if she was a stranger to him. She would talk about her own loved ones.
(Edit): She comes back to the scene of her crime wearing her "disguise" ! If blond Trudy is truly auburn Cameron. Why would auburn Cameron take the pain and the huge risk of dressing as blond Trudy again when she wants to go and spy what happens at the scene of the crime ? She does so because she is Trudy, she wants to see Monk and she wants to check whether he'd recognise her after all these years, even if this is the stupidest initiative she could take as a murderer.
Season 4 Episode 4: Mr. Monk goes to the Office.
This episode is very complex. I don’t have a definitive interpretation of it, but simply, Monk’s conclusion is very naïve and unconvincing.
The first murder is absurd and point at Chilton Handy. He is the sole person who’d be ready to kill someone in order to break someone else’s hand. A professional criminal would have waited for another opportunity to perform his dirty deed. Chilton wanted to win the bowling competition.
Monk’s interpretation of the second murder is ridiculous. According to him, a man who wants to be able to see inside Warren’s office through the window would have murdered the woman who sold curtains to the CEO. Even for a person who doesn’t value human life it’s pretty dumb, because it would simply bring Warren to buy curtains elsewhere.
In my opinion, Warren perfectly knows that he is being spied on, and he uses Monk in order to get rid of the problematic guy. Also, he dumps Natalie for her lack of trust because truly he used her and doesn't need her anymore.
I’m not affirming anything here, I’m just saying that Monk’s conclusion is pretty weak and it’s more likely that something else happened.
Season 4 Episode 2: Mr. Monk Goes Home Again.
First thing, the final letter from Ambrose and Monk’s father is very suspiciously suspicious in that it’s more likely that it was written by Monk than the father. But from a general point of view, nothing made sense in that episode or in the final interpretation that is given of the events that take place in it.
We are supposed to believe that a man shoots a cop in order to hide the fact that he has poisoned him. It’s more likely that the guy shot the cop who had been poisoned by someone else in order to protect the person who poisoned him.
I don’t have any solid interpretation but Monk’s conclusion is weak.
Season 4 Episode 1: Mr. Monk and the Other Detective.
Here, it’s more the fact that everybody is treating “the other detective” like utter shit during the whole episode that makes me think that he actually is innocent.
How is that conceivable?
I’d say that because nobody is ready to acknowledge his talent, (Monk, Stottlemeyer or Natalie are all ignominious with him), he eventually actually accepts to take the fall for the culprits (Bribed).
I’m not sure of that either, I’m just saying that the conclusion of the episode doesn’t make sense and that from the minute the story starts, it’s obvious that Monk is going to find a way to get rid of that guy who conveniently becomes the villain.
Season 3 Episode 5: Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather.
The guy who eventually confesses having committed the slaughter is followed by a very suspicious guy when he meets Monk and Sharona for the first time. The mafia is silencing him.
He confesses twice because Monk’s microphone doesn’t work. Plus, it is heavily suggested that his second confession is a response to a new threat from the mafia’s henchmen. Also, his version of the facts make absolutely no sense.
Add to this, the fact that it is highly probable that the Godfather is perfectly aware that Monk is wearing a microphone and thus uses him as a way to clear himself by supposedly naively telling Monk that he had nothing to do with the murders, all the more so as he is the one who contacted Monk in the first place.
Season 3 Episode 4: Monk Gets Fired.
Leland Stottlemeyer is investigating the murder of a wigmaker during the fire of his factory and his boss redirect him towards a more gruesome one which made the first page of the newspaper.
At the end of this episode, Monk and Stottlemeyer manage to catch the obvious psychopath who killed his wife and chopped her into pieces with a chainsaw. Good for them, the problem is that the killer of the wigmaker is in front of them and they didn't spot him.
In this episode, Monk is fired for deleting files in a computer while cleaning th keyboard => the keyboard had been dirtied on purpose. The forensic (who is arrested in a later episode for his corruption) only gives wrong interpretations on purpose.
Once fired, Monk fine a wonderful overpaid job after the worst job interview one could have => Someone powerful is trying to get rid of him.
Leland's wife interferes violently with her husbands investigation during the whole episode by filming him for a documentary. When he eventually confesses to her that the whole thing has become horribly humiliating, she listens to him while carrying on filming => she is paid to humiliate him so that he ends up forcing an arrest even without evidences, just to save face.
Season 2 Episode 2: Mr. Monk goes to Mexico.
This is the episode that made me become certain that Monk could be plain wrong.
A lot of things happen around him and Sharona and as an ironical joke the police is truly corrupted and the murder is truly about drugs, just like they’re told during the whole story. Sharona is used to bribe the cops unbeknownst to her (Pearl necklaces) and the kids who flirt with her are the true criminals.
"It's the drug cartel" says the cop and Sharona roams around with a bribe around her neck that the cop will eventually accept.
Anyway, it doesn’t make much sense to just give scraps of analysis like this. I just wanted to give a few examples of episodes at the end of which I was convinced that Monk was wrong. Of course, I'm quite convinced that it's not just the show that is stupid. Most episodes are actually complex enough and take time to hint at several possibilities and the subtext regularly confirms Monk's conclusion to be a mistake.