"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monk: Mr Monk Gets Lotto Fever

"You used to be a superstar and now you're Garfunkel."

I never realized that Mr. Monk likes being a celebrity. This episode really underscored that fact. When the uniformed cop asks for his autograph and then he talks to the guy's nephew, Monk is giddy as he tells Natalie that the kid thinks he's "Cooler than Spider-man?" Autographs and ego. I didn't realize that Monk enjoyed his status. Meanwhile, in a really odd turn, the body is just laying there. What a cavalier attitude about showing the body, I mean that's kind of unusual for an episode of Monk. There was no sheet over the body. And the killing was pretty vicious. The aggressiveness of the killer, the way he chased her, then stabbed her three times, suggested passion to me, but it was all a red herring.

There's some real tension between Natalie and Monk. I've seen this before, including last week with the money issue. Are they building to something? Monk's attitude about saying, "Nokay" to Natalie's chance to do become "Lotto Girl" (for one night) was typical, selfish Monk. "You'll thank me later," Natalie said, borrowing from Monk. The sight of Natalie posing as lotto girl on the city bus was great. It really hit home her 15 minutes of fame. Monk mocks her and nearly calls her a bimbo. It reaches a crescendo when Monk demands that she choose and Natalie quits. "I quit you. I quit us." For Natalie, this was all emotion. She ran off in tears. Monk doesn't seem to get this fact and is only concerned with who will hand him a fresh wipe. Later, he laments, "Everyone leaves. I'd leave me too if I had a chance." Why doesn't he realize that he has the power to change that? Guess it's part of his neuroses.

I loved Lotto guy. What a great character! Instead of just being an obsessive nut, his theory about how to win was very well-thought out and revelatory. See, even geeky fan boys are more than just their obsessions! By the way, he was living in Nob Hill Towers. In San Francisco. Maybe he had won some Lotto millions, how else could he afford even a studio apartment there?

The finale was again rushed. I don't know why the writers are having such a hard time pacing the mysteries. The scene in which the lottery commissioner and the station manager confront Natalie and Leland and accuse them of rigging the lotto machine was really badly written. Leland's a cop. Natalie has no criminal record. The accusations were all conjecture and the evidence didn't prove that they had doctored the system. Monk figures out the metallic paint and the magnet in 30 seconds. Then he recognizes the logo on the hat and Billy Logan, sound man -- who should have been the obvious suspect because of his connection to the equipment -- is conveniently lounging by the pool with his accomplice.

Other points of interest:

Leland to Randy when the other cop comes up with his funny one-liner about the murder: "Come on, Shecky. Let's walk it off"

Monk makes a reference to celebrity, saying, "I felt like Fats Domino." Really? He knows Fats Domino but not Art Garfunkel? I guess he stopped listening to music in 1961.

In his glee at winning the lottery, Stottlemeyer showed his generosity, offering to pay off Randy's student loans. And he's ready to give up his job in a heartbeat.

When Randy arrested Logan, he peppered him with zingers, then said, "You have the right to remain silent." Logan shot back, "I will if you will."

Monk's thinking that Garfunkel was Garfield the cat, or Alvin and the Chipmunks, or a carbuncle, was funny.

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