Season Four of Monk offers 16 new episodes (and a bonus) delineating the adventures of obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub). Functioning as Monk's erstwhile caregiver and assistant this season is Traylor Howard as Valerie Teeger, who had taken over from our hero's previous nurse Sharona Fleming in the middle of Season Three, ...
Season Four of Monk offers 16 new episodes (and a bonus) delineating the adventures of obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub). Functioning as Monk's erstwhile caregiver and assistant this season is Traylor Howard as Valerie Teeger, who had taken over from our hero's previous nurse Sharona Fleming in the middle of Season Three, due to the defection of supporting actress Bitty Schram. In the season opener, Monk meets his match--or so it seems--in the form of know-it-all detective Marty Eels (played by ex-Seinfeld costar Jason Alexander). Next up, John Turturo returns as Monk's agoraphobic brother Ambrose in a Halloween story that also involves the siblings' long-lost father. Then, Natalie takes over for a bedridden Monk to tackle the case of a murdered pizza deliveryman. To solve a subsequent homicide, Monk goes undercover at a business office--and finds he enjoys the work so much he almost loses sight of why he's there. Later on, Monk goes off on an unexpected bender in wine country, sobering up long enough to crack the case of a murder with a "nonexistent" victim. A dash of poignancy is added to the mixture when Monk finds out that his late wife Trudy may still be alive--and that she might have committed murder. And the episode "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward" introduces three brand-new, markedly eccentric detective characters, suggesting that the episode may have been intended as the pilot for a spinoff series. Other cases this season include the attempted murder of Monk's police buddy Lt. Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) at the wedding of Natalie's brother, and a less-than-sentimental journey to the past when Monk comes to the rescue of his childhood crush. Also: the death of a model whisks Monk off to the world of high-fashion (and bulimia!); an amnesiac Monk is led to believe that he is the husband of a small-town woman named Cora (Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf); Monk's police colleague Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) can't keep his mind on his work when he suspects that his "hippie" wife Karen (Glenne Headly) is having an affair; Monk sets out to prove an astronaut committed a murder that took place when the suspect was orbiting the earth; and a visit to the dentist's office leaves Monk at the mercy of a robber-murderer who seems to be a big fan of Marathon Man. In the season finale, Monk is summoned to jury duty for a minor robbery trial--and ends up solving yet another murder, not to mention foiling a scheme to spring a big-time criminal. In addition to the above-mentioned episodes, Season Four of Monk yields a special Christmas edition, "Monk and the Secret Santa", wherein murder rears its ugly head at the height of the SFPD's annual Holiday party--with Captain Stottlemeyer as the apparent target! Hal Erickson, Rovi
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