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Season 7 THE END



Mr. Monk's Favorite Show is the first episode of the eighth season of Monk.

Synopsis[]

When the star of Adrian Monk's favorite childhood TV show receives death threats after the release of her tell-all book, he is thrilled to be her bodyguard. He soon finds out the star is nowhere near as sweet as her character was...

Plot[]

Outside a bookstore in San Francisco, Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger are setting up sopts to wait in line. They are waiting for the store to open to buy a copy of "Re-Cooper-ating: Confessions of a Child Star", a tell-all book written by former child actress Christine Rapp, who is best known for playing Kathy Cooper on Adrian Monk's favorite sitcom, "The Cooper Clan."

In the morning, a swarm of reporters accost Rapp as she is leaving a radio station. They mention that she has ruffled the feathers of her old co-stars with the book. One of them in particular, Steven Dorn, who played her younger brother Billy Cooper, stands out in particular, says the she had best watch her back, Christine simply laughs it off jokingly asking one of the security guards around her to start her car for her in case one of the co-stars has planted a bomb on it. She then starts the car herself with her remote control starter... and the car erupts in a fireball. Evidently, someone did plant a bomb on it.

Outside of the bookstore, Monk is engaging in a Cooper Clan trivia battle with another fan, even throwing in questions of details most normal people would never have noticed watching. As Monk heaps praise onto the show, the store's manager walks outside with a copy of the book and something else the audience can't see. Adrian swiftly buys the book off the manger, telling him to keep the change. After this, the manager sticks the other item to the door, which the audience can now see is a sign saying "cancelled". When Natalie questions this, the manager tells the crowd about the bombing.

Monk and Natalie rush to the scene, where Adrian proceeds to frantically ask Captain Leland Stottlemeyer if Christine is alright, and then briefly creeps him out by saying he "watched her grow up". Afterwards he points to the remains of the pipe bomb nearby. Leland says the bomb is rather crude and simple, so anyone who went online to figure out how to make it could have made it with no real problems. Adrian proceeds to check out the wreckage that used to be Christine's car and notices her on an ambulance gurney through what's left of the car's windows. As he is doing his thing, Natalie cries out "Oh, My God" a few times, attracting the attention of Lt. Randy Disher.

The reason she is crying out is because she is reading Re-Cooper-ating for herself, and is horrified and disgusted by what she's reading. It seems Christine was more of a wild child than Natalie could ever dream to have been. Amongst other things, she reveals to have slept with many men, including celebrities easily old enough to have been her father. There's even one act described on page 73 that Disher isn't even sure is possible. Monk then calls Natalie over to meet Christine.

Christine's publicist, Kim Kelly, explains to the duo that she has heard of Adrian and that someone has been sending Christine threatening letters ever since she started writing the book. The police initially believed the letter were some overzealous fan and brushed them off, but after this bombing, Kelly is convinced Christine needs a bodyguard. Kim askes Adrian to be that bodyguard, which he happily accepts, but not before she explains they would be paying him to be the bodyguard instead of Adrian paying them.

We next see an episode of The Cooper Clan in action, where the eldest son Danny is asking his youngest sister Janey where his new Beatles record is while youngest boy Billy is doing his homework. She replies that the record is in the mouth of their dog, Scamp. As they try to chase the dog and get the record back, Kathy [Christine's character] blows a whistle at them while wearing a hall monitor's sash. It appears she has been made a member of her school's safety patrol and has become high on her power very far, even stating that Billy needs a hall pass from their mother before he can go upstairs to the bathroom.

As Billy goes back down the stairs, the scene cuts back to reveal the episode is playing on a television, which is being watched by Adrian and Christine. Adrian is even reciting some of the episode's dialogue as it happens. This mildly impresses and annoys Christine in equal measure, as she guesses he never misses a rerun. She is surprised to learn that Adrian know every line in the show despite not having seen an episode in 35 years. Adrian is gushing over the show and the actor playing the father character, Brendan Collins in particular. When he asks her what he was like in real life, she flatly states he must not have read her book yet.

Kim arrives and asks how the investigation is going. Adrian tells her they have a surveillance photo of a man in a hooded sweatshirt standing across the street from the radio station on the morning the bomb went off. After he reveals this, Christine takes Monk on a tour of her house. During said tour, Adrian finds a handgun in Christine's nightstand. Apparently she bought the gun at Kim's insistence after she got the first letter.

At the end of the tour (and Adrian's barrage of questions referring to continuity issues of the show), Christine leaves to her closet so she can get dressed for a photo shoot. She invites Adrian to follow her, but he turns it down due to his being uncomfortable around naked or underdressed people. Christine heads off, saying she enjoys shyness in a man. Kim responds by saying "[Christine] likes anything in a man". As Christine is changing, Adrian notices her Silver Globe Award for Best Outstanding Actress she won for a television movie she did about anorexia known as "The Vanishing Girl". Kim claims the award saved Christine's career from falling into complete obscurity. Monk reveals he saw the award show for it, apparently the only award show he's ever seen. He found most of the show boring, including the monologue of host Bob Hope and the explanation of the rules from accounting firm Fineman and Kelly, who had tallied the votes

Their conversation is cut short by Christine's sudden screaming. They rush over to her to find her in her bathroom, huddled in a corner and scared out of her mind. She says "he's gonna kill me" and points to her mirror. On it is the message "Next Time I Won't Miss" written in lipstick.

At the police station, it is shown that the writing on the mirror is the same handwriting as the ones on the letter's to Christine. However, the police found no fingerprints on the tube of lipstick used to write the message or the mirror itself. Monk says that he told Christine to check into a motel under an assumed name for her safety. Soon, he really notices the handwriting and holds one of the letters by the mirror. He then claims that he has seen this handwriting somewhere before, he just can't remember where.

Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer is interrogating Steven Dorn in his office, basing it mostly on comments he made suggesting he hated Christine. Upon seeing Steven (and shouting out Billy's "Oh, Shucky Darns" catchphrase much to Dorn's annoyance) he jumps to the conclusion that someone is targeting all the cast of The Cooper Clan. When Leland tells him that Steven is being questioned about the bombing and citing one of his comments toward Rapp ["Next time I run into her, I hope I'm driving a truck."], he is confused as he still sees Christine as the sweet little girl she played. This is the straw that breaks the camel's back, as Stottlemeyer practically forces Adrian to actually read "Re-Cooper-ating".

Adrian goes home and does so, disgusted by what he's reading. He promptly becomes disillusioned in his former icon. When he notices that page 73 missing, Natalie weakly tries to claim the page fell out, but Monk sees right through that and tried to grab it out of her pocket. After a brief struggle, Natalie ultimately decides to spare Monk any more pain by eating the page.

Around the same time, Christine is checking into her motel room. As she leaves the desk and heads towards the stairs, she is followed by a man in a red hooded sweatshirt... one similar to the one the man in the surveillance photo was wearing. As Christine climbs the stairs, so does the man following her. A few seconds later, gunshots ring out and the man falls down the stairs dead.

Adrian and Natalie arrive on the scene, with Monk noticeably speaking rather coldly about Christine. She says she was walking to her room when the man, Victor Timlinson, came at her with a knife. She says she grabbed her gun without thinking and killed him in self-defense. Leland informs Monk and Natalie that Timlinson seems to be a slam dunk for their suspect. He was found with more letters in his coat and a knife in his hand, and he lives in Sunset Heights, where the postmarks indicate the letters came from.

They do note that Victor was really a nobody without so much as a traffic ticket. He was the manager of a Taco Bell and had worked a variety of odd jobs beforehand, including working in park maintenance for 15 years and working the mail room at a large accounting firm. When Natalie asks why Victor would try to kill Christine, Monk "guesses" that he was a fan of The Cooper Clan and Rapp betrayed everything the show stood for, projecting his feelings toward Christine onto Victor.

As the police get ready to take Christine home, she talks to Monk, who has been coldly snarking at her, and says she is sorry to disappoint him. When Adrian asks if the things in her book are true, she says that not all of them are, to his relief...unfortunately, she means that in the sense that she has done worse things even she couldn't put in the book, which sends Monk right back into unhappiness. Christine explains herself by saying she was a lonely girl trying to be a little less lonely.

The next day, Natalie comes by with a surprise for Adrian, though she spends a good chunk of her opening explaining to monk that it is a surprise since he hate surprises. She reveals that she called Adrian's brother Ambrose and has prepared a little something: his favorite snack of ten round crackers and apple juice in a glass with one ice cube, and a box set of The Cooper Clan for them to watch. Adrian is naturally not feeling up to watch it, but Natalie insists, grabbing the first DVD out of the set and putting it his DVD player. As she sets up the episode to watch, Adrian looks on the back of the box. Something seems to come to him, and he tells Natalie to put on the fourth episode on the disc, "Broken Arm, Broken Heart."

He has Natalie skip through most of the episode until it gets to a scene of Kathy opening her locker at school with a cast on her right arm. She tries to get a popular (or "groovy", as she puts it) boy named Jimmy Hackett to sign the cast, but he laughs at the request. Kathy then gets the idea to write his name on her cast using her left hand. It's here where Adrian remembers where he saw the writing on Christine's mirror and the letters: this episode. In other words, Christine is the one who wrote them all with her left hand. Natalie can't figure out why, but Monk can. She did it so she could kill Victor Timlinson and claim self defense.

Natalie and Monk head to Victor's apartment and let themselves inside to find a connection between him and Rapp. They find the place is messy and unorganized, much to Monk's dismay. However, what really sticks out to him is something the place is lacking. If Victor was such a fanatic about Christine, then why is there no shrine to her like other stalkers have? As Natalie goes off to investigate another part of the apartment, Monk notices a large book on interior decorating on his bookshelf. Knowing that anyone who kept his apartment in such a state definitely has no need for that book, Monk opens it. Inside, he finds most of the pages have been cut out to store an envelope. Inside the envelope are ballots to an awards show. Adrian excitedly calls out to Natalie that he has found the connection, but as he does, Christine emerges from a closet and strikes Adrian over the head with a lamp, knocking him out cold.

We then see the Cooper's living room, where a vase is on the ground smashed to pieces. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are confronting the kids by the staircase and asking them who is responsible. As the kids throw out clearly unbelievable explanations, they complain that their parents never suspect Adrian when things happen or even so much as get mad at him.

As if on cue, Adrian Monk walks in the door, dressed in typical 70's garb and an afro to over 30 second's worth of applause from the audience. Yes, Adrian is dreaming himself on The Cooper Clan during the summation.

Once the audience's applause dies down, Adrian announces that he has been made quarterback of the football team and is popular and well-loved in school. He then thanks Mr. Cooper for never abandoning him and being a great father. Once that is done, he asks Kathy if she has anything she would like to tell her parents. She admits the family dog Scamp broke the vase, and the kids didn't want to tell their parents out of fear they would take him back to the dog shelter. But Adrian isn't referring to that, or the fact that she read Janey's diary. He's referring to how she cheated to win her Silver Globe Award.

Here's What Happened[]

In 1974, when The Cooper Clan was canceled, Christine's career was in a slump. Her last chance to stand out was her TV movie "The Vanishing Girl" being nominated for the Silver Globe for Best Supporting Actress. If she didn't win, she would be doomed to obscurity outside of The Cooper Clan.

Fate gave her a helping hand when a fan of hers who worked the mail room in an accounting firm asked her for an autograph. The fan? Victor Timlinson. The accounting firm he worked at? Fineman and Kelly, the same firm that counted the votes for that year's Silver Globe Award. Christine then convinced Victor, either by flirting with him or paying him off, to change the votes so that she would win the award. She of course did, and her career took off, letting her forget about Timlinson.

That all changed when she announced she was writing "Re-Cooper-ating". Once Victor saw that news and realized how much the book would be worth, he tracked Christine down and demanded money from her. If she didn't comply, he would reveal that she rigged the Silver Globes to win hers, which would destroy her career. She knew, however, that if she submitted, Victor would keep demanding money and likely raise the price, as blackmailers often do. She decided her only way out was to kill him.

So Christine set up the narrative of a stalker trying to kill her, even rigging her own car to blow with a crude pipe bomb she made herself. Once she had set up herself enough to check into a motel, she arranged to meet Victor there to pay him off. Victor came to the hotel separately from her to not arouse suspicion, and once she was out of sight, Christine shot him three times in the chest. She then planted the letters and knife found on him when no-one was looking.

Kathy says that Adrian's accusations aren't fair because he has no proof, claiming the D.A. will laugh him out of his office. However, Adrian reveals he does have proof. The ballots he found in Timlinson's apartment were some of the original ballots from the Silver Globes show. He kept a few of them as an insurance policy and as proof she cheated. Christine was likely in his apartment looking for them when Monk and Natalie arrived, but was tipped off to their presence when Natalie absentmindedly knocked on the door, giving her time to hide in the closet.

Mr. and Mrs. Cooper say that Cathy is grounded and that they are very disappointed in her, but Adrian reveals the whole family is "wacko". Janey/Lauren Perkins, the actress that portrayed her is now in Miami, working as a stripper. Janey says she has no choice as she has a baby to feed, and Danny/his actor doesn't pay her any child support. Danny counters that he has his doubts the baby is even his. Billy asks what happens to him, and Adrian states that Billy, or Steven Dorn rather, developed an addiction to crystal meth, and The Cooper Clan was the last job he ever had, to which he responds with his classic catchphrase "Oh, Shucky Darns."

All of these things were said by children, mind you.

As Adrian starts yelling at the laugh track, Mrs. Cooper suddenly calls on Adrian for help. Adrian says he isn't finished yet, but Mrs. Cooper keeps yelling. It is here where voice bleeds into Natalie's voice, as she is currently fighting off Christine. Monk eventually regains full consciousness, grabs Christine's gun that she dropped in her struggle with Natalie, and pulls her off, keeping her subdued with the gun. He tell Christine that she is in big trouble.

Monk and Natalie then return to the bookstore where Adrian got his copy of Christine's book and tell the owner they want to return it citing that his problem with it is that Christine's a whore [and murdered someone, as Natalie reminds him]. The owner gives Adrian back his money and the two proceed to leave. Before they do, however, the manager notices that page 73 has been torn out and replaced with a page from Oliver Twist. Adrian argues that they can return the book and keep the change based on the store's return policy: Seven days, no questions asked. Adrian is still saddened that he essentially lost his family due to Christine ruining the show for him, but Natalie points out he has a family in her, Julie, Leland, and Randy, though Adrian doesn't quite think it's the same.

Trivia[]

  • The Cooper Clan is a homage/parody of "The Brady Bunch", notably it taking place in the 1970s and its corny and saccharine plots.
  • In the opening scene, two of the books that can be seen in the window are from the Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke, fitting considering the murder mystery nature of Monk
  • Among the people Christine Rapp slept with are:
    • Film actor Ricardo Montalbán.
    • English comedian Dudley Moore.
    • Comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, sleeping with each one individually and eventually having a threesome with them both.
    • Television actor Bob Denver, who for some unrevealed reason has an asterisk by his name.
  • Christine has a mirror above her bed, which Monk doesn't understand is so she can watch herself having sex. She shares this love with Dexter Larsen, the murderer of "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy".
  • The Silver Globe is more than likely a parody of the Golden Globe Awards, usually centered around American and International film alongside American Television.
  • Victor's name is a pun, as when you take the first three letters of his first and last name, you get "Vic Tim", or Victim, as he was the murder victim in this episode.
  • The cast of the Cooper Clan is as follows:
    • Kathy Cooper- Christine Rapp
    • Mr. Cooper- Brendan Collins
    • Mrs. Cooper- Gail Rodono
    • Janey Cooper-Lauren Perkins
    • William "Billy" Cooper- Steven Dorn
      • Danny Cooper is the only one of the cast whose actor's name is not revealed at all. It is said that Danny does not pay Janey's actress, Lauren Perkins a nickel in child support, indicating the actor's name is also Danny, but given that it was said in a fantasy when Adrian was unconscious, it isn't likely that isn't actually his real name.
      • The last name of Janey's actress, Perkins, is likely a reference to Elizabeth Perkins, who played Christine.
  • The back of the DVD box says the Coopers have a maid, à la Alice from "The Brady Bunch". However, she does not appear on screen or have any lines of dialogue.
  • The candidates for the Silver Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress the year Christine won it were:
    • Kendra Frank in "The Jane Austen Story"
    • Yasmine Marutyan in "Give Me Back My Baby"
    • Christine Rapp in "The Vanishing Girl"
    • Tara McSherry in "The Boy Who Couldn't Breathe"
    • Tyna Hurd in "Supermarket Superstar"
      • Kendra Frank is a reference to the character of the same name from "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert".
  • Adrian says the Cooper Clan was canceled "35 years ago". That would mean, if going from 2009 when this episode aired, the show was canceled in 1974, as The Brady Bunch was. Going off of that and that Christine Rapp appears to be at most in her early teens, she won the Silver Globe sometime in the 1980's to the early 2000's.
  • In reality, Adrian would likely not be able to return his copy of Re-Cooper-ating as it would be too damaged by the missing page.
    • "I believe the sign says, 'No Questions'."
  • Season 8 episode 1 and season 1 episode 8 opens with the same footage. Just a fun coincidence that Monk himself would enjoy.
  • Monk mentions an error on The Cooper Clan where Kathy was mentioned to be allergic to peanuts, but later shown eating brownies with peanuts in them. This may be a reference to an error made on Monk itself, where Monk was mentioned to be allergic to tomatoes in "Mr. Monk and the Asylum", but shown eating them in "Mr. Monk on Wheels".
  • When Victor Timlinson died, he could be seen wearing a San Francisco Condors sweatshirt.
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