Monk Goes to a Wedding
looked for Hitchcock parallels in
this episode. Suspicion?
No. Rebecca? No. Rich
and Strange? No, not that either:
the title may apply to Natalie's
family, but the plot's not at all
the same. Finally, it hit me. It's
not a Hitchcock film at all: it's
Addams Family Values (in
which, coincidentally, Tony Shalhoub
has a tiny part.) Has everyone else
seen this film? It's extremely funny
and so is this episode, which is
the first thing they have in common.
Monk Goes to a Wedding" had more
laugh-out-loud moments for me than
any other episode this season. For
those who are looking for still
more depth in Natalie's character
here it is on a silver platter…
or is that a silver spoon. The contributions
by all the supporting cast were
stellar. Tony Shalhoub has no problem
sharing the spotlight with them
and the result is a very satisfying
is the first episode this season
where the question "Is this a new
writer?" could get a "Yes!" answer.
At least she's new to Monk.
Sagal wrote this one. I'm not
sure how many of you are familiar
with Liz, but I am. I remember her
more as an actress than a writer,
however. All you older folks cast
your minds back to the early 80s
and try to recall a short lived
series called Double
Trouble. Any luck? It only ran
22 episodes. It starred Liz Sagal
and her twin sister Jean Sagal.
I'm sure almost everyone has heard
of their older sister Katey Sagal
(Peg Bundy on Married with Children,
8 Simple Rules.) The twins
now work behind the cameras. Liz
Sagal was one of the writers for
Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza
Place which starred Traylor
Howard. So it's really no surprise
that Natalie is front and center
in this one.
episode is directed by Tony Palmieri
who also directed "Mr. Monk Vs.
the Cobra." If I'm not mistaken,
that was Mr. Palmieri's directing
debut. He had previously worked
on Monk (and many other shows) as
Photography is a Dying
been a while since we've seen a
classic closed mystery set-up (a
whodunit) like this one on Monk.
Wait, no… "Stays in Bed" was that
type of mystery… and so was "Mr.
Monk Goes to the Office." Oh, well.
So for those who prefer this type
to the open, howcatchem, Columbo
type mystery, here you go.
enjoyed the exterior shots of the
resort throughout the episode. If
anyone on the production staff is
reading this, please end the debate
and let us know where it was filmed.
Looks to me like the Inn at Spanish
Bay on Pebble Beach, but I can't
photographer, played by Ryan
Bollman, is a pretty obvious
murder target. He's sort of sleazy,
with an ill-fitting suit. Those
types never make it past the teaser.
(Did he remind anyone else of a
young Richard Dreyfuss? Nah, that's
probably just me.) So the guy's
a blackmailer and not a very good
one. How could he fall for that
trick? It just goes to show you
that blackmailing a killer almost
always ends badly.
The Birthday Cake "Spittle
I thought it was a good idea, too…
at first. For a moment there Monk
got to bask in the warmth of the
Captain's approval. A much longer
moment than one might think, because
Disher has a reeeaaaalllllly long
birthday wish. (I'm guessing Sharona
wasn't in it and it wasn't a pie.)
It was such a nice twist drawing
it out like that with Randy, since
it's usually Monk who does that
sort of thing. The cake fire is
unexpected and hilarious. I noticed
that Monk hides behind Natalie,
in contrast to his behavior in the
final scene when he shields Julie
from the killer. Stottlemeyer handles
the minor emergency with a cool
head, which also contrasts with
the later scenes at the hotel where
he's not very cool at all.
the fire, I hope everyone was listening
carefully to what seemed like an
ordinary rambling speech of Disher's,
in which he reveals the vital clue
that he went to Temple University
in Philadelphia. So who is this
Roger guy who stands up Natalie
because of a measly little appendix
operation? Did he have the same
separate room deal as Randy got?
Or is he one of the reasons she
carries around the "special" tic
tacs? I suppose that Natalie doesn't
usually let Monk meet her dates.
loved Monk's response to Natalie's
distress. "Is there anything I can
do… that wouldn't inconvenience
me?" I wrote that one down. I'm
going to use it. (I see that TV
Gal at Zap2it.com
has also picked up on this one as
a "quote of the week"!) And what
are the nine reasons Monk doesn't
want to go to a wedding? Was the
garter belt one of them or is that
reason 10 now? I trust that Natalie
was really just teasing Disher when
she failed to acknowledge his offer
to escort her, but, on the other
hand, he was eating the recently
burned and doused cake when he made
the offer. Maybe it was wise to
think twice before accepting. In
a scene filled with laughs my favorite
was Randy's response to separate
rooms: "I should think so!"
Whose theory was it that Natalie
wanted to take a "bad boy" to the
wedding to irritate her parents
and Disher just didn't fit the bill
as well as the cute B&E suspect
might have? That's a good theory.
So now we know Nat's full name:
Natalie Jane Davenport Teeger. Hmmm
and she's a toothpaste heiress (or
rather, an ex-toothpaste heiress.)
"This doesn't change anything, does
it?" she asks. Maybe not, but it
does explain why she can't make
do on a military widow's income.
the cake mishap and Natalie's somewhat
reluctant invitation, this scene
gives me a warm, fuzzy, family feeling
which is decidedly lacking when
we meet Natalie's real family in
the next scene.
"What time is it?"
don't watch much network TV, so
I haven't seen much of Holland
Taylor over the past decade,
although I did see and like her
in Legally Blonde. I was,
however, a fan of Bosom Buddies
(yes, I know I'm dating myself again)
in which she played a similar role.
I understand she has a 2005 Emmy
nomination for her current role
on Two and a Half Men. She's
a real pro. She must be, because
I really hated her here as Natalie's
mother, Peggy Davenport. I sympathized
with Karen, the luckless wedding
planner, who should be in line for
sainthood right behind Trudy Monk.
(That reminds me once again of what
a great job they do casting even
the minor roles on Monk.)
It's amazing Natalie turned out
to be as nice as she is. I can't
imagine where she gets it from.
Again they managed to surprise me
with the twist in the scene where
Randy meets her parents and then
so quickly tries to use her escape
signal himself. Her father really
was terribly rude to him, considering
Disher's a guest doing his level
best to suck up. I don't like Natalie's
Dad much either. I guess they're
nice to Julie and baby sit on request,
but I can't think of much else in
her parents favor.
Next we get a brief, effective glimpse
of the killer pilfering Aunt Madge's
keys and reminding us danger is
lurking. We also have Natalie clearly
defining her job title: "I'm an
assistant to a private investigator"
and her mother doing her best to
make her feel like dirt. Natalie
sure wasn't exaggerating on that
point. I actually have had at least
17 jobs, but my mother would never
speak that way to me. (Reminder
to self: call Mom and tell her how
cool she is.)
the fact that they got off on the
wrong foot, Disher still seems eager
to please. He and Peggy seem to
be hitting it off. So Daddy had
Theresa checked out, did he? Who'd
he use, Marty Eels? Well, now he
knows where to find a competent
private investigator if he needs
to check out any other fiancées.
Maybe Natalie will get him a family
"You know who had a great
one of my friends pointed out about
Stottlemeyer while watching this
scene, "He is a real friend."
The single best part of Monk,
for me, is the way the relationship
has progressed between these two
characters. It's a beautiful thing
and kudos to Liz Sagal for capturing
that chemistry so well on her first
time out. It's a sign of how close
they've become that Stottlemeyer
knows exactly where to find the
wedding album. I think it was on
the season 3 DVD extras, where Ted
Levine mentions those "perfect moments"
that make acting worthwhile. I think
Stottlemeyer's line, "That was you,
Monk, and no I have not," was one
of those moments.
a little harsh on the audience,
emotionally, to go right into the
next scene where Disher is brutally
run down, but it gives the scene
a lot of impact. No pun intended…really.
really may be "Da Man." That was
mighty impressive that he managed
to get the make, color and license
plate number, not as impressive
as it would have been if the car
had left the scene, but still, not
many other people could do it I'd
wager… except Monk, of course. Stottlemeyer
must drive even faster than Trudy.
That's over 100 miles from San Francisco
to Pebble Beach, but they make it
there before the ambulance can take
Disher away. I bet Trudy didn't
have a siren on her car. It was
very touching how Stottlemeyer called
Randy, "Son." It was not quite as
touching, but very funny, when later
he says "He was only here for an
hour! Did he piss somebody off?"
It's very cool that Monk can gauge
relative humidity. I still need
a barometer for that.
Is it a rule here in California
that a police Captain must have
a bushy mustache? Wasn't that convenient
that the staff were all in a meeting?
Even if they hadn't been I would
have suspected Natalie's family.
I'd have hauled in the whole lot
of them: Aunt Madge, Aunt Cokie,
Uncle Ferdy, Bobby and especially
Peggy. She's probably driven many
to their deaths. Looks like Randy
was in and out of the hospital in
only a few hours. He must have the
same HMO I do. It
was nice of the hotel to comp his
room. (I wonder if that's in their
brochure: "Kids and guys who get
run over in our parking lot, stay
cold was that when Peggy took the
evidence bag with Randy's bloodied
pants so she could match the tablecloths
to the flowers? And on top of that,
she manages to get in another dig
at Natalie: "You're not going to
be wearing that, are you?" Sheesh!
I can understand Natalie's desperation
when she cuts Monk off in mid-toothbrush
tantrum and forces him to accompany
her to the rehearsal dinner. (But,
really, shouldn't someone in that
family be able to find the right
toothbrush for him?) Wait a second….
Why doesn't Monk carry a toothbrush
with him? Randy does.
"I was just helping the lad: He
the lad seems bored, irritable and
unsupervised. Where are his parents?
This was the only part of the episode
that just didn't work for me and
I know it's only because I have
a prejudice against bored, irritable,
unsupervised children (even if they
are ring bearers) attending formal
events like a rehearsal dinner.
They don't strike me as funny. I
hope everyone else enjoyed it. At
least we get to see that even when
he's messing with the little fellow's
plate, Monk doesn't miss a word
of the seemingly innocuous speech
by the bride. He's good. He can't
really be expected to make the Philadelphia
connection this early. From his
point of view, millions of people
are from Philadelphia. From the
audience's point of view Monkland
is very small and the bride being
from the same city as Disher should
be our first clue.
waited quite a long time to introduce,
the bride, Theresa Scott (Ashley
Williams) and groom-to-be, Jonathan
Davenport (Rob Benedict), who doesn't
look much like his sister Natalie,
but seemed really familiar to me
nonetheless. It was quickly apparent,
to me at any rate, why they waited
so long. My roommates immediately
commented, "She's creepy. She did
it" and "She's too nice. Nobody's
that nice. She's a fake." I tried
to dissuade them, by pointing out
what a lovely and trustworthy name
Theresa is, to no avail. They had
her pegged right away.
about Rob Benedict who played Natalie's
brother Jonathan and looked so familiar.
I plugged his name in as soon as
the show was over and discovered
that he was Amy Benedict's brother!
Yes, I know that only amazes me
and you all probably don't know
who she is. Amy is an actor also
and a friend of a friend of mine.
About ten years ago she had a brief
role on General Hospital as Connie
Cooper who, coincidentally, also
fell in love with a serial killer.
At the time I had a brief correspondence
with her. She's a very good actress
and a very sweet woman with a great
sense of humor. Amy hasn't been
doing a whole lot of on screen work
since then, mostly minor guest shots,
but it looks like her baby brother
is doing a lot better. Besides this
major guest role on Monk, Rob will
be in the cast of Threshold,
a much anticipated series debuting
on CBS this fall and starring ST:TNG's
Brent Spiner. I guess I'll have
to make some time and check that
"Till death do us part"
good to know that if Stottlemeyer
decides to get out of law enforcement
he can fall back on a photography
career. I had to drop all pretense
of defending the bride in this scene.
The "death do us part" line, the
interest in Disher, calling him
sergeant, all point to her guilt.
And I already knew what Monk knew.
I was a travel agent in '93 and
Pan Am had already been out of business
for a couple of years at that point.
It feels nice to be in step with
Monk every once in a while.
"He never smiles."
Jonathan, not a lot of self esteem
going on there, which is not surprising
considering his mother. I could
tell Adrian approved of the "87
things we have in common" list.
It seemed to put him at ease with
Jonathan. I get the feeling that
Jonathan feels Natalie sort of abandoned
him. "Soon I'll be strong, like
you," he tells her. They do say
what doesn't kill you makes you
stronger, so he may be right. I
knew as soon as they cut to the
mud bath that some lucky lady was
going to get a bobbing corpse surprise.
I wasn't disappointed. Gruesome
really liked the next quiet little
scene with the three guys, especially
juxtaposed with the raucous bachelorette
party in the other room. Randy's,
a little loopy from the pain killers,
while Monk meticulously signs his
cast with a sharpie in one hand
and a bottle of white-out in the
other, and the Captain displays
photos of Natalie's extended family.
That's more fun than a bachelor
like that Stottlemeyer and Monk
now have a slightly telepathic bond.
The Captain easily picks up on Monk's
suspicion. "You think maybe she's
the guy?" I love that. "She's the
guy." When's the last time we heard
that? "Circus"? "I'm going to need
a bigger bottle" is another LOL
funny line for me.
"Officer, I've been a bad girl"
Yes, Theresa has been a bad girl.
That's some cute foreshadowing.
Monk recruiting Officer "Feelgood"
was classic: the "187", the boom
box and this hilarious little throwaway
exchange: "You look like you work
out a little bit." "I try." "I'm
looking into Pilates" It's really
no stretch that Monk doesn't realize
Hondo is a stripper. He's in denial
about sexual things like that and
he'd be totally unable to wrap his
mind around the concept of a "stripper
cop." To him those terms are mutually
A mud bath is not an ideal environment
for Monk, is it? I suppose Stottlemeyer
just couldn't repress that snicker
when he sees Hondo. It was very
sweet of Natalie to pull Monk aside
to explain his mistake. Monk's panic
after stepping in the mud bath is
kind of funny, but the real highlight
of the episode is the valiant Hondo
ripping of his shirt and flinging
it at Monk to save the day. This
was the clip they had up at AOL.
It was funny the first time I saw
it and it was just as funny the
night it aired and the next four
times I saw it. "You may be right
about him." I'm hoping Hondo is
inspired to join the police force.
I'd like to see him again. He's
a funny guy.
that Stottlemeyer is the one to
discover the vital clue in the next
scene, but it seems like he's just
a little too late with it when he
arrives after the "I do" part to
reveal that Theresa is a black widow.
That's where the Addams Family
Values plot comes in. Joan Cusak
played the black widow in that film,
who seduces and marries Uncle Fester.
It's a marvelous performance and
completely over the top. For those
who haven't seen it, you should,
even if it's only to play the "who
can find Tony Shalhoub" game.
mother is a selfish cow. I'd like
to tell you what my roommate called
her, but it would just be censored.
If she had any concern at all for
her son, she would have heard out
Monk and Natalie in private. Of
course, then we would have missed
the expressive performance of the
silent waiter who holds the tray
Monk rearranges. Talk about making
the most of a small role. Exactly
what did Peggy think would happen
when she dismissed the waiter? That
"Black Widow" story was probably
the hot topic with the entire hotel
staff within moments. Peggy manages
to make the whole thing about berating
Natalie and then throws Monk into
the bargain. "I really don't see
how you can work with that man or
how you can take anything he says
seriously?" If she's ever a murder
suspect in the future, though it
does seem more likely she'd be the
victim, I hope Monk doesn't lift
a finger to help her.
I say about the garter belt? That
was just way too funny.
"Why would I be afraid of
you? I'm not marrying you."
was the best confronting the villain
scene since "I think the snake did
it" in "Back to School." In fact,
Theresa seems very snake like. I
love Monk in his confrontational
mode. You really get an insight
into just how great a cop he was.
And what a good dancer he is. The
camera work in the dance sequence
is phenomenally good. It's not just
the acting that makes Monk so good:
it's the excellence of every aspect.
That said, I'm not sure why, but
the cake cutting scene that follows
seems to be a little out of place
or perhaps out of order. To me it
indicates a passage of time which
shouldn't be right there.
"Long time no see, Darlene"
stalling, intercut with the slapstick
journey from Randy's room, is frenetically
funny. I really liked Monk working
in the thank you to the wait staff,
especially since Peggy had been
treating them like sub-humans. I
did feel a little sorry for Julie
when Monk called her on stage. She
really took one for the team. I
thought the "Come on, girl" line
was rather amusing. (When Natalie
said something similar to Monk in
season 3.5 many people were not
amused.) Julie sure looked pretty,
didn't she? It really is a relief
when Disher's wild ride is over
and Theresa/Darlene is unmasked.
Randy has a pretty good memory for
details, doesn't he? And the blue
t-shirt really looks good on him.
It brings out his eyes. It's great
that for once he gets to be the
after the cake-knife wielding black
widow grabs his only son and demands
that Daddy Davenport fuel up the
private jet, what's his first reaction?
"It's a corporate jet"?! I'll say
their family has problems, screwed
up priorities for one.
I knew Natalie was going to be the
one to disarm the bride. It's a
television convention that a man
can't do it, even if the woman in
question is a wacko serial killer.
It was still pretty cool.
no, no, no, no, no! Peggy doesn't
get to treat Natalie, and everybody
else, like dirt for years and then
redeem herself by moving a picture
10 feet across a room. I don't think
so. There needs to be suffering,
groveling and atonement. Perhaps
they're saving that for a future
episode. Yes, I hated her, but I'd
love to have her back.
think this is only the third episode,
along with "Captain's Wife" and
"Mr. Monk Gets Fired", in which
Monk does not appear in the epilogue..
"Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" isn't
my favorite episode of the season,
because I like my Monk a little
on the darker side, but it's still
pretty great and it had me ROFLMAO
a few times. Every Monk episode
this season has been delightfully
Just one last thing: what happened
to Brynn Thayer?! She's listed in
the credits as Aunt Cokie, but she's
nowhere to be found! Brynn's best
known for her part on Matlock
as his daughter. She's been one
of my favorites since her soap opera
days, so I was a little disappointed.
Did her part end up on the cutting
room floor? Or should somebody go
back and check all the mud baths?