10 triggers in Mr Monk’s Last Case

By Gen Terblanche6 June 2024

10 triggers in Mr Monk’s Last Case

Years ago in the finale of TV series Monk (2002-2009), detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) finally solved the series-long mystery of his late wife Trudy’s (Melora Hardin) murder. With that, his obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms eased … until the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Mr Monk took to walking around fully suited in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Yes, a yellow suit with visor, boots and all.

As the movie Mr Monk’s Last Case begins, private detective Monk has gone back to his brown suit, but he will have to set aside a secret mental struggle to help his stepdaughter Molly (Caitlin McGee) figure out who killed her fiancé Griffin (Austin Scott) in a bungee-jumping “accident”. 

Watch the trailer for Mr Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie

While Mr Monk will reunite with some old friends for support, including Natalie (Traylor Howard), Randy (Jason Gray-Stanford), Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Monk’s therapist Dr Bell (Hector Elizondo, who takes over the role from the late Stanley Kamel), he is also reuniting with some of his old fears…although his fear of aardvarks shouldn’t be problematic for now. 

On the upside (ish), his OCD comes with an obsessive attention to the finest details around him, which is both exhausting and useful for detective work. So pump that hand sanitiser, and let’s go. Here’s what we spotted triggering Adrian Monk…

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk and Melora Hardin as Trudy in Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie

Stream Mr Monk’s Last Case on Showmax now.

Mr Monk’s trigger list

1: Germs: The Covid-19 pandemic heightened Mr Monk’s fear of germs, which has always been number one of his list of phobias. While the rest of the world is sanitising before shaking hands, Mr Monk is taking his own personal hand sanitiser dispensing station with him wherever he goes in public. And no, you may not touch it with your germy hands. 

Mr Monk's Last Case on Showmax
MR. MONK’S LAST CASE: A MONK MOVIE — Pictured: Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/PEACOCK)

2: Uneven seating: You know chair heights are adjustable? Under stress of an emotionally uncomfortable situation, Mr Monk becomes fixated on adjusting his set height to match that of the person next to him. It becomes so upsetting that he’d rather stand than continue the discomfort of an “uneven” situation. 

3: The airport baggage carousel: Everything comes out higgledy piggledy and people just dump their cases together any which way instead of neatly, in height order. It’s an organisational nightmare. 

4: Heights: It’s just great that Griffin died while bungee jumping off a high bridge. Thanks for that. Historically, heights have been on Mr Monk’s list of top 10 fears, somewhere between germs at number one, and crowds at number 10. 

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in Mr Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie on Showmax
MR. MONK’S LAST CASE: A MONK MOVIE — Pictured: (l-r) Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger, Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk — (Photo by: PEACOCK)

5: Riding a bicycle: Even metaphorically, Mr Monk finds this terrifying. Pick another metaphor for him getting back into detective work, please. 

6: Smudged photocopies: He says he can ignore a smudge on a copy, since he’s not psychotic. But can he, really?

7: Dog poop: All of us have a freak out when we accidentally step in a nasty pile but while some of us sigh and hose it off, others just drop the shoes in the nearest dustbin rather than deal with it. Mr Monk, who has a full-blown fear of excrement, would like to throw his own body and soul into another dimension while his shoes get hurled into a different dimension. Since that’s not physically possible, he’ll consider amputation. 

8: An imperfectly sliced lemon: How can you make a cocktail at a billionaire’s party unless each component is perfectly balanced? That means the lemon has to be evenly distributed. If not, in the trash it goes. Measurements are central to Mr Monk’s world, and he has an eye for the smallest deviation. 

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in Mr Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie on Showmax
MR. MONK’S LAST CASE: A MONK MOVIE — Pictured: Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk — (Photo by: PEACOCK)

9: Switches that aren’t aligned: Either all up, or all down. No odd men out. Does it make sense? Absolutely not. Do you think Mr Monk is seeing a therapist and taking medication as a hobby? 

10: Dirty glass: Whether it’s a car’s wing mirror or the window of a space capsule before rocket launch, Mr Monk cannot abide a smear. But after he fixes that situation, he’s going to sit down for an interesting chat about measurements…

Stream Mr Monk’s Last Case on Showmax now.

Also watch

Looking for more like Monk? Try these series that centre on investigators who’re struggling with their own mental and physical health while cracking cases.

House Seasons 1-8: Infectious disease specialist Dr Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) battles painkiller addiction and an antisocial personality as he solves diabolical medical mysteries. 

True Detective Season 1-4: In Season 1, Detective Rust (Matthew McConaughey) suffers from hallucinations, insomnia and substance abuse issues, all of which lead to him being treated with suspicion during the season’s serial cult murder case. And in Season 2, which tracks an unsolved case from 1980 to 2015, Vietnam War veteran Detective Wayne Hayes (Mahershala Ali) experiences hallucination and memory loss as he develops dementia. 

Perry Mason Seasons 1-2: Defence lawyer Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) struggles with alcoholism and PTSD from his time on the battlefield in WWI while solving crimes in 1930s Los Angeles. 

Marlowe: Liam Neeson takes on his 100th film role as down-at-heel, world-weary private detective Philip Marlowe in Neil Jordan’s neo-noir film set in late 1930s Hollywood (based on the 2014 novel The Black-Eyed Blonde by John Banville, which uses the Marlowe character created by Raymond Chandler). There’s no diagnosis, but we’ve seen Eeyore the donkey act more cheerful. 

The Snowman: Norwegian Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is an alcoholic and deadbeat dad who often sleeps off drinking binges on the street and in bus shelters. But as a genius detective, he is still called on to solve a serial killer case that gets too personal. 

Mare of Easttown Season 1: While working on a local murder case, Detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) is undergoing mandated therapy sessions while processing both her father and her son’s death by suicide. 

CB Strike Troubled Blood Season 1 and CB Strike Lethal White Season 1: This HBO series based on the detective novels of JK Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith) centres on army police officer-turned-private detective Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke). Strike lost part of his right leg below the knee in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and comes from a background of poverty and abuse. He uses his own struggles with how this has impacted his life to connect with vulnerable people who approach him for help.

Full Circle Season 1: A mistaken kidnapping connects people across classes, cultures, countries and history in this HBO crime drama. The case come to the attention of rogue Postal Service inspector Melody Harmony (Zazie Beetz), whose psych evaluation hints that she could have borderline personality disorder, which leads to people branding her as toxic, but also makes her direct and prone to ignoring subtle social boundaries as well as defying authority – which turns out to be both harmful and helpful during the case. 

Stream Mr Monk’s Last Case on Showmax now.

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