Over the course of eight seasons, San Francisco's obsessive-compulsive detective, Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), solved over 100 cases, but there was one he simply couldn't work out. Twelve years prior to the finale, Adrian Monk's wife, Trudy (Melora Hardin), was murdered. Mr. Monk, the greatest detective in the city, couldn't figure out who did it even with help from his assistant Natalie (Traylor Howard), San Francisco Police Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), and Lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford). The series finale finally revealed the answer to Monk's biggest case.
The two part finale was fast-paced and had a lot of questions to answer to complete the series. As for the murder itself, Trudy was walking in the parking garage. Once she turned on her car, it exploded. Before she died though (as we learned in the finale), Trudy left a Christmas present for Monk. For twelve years, Monk just left the present there, unable to open it. After another case leads him back to the Trudy murder, Monk gets poisoned and is told if he can't identify where he got in contact with the poison, he would die (because without knowing where it came from the doctors would be unable to identify it).
Giving up hope, Monk decides to open the present Trudy gave to him. It's a tape. On it, she confesses that she had an affair with her professor (before she was with Monk) and gave birth to his child, who soon died afterward. The professor, who had been nominated for a position as a judge was the guy. The judge killed Trudy and the midwife who delivered Trudy's baby. Monk escapes from the hospital and confronts the killer, who ends up revealing that the child is still alive, showing where the remains of the midwife was and kills himself.
It's a happy ending for everyone. Monk is cured (the poison was in the wipes) and remains close to Trudy's daughter, now 26. Captain Stottlemeyer is happy and married. Natalie has a boyfriend in the Navy. Randy gets a job offering in New Jersey and it is revealed that he is moving in with Sharona (Bitty Schram), a regular in the first couple seasons of the show.
I really liked the series finale. I like happy endings and if Monk ended up dying, I would have felt cheated. I liked knowing the solution to Trudy's mystery and I thought it was really clever. As with any series finale, many hardcore fans won't like the solution, in this case possibly because all the clues from the previous seasons didn't help solve the case. For me, that wasn't relevant.
Monk was a very interesting show that I looked forward to watching every week. The cases were interesting, the writing was clever, the acting was superb, and the show was overall really fun and entertaining. It's a shame it had to end, but everything does. At least there are always reruns and DVDs.