Monk by Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
(Fridays at 9 pm/ET, USA) is back with an aptly named episode, "Surly Detection." A submarine skipper wants to give Monk "Das Boot" when the sleuth investigates a suspicious suicide for Natalie's old Navy friend (
Casper Van Dien
). Since claustrophobia ranks high on Monk's list of fears, he freaks out on the sub. Although Monk quickly fingers William Atherton's by-the-book commander as the killer, the story is just beginning. "Our show is like Columbo. It's more about how they did it than who did it," says executive producer Randy Zisk. The show also relishes making its hero acutely uncomfortable. "Monk is in the worst place he can be - [an enclosed] space underwater. There's no [way to escape and] that makes it more fun."
You bet it does, particularly when Monk hallucinates that his new therapist,
's Dr. Bell, is talking him through his anxiety. The one advantage to an imaginary shrink: There's no fear of being charged for an extra session. -
G J Donnelly