As you’re aware, this is the final season of Monk. USA has promised that over the course of this season, the series biggest mystery will be answered. I’ve prepared this definitive list of my personal theories. I’ve ranked them by the level of satisfaction they would provide me, starting from the least satisfying.
Who killed Trudy Monk?
1) Some guy killed Trudy Monk.
You know how these things usually work. In the third to last episode we’re introduced to some generic bad guy type character who Monk suspects of offing someone, and as he investigates that case, he finds some thread that leads back to Trudy’s murder. They drag it out for two more episodes until the big finale where Monk gets the guy cornered on a roof or something and has the chance to shoot him in the head and Natalie’s all “Don’t do it Mr. Monk!” and Stottlemeyer makes some big speech about how “You’re better than him Monk.” and Randy’s all “I’m also in this scene.” and Monk makes the right choice and justice is served, blahda blahda blahda. The End.
2) Tim Curry, Jay Mohr and/or Meatloaf killed Trudy Monk.
By this I mean that Trudy’s killer will be revealed as one of the various celebrity guest stars that have appeared over the course of the series. This would be satisfying in the sense that her killer (or killers) wouldn’t be someone who was only introduced in the last few episodes – or worst of all just in the last episode – and I suppose if it was done right it could provide an ‘of course!’ or ‘I knew it!’ moment for the audience, but for maximum impact I think the killer should be someone we’re a little more familiar with.
3) Harold Krenshaw killed Trudy Monk.
Harold Krenshaw! That guy who hates Monk and who Monk hates right back. We’re lead to believe that Harold’s obsession with Monk started when they were seeing the same therapist, but what if it goes back further than that? Could Harold or one of his dearest closest relatives have been wronged by Monk when he was an officer? So wronged that Harold made it his life’s mission to drive Monk mad? It would sure make sense. When I hate someone, I avoid them. Harold seems to run into Monk as often as he can. Coincidence… or Murder!?!
4) Randy Disher killed Trudy Monk.
I’ve been saying this since season three. I mean, think about it. You’re a young, ambitious police officer stuck working a beat when you know you have what it takes to be a detective. The quickest way up the corporate ladder would be to become the Captain’s right-hand man, but he’s already got one. That ridiculous know-it-all Adrian Monk. You need him out of the picture, but you have standards, you’re no cop killer. So you go after the wife. It works like a dream. Monk is a broken man and you’re first in line for a promotion. Trouble is, Monk’s some kind of savant and the last thing you need is him catching wise to you. So you play the chump, the tool, the idiot. You bumble your way around crime scenes doing the worst possible job you can without being fired. All the while you’re biding your time. That Captain’s desk is closer every day.
5) Monk killed Trudy Monk.
We all know what kind of crazy Monk was after Trudy’s death, but do we know what kind of crazy he was before? He clearly has some control issues; the guy was an obsessive compulsive cop for Christ’s sake. You can imagine that it wouldn’t have taken much on Trudy’s part to set him off. Maybe she was working too much, maybe she was sleeping around, maybe she left cracker crumbs on the bed sheets. Whatever it was, she had to pay. And pay she did. Afterwards, Monk couldn’t bare the guilt of what he’d done. He blocked it out. He canonized Trudy in his memory. Every little annoying personal tick of hers was wiped away, and all that was left was a pristine and perfect wife. Pristine and perfect, just the way Monk likes it. Trouble is the past never stays buried. Maybe it will be when he’s pouring over Trudy’s case file; maybe it will be when he’s investigating some other case of spousal homicide, maybe all it will take is looking in the mirror. The memories will flood back. The case will be solved. How will he react? Will he be able to live with the pain? Will he fly into a murderous rampage? Will he even care? Whatever happens, one thing will be certain, the Monk we know and love will be gone forever. Then again, was he ever really there?
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t other possibilities, but I think those five are the most likely. And yes, I know I left off everyone’s favorite theory of ‘Ted Levine did it!’, but I’m just not buying it. Monk’s a pretty sharp show, I don’t think they’d stoop to that kind of type casting.