Monk: Sharona (Bitty Schram) Returns for Last Season Episode

MonkUSA’s Monk may be leaving the air after its eighth season wraps up, but there is a bit of good news in store for longtime fans.

Monk centers on Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), a brilliant San Francisco detective who has a breakdown following his wife’s murder. After a three-year absence, Monk returns to the force to help do what he does best: solve crimes. Of course, for someone suffering from severe OCD, that’s no easy task — but it’s usually Monk’s OCD that ends up helping him solve the case. Series performers also include Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine, Traylor Howard, Stanley Kamel, Bitty Schram, Emmy Clarke, Kane Ritchotte, and Hector Elizondo.

The show premiered in 2002 and was a surprise hit for the USA Network. One of the most endearing aspects of the show was the close relationship between Monk and his practical nurse/assistant, Sharona Flemming (Schram).

Schram left the series in the middle of season three due to a contract dispute, though producers insisted they just wanted to “take the show in a different direction.” Her spot in the cast was filled by Traylor Howard as Monk’s second assistant, Natalie.

Sharona’s absence was explained by having the character move back to New Jersey with her son, after remarrying her ex-husband Trevor Howe. She is mentioned but not seen at the end of season six when everyone believes that Monk has died. She apparently sent flowers and attended the funeral with her son, Benjy.

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In the novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants by Lee Goldberg, the character returns to San Francisco after her husband has been accused of murder. Monk eventually clears him and Sharona returns to her husband with the knowledge that her eccentric friend is being well cared for by Natalie. It’s a bit of closure that TV viewers didn’t get — until now.

Schram is reprising her role as Sharona for an episode of the Monk TV show’s final season. It’s unknown how the writers will reintroduce her but one scenario invloves Natalie and Sharona exchanging war stories about the detective.

Shalhoub is excited about his former co-star’s return. The two ran into each other last April when Kamel (Dr. Kroger) passed away.

Shalhoub said, “We couldn’t think of a better way to help wrap up the series than with the return of Bitty’s character. Bringing some closure to Sharona is long overdue.”

Season eight of Monk is expected to premiere this Summer. Shalhoub says the writers are hard at work wrapping up unresolved storylines. It’s unknown where in the final 16 episode run Schram’s appearance will fall but it’s certainly a nice way to help end the series.

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71 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. KT says

    Now, why did Monk NOT open the gift from Trudy? I recall them saying something over dinner but for the life of me, I just don’t know why he didn’t open the present from her as soon as she passed. I know they said it was “romantic”. I just can’t remember what his reasons were. To me, this is crucial.

  2. Moni says

    Monk! The character is burnt into our memories forever. So powerful that it evokes a range of emotions yet so fragile that you are scared to loose it. But the time has finally come. Monk has to face this deepest fear of finding why his true love was taken away from her. Will he find peace after solving the greatest mystery of his life is yet to be answered? Probably not. His love for Trudy transcends this world and the other. The only way he would ever be happy is when holding his beloved Truly in his arms.

    Is she still alive or Monk has to sacrifice his life to be together.

  3. Christina says

    Wow…I don’t want the show to end. I have been interested in this show since my older sister made me watch it one day. I never really liked Sharona that much, but Nataile is perfect for the show. When she was crying in the last episode, my heart was crushed and I started crying. I don’t want the show to end, because it’s been so good. In the end I do want Adrian to stay alive, but I think he would be happier in heaven with his wife Trudy. I guess i will just have to wait for the last episode to air, but whatever happens I hope it has a good ending.

  4. mrbigshot says

    The unknown poison will somehow cure Monk of all his phobias. He will be OK on his own when everyone else goes their own way. Monk moves back with his brother and they start their own consulting business. Gotta love the Monk brothers!

  5. says

    WOW! That is all I can say. And (for one last Monk-ish “Here’s what Happened”):

    Monk notes to Trudy that they haven’t been caroling since college. He thanks her for getting him out of the house and she asks about a missing woman, Wendy Stroud. Monk is heading down to the clinic where she worked to talk to her boss. He notices that something is wrong with Trudy and she says she has a lot to do and not enough time. Monk notices a present under the tree and Trudy asks him not to open it until Christmas because it’s a surprise. They embrace and Trudy assures Monk that she loves him.

    Later, Trudy goes down to the parking garage as a six-fingered man watches her. He finally approaches her and she runs for her car. She gets in and starts the engine… and the car explodes. Monk and Stottlemeyer go to the midwife clinic and talk to Wendy’s boss, Dr. Malcolm Nash, who says that he hasn’t heard from Wendy. Stottlemeyer gets a call and is informed about Trudy’s death, and he tells Monk the news.

    The Present:
    Monk wakes up and finds Trudy sitting on his bed. She tells him he doesn’t have to sleep just on his side of the bed and he insists he isn’t sleeping by himself. Trudy tells him that it’s time to say goodbye but Monk admits that he can’t. She smiles and says it won’t be much longer. Monk reaches for her hand… and she disappears.

    Monk and Natalie are going to a new case and Natalie invites Monk to the dinner party she’s having to introduce Julie to her boyfriend, Lt. Steven Albright. Monk tells Natalie what he dreamed and Natalie thinks it’s an omen. They discover that the murder victim is Dr. Nash, who was killed at the same clinic Monk was at when he got the news about Trudy’s death. Stottlemeyer explains that Nash was scanning in records when somebody snuck in and shot him twice in the head with a silenced pistol. While Monk goes over the scene, Disher talks about his two-week vacation to New York City but refuses to discuss specifics. Monk notices that all the pill bottles are there so the killer tried to make it appear as a robbery. He also determines that the killer used the computer and was left-handed.

    Monk, Stottlemeyer, and the others go to see Judge Ethan Rickover to get a warrant. Ethan reviews the warrant and Stottlemeyer insists they have the right man. Ethan tells them that the governor wants him to join the State Supreme Court and they offer their congratulations.

    The police search the suspect’s apartment and talk to his ex-wife, Edie Kazarinski. She says that her ex-husband comes and goes as he pleases. Edie takes a photo of him out of the bird cage and shows it to him, while Monk notes that he gave Natalie the day off to be with her boyfriend.

    Kazarinski gets a call and is informed there’s a change of plans, and he left a partial fingerprint. The caller tells Kazarinski to eliminate Monk because he killed Trudy 12 years ago.

    Trudy and Albright,are shopping for Monk as Kazarinski watches them. He approaches the cart with Monk’s items and starts to walk away with it. Trudy stops him and he apologizes and then leaves.

    That night, Natalie, Julie, and Lt. Albright have supper at Natalie’s and they discuss Julie’s future plans. She talks about how she’ll be moving away, and Albright asks about the case. Monk starts choking briefly, and then starts cleaning spots. He realizes he’s seeing spots and convulses, and they get him to the hospital. The nurse tries to take his blood but Monk is less than cooperative. She finally calls in over a dozen staff to hold him down. Dr. Matthew Shuler from the hematology department comes in and warns there is no good news. Monk has been deliberately poisoned with a synthetic toxin.

    A hazmat team goes over Monk’s apartment looking for the poison while Monk waits with the others for news. Shuler arrives and tells them that Monk was the only one affected, and they can’t treat Monk until they identify the specific toxin. If they don’t, Monk only has two or three days and will suffer from pain and vomiting before death. Natalie notices a newspaper with a photo of Kazarinski and realizes he was at the supermarket and briefly walked away with Monk’s shopping cart. They prepare to go over everything she bought but Shuler warns there may not be enough time.

    Stottlemeyer calls together a team of volunteer officers to investigate Nash, and try to and find Kazarinski. He warns them Kazarinski must be taken alive so they can determine what toxin he gave Monk.

    At home, Monk is busy sorting the capsules in his medication. Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer confronts a suspect, Ronnie, who refuses to talk until Stottlemeyer hits him with Disher’s laptop. The man reveals that Kazarinski bought a fake ID and a train ticket. Stottlemeyer sets up an undercover operation to watch for Kazarinski at the train station. Kazarinski, wearing a blonde wig, arrives and spots the police. Meanwhile, Disher says that he’ll miss police work and notes he can’t do it forever. Before Stottlemeyer can respond, he realizes that the announcer in the control tower has gone silent. Disher runs up there and discovers the man is dead. He calls Stottlemeyer, who warns him the microphone is still on. Disher fails to turn it off and sets off a panic as he warns that Kazarinski has taken the controller’s uniform. Stottlemeyer spots Kazarinski and chases after him into the rail yard. The killer manages to elude Stottlemeyer but is hit by a passing train and is killed instantly.

    Monk sees Dr. Bell and explains that they found chemicals in the dumpster at the hotel where Kazarinski was staying, but there’s not enough time to come up with anything. All the food from the shopping cart turned up negative. Monk says that he has everything to be sorry about, that he’s lived like a prisoner since Trudy’s death and he hasn’t accomplished anything if he hasn’t solved his wife’s murder. As Bell pencils in more appointments for Monk to try and reassure him, Monk gets up, tells him goodbye, and then leaves.

    Disher reports to Stottlemeyer that the lab won’t come up with anything in time. The captain pours out two drinks and explains that he always thought Monk wasn’t human, but his friend saw and felt everything and was all too human.

    Natalie drives Monk to the cemetery to say goodbye to Trudy. He simply says that he loves her and assures Natalie he can tell Trudy the rest tomorrow. Back at home, Natalie gets a call from Shuler, who insists Monk should go to the hospital. Monk insists on staying at his apartment and asks Natalie to get him the present Trudy had for him 12 years ago. She reluctantly gives it to him and he opens it to discover it’s a video tape. On it, Trudy says that she had a secret, something terrible from before they met. And then its the suspensful “TO BE CONTINUED”.

    “BAM!” Friday…”THIS IS NOT OVER!!!” All the pieces will fall into place…”It won’t be much longer” and the case will finally be closed, “This is me promising you this guy is going down”, find out what really happened to Trudy in the unbelievable SERIES FINALE, Friday at 9pm on USA.

  6. MonkFanDan says

    Stottlemeyer has TK, Randy is hinting that he is moving, probably to be in New York with Sharona, Natalie has her new Naval Dr., Julie is going off to Berkley – that leaves Adrian to be with Trudy, and that will be in his death. Sad way to end, but we all have to die sometime, and Adrian will then be finally at rest.

  7. Fifi says

    I think Mr. Monk will die not saving anyone, but solving Trudy’s murder case. And yes I also think the only way he will be releaved from his pain is to be with Trudy.

  8. Patty says

    I just watched Monk and I am hoping this isn’t the last show of the series. I liked Sharona but I really like Natalie. I think as a long time and loyal fan of Monk that the only way to end the show is to have Monk find the killer of Trudy and return to the police force. That in my opinion the ONLY way to end this wonderful show. Tony Shalhoub is Monk and has defined that character for 8 yrs let him have his own closure and find the killer of his beloved wife Trudy. It’s the right thing to do.

  9. Paula La says

    I have certainly enjoyed the Monk series. I will miss my favorite male OCD character…I am also an OCD character, and I have much sympathy for the emotional pain, and struggle to be “Normal”!!! I wish the best for all the people on his show in their continued future sucesses!! Paula

  10. Me says

    Monk is going to die in the last episode. They have been dropping hints the entire series. The only way he can be happy is when he is dying/with Trudy. Therefore, he will be killed in the last episode. He is going to die saving T.K.’s life for his friend Captain Stottlemeyer.

  11. so hard to say goodbye says

    I am really sad that they are cancelling the show. Most TV is trash. This is the only show I watch other than children’s shows with my kids. Very little profanity. Murder mystery without a lot of gore like CSI and Law and Order and others. Very funny. Overall it is a very clean show- a rare find. I have no idea what to watch now for adult entertainment :-(

  12. Jay-$in Marshall Jones says

    I truly think that Monk has done just about everything including last week’s Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse episode! I am one of the biggest fans of Monk…the biggest I know. I have watched every single episode of Monk except for tonight’s episode where Monk tries out group therapy for a change and then all the group members start getting killed off! I will watch it tonight though at 12:00 P.M. when I get home!!! Monk will live in my heart forever and thak you Tony Shaloub for taking the role of Adrian Monk, may Monk avenge his wife…

  13. Mea White says

    Is there a chance for reconciliation to continue this favorite of all TV shows of mine? It is one of the only three or four shows that I look forward to watching each week, and I will watch it even if it conflicts with one of the others (ie, Medium now is on at the same time, so I gave up watching it). Therefore, your network has an advantage over others & could use this information to ask for more money from the sponsors. Tony Shalhoub is such a delight in his performance of Adrian Monk, as well as the other characters in the show. I can understand if the actors want or need to leave or if the writers are running out of ideas for material, but other than Tony, you can replace the other actors and even create new characters, although I absolutely love Natalie as well. I see from the previews that Mr. Monk is beginning to overcome his phobias, so he is taking on a new personification, but couldn’t he stay to continue solving crime cases as he does (since he’s such a genius at this)? You don’t need to use his emotional disorders to add humor to the show (in fact, it could be an inspiration to those in the audience with similar problems to see that they can get better). I can’t see how they can be running out of ideas since there could be all kinds of different humorous factors and guest characters added, even if they decide to solve Trudy’s murder (or death, since it could be that she was an unintended victim). In fact, this closure could be used to facilitate another new twist to the show… And I see Natalie falling in love with Adrian, so if you have to cancel this show, could you create a spin-off with the two of them solving crimes as Mr. & (the new) Mrs. Monk or The New Mr. & Mrs. Monk, since he is a different person? Please just bring them back if you have to end this most popular show. And if having to say goodbye to it, please share my regards and kudos to the cast, writers & producers of one of the most entertaining television shows that we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying for this long (because they just don’t make them like this anymore)… And a big Thank You for what you’ve accomplished. ~Red Roses for All of You~

  14. says

    Gonna miss him, however, if they think it’s time, I have to go with that decision. I already own all his seasons. In fact, my kids give them to me for presents. I “Monk” every Friday with my best friend Evie, who lives in GA. and I am here in NJ.

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