In ‘Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie’ Adrian Monk, a longtime Private Detective well into his retirement, finds himself working one last case after his stepdaughter, Molly, undergoes the tragic loss of her fiancé, Griffin. Although the verdict remains that Griffin’s death was entirely a result of his misadventures, Molly insists that something menacing is hiding behind his fatal bungee jumping accident. As a result, Adrian picks up the man’s murder investigation, which brings him to an animal shelter that might just tie Griffin’s professional rival, Billionaire Rick Eden, to the crime.
At the clinic, Adrian and his close friend/former assistant, Natalie Teeger, come across an adorable, shaggy dog, Watson. The dog seems to share many similarities with Adrian and effortlessly reminds the viewers (as well as Natalie) of the eccentric Detective. Alas, Adrian has no interest in adopting Watson. Consequently, given the doomed nature of unadopted puppies in the animal shelter and Adrian’s unwillingness to take the dog home with him, viewers must be curious about what becomes of Watson’s fate by the end. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Watson The Dog and His Kindred Connection to Adrian Monk
The film primarily revolves around the mysterious case of Griffin’s death and the subsequent investigation that follows. Yet, simultaneously, another plotline unfolds that focuses on Adrian Monk and his suicidal ideation that keeps pushing him to end his life. Away from anyone’s prying eyes, Adrian brews his ultimate plan to commit suicide through an overdose on his wife Trudy’s death anniversary.
For the same reason, Adrian refuses to adopt Watson when he crosses paths with him in the middle of his investigation. In many ways, Watson behaves like the perfect four-legged companion for the detective. Much like Adrian, the dog is also easily spooked by many things, including but not limited to cars, thunders, and even other dogs. Likewise, his hobbies consist only of his need to keep his possessions tidy and arranged in place.
Thus, Watson’s tendencies complement Adrian’s OCD habits seamlessly. Their shared black curls are simply the cherry on top in terms of noticeable similarities. Therefore, the dog truly presents the perfect addition to Adrian’s life. Nevertheless, the man is stubborn and set in his ways. He wishes to go through with his suicide as soon as he has helped Molly and solved her fiance’s case.
As such, Adrian insists Watson is better off without him and even projects onto the dog, ensuring himself that Watson must be alright with his impending death, just as Adrian is. After their brief encounter at the shelter, it almost seems like Adrian and Watson’s stories together have ended. However, just as Adrian ultimately decides against his own suicide, Watson’s life is also saved.
Even though Natalie is oblivious to Adrian’s suicidal thoughts, she knows her friend well enough to know he’s struggling. Therefore, she cleverly deduces that having someone else to take care of will appropriately motivate Adrian to find joy in life and open himself up to others. In the end, after Adrian returns home, no longer giving into the darkness inside his mind, he finds Watson waiting for him in his house alongside his very own customized food bowl. Thus, Adrian and Watson’s stories end with them finding company beside each other.