Monk: Season 8, Episode 10 "Mr. Monk and Sharona" (B+)
Having Bitty Schram come back to the show is a wonderful tribute to the first few years of this innovative series that hasn't gotten stale after eight years on the air. I can't say that I have a particular preference for either Sharona or Natalie since I didn't watch the show regularly until midway through season five, long after Sharona left the show. Pairing her with Natalie is really fun both in the ways that they get along and that they clash, and as the Captain predicts, it really does tear Monk apart. The funniest scene of the episode was Monk's inane conclusion that, since Sharona and Natalie couldn't agree on what would be best for Monk to do, they should take the elevator up to the 18th floor and walk down 9 floors so that no one would be happy. That's the logic of the obsessive-compulsive Monk, and it's a pretty wacky but entertaining system. Monk's investigation into Sharona's uncle's death was amusing, though it couldn't top Sharona's episode-ending money-making pratfall of her own. The end reveal, however implied it may have been by the elevator scene in the middle of the episode, that Randy was dating Sharona was pretty shocking, though quite terrific at the same time. It's nice to see the characters get excited about reuniting, and to see the usually stoic Stottlemyer get up out of his chair to embrace Sharona and even show off a picture of his fabulous new girlfriend.