Note: As a diehard Monk/Natalie shipper, I’ve decided to relive the series by highlighting some of the best moments between the two characters. I think Season 5 was a turning point for Monk and Natalie. It seems that the writers finally settled on the kind of character they wanted Natalie to be (note the significant wardrobe change from this point on), which allowed the on-screen M/N chemistry to develop into its familiar season 5-8 form.
Natalie’s affectionate side with Monk was on display most of the time in Season 5, resulting in quite a lot of contact (not shippy, but definitely friendly/tender/supportive) in many episodes. Still the season was a bit uneven because Traylor Howard was pregnant IRL and wasn’t in a ton of scenes from about the halfway point on. But there were still plenty of moments that were cute or funny or otherwise show how well Monk and Natalie know each other. I’m listing them chronologically because Mr. Monk wouldn’t want it any other way!
Episode 5×13 — “Mr. Monk is On the Air”: Natalie was around more in this episode and her pregnancy wasn’t showing yet, which means this was likely filmed or aired out of order. At any rate, the following moments were noteworthy to me.
- (5:38) — Monk to victim’s sister: “If you could wait until my assistant gets here. She’s in charge of saying the right things.” Not technically M/N, but so funny! It makes me laugh every single time I watch this ep!
- (10:22) — Natalie: “Mr. Monk, are you okay?” She then rushes to his side and helps him up after he’s overcome by gas fumes — and she keeps hold of him for the longest time.
- (13:23) — Wrestling over the pen at the radio station, which leads to Monk stabbing the inflatable doll.
- (14:05) — I like how protective of Monk Natalie is during the whole time he was on the air with the obnoxious DJ.
- (17:06) — This has nothing to do with M/N, but I just have to say I love Natalie’s outfit in this scene. It’s very classy and professional and she looks great in it!
- (23:39) — Natalie quickly ushers Monk out of the bookstore after the crowd starts derisively chanting, “Wipe! Wipe!”
- (26:15) — Natalie’s initial reaction to how cute Monk was as a baby was simply adorable. And she says, “Look at you!”, which is of course what she’ll say again in the Season 6 bank episode where she’s fawning over Monk’s uniform.
- (27:32) — “Mr. Monk, that is the saddest movie I’ve ever seen. I’m not hugging you. I’m hugging the little boy in that movie.” Awwww (pictured above). And unless I’m mistaken, this is the FIRST hug Natalie ever gave Monk. She has put her arm around his shoulders, patted him, and walked arm in arm with him plenty of times before, but I think this was the first two-armed embrace. It went on forever, and Monk didn’t even seem to mind the cheek to cheek contact. (He certainly didn’t ask for a wipe like he did just a while ago in the bookstore.)
- (35:07) — Natalie running to the studio door to try to get in when the DJ started making jokes about Trudy’s death. She’s being protective again.
Episode 5×15 — “Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy”: There were no shippy M/N moments in this one, but the ones below were funny in their own way.
- (3:49) — Monk tells Natalie that he’d rather she didn’t use the public bathroom at the gas station. When she asks why not, he says, “It’s hard to explain.” The thing is, I know EXACTLY what he means, as I get that way about my family too!
- (5:05) — Monk: “Did you wash your hands?” Yep,that’s the first thing I would have asked.
- (19:56) — Monk excitedly calls Natalie to tell her about winning at solitaire. “The cards are dancing! I think they’re dancing! How soon can you get here?” Who else could he call at 2:55am to share such silly news?
- (40:20) — Not exactly a M/N moment but since there wasn’t much else happening in this ep, I decided to include it. This tag is the one where he’s writing apology notes to Julie’s friends for sending the SWAT team to their slumber party, and it’s hilarious (pictured below)!