This week in Brenda-land, a member of the dreaded Quatorze street gang is found murdered and the sole witness, the victim’s junkie mother, is so doped up that she can only see “shadows.” Commander Taylor, on the other hand, is seeing red; with thirteen gang-related slayings in the past two weeks, Taylor suggests the situation might be getting ever so slightly out of hand. But it's Brenda’s mysterious illness that really dominates the proceedings: She’s sweaty and sick and totally hormonal and suspects it might be stress-related, so she goes to see her gyno (played by S. Epatha Merkerson; we missed you, Lieu!), who suggests she see a psychiatrist, to which Brenda responds with a predictable blank stare.
Any viewer with half a brain would be justified in suspecting that Brenda’s knocked up, but the show glosses over the obvious and goes with what we suspect is misdirection, by way of subtle hints that Brenda’s general scatterbrained looniness might be developing into full-blown mania. Though that would indeed be a fun twist, Monk’s already cornered the market on crazy detectives in need of enabling at the hands of their staff. Our money’s on an unplanned Closer in the oven; the prospect of Brenda’s all-male detective squad dealing with more psycho, tearful outbursts (“Anything else no one saw? The Loch Ness Monster, maybe? Jimmy Hoffa? The Invisible Man? For Heaven’s sakes, what are we doing here?!!”) and sudden candy cravings is just too rich to ignore. —Sara Cardace