|Season 6 (Monk)|
|Season 5||Season 7|
When Monk suffers from insomnia, he ventures into the night and stumbles upon a murder.
Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger are leaving from Monk's regular haircut appointment. Monk is trying to measure whether his sideburns are even, when he sees a Hispanic woman walking in the other direction, and, to Natalie's bafflement, chases her for two blocks before losing sight of her. Monk is sure there is something familiar about her, even though he is just as sure he has never met her before.
Monk, obsessed with the mysterious woman, is unable to sleep, and calls Natalie for help. Natalie can not help because Julie is sick, so she recommends Monk take a walk.
During his late-night walk, Monk is offered a ride by a taxi driver. He declines, but as she drives away, he realizes she is the mystery woman. Monk follows the taxi as best he can, leading him to an alley where he hears angry voices.
Peeking through a window into a diner's kitchen, he witnesses three people in what looks like a drug deal going bad: An Asian man, a drug dealer and a drug buyer. The Asian man identifies himself as an undercover cop; the drug dealer grabs for the gun, and in the struggle, the cop is shot dead. The dealer hustles the buyer, a terrified-looking bald man, out of the diner.
Monk runs to a payphone and calls Captain Stottlemeyer (who is suffering night allergies). But when they arrive on the scene, it looks as though nothing has happened. There is no body, no blood, no gun, and the kitchen is in pristine condition. The late-shift waitress, Zena Davis, informs them that she has been there all night, cleaning the cleaning the kitchen to prepare for a health inspection.
Stottlemeyer suggests that Monk's lack of sleep is causing him to hallucinate, and suggests that he go to the nearby bar and get a drink to make himself sleepy.
At the bar, Monk chats with an amiable con-man named Gulliver (Gully). During their conversation, Monk mentions his mystery woman, and Gully tells Monk where he can find the local taxi dispatcher, Essie. As Monk leaves, Gully takes his wallet using a confidence trick.
Monk tracks down Essie, who identifies his mystery woman as Maria Cordova, and tells him that she is probably at the train station now. While waiting at the station, Monk sees the Asian "undercover cop" from the diner, alive and well.
He calls Stottlemeyer and Randy again. But the man, who identifies himself as William Lee, says that none of what Monk saw happened. Monk then looks through the trash to see what Lee was throwing away, and finds coin cases, labeled "Jacob Posner", which matches the initials "J.P." on a money clip Monk found at the diner.
Monk, Stottlemeyer, and Disher visit Posner's coin shop, and Monk recognizes him as the bald man from the diner. But, again, there is nothing to support Monk's story: Posner says he was in bed all night and has never been to that diner before. Monk notices an entire display case is empty, and asks if Posner has been robbed. Posner says no, he just sold a large portion of his inventory. He says he's not worried about robbery, and shows them a handgun he keeps in the shop. Stottlemeyer confirms it has not been fired recently.
Monk, hoping to finally catch up to his mystery woman, rushes back to the train station. When he gets there, an hour or so later, he sees a crowd gathered around the body of Mr. Lee, who has been shot dead for real.
Disher and Stottlemeyer go to the bar where Monk was earlier, and Gully, who is still there, buys them drinks with money from Monk's wallet. But while Stottlemeyer, still suffering from his allergies, is wiping his nose with a tissue Posner handed him in the shop, he realizes it is actually a cocktail napkin from the diner. Reaching the same conclusion, Monk and Stottlemeyer rush (separately) to the diner, although not before the latter made sure to retrieve Monk's wallet from Gully.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Monk hitches a ride in a news van delivering stacks of the Chronicle's morning edition, and delivers his summation to the news man:
As Gully told Monk, "it's a different city after dark." What Monk saw in the diner was all a con trick: three grifters – Lee, the "drug dealer," and the waitress, Zena Davis – were scamming Jacob Posner. Posner thought he was buying drugs, and was then tricked into believing he had witnessed a cop's murder. The drug dealer hustled Posner out of the store, and demanded hush money, which Posner paid with the coins from his shop. Meanwhile, Lee and Davis cleaned up the kitchen.
It wasn't until later, when Stottlemeyer, Disher, and Monk visited Posner, and mentioned seeing Lee alive and well at the train station, that Posner realized he'd been conned. As Monk wryly says, "he didn't take it very well." He grabbed his gun, found Lee at the train station, and killed him for real this time around.
As the van enters the alley behind the diner, we see Posner forcing the "drug dealer" and Davis outside at gunpoint, preparing to kill them once the van is out of sight. But as it passes, Monk heaves a stack of newspapers onto Posner's head, knocking him unconscious. Davis and the drug dealer try to run for it, but Stottlemeyer and Disher arrive at opposite ends of the alley, stopping them.
Then Stottlemeyer's cabbie comes up, demanding her fare. Monk recognizes her as Maria Cordova. Face to face with her, he notices a date tattooed on her arm – the same day Trudy died. Maria explains that the tattoo commemorates the date she was "reborn" – she was losing her sight from a degenerative disease, but recovered thanks to pair of cornea transplants – which Monk realizes came from Trudy. Overwhelmed, Monk realizes what he saw: Maria (literally) has Trudy's eyes, and Monk has the chance to look into them again.
The next morning, Natalie lets herself in to Monk's apartment and finds him (still in his street clothes), lying in bed, a photo of Trudy tucked under his arm. Having no idea of his adventures the previous night, she smiles and congratulates him for taking her advice, and tucks him in, leaving him fast asleep.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- Factual Error: under California law, it is illegal to serve liquor between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- Monk tries to read himself to sleep with a copy of Almost Perfect Murder. This is an actual book of short mystery stories written by Monk writer and producer Hy Conrad.
- Stottlemeyer makes fun of Randy's Captain America pajamas. In the final scene, when Randy confronts the fleeing grifters, Randy stands with a garbage pail lid at his side, in unconscious parody of Captain America's shield.
- This would be the second episode in which Monk and Stottlemeyer solve the crime independently of each other, at roughly the same time, using different pieces of evidence (the first being "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan."). In this case, it was because Stottlemeyer refused to hear Monk out due to getting irritated at Monk's seeming false leads.
- Factual Error: Stottlemeyer looks at the Coin Collector's gun and remarks that it's a .22. It's also said later that the gun is a .22 caliber. However, it's not. It's a .25 auto, specifically a .25 Berretta Jetfire.
- A .25 Berretta Jetfire would be unlikely to kill someone quickly, as the round is extremely weak, unless shot in the eye, which didn't happen here.
- The scene where Stottlemeyer and Disher managed to retrieve Monk's wallet from Gulley before leaving the diner to intercept the coin salesman and the con-people was ad-libbed by Ted Levine and Jason-Gray Stanford.
- Retinitis Pigmentosa is a disease that causes the slow degeneration of rod photoreceptor cells in the retina and cannot be cured with a cornea transplant, so Maria should not have undergone the surgery to give her Trudy's corneas.