|Season 1 (Monk)|
Mr. Monk and the Candidate is the series premiere and first episode of Monk. This episode is split into two parts when airing on television.
Monk investigates an assassination attempt on Mayoral Candidate Warren St. Claire and learns there's more at play than meets the eye.
Adrian Monk, a former detective at San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), is called in by a friend from the Santa Clara Police Department to investigate the murder of a woman named Nicole Vasques, who was stabbed within the confines of her home.
During the investigation, he is distracted because he is convinced he left his stove on. Although his nurse, Sharona Fleming, repeatedly assures him that the stove was turned off, his thoughts still often wander to the supposedly turned on stove while he is examining the crime scene. The local police officers believe Monk's behavior to be rather peculiar and therefore question his abilities as a detective. They are convinced that the victim's death was nothing more than the result of a burglary gone wrong.
Monk, on the other hand, believes otherwise. He thinks that the murderer intended to kill Vasques from the beginning. When asked how he came to said conclusion, he proposes the idea that the killer had entered her home wearing her slippers to avoid leaving footprints and then had been waiting for her for about an hour, smoking cigarettes in the meantime, judging from the scent of cigarettes in the room. Another police officer suggests that perhaps Vasques was a smoker, which Monk rules out since she was a Dutch Calvinist. Furthermore, Monk observes that the killer must've been roughly 6'3" tall, since the victim was a mere 5'4" and the chair was significantly too low for her, suggesting that the killer had adjusted it before sitting on it. He also mentions that the computer's keyboard has no fingerprints on it, most likely because the killer used it and wiped it clean afterward.
The police officers are stunned by Monk's deductions and now, too, believe it to be a murder.
Later, Monk is in a session with Charles Kroger, his psychiatrist. He talks about how he has turned his life around recently, and how he's now "going with the flow". However, he is temporarily distracted by a misaligned pillow on one of the couches in the office, which Dr. Kroger takes notice of. He says that it is alright if Monk wants to fix it, to which Monk insists that it does not bother him at all. Eventually, Monk breaks under the pressure and realigns the pillow, also fixing one of the flowers in the process. By doing that, he confirms Dr. Kroger's suspicions that he had been lying all along and was indeed not "going with the flow".
In the heart of the downtown area, a painter parks his van on a busy street. He grabs some tarps and a paint bucket and then proceeds to walk across the street to a hotel, which he enters. He takes the elevator up to a floor that is currently undergoing renovation. As he gets off the elevator, he puts slipcovers over his shoes and makes his way down the hallway. He enters one of the rooms and once he is inside, he secures the door with a chain. Next, the painter walks over to one of the windows, setting down his bucket and unraveling his tarp. Underneath the tarp, a Weatherby Fibermark rifle is revealed, which he loads. He wraps the drawstring on a pair of windows blinds around the barrel before taking aim at mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire's ongoing campaign rally.
Below, St. Claire is giving a rousing speech to the crowd. Meanwhile, his campaign manager Gavin Lloyd is sitting with St. Claire's wife Miranda, who tells him that she's getting lock-jawed from smiling for so long. Lloyd tells her that she will have to get used to it since he not only wants to make St. Claire Sacramento's mayor but bring him all the way to the White House.
As St. Claire concludes his speech, Miranda joins him on stage. The band begins to play and balloons are released into the air. And just before the balloons threaten to block his view, the painter opens fire on the stage. The first bullet strikes St. Claire's bodyguard Jason Ronstadt, killing him instantly. The second bullet hits the stage and the third hits the ground, narrowly missing Miranda. Frantically Lloyd points out the shooter's location to the cops on security detail, just as a newspaper photographer snaps his photo.
At the police station, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer is updated in the case by his second in command, Lieutenant Randy Disher. As Stottlemeyer prepares to give a statement to the media about the police investigation, he is interrupted by the arrival of Deputy Mayor Sheldon Burger. Despite Stottlemeyer insisting that he has every available detective on the case, Burger tells him that the incumbent mayor has ordered him to bring Monk in to investigate.
Reluctantly, Captain Stottlemeyer agrees to involve Monk in the case and takes him to a meeting with St. Claire, his wife Miranda, Gavin Lloyd, and substitute business manager Jesse Goodman. Afterward, Monk is brought to the room from where the perpetrator fired the shots. After scanning the room for clues, he notices that the blind's cords are twisted, indicating that the shooter used them to steady his rifle. This technique also indicates that they are possibly dealing with a former Green Beret since it's a method commonly used by said force and is also mentioned in their field manual. Furthermore, Monk observes that the shooter wore slippers to avoid leaving footprints, is roughly 6'3" tall, and smokes Newport cigarettes. He puts two and two together and concludes that the suspect in the shooting must be the same person who murdered Nicole Vasques.
A while later, Monk seeks out a campaign volunteer named Jake. He asks Jake if he could provide him with information about Vasques but a computer search fails to produce results.
Monk and Sharona then tell Warren St. Claire to Jason Ronstadt's funeral, where he delivers a touching eulogy. As Sharona begins to speculate that St. Claire himself arranged for the shooting to happen so that he could raise his standings in the polls, or Miranda arranged it to collect on Warren's estate. Things turn comedic, though, when Monk accidentally drops a keychain belonging to Trudy into the coffin, and in trying to grab it with a paperclip and dental floss, accidentally hooks the corpse's hand, causing it to lift up as if in response to St. Claire's salute. Later, as Miranda is leaving after confronting Monk, he notices her flirting with Jesse Goodman, and deduces that they may be having an affair.
A forensics check confirms some of Monk's suspicions: the shooter used hollow-point bullets that deform on impact, but one of them was recovered intact and was identified as coming from a British-manufactured Weatherby Fibermark rifle (in reality the weapon is manufactured in the United States). It's a type of weapon used by paramilitary groups. Monk still insists that the Vasques murder and the assassination attempt must be linked together, but Stottlemeyer doesn't see any connection.
Later, after Monk observes Miranda giving a reading to some school kids, he gets a call from Jake, who has evidence for him. Jake offers to come over to Monk's house to drop it off. As he's hanging up, Gavin Lloyd notices him on the phone and asks him if he is on a personal call. Jake gives a small "no".
Minutes later, Jake is driving his car over to Monk's apartment when he comes to a stop sign. A squeegee man suddenly runs up to the car and starts to clean the windshield. When Jake reluctantly rolls down his window to hand the squeegee man some change, the guy lethally smashes Jake's head against the wheel, pushes Jake into the passenger's seat, then gets in, and drives off.
Sometime later, Jake's car is found in a ditch by the side of a road. Stottlemeyer believes his death was an accident, and speculate that Jake was driving down the hill at high speed, missed the turn, and flew off the road and slammed head-on into a tree. However, Monk proves otherwise: for instance, the windshield is only clean on the driver's side. He concludes that Jake was actually killed at the stop sign on Cole Avenue and 17th Street, as he was on the way to Monk's apartment, not to mention that the corner has a homeless shelter where illegal squeegee men wash windshields for spare change.
Monk faces a crisis when Sharona quits after he reluctantly exposes her latest date, Carl Brewer, as yet another Mr. Wrong. Without her, Monk stays indoors and is unable to participate in the case.
Meanwhile, at a police garage, the remains of Jake's car are being analyzed. Wedged under the passenger seat, in Jake's hat, the police find a printout of some old records, with Nicole Vasques's name printed on it. She quit two months earlier, which is why no computer checks found her.
Sheldon Burger begs Sharona to help Monk get back to work, promising her a favor if she does. Monk returns to the case. Watching news coverage of the shooting, he notices some odd aspects: namely, the size of the crowd that showed up, which makes him wonder, why did Gavin Lloyd set up the rally in the Financial District on a weekday? In fact, Monk also learns that Lloyd was fired from a North Carolina senatorial campaign after he was suspected of embezzling funds.
Later, while Monk is walking down the street, he is nearly run down by someone in a car (in fact, the only reason he isn't killed is because his OCD state forces him to go back in the other direction to touch a Stop sign post that he missed, just narrowly missing the collision) Monk escapes, but in his OCD state, he can't resist touching and counting every parking meter on the way, and thus can not identify the person's license plate number.
Monk and Sharona later talk to Gavin Lloyd to find out why he held the rally downtown. They also have found out that he took Nicole Vasques aside for a while one day and she never came back to work on the campaign after that. He doesn't know anything more, though, about Vasques. While talking, Monk finds some scraps of shredded paper in the trashcan. Upon reassembling them, he finds that they are for a boarding pass Miranda St. Claire booked for a flight from San Francisco to Chicago O'Hare.
Monk and Sharona go back to Jesse Goodman and accuse him of having an affair with Miranda, Monk pointing out that Goodman's watch is set two hours ahead to Central Standard Time, indicating he's been to Chicago recently. Goodman admits it, but says that he wouldn't want to hurt Warren for that. He doesn't ask any more questions and departs. Just after Goodman leaves, Sharona gets a phone call, saying that the assassin has been found.
Monk and Sharona join Stottlemeyer and Disher at an apartment building. Stottlemeyer explains that the FBI has done a profile check and produced a name: an ex-Green Beret named Ian Sykes, who stands 6'5" and purchased a scope for a Weatherby Fibermark rifle recently. Monk and Sharona wait in the stairs while Stottlemeyer, Disher, and a team of uniformed and plainclothes officers raid the apartment. They find Sykes, but to their dismay, he is in a wheelchair. He admits that he did recently buy a scope for a Weatherby Fibermark rifle, but it was a gift for his father, who is hunting in the Rockies.
The police leave, disappointed. Just as they are about to drive away, Monk notices Stottlemeyer's shoes are scuffed. Stottlemeyer asks why Monk is suddenly so interested in this, and Monk explains that Sykes's shoes were scuffed up, too, meaning he is not handicapped at all. Stottlemeyer hurriedly tells Monk and Sharona to leave while he calls up the SWAT team.
Upstairs, Sykes gets up from his wheelchair and looks out the window, just in time to see the police gearing up. Down below, multiple marked police cars screech to a halt in front of his building and a SWAT team runs towards the entrance. Meanwhile, Monk and Sharona dart across the street to their car. Sharona thinks Stottlemeyer wants them out of the way while he takes all the credit for himself. She then finds her cell phone battery is dead and tells Monk she's leaving to find a phone to check in on Benjy. Sharona starts to leave while Monk watches the police arriving in front of Sykes's building.
While Monk is watching the police activity at the corner, he suddenly sees Sykes fleeing down the fire escape. Monk attempts to follow, but his fear of heights gets the better of him when he attempts to climb a ladder to head Sykes off. Sykes climbs down the ladder, says "excuse me" to Monk, and walks away.
Stottlemeyer is furious, and orders Monk taken off the case, believing that Monk can never be reinstated to the police department as long as his many phobias compromise his fellow officers' safety. Monk is crushed, but realizes something: Sykes did not recognize Monk when he climbed past him down the ladder and when first interrogating him, meaning he was not driving the car that tried to run Monk down.
(This scene is not featured in all versions): Later that night, true to Monk's suspicions, the driver of the car that tried to run Monk down arrives at the docks near the San Francisco Bay, with Sykes, who has obviously been waiting for his arrival, asking what he needs. The driver proceeds to shoot him.
Forlorn, Monk returns to looking over the evidence of his wife Trudy's murder. Sharona and her son Benjy find him in the parking garage where her car was bombed. When Benjy crashes his skateboard in the garage, and Sharona yells at him, Monk hears the echo of their voices, and solves the case. However, he remembers that he is persona non grata with the police and the city, so Sharona calls in her favor with Sheldon Burger to get them to listen to Monk.
Here's What Happened
Monk re-assembles everyone as they were the day of the shooting, intending to single out the man who hired Ian Sykes to carry out the attack. He posits that Sykes wasn't attempting to shoot St. Claire at all. In fact, the person who got shot instead, Jason Ronstadt, was the person Sykes had been paid to shoot. Jesse Goodman is incredulous, so Monk suggests that perhaps Ronstadt was killed because he was the bodyguard who knew too much. Monk explains what happened:
Lloyd has been embezzling from the campaign again. Recently, Nicole Vasques was going over the books and discovered that some funds were going into a different account. She went to Lloyd and reported this to her, but he brushed her off. But he realized Vasques would not be easy to buy off, and he feared she would talk, so in time, he decided he needed to hire a hitman to kill her. Lloyd first approached Jason Ronstadt and asked him to do it, but Ronstadt turned him down. It probably agitated Lloyd to no end that he was in a world where he was surrounded by honest people. So he continued looking around until he found Ian Sykes. Sykes killed Vasques and made it look like a burglary, but there was one loose end now: Jason Ronstadt probably still remembered Lloyd soliciting him to kill Vasques. On Lloyd's orders, Sykes sniped Ronstadt at the rally. Having Ronstadt get shot in public was brilliant for Lloyd because he got a twofer: to the public, it would look like Sykes was trying to target St. Claire, thus giving him new support, and it eliminated the one person who could implicate Lloyd in the first murder.
Lloyd laughs it off, saying Monk cannot prove it. Then, Monk shows him a photo from the newspaper, showing that, seconds after the shooting, Lloyd was only person pointing in the direction of Sykes. Lloyd says he saw Sykes, and Monk points out that the balloons around the dais were blocking everyone's view. Lloyd says he must have heard the direction the shots came from.
To test him, Monk tells him that Sharona is in one of the surrounding skyscrapers with a starter pistol. She fires several shots, but the echo between the surrounding buildings makes it impossible for Lloyd to guess which building she is in.
Just as Lloyd breaks down and starts to confess, a real shot is heard, and Lloyd goes down. Sharona sees Sykes in the next wing of the same building, firing his rifle at the dais (Monk dryly comments it is a "contract dispute"). Sykes then flees through the building's boiler room into the sewers, followed by Sharona who is taken hostage.
Monk tries to convince the police to look for other exits but they stick to protocol to search the building beginning at the top. Monk then pick-pockets Randy's gun and heads to the basement to look for a secret exit. Overcoming his horror of the sewers, Monk follows Sykes down to the grimy depths and rescues Sharona, grazing Sykes in the head with a non-fatal wound.
Monk is celebrated as a hero in the press. Dr. Kroger praises his bravery and says it may be time to approach the department and recommend that Monk be reinstated. However, as Monk and Dr. Kroger part company, Monk proves incapable of entering an elevator with a coughing woman, causing Dr. Kroger to reevaluate his recommendation.
- Jane Bartelme - producer
- Andy Breckman - executive producer
- David Hoberman - executive producer
- Judith Craig Marlin - associate producer
- Tony Shalhoub - producer
- Jim Rowe - production manager
- Lope Yap Jr. - unit production manager (San Francisco)
- Todd Sharp - executive in charge of production (uncredited)
- Brenda Torrance - post-production manager (uncredited)
- Jerzy Zielinski - director of photography
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director:
- Caroline Battista - second assistant director
- Sharon Gerhard - second assistant director (San Francisco)
- Shelby Johnstone - third assistant director
- Lee Knippelberg - first assistant director
- Annie Spiegelman - first assistant director (San Francisco)
Special Effects by:
- Joel Whist - special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by:
- Simon Lacey - on-set visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
- Jef Lonn - digital compositor (uncredited)
- Dan Lopez - visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
- Dave McGhie - digital compositor (uncredited)
- Dianna Oliva-Day - visual effects producer (Stargate Digital) (uncredited)
- Paul Patrick Quinn - visual effects producer (uncredited)
- Jeff Beal
- Helena Lea - music editor
Costume Design by:
- Tish Monaghan
- Angelina P. Cameron - hair stylist
- Fay von Schroeder - makeup artist
- Ken Niederbaumer - special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department:
- Michelle Baines - costume set supervisor
- Ileane Meltzer - wardrobe (Monk)
- Karin Nosella - assistant costume designer
- Joseph Cigliano - costumer (uncredited)
- Alison Fraser - costumer (uncredited)
- Sloane Morrison - set costumer (uncredited)
Film Editing by:
- Joe D'Augustine
- Andrew Seklir - assistant editor
- Valerie Laurie - post-production facility coordinator (uncredited)
- Joanne Rourke - colorist (uncredited)
- Jason L. Wood
- Susan Taylor Brouse - casting (Canada) (as Susan Brouse)
- Lynne Carrow - casting (Canada)
- Brad Gerstl - extras casting representative (uncredited)
Production Design by:
Art Direction by:
Camera and Electrical Department:
- Gail Stempler - location manager (San Francisco)
- Dennis Swartman - location manager
- Shane Lennox - trainee assistant location manager (uncredited)
- Jimmy Louie - production assistant (location department) (uncredited)
- Warner Strauss - assistant location manager (uncredited)
- Ron James - transportation coordinator
- Tony Johnson - transportation captain
- David Pappas - transportation coordinator (San Francisco)
- Morris Aroesti - driver (uncredited)
- Chris Haynes - driver (uncredited)
- Joe Hunter - picture car coordinator (San Francisco) (uncredited)
- Donald Kasich - transportation captain (San Francisco) (uncredited)
- Robert J. Young - driver (uncredited)
- Rocky Capella - stunt coordinator (San Francisco)
- J.J. Makaro - stunt coordinator
- Nicole Basanda - stunt performer (uncredited)
- Gianni Biasetti Sr. - utility stunts (uncredited)
- Derek Bujalski - stunt rigger (uncredited)
- Darryl Chan - stunts (uncredited)
- Jennifer Cobb - stunt performer (uncredited)
- Jes Hellwege - stunts (uncredited)
- Michael Hilow - utility stunts (uncredited)
- Deborah L. Mazor - stunt double (Eden Roundtree) (uncredited)
- Jeff Podgurski - stunts (uncredited)
- Katie Rowe - stunts (uncredited)
- Mam Smith - stunts (uncredited)
- Jon Valera - utility stunts (uncredited)
- Thom Williams - stunts (uncredited)
- Tanja Balic - assistant (Ms. Bartelme & Mr. Parisot) (as Tanja S. Balic)
- Reva Clavier - production accountant
- Peggy Geary - script supervisor (San Francisco)
- Fran Massimino - production coordinator: (San Francisco)
- April D. Matthews - assistant production accountant
- Kim Meade - assistant (Mr. Hoberman)
- Julia Neville - production coordinator
- Joyce Quan - production accountant (San Francisco)
- Portia Tickell - script supervisor (as Portia Belmont)
- Jason Beale - production assistant (uncredited)
- Sandra Borromeo - assistant production coordinator (uncredited)
- Julie Cummings - production assistant (uncredited)
- Les Ford - playback designer (uncredited)
- Todd Fullerton - 24 frame video/computer engineer (uncredited)
- Lauren Gale - craft service (uncredited)
- Shaun McNally - production assistant (uncredited)
- Mara Milicevic - assistant production coordinator (uncredited)
- Jason Neudecker - set production assistant (uncredited)
- William Ostroff - production assistant (uncredited)
- Anthony Rico - production assistant (uncredited)
- Andrew Simpson - animal trainer (uncredited)
- Greg SmithAldridge - animal trainer (wild animals) (uncredited)
- Kenny Vasquez - production assistant (uncredited)
- Ian Zander - set production assistant (uncredited)
- According to USA Network, Gavin Lloyd's shoulder wound ends up being fatal while Ian Sykes survives and gets convicted.
- Jason Gray-Stanford is credited as "Lt. Deacon" in this episode, instead of "Randy Disher".
- Benjy Fleming is played by Kane Richotte in this episode but is replaced by Max Morrow for the remainder of Season 1.
- The role of Trudy Monk is debuted by Stellina Ruisch as opposed to Melora Hardin.
- As part of the Monk Cast Favorites Marathon, this episode was listed as one of Traylor Howard's favorites.
- This episode is one of the three two-part episodes in the series, although it is only split in two when airing on television.
- The opening scene of this episode is the first to be featured in the montage at the end of Mr. Monk and the End (Part Two).
- In a deleted scene, Monk goes over to Kathy Street's house after being lead there by a note reading "5:30 Kathy Street". He interviews her, only to realize that he's visited the house repeatedly already. The scene was later used in Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger.
- One of the early screenplays for this episode contains several differences from the final version.
- The episode is called "Mr. Monk Meets the Candidate" instead of "Mr. Monk and the Candidate."
- The show is set in New York instead of San Francisco. Nicole Vasques's murder occurs in Hoboken, New Jersey, instead of Santa Clara.
- Dr. Kroger does not appear.
- Deputy Mayor Burger's first name is Kenny, not Sheldon.
- The surviving bodyguard (named Hank Bishop) has a more prominent role.
- Jake does not appear.
- Jesse Goodman does not appear.
- Sharona says that Monk has a sister who lives in Montana, and she requested Sharona help Monk.
- Carl's last name is Heinschmidt, not Brewer.
- Monk and Sharona visit a coffee shop everyday at 2 PM, served by a barista named Tara.
- The scene where Monk is nearly run over does not appear.
- Ian Sykes is shot and killed by Gavin Lloyd, and thus the entire scene where he takes Sharona hostage does not occur. The scene of Lloyd shooting Sykes was filmed but went unaired.
- Trudy was murdered in a subway station in Queens, as opposed to a parking garage. Instead of being killed by a car bomb, someone killed her from behind as she was walking up a flight of stairs.