|Season 3 (Monk)|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Monk unravels a baffling mystery after a toddler finds a severed finger in a park.
Janet Novak is with her group of foster children at a playground when one of them, little two year old Tommy Graser, vanishes. The police are called and begin searching the park for him. Within a few minutes, a couple of police officers stumble upon Tommy...and find he is carrying a severed human finger.
Monk tries to question Tommy in hopes he may provide a clue as to where he found the finger, but the only thing Monk learns is that he's quickly grown fond of the little boy. When the social worker supervising Janet Novak, Teresa Crane, decides that Tommy should be removed from Janet's care, Monk volunteers to take temporary custody of him. Despite Janet's protests ("The kid found a pinkie, it's no big deal!"), Crane agrees.
Unable to develop any leads from his time with Tommy or with Janet Novak, Monk turns to the severed digit for more clues, and notices that a callous and rosin residue on the pinkie are sure signs that it belonged to a violin player.
Monk and Natalie begin looking for violinists who have gone missing. After a long search, Monk finally comes upon something strange at the home of Daniel Carlyle and his mother, Abigail. Daniel is a professional violinist who practices for a local orchestra, the Bay City Quintet - but his hands show no signs he's ever played the instrument, and while he tells them that they interrupted his session for an upcoming concert, his bow was loose and the quintet has no upcoming concerts. It's an apparent dead end at first, but a little snooping reveals that the "Daniel Carlyle" they met was in fact his brother. Monk and Natalie, carrying Tommy with them, trail the Carlyles to find out what they've done with the real Daniel. When they are at a diner, Monk and Natalie observe Abigail and Daniel's brother, Jacob, answer a call on a payphone, and Monk deduces that Daniel has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom.
They question Daniel's mother and his brother. Monk and Natalie learn that the kidnappers have warned the Carlyles not to go to the police. They also learn that the kidnappers cut off his pinkie to prove that they had him, and the Carlyles were to find the finger in the park, but the police got there first. Monk agrees to help them, but when he's sent to a rooftop for a money drop with the kidnappers, he accidentally gives the money to the wrong person. The Carlyles have no choice but to call in Stottlemeyer and Disher to recover the money and join the case.
The money is recovered, but Monk confesses to Dr. Kroger that he wouldn't have made such a mistake before. He admits that he's distracted: he is growing more and more attached to Tommy (and vice-versa) and even says that he's thinking about adopting him. Cautiously, Dr. Kroger tells Monk that, although he believes Monk has made an enormously positive step, he is not ready for the responsibility of raising a child. Natalie echoes this advice, warning Monk about the rigors of being a single parent. Monk refuses to listen to any of them, saying he will not give up Tommy.
One night, while Monk is reading a story to him, Tommy provides the key clue when he reaches into Natalie's purse and takes a lipstick. Monk solves the case, and gives his summation to Tommy disguised as a bedtime story.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Once upon a time, there was a brave young prince (Tommy), who lived in the castle of a wicked King and Queen (the Novaks). The greedy King and Queen wanted money, so they kidnapped a wealthy fiddler (Daniel Carlyle), and cut off his finger to show his family they meant business. The wicked Queen was planning to send the finger to the family, but little prince Tommy, who liked to reach into ladies' purses, pulled it out first. Luckily for all, the prince made a new friend, named Mr. Monk, who came to realize he loved the young prince. Then, the answer came when Mr. Monk remembered the Wicked Queen talking about the severed finger and referred to it as a pinkie. She shouldn't have known that the missing finger was a pinkie as the police never released that bit of information.
As he tells the story, Monk sadly realizes that, as much as he loves Tommy, Monk can barely take care of himself, and the only way for Tommy to be truly happy is for Monk to let him go.
Tommy falls asleep in Monk's arms. Meanwhile, a SWAT team assembles outside the Novak house. On Stottlemeyer's command, they break down the door and storm the house. Janet is quickly captured without incident. Raymond attempts to escape out the back door and scales a fence, but Stottlemeyer and Disher quickly subdue him. Once the two suspects are in handcuffs, a group of SWAT officers raid the shed adjacent to the house and rescue the captive Daniel.
A few days later, Monk and Natalie wait outside the Social Services building for Tommy's new foster parents. Monk steals a few moments to play with Tommy on the lawn, forgetting his usual horror of touching nature. Natalie has to hold back tears.
Monk says a tearful goodbye to Tommy, as he is driven away by his new parents.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- The scene where Monk calls 911 to help with changing Tommy's diaper is the second time he says, "Oh, the humanity!" the first time being "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy."
- As is often the case with infant or toddler characters, Tommy was played by a pair of identical twins.
- Brooke Adams, Tony Shalhoub's real-life wife, makes her second appearance, and plays her second character on the show, after Season One's "Mr. Monk and the Airplane."
- The ending theme was notably different than usual in this episode.
- This is the second episode where the crime in question does not actually relate to murder, the first being Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny. Coincidentally, both episodes deal with a kidnapping.