|Season 6 (Monk)|
|Season 5||Season 7|
Monk must confront his prejudice against nudists when he's called to investigate a murder on a nude beach.
Late one night, a young woman named Vickie Deline frantically buzzes the intercom of a palatial beach house belonging to computer tycoon Peter Magneri, imploring him to let her in. She’s holding a manila envelope. Vickie turns around to find someone she recognizes wielding a knife at her. The unseen individual chases Vickie down a steep embankment to the beach. She bangs on the door of Chance Singer's rundown trailer for help, to no avail. She then runs out towards the water, but her pursuer catches up to her and stabs her a few times. As Vickie lies there dying, the attacker grabs the envelope and flees.
The next morning, Natalie, Captain Stottlemeyer, and Lt. Disher panic when they realize that the beach is a nude beach, which causes Natalie to gasp. They attempt to distract Monk from seeing the naked bystanders. They’re temporarily successful, and Monk is able to deduce that Vickie was clutching something when she died. But sure enough, Monk freaks out when the trailer’s owner, a nudist named Chance Singer, arrives home from a night in jail. Singer urges Monk to chill out and suggests that the owner of the beach house, billionaire software mogul Peter Magneri, might be involved.
Magneri is high-strung and impatient, berating assistants and bragging about how a recent physical at the hospital confirms he’ll outlive them all. Like Monk, he’s agitated by the nudists, feeling that they're ruining his view. In fact, he's preparing for a zoning board meeting, where he hopes the nudists will be ordered to move somewhere else. Anyway, Magneri has a solid alibi for the night of the murder. Magneri also mentions that Singer once hit him with a microphone. This sign of aggression is all Monk needs to convince himself that Singer killed Vickie. But how?
Vickie’s roommate Arlene Boras, a newly-minted day trader, tells the detectives that Vickie had recently been spending more time at the beach. Arlene thinks Vickie was seeing someone. Monk suspects Singer. While Arlene is questioned, Natalie is using a pad of Arlene’s to write something down while she talks on the phone.
Pursuing what seems to have become a personal vendetta, Monk breaks into Singer’s trailer later that night with Natalie in tow. The two are unable to find anything incriminating. However, Singer and his nude activist friends come home in the middle of their search, and Monk and Natalie are forced to hide in Singer’s closet. Eventually, Monk hits the circuit breaker, killing the lights. In the ensuing confusion, Monk accidentally grabs Singer’s hand, not Natalie’s, and drags him out of the trailer. Monk and Singer get into a heated argument.
At the police station, Monk offers a series of increasingly implausible scenarios for how Singer could have escaped while in police custody the night of Vickie’s death. When Natalie, Stottlemeyer, and Disher attempt to reason with him, Monk launches into a vicious anti-nudist rant. Stottlemeyer, concerned, takes Monk into his office and reads him the riot act. Monk’s fear of nudity is not a mental-health issue, Stottlemeyer says, but rather hate prompted by bigotry. He tells Monk to get out of his office until Monk has dealt with his phobia.
In a session with Dr. Kroger, Monk has a breakthrough. He traces his fear of nudity to an incident from his childhood when he was naked and scared. With Kroger’s help, however, he realizes the incident is actually a case of Monk – the man with unparalleled memory – remembering the terror of birth.
Monk bursts into Natalie’s apartment to tell her the good news. There, he spots the note Natalie wrote at Arlene’s – the notepaper’s letterhead says “St. Andrew’s Hospital.” Thinking clearly for the first time in days, Monk remembers that this is the hospital where Magneri spoke of having his physical.
Here's What Happened
Arlene Boras returns to her apartment to find Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher searching the place. Stottlemeyer produces a search warrant and asks Arlene if she's ever met Peter Magneri. She blanks out, and Stottlemeyer continues, explaining that Magneri had a checkup on July 23, four days before Arlene quit. They've spoken to the SEC, and apparently since that time, Arlene has become very interested in the Magneri company except she has not been investing. Rather, she's been short selling the stock and betting against him.
Monk reveals what happened: Arlene was working as an X-ray technician at the hospital a few weeks earlier. Examining Magneri's X-ray, she realized that he is actually seriously ill. Knowing that Magneri was absolutely integral to his company’s success and that the stock would plummet upon his sudden death, Arlene switched the X-ray with a healthy patient's, then quit her job and started short stelling Magneri's stocks, betting against the company.
At some point, Arlene told Vickie Deline – either she needed a partner in her scheme, or perhaps she was just bragging. But Vickie wasn't like Arlene. She couldn't condone letting Magneri die, so she grabbed the x-ray and tried to warn him. Before she could reach him, Arlene chased her down and killed her.
Arlene is about to say that they don't have any proof, only for Natalie to produce an X-ray they found hidden behind her toilet. Faced with the truth, Arlene confesses. Monk informs her that if Magneri dies as a result of something she kept hidden, she will be facing a second count of murder. She admits that Magneri has an aortic aneurysm, which could burst under serious excitement or stress.
Monk remembers the zoning board meeting is happening right then as they speak! In fact, the zoning board has just ruled in the nudists' favor, and Magneri is livid. As the nudists celebrate, Singer gets a call on his cell phone. It's Monk and Natalie, calling from Arlene's apartment. Monk implores him to help save Magneri. Singer, ultimately a peaceful man, does exactly that, announcing that he and his friends are withdrawing their motion, and will agree to relocate. Though suspicious, Magneri calms down, as Stottlemeyer, Disher and paramedics arrive in time to rush him to the hospital. As Magneri is being wheeled out on a wheelchair, Randy tries to ask Magneri to help him with his new MP3 player, which is broken just like the one he previously had. Stottlemeyer, fed up with Randy's obsession over his media player, takes it and stomps on it, smashing it to pieces.
In the end, Magneri is so grateful for his narrow escape that he buys the nudists their own private island. Monk and Natalie go to Singer's trailer as he is packing up. Monk makes amends with Singer, resulting in a giant hug from the nudist. Realizing he may not totally be over his issues, Monk walks away, fully clothed...into the ocean.
Background Information and Notes
- Alfred Molina (Magneri) was one of the three final choices for the part of Adrian Monk, besides Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci (who appeared in Season Five's "Mr. Monk and the Actor").
- Molina also co-starred with Traylor Howard in the short-lived sitcom, Bram and Alice.
- Monk's fear of nudity (classified as gymnophobia) was first referenced in Season Two's "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame," when he can't look at a nude art teacher.
- It had also been hinted at in Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy, where Monk expressed noticeable hesitance to flip through an issue of Sapphire Magazine to find the page containing information on the deceased accountant, causing the accountant's assistant to ask Sharona if he was religious, causing Sharona to sarcastically state that "[Monk] is [religious] now."
- However, in Season One's "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," Monk hired a streaker to prove someone everyone thought was blind could see and showed no discomfort with the streaker's nudity.
- An aortic aneurysm was the same affliction suffered by the antagonist of Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet," his first Sherlock Holmes novel.
- When Magneri and Chance Singer are speaking to the reporters outside the courthouse prior to the zoning hearing, Alfred Molina's normal British accent slips when he says "privacy".
- During the crime scene investigation at the beginning, the police make numerous procedural mistakes.
- First off, there is no sheet and/or tent to cover Vicky Deline's body. Being they are on a beach it would make sense to cover the body to protect it from any debris or sand disturbing the body.
- The sun is shining brightly, which would not help with preserving the body for the coroner.
- Why have the police only cordoned off a small area around the body? Being a crime scene and the fact that potential evidence could be found anywhere on the beach, it makes little sense why they wouldn't cordon off the entire beach or most of it from the public.
- When Monk and the others are talking to Peter Magneri for the first time, Magneri says, "Oh do I need a doctor's note? I got a clean bill of health from Saint Andrews less than three weeks ago. They checked me over head to toe - MRIs, x-rays, blood tests." When they are confronting Arlene Boras, a flashback to this scene happens, but Magneri's dialogue is not the same, as he instead says "I got a clean bill of Saint Andrews three weeks ago. They checked me for everything head to toe." Also, he's saying that as he's walking past Monk and Natalie, who are standing in a doorway, when he actually was saying it as he was entering the room.
- When Stottlemeyer and Disher are speeding through traffic with sirens wailing en route to grab Magneri at the courthouse, you can see an airport radar system on the left side of the screen in the front shot of their car. There are no tree-lined boulevards in San Francisco that run alongside the perimeter of San Francisco International Airport or any of the other Bay Area airports (SFO is also surrounded by water on the eastern side, and by rental car facilities and a highway on the west side. In fact, the shot was filmed in Los Angeles on Westchester Parkway, which runs on the north perimeter of LAX Airport.