|Monk Season 5|
|Season 4||Season 6|
Dr. Jay Bennett is enjoying a moonlight cruise with his mistress, married schoolteacher Anna Pollard. But she tells him that she's breaking off their affair, and she has decided to try and reconcile with her husband. Bennett objects angrily, and she assures him that she hasn't told anyone about the affair. Bennett is satisfied to hear this, and when her back is turned, he strikes a killing blow over her head, then loads her body into a trunk and dumps the trunk overboard.
Meanwhile, Natalie Teeger approaches her boss, Adrian Monk, with a bold proposal: that he go into business for himself as a private investigator. She points out that detectives with a fraction of his skill are earning huge amounts of money. For inspiration, she points to her grandfather, Neville Davenport, a humble chemist who quit his job, started his own business, and founded what became the Davenport Toothpaste empire. It's the third largest company in the world after Colgate and Crest.
Monk says that "risk" is near the top of his list of fears, but Natalie has already taken the first step: using a bonus from one of his latest big cases, she has leased office space and taken out ads in the newspaper, the phone books, and on the Web. With her cajoling, Monk agrees to occupy the office for a few days.
Meanwhile, Captain Stottlemeyer is on the Make-a-Date.net looking for the best dates, for the first time since he divorced. His search is very unsuccessful, and is interrupted when Lieutenant Disher walks in with an update on the Anna Pollard case, which for now is a missing persons case. Stottlemeyer has to use his jacket to conceal his computer screen (claiming it's "confidential work") while Randy reveals that the victim and her husband were on the rock. Stottlemeyer prepares to head out to talk to the husband, unwittingly exposing the website he was slacking off on when he grabs his coat. He is mortified when Randy tells him he said he liked Bossanova on his profile.
After two days, the phone has not rung once at Monk and Natalie's office, boring Monk to the point that he actually calls Natalie's desk phone to amuse himself. He is about to say, "I told you so," but then their first client walks in: realtor Linda Fusco, who wants Monk to find out who hit her car while it was parked at the marina. Monk couldn't be more humiliated, taking a fender-bender case, but Natalie pushes him to accept, saying it will lead to better things.
The only clue to the driver's identity is a hastily-scribbled, unsigned note left on Linda's windshield. Looking around the marina, Monk's observations lead them to question Captain Bill Gibbard, a charter boat captain who keeps late hours. When questioned, Gibbard denies seeing anything, and Monk feels the absence of Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher: without police backup, Monk has no authority to make anyone talk.
Stottlemeyer and Disher drop by Monk's new office, asking for his take on the disappearance of Anna Pollard. Among other clues, her husband has now admitted that he thinks she was having an affair, though he doesn't know with whom. To Monk's embarrassment, Linda drops by with the bill for the damage to her car, revealing the nature of the "big case" Natalie has been talking up to the Captain. But sparks instantly fly between Stottlemeyer and Linda, and, recognizing him as a recent divorcé, coquettishly invites him to look at a few vacant apartments she has listed. He happily accepts, leaving Randy behind. Catching sight of the note from the windshield, he recognizes the torn-off lettering on the other side as being from a bar he frequents.
Going to the bar, Monk questions the owner, who puts him off, and, when Monk refuses to stop asking questions, punches him in the gut and ejects him from the bar, another graphic illustration of Monk's disadvantages as a private eye. But as Natalie is helping him out, a sympathetic waitress follows them outside and identifies the handwriting as belonging to Jay Bennett, who happens to be a regular patron.
Monk and Natalie question Bennett in the parking lot of his office, where Monk notices his car has a broken headlight. At first, Bennett thinks that they've caught him, but he soon realizes that Monk only knows about the fender bender and knows nothing about his involvement with Anna Pollard. That night, he goes back to the marina and questions Gibbard, whom he apparently bribed to stay silent. Gibbard says he now wants more money, since a detective is asking around, but Bennett waits for him to turn his back, then hits him over the head and drowns him in the water underneath the pier.
Linda shows Stottlemeyer her pick for his new apartment. He comments that it feels a little cramped, but she says the benefits include friendly neighbors - and a balcony with a view to her own apartment.
The next day, Natalie and Monk return to the marina to examine Bennett's cabin cruiser. Monk is terrified of boats, but Natalie pushes him to sneak aboard and search, promising to keep watch for Bennett. However, only a few minutes after Monk is aboard, Natalie notices Gibbard's dog barking, and goes to comfort him. Out of her eyesight, Bennett boards his boat.
Just as Natalie spots Gibbard's corpse floating under the pier and realizes they've stumbled onto something much more sinister than a fender-bender, the boat starts up and pulls away from the dock. She calls Stottlemeyer in a panic, while he is signing his new lease with Linda.
Aboard the boat, Monk has found a flip-flop, matching the one that Anna Pollard's husband said she was wearing on the night she disappeared. But before he can escape the boat, it leaves the dock.
Stottlemeyer and Linda meet Disher at the pier and Natalie fills them in. Stottlemeyer recognizes Bennett's name from Anna Pollard's phone records, and solves the case: Pollard was Bennett's mistress, and he killed her and dumped her body in the bay the same night he hit Linda's car in the parking lot. He left the note since Gibbard had seen him hit the car, but couldn't leave his name on the note and admit that he'd been at the marina.
When the Coast Guard says it will take too long to get a cutter on the scene, Linda offers the use of her own boat.
Aboard his boat, Bennett orders Monk to the stern at the point of a spear gun. He prepares to kill Monk, but the boat hits a wave, knocking them both to the deck. Monk crawls around the edge of the boat, then quickly consults a "swimming fundamentals" card he keeps in his wallet, before jumping overboard. He floats in the Bay for a few agonizing minutes, before Linda's boat catches sight of him.
Shivering and wrapped in a blanket, Monk mumbles a crucial clue to Stottlemeyer: he noticed kelp wrapped around Bennett's anchor and around Gibbard's anchor, indicating the part of the Bay where he dumped Anna's body. Disher calls for a team of divers, and a Coast Guard cutter moves in to intercept Bennett, while Natalie apologizes repeatedly to Monk for the fiasco her business idea turned out to be. For all his brilliance as a detective, Monk just isn't cut out to be a private investigator.
A few days later, Stottlemeyer moves his things into his new apartment. When he breaks some plates, the phone rings, and he finds Linda on the other end, giving him a flirtatious wave from her own balcony across the street.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- First appearance of Linda Fusco.
- Stottlemeyer's first date since his divorce in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage."
- The episode was directed by Peter Weller, who had a brief cameo appearance in a prior episode, "Mr. Monk and the Actor." Weller is also cousins with Fred Weller, who plays Jay Bennett.
- Fred Weller is the third "guy" from Monk to later land a starring role on another USA series, after Paul Ben Victor (Al Nicoletto from "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk"), who went on to star with Weller on In Plain Sight, and Jeffrey Donovan from "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut," who went on to star on Burn Notice.