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Monk Season 7
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Season 6 Season 8

Mr. Monk Fights City Hall is the seventh season finale of Monk.

PlotEdit

A demolition crew is preparing to level a parking garage in downdown San Francisco, to make way for a children's playground. But the workmen call a halt and tell the foreman that "some nut" has chained himself to a concrete post inside. The nut is Adrian Monk, who refuses to budge. He explains that his wife, Trudy, was murdered there, and there may still be evidence somewhere leading to her killer. Eileen Hill, a city councilwoman who led the effort to demolish the garage, approaches Monk and, sympathizing with his passion, agrees to halt the demolition and put the matter to a new vote before the council. Relieved, Monk unchains himself.

Days later, Monk is called to a murder scene. Two German tourists were killed on an isolated pier. Monk tries to focus on the case, but the new City Council vote on the garage demolition is happening later that day, and Monk can’t wait to get there. Despite his lack of concentration, Monk is able to deduce that the tourists were not killed for money, but for something they witnessed.

With Monk’s work at the crime scene done, he hurries off to City Hall, where he meets a newspaper reporter, Paul Crawford, who’s there covering Monk’s fight to save the garage. Monk also runs into his nemesis, Harold Krenshaw, who happens to be a member of the City Council. Fortunately for Monk, he doesn’t need Harold’s vote. Councilwoman Hill has assured Monk that she will vote to save the garage, which is enough to give Monk the majority he needs.

Then Monk gets some bad news. Councilwoman Hill is missing, and the vote on the garage measure is postponed. Monk is desperate to find her, as she is the key to saving the garage. He goes to the councilwoman’s office and talks to her secretary, Maria Schecter, whose extreme incompetence frustrates Monk. Monk learns that the councilwoman’s last meeting before she went missing was with the reporter, Paul Crawford.

Monk talks to Crawford, who admits to meeting with Eileen Hill before she disappeared. According to Crawford, there was nothing unusual about the councilwoman’s behavior, but he recommends talking to a hot dog vendor named George Gionopolis, "the Hot Dog Czar," who’s been holding a grudge against her. Monk follows up on Crawford’s suggestion, but the vendor appears to have nothing to do with the councilwoman’s disappearance. However, it is clear that he does have a grudge of sorts. Thanks to Eileen Hill, the hot dog vendors of the city have to change the water every other day, and they must put the word "meat" in quotes. Also, doctors have been unable to find out the source of Gionopolis's frequent "chest pains."

During his regular session with Dr. Bell, he can talk about nothing but the garage issue. Dr. Bell reminds Monk that he's regularly visited the garage every year since Trudy was killed, and asks him whether he truly believes that there is still undiscovered evidence there that may lead to Trudy's killer. Monk admits that he doesn't; to him, the place where Trudy died is a sacred place, that he can't bear to see destroyed. When Monk muses over the possible whereabouts of Councilwoman Hill, Dr. Bell mentions that he is familiar with the strain of the job, and inadvertently gives Monk a new plan to save the garage.

Monk goes to the councilwoman’s assistant, Maria, and convinces her to vote as Hill's proxy, as Maria is allowed to do under the city’s bylaws. He does so in a variety of ways, including waving the flowers about and sitting on her desk, hesitating to pay $3 for her hot dog, meeting the vendor again and saying "It's a pleasure to see you again" while making quotations marks with his "fingers", Monk promising not to tell the receptionist's child (20 years later) that she ate "hot dogs" during her pregnancy, Monk asserting that the kids don't need a playground -- they could use their imagination and play in the garage, etc.

Monk also learns an interesting fact: the councilwoman had a second apartment that the authorities don’t know about.

Monk and Natalie go to the apartment, which was obviously some sort of love nest. While snooping around, Natalie finds a home pregnancy test that has come up positive. If the councilwoman was having an affair and got pregnant, perhaps her lover is responsible for her disappearance. But with whom was she having the affair?

Unfortunately, any answers won’t be coming from the councilwoman, as her dead body has washed up in waters not far from where the German tourists were found, indicating that's where the killer dumped her. The councilwoman was strangled with a necktie before she was dropped in the water, and in a strange development, medical tests show that the councilwoman was not pregnant. There’s a lot to sort out, but Monk is more concerned about the latest City Council vote on the garage issue, which is about to take place.

Monk rushes to City Hall and hows Maria a photocopy of a journal that was found with Councilwoman Hill’s body in which the councilwoman writes of her intentions to vote in favor of keeping the garage. Based on this, Maria casts the deciding vote in favor of keeping the garage.

After the vote, Monk is in a celebratory mood, and he invites everyone out for drinks. Because she’s pregnant and can’t drink alcohol, Maria declines. This reminds Monk of an earlier conversation he had with the reporter, Paul Crawford. When Crawford was asked if the councilwoman had been drinking when he met with her, he said, “She wouldn’t be drinking now.” It was a strange way to answer the question, and now, after Maria’s response to Monk’s invitation, Monk knows why Crawford responded that way. Crawford thought that the councilwoman was pregnant.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Crawford, who is married, was having an illicit affair with the councilwoman. Hill was trying to persuade Crawford to leave his wife, and decided to give him an extra "push" by deceiving him into thinking she was pregnant with his child. To carry out this deception, Hill hired Maria, took her urine under the pretense of a drug test, and used the urine to trigger a positive result on a pregnancy test. Monk insists that this is the only explanation that makes sense, given Maria's spectacular incompetence as an assistant.

Hill showed the test to Crawford, but the plan backfired; instead of leaving his wife, Crawford killed Hill to conceal the affair. The German tourists must have witnessed Crawford dumping the councilwoman’s body off the pier, and they had to die, too.

The final piece of evidence is the necktie Crawford is wearing, which is the same, custom-made style as was used to strangle Councilwoman Hill. Crawford is arrested, but Maria, insulted by Monk's summation, decides to change her position, and Harold gleefully calls for another vote. To add insult to injury, a slip from Natalie has allowed Harold to learn the name of Monk's new therapist, about whom Monk has been bragging, and Harold announces that he looks forward to seeing Monk "in the waiting room."

In a repeat of the opening scene, the construction crew is about to demolish the garage, but are forced to wait a few moments while Monk says an emotional farewell to the garage. As Natalie leads him out, they pass a sign declaring the future site of "The Trudy Monk Memorial Playground," indicating that Monk's fight to preserve the memory of his beloved wife wasn't completely in vain.

Background Information and NotesEdit

  • Similar to Season Six's "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa," the promotional spots for this episode suggested that Monk would discover more clues about Trudy's murder, but the episode disappointed that promise.
  • Monk and Eileen Hill say several times that he is opposed to tearing down the garage becasue Trudy died there but Trudy actually died at the hospital, living just long enough to say "Bread and Butter" to Monk. 
  • When Monk and Natalie run into Harold coming out of the elevator, Harold tells Monk that he will change his vote in Monk's favor in exchange for the name of his therapist. However, during "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized" Monk tells Harold Dr. Bell's name when they meet at the scene of Sally Larkin's abandoned car. Answer: 'Harold was seeing Dr. Climan, a hypnotist. And since no one's memory is perfect, Harold might not recollect this encounter with Monk.

QuotesEdit

Hell no, we won't go!

-Monk's chant when he was chained to a post in the parking garage.


Dr. Bell: You're standing up. Why don't you just sit down?

Adrian Monk: I think you're a genius.

Dr. Bell: Okay you can stand.

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