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Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized

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Monk Season 7
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Season 6 Season 8

Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized is the eighth episode of the seventh season of Monk.

PlotEdit

On a rainy night in the Bay Area, actress Sally Larkin (Dina Meyer) is trying to sell her jewelry at a small, mom-and-pop jewelry store. The owners frankly tell her that the jewelry is a little too valuable for their regular clientele, so it may take some time for them to find a buyer. Sally looks out the window, confiding that she is afraid her husband is following her. When she leaves, the elderly owner's wife excitedly shows her husband a tabloid newspaper, identifying Sally Larkin. They know her. She's been going through a bitter divorce with her husband, real-estate mogul Aaron Larkin. Seconds later, the store owners hear a scream and a car alarm blaring. They rush outside and see Sally's car abandoned, and no sign of her except a torn piece of clothing.

At the crime scene the next day, Adrian Monk is absorbed with the crime scene, baffled when Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are all captivated by a rare and beautiful double rainbow in the sky after the storm. Monk's mood is not improved when an uncharacteristically upbeat Harold Krenshaw shows up. It turns out that Harold’s been seeing a hypnotist, a Dr. Lawrence Climan, and it appears to be working. Monk, envious of Harold’s progress, takes Dr. Climan’s business card.

Later, Monk and the gang go to Aaron Larkin’s lavish estate to interview the billionaire, who is the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. As they enter Aaron’s home, Disher passes out pieces of homemade diet blueberry chewing gum, made from a kit he ordered on the Internet. Stottlemeyer tries a piece and immediately spits it out on the floor.

During questioning, Aaron admits his animosity toward his soon-to-be-ex-wife, but he insists he had nothing to do with the abduction. Monk can barely concentrate on the case – all he can think about is Harold Krenshaw and how happy he was. That night, he breaks down and makes an appointment with the hypnotist without telling anybody.

After his secret visit to Dr. Climan, Monk shows up the next day to join a search party for Sally Larkin. Monk is acting strangely. All he wants to do is run around and climb trees. Natalie is confused, and when Monk picks up a frog and names it Hoppy, she knows something is drastically wrong. The hypnotist has apparently regressed Monk to the mental state of a seven-year-old child.

Later, at Aaron Larkin’s plush office, Monk – despite his bizarre behavior – gets Aaron to admit to a secret affair with his secretary. The secretary is embarrassed, but the revelation allows her to admit freely that she was with Aaron the night Sally disappeared. With a solid alibi, Aaron seems to be in the clear.

Later that night, there’s another twist in the case. A woman comes tearing through some nearby woods onto a dark mountain road. It’s Sally Larkin! She’s alive, but she looks terrified. She waves down a car for help.

Sally tells her story at police headquarters. She claims her crazed husband abducted her and kept her prisoner in a remote cabin for days until she was finally able to slip free of her restraints, fight back against her husband, killing him in the process, and escape.

Monk is present at the questioning, and he’s still behaving like a child. When Monk takes a piece of gum off of the bottom of Sally Larkin’s shoe and pops it into his mouth, a fed-up Stottlemeyer kicks him out of the room. Monk argues that he’s solved the case, but no one’s listening. Monk throws a full-blown tantrum and runs away.

As Monk wanders through the city, several people angrily tell him to act his age, and he realizes that he is not a child. He has further doubts about the hypnosis treatment when he passes Harold, whose new happiness has induced him to strip naked in public, where he is being arrested for indecent exposure.

Stottlemeyer and Disher drop Sally Larkin off at home, encouraging her to take the next few days easy, to get over the trauma of her experience. In a shaky voice, Sally thanks them - but as soon as she shuts the door on them, her face broadens in a gleeful smile, and she grabs a bottle of champagne from the kitchen. Before she can open it, she notices Monk in her backyard.

Driving away from the Larkin estate, Stottlemeyer and Disher see the lid to Hoppy's shoebox on the roadside, realizing that Monk has gone back there.

Sally finds him, and treats him like a lost little boy, before he informs her that he's back to normal, and he's figured out the truth.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Sally had never been kidnapped; she faked her own disappearance so that she could murder her husband and inherit his entire estate (whereas going through with the divorce would have left her bound by the terms of their prenuptial agreement).

To commit the murder, Sally first had to make it seem as if her husband was stalking her, hence the trip to the jewelry store. After leaving the store, she cut a piece of her coat off and placed it in her car, and planted evidence to make it look like she was abducted, then she screamed loudly and activated the panic alarm, hurrying away before the store owners could get to the car.

Sally did spend three days in the cabin, but she wasn't a prisoner. She was actually hiding out, waiting ever so patiently for the opportunity. She sat down on a mattress, and shackled her own legs to give herself authentic "bruises," and she starved herself, although she did drink water to keep herself hydrated.

Three nights later, Sally snuck into her house, armed with a floorboard and a rug she'd taken from the cabin. She then hid in waiting.  When her husband came home, he noticed the new rug on the floor, but he had only seconds to wonder where it came from before Sally crept up and bludgeoned him with the board. She then rolled Aaron's body up in the rug and drove it back to the cabin, artfully arranging the scene to fit "her greatest performance ever": a terrorized woman who managed to turn the tables on her abductor and escape. Then she stopped the first car that came along in order to pretend to reappear.

Sally says there is no proof, but Monk reveals she made a mistake: when he and the others came by the house to question Aaron the day after Sally vanished, Randy passed out pieces of his own homemade Disher Mint chewing gum. Monk recalls that Stottlemeyer had trouble chewing his piece (due to there being too much citric acid in it) and ended up spitting it out.  It landed on a floor vent. After committing the murder, Sally accidentally stepped the heel of her shoe on the same piece of gum, while she was rolling her husband's body up in the rug. It suddenly explains some of Monk's hypnotic accusations at Sally while at the police station: he still knew who he was deep down, and knew that he had seen the gum on her shoe before.

Monk triumphantly pulls it out of his mouth, but then realizes where that piece of gum - that he's been chewing for half a day - was before (first in Stottlemeyer's mouth, then on Sally Larkin's shoe), and flings it away in disgust. Sally lunges for it, and a struggle ensues. Monk regains hold of the gum, and Sally, half-crazed, grabs a paddle from a wooden dinghy and raises it to bash Monk's brains out - a highly embarrassing posture to be caught in when Stottlemeyer and Disher return, looking for Monk. Sally is disarmed and arrested. Monk hands Randy the gum and says he'll explain later, but first he has to run home and gargle for about five hours. Stottlemeyer breathes a sigh of relief, knowing that Monk is back.

The next morning, in Monk's house, Natalie is standing in front of an open fridge, while Monk is eating his usual breakfast. She says she can make him some pancakes, with the syrup he likes, but he refuses. She mumbles 'They grow up so fast' and Monk gets confused. Natalie exclaims happily, and looks out the window. She says there is a mama bird with three baby birds, outside. Monk says he'll call an exterminator, and Natalie runs off to get her camera because the mama is feeding them. Monk walks over to put his plate in the sink, and glances out the window. He walks away, saying to himself 'I don't get it..', and leaves the room.

Background Information and NotesEdit

  • Thematically, this episode is very similar to Season Three's "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine." Both have Monk trying to solve a crime while taking or doing something that messes with his personality.
  • Sally Larkin is said to have been found in a cabin in Sonoma County, which is almost 70 miles north of San Francisco, well out of the SFPD's jurisdiction (meaning that you would only see local police cars and no SFPD cruisers anywhere at such a crime scene, although SFPD detectives might be sent up to liaise). How did she get from San Francisco up to a cabin in the woods 70 miles north of the city? Sally obviously could not have driven since she abandoned her car in the strip mall parking lot. This is never explained to the viewers, but there are several likely possibilities. One possibility is that she could have hitchhiked her way up north, though this would not explain how she'd be able to get back to her house in San Francisco, kill her husband, and then take his body back to the cabin to dump it without being seen. Furthermore, Sally would have blown her plan right open hitchhiking because the motorist might remember her and call the police upon seeing an article about the "abduction". This also means Sally could not have taken one of the Golden Gate Transit bus routes that would run from San Francisco to Sonoma County. If anything, the most likely conclusion is that after Sally abandons her own sports car at the strip mall, she sneaks back to her house somehow (either by taxi or hitchhiking), steals one of her husband's cars, and drives that car to the cabin and back. This would be most plausible since someone would have thought it suspicious if Aaron Larkin's body was found in the cabin but his car wasn't present nearby at all.
  • It seems odd that Monk never thought it suspicious that there were no signs of a fight around Sally's car. But then again, even if there were any signs of a fight, it is possible that said evidence was ruined by the rain.
  • The rainbow seen the morning after the "abduction" has incorrect color patterns. Also, its position in relations to Natalie's shadow is incorrect.
  • Richard Schiff, who plays the hypnotist Dr. Climan, is one of two actors from The West Wing to guest star on Monk, the other being Bradley Whitford (in "Mr. Monk on Wheels").
  • There is an obvious stunt double during Monk's struggle with Sally Larkin for the incriminating piece of chewing gum. The double is clearly younger, tanner, and possibly wearing a wig in order to emulate Tony Shalhoub's hair.

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