[hide]*1 Plot synopsis
After a long and dangerous chase through the streets of San Francisco, Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher finally capture Miguel Escobar (Carlos Gómez), a drug lord who is the most wanted man in the United States. The arrest gains plenty of publicity for Stottlemeyer and Disher. However, a few months later, after the pretrial hearing, they are visited by FBI Special Agent Lapides (Michael Weaver), who has a letter for them from the United States Attorney General. The attorney general is ordering Stottlemeyer to transfer Escobar over to the feds. Stottlemeyer is reluctant, since the SFPD nailed him for a local homicide, but Lapides reminds Stottlemeyer that Escobar was wanted for murder and trafficking drugs into seven states. The federal appeal has been filed, so the feds will get to try him first. Stottlemeyer and Disher are to babysit Escobar until the extradition hearing, and drop him off at the local courthouse.
Elsewhere, Monk receives the news that he has been selected for jury duty. Although Monk protests that he works alone, Natalie thinks it will be good for him to work as a team. After an unsympathetic judge (Clyde Kusatsu) dismisses Monk's plea that he couldn't share a toilet with eleven other people, Monk finds himself sitting in on the case of a young man named Robert Perry, (Edo Walker) accused of stabbing a man named Karl Pillemer (Blake Silver) in the thigh, and then stealing the money he was carrying.
The other jurors are convinced of the accused's guilt, and all vote guilty, but Monk is the lone holdout. He's observed that there's an inconsistency between the stab wound and the hole in the victim's jeans, which shows that Pillemer was sitting, not standing (as he had claimed), when attacked. The wound, Monk figures, was self-inflicted and the knife placed in Perry's hand while he was sleeping so he could pocket the money himself. Several of the jury members change their vote, but Monk is distracted by a dog sniffing around a dumpster outside the window. Monk manages to call to Natalie, who is bringing him his lunch, to call Stottlemeyer and tell him there's a body in the dumpster. Disher finds the body of a woman with no I.D. but wearing orthopedic shoes, and Monk remembers her as a woman sitting in the assembly room when the jurors were being selected.
The following day, Monk shows the jurors the towel that Pillemer used to stem the bleeding from his thigh wound. The blood pattern is consistent with the towel having been neatly folded, even though he claimed to have picked it up off the floor. The other jurors are convinced, except for Juror No. 12, Pat (Emmanuelle Vaugier), who changes her vote to guilty before leaving for the bathroom. Monk finds traces of lyme on Juror No. 12's jacket, just as was used on the dumpster to hide the body.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Monk figures out that Juror No. 12 killed the old woman so as to get on a jury with the victim's identity. She's changed her vote because she wanted to delay the verdict and stay in the jury room.
However, none of the jurors, not even Monk, know that #12 is actually Miguel Escobar's girlfriend, and today is the day that Stottlemeyer and Disher will be transferring Escobar to the feds at the courthouse lobby.
Monk asks the other juror's to help him catch her out. When she returns, they all switch their votes to guilty, even Monk, to see her reaction. She reacts by producing a pistol, knocking the bailiff unconscious and leaving the jurors bound and gagged to their chairs. She draws the blind down, but leaves it uneven, which disturbs Monk.
Meanwhile, Escobar has been transferred over to the feds and as he is about to get on the courthouse elevator, his girlfriend comes over and quickly shoots the guards (to no effect, as they are wearing bulletproof vests). They then make their way up the elevator to the garbage chute.
Natalie, passing outside, sees the uneven blind at the jury room window and knows something must be wrong. She frees Monk and they phone Stottlemeyer. When Escobar and his lover come down the chute, they land in the garbage dumpster, and open the side door, only to run into Stottlemeyer and Disher and an assortment of waiting cops, who quickly take them back into custody.
Later, we see Monk introducing Natalie to the rest of his jurors.
Miguel Escobar is presumably named after Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord who was rather infamous for his drug trade, making him one of the most wanted and dangerous people in America, being referred to as the "founder" of Narco-terrorism.
- In this episode, Monk has difficulty saying the word "butt." However, in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office," he had no trouble saying "Caucasian buttocks."
- The subplot involving Miguel Escobar involves Escobar being transferred from local to federal custody. The local (state) and federal courts do not share courthouses in San Francisco, so there would have been no reason to make the transfer in the lobby of the local courthouse. The feds would have likely picked him up at the jail.
- Given that the proceeding would have ended in a mistrial, the evidence would have been needed for the new trial and would not have been left in the jury room unattended after the jurors were dismissed.
- It is surprising that none of the jurors, court guards or judge seem to recognize Monk at all. Given how often he participates in criminal cases (and has no doubt testified on the stand in several of the cases where he played a significant part in making the arrest), the judge and court officers at least should be familiar with him and his quirks.
- People with psychological disorders (like Obsessive compulsive disorder) would be very unlikely to end up on a jury. Also, Monk works for the police department, and as he technically works in the criminal justice system, this would render him exempt from being selected for jury duty.
- Though Wings Hauser is referred to in the script as Juror #10, he is actually #4 when seated at the jury table.
- A black safety pad is clearly seen in the dumpster under the garbage bags when Escobar and his girlfriend come down the garbage chute, with the level of garbage near the top. When they open the side of the dumpster and run into the waiting police, the level of garbage has dropped significantly and the pad has vanished.
- Natalie's only form of entrance into the juror room was by breaking of the handle. However, she only broke off the outside handle, but when they are seen leaving at the very end of the episode, the handle inside the room is also missing.
The episode contains one of the largest guest casts in the show's history; this is in part due to the casting of an entire jury. Carlos Gómez was cast in the role of Miguel Escobar, a wanted fugitive who was caught early in the episode. The jury included, in order of juror number, Bonita Friedericy, David Ackert, Carlease Burke, Wings Hauser, Bryan Coffee, Kimi Reichenberg, Benito Martinez, unknown, Van Epperson, Kevin Bernsten, Tony Shalhoub, and Emmanuelle Vaugier. Many of these guests would later go on to have larger roles in other shows, including Friedericy on Chuck and Vaugier on Covert Affairs.
This is writer Peter Wolk's second episode, after writing season three's "Mr. Monk Gets Fired" (3.04). Wolk, who previously worked as a criminal defense attorney, had also written courtroom episodes for the shows The Defenders and Fighting the Odds. The story was written by Wolk, along with Andy Breckman, Tom Scharpling, David Breckman, Joe Toplyn, Dan Dratch, and Hy Conrad over a week in 2005 in Summit, New Jersey. It is director Andrei Belgrader's fourth, after directing "Mr. Monk Gets Fired" (3.04), "Mr. Monk and the Kid" (3.16), and "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk" (4.05). The episode was filmed in Los Angeles, apart from the opening Chinatown chase scene, as Stottlemeyer and Disher chase Escobar up Jackson Street, which was shot on-location in November 2005 in San Francisco. Because of the opportunity to film on-location, the opening scene was re-written.
The jury subplot heavily parodies the classic film 12 Angry Men. These include a single initial "not guilty" vote and the same type of blade used to commit both crimes. Many jurors are parallels of those in 12 Angry Men, including Patel (David Ackert) and Juror #11 (George Voskovec), who are immigrants proud to be in America; Mr. Cobb (Wings Hauser) and Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb), who are each antagonists and the last to vote "not guilty" (interestingly, both the Monk character and the 12 Angry Men actor are both named Mr. Cobb); the sports fan juror (Kevin Bernsten) and Juror #7 (Jack Warden), who both make various baseball references; and Monk analogues Juror #8 (Henry Fonda), the lone initial "not guilty" votes. Additionally, the panning shot of the jury room was inspired by an identical shot toward the end of 12 Angry Men. Wolk wrote that the writing team watched the films 12 Angry Men and Jury Duty over the course of production.
Adam Finley of TVsquad.com called the episode "decent," but later went on to say "[Monk's] interaction between the rest of the jurors was hysterical."