|Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show|
|Monk Season 4|
|Season 3||Season 5|
In the men's department of a clothing store, Adrian Monk has a problem: he can't find his shirts. When the attendant is confused, an exasperated Natalie explains: not only does Monk only buy one make and model of shirt, he only buys those passed at the factory by "Inspector # 8." After an exhaustive search, the attendant locates some #8s, but Monk says something must be wrong. The shirts she has approved are not up to her usual standards.
Unable to focus on anything else, Monk and Natalie track down Inspector #8, Maria Ortiz, at the factory. She recognizes his name from the fan letter he once wrote her, and begs for his help. Her son, Pablo, has been arrested for murder, and she has been unable to concentrate on anything except prayers for him.
Monk reviews the case, and doubts that any mistake has been made. Pablo was a delivery boy, and one year ago, after a fashion show, he was accused of murdering fashion model Clea Vance. After Clea was found dead, her roommate, fellow model Natasia Zorelle called police to tell them Pablo had been stalking Clea. The clincher is, Pablo was definitely linked to the murder scene by DNA evidence.
Monk and Natalie interview Pablo in prison. He admits to making some deliveries to Clea Vance's apartment, but swears that he never met her, much less killed her. As they are leaving, Monk is still unsure, but notices something wrong: the killer took a circuitous route out of the crime scene to avoid leaving through an emergency exit door – but Pablo, who reads almost no English, couldn't have known that an alarm would sound if he'd opened that door.
Monk and Natalie reexamine the forensic evidence, while the forensics technician, Howard "Gordo" Gordon, assures them that it's a "slam dunk" – Pablo's DNA definitely matches hair samples found at the crime scene, and on the victim's body.Gordo mentions that DNA doesn't lie, which is inaccurate as in twins can have identical DNA. He mentions that he is also retiring at the end of the week, and Captain Stottlemeyer becomes suspicious, especially since Gordo is 46 years of age. Gordo claims that he's been investing in real estate. When Monk mentions that he and Natalie are next going to question Natasia Zorelle, Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher are intrigued and decide to tag along.
They head down to a fashion house, and meet renowned fashion designer Julian Hodge. Monk strikes up an unexpected familiarity with Hodge, who, despite all their other differences, shares the detective's obsessive eye for detail (he also is probably germaphobic, as he asks for a wipe at one point).
Hodge takes an instant dislike to Natalie (and vice-versa), but takes an immediate interest in Julie, who happens to be tagging along, when they go to the beach to question Natasia. Despite her youth, he asks her if she would be interested in appearing in one of his shows. When questioning Natasia alone, Monk pokes several holes in the story about Clea Vance's stalker.
Ecstatic, Julie begs her mother to agree, and she does, despite the holes Monk has found in Natasia Zorelle's story, which are making him begin to suspect that perhaps the killer might actually be Hodge himself.
Elsewhere, Hodge shows up at Natasia's apartment. Curiously, he's not smoking a cigar, and he says that he's not smoking because he doesn't want the police to know that he's been at Natasia's house. He tells her that, though no fault of her own, she has to "go."
The next morning, she is found dead of an apparent sleeping pill overdose. Gordo, on the scene, says suicide is the most likely verdict, but Monk quickly proves otherwise - although the victim's fingerprints are the only set on the glass, she's also wearing lipstick, but there is no lipstick on the glass. It becomes clear to him that he's made someone nervous.
Monk and Natalie accompany Julie to the dress rehearsal for Hodge's next show. While she is trying on clothes, Hodge suddenly throws a fit, saying that it's his "thing" that any woman who wears his clothes has to wear them perfectly and straight. Monk suddenly realizes what was wrong with the crime scene photos from the Clea Vance murder: she tumbled to the floor and landed in a contorted position, but her collar is straightened out. He figures that Hodge killed her and then took the time to straighten the collar out, as he couldn't help himself. Natalie rushes onstage and marches Julie off immediately. When Hodge asks Monk for an answer as to what is happening, Monk tells him that he's just told Julie that a year ago, Hodge killed Clea Vance, and that's he suspecting he probably also killed Natasia Zorelle the night before.
When Monk mentions the straightened out buttons and Hodge's obsession with perfect outfits, Hodge scoffs, saying that straightened-out clothes are not proof of anything.
Later, Gordo meets Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher in the room where Clea Vance was killed. Monk explains that there had been a fashion show upstairs a year ago, and Clea Vance showed up drunk, so drunk that according to Julian Hodge, she nearly "ruined" his show. He was so furious that he followed her down to this room, argued, and he lost control, and beat her to death. As for the evidence, he somehow managed to frame Pablo Ortiz for the crime. They continue to explain that they've just found some new hairs in an out-of-the-way corner behind a radiator, as there was a health inspection the day before and a notice fell back there during the fight. The three know that they can't be from the victim as Clea Vance had long hair.
Gordo takes the samples to the lab, while Monk hopes that these hairs will identify someone other than Pablo.
The night of the show, Natalie looks around the house and finds that Julie has run away to appear. She and Monk force their way into the show, and Natalie boldly marches on stage to confront her daughter. Julie, feeling ashamed of herself, apologizes and they dismount the stage together.
During the after-show party, Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher confront Hodge, who pretends innocence. Gordo arrives and says that the new hairs definitely belong to Pablo Ortiz. At that, Stottlemeyer promptly tells Gordo that he is likewise under arrest for being an accesory to murder and for falsifying evidence. Gordo also pretends innocence, but Stottlemeyer reveals that they've done a background check on Gordo; it turns out that while he did make a lot of money in the past year, it did not come from real estate investments. Monk explains where that money actually came from.
Here's What HappenedEdit
A year earlier, after Clea Vance was killed, Gordo was one of those who did the forensics work in the investigation. Analyzing the DNA, he found that the DNA at the crime scene belonged to Julian Hodge. However, instead of doing his job, he decided to cash in. He approached Hodge in secret and solicited an offer: for a price, he'd bury any evidence that could incriminate Hodge. The only problem was, they needed a fall guy to pin the guilt on, as Gordo had to close the case. Hodge remembered Pablo Ortiz, a sometime delivery boy to Clea Vance's apartment. Hodge got Natasia Zorelle to help him. He paid her off as well, and she called the police and accused Pablo of stalking her roommate. The police arrested Pablo, took hair and blood samples from him, and sent them to Gordo. The rest was easy: all Gordo had to do was switch out the labels on the tubes containing the samples.
The proof? Those hairs, which, less than five minutes ago, Gordo swore belonged to Pablo, were actually Monk's. The police planted the hair, knowing full well that Gordo wouldn't actually test them.
Both men are arrested. Hodge makes one last spiteful remark about Natalie's dress sense, and she delights in describing his new wardrobe options in prison ("I hope you like orange").
Outside the county jail, Monk and Natalie watch as Pablo is released and tearfully reunites with his mother.