|Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show|
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
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 Teeger 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.
Monk becomes unable to focus on anything else, even his next murder case. He is able to focus long enough to peg the victim's wife as the killer.
Later, 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 her prayers for him. He was a delivery boy. About a year ago, after a local fashion show, a fashion model named Clea Vance was found beaten to death. Shortly afterwards, her roommate, Natasia Zorelle, called the police and accused Pablo of stalking the victim. The clincher is that the police found a lot of forensic evidence that placed Pablo at the crime scene.
Monk reviews the case file and is skeptical that any mistake has been made. Nonetheless, having some faith in Pablo, Monk and Natalie interview him in prison. He admits to making deliveries to Clea Vance's apartment but swears that he never met her, much less killed her. However, Monk notes to Pablo that Natasia testified in court that Pablo was stalking her. As they are leaving, Monk is still unsure, but notices something that casts doubt on Pablo's guilt: there is an emergency exit door in the upper left corner of one crime scene photo of the victim's body with a sign that reads "Do Not Open - Alarm Will Sound". Monk realizes that, to avoid setting off the alarm, the killer had to take a circuitous route to leave the room, but Pablo, who is illiterate in English, couldn't have known that an alarm would sound if he'd opened that door.
Monk and Natalie reexamine the forensic evidence at the crime lab with Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher while the forensics technician who handled the evidence from the investigation, 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. He mentions that he is also retiring at the end of the week and Stottlemeyer becomes suspicious, especially when he learns that Gordo is 46 years old. Gordo claims that he's been investing in real estate. Monk and Natalie, realizing that they aren't going to get help from Stottlemeyer and Disher, give up, and go off to question Natasia Zorelle. At the mention of Natasia's name, Stottlemeyer and Disher are piqued and they decide to tag along out of curiosity.
Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher 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 is also germaphobic, as he asks for a wipe at one point).
Hodge takes an instant dislike to Natalie (and vice-versa). When he insults her about her blouse, an exasperated Natalie immediately believes Hodge is the killer. Interestingly, Hodge 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 - namely, the fact that Pablo never made any phone calls or emails to her.
Ecstatic, Julie begs her mother to agree, and Natalie reluctantly does, despite the holes Monk has found in Natasia Zorelle's story, which are making him begin to suspect Hodge.
That night, Hodge shows up at Natasia's house. She isn't surprised to see him after Monk's questioning of her at the beach, though Hodge is pretty sure that the police don't know about their secret. She is concerned when she notices that he isn't smoking. Hodge admits that he's not smoking because cigarettes can leave a very noticeable odor, and he doesn't want the police to know that he's been here. He tells her that, through no fault of her own, because Monk is on to him, she has to "go."
The next morning, Natasia is found dead, Hodge having killed her and disguised her death as an apparent sleeping pill overdose. Gordo, on the scene, says suicide is the most likely cause of death. He figures that Natasia must have gotten depressed with all the memories about the murder coming back up, but Monk quickly proves otherwise: although Natasia's fingerprints are the only set that have been lifted from the drinking glass that was in her hand when they found her, she is also wearing lipstick, but there is no lipstick impression on the edge of the glass, meaning somebody else wiped the glass clean of his own fingerprints, then put it back in the victim's hand. 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. Prior to rehearsal, Hodge brings up Natasia's death and assures everyone that they will be dedicating the show to her memory. While Julie is trying on clothes, Hodge, who happens to be short-tempered, suddenly throws a big fit, saying that it's his "thing" that any woman who wears his clothes has to wear them perfectly and straight. Seeing Hodge obsessing over the neatness, Monk suddenly realizes another detail that has been bothering him about the crime scene photo: when Clea Vance was killed, her body landed with her limbs all in a contorted position, yet the buttons on her collar are all straightened out. He realizes that Hodge killed her, and then took the time to straighten out her collar, unable to resist the urge.
Natalie rushes onstage and marches Julie off immediately. When Hodge asks Monk for an answer as to what is happening, Monk accuses him of killing Clea Vance and Natasia Zorelle. When Monk points out the first victim's straightened out buttons and Hodge's obsession with perfect outfits, Hodge scoffs, saying that straightened-out clothes are not proof of anything.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Later, Gordo meets Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher in the room where Clea Vance was killed. Monk explains that there had been a fashion show in the building a year ago, and Clea showed up drunk - Monk remembers that when they were talking to Hodge at the fashion house, he mentioned that Clea showed up wasted and nearly "ruined" his show. He was so infuriated he confronted her, and in a fit of rage, beat her to death. Then, somehow, he managed to frame Pablo Ortiz for the crime. They reveal 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 the murder and a notice fell back behind the radiator during the fight. Because Clea Vance had long hair, they know the hairs cannot be from her. Gordo takes the samples to the lab, while Monk hopes that these new hairs will be enough to incriminate Hodge.
The night of the current 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 Julie. 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 confirms under oath that the hairs belong to Pablo Ortiz. Stottlemeyer promptly tells Gordo that he is likewise under arrest on charges of accesory to murder and falsifying evidence. Gordo also pretends innocence, until Stottlemeyer reveals that the clue that tipped them off to him was a background check: 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 that he knows where that money really came from.
Here's What Happened (2)Edit
When Clea Vance was killed, Gordo was the technician who did the forensics work on the investigation, which meant that he was one of those who handled trace evidence, which included the steps of logging it and running it through a computer. When the killer's DNA samples came through, he ran them and the DNA matched perfectly for Hodge's DNA. However, instead of doing his job, Gordo decided that he could make some quick money. He approached Hodge in secret and solicited an offer: for a price, he'd bury any evidence that could incriminate Hodge. Gordo's thinking was spot on: Hodge knew he was trapped, and with all of the overwhelming evidence against him, he had no choice but to accept.
Although Gordo had agreed to bury the evidence incriminating Hodge, he still needed someone who could easily take the fall for the murder. Hodge remembered Pablo Ortiz, a sometime delivery boy to Clea Vance's apartment. Hodge seduced or hired 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. All Gordo had to do from here was stick the labels from Pablo's blood samples onto Hodge's blood samples. Once this happened, Pablo didn't stand a chance.
Gordo says they have no proof, only for Monk to reveal that in fact the hairs he gave Gordo - the hairs that Gordo swore belonged to Pablo - were actually his own. He planted them at the crime scene, aware that Gordo was never going to test them.
Hodge and Gordo are arrested. As he's led away in handcuffs, 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.