|Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert|
August 25, 2006
Daniel Dratch and Michael Nankin
|Monk Season 5|
|Season 4||Season 6|
"Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of Monk, and the 69th episode overall. The episode guest-stars Brad Hunt, Tamara Feldman (notable for her role in the movie Hatchet) and the bands Novillero, Munkafust and Trusty.
Monk and Natalie are sidetracked into investigating a roadie's murder when they visit a music festival to search for Stottlemeyer's son Jared.
Late at night, as the stage is set up for the San Francisco Band Jam music festival, Greg "Stork" Murray, a roadie with the band Trafalgar, makes his way across the grounds to the trailer of Trafalgar's vocalist, Kris Kedder. Stork bangs a few times on the door, and then turns to see Kedder approaching him. Stork promptly produces an advance copy of Trafalgar's latest CD he admits to receiving from a friend. Kedder claims that the cover art was his idea, and Stork quickly accuses him of ripping him off and stealing the copyright to his song "Peggy's Gone to Memphis". Kedder tries to bribe Stork $5,000 to forget the whole matter, but Stork proves to be incorruptible. As Kedder leads him to a secluded area out of sight from the public, Stork warns him that he won't be getting away this time - he's written copies of the sheet music for his song and sent them to himself by registered mail. Kedder thinks Stork is bluffing, but realizes he isn't when Stork pulls out a cell phone and starts to dial a copyright lawyer. Kedder promptly grabs a beer bottle and smashes it over Stork's head. As Stork lies on the ground dying, Kedder takes a shot from his asthma inhaler, and looks around to make sure nobody is watching him.
The next morning, Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger show up at the police station, looking for Captain Stottlemeyer. Natalie shows him a $34 drycleaning bill for the shirt and jacket Monk ruined during his previous case. Stottlemeyer gives Natalie the brush-off, but she insists that as the bill is a work-related expense, she and Monk are entitled to reimbursement. He tells them that while he thinks they deserve every dime they can get, he can't do anything about it, as Lieutenant Disher is the disbursement coordinator. Unfortunately, Randy hasn't showed up at work today, as he called in sick with the flu. Stottlemeyer refers Natalie to the assistant disbursement coordinator, but when she asks who that person would be, he merely points out that they don't have anyone in that position.
Just then, Stottlemeyer gets a call from his ex-wife. When he hangs up, he mentions to Monk and Natalie that his son Jared has skipped school and might be at a rock show that is in town this week. He prepares to head up to the grounds to go look for Jared. Natalie offers to help out, and Stottlemeyer accepts. Monk also offers to help, but only when they arrive does he realize he just misinterpreted the phrase "rock show" as "geology exhibit". Stottlemeyer is complaining about how he'll miss an entire day of work trying to locate Jared. Monk immediately wants to head back to civilization, but with them having come in the captain's car, he is forced to wait in the parking lot.
Natalie and Stottlemeyer enter the grounds, and provide a very old photo of Jared to the security guard at the main entrance. The official provides them backstage passes to allow them to search the entire grounds. They make their way through the crowd. Stottlemeyer imagines that he is having a conversation with Natalie, even asking her if she thinks he's avoiding Jared on purpose because he feels guilty about the divorce and the fact that he's dating Linda Fusco, but Natalie doesn't give a reply, and they split up.
In the parking lot, Monk attempts to control a couple of rowdy tailgate parties that have sprung up around him with no success, and he realizes that his attempts are hopeless. When a couple starts making out on the hood of Stottlemeyer's car, Monk is disgusted and decides to head home. He speaks to the head security guard (the very one we saw Natalie and Stottlemeyer talk to earlier), who directs him towards the payphones. As Monk makes his way through the crowd, constantly unsure if he's going the right way, he gets hit in the face by a blue beach-ball. He swats it to over to another girl, and continues through the crowd, only to get hit by the boomerang ball for a second time. Monk gets frustrated with the thrower, so much so that he unwittingly walks into a port-a-potty a few feet to the left of the payphones and shuts the door behind him.
A couple minutes later, Monk steps out of the port-a-potty. Natalie, now sporting a pair of sunglasses to blend in, spots him and rushes over, exasperated. She is somewhat amused that Monk still thinks he was in a phone booth, and starts to lead him away as Monk realizes with shock and horror what he actually was in. Monk and Natalie are walking by the last port-a-potty when a maintenance worker breaks open the door and Stork's dead body falls out right at their feet, startling Natalie. Another woman screams and a crowd begins to gather as other people take notice.
Sometime later, Monk and Natalie are seen conversing. Natalie is trying to help Monk get over his ordeal in the port-a-potty, which Monk likens to a torture device. Natalie sympathizes with him, mentioning that she once read about how the Spanish Inquisition locked people in port-a-johns as a form of torture (iron maiden). Monk is hit by the same blue beachball and expresses that he is ready to go, but Natalie stops him, reminding him that they haven't yet found Jared. At this point, they are approached by a young woman named Kendra Frank, Stork's girlfriend and sponsor at Narcotics Anonymous. It is revealed that Stork's death has been ruled an accidental overdose. But Kendra does not believe the story: she knows that Stork had been off drugs for 17 months and she doesn't believe he could have relapsed. Natalie reminds Kendra that Stork had a needle and a syringe sticking out of his right arm when they found his body, but Kendra insists that this is why she suspects something is wrong: according to her, Stork also had a pathological fear of needles, she recalls that he was the only roadie she ever met who didn't have a single tattoo on him, and she recalls that he missed a South America tour a year ago simply because he refused to get a vaccination shot. Attempting to be helpful, Natalie suggests to her that Stork may have overcome his fear, but Kendra, disbelief dripping with every word, doesn't believe that either, and on the verge of pleading, she hands them Stork’s tour jacket. Monk thumbs through the jacket pockets and finds some random knick-knacks, including a backstage pass and a map of the grounds. He unfolds the map, and notices a circle around the acupuncture tent, with a time, 7:30, written underneath it. He questions Kendra's claim about Stork being afraid of needles, informing her that he had an acupuncture appointment that morning at 7:30 AM. He points it out to her on the map. After a brief second, she looks up, a disgusted look on her face.
In the meanwhile, Stottlemeyer's search for Jared hasn't been lucky. However, he does find Randy. He makes a call from a few feet away on his cell phone to surprise Randy, who pretends to cough to pass himself off as sick. Stottlemeyer pretends to be ashamed to have woken Randy up, and shows himself to be unconvinced by Randy's attempt to pass off the performance on-stage as a broken stereo, then sneaks up to him and surprises him.
Monk, Natalie and Kendra go to the acupuncture tent to interview Annie, the acupuncturist who handled "Stork"'s appointment, as she is tending to another patient. During the interview, Monk tries to straighten the needles on Annie's current patient, only to cause the patient to have a pained reaction. They learn that "Stork" was Annie's first customer that day. She identifies Stork from a photo that Kendra supplies. During the appointment, Annie notes that he dropped a custom-made earring that he forgot to pick up, and shows it. Kendra recognizes it as one she made for him as a gift. Annie claims that "Stork" apparently didn’t say much apart from a story about how he met Eric Clapton. He also talked about how he was giving up and wanted to get high and had gotten over his fear of needles, and lastly asked where he could find some heroin. He paid her and left, but not before Annie recalls seeing him help a young woman who was having trouble blowing up her blue beach-ball. Monk figures that the beach ball in question is the one that has been hitting him ever since he entered the grounds. It now seems like the overdose story is true, and Monk, Natalie and Kendra trudge off, disappointed. As they leave, Monk compulsively touches a 400 watt heat lamp and burns the tips of both of his pointer fingers (even as Natalie tries to restrain him).
Monk and Natalie go to the first-aid tent, where a medic prescribes Natalie an ointment for Monk's fingertips. Monk, meanwhile, is bothered, and begins to think that Kendra might be on to something. They reexamine Stork's body, lying on a stretcher and screened off from the public. Monk immediately notices a few additional holes in the story: for one thing, the outhouses were erected on a very muddy patch, yet the soles on Stork's boots are clean, clearly suggesting that someone carried his body in. Monk notices a lack of other track marks, and takes interest in the rubber strap that was found on Stork's arm. The medic confirms that he does work with a lot of drug addicts, as they come and go in this particular territory. Monk decides to test something, and he puts the strap around Natalie's right arm. With some difficulty, she forms an improvised knot with her left thumb, while the medic confirms that to tighten the knot in the strap, the user then pulls on one of the loose ends with their teeth. Natalie refuses to do this, but this gives Monk another crucial clue: if this is the only way a person can tie off their own arm, how did Stork tie off his own without leaving any teeth marks?
Elsewhere, Stottlemeyer and Disher find Jared in the crowd. As they are leaving the grounds, Stottlemeyer informs Jared that he's been grounded for the next two weeks. Monk, Natalie, and Kendra catch up to them, and Monk informs Stottlemeyer of his suspicions that Stork was murdered.
Soon, a full investigation is underway. Due to his problems with crowds, Monk surveys the crime scene from the nearby hillside and talks to Stottlemeyer over a walkie-talkie. Down by the metal barriers erected around the port-a-potty, Natalie reassures Kendra that Monk doesn't always view crime scenes the way he is doing it currently. Stottlemeyer talks to a repairman who confirms that the port-a-potty door was locked from the inside (since they had to jimmy open the lock), meaning it was not a maintenance worker who put up the "Out of Order" notice attached to the door. Monk theorizes that the lock must have been rigged. Stottlemeyer confirms this when he finds fresh scratch marks on the lock. Stottlemeyer then finds a piece of a guitar string on the floor, which Jared identifies as a high D string from a 12 string guitar. He and Randy recognize the guitar as a very rare type, used by a number of singers, like Kris Kedder. Monk theorizes that Stork was killed elsewher, then the killer (Kedder) put the body inside, tied the string around the deadbolt on the lock, and ran the string through an air vent on the right hand side of the port-a-john to lock the door from the outside.
Back at the first aid tent, Stottlemeyer and Disher talk to the medical examiner, who tells them that a preliminary analysis shows that Stork suffered some hemhorraging, though whether he was hit or he fell will be unclear until they have completed an autopsy. Stottlemeyer, meanwhile, thanks Jared for identifying the guitar string. Jared, however, is not entirely reconciled with his father, especially after finding a "Runaway Child" poster with the old photo of him on it.
Monk, Natalie, and Kendra, meanwhile, are backstage. They've traced the guitar string and found that there is only one 12 string guitar on the grounds, which happens to belong to Kris Kedder. When they find him, he is strumming "Peggy's Gone to Memphis" (which, unbeknownst to them, is actually Stork's song) on his guitar for a small group of women when Monk, Natalie, and Kendra arrive to question him about the murder. Kedder pretends ignorance as Monk questions him. Kendra is disgusted with Kedder's dismissive attitude towards Stork's death. During questioning, Monk catches Kedder in several lies, noticing that Kedder has mud on his boots but there is none on anyone else's shoes, indicating that he's been around the port-a-potty the body was found in. He also has observed that Kedder is out of tune. He begins to suspect that Kedder is "the guy" - the guitar string used to rig the deadbolt on the lock came from a 12 string guitar, and not only are they very rare, but it turns out that Kedder is the only person on the grounds to own such a guitar. Monk asks Kendra to show him and Natalie the trailer Stork lived out of. Kedder tells them the door's locked, but Kendra points out that she has a spare key. Kedder asks if he can tag along, claiming that he's curious. What Monk, Natalie, and Kendra do not know is that Kedder's real intention is to search for an envelope with the incriminating sheet music copies that Stork told him about right before he was killed.
Monk, Natalie and Kendra next go to Stork's trailer. As they enter the trailer, Kedder takes another shot from his asthma inhaler. Natalie comments that it smells mint-flavored, and Kedder mentions that his inhaler is a Danish import. Monk is astonished that Stork would live in a trailer, but Kendra admits that Stork actually loved camping out in the trailer in between gigs. Monk finds an A to Z rhyming dictionary, and Kendra confirms that Stork's biggest dream was song writing, but he was also shy and wouldn't play her any of his stuff. Kedder notices the incriminating envelope he is looking for over one of the windows, but since Monk is looking over this section of the trailer, he can't snatch it without being noticed. Luck is on his side here, for at that point, Natalie spots a photo of a little girl, which draws Monk's and Kendra's attention away from that part of the trailer. Kendra identifies the girl in the photo as Margaret, Stork's little daughter, who currently lives in Memphis, Tennesee with her mother, who divorced him. As Monk, Natalie and Kendra are looking at the photo, Kedder removes the envelope with the incriminating sheet music copies, and tucks the envelope under his shirt. He then slaps himself when he realizes he needs to go perform, and promises to "catch" them later. Monk stops him and questions his use of the phrase, but Kedder then runs off.
As soon as Kedder is gone, Monk immediately senses that something is missing. He asks Natalie and Kendra if either of them touched anything. Both women shake their heads, but Monk tells them that he's sure he saw a white envelope up on the wall above the window, and he points to where he claims he thought he saw it. Though it's gone, Natalie finds a blue-colored receipt for registered mail, and she notes that Stork apparently sent something to himself. This jolts Kendra's memory: she remembers that a few months ago, she accompanied Stork to the post office, and he was mailing sheet music to himself, which he called his "insurance policy". She doesn't know what song he was protecting, but Monk says he thinks he knows - the song that Kedder was singing when they started to question him, "Peggy's Gone to Memphis," was in fact Stork's song. He's deduced that Stork wrote the song about his daughter - Peggy is a nickname for "Margaret" and Stork's daughter lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Kendra realizes with horror that Kedder has snatched the envelope, and Monk realizes that the envelope is the proof they need in order to establish a motive for Kedder.
Monk, Natalie and Kendra race out of the trailer and make their way through the crowd, trying to get to the stage and retrieve the envelope as Kedder performs the stolen song. However, they are too late - in front of their own eyes, Kedder puts the envelope on a flamethrower, which burns the paper beyond usability. Monk and Natalie look at each other in disbelief.
As Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher rendezvous, Monk explains what happened (a process made harder by the fact that Novillero is up and playing their song "The Laissez-Faire System").
Here's What HappenedEdit
Stork wrote "Peggy's Gone to Memphis," which Kris Kedder stole from him. Stork confronted Kedder that night, and Kedder killed him in a panic. Then he put Stork's body into the port-a-potty, and attempted to make it look like Stork had overdosed. However, midway through staging the crime scene, he discovered Stork's straight and sober pin, and realized that he had made a colossal blunder - Stork had been off drugs for 17 months and he had a pathological fear of needles, meaning he would never be seen getting an injection.
Kedder realized that to cover up his mistake, he would have to make it look like Stork had reverted back to drug use and had gotten over his fear of needles. The next morning, Kedder disguised himself as Stork by donning Stork's bandanna and wearing a pair of sunglasses to avoid facial recognition, and he went to the acupuncturist's tent. To support his cover story, Kedder asked Annie about where he could find heroin. After the appointment, he went back to the port-a-potty, and put the map into the pocket of Stork's jacket to lead the police to the acupuncture tent. Then he rigged the lock on the port-a-john: he tied a string from his guitar around the dead bolt, ran the wire through the air vent, and then closed the door, pulling on the wire from outside the vent to lock the door from the outside.
Stottlemeyer mentions to Monk that there's no way Kedder could be arrested: the guitar string could easily have been taken by someone else, and Kedder has burned the incriminating sheet music. But then Monk sees a blue beachball flying through the air over the crowd - the very one that had been hitting him earlier - and he suddenly remembers something else Annie had told him when he, Natalie, and Kendra were questioning her: after Kedder left her, and before he could change out of his Stork disguise, he helped a young woman blow up a beachball. Disher points out that there will be millions of fingerprints on the beach ball, but Monk reveals that the proof is inside the beachball - he points out that Kedder has asthma and uses a distinct inhaler. Natalie points out that the inhaler is mint-flavored and is very unique (she remembers Kedder saying that it was imported from Denmark). Monk points out that when the guitar string, the fact that Annie can confirm to seeing Kedder blowing up the ball while he was impersonating the victim, and the fact that the air inside the ball could be traced to Kedder's inhaler, are all added up, they decide they have enough evidence to arrest Kedder.
Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher immediately take off, chasing the ball through the crowd, but every time one of them gets close to the ball, the person holding the ball immediately throws it to someone else, extending the chase. While they do that, Monk attempts to make an announcement from the stage, only to get booed off by the crowd. He fails to notice Kedder grab a screwdriver from a spare toolbelt, having just been told that Monk is onto him. Eventually, the ball lands at the top of the scaffolding for one of the loudspeakers, and Jared climbs up a ladder to grab the ball. Just then, Kedder climbs onto a ladder a few feet away from Jared. He intends to use the screwdriver to deflate the ball and destroy the last piece of evidence that could tie him to Stork's murder. Jared is torn between either throwing the ball to Kedder and letting a killer get away, or standing up to his father. Kedder smugly asks Jared if he doesn't trust cops, but Jared, after a tense moment, says that he trusts his father, and throws the ball to Leland. Kedder scoffs at Jared as Randy handcuffs him and takes him away.
As Kedder is led in handcuffs to a police car, Stottlemeyer instructs a uniformed cop to make sure the beachball doesn't accidentally deflate before it gets to the crime lab. Randy has gotten his hands on a Kris Kedder t-shirt, which Natalie comments will be worth a fortune after Kedder is convicted. As Monk and Natalie walk back to the car, Stottlemeyer stops with Jared at a photo booth to get a few photos of him for the next time he takes off. The episode ends with three photos: one of Jared and Stottlemeyer straight-faced, one of them with Randy in the middle with a goofy expression, and one of just Jared and Stottlemeyer smiling.
- Novillero stars as themselves. They are the third band seen on the stage, and whose performance is interrupted when Monk attempts to make the announcement about the beachball from the stage.
- The song that plays as Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer arrive and are making their way through the parking area a song that previously was used in "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic".
- Terry Fradet had previously appeared on Monk as an inmate in the prison library in "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail". James Logan, who plays a roadie, previously appeared in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office."
- This is one of several episodes that show how murders happen wherever Monk goes with unusual frequency. In sharp contrast to "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie's body language and the tone of her voice suggests that she is already willing to help Monk investigate.
- Side-by-side, Natalie and Kendra almost appear to be close in age, with Natalie being a few years older. The age difference is much larger in real-life: Traylor Howard (Natalie) is 14 years older than Tamara Feldman (Kendra).
- Natalie and Kendra are both wearing outfit that match their hair color. Natalie, who is played by Traylor Howard, a blonde, wears a white t-shirt and brown shorts; while Kendra, who is played by Tamara Feldman, has black hair, a black Trafalgar t-shirt and black shorts.
- This is one of the few cases where an episode takes place over the course of an entire day, instead of being stretched out to cover several days.
- This isn't the first time that Randy has attempted to fake illness to get out of work. In Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist, Stottlemeyer suspects that Randy is reluctant to go on leave to go to the dentist for a very much legitimate toothache is because he is saving up sick days for days that he isn't actually sick on, or perhaps because they roll over.
- Based on the fact that Stork calls a copyright lawyer late at night before he is killed, San Francisco's yellow pages must contain a 24 hour copyright lawyer of some sort.
- There are numerous continuity errors with the songs that are played on stage during the episode. Among other things, the song being played on stage instantly changes from scene to scene, and there are two songs that play twice during the episode - the one in the background when Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer are walking through the parking lot is later heard again when the medical examiner is looking at the body, and the one that plays when Monk is standing in the parking lot is later heard again minutes later when Monk and Natalie meet Kendra.
- Although the events of the episode are supposed to take place over a 24 hour period, the lighting is inconsistent. In the scene where Monk is making his way through the crowd towards the payphones, the lighting suggests that it is about midday. Minutes later, when Monk and Natalie see Stork's body fall out, the lighting suggests late afternoon or early evening. It stays like this until after the following scene (Monk and Natalie meeting Kendra), where the lighting instantly changes to suggest that the time is something around midday.
- During the scene at the police station and while walking through the parking lot, Natalie is wearing high-heels. For the rest of the episode, she is wearing normal walking shoes (most noticeable when Natalie runs up to Monk upon seeing him leave the port-a-potty).
- Not only would Kris Kedder be possible to indict based on the air inside the ball, but they would also have his DNA on the cap that prevents air from leaking out.
- The air inside the ball would probably not be enough evidence to arrest Kedder - more solid evidence would be necessary, like the fact that his fingerprints would be all over the port-a-potty.
- After Kedder bludgeons Stork with the beer bottle, he takes a shot from his asthma inhaler. It should be noted that moments earlier, we saw two people walk by them. Even though this area probably doesn't receive a lot of foot traffic, Kedder is taking a lot of risk by taking a shot from his inhaler before doing anything about the body.
- When Natalie finds Monk after he steps out of the port-a-potty, her purse is over her shoulder, but as she grabs him by the arm and leads him away, suddenly it's on her elbow, and a split second later, just as Monk and Natalie see Stork's body fall out of the port-a-potty, it's back on her shoulder.
- As soon as Natalie runs up to Monk, you can see that her right thumb is extended. However, when the angle changes to pick up her reply ("But, Mr. Monk, that wasn't a phone booth!"), her thumb is suddenly no longer extended.
- When Monk, Natalie and Kendra question Kedder, Monk never asks Kedder to supply an alibi. The novel Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse establishes that police procedure requires detectives to ask for alibis when questioning anybody who might have had even the most minor involvement in a murder. Among questions that Monk would have needed to ask to verify that they had interviewed Kedder correctly would have included, "Where were you this morning between 7:00 and 8:00 AM?" as well as ones about Kedder's relationship with Stork.
- Kendra introduces Monk and Natalie by their full names when they talk to Kedder, yet there's no scene showing her learning this, though when she first finds them after the body is found, it is mentioned that she was referred to them by some of the cops at the scene.
- When Monk and Natalie are visiting the first aid clinic, to prove a point, Monk puts the rubber strap found on the body over Natalie's right arm, and she awkwardly uses her left thumb to create the knot. However, Natalie happens to be right-handed (given the fact that she wears her watch on her left hand). Since no one ever normally injects oneself in their primary writing hand, it would make more sense for Natalie to have put the strap around her left arm. Since the rubber strap and syringe were on the victim's right arm, it could also be assumed that the victim was left handed.