|Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank|
January 18, 2008
Tim Halligan as Peter Crawley
|Monk Season 6|
|Season 5||Season 7|
It's night time, and two cops are outside the West Bay Trust bank, writing a parking ticket for an illegally parked Ford Escape SUV that has been parked in the 15 minute parking space. The one writing the ticket comments that the city just made an easy $85, and mentions that the bank had just been robbed the day before. As they write the ticket, the first cop notices that his pen is out of ink. Deciding to give up, the cops leave, remarking that it must be the SUV driver's lucky day. But the view shifts to inside the bank, and then behind the door of the sealed vault, where four people are trapped: Adrian Monk, Natalie Teeger, Captain Stottlemeyer, and Lieutenant Disher.
Two Days EarlierEdit
Flashback to a few days earlier: Monk and Natalie are preparing breakfast at Monk's apartment - or rather, they are trying to, as Natalie complains about the fact that the toaster is burning the bread up, and begs her boss to loosen his purse strings and buy a new one. They are momentarily interrupted when they see a news report on the TV reporting the aforementioned bank robbery, and Monk immediately realizes that it's his bank that has been hit.
Down at the bank, Stottlemeyer arrives and informs the employees that he will need to collect statements from all of them about their actions during the robbery. He takes up seat in branch manager Peter Crawley's office to interview each employee.
According to the employees, at 9:05 AM, a heavily-accented Russian in a green hooded sweatshirt barged his way in, grabbed all the money, broke into the safety deposit boxes. He saw one of the tellers, Jasmine, reaching for the silent alarm and shot her in the shoulder, and then made his getaway with the stolen goods.
Outside, Disher is collecting statements from people in the area who might have seen something. He tries talking to a vendor but learns that he arrived after the robbery, and then Randy notices a silver living statue performer standing on the opposite side of the parking lot from the bank, and realizes that he might have had a very clear view. Randy approaches this performer, and tries to get the performer to talk, but none of the antics he attempts - startling him, flashing a badge, and even putting money in his collection box - are able to get the performer to unfreeze. Randy is relieved when the performer's watch goes off and signals his break. He is not happy with Randy yelling in his face trying to get him to react, but mentions that he did see the aforementioned Russian loitering in the parking lot just before the robbery. He is just about to reach the part where he saw something after the alarm went off when his watch goes off indicating that his break is over, and he gets back into his pose as Randy makes futile attempts to get him to finish his statement.
Inside, Monk and Natalie arrive at the bank and confirm Monk's worst fear: a bracelet belonging to Trudy was stolen from Monk's safety deposit box. Monk vows to track it down.
After reviewing the crime scene and surveillance footage, Monk makes an important discovery: "the Russian" had an inside accomplice at the bank. Monk knows that bank lobby like the back of his hand, and mentions to Stottlemeyer that on the day of the robbery, someone moved a potted tree to block the security cameras, disabled the alarm wired to the bank's back entrance, and unlocked a security gate at the end of the alley behind the bank. In the hallway, meanwhile, Randy practices to become a living statue and compete with the first performer, though Stottlemeyer disapproves of this. Natalie spots him doing so and she tries antics similar to the ones that we saw Randy try on the performer in an attempt to get Randy to react: including tickling him, jumping on him as if to tackle him, and finally sticking pencils up his nose (leaving him with what look like tusks).
Determined to track down the inside man, Monk takes a job as the bank's security guard so he can keep an eye on the staff. Natalie drops by and makes some guesses, but Monk explains that the inside man had to be strong enough to move the plant, tall enough to reach the circuit breaker for the alarm, behind a cabinet, and senior enough to have the key to the gate. A few of the employees may meet at least one of the criteria, but they fail to meet other criteria. Only one person, the branch manager Peter Crawley, fits all of the criteria. As Crawley comes back from a three-hour lunch break, Monk notices some crucial clues on Crawley that lead him to suspect that Crawley has brought a brand-new Jaguar convertible that he doesn't want anyone else to see - his neck is sunburned, plus he also has a ticket for a space at a parking garage, which seems odd given that he has a private space at the bank.
Monk has also noticed that Crawley can't stop playing with a small toy model of a Jaguar convertible on his desk. Sure enough, when Monk and Natalie stake out Crawley's house, they see a brand-new life-sized version parked on his driveway. It seems that all they have to do is wait for Crawley to come out, but Natalie notices something dripping from underneath the car, and mistakes it for oil, but on closer look, find it to be blood. They pop the trunk and find Crawley's dead body inside, shot twice in the head.
Stottlemeyer notes to Monk and Natalie that Crawley was shot with a .22 caliber gun, probably the same as the one used on Jasmine, except that she's not dead. A search of Crawley's house and corpse doesn't turn up Trudy's bracelet, but a pawn ticket in Crawley's pocket leads Monk and Natalie to a local pawnshop in the suburb of Brisbane, where Crawley pawned something three hours after the robbery. Again, the bracelet is nowhere to be found, but the pawnbroker does mention something that piques Monk's interest: apparently when Crawley pawned the items, he mentioned still having another "half a box" full of jewelry.
Following this lead, Monk and Natalie return to the bank after business hours, where Stottlemeyer and Disher are waiting. Madge, one of the tellers, lets them in, and Monk explains what he's figured out: the money and stolen goods never left the bank. They're still sitting in a safety deposit box in the vault – the one box that the Russian allegedly didn't open. They find that the unopened box belongs to a "J.A. Guar". Madge agrees to open the box to check, and goes to get the key, leaving the others waiting in the vault. While she's gone, Monk notices something in the otherwise empty wastebasket: six toothpicks, one shorter than the others. With that, Monk solves the case, and yells that they need to get out, immediately. Unfortunately, Madge has seen him on a surveillance camera, and she rushes to the back and shuts the door of the vault, trapping Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher inside.
The scene returns to the present. After the other three wear themselves out shouting for help, Monk lies down in a corner, preparing to suffocate to death. Natalie tells him not to panic, they only need to last through the night, until the rest of the staff open the vault for business the next morning. Mournfully, Monk says that won't happen. There wasn't just one inside man, or even two – it was all of them!
Here's What HappenedEdit
There was no "Russian" - the six members of the bank staff staged the "robbery" like a play, with one of them (probably Madge) playing the robber and the rest of them playing the victims (the flashback also makes clear that, in a way, Natalie was almost right after all: the staff worked together to move the tree, disable the alarm, and open the gate). After moving the money and the valuables to the single safe box, Madge escaped the bank, and then discarded her costume and returned to work as normal.
In order to sell their story, they decided that one of them had to get shot, though not seriously. So they drew straws (the toothpicks), and Jasmine drew the short one. When Natalie asks why Crawley was killed, Stottlemeyer reasons that the thieves must have made a pact not to spend any of the money until they could divide it, but Crawley couldn't resist the lure of his new Jaguar.
Outside the vault, the staff have left the vault sealed, pretending that an electronic failure has occurred, and turning away all customers who want to access their safe boxes. To hasten the process, they turn off the air circulation system.
Inside, Stottlemeyer breaks open the safe box and finds the money and jewelry. Small comfort though it is, he finds Trudy's bracelet and hands it over to Monk.
Since they can't depend on help coming from outside before they suffocate, Stottlemeyer decides their best bet is to break into a wall panel, in which he hopes there is a telephone line. But all their attempts to break the padlock guarding the panel (including shooting it) fail, until Stottlemeyer pleads with Monk to let him use the bracelet. Monk gives it up, and Stottlemeyer uses the diamonds to saw through the steel lock (though not without some damage to the bracelet). Inside the panel, there is no telephone, but the next best thing: the control panel for the electronic ad board on the outside of the bank. Knowing that there is at least one witness in front of the bank at all times - the "Living Statue" street performer from before - Randy sends a very personalized message to him ("WE R DYING CALL 911 U SILVER BASTARD"), and the Statue calls the police.
A few days later, the crooked staff have been arrested, and the bank's new manager extends his special thanks to Monk. Natalie seizes the opportunity to ask for a new toaster, which the bank is giving away as a promotion.
Outside the bank, the Living Statue is arguing furiously (through a clenched jaw) with his new competitor: Randy. A passing woman drops some money into Randy's collection box, and the original Living Statue expresses his profound hatred of Randy.
[Disher is practicing his "Living Statue" act.]
Natalie: Randy...? What are you doing?
Natalie: (laughing) Hello? Are you all right?
(She walks in a circle around him, he doesn't move.)
Natalie: Oh, my gosh... tickle, tickle, tickle! (no response) All right...
(She starts to walk away, then turns back and jumps off the floor and onto Randy's shoulder. He still doesn't move.)
Natalie: I'm gonna take these two pencils, and I'm gonna stick them up your nose. (does) Pencil number one... (does) Pencil number two.
(still no response)
Natalie: Our tax dollars at work.
Monk: I'm gonna die here.
Natalie: No, you are not!
Monk: You're right. (gets up and moves to another corner) I'm gonna die over here. I call this spot. You can all die over there.
Stottlemeyer: That's it. Monk is no longer the morale officer.
[Disher is interviewing the "Living Statue".]
Disher: Excuse me. Lieutenant Disher, SFPD. You've got a pretty good view of the bank from here. We're investigating a robbery that took place earlier this morning. (Pause. No response.) Sir? (Pause. Still no response.) Sir, this is official police business. It will just take a minute. (Pause) (Disher takes out his badge and flashes it) If you're not too busy. (Pause. Still no response.) Ok, I know you can hear me. Look, I just saw you blink. You blinked. (Randy tries to startle the "Living Statue") (Pause. No reaction.) Oh. I get it. (Pause. Disher puts money in the bucket, after waving the cash in front of the "Living Statue") Normally, we don't pay for information! So, what time did arrive at the park this morning, sir? (Pause. Still no response.) Ok. You know what, pal? I can get a crane here in 20 minutes, lift you up and drag you downtown.
[The "Living Statue"'s alarm on his watch beeps, indicating his break.]
Living Statue: It's my break, man.
Disher: Well, thank you. That's more like it.
Living Statue: (Groans) This is my job. I mean, how would you like it if I came to your office and (Screams) in your face, huh? (He yells in anger again.) Was I here? Yes, I was here. I've been here all day. I'm here every morning. Even Sundays.
Disher: Good. Did you see anything unusual at around 9:00?
Living Statue: Yeah. I, I saw a guy. About 5' 10", green hoodie. He was hanging out, pacin' around. Looked kinda nervous, and then, he went inside.
Disher: Good. Did you see his face?
Living Statue: He had his hood up. Sorry.
Disher: Okay. Hood up. And then what happened?
Living Statue: Oh, about 10 minutes later, the alarm went off. And I saw... [The "Living Statue"'s watch alarm beeps again] (The Living Statue gets back to work.)
Disher: What? Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you doing? (Pause. No response from "Living Statue") (Disher laughs for a second.) No, no, no, no. No, no, no. Don't. Don't do that. (Pause) Hey, we're not done here. What did you see?
- The bank's interior and exterior do not match up.
- It would ruin the plot, but bank vaults generally have some method of escape inside them if someone gets trapped inside. This could include a key to unlock the door from the inside, a telephone, a panic alarm, or some combination thereof.
- Bank robberies do not go to the local police. They are investigated by the FBI because it is a federal offense, although there are select robberies that are investigated by the local police. So Stottlemeyer despite saying that robbery can't take it it wouldn't have mattered! Though that would have ruined the plot.
- Security cameras could have taped the employees moving the tree, Madge while coming outside and other suspicious acts of employees before the robbery. However, they just as well could have erased any incriminating footage.
- You can't cut a steel lock with a diamond bracelet. So don't try it.
- No need for guns or diamonds...the eight hours is plenty of time for you to find the 4-digit combination of the steel padlock by trial and error.